Virtual Card Games?

I started writing a side quest for my LitRPG series. This is Cas’ story, and how she builds her own strengths and self confidence.

You didn’t have to read the litRPG series in order to understand Vertigo. This is a self contained story, with only minor references between the two.

Vertigo is a virtual trading card game. But trading card games are completely different inside a virtual world. Here Cas will have to hunt out the creatures she wants to add to her deck, and earn the right to their assistance.

Because this is a side quest I am releasing Vertigo for free a chapter a week. It is available on both Wattpad and RoyalRoad for free. The first chapter is already available. A new chapter will be released by Saturday every week. Bookmark, rate, and review please!

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Writing progress

In February I quit my job, packed up my home, and moved to Texas. It’s now May…. so how am I doing? Here are each of my goals and what happened with them.

Write More

I am definitely writing more. Both March and April I wrote 20k words, and I’m on track to doing even more this month. If I keep this up I will be well over a quarter million words in a year, something I haven’t been able to do ever. And because of how I am working things are going well, and I do not see a problem with getting the word count in.
(For those interested in numbers, in 2017 and 2018 I wrote just over 100k. May just started and I’ve already written 66k this year. I’ll pass the last two years of writing by the end of June.)

Publish in April

This one didn’t happen, and while I am upset that it didn’t happen I am also happy with the reason. The novella I had been writing is now a full novel. The first two book Hub Series were around 30k words, and this latest one is 50k making it a full length novel. I’ve also taken the time to make the story better, made the characters a bit more compelling, added some things that I hadn’t tried before. The farther I go in this series the happier I am with it. On that note, I’m sending it to the editor this weekend so expect book three in a week or two.

Draw More

I have not been keeping up with my drawing. I did a few pieces in March (1, 2, 3, 4), but I never really finished them, and I haven’t added anything to redbubble or spoonflower. I’m a little disappointed in myself since I haven’t been gaming either to take up that time, so where is it going?

Stream More

I do have a Twitch stream that I have been known to do a few times, but it was rare. The trouble I found was that when I streamed I might have one or two people pop in, and they rarely stayed for more than a few minutes. This lead me to believe I really wasn’t good at holding peoples interest long enough to stream. I don’t know when or if I will go back to it. I might just try it because I enjoy playing some narrative games, and then I could put them up on my youtube channel. I haven’t decided yet.

Youtube Again

This is another one I haven’t done since being here.  It’s also another one I’m not sure I want to do. I have two channels, one for Writing and one for Gaming. The gaming channel only allows me to post 15 minute videos so I ended up using my writing channel for gaming, which I shouldn’t have done. Honestly…. I need to do this. It would be good for me because I need to learn to talk in front of a camera again. It’s very difficult for me sometimes so… I’ll have to see what I can do.

Overall

So writing is going well, and I’ll have another book to publish soon. Then I should be able to jump in and finish the second Half Blood Sorceress book since I have already written most of it, and that will be book two, hopefully by July. So much to write and so little time. I better get writing!

Triple A Fails

A thousand games. Yep, I’m a gamer. And this is just my steam library. I have more on twitch, switch, and individual PC games. I had even more until I moved but I gave hundreds of console games, and several consoles, to my kids because I couldn’t afford to move them all.

I am showing you this to say I have spent thousands of dollars on these games, even more if you consider I’ve been purchasing games for more than twenty years and how many I have sold, thrown away, deleted, etc over the years. But now…I’m not that interested in spending money on developers that don’t care about their user base.

Last year was a shit show. Triple A game after Triple A game being put out with game breaking bugs (Anthem, Fallout 76, Left Alive), game devs giving in to angry internet trolls that don’t even play games, game devs firing massive amounts of their people after record profits (EA and Activition,) and just the unbelievable exploitation of loot crates, microtransactions and pay-to-win garbage. $2 for a dot? COME ON!

I’ve had it with Triple A titles. They are supposed to be BETTER because they have the people and the backing to provide better games.

The games I loved last year? Moonlighter. Donut County. Celeste. Gris. Raft. Subnautica (and Subnautica even has a squeal out this year.)

And many older games like Stardew Valley are still adding new content to their games. For FREE.

So many games, and they all have one thing in common: indie studios made them!

And when the players complain about bugs what do they triple A studios do? They get Steam and Epic games to hide reviews. They ban players who highlight the problem with the game. They ban their top player. They ignore feedback, double down on microtransactions because they aren’t making enough, and in general make it worse. Even No Man’s Sky, a game overhyped, released too soon, with many of the features missing, has slowly kept adding those features, fixing their game for free and making it better every year. Instead Fallout, Anthem and other Triple A titles are doubling down.

Oh, and then they transfer IP’s we love to mobile and say “Do you guys not have phones?” They are so out of touch with their community. They aren’t selling to this market anymore, they are trying to break into the Chinese market which is heavily mobile based with microtransactions, and leaving us behind.

I’m not buying Triple A titles anymore until they are out, and vetted by the first players. I will support great games in the indie market and encourage those companies to grow. I will be making videos about them because I love them, and adding them to my recommendeds because I will not support an industry that does not love the games they make. If all you are in this for is money (which Activition and EA clearly are) then you don’t love what you are producing. If you don’t love it then why would I love it?

I’m done. I don’t trust games journalists anymore because I know they are just writing what the big companies tell them to write, and then lowering scores of indie titles so the big companies sell more. That’s why game companies black list so many smaller game reviewers, and even Kotaku, because they don’t want honest reviews. I’m tired of it. I want indie titles to win! Because they are amazing! They are creative, innovative, and actually WORK.

So go buy GOOD games and leave the trash where it belongs.

Steeling my soul!

It’s been a few days. I finished book one (Steel Soul, here’s a first chapter) and I’m off and running on book two. I’m currently on chapter five right now, and working my way up to the big fight. I can already tell this book is going to be twice as long as the first, which is great because the first book was pretty short for a novel.

What I love? I’m developing the game world a lot more, creating new characters, and also developing how this game works with other games on that timeline. In this futuristic world setting all of the game worlds are centered around one hub and you can move between worlds. I can’t wait to get to explore some of the others. A world in which you can eat as much delicious food as you want and never gain a pound because it’s all virtual? A world of steam punk and gears? A world of futuristic super heroes and tech? Yes, all of them and more!

But FIRST they have to survive their encounter with a not so happy hacker who might want to make their offline life a little worse.

And…. DONE!

I’m FINISHED!

That’s it. I’m done with book one, Steel Soul. I don’t think I’ve ever written a book this fast before. I started it at the end of April, and now it’s June 12th. That’s two months! And granted, it’s a short book, but it is a complete book with a beginning middle and end.

What’s next? Well, I need to go through with a final edit on my side to make sure everyone has the same eye color, there is a little more detail, and adjust some statistics in the book. The hardest thing I’ve found about writing a LitRPG is getting the stats right with each level the chars make.

My final edit should only take a day or two since it’s short, and then I need to get it edited by an actual editor. While that is happening I hope to get the second book finished. It is already a quarter of the way finished after all.

I also got my swatches of the new fabric I designed and it is AWESOME! I love it. The sheep are adorable, and the citrus slices work better than I thought they would. I also added a few more designs to my redbubble.

I have also been streaming more on twitch so if you’re interesting in hanging out, chatting about writing, art, or video games, I’ll be there off and on. I’m trying to get a schedule but I haven’t been able to yet.

What’s with all the games?

This weekend (my weekend, which is Wednesday and Thursday) was a weekend for being sick. I ended up taking an extra day to sleep the sickness away. It’s now Saturday, and I’m at work drinking my morning coffee and logging into the computer, and I feel much better. So glad I took that day.

But, while out for the weekend I did manage to get a few things done. Not much for my novel because that wasn’t working well. Something about fevers makes thinking difficult, or maybe just being really … REALLY … tired. In any event I did not do much actual story telling this weekend, but I did get some of my other writing, and a little art work done.

Anyone who has been following me for a while probably knows that I’m a gamer. What probably nobody knows is that I have a gaming blog where I do reviews. Not the usual kind of reviews, though, because it feels like everyone reviews AAA titles, and the big indie hits. I like the indie titles that fly under the radar, and mobile gaming. Since if felt like gamers all say “mobile gaming is for casuals” it was only natural for me to share some of my favorite mobile games. After all, Pokémon is a hand held game, it just so happens that handhelds now sit in our pockets and are attached to phones. It’s just really hard to find good games among all the junk.

What started out as “hey, this is a game I love, you should try it,” slowly evolved into a review sight for mobile titles. I started downloading, playing, and sharing my impressions of a bunch of mobile games, some of which are free. Some are bad. Some are good. A bunch of them I paid for through Humble Bundle. Lots of them!

I think I’ll be posting my favorite mobile games of 2017 this week, since that’s the thing to do. I will probably do a run down of my reads for this year on this blog, too, since I completed my reading challenge on Goodreads.

Overall my personal life has been pretty good this year. Bjorn is doing awesome with his new job. We did the trip to LA for Twitchcon. He just set up his new 3d printer last night so soon I’ll be able to do some designs for that. And I wasn’t sick nearly as much this year as previous years. Plus publishing two short stories (Dark Angels and Hidden Treasures) as well as Dragon’s Flame. Plus I’ve written another 100k words on the next two books for The Half Blood Sorceress Series. Just a lot of awesomeness.

Anyway, if you’re also into gaming you might check out the gaming blog over here. I sometimes post commentary on it as well, but mostly I just like sharing good games.

And look forward to some updates about the new Half Blood Sorceress later in the month.

5 Min – Day 4 – Clutter

Last night was an interesting point. For the first time, EVER, I said I think it’s time to get rid of all the consoles.
I’m a gamer, and I love my games. I refuse to give up my games. But…I am tired of having so much stuff, too. I love Steam for this reason. Most of the games I own are now on my PC. Some of them aren’t on Steam, but most of them are. That means I can just install them when I want to and go.

But the consoles…I love consoles. I love some of the games I have that are only available on console. But the problem is they take up a lot of space. I have six of them, and two stacks of games, and a bunch of wiring, controllers, etc. etc. etc.

Time to give them up. Time to clear out my home and start downsizing everything we have down to just the absolute essentials.

I know a lot of the problems I’ve been having lately are due to the fact that the house is so cluttered. I come home and I look around, and I’m just not happy. It’s sad, and I hate it. I sometimes avoid it because I know I’ll have to clean the kitchen before I can use it.

But if we only have the things we need, and nothing else, then maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. Sure, keep some of the keepsakes, and awesome things (like my master sword) but get rid of the rest of it.

I have five book cases of books, many of which I haven’t read yet. I will never get around to reading them, there just isn’t enough time in the world. So maybe it’s time I start pairing down to only the books I absolutely love, and buy the rest I want to read on kindle.

But that’s a discussion for another day. My five minutes are up.