Back to Transcendent

Posted in Updates with tags on May 29, 2019 by chemiclord

To anyone who knows me personally, this probably isn’t a surprise in the slightest.  With my work on MegaTokyo:Endgames wrapping up (I’ll have a release date for Isle of Donne soon, I promise), I’m back to work on a concept that has been burning in the back of my mind for the last year.

(To the four people who wanted me to go back to my “Gate” series… sorry.)

But I’m approaching Transcendent a little differently than just writing a novel.  The release structure for this series will be almost like the serials of the past (and kinda like seasons of TV shows now).

The goal is that once the series gets spinning, that I’ll release 20-30 page “episodes” that you’ll be able to buy through Amazon Kindle e-books, and after a 10-12 page “season” they’ll be compiled in book form that you’ll be able to buy for all you dead tree collectors.  I feel it will lower the bar of entry (which is what kills a lot of “new” writers), while at the same time keeping the larger novels for those who want them on their bookshelves.

And yes… these will be Kindle exclusives.  It’s admittedly a mercenary decision, as my sales from Amazon lapped Barnes and Noble and Kobo combined several times over.  For the price points I’m going to be selling these at… I’m going to need the higher cut that comes from giving the Kindle exclusive publishing.

Which brings us to price.  The plan initially is that each episode will run for $1 ($0.99 technically), and the accumulated seasons will be in the $12-$15 range.  I’m trying to keep prices down, folks.  I know it’s really hard to have much money to spend, after all.  I wish I could do better.

Anyway, I’ll keep updating as I get closer.  Still really early in development at this point, but I understand that radio silence is one of the worst things to have as a nobody writer.  Thanks for keeping in touch!

So… Where To Now?

Posted in Grumblings on May 7, 2019 by chemiclord

As you are reading this… I am at long last (about a year later than I would have liked) finished with the primary draft of The Isle of Donne.  Granted, still have some editing and some cover art to finish up, but the brunt of the work (on my end at least) is done.

It’s almost hard to believe that I’ve put in roughly 6 years of my life to this series, and definitely more actual development time than anything I had done before.  It really has become a part of my life, and as a result that I’m effectively finished with it is a bit hard to wrap my brain around.

These last few days have been my first sort of “vacation” from writing since then, the first time in years that I haven’t had my word processor and/or story board open in front of me, and while the break was probably needed… it felt wrong somehow.  Like I was missing a part of me.

So, I think that is me telling myself it’s time to get back to work.  But on what?

Yeah, I’m not going to able to pretend I’m lost in a indecisive haze wondering what my next project will be.  I already know.  I’ve kinda already known for a year.  And as I get it more congealed, I’ll share those plans with everyone.

Okay… back to radio silence, now.  Thank you for your patience.

The Right Way to Play A Video Game…

Posted in Grumblings on March 31, 2019 by chemiclord

Rule 1: It is not your decision.

Rule 2: If there is any doubt, kindly refer to Rule #1 and pick an orifice to go fuck yourself in.

This is something I frequently grind my gears over; the hardcore gamer who decides there is a “right way to play” and anyone else isn’t a true fan and thus deserves to be derided.

This attitude among gamers has really reared it’s ugly head with the release of FROM Software’s latest title, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, as it usually does every time FROM Software releases a title.  They are very mechanically challenging titles, and the fans of that series get very upset if you suggest that they aren’t “fair,” or don’t do things that you’re “supposed to do” like open yourself to PvP raids.

Now, this is hardly unique to Sekiro or From Software.  I’ve seen this attitude seep up like toxic waste in everything from the Fire Emblem series (if you turn permadeath off, you’re doin’ it rong), Doom (if you turn down the difficulty, you’re not playing it right), goddamn Mario games (using warp pipes if you’re not speedrunning means you’re trash), hell… I listened to an uncle get shit on for not defeating the Wizard of Frobozz properly in Zork 2 (a damn text-based puzzle game which encouraged you to find your own solution).

This isn’t hard to suss out, gamers.  You were not, are not, and never will be the arbiter for the “right way” to play any game.  And if you hold such an opinion for any game, I kindly request you to take that opinion out to the curb, because it’s garbage.

On the Layoff Epidemic in Video Games…

Posted in Grumblings on February 25, 2019 by chemiclord

To an extent, I’m not entirely surprised.  This sort of thing was a long time coming, and no, greedy executives and shareholders are not the only ones at fault.

There are a multitude of factors that lead to this collapse of the workforce, despite companies reporting “record profits.”  Yes, a very big one is shareholders who aren’t gamers trying to take an industry that really isn’t one that can work under a model of sustained growth and trying to force it into sustained growth.

In any creative field, it simply isn’t something that makes money to make money.  You are going to have lulls.  You really can’t expect even a large company of developers to be able to crank out increasingly more sales and profits every year before they start to crack and burn out.  It simply can’t happen for any prolonged period of time, even if you happen to find that one big hit that you can keep adding onto.  For every World of Warcraft there are thousands of titles that simply shouldn’t be expected to have those sort of legs.

Another huge problem is mismanagement.  When every studio starts copycat chasing whatever the flavor of the month is, you get a huge over-saturation of titles where there can really only be one or two winners.  Everything else becomes wasted money and development time, which makes shareholders unhappy.

Innovation and creative are the lifeblood of any entertainment field.  Copycat developing is the antithesis of that.  Add to that mismanagement staples like feature creep, indecision, and demands for crunch… and you have a terrific cauldron of stupidity that leads to catastrophic failure.  If you have a vision, then stick with it.  If you don’t; trust the people that do.

And finally… the fact is that the video game industry isn’t in very good financial health.  Despite Kotrick declaring “record profits,” the simple fact was that these cuts were made in anticipation of the bottom falling out.  The consequence of all this copycat developing, mismanagement, and demands for ever increasing revenues is that we have an industry where everything is built on a fragile skeleton, and the simple fact is that games simply aren’t very profitable, even with methods like DLC and microtransactions and lootboxes.

I’ve said this before… but us gamers simply aren’t spending what we need to in order to keep this industry healthy.  Expect this continue until (at the very least) we accept that $60 in 2019 isn’t the same as $60 in 1999.  We can’t expect this life to continue to grow if we insist on starving it.

Good News Everybody!

Posted in Grumblings on February 11, 2019 by chemiclord

No, this isn’t about The Isle of Donne (though I’m promise I’m very close to done with the manuscript; I’m not going GRRM on you guys).

But if you get annoyed whenever I get political on a blog space that I explicitly said I wouldn’t get terribly political on, then this is good news for you.

I’ve been invited as a contributor on the Kinja blog site Clashtalk, and so for the near future, my political commentary will no doubt be making their ears bleed, and I’ll save this site once more to my creative and narrative endeavors.

I’m so happy that I’ll be able to tragically disappoint two groups of people instead of one.  I always felt like I was falling short in that regard.

 

On Two Americas…

Posted in Grumblings on January 23, 2019 by chemiclord

(Note: I am going to be coarse.  If you can’t handle strong language, don’t continue.)

Boy, do we have a lovely clusterfuck of bullshit here, don’t we?

On one hand, we have a group of teenagers who intentionally dressed themselves up like they were going to a Trump rally, then walked around the nation’s capitol knowing it would irritate, anger, and cause all sorts of trouble.

They got exactly what they were looking for.

On another hand, we have the “Black Israelites,” a group notorious for being intentionally abrasive and hateful, going to the nation’s capitol looking to make a scene.

They also got exactly what they were looking for.

Then finally, we have a Native American military veteran, looking for an opportunity to get his cause in the spotlight.

He got exactly what he was looking for as well.

Then, to top off this wonderful attention whore salad, comes the dressing of a media desperate to be “first” rather than “correct”, managing to piss off everyone, first by missrepresenting damn near everything about the confrontation, then by rolling back on the parts that actually were correct in an effort to appear objective (rather than actually be objective in the first place).

But let’s not fool ourselves, and let the general American public off the hook either.  The parties above do this shit because they know that eyeballs, clicks, purchases, and attention follow.  I’m guilty too.  I bit hard myself.  Not so much that I was wrong about any of the boys (because they were being glorious shitheels no matter how much they want to tell the world they were provoked), but now I’m a shitheel myself because I didn’t wait for the whole story.

It’s become another example of the Divided States of America, and the naked contempt and resentment each side has for the other becomes more stark with each passing day and each event where people rush to be noticed and the country rushes to notice them.

Will we learn our lesson?  I hope so… because I don’t think anyone really wants what will be the result of continuing to escalate the divide.

The Viral Meme Process

Posted in Grumblings on January 17, 2019 by chemiclord

Provided without any context whatsoever.

  1. Initial Infection: The meme expands rapidly, as like minded people quickly try and get on board with showing their ass to the world.
  2. Antibody Production: The meme inevitably winds up in the crosshairs of those who feel ridiculed or disagree with the meme, pushback immediately follows as they are determined that the world sees their ass as well.
  3. Mutation: Meme has now reached peak saturation, and now everyone insists that everyone else respect their proudly displayed ass.  Irony is also at maximum as it is impossible for anyone to see any other ass… due to their heads being firmly lodged up their own.
  4. Dormancy: Eventually either the masses realize how incredibly stupid the meme actually is, or a different meme catches their attention (the latter is far more common than the former).  Meme is mostly forgotten as everybody pulls their pants back up in preparation for the next opportunity to show their ass.
  5. Relapse: Some memes reinfect the population, though in most cases they are limited in scope and only to incite groans from an inoculated population.  In rare cases however, the meme takes off again as the masses remember how much fun it was to show everyone their ass.