I’m not a big fan of New Year resolutions, but January 1st is a handy time to start a new project just for ease of keeping track. This year, I’ve been producing one drawing every single day (and this’ll likely be old news if you follow me on Twitter). It started – as so many fun things do – with Satan trying very hard to play the trombone.
I should probably mention at this point that I am not an artist. I sort of lucked out in that this first sketch of Satan pursuing his dream of playing in a jazz band was both amusing at a glance and not too poorly executed. It’s also kind of a nice frontispiece to the whole project, with the begoateed Prince of Darkness attempting an artistic endeavour despite a lack of any real progress to build on (though doesn’t work the other way around, as I’ve already been in a jazz band). Continue reading
I have a brand new Twine game for you, and this one comes with Prizes!
Lovely Pleasant Teatime Simulator is a relaxing narrative game about—
Actually, you know what? I’m not gonna bother. You know this isn’t really a straightforward Afternoon Tea simulator, and I know you know, so there’s really no point in me typing up a description pretending that it is. Continue reading
Codename Caerus – my portfolio-building game project – has had a phenomenal level of interest since I announced it a couple of weeks ago, and although I’ve yet to look through all the example pieces people have sent in, I’m now pretty much certain we’ll be able to get a great team together. Every role has at least one person going for it, and in most cases more than that. I’ve been hugely impressed by some of the work people have chosen to share.
However, if you’ve been meaning to put your name forward to work on this game and haven’t yet got around to it, don’t worry. You haven’t missed your chance.
In a way, you’ve actually got more of a chance than you did when I first announced this project because I’m extending the deadline to apply. When I decided to stop taking applications at the end of the month, I neglected to consider that I’d be attending Feral Vector from May 31st to June 2nd. Continue reading
So I made a trip to London for EGX Rezzed last month, and up until now I’ve totally neglected to write anything about it for two reasons:
- I’m still just a little freaked out over how many people recognised me as “that Girth Loinhammer guy.”
- The event gave me an idea for something big and it took a while to come up with a plan for it:
I want to get a team together to make a game.
At this point I feel as though I’ve got a pretty good number of games to my name – I’ve even set up a separate website as a portfolio – but it would really help to have a few more team projects out there for people to enjoy. I expect plenty of other people are in the same position. So far I’ve mostly worked alone, and (with the exception of the two commercially released videogames I’ve had a hand in) when I haven’t it’s generally been for Game Jams. Game Jams are great, of course, but the results are never particularly polished and they don’t really demonstrate the ability to work with a team on an extended project. As a writer, I don’t feel as though there are all that many opportunities already out there. Some, certainly, but far from oodles.
That’s why I’m planning to set something up: not having a title for the game itself yet, I’ll refer to this whole endeavour as Codename Caerus for now. This will be an opportunity for anybody who wants to get more of a foothold in games to work on something polished and substantial as part of a team. Continue reading
Flash Fiction Month 2017, Day 2
Captain Caulk stared in amazement at the cache of treasures tucked away in the basement of the Château d’Erfitter. Just like that, the missing Sisley was the least of his concerns. Here were The Scream, The Thinker, The Mona Lisa! The theft of any one of these works could be considered the crime of the century, and yet these acts had gone completely undetected. What mastermind could have executed such a scheme? And what villain would resist taking credit for such a success?
There came a slow clap from the shadows. “Félicitations, Captain.” A man in an opera cape and a domino mask stepped forth to rest a hand on the buttocks of Michaelangelo’s David. “Vraiment, you are the real McCoy. Few others could have uncovered my little enterprise.”
“Who are you?” demanded Captain Caulk, falling for none of this flattery, “and what have you done with the Count?”
“Ohhh.” The villain tutted. “And just like that you ruin it. For you see, in truth…” he removed his mask and shook out his silver curls, “the Count d’Erfitter and the soon to be notorious Count Erfitter are one and the same!”
“That’s a pretty poor secret identity,” observed Captain Caulk, who could at a moment’s notice don his heroic Glasses of Obfuscation to become mild mannered reporter Clint Cark.
“Is it?” asked Count Erfitter, passing behind a pillar. When he emerged, he was wearing the mask once more. “Or is it a very convincing copy?” Continue reading
Flash Fiction Month 2015, Day 23
Challenge #10: Write a cosmic horror story from a first person perspective. It must include tentacles and at least one suspicious character.
The Henge was a marvel. Where so much in the Alterworld was chaos and madness—adaptation indistinguishable from aberration—here was order and sense. This was an object with meaning: a function to perform, a message to be discovered.
I lifted the mouthpiece of the radio to my lips. “The structure is approximately eight feet in height and between thirty and fifty in diameter. Difficult to be say without better illumination. It appears…” man-made would be hideously inappropriate, “deliberately assembled.”
I walked around the perimeter of the Henge, apparently a perfect circle. It would be difficult to prove conclusively that this was not the result of some natural process. It could conceivably have been an artefact left by some long-dispersed ALICE hotspot, but it could not be purely geological. For one thing, the streaks of rust suggested it was at least partially composed of iron. For another, each of the pillars contorted into strange and unlikely angles on its path from silt to sky. The structure danced like a figure in a zoetrope as I progressed around its circumference. Continue reading
Having just wrapped up the assignment pieces for the taught portion of my MA course, I figured I’d kick back and relax by assembling another crazy Twine project. Marooned got me thinking a lot about how the interactive element of these things can be a story in itself, so Project Pandora builds on that. I hope you enjoy.
Take your time.
We always joked that having gone down the rabbit hole, stepped through the mirror, one day we would walk right into Alice.
Well, one day we did.
~Pvt. John Reynolds, Alterworld Expeditionary Force
It’s been a while since I posted anything Alterworld-related, largely because I’ve been working towards writing stories to go in the collection. However, there’s been one development I’m more than happy to share:
I’ve got in touch with Thomas Venner, a local artist whose work is absolutely spot-on for this setting. The scene above–from Never Look Away–should hopefully give some idea what a difference this could make to the stories themselves. Dealing with a world in which there is no light, and where seeing or not seeing can be the difference between life and death, having something visual alongside the text seems especially significant.
I’d also just like to point out that I didn’t ask for this scene specifically. Despite writing the thing, I couldn’t even imagine what this creature looked like, so it seems like a particularly ambitious thing to tackle. Seeing it done, though, it all works so well: there’s just enough visible to suggest something entirely alien, but at the same time not enough to build up an complete idea of what it looks like, or even what it is.
Fun fact: at exactly this point while writing this post, my internet connection cut out for five days. So much for getting this out there straight away!
Thomas has told me quite a bit about the thinking behind this image–particularly the quality of light emitted by the lantern and how it interacts with the creature–but I’m really not qualified to pass any of it on. Visual art isn’t my strong point, which is one reason it’s so nice to be able to work with someone who properly understands it. Still, even just at a glance I feel like it all works. Having the creature’s “face” partially obscured by the character’s shoulder is a particularly nice touch: again, it provides enough detail to suggest something really creepy, but not enough to give away the complete madness-inducing view.