I crashed on Piggy Island…

May 3, 2014

So, friends and followers, you may ask what I’ve been up to since the A to Z challenge and Camp Nanowrimo wrapped up this year.

The plan was to dive into critiques for the TNEO workshop and short story revisions.

Instead, I’ve been spending a lot of time gaming on my iPhone. 😉

Back in March, I downloaded Angry Birds Epic. It’s currently in an iOS soft launch for the Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand App Stores only, so you might not be able to get it on your own mobile device until the wider release later this year.

But I’ve been having a lot of fun with it, and losing a lot of time to it. Instead of the usual Angry Birds slingshot game format, this is a turn-based adventure game. You start as the Red bird, a level 1 warrior, in the bird’s nest on South Beach, as the pigs have carried off all his friends and their eggs. Gradually you explore the map, which is full of locations where you can fight pigs – generally referred to as ‘dungeons’ even though they’re not underground.

During the first fights, you have only a few choices each turn – attack a pig, (by dragging your finger from Red to the pig you want to attack,) or defend (by tapping on Red.) Each pig gets their own chance every turn, either to attack you or maybe use a special power.

During the fight, a chili icon at the bottom of the screen gradually fills up with red light until it’s full to bursting, letting out steam. Then you can use the chili with Red during his turn, unleashing a super-power attack on the toughest pig left standing.

As you proceed through the map, you can rescue the other birds, who join the group with their own special skills; Chuck the yellow bird is a sorcerer, Matilda the white bird a cleric, Bomb the black bird a pirate, the three inseperable Blue birds are thieves. Once you have more than three birds in the party, you have to pick which three go into any particular fight.

There’s a lot more going on in the game; tracking resources, weapons and other gear, treasure, wave battles and so on, but I think this gives you an idea of why it’s kinduv compelling. Hopefully while the phone is charging, I can actually get some real work done this afternoon!

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Origins bonus story – Depisiteur’s Adventures

February 20, 2012

I found this today while helping my mother tidy up her computer room, (our Family Day activity,) and thought I’d bring it to blog readers via the wonders of document scanning technology!

There was no copyright date, but we estimate I made this sometime in 1983, so I would have been 8 or 9.

I also drew the pictures myself. 😉 Read the rest of this entry »


Guest Post: Introduction to fun for the Adventure Inclined!

July 12, 2011

Greetings all!

For those of you who are wondering, my name is Mark Allen and I’m doing a guest post for Chris today as I was originally supposed to write up something while he was out in Kansas saving the Kingdom of Oz under the guise of attending a Con there (er, that is to say the Con is in Kansas not Oz) but was delayed due to RL asserting itself at the worst possible time so naturally I’m finally ready to post this now that Chris is back from his trip!

Now for all those of you wondering just who the hey I am, let me give you a bit of background about myself:

I’m an American (since I’m admitting that up front, kindly refrain from spitting on me as much as you can) I grew up just outside of the DC area but have lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for the vast majority of my life and currently live in the Tri-Valley area of the San Francisco East Bay, and have been working in IT related fields just prior to graduating High School in 2002!

I met Chris several years ago now (I’m really trying not to think of exactly how many given how old that makes us both now) due to our mutual interest in Roswell fic (because Opie deserves his threesome and us Stargazers have to stick together, damn it) after PMing him regarding a fic of his he IM’d me and we’ve been chatting pretty much ever since!

In fact, one of the highlights of my life occurred last year after I finally got the opportunity to meet up with him face to face for the first time when he made in to my neck of the woods and because he’s far too modest to admit this, just so everyone knows, he’s actually a lot thinner than you might expect (of course, I wish he could say the same about me)!

Anyhoo, a few weeks ago I was chatting with him on IM recommending he look at some great adventure game titles to play on Frotz for his new iPhone and I thought it would be neat to post a quick feature on a few of my favorites so hopefully they would sound appealing enough to where he might look at them sooner than later!  Read the rest of this entry »


Action scenes.

April 1, 2011

A is for Action, as in writing action scenes. Fights, stunts, anything that has your characters moving, struggling, in fear for their lives. Writing for some genres can do without the action scenes, but they can add a lot to fantasy, science fiction, and thriller genres, and of course, for adventure writing it’s just unavoidable. Action and adventure just naturally go together, don’t they?

I’ve had a bit of a knack for writing action scenes for a long time now, and found it a bit surprising when I first heard other writers saying that they had a hard time with them. They say that when you can do something well naturally, it’s a bit hard to dissect it and figure out just HOW to do it in a way that you can teach to someone else, but I think that I’ve come up with some useful tips for writing action scenes. By the way, a lot of these are phrased for fight sequences, because that’s the way a lot of them seem to go in my stories, but you can probably apply the same ideas to death-defying rescues or horrible accidents or what have you, with a little tweaking.

  1. Start from motivation. Figure out what each character wants in the scene. Does the hero just want to stay alive, is he dead-set on getting the amulet back, or does he want more than anything, to beat the shit out of the bad guy? Is the bad guy out to kill your hero, or is he play-acting to further some deep scheme of his own, or creating a diversion so that his henchmen can trash the hero’s house? Figuring out what’s motivating the actors in the scene, and how they tend to react in tense situations, will inform all of the action.
  2. Sort out the space, where the characters are, where they go. If you have trouble visualizing this mentally, then sketching it out in a graphics file or on paper can help.
  3. Read the rest of this entry »

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