Interview #51

The fifty-first author interview on TBPL Off the Shelf went live today.  This time I interviewed Gail Anderson-Dargatz about her writing retreats, mentoring new talent, and her piles of books.  You can find the interview here!


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As promised yesterday, here’s some info on my third RPG Maker game I’m working on: Soccrpg! Soccrpg started when I went for lunch with a couple of friends.  One of them complained that there was no soccer game made like an old-school RPG.  I have no idea what is out there (the other friend started listing games that combine RPGs with sports), but I started thinking to myself that I could make one.  And so Soccrpg was born.

This is literally what I have made so far:

soccrpg game field

It’s a soccer field with the positions in place.  The opposing team chases you when you have the ball and you’re in their zones on the field; your team just stands around and will talk to you if you interact with them.

In some ways, this was a stupid project to start.  I don’t really know much about soccer, so I’ve had to research like everything.  So bear that in mind when I eventually finish it (my friend really wants me to make it playable for others) – I will probably get things wrong!

So with that caveat, Soccrpg has also been a great learning experience because this is my first time heavily changing things in the database.  Because this isn’t remotely a traditional fantasy RPG, I’ve had to redefine terms and rename things.  For example, I decided that the only weapon will be “cleats;” currently the database lists all the default weaponry as a type of cleat.

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Hello 2018!

Happy New Year everyone!  It’s that time of year again – time to look at the goals I set for myself last year and set new goals for this year.  Last year, my goals were:

  1. Read 40 novels.  Success!  I read forty novels, a bunch of graphic novels, and a bunch of comics!  2017 was a great year for reading!
  2. Write four polished short stories.  Yeeeah….partial success I guess?  I did write one.  But that was it.  I did start on a second one, but I discovered that Imezza isn’t in as good shape as I thought; I got a bit bogged down in worldbuilding, and the story ended up really blah as a result.
  3. Work on Tears of the King. This was nice and vague.  I worked on it a bit this year (it’s no where near being finished).  So partial success?  I don’t know if I built another third, but I did make some progress.

I apparently also set a fourth goal, which I managed to forget about (it was to spend an hour a week on writing).  😦

2017 saw me start two new RPG Maker Games (oops): Memories and a second one I haven’t actually talked about on here yet (oops, I’ll have to remedy that).  It also saw me working on a freelance project which I’m still unable to talk about, which was very exciting.  It also saw me slowly and unexpectedly move away from my second job.  So for 2018, I’m going to work on freelancing a little more than I have.

So with that in mind, here are the goals I’m going to set for 2018:

  1. Read 25 novels.  Well, novel-length books.  I know that the 40 novels from last year was my only really successful goal, but I need to back that off.  I found that 40 novels was a lot of pressure while I’m trying to accomplish other things.  I also found myself shying away from any books longer than around 300 pages, so making this goal less should help me tackle some of the longer books I’ve had for years and have ignored.
  2. Write two polished short stories.  I wrote one, so this year I will aim for two.
  3. Finish a bloody RPG! Like I said, I currently have THREE RPG Maker games on the go.  So this year, I want to get SOMETHING finished!  lol I also have to not start another RPG Maker game until I get something finished!

A couple of final notes for the upcoming year:

  • next weekend I’m going to be participating in my first ever game jam!  I’m really excited for it!  I’ll have to blog more about it. 🙂
  • I am not going to make a goal for “so much time writing” this year.  Instead, I’ve currently got one guaranteed afternoon off from work, so I’m going to try to use that time for working on things, be they writing or researching (although it’s also a time I use for other things like vet appointments, because I know it’s a time I don’t work).  Depending on how the year goes, this can change, so I’ll have to be flexible with it.

So that’s it.  Hopefully 2018 will be a good and creative year, giving me the flexibility to work on different things (and actually get some stuff finished!)

So what about you? Have you set any goals for the upcoming year? 🙂

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Interview #50!!!

Wow, I can’t believe I’ve done fifty author interviews for the TBPL Off the Shelf!  Number fifty is with Donna VanLiere, just in time for Christmas.  I talk with her about building her wonderful characters, the appeal of small towns, and her favourite part of Christmas.  You can find the interview here!

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New Tears Maps!

Over the last week, I have created a few new maps for Tears of the King!  I’m pretty excited for them – I think they’re the first new maps in a year and a half.

First, here’s a brand new city (the Imperial City):

picture of imperial city

This map is loosely based off of the Kingdom of Pandora city in Secret of Mana in that it is built on a couple of islands.  Plus there will be a castle you can go into (you can see the base of the towers) in the top right of this map, again like the Kingdom of Pandora.  That similarity was due to the way I laid everything out (and because I didn’t want the castle to be physically in this map). The castle isn’t built yet, and neither are the insides of the houses.

The Imperial City should be the final city in the game.

Also here’s a dock, complete with a ship! (I had to buy extra tiles to make the ship happen).

picture of dock including giant ship

You reach the ship through either of the two paths in the right side of the Imperial City.

So what’s next?  I have some more maps to build (the castle, the insides of the city houses, and an island where the ship will eventually take you).  But I also need to go back over my notes and actually replay the game that I have made so far; it’s been so long that I only vaguely remember what still needs to happen.

There’s still a bunch of work that needs to be done, but I’m rather excited to see that the end (of map building anyway) is in sight! 🙂

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Autumn Update

I’ve been rather quiet on here since talking about refreshing my writing space  and submitting that short story (omg I forgot to mention – it was accepted!!!) The reason was that I was working on a big freelance project that came my way.  Once it was over, I had to deal with a couple of personal things (and honestly rest my brain!)  I read four books over the last week, which was great (I hadn’t read any fiction since early September); one of them, Brandon Sanderson’s Warbreaker, was absolutely fantastic!

Today was a day spent catching up on email and whatnot.  I went through all the Duotrope emails I’ve ignored over the last few months, looking into a few more listings that sounded interesting.  I also signed up for my very first game jam, which will happen in mid-January.  I don’t have a team yet (as far as I know, I’m the only local person who has signed up so far); I figure I’ll just make a small game on RPG Maker or Twine if no one else signs up (since I do not have the coding know-how to make an engine or anything fancy like that).  I’m really excited though – I’ve always wanted to participate in one, and now there’s one being held locally (previously this particular game jam was held only in Sudbury – that’s not too far away, relatively speaking, but the time of year is so iffy with the weather).

So now I’m not quite sure what I want to be working on.  I have two RPG Maker projects on the go (both Tears of the King and Memories), so I wouldn’t mind working on one of those.  But I also wanted to write four polished short stories this year (and to date I’ve only written one).  With just over a month left of the year, it’s looking like I may have to sacrifice one in order to achieve the other.  So I’m going  to take some time to decide on what exactly I want to be working on through December.

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Interview #49

The forty-nineth author interview on TBPL Off the Shelf went live today.  This time I interviewed Simon Rose about writing for younger audiences, his new series, Shadowzone, and capturing ghosts on film.  You can find the interview here!


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