Gaming Master Race

mike

BAHAHAHAHA. I laughed way harder than I should have on this when I saw it. Let me explain.

I think Macs have their niche. If you are doing design, graphics, film editing, etc., there is no machine more stable and competent. But you better be making your livelihood off it or it’s your really expensive hobby.

My favorite thing with Mac owners is when I go, “Hey, I’m going to be playing x later this afternoon. Would you like to join?”

“No,” says the Mac users, “I paid three times as much as you on my computer that can’t play 75% of games unless I am able to partition my hard drive and place on the other side an even less stable version of Windows.”

But Mac is a master of marketing. They are brilliant beyond words. iPods, iPads, Macs, all of those items are way more expensive than they should be, new versions come out far too often, all accessories are proprietary, and they change the accessories for future generations in order to make sure your old ones aren’t compatible. Why? Because you’re buying the name and they convinced you the name is worth it. Windows based computers aren’t cheaper because they’re that much crappier. They’re that cheap because they’re not trying to rip you off. Mac just did an amazing smear campaign on Windows, and they haven’t recovered.

Not to mention, with my new computer, if there is a problem, I fix it. Next year I’m buying a new graphics card because my current one isn’t the power I wanted, but otherwise it was out of my price range. In the future, when games require more, I can double my RAM, put in more powerful processors, and so on. With a Mac, you bought what you bought.

It just baffles me when the casual user goes, “I need a Mac. They’re so much better.” Why? “Because they’re more stable!” You’re using it for internet, word processing, and a spread sheet from time to time. An Excel spread sheet. And a Word document. Wait, what? I paid a little under a grand for my computer. You’re paying two and a half. “But my current Windows computer is crap!” Well, it’s six years old and you haven’t maintained it.

Again, I get that Mac has its place. I get they’re stable and the design abilities are insane. I just can’t believe how many people jump on the train because they were convinced. But I face it in my industry, where there’s a competitor which is not as good as we are, is significantly more expensive, but the name is so prominent that many times people won’t even look at alternatives. It’s all about the marketing.

My Characters Die

I don’t get to create role playing characters often. Generally my efforts are spanned across creating the game. I make the settings, a couple dozen NPCs, a few on the spot, and a plot line. I do a good job, but it can often feel like oatmeal. You had to create too much, so there just isn’t the normal flavor. Sure I add raisins and brown sugar, so people do enjoy it, but at the end of the day I look at it and see something borderline blah.

When I get to focus on one character, when all that matters is my little domain, I create magic. I’m not bragging. I’m telling you what others tell me. I make a great story. It makes the world spin. But as a character, I also become one of the most fascinating beings at the table. All that creative energy spent on creating a full story, put into one character.

My first truly memorable character was in college. We were vampires, I created a fashion designer stuck with her high school cheerleader compulsions. She was neurotic at best. I expected her to die within four or five sessions. Her behavior did not lend to survivability. She was bulimic, which in vampire meant she spent blood as quickly as possible to feed as often as possible. She had a herd, basically partook in all the human vices she could. If she didn’t die in battle, either her colleagues or the vampire society would put her down. Our GM liked her too much to put her down during the session she should have died.

The next character to really jump out was in Exalted. I was a beefy earth warrior. I drank, I stripped, I was a pox upon my family. Again, there would be a time where I bludgeoned someone’s face in I shouldn’t have. And I would be put down. Then the day came when I did. You know what happened? The other player was of the same mindset and we killed them all. The GM was vexed. As GMs often are in Exalted.

I took to Storium with the same enthusiasm. A chemistry professor at some established college is out to prove the supernatural don’t exist. He’s already staring down death, unwittingly, as often happens to the skeptic. Ultimately, if he survives his first half dozen encounters, where he rationalizes everything, he’ll have a high survival rate. I’m not sure he’s going to make it through the second one, though.

When role playing, make characters that are memorable. Often times they will have some flaw that could get them killed, in one of the three forms of death, but let’s be honest, in role playing it’s almost always physical death. Do not retrain yourself by “Is this going to kill my pet?” Guess what? It takes 10 seconds tops to print a character sheet, and an hour to fill it in. Tops. Don’t become so attached. If they die, they die. Make the death count.

Summerfest 2015

I didn’t even realize they’ve been announcing bands for Summerfest. It makes sense, but man.

I’m sort of stoked. I’m definitely going to see Lindsey Stirling, Halestorm, and New Politics. Might go see Kaskade and Meg Myers. Flogging Molly is also a good time. Lots of blast from the past bands too, with the Manchester Orchestra and Smash Mouth. Dirty Heads is fun. They do a good job with their lyrics. So it should be an exciting year! Looking forward to it!

For those of you unaware, Summerfest is the largest music festival in the world. Because when you live in Milwaukee, you have a limit to when you can have fun, and you might as well shove it all in. There are 800 acts, 1,000 performances, all in 11 days. It’s a good, drunk time, and there are a lot of cool small bands that show up, as well as big ones. Excited!

Romance of Three Kingdoms

So I’m reading Romance of the Three Kingdoms in honor of jumping back into Dynasty Warriors. For those of you unaware, they both take place in the late 100s through early to mid 200s during a tumultuous time in China where the Han Dynasty fell after hundreds of years. It’s filled with intrigue, back stabbing, bromance, oaths, and numerous other amazing moments. China would not see a time of peace for generations, most dynasties rarely making it a generation.

I never realized why Cao Cao was portrayed as such an evil ruler until I read this book. Before he even took seat on a throne, when he was still a little puke, he murdered his uncle out of paranoia. To cover it up, he killed more people, until he was finally like, well, I have an army and who is going to mess with me now?

They also have bromance that would make people blush. The Oath of the Peach Tree is an awesome moment, where Liu Bei, Guan Yu, and Zhang Fei all swore to die on the same day of the same month of the same year. It’s honestly one of my favorite scenes in the entire thing and it apparently happens before the Yellow Turban Rebellion.

The Yellow Turban Rebellion? It was a Taoist preacher going out there saying the Divine Mandate no longer hung with the Han because of overwhelming famine throughout China (which basically everyone was claiming with different words). How were they taken out? Plague. A few were killed, but overwhelmingly plague killed off the higher ups. Think of it. It’s believed Divine Mandate leaves you when natural disasters take you out. Suck on some irony, Zhang Jue.

In the end you’re left with an evil overlord, an idealist who was the only one with a seemingly legitimate claim that he was related to the Han, and an idealist who found a ring in a well so he could make really a really weak claim. And none of them won. Who won? Do some research. It is possibly the most unfilling ending EVER. Serious, if GRRM is taking any pages from that story, you might as well chuck the books and forget about it. It’s a crazy freaking trip and some of my favorite characters in history and literature were found through the Three Kingdoms.

Adulting

I know that I can be immature. I understand I look at some women like a 13 year old just learning why he finds them so attractive. Just got in trouble for that this morning. Farting is my divine joke. No matter how crappy things are, a quick toot and I’m giggling. Fortunately God made me gassy. Or at the very least I can’t give up the foods I know lead down that path.

But there are certain people in life, and we all have them, where you look at where they are, and you say, “No, I’m a grown up. I’m a damned proud grown up.” I’ve heard it referring to going back and seeing the snot nosed high school students. But it doesn’t stop there. Sometimes I hang out with old friends, and I look at them like, “So we were friends, eh? Like, we hung out with each other willingly?”

I’m just baffled at how many people at 30 are cool with living with their parents. Who won’t take a job unless it’s their ideal job. I have bills to pay. I want to feed myself. I do not want to live under my parents’ roof. When I have a girlfriend over for dinner, I don’t want to ask mom and dad if they can go out for the night. Heaven forbid the concept of her spending the night arises.

When friends come over to chill, I don’t want to ask mom for more wings. I don’t want to be told to clean my projects up on the kitchen table. I don’t want to have to deal with them if it’s not on my terms. Aside from laundry. I totally deal with them when I have to do laundry because I’m saving like $3.50 a load.

My youth didn’t consist of drugs. My elder years even less so. Heck, I drink so little that one beer has me giggling. I’m trying to even kick coffee and heavy caffeine usage. Why does this make me happy? Because I don’t trip balls and do stupid things that get the cops involved in my life. I am joyous to say the last run in with the cops was when they picked me up speeding on my way to my brother’s wedding gift opening. They’ve been married nearly five years.

This came up from visiting with someone and from my cousin’s 18th birthday. My cousin is brilliant, good-natured, intelligent, and has an amazing boyfriend. She has a great future ahead of her, and she’s going to rock that future. I have no concerns as to where she’ll end up in ten years. Meanwhile my friend, who is my age, is at home with his parents. And he’s okay with that. I’ll take a job and my own apartment, thanks.

A Man, the Sands, A Wyvern Chapter 3

Paul Davis:

The novel blog. Write it Monday night, published yesterday, showing it to you guys today. Check it out. I’m enjoying the story. Every other week release. Also check out prompts, random things, and Dana’s awesome posts.

Originally posted on Lands of Volden:

Chapter 2

Abir grinned as he was set on a mound of cushions. Nubile girls danced in front of him, hardly clothed, all of them stunning. Nowhere in the world, not even in a the employ of a king, could girls get paid as well as in the pleasure dens of the city of Korad. With the price Abir had to pay in order to even sit down in the parlor, it was difficult not to believe the tales.

Two girls fed him and gave him wine. Three danced in front of him. The owner, after seeing the bag of silver, made it clear that Abir could take one of them upstairs and spend the night. But only one. All five were beautiful, graceful, pleasant to speak to and watch. He didn’t even need to take out of the payment for the job to buy the services relished upon him…

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Cover Art – Sands of G’desh (or something)

Alright, for real this time. So I had someone create a cover for me, and it was really cool, and I totally screwed up in giving too much freedom. The artist picked the coolest suggestion I had, while I allowed it to ignore what I truly needed. My bad. While the previous cover art will be used, and I know exactly which novel it will be used on (#3 in the series), it will not be used on my first novel.

So I asked a friend if she had suggestions, because I knew her friends were just graduating college and she had some artsy peeps in her life. I ran into Chelsea. If you go to the bottom of her gallery, there is a spring and fall picture (or maybe summer and fall). Those are the styles I really liked. So tomorrow I will be getting the contract, and she will be my cover artist! I gave her clearer direction, I didn’t give a half dozen options, I gave two. Which became one.

I’m excited to see how it turns out. I’m glad I’m at this crossroads. I’m about a third of the way through edits, the board game is coming along amazingly, and the difficult week for work is coming to a close so I can focus on creative pursuits again. Though the show has been amazing, and next week during the day, my life will be filled. At night it will be filled with fine tuning novels.

Have a great night!