Archive for the ‘PC Gaming’ Category

7
Dec

Minecrafting

   Posted by: Jon Tags: , , , ,

Since finishing my novel, I’ve just been Minecrafting it the past week. Great to finally just game instead of working about word count. But my rest is only for this month, for next month / next year, I will begin the Re-Write of Gorp: Goblin Janitor. I’m not sure at this point what parts I’ll keep in or get rid up, but I’ve got some major work to do and will most likely cut and shorten the training chapters.

I’ve also officially joined up for next year’s Script Frenzy in April. 30 Days to write a 100 page feature length screenplay. I haven’t decided what genre of film I’ll write, but I will most likely write something that I can then Direct. That being the case I made do a Horror as they are more forgiving and seem to do better at the American Film Market, which is where I’m focused now on making feature films for. I’m looking to create a few feature films to sell there and get distribution deals for. As I build that up, I’ll eventually try to do bigger and bigger movies until I can do a proper Indie Fantasy Film. In the meantime, I hope to start back on my world-building of Agrobathe. Once I have more content there, then I will begin my epic novel series “Agrobathe” based in the world of the name of the books. I’m planning write 100,000+ word novels for publication. Gorp was just to get my first novel out of the way and to learn from the experience, which I have. However, after all this writing, I’ve really started missing the filmmaking process and miss being in the Director’s chair. I’m hoping to get back into film soon than later.

A few games coming out next year that I’m really looking forward to are: Homefront for the XBox 360, getting Kinect and a few games for that system, and Sims Medieval(it’s been a long time coming).  Time for sleep, as I actually get to sleep at closer to normal hours again since NaNoWriMo.

I’ve come to learn about writing– even if you have the time to write, doesn’t mean that you will or can write. I hate waking up during the afternoon these days off and writing late into the night. The writing has really become a labor recently and Minecraft has been my only break of sanity. I’ve got a mapper for Minecraft called Cartograph, which based on your saved world data, will map out your world according to where you’ve explored. This has helped me a lot with my road building efforts lately. Below I’ve build a cross-section of how I build all the roads through out my single player alpha of Minecraft. I also use sand or dirt for the sides and then cap those with the half stone slabs. I then make all my roads 3 blocks wide using cobble stone. Even if regular stone is already there, I cut it out with a pickaxe and place cobble stone in its place.

Recently, I went exploring to fill up my map in Cartograph and found a nice spot close to the center of the map where I’ve decided to build a medieval fantasy city. It is quite far from my spawn point, so I will be lighting the place up well and walling off the city from the outside. So far I’ve got a walled construction camp made with sand walls. Why sand you ask? Because I had a lot of it and there is lots of sand around should I need to make repairs thanks to a Creeper. The major downside to building walls made out of sand is if a creeper blows up anywhere near the wall, it will take a huge chunk of it, compared to a stone or cobble stone wall. Obsidian is the best as the creeper will not destroy even a block of it, but it’s rare and hard to find. I could see building a small structure out of it, but not an entire wall. Below is the map of my new world made using Cartograph.

 

But this is NaNoWriMo week, what the heck is going on with your story you might ask. Well it’s been really difficult day after day without a break to continue to write. I did write today and made it just over 37k words. I should be wrapping up with 45k words instead. So you can see I’m quite behind with only 3 days left to finish. I don’t really consider Monday and Tuesday as I have to work those days and I’m pretty worn out by the time I get home after work, but it looks like I may have to do a few thousand words this Monday / Tuesday to make it. Currently, Gorp got promoted Chief Dungeon Janitor after a display of truthfulness in a world where it is rarely spoken by the Dungeon Overlord himself. I keep wanting to make my antagonist a real bad ass, but he comes off to be a nice guy most the time, if you overlook the fact that he kills almost everyone. So now that Gorp is in charge of running the dungeon janitors, that is where I’m at. Even though the title of the book is called “Gorp: Goblin Janitor” I really don’t feel like spending more than a chapter or two writing about janitor work, there is so much more to Gorp and I can already tell that he’d rather be working with magic than cleaning dungeon messes. Maybe now that he’s in charge he’ll have more time for other pursuits? Need to get back to writing and I’ll most like not sleep all night or day. It has come down to this final push if I’m ever going to make it. I didn’t get 40k last night like I wanted, because I just couldn’t write. Tonight, will need to be different. I’ll play as much Minecraft as I need as a break, as long as I get my word count over 45k. If I’m not at or over 45k by the end of Sunday, the chances of me finishing this thing on time are slim. I’ll still finish it and do the re-write, I just want to be able to say I did it all in the month of November.

Yes! The deadline of Nov. 30th 2010 fast approaches and I’m only at 35,107 words on my novel, instead of 50,000 needed to finish. I pulled a last night last night to get to 35k words before I managed to eventually go to bed around 6am. Looks like tonight isn’t going to be much better. All day I’ve been awake here and for whatever reason, I just could not get into the writing zone. I spent most of my working on plot or playing Minecraft, only to have the game crash and I lost 3 hours worth of work in the game…grrrrr. I that pissed me off enough that I thought I could now abandon the game with hate and start writing. I sat there looking at where I had left off the night before, even read the last paragraph and found out I hated writing at that moment even more than Minecraft crashing on me. So I got something to eat, watched an Episode of Myth Busters on NetFlix and came back to redo what I had lost in Minecraft. All the writing done today was from early this morning. Only 4 days left and I’m at 35k!! If I don’t get to 40k tonight/morning, It’s over. I won’t be able to complete this challenge.

Story wise, Gorp is about to have his first meeting with the Dungeon Overlord. There have been multiple pathways I could have taken the story, but I seem to keep limiting myself for one reason or another. Other writers tell me to just write whatever, disregarding it making any sense, but I just can’t bring myself to doing that. Then again, I am behind and who knows, maybe Gorp won’t remain a janitor much longer. I’m feeling the urge to write now so time to get to it. Tonight, something major in the story will happen.

25
Nov

NaNoWriMo 2010 – Day 25

   Posted by: Jon Tags: , , ,

This skull here reminds me that I’m mortal and I sit him up on a shelf near where I write. To be mortal means that if I don’t finish this book now when I have the chance Imay never have another time when I can do this. My writing schedule has changed a bit these last few days. Although I just posted 31k words for my novel, I’m finding that I get most of the work accomplished around 10pm till late in the morning. This means I’m sleeping until noon and slowly getting up to write or do more Minecraft. Its sad that today I accomplished more in Minecraft than I did with my novel. But I did write some today and I will still write more later tonight after posting this blog. I’ve got about 4,250 more words to go before I can sleep tonight. If I want to sleep, then I have to write, this is how I’ve ended up forcing myself to work hard towards a rewarding goal.

I’m finding it a bit difficult on what to write about, although my story is finally headed in the right direction towards a conclusion somewhere in 17 more chapters to go, I’m building up to that point. The dungeon is pretty much unexplored and Grop has completed his first assignment from his new half-orc boss Karlof. Drut is there too, but he works mostly in the kitchen of the Dungeon Mess Hall. I’ve got to find a way of bringing Drut and Grop together so they can get into some trouble, but before I do that, Gorp has to prove himself a bit more to his new boss Karlof. I’ve got about 4 more chapters of random dungeon exploration, before everything is set into motion. I can’t wait to get in that motion either, as everything will build upon the next chapter until I get to the end. Originally, I was going to have Gorp kill the Dungeon Overlord to take his place, but then right before starting this novel, I changed my mind and decide to have the Dungeon Overlord have a change in heart due to something that Gorp does that makes him change his mind, allowing Gorp to take over the position of the Dungeon Overlord. But, now that I’m nearing the deadline of getting this thing done, I’m swinging back to him just killing the Wizard and being done with it. The next few chapters will allow me to determine what type of goblin Gorp really is. The only thing he’s told me as a character so far is that he would rather be human than goblin, likes human women, and is ambitious and wants to move up in the hierarchy of the dungeon.

Another day and I did not reach my goal of 30k by midnight. But I was able to reach a bit over 28k with 28,388 words before midnight. With that said, Gorp is finally out of the dungeon today and I’m on Chapter 12 titled “Fireflies”. Gorp has his first assignment after graduating from the Training Ward, to quest for fireflies to make a certain device work again. The place that everyone has pointed him to is inside Ye Olde Dungeon on level 4 in a place otherwise known as “The Underground Forest”. It’s a magical place lit by 3 orbs of lights each about as bright as a full moon. Underneath in a huge cavern fir and evergreen trees grow in an eternal darkness. So glad to finally be done with the training section of my novel. I’ve decided to throw out making maps of all the dungeon levels except the first level which is already done. Because I just don’t have the time to create anymore maps, I’ve instead added to my novel notes the different dungeon levels and any key notes of interests on that level. I’ll just make the levels up as I go along. I’ve got 5 days to complete this at 50k words.

Couldn’t help but play a little single player Minecraft today. Had the urge to explore my new world a bit and found a green island surrounded by water. I leveled off 26×26 squares of land and build a Stonehenge like monument atop it. With the urge to build something old and Celtic satisfied, I turned my attention back to my novel work. Had to map out the Employee Quarters, which is 2 levels. I hate being in the writing zone and then having to stop to draft out a map on grid paper, but it comes in handy when describing the setting for me. Without a map of key places in my world, I’d be a bit lost. Today, I reflected upon how much I’ve learned while doing NaNoWriMo 2010. When I listen to any podcast on writing, I now have a deeper understanding of the material being covered as I know. I’ve been there now and done that. It’s quite a different experience, novel writing vs. screenplay writing. Gorp is bugging me to get back to the story because he’s finally in Ye Olde Dungeon and want to go explore the Underground Forest, so I’ll cut this short so I can get back to my writing. Not going stop tonight until I reach 30k.

I thought I had posted yesterday, but it appears I did not. Minecraft pretty much ruled this past weekend and I was never able to accomplish my 30k word count goal by the end of Sunday. I did add about 1.5k to my word count and that was about it for the weekend. Tonight, I did not allow myself to even touch Minecraft under I reached 25k words. I’m now just over that mark and halfway done with the 50k novel. In my story I’ve kinda built up a relation between Gorp and Drut his sidekick. I’m also on a new chapter that puts both of the out of training an into the dungeon finally. Now hopefully the story picks back up. In the re-write of this novel, I may just summarize the training section and write more dungeons and topside world bits to keep the story interesting. As of right now I can’t stand the Training section of the novel and wish I had never gone down that path.

After I finish my word count goal for tonight, I jumped onto a multiplayer server for Minecraft, cleared off a vacant 30×30 square area of the map and built Stonehengepictured in this blog post. After building it, like magic I discovered a huge cavern system directly under the Stonehenge area. I built a Celtic like entrance to the cavern and placed torches around the place to light it up. This will be my new online home for this server. Time for rest.

Regarding Days 18 – 19, I pretty much took an unplanned break. The reason for the break, Minecraft! Darn this game for destroying my word count. I was playing the game on Thursday trying out some new ideas before I started writing. The underworld level known as Nether is where I went to destory some Ghasts that had been detroying one of my connector tunnels between portals. Before this however, I had noticed the game slowing down and sometime locking up whenever I entered the Nether. By now the problem had gotten worse and quickly anytime I entered the Nether, I the game would lock up. I made it out of the Nether through a portal and the game worked fine, so I established the problem was just when entering the Nether world. I still had business to attend to in the underworld, so I entered the portal once more, this time I was able to walk a few steps before the game crashed. I rebooted my enter computer, minimized the screen and set everything to low under video. It improved it for a few more steps then continued to lock up. I changed everything back as it didn’t resolve the problem. I was able to log in a few more times while my game was saved in the Nether. Eventually, that all I was able to do is log in and not move. I made a desperate attempt to enter another portal to make it out of the Nether with my character, but the game locked up on me. I eventually go so bad the game would lock up on loading. As of now my 1st Minecraft world is not accessible or playalbe anymore. This really pissed me off as I had spent a considerable amount of time on this game and created some places I planned to use later in my novel. Needless to say, I ended up starting a new world and that became my NaNoWriMo Day 18. The next day (Day 19) I didn’t even want to think about writing because I was discovering a new world in Minecraft. I didn’t even make it up to my weekly WriteIn up at Bookmans and missed some other writers I wanted to see. As of today, (Day 20) I didn’t touch Minecraft until I had written 1500 words. Then I took a break from writing which was only suppose to last an hour but ended up going 3 hours. I did get some more writing and finally reached a 23k word count. Just shy of 25k, which is the halfway mark. I have 10 days left to complete my novel of 50,000 words. I’ve been trying to get my fill of Minecraft so I can go back and focus on writing but it’s a bit addicting as I’ve started creating roads and tunnels in my new world. Also, pictured here in this blog post of my new world is a Minecraft monster trap. I learned after watching YouTube video such as this, how to make Lava/Water Traps that captures monsters and kill them.

Using a channel and water system the items they drop are then delivered to a safe pickup location where you just sit and have all the items float down to you in a collection chamber underground. It works pretty well, but no one near the level that I see them being used off of YouTube. My next development was to build a dock down by the ocean and from there I started building a 3 space wide road system.

I was able to write today finally, but no one near the 25k goal I had set for myself. Not sure if I’ll be able to get to 30k by Sunday evening but that is my goal for the weekend. 7,000 more words to get there between now and then. You’d think I would just give up by now being so far before, but I remind myself that I started this novel on Nov. 6th and so I’m almost an entire week behind. Next week I only work 2 days and I’ve canceled Thanksgiving for myself so I will focus on just writing. I’m just hoping that Minecraft doesn’t get too much in the way. My sleep schedule is so off right now and I’m told I look like a walking zombie at work.

Storywise, I created a purple moss monster today, which almost killed Gorp my main character. He is now in the lab trying to find out what the monster was as he had a part in bringing it to life, but does not yet know that.

Finally, passed my 20,000 word count goal today. A few days behind but I’m still writing! I took a writing break yesterday and didn’t do anything NaNoWriMo related. Most of the day I enjoyed playing Minecraft after work. After a few days sitting around a 17k word count I began to wonder if I’d ever make it to 20k words. Currently, I’m sitting at 21,195words for my novel. I don’t think I’ve ever written that many words for a novel or story before so for me this is new territory. I’ve also noticed a change in my understanding when I listen to podcasts about writing or read articles on writing because I can directly relate to some of the things being said now.

Today began rather dull and slow. I decided to get something accomplished as the writing was just not happening for me. So I loaded up the T-Pain Autotune applicationon my iPhone and freestyle rapped my own song to the Freaknik song “Save You“. After watching the documentary “Nerdcore Rising” about nerdy rappers who MC their own geeky songs and tour around the country, such as MC Frontalot, I’ve started thinking about trying my hand at Nerdcore rapping about Dungeons & Dragons and other RPG elements. I’d like to write little songs that tell of a story in a D&D type setting. Maybe for my background music I could mix in folk and medieval instruments to give it a fantasy style song. After recording my song I called it “Stuck in Tower” and uploaded it for others to laugh out. It was totally freestyle and I had no idea what I was going to say before I said it. With some planning and practice I’m sure I can get better at this.  

Even though that attempt to rap was only messing around, it made me feel somewhat creatively accomplished and I moved on to dungeon mapping. I mapped out all levels of the Training Ward in my novel shown in the image on this blog post. I then tried writing. Like that past few days it was really hard to even write 300 words let alone 1k. So I looked over my story and decided to write a chapter using my antagonist, the wizard Jamalin Spellslinger. I got 2.8k words out of that chapter alone and it really spiked up my writing creativity. I also introduced one of the later chapter characters in this scene and placed the antagonist scene as Chapter 3. This gave me a subplot that I can later play with and help me character build a little on one of the minor story characters. I ended up writing 4k words today with compared to my recent numbers is really good. I could keep writing, but I need to work tomorrow and should sleep soon. Hopefully, this writing energy keeps going and I can finally catch up.

A quick break here close to the midnight hour to make a post and update. Dungeon Keeper 2 arrived via FedEx today, just in time for my complete re-start on the novel. My reason for getting this game was for inspiration and because the original Dungeon Keeper game for the PC was a big part of me choosing to do this story. Yep, after a heavy character building session last night I started thinking in a new direction. After sleeping on it I decided to not only turn my sidekick character into an Ogre, but also to switch him with my main character within the story. My main character is still Gorp the goblin, but now instead of already working in the dungeon for a year when the story begins, he is now a fresh face to the area. It will be him who applies for an open position at Ye Olde Dungeon and Drut, instead of just being a sidekick will play the Best Friend / Mentor role. I also have official character types now for Jamalin Spellslinger (antagonist) and Gorp (protagonist). Jamalin will play the Warlock role and Gorp will play the Fool in my story. This may not make sense to most reading this. I get my terms from a book I used to help me in creating great characters that work off of each other and help propel the story onward. The name of the book is, “45 Master Characters: Mythic Models for Creating Original Characters“.  If you’re having problems coming up with original fresh characters, I highly recommend this book. Not only does it provide dynamic character models, but it also provides Character Arcs, which makes my workload much lighter.

So as of 6pm today, I scraped everything I had written as it is now useless and started writing the same novel but from a blank page again. I begin the story with Gorp sailing into Port Seaward harbor and venturing out into the City of Tents outside the city walls. The novel now reads so much better than before and feels like a real Fantasy novel, instead of a series of boring events. Even though I should be at 10,002 words right now, I started back at 0 earlier today. Taking a break to update on the blog here at midnight, my current word count after a completely fresh start is back up to 2109 words. 7893 words from where I should be and only 170words from where I have been since day 2. Because of the drastic changes I’m made to the story, I’m having to rewrite most of my outline as well. As of midnight today, I have Chapter 1 completed and with that a fresh beginning. I also have an ending decided upon, which does not end up with the antagonist dying as was originally planned. Comedy will still be in the novel, but Ive decided to not make the novel about comedy. It will just be a fantasy with lots of comedic and terrifying events. In order to catch up from missing 5 days of writing now, I’m going to attempt to pull an all nighter and not sleep until I can at least finish Chapter 2, maybe 3 or get to 10,002 word count (7893 more words to go) , which even I can manage. At the end of Sunday, I should have 11,669 words written to be all caught up. Aside from yard work and sleeping tomorrow, I only intend to research, character build, map create, and write, but mostly just write. Time to get back to the novel, Gorp is headed for Shirewood with more problems ahead for a goblin in a land unfriendly to goblinkind.

This is what novel writing my Tavern scene looks like. Forest Mist incense (not seen) also hangs heavy and present in the background.

4
Nov

NaNoWriMo 2010 – Day 4

   Posted by: Jon Tags: , , , ,

With all the updates I’ve been keeping up with here, you’d think I’d been writing like crazy. The truth of the matter is that I’m stuck going down a path in my story that is completely boring to me. I can only imagine how boring it would be to your average reader. I know I have the re-write to add and fix thing the way I want them, but I don’t feel the current story can even serve as a viable blueprint from which to lay sub-plots and additional story arcs on. I have decided to keep going with Chapter 2 and have my main character and sidekick end up in the new construction area of the dungeon called “The Mines”. While there, sometime needs to happen like a mining accident to spark change in both of my characters and set something into motion that will carry on through out the rest of my story. It is this idea that I’ve slowly been developing over the past 2 days. In the meantime. I’ve been playing Minecraft more so than I’d like to admit. Although I’ve been having fun, I keep trying to tie my play into immersion of mining and come up with ideas. I think out my story while I mine in the game. The image in this blog post was taken at night from one of many towers I’ve now built looking down at my castle with a completed Lava moat surround by the ocean. In more recent Minecraft builds, I completed a 32×32 square pyramid in the middle of the ocean.

Although no words were written today and I’m behind another 1667 daily word count, I feel this weekend I’ll be able to catch back up and make up for it with the amount research and additional dungeon mapping work I’ve been working on. So far I’ve only got the first level of the dungeon completed, a roll of d10 dice gave me the number 8, which will be the number of dungeon levels in my novel for Ye Olde Dungeon. I plan to have these randomly generated maps as the foundation from which to build and add onto areas in my story. There will also be a completed custom map that I draw myself on graph paper, which will be the behind the scenes areas where the characters live when not in the dungeon. The last level or by name “The Great Dungeon Hall” will also be a custom drawn map. I have it planned for Chapter 4 as to the time the Dungeon Overlord will be revealed in the story in the Great Dungeon Hall, so I have a little room to work on other things till then. Next chapter will be an introduction of the local adventurers as they storm the dungeon and lay waste to most in their path. To be honest, I’ll be much happier once I’m done with Chapter 2 and can start thinking up great one liners and showing the monsters POV when a dungeon comes under attack. But before my actors are ready to put on the play in my mind, I shall need a stage for them to stand upon.