Fear and Gaming in Seattle

Yes yes I know that I love to write things from the edges of things, and writers say things are like other things that are like other things, but, so what. I haven’t written in awhile and that’s okay, because you haven’t been reading in awhile. So, here we go, and I’ll fire off some news and bits for your boiling pot of wanton desires. Eat it up!

That Nerd show-Kevin Smith episode

So Marcus Dave and I had some decent discussion on the show. I’ve never met Dave, but things seemed to go alright with him as a co-host. His connection was horrendous and I think there was a ton of lag. What stood out to me in the discussions we had was the different memories all of us have about Kevin Smith. Everyone can quote Clerks, or Chasing Amy, but we all had different points of view on what makes him great. I love the fact that he’s accessible, and is like the big brother you had, or your neighbor. The guy does a ton of things to help his friends, and you know what? I’m okay with that. Unless you have a shit ton of money, or connections, it’s incredibly difficult to break into entertainment. Music, comics, movies -any of it. If someone wants to begrudge him for throwing Walt Flanagan a line to get him some drawing gigs, so what. That’s what friends are for; to help.  So, I like that Kevin helps his pals that deserve it and because he’s still real. He grows and develops, and he branches out into comics.

 

Speaking of his comics, His Cacophony stuff with DC was wicked good. So good in fact, that some enterprising folks in Jersey City, New Jersey have decided to attempt a 3-part fan series about his comic series. I wanted to talk more about it on the show, but Dave wanted to say more sexist stuff (ha, you know you’re in trouble Dave) and I didn’t get enough time to go on about it. find the details and some links below. It’s directed by William Visnosky. 

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Original YouTube Link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCTZw37a1FM

Crowd Sourcing Link http://www.igg.me/at/batman

Tweet by Kevin Smith http://www.twitter.com/ThatKevinSmith/status/518120725668851712

Walt Flanagan Endorsement https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=LsDPYqWCLIk

Liveforfilms.com Article http://www.liveforfilms.com/2014/10/06/kevin-smiths-batman-cacophony-is-becoming-a-fan-film/

 

What else? Delayed reaction to Walking Dead Season 2

Ok, so there are a few things I’ve tried to deal with, with the Walking Dead season 2 from Telltale Games. The game really got on my bad, dark and protective side. Trauma has a way of doing that to me. I think they were gratuitous with the treatment of Clem, and it didn’t need to be done. I don’t think any gaming journalist called them out on it, and I thought it was bullshit. I decided not to do a review, and I should’ve had more courage. I think the team ran out of ideas and they had a grown man, undeveloped and poorly written character smack her around in the game as a way to evoke and yank feelings out. It’s an old  method or device. I understand pushing the envelope and I understand it’s a gritty dark world. I also understand that the Telltale team is neck-deep in their own praise hole and overloaded with work. They did well on the first season, and The Wolf Among us was great stuff. You guys should be ashamed of yourselves for the entirety of season 2. Gamers and journalists ate it up because it didn’t have glaring weaknesses. It’s bad and I’m saying it. No character that I ever cared about, except for the rabid dog in the first episode, and I began to care even less about Clem. That’s all for now because I may decide to do a delayed reaction article for it.

Tell me what to do! Comic-con Dallas

As if you weren’t going to be there anyway. Instead of leaving after your cosplay showdown with Michael Jackson and a bad Jack Skellington impersonator to wank and jank to the image of that beautifully created female Link you saw, head over to see This Saturday night shindig at The Gas Monkey on OCT. 18th. Details below. Music, clever witty banter, tons of beautiful nerd girls and others of your ilk. I understand there will be dancing and some holy ghost trancing. The last part is only a rumor.

Saturday Night Shindig: One Coultastic Evening

Jonathan Coulton, dancing, DJs, surprise guests, and You

He’s been called the Joss Whedon of music. He’s a mainstay at geek events in New York and Los Angeles, and now he’s heading for North Texas. Jonathan Coultonheadlines the next Saturday Sci-Fi Social, at the Gas Monkey Bar & Grill on October 18, 2014.

https://www.picatic.com/OneCoultasticEvening

Comics-FUCK YEAH

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Ok, so I’ve picked up a few of the New 52 DC one shots, and I feel like a kid again. I have the Batman/Superman and the Superman, and wow, they’re great reads and help get you primed for the next big DC event Future’s End. Who knew that Shazam had taken over for the Caped Crusader? The covers are old school awesome holograms.   Moon Knight By Warren Ellis is top-notch. His writing and panels, use of lettering, or a lack of the lettering and sound really sets the tone quite well. White panels with black text usually stand out like a hippie at a Tea-party rally, but the man’s an expert at using space, and then exploding all over it.

 

 

In other comic news, yours truly is working away hard, long and fast on his graphic novel “Vile: Lost Legends of the American West.” We have a new artist named Francis Nuguit who has a great track record. He did some of the Robert Jordan “Wheel of Time” comics. I wish I could show you something from him, and we will soon. Head over to our facebook page to see some concepts, read the story synopsis and say hello. It’s a dark and emotional tale.

Vile:Lost legends of the American West

Alt logo for Vile
Alt logo for Vile

In future installments in this world named “Thunder Valley,” some of my friends will be appearing. My good buddy Hank Van Hawkins will be a former banker, gunslinger/gambler and mostly decent guy in the story. His name is Prickly Pear Van Hawkins. Many more of my friends will be appearing in and around the boomtown Serpentine including Appaloosa Red, who will play a madame with a dark secret and bright ambitions. Stay tuned for that, because we’re making it into a pen and paper RPG as well. Speaking of my buddy Hank, read on to read more.

SOBS

The boys playing some music together.
The boys playing some music together.

So Hank and I host a podcast about baseball, music, comics, songwriting and whatever else comes up. We need your support and look forward to you guys listening. Hank will also be joining me occasionally on my new Game/comics/randomness podcast. We’ll be featuring indie game developers, comics folks and others involved with things you love. I understand Ms. Appaloosa Red will be guest hosting with me as well. We’re gonna have burlesque, games, comics and mind-maddening music and other obligatory orgy activities. So, here is the link to the buzzsprout page where you will go listen to old episodes of SOBS. http://sobs.buzzsprout.com

 Game news?

I’ve got nothing relevant for you kiddos. Stop by IGN lol. Sorry, but this is the slow season and I’m actually digging on State of Decay again and playing the life in NHL 2014. Hope that covers it all.  Come by the twitter and try to go back and listen to some episodes of the podcasts, and for God’s sake, leave a comment or something. I need something to do while I’m kicking my own ass over not doing a better job of spellchecking. Ugh. I know this blog is ugly, but I’m too horrified to change it.Where’s my bourbon?

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Finding time to game as an adult

I’m an adult. Everything that goes along with that is included. When I was a teenager (late80′ early 90’s) I played games, but my zeal and love for them didn’t develop until my 20s and 30s. I had a lot more time to dedicate to them then. When I was a teen, it was games like Rygar and R.B.I. baseball. Those games you could pick up and beat and then put down, and then run around outside for hours. Now that I’m in my late 30’s, finding time for writing, baseball, my girlfriend, plus trying to keep up with politics and the world in general is hard. It’s been a continual balancing act for years. I can go days without playing, and I can go days without spending a ton of quality time with my girlfriend too. She’s very busy and we have to struggle to find quality time, and luckily with HBOGO, Netflix and a few quality games (that we’ll go over later) we’re able to schedule time together doing things we both like.

So, after finding some free time this past wednesday, we decided we’d try to find something we could do together. The options were (in my mind anyway) going up highway 75 to Choctaw casino in Durant, OK. We could stay the night because she loves hotels, and spend a few bucks on the slots. Since she loves hotels and to win money, and I love games and Dean Martin, the casino was ideal. There are some cool and quirky slots with a cartoon Dino that plays his songs. Golden! The second option was to look into Dave and Busters. I’d always been hesitant to go anyplace that was called an adult Chucky Cheese. The douche factor in Dallas is high enough anywhere you go daily, and I REALLY don’t want to go to someplace where they can be more douchey. But I digress. I decided to look into Dave and Buster’s and found that they have half-price wednesdays. Games, drinks etc. are half priced. Okay, we decide to do this instead of the casino.

We pull up to D&B’s and are immediately smacked with the realization that we are in Dallas Douche town. The parking lot is littered with various empty bottles and mis-parked cars. The lights were very reminiscent of Casinos as well. Cut to later on-we purchased 100 credits or tokens, and had a drink and meal at the bar. The only thing I’ll point out about the bar is the huge and multiple beer bong devices that were 4-feet tall with taps. Yep, it was that kind of place. Anyway, on to the fun.

We started off with a bit of skeeball. The classic game of rolling wooden balls that everyone loves and remembers. My girlfriend and I playfully compete and then move on to a Batman sit down driving/shooting game that is a super fun on rails shooter. The voice acting is solid and campy, and you get a huge selection of bat-mobiles. The game is way too on the rails, but considering I’m out with my girlfriend for fun, she watched and we had a great time. Rumbling all around me and a feast of eye candy keep us both thoroughly entertained for nearly half an hour. Once we were done, we decided to have one more go at finding something we both could do. That’s when we found our couple’s nirvana; Dark Escape 4D.

My girlfriend Kris is a fright-prone young lady. I spend a good amount of time creeping around our house scaring her and setting up elaborate ways to pull pranks.  So I would be super excited to find an opportunity to see her scared. She isn’t exactly the gaming type, but she was pumped for this. Yay for life! THIS is why I am with this woman! The gaming unit is an enclosed box with curtains. You sit down, put on 3D glasses and grab your gun. You start with a bit of backstory where you follow around a Resident Evil knockoff girl, who is rendered in a Silent Hill style, and before you know it you’re off. We’re both waiting for the action to happen, and it doesn’t take long as we are quickly jolted by an onscreen zombie. Kris screams as our surroundings shake violently and her bullets spray all over the 3D background. I am more calm, but not by much. The entire game is little breaths, and then tense moments of terror. An onscreen meter tracks your pulse through the gun you hold too. What a cool touch, though I was surprised how ‘panicked’ how I was throughout the game.The experience was like being in a video game haunted house. Monsters lunged in 3D, growls exploded in our ears, and wind shot into our faces. At the end of every session, the game tells you how many time you became panicked on a scale of ten. I was 4/10 both times and I think she was 8/10 and 9/10. Hurray for video games. Wow. We pumped 30 minutes and who knows how many credits into this experience. I wish I had one in my home.

So after all of that, my point is that there are ways to interact with your family and friends who aren’t really gamers. You can be a part of society too. For times like this, you just have to bite the proverbial bullet and trek on through the ‘normals’ and douches.

Below I’m adding a few activities that I’ve found I can do with my girlfriend in our free time that allows us to spend time and scratch our individual itches.

 

Telltale Games: Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us

Walking Dead-We both love the TV series, and I love the comics. We play this one together by me handling the sticks and her helping with the decisions. It’s amazing how impactful this can be for us. We discuss the decisions and possible things to happen in the future for an hour sometimes. We enjoy it more than the TV show or something like Boardwalk Empire.

The Wolf Among us-The same thing with this game. We actually went out and bought some of the comics after playing the first episode (thanks Keith’s comics.) This one is more cartoonish, but somehow darker. Perhaps it’s because there is some sort of civilization in this world, albeit a pretend fairy tale district in a pretend New York. Kris actually learned about me through the decisions I made in this one. There was a decision I had to make as Bigby Wolf that made her cringe and made me show my teeth. She looked at me with genuine disbelief, and I responded with “He would have done that. He’s the big bad wolf and the rules are different here.”

HBOGO and Netflix

We have found our free time centered around my Xbox-360, and we’re okay with that. Boardwalk Empire, Treme and the Sopranos have all opened up great new music, books and other adventures that we wouldn’t have found otherwise. Netlflix is in three rooms of our house and Frasier, Glee or any number of documentaries can be heard or seen at any time.

Hope you enjoyed reading and found something that will help finding time for your family friends etc.

My playing with Frodo
Me playing with Frodo