Saturday, October 22, 2011

Eragon Gets His Inheritance

Usually, I do my best not to get involved in book series that are in the process of being written. For example, I started Lord of the Rings 40 years after it had been written, just to be sure no sequels were coming. I waited to read Harry Potter until the summer that the 7th book was coming out, since by the time I finished The Half-blood Prince, The Deathly Hallows was all done and waiting for me.

I buy even less books than series I read that aren't finished. Not sure how much sense that sentence makes, but this week I did something I've never done before. I pre-ordered a book. Now I've pre-ordered the board games before, and video games, and even the LotR Blu-Ray set, but never a book. However, Inheritance, the 4th and final book of the Inheritance cycle, which I've been reading since 2004 is coming out in November. The first two books, Eragon and Eldest, I have in paper back. I bought Brisingr in hard back within the first couple weeks it was out and now I've pre-ordered the last. I'm reading Brisingr again, for a second time to get prepared for the end, and it is even better than I remember it.

So, if you like fantasy books and coming of age stories, then you should get on this boat. You are in the great place that I'm not in, you can pick up book number 1 and begin reading and by November they'll have the final book ready for you to jump into and finish about the same time everyone else does.

Also, on a side note, Eragon the movie, sucked. They really blew it with that one and I wish someone else would pick it up and do it right, invest in the story, and don't try to shorten it into a 1.5 hour fantasy romp of a movie, but make it as epic as the books and at least 2.5 hours long for each of the 4 movies that would have to be made.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Quick Thoughts

1. Alternate Reality Fantasy - Thought of a couple other things having to do with Dracula. The Fury of Dracula a board game where hunters are chasing Dracula a few years after the Brom Stoker's book. Dracula really didn't die, instead he is terrorizing Europe again. Anyways. Good game. Also, along the same vein (hehe...get it?), is a book called the Historian, which is also about a alternate Dracula story.

2. Den of Thieves is already taken for a game name. So I've got to think of something else.

3. I watched The Last of the Mohicans the other night. Good movie. Good book.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Den of Thieves Update #2

Okay, it has now been 2 months since I got the game design bug and it has picked up again. Enough so that I have now set a goal for myself to have a self-published game by January 2012, with a medium for would-be buyers to purchase it, and it have an entry on

This week saw quite a bit of progress. Not only did I decided on the theme of thieves attempting to steal magical items in a 12th century middle eastern country, but I also made my second prototype. I did change a few things up, the biggest thing going from hexes to regular playing cards. I liked the hexes, but after doing more research into getting that produced, it would just cost me too much to have the hexes made. Since this project is to just get the game made, not shop it around to would be publishers, I figure cards will be easier to get produced, still look good, and still be good game play wise. One thing that I did find switching to cards is that since you can only move in 4 directions now, it is a lot easier to block your opponents thieves from moving.

Also, I talked to my good friend Jeremy, who has a graphic design degree I believe and enjoys drawing. He has officially been commissioned to do the art for the game. By commissioned, I mean asked to do a few sketches for me, if he wants to do so. Commissioned sounds much more cool though.

Also, I've been thinking about company names, because after all you never know, maybe this will get huge and Rio Grande or Z-Man or Mayfair will buy it from me. Or maybe they won't. It'll just be fun to have a company name. I'm leaning towards two different ones. First, is Antler Games. Why you ask? Well, I like Antlers and killing the things that have them. Second is Ekka Board Games. Where does Ekka come from? Elanor Kaylee Krista Adam.

Again, like before, if you are interested in play testing the game, let me know. I've got a couple lined up already, but I can get you play test copy so you can tear the game apart and help make it better.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Looking Glass Wars

I’ve been reading a book recently called The Looking Glass Wars, which is basically a reimagining of Alice in Wonderland. I all just finished watching Tin Man, a 2007 mini-series about the Outer Zone, which you quickly realize is the land of Oz from the classic story.  I’ve also enjoyed, though apparently most didn’t, the movie The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. I’ve decided to give this genre of fiction a name. Let’s call it Alternate Reality Fiction (ARF) fiction.

Now there can be alternate reality fiction, for instance a lot of Fantasy Flight has Taunhauser, a board game about that is themed about the World War continuing. That isn’t what I’m talking about. That is taking real life events and saying how would they’ve have been different if this happened. What I’m talking about is taking a classic work, say Sherlock Holmes or Oliver Twist, and tells a different story set in their universe.  Maybe Moriarty isn’t really a bad guy and him and Holmes team up? Maybe Oliver grows up to be some spy that sneaks into the Ottomans in the late 19th century to gather information for Great Britain? There are a ton of possibilities for this genre that haven’t been explored yet. I’ve heard of a book called Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. That is what I’m talking about, taking classic literature (though it could be argued if Pride and Prejudice is classic literature) and turning it on it’s ear!

So, lets get back to a quick review of the book.  We find out that the story everyone knows about Alice isn’t really the truth, instead her name is Alyss and she isn’t a child of this world, but is actually from Wonderland where she her evil Aunt Redd has taken over the queendom. I’m not done with it yet, but I’m really liking it. I’ve read both Through the Looking Glass and also the original Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll and I’ve got to say, he must’ve been high when he wrote them. The Looking Glass Wars is good thus far and I recommend you take a read, even if you aren’t a fan of the original works.