So in my hunt of people to interview and ask questions for the “Summer of Gaming” series, I broadened by horizons. Not only would I just focus on the guys that made my favorite games from the 90’s when I grew up, I’d also poke at some more recent fellows.

This search led me to S.C. Watson, an illustrator and artist for Space Empires V, a game I spent a whole lot of time on before getting a great new computer in 2007. His iconic “painted” portraits of the races always stuck with me, giving a greater “realism” to the game than the previous 3D models. He’s a self-taught artist, doing all sorts of traditional and digital work.

After some hunting I finally found Shane’s portfolio site and contacted him via e-mail. Explaining my intentions and project, he willingly agreed to contribute.

Continue reading Summer of Gaming Week 1: S.C. Watson, Illustrator

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Hi guys,

As the blog slowly gets back on track, I unveil a short-term project for this early part of summer to entertain you! I know a portion of my readers are gamers of some sort, and in a special project digging into my past, I’m releasing a set of interviews I did with a few game developers and artists from the 90’s and 2000’s.

Many of these guys are people who made the games I loved when I grew up. Some are obscure “shareware” games, some are other semi-popular titles you may recognize. A few are some modern developers that have forayed into the modern world making games. As I have moved on and seen little or no information about the people behind them, I made an effort myself to delve into the history of the people and the games they made.

You can consider it a partial historical preservation project, genuinely interested in the people who made these games. I uncover how game design was back in the day, what the average developer faced and the stories behind how these actual games were created and worked on.

My list of guests include:

  • John Hattan – The Code Zone (24 Games Pack)
  • Adam Pedersen – Jetpack
  • Chuck Sommerville – Chuck’s Challenge, Chip’s Challenge
  • Parley S. Neely – Lunar BBall, historical puzzle games
  • Petite Games (William) – Midnight, Destronauts, Wii Game Developer
  • Walk Bilofsky – Original founder of The Software Toolworks
  • Scott A. Murray – Missile Master developer
  • Shane Watson – Artist, Fantasy Flight games, Space Empires
  • Steven Hugg – Comet Busters
  • Petter Henrikson – ClusterTruck developer
  • Louis Carrozzi – Far Gate developer
  • Dan Froelich – Solar Winds & Jungle Jill musician

(List is subject to change based on availability)

Posts are uploaded every Saturday evening. I have most of these interviews done already, so its just a matter of scheduling.
So grab your coffee, a Windows 95 box and be prepared to head back down memory lane to a time when the Internet barely existed and mail-order games were the thing.

 

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Hi guys, Janeil here. I’m still struggling to keep up with the Heather installments. However in lieu of that while I catch up, do enjoy this guest story by JP Hack, who’s graciously allowed me to post his shennanigans in the Elite: Dangerous universe. Enjoy!

Ah, the Evarate system. So nice. So peaceful. A great day for a little mayhem! My plan was simple. Interdict players and fight them. But not newbs. Nope, I have a moral code. I went for the big dawgs like Pythons, FDL’s, Cobras, vipers, etc. What’s more insane than a pilot with the balls and skills to try to take on a bigger ship? A pilot with a Slightly bigger ship trying to take on bigger ships! Good bye Eagle!

Sit down boys and girls, commanders of all ages, as I retell you what happened last night. Lets just say that some people take role playing too seriously.

Okay, I did my homework. So I strolled through the ship yard and bought a slightly used, fully loaded, with extended warranty, Viper MK3. I had the sweet matte black paint job with skull markings. “Surely, they will take me seriously now!” Not even close.

Continue reading Guest Submission: Someone Stop CMDR JP HACK

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**NOTE: This review does contain spoilers. While I certainly believe its up to you to discover what’s inside a book, there are people who just want to know if their book is worth the money, or make sure its good enough for their kid/partner. Or there are even those people who just need to know the plot of the book for some other reason beyond the synopsis. I try to to fill that gap with a bit more detailed information with my book reviews. If you don’t want the book spoiled, move on or just scroll down to the bottom part.

The last of my “time travel” reviews that was backlogged, the final book to take this spot is The Time-Traveling Fashionista: At the Palace of Marie Antoinette. I actually had made an error when purchasing this book; apparently there’s another book in the series that I kept trying to put in the cart, but this is what arrived when I ordered. And while reading I discovered that this wasn’t the first book in the series. Oh well. I’ll continue to look.

Continue reading Review: The Time Traveling Fashionista at the Palace of Marie Antoinette

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This one is a bit of a short Storytime, but this came back to memory when I started putting together some special content for my own site.

When I had gotten interested in Steampunk in 2009, it didn’t really stick with the people around at the time. However, I had tried to pursue my interest in it, namely in writing. When a cosplay group and that flopped, I decided to bring to light some of other people’s creation. If I couldn’t be a contributor, I could at least be an information hub! I was heavily inspired by a Steampunk-only blog with actual articles, information and promotion for the genre. Sort of like an online newspaper.

Continue reading Storytime: The Steampunk Observer

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When I started to collect books in 2013, I had bought a batch of “books” loosely related to my interests at the time. When I was looking for time travel books for kids, this somewhat prominent book from the 90’s appeared in my search results from Amazon. It’s name? The Switching Well.

The story follows two girls, Ada and Amber. Ada is from 1891, while Amber is from 1991. Each girl is fed up with their current time; Ada wants to live in a future where women have more freedom and are appreciated, while Amber wants to live in a past where kids aren’t shuffled around with their parents, where moms were only allowed to be moms living in big houses. Both girls find a magical well in a patch of woods, throwing down a coin and making their wish. Amber gets whisked to the past, Ada to to the future.

Continue reading Review: The Switching Well

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West Hills. Why did it have to be West Hills?

Heather trudged down the dirt and gravel path that led out of the main section of Ellowwood. A twenty-pound bag of wheat was in her arms, having been tasked to deliver it to an elderly couple out on the west side of town.

And not just west town, West Hills. Outside the town charter, maybe half a mile towards the heavy forest and where the island ended. Where more weird stuff lived, causing her imagination to freak out about what she could randomly encounter. It didn’t matter if it was late afternoon and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky; the area still carried the same kind of connotations to it.

Continue reading Pipp: Week 1

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Getting back on track with these, thankfully.

This was an “interesting” book that I had read back in the day, before I had even started using the Internet and visiting bookstores. Back when I would make frequent trips to the Greeneville Library, it got to the point that I would just pick out books by shelf, going through each one till I found one I liked. Running out of Time was one of those books.

I had randomly happened upon it, the older version with the traditional art cover with half of Jessie wearing her 1800s dress and the other half wearing modern clothing. This intrigued me immediately, borrowing it and taking it home.

Continue reading Review: Running Out of Time

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Okay, guys. First week of April is here, and I think I’m finally back on schedule. Last weekend’s blog serial will be posted on Monday and the second episode this upcoming Friday at its appointed time. I’m amassing content once again so this should flow smoothly.

In case you hadn’t picked it up, I’ll post the official schedule that I’m working with so you know what to count on:

  • Reviews = Mondays, 12PM: I do a report on a book, game, item or such and give you an opinion on it.
    Storytime = Thursdays, 6 PM: I reach into my life experience and share a story of some sort with you.
    Blog Serial = Fridays, 12PM: I pen a fictional story about Heather, a troubled, clingy and anxious girl who has a tendency to tangle with the paranormal. Set in the same universe as “Endless Sky” and after the main story.
    Tutorials = TBA: I’ve been asked, told and been piling up some tutorials for various things in the last year. These are too hectic to post every week, so they will be posted once monthly. Have not decided on a date, but as soon as I finish one for posting I’ll let you know (and update this entry)
    Other Topics = As Needed: There are smaller various topics I’ll post from time to time. Smaller fiction pieces, announcements, life happenings and so on. These are random and sporadic, not set to a firm schedule.

In other happenings, I’ll be looking into changing the template for my site at some point. I’ve had some users complain that the text is not enlargeable on an iPad and makes it hard to read, especially my blog serial. I’ll definitely be looking to resolve this so I don’t lose my reader base. I do listen to your suggestions!

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