December 2013 Video Gaming

I am not sure if I posted this earlier, but back in November I decided to pickup a Wii U on a sort of whim. I figured now would be a good time to get one and the system had a new package deal out that had the Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD packed in. The Wind Waker Zelda is my favorite game of all time so it was pretty hard for me to actually pass up on it.

I also decided to get into Skylanders and bought a package of that game on sale over the holiday break. That game is incredibly well produced and truth be told, those little action figures are incredibly addictive to collect. I know that game is supposed to be for kids, but I can't help but have fun while playing it. This Penny Arcade Comic is not too far off from the truth of these things. 

After playing Skylanders and Zelda the past few weeks i have to say that they overall felt really refreshing. Both games are just really well made games and not just "kids" games. The overall atmosphere and feeling while playing them was completely different than most of the games that I found while playing on the Xbox. I didn't have any of the stress or tension around my gaming sessions that I normally had with other games. 

Case in point is the latest Tomb Raider game. I also started playing that game the past few weeks. That game in its own right is really well made and is probably my favorite game that was made this year, but the whole environment and atmosphere while playing it is obviously quite different than the Nintendo games I am playing on the Wii U. The game is gritty and intense. It is fun but also to a point stressful. I don't exactly feel relaxed while I play it and while i do enjoy the story and the game immensely it doesn't quite put a smile on my face like Skylanders does. 


Pathfinder RPG

So, over the Thanksgiving weekend, Megan and I went to our new favorite small business, the Wandering Dragon over in Plainfield to support small business Saturday. I think we are going to start a tradition of buying a game or two every small business saturday there. Browsing around the store I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted to pick up. Then I saw sitting on the shelf the Pathfinder RPG starter kit. 

This is an RPG I have heard a lot of people talking about over the past year. For those who don't know, it is an RPG just like Dungeons and Dragons. There is a dungeon master who leads several adventurers on a quest to go and do something. Paizo created the RPG back in 2009 after Wizards of the Coast decided to change their publishing rules. Forbes of all sites actually has a really good review on the box and an interesting insight on how the whole thing got started. 

So I picked up the starter kit and spent the weekend going over the box and I really found the whole system interesting. Call it luck or call it good planning, but I noticed that the Wandering Dragon that very next Thursday was having a Pathfinder Society night. The Pathfinder Society is Paizo's world wide sort of story following the RPG. Players around the world in the society all play the same modules and stories together and then report their stats and details online to the site for tracking. It is sort of like and MMORPG but on paper. 

Suffice to say I had an absolutely blast last Thursday playing the game. I just loved every minute of it and everyone else who was playing was really cool with me and made my play time really fun. I have to say I am hooked. 

It is really a shame that I didn't get into this stuff more when I was growing up or even in college.

Top Ten Games of the Last Generation

So the past couple of weeks saw the advent of the next generation of gaming consoles. I went out and decided to buy a Wii U with the new Zelda Wind Waker HD remake. Ohh, I want one of the new consoles, but I cannot decide quite yet what to get. Anyways, I will get to that next week in another post. 

This week I am going to post though my favorite games of this last generation. These are in no particular order, but simply the games that left me with the best impression. 

Nanowrimo Day 29: I Did It!!!!!!!

Day 29th Check in and I have to say "YES!!!!!"

I finished the day today with 50,329 words and I successfully complete Nanowrimo. Now, my novel isn't complete. I feel I still have ~15,000 words left to flesh out some of the story. There are huge plot holes and all sorts of other things that would need to be revised, likes names for about 90% of the characters, but I wrote 50,000 words this month into something that conceivably, could sort of may be look like an actual story. 

Hopefully this is just the first part of this journey with this story and I hope to keep going on with it. That being said I am going to take a couple of days off the rest of this weekend to enjoy my victory. 

Nanowrimo Day 24: Checking In

So this past week I thought was pretty difficult. However, as I finished up Sunday night I found myself sitting at 41,476 words completed. That puts me at just under 9,000 words left to complete this week. The ring is within reach. Unfortunately I didn't get any writing done today. Let's make up for that tomorrow. 

Nanowrimo Day 17: Checking In

So this past week was the dreaded and infamous week #2 for Nanowrimo. It is said that most authors really hit a wall during this second week in their novels. I am not sure if it is because they have gotten past the introduction portion of their books and are now in the setup phases or if the realize how big the mountain is that they have to climb in front of them. 

Whatever the case is, I have to say that I did find this past week to be pretty difficult. Early in this week I had some real problems trying to get my book going. I found that I have run across a lot more auxiliary characters and locations than I originally anticipated. I spent a good portion of this early part of this week just wracking my brain on how my characters were going to get from point A to point B, or why they cared about risking their lives to do something. I ultimately found a good path for their progression, but not without some turmoil on my end. 

One thing that has helped tremendously is talking with someone about my ideas and bouncing the ideas off of them. Getting the words out of my head and asking for advice on how to approach a scene or on how someone would act helped a lot. My wife was that person this week and she actually responded back to me with some really good suggestions. 

I finished off this evening with 25,159 words. I am technically a few thousand words behind schedule, but my goal was to be "half way" to 50,000 at the end of week two here and I am proud to say that I accomplished that this evening. I also left my novel in a good spot to allow me to pickup tomorrow with the next section of the story.  Let's hope that this next week goes more smoothly. 

Nanowrimo Day 10: Checking In

So my word count right now is up to 15,257. I have to say that I am pretty impressed with myself. Through the end of this past Friday I was sitting at around 7,000 words. Nanowrimo stated that yesterday was supposed to be a "write in". I was to dedicate as much of the day as I could to just writing. 

I probably sat down to write for 5-6 hours and I cranked out another 7,000 words. My story is getting to the point where it is starting to find its stride and open up a bit. Hopefully things continue to be easy here on out. 

To close out this check in I will post up another unedited excerpt. 

Nanowrimo Day 5: Checking In

So I have been Nanowrimo for five days now. For my first go at this I have to say that I think I am doing pretty well. The first day was extremely difficult to just get started. I probably ended up starting over three or four times before I finally found a good flow. So far I have written every day except today. That puts me slightly behind my target word out, but overall I am sitting at approximately 4300 words.

So far i have found that while writing, the important thing is to literally just get words written. Forget about how it is written and just keep putting words down. As I am writing I have found that I needed locations and characters that I originally did not anticipate. As I am going along I am just filling in all of that information with an "XXXX" that will allow me to go back at some later point to try and look at something. 

I have also found that writing with my eyes closed as helped tremendously. I have the ability to type on a keyboard without looking at it. So closing my eyes to fully imagine the scene that I am in has helped me a lot in trying to visualize what I might need to describe and put down onto a page. 

Overall I have to say that I am really enjoying this process so far. I will post some excerpts, completed unedited as I go along. 

Nanowrimo: Day 1 is in the bag.


So day one is done. Man was it hard to get this started. I probably started and rewrote this beginning sequence a half dozen times. I have ended the day with 1724 words though which I feel is not to bad of a start. I basically made my way through the introduction of my characters. 

I am toying with the idea of posting up my content as I write to get feedback from people who may have thoughts or ideas I could explore. I assume that my writing is going to be pretty atrocious since I am basically mashing at the keyboard to just get words on the page. We will see if that may be some thing I want to do. 

Here We Go. NanoWrimo This Week

So here it is. November 1st is the start of Nanowrimo 2013. I have told myself I am doing this. Writing a novel in a month. Am I prepared? I have no idea. I tried to do some real planning and outlining the past couple of months and I have a solid idea. I suppose we will just sort of see how this all plays out. 

As I have mentioned before, I have never done anything like this before. Am I nervous? Heck ya.