Posts Tagged ‘News’

Mech Retriever

Gaming, Update | Posted by davidludwig
Aug 05 2016

I know I’ve been gone for a long time at this point–and I’m still not really back yet. But if anyone coming by here wants to know what I’ve been up to part of the answer to that is the latest App venture by Llux Studios, Mech Retriever, for which I am a play tester and a writer. Frankly I wouldn’t say my part is very large, mostly auxiliary, but the project is VERY cool and worth a look if you enjoy giant robots, good game design and/or retro sensibilities with modern implementation.

 

You can find more details on the project over at Mech Retriever.com and the actual fundraising campaign to make it a full app on Kickstarter.

 

My hope is anyone reading this will at least give Mech Retriever a look, and I promise someday I will return to this site more properly once I get my personal affairs more in order. (Also apologies if anyone’s comment has been buried in the spam filter during my long absence, there’s a good chance it’s lost now.)

New Artwork!

Uncategorized | Posted by davidludwig
Jan 07 2013

The big news is that the marvelous Marshintire has returned with fresh Lost Girls’ Society artwork for pages N5 and N6.

I’ll keep you posted as to when more comes, but for now have had a surprisingly busy Monday and require the sleeping.

I will say before signing off that with a record 19 votes in the last poll, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that collectively the votes for it being better to be “a hero” or “The Hero” actually surpassed “On the Evil side of the spectrum”–though not individually. I’ll be interested to see if the data holds up or even if as many votes can be attained a second time looking at the question from the other side.

Also, while I have begun my strategy guide for Arel Wars 2, don’t hold your breathes for it. Looks like this one is going to take a while.

Time Slip

Uncategorized | Posted by davidludwig
Dec 08 2012

Whoa! How’d it get so late? I guess, technically, I missed my Friday update.

Still not much more to report of course, so here’s the short version for anyone interested.

My volunteer work is now back in full swing, I’ve been paired with a student for the Communities in Schools mentor program and have been reading to pre-schoolers through the Head Start and ECEAP. So those are good things to be doing, sometimes I don’t feel like I have the energy but it’s always great to see how excited those kids get to have someone listening to them and paying attention to them on a much closer to one-on-one ratio (though the reading groups have gotten a little large at times).

I have yet to resume writing the novel that I failed to complete for National Novel Writing Month–I really have no idea how time seems to be slipping away from me in such prodigious quantities, though I’m sure playing games on my iPhone is partially to blame.

Which of course brings us to the final point… I need some game time to maintain my sanity, though I’ll admit maybe not as much as I have been indulging in since the holiday season rolled around. Some of you may be aware of my Arel Wars strategy guide I wrote and posted to this site. That game badly needed a strategy guide, and I still find it a little sad I ended up being the one to write it–I’m sure other people are much better at strategy than I am.

Well, I’ve downloaded Arel Wars 2, and it doesn’t look like it has a good strategy guide available either–last I checked. So I’ve been putting off starting playing it, with the intention to actually take notes on my first play through this time and thus get the strategy guide done in half the time–theoretically. There’s a good chance that process will begin this month, and with the present goal of being done by February (though the timeline is subject to change once I actually play the game and see what I’m dealing with).

And, that’s about it for now. Have a good weekend!

Novel Fails and Holidays

Uncategorized | Posted by davidludwig
Nov 30 2012

So this is mostly a quick check in to affirm that it is my intention to resume thrice weekly postings (Monday, Wednesday and Friday–which may admittedly mean you should check on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday). A little recap of November, I tried and failed miserably at National Novel Writing Month. Not really a huge shock, I strongly suspected going in that the NaNo approach to writing was incompatible with my own.

For National Novel Writing Month the goal is 50,000 words in 30 days, not because any body I know or could even possibly relate to would be able to construct a publishable manuscript under those circumstances–but because it gets the story written. However rough and likely even nauseating at parts the product is, it is still a product. The theory from there, as I understand it, is that further time spent refining the product and getting it up to publishable quality is easier both to do and to find motivation for. So NaNo’s big push is just to get that initial word splurge out there, the task of shaping it would come later.

That approach just doesn’t work for me, I like to shape, polish and refine as I go. I like to work in several short strokes, writing and refining according to whether the stroke is presently passing over text or blank page. I get into a rhythm and the more the story and characters make sense to me the deeper into I get, and consequently the deeper I can take my audience. Rushing headlong into larger word counts I find it too easy to make missteps, possibly injuring my self or my work in the process (not generally in a literal sense of course) and sacrificing a lot of efficiency and direction in the process. Writing without stopping to edit for me is like drawing without picking up the pencil. Some parts have to be done that way to be done well, but many benefit from stopping to look at your work and maybe even correcting it before moving on.

For me if I bog down in a story the easiest way to regain momentum is to go back and edit. The process of editing re-immerses me in the story and I can carry that momentum forward into new words. It takes a while, but with everything but novels the work does eventually get done.

Who knows what the holidays are going to look like or bring, somehow I found even Thanksgiving to consume far more time and energy than anticipated–and I don’t even remember where those expenditures went. One way or another my goal is to actually finish this novel though, but at a pace that works for me and allows me to take pride in my work. With NaNo officially lost though, I do think I will go back and finish the short-story I began in the same setting first and maybe pursue some early publishing with that while I grind away at the main novel.

That’s the forecast (and reflection) for this Friday. Thanks for all the recent poll votes by the way! It’s great to get some interaction from the internet.

NaNo News

Uncategorized | Posted by davidludwig
Nov 07 2012

Well… It would appear that taking on National Novel Writing Month was a mistake. Before starting NaNoWriMo my daily word average was around 500 words per day. Obviously for a writer that’s too low. So I do appreciate learning from NaNo that I can and should sustain 1,000 words per day. Unfortunately in order to “Win” NaNo I’d need to do 1667 words per day averaged over the entire month.

As Inigo would say, “At my best I could never defeat that many.” Only, in my case I could do that many at my best–I just can’t clear it by enough to compensate for all the days I weigh in at 1,300 some odd. So I’m not sure where to go from here. Seven days in I realize I’ve picked a fight I never had any chance to win. I still intend to finish the novel, but it’s become a much lower priority now that I don’t have any sort of meaningful deadline or benchmarks to work from. The month isn’t over yet, but I think I’ve already failed NaNo decisively enough it’s time to fail something else.

So that’s my sad news. Maybe I’ll be back with something else Friday.

National Novel Writing Month!

Uncategorized | Posted by davidludwig
Nov 02 2012

Okay, so National Novel Writing month is officially here AND I’m officially participating this year. Missed my word target for the first day, and am on track to miss again this second day–putting me further in the hole–but I see the weekend through Tuesday as my real opportunities to make up for scheduling conflicts Wednesday through Friday. With any luck that’ll be enough to get me through to the 50,000 words by the end of the month.

So no treats for you this week with me so far behind already–but my plan is by next Friday, maybe earlier, to have an excerpt from the novel to share with anyone who’s interested. Potentially following up with other excerpts as the month goes on. If I could get some discussion regarding what sort of excerpts you’d like to see from my work in progress, that’d be great information for me–right now I’m thinking character introductions for windows into the core cast.

Then, if anyone feels like helping develop the world of Niar, I’m realizing that having me come up with every single town and city in the world is unlikely to be ideal. So I’d like to open up the possibility for anyone who feels like flexing some creativity and then donating the effort to come up with town and city names for the World of Niar, so that when I’m referencing locations it doesn’t sound like the same individual came up with all of them–even if the story never goes to locations I didn’t come up with, having them in the world will still enhance it. Plus in the event that this novel, or Niar Saga from this site really take off it might be kind of cool to have your location on the official world map. Maybe? I’d like that sort of thing.

On the topic of reader interaction though, thank you everyone who has voted in the current poll! With all the spambots assailing the site and looking for a way in (there is NONE, they all have to go through ME) it’s hard to feel like the page-view counter is representing real traffic, but as of this posting I know there are four people who have looked at my site and cared enough to interact with me. That means a lot.

So thank you.

Artless Halloween

Uncategorized | Posted by davidludwig
Oct 31 2012

So I’d like to open by saying that I’d intended to include art with this entry, but it appears that the bizarre failure of my laptop over a month ago now is going to plague me for the rest of the life of the computer. Had to get a new user profile because the old one will no longer log in, and apparently my tablet doesn’t work with the new profile. So no drawings from me anymore.

It’s probably fixable, but I’ve already exhausted the options I know how to do and have other things to spend my time on–which is where this update was going after the art anyway.

Two of my stories have been published in Super Flash Fiction, and I encourage you to head on over and check that out if you haven’t already. Subscribe for future issues or even submit your own dynamic stories or artwork.

The bigger news is that I’m participating in National Novel Writing Month starting tomorrow (November 1)! I’m officially in this year, and I’m going to finally finish a novel! Sign up if it interests you, or just cheer me on/pester me about my progress! The goal is 50,000 words by the end of the month.

It’s likely to consume my free time in November, though I’ll try to keep updating this site–though you can expect most if not all of my posts to be NaNoWriMo related.

And that’s it from me for now! Happy Halloween, and sorry about the lack of artwork… Wait… Maybe I can fake something even without my tablet…

Haha! How’s that for drawing with a mouse in Paint?

 

Happy Halloween!

Immediate Friday

Uncategorized | Posted by davidludwig
Jun 01 2012

Let’s see, I think most of my forecasts this Friday are for the immediate future–way too much going on for me to be looking too far ahead just now. Things should settle down by July though, and then work will start in earnest on my fantasy novel come August… Perhaps I should poll you guys for a title.

The thing most immediate on my radar is the completion of my Arel Wars Strategy Guide, the fantasy tower defense game for smartphones that needed a strategy guide so badly I took it upon myself to write one. There are three factions identified by their Hero–Vincent, Helba and Juno respectively. I’ve already completed and posted the guides for Juno and Helba, who not coincidentally I feel most needed strategy guides, but I should have Vincent’s guide finished and posted some time tomorrow. I may go back and add hand-drawn artwork to make the guides more visually interesting, but for practical purposes they’ll be done.

Then you can just scroll down to the previous post to learn a bit about ‘Timony Souler and her Blog Challenges, the next Dice Games starting on this coming Monday–which I highly encourage you to sign up if you’re at all of a writerly persuasion, or just make note of who is signed up if reading’s more your thing.

Monday will in fact be a double-post day as I simply MUST make a My Phone Monday entry on the 4th for an iPhone game that has made me seriously consider taking back every bad thing I ever said about Arel Wars and its creator, Gamevil. This thing is so terrible I’m not sure I’m going to keep it on my phone, so I have to get the “My Phone Monday” entry in while it is still on “my phone”.

I will then vanish on June 12, and will be without web-presence until roughly June 25.

Busy Times

Uncategorized | Posted by davidludwig
May 21 2012

Well, another week with no new My Phone Monday review–don’t worry, there’s still plenty to review including some I highly reccomend. Just things have been and will continue to be hectic on this end for a few more weeks. Also I am working on finishing my Arel Wars Strategy Guide, so as to hopefully spare a few people the frustration I and it seems many others endured trying to figure out whether it was even possible to beat the game without effectively paying Gamevil a bribe to let you win (the answer is YES, you can win without paying them a cent–which is good because I still don’t approve of how grabby they are for money, even though if they weren’t so grabby I’d consider the game easily worth ten bucks, maybe fifteen).

Actually, I’ve already posted the strategy guides for the two factions I feel most need them–and there’s another easy to find strategy guide covering the humans. So I guess it’s more accurate to say I’m working on my human strategy guide for Arel Wars because I’m a completionist.

Also, no new posts this Friday or Memorial Day because I’ll be out of town. Other Web Wednesday is still on this week, and you’re very allowed to be mad at me if there isn’t one next week too. The other anticipated lapses however I ask that you not hold against me, as all of it is meant to merely keep the site fresh until I launch into my next big project–some of you voted on–in August.

Still on Arel Wars

Uncategorized | Posted by davidludwig
May 14 2012

So there will be no new My Phone Monday post this week, because I’m fervently working on my Arel Wars Strategy Guide. For Helba and Juno at least the game desperately needs one, and since I couldn’t find any (except one for Vincent) I have taken it upon myself to craft my own strategy guide for the game.

Juno’s guide is done (my first and still preferred faction), but Helba’s is taking a little longer to complete. I do not anticipate any difficulties whatsoever with putting up my own account of Vincent’s campaign however.

I have beat the game with all three factions and am happy to answer questions if my guide doesn’t (either currently or in general) cover said questions. I am, however, playing through the game again with each faction (in Hard mode) as a refresher for what the missions were and what difficulties I encountered on my way through, so completion of the guides is somewhat contingent upon actually beating the game again.

And that’s the problem. Turns out there’s a difference between being able to complete a mission once and being able to repeat the performance–let alone explain how to complete that mission so someone else I may never meet can also complete it. As of right now I have 35/40 Stages complete in Hard Mode for Helba, but have stalled because of difficulties following my own recommended unit levels in Hard Mode (which I still think would be better labeled “New Game+”, but admittedly is quite Hard by the end).

You see, in Hard Mode the computer is fielding “x2″ versions of the units you fight in the Normal play-through–and the units you get as quest rewards are also of the “x2″ variety. That’s the only difference. Of course with the computer playing x2 units I also want to play x2 units–but the gold costs to upgrade x2 units is RIDICULOUSLY high.

This isn’t necessarily anything wrong with the game, upgrading x2 units being more expensive makes a lot of sense–and it is technically “Hard Mode”. However it is slowing down my ability to complete the last 5 Stages so I can post Helba’s walk-through as I already have for Juno’s.

If I could have one wish for Hard Mode–which is totally separate from my recommendations at the end of my Arel Wars Review to actually fix problems with the game–it would be that the units gained from replaying stages were also of the x2 variety, since selling those excess units would provide the gold necessary to upgrade the x2 units I’m keeping. So unlike the recommended fixes I don’t think this is necessary to make Arel Wars the game it should have been (should have been 5 Stars), and rather is just something I would personally appreciate.

Right now my intention is to without fail post Helba’s Strategy Guide this week. If I am unable to beat Hard Mode in that time, then I’ll just have to post what I’ve got and then update as necessary later.

That’s all for now.