This Week’s Game: Introduction

I like games. All sorts of games, really: board games, card games, logic puzzles, number puzzles… and of course, video games.

I’ve been a gamer since before being a gamer was a thing. The first game I ever remember playing in my own home was Space Quest III, that classic Sierra adventure game. Ah, the memories… of dying every twenty steps or so. But they made death fun, let me tell you. 😉

Well, that was a long time ago. Nowadays, I have several gaming systems, including every single Sony Playstation (PSOne through 4), a (slightly outdated) desktop PC, and even a Nintendo Switch (thanks to my slightly-extremely doting wife). Naturally, my gaming library is absolutely huge, containing everything from the aforementioned Sierra adventure games, to old FPS like Duke Nukem 3D and Blood, to big RPGs like the Witcher (1 & 2, I haven’t picked up 3 yet) to indie platformers like Axiom Verge (go play this game!), to strategy and tactical games like… like… actually, when was the last time I played a strategy game? Disgaea 5? Huh… And I have weird, hard to classify stuff as well. I have enough games that, if I treated it like a job and played them eight hours a day, I might still never get through them all before it was time for me to retire.

That, and my brain would probably explode. It honestly sounds less appealing as an actual job than I might have thought when I was younger. Guess I’ll stick with househusband for the time being. 😛

So anyway. I’m nothing like a game journalist, nor am I really an expert at actually playing games. I’m not bad, mind, but I’m nothing special. But I have this giant library of games, and a blog to write about them, so… why not, right? 😉

Well, that immediately presents me with the problem: what am I going to write about? I could say a word or two about the systems, and compare them to other similar games, or I could talk about the music, or the graphics — but if I was going to point to my actual area of expertise, as it were, it would be the story. And if I start talking about the story of the games, well, that’s spoiler territory. Personally, I don’t get too worked up about spoilers; I’m the kind of guy who reads the last chapter of the book first, after all. But I don’t want to alienate anyone who wants to play the games themselves…

I guess I’ll do both, then. From now on, I’ll try to focus on one game a week (starting with my PS4 library, for convenience sake), play it as much as possible considering my other responsibilities, and then write an article every Monday about my experience with the game: the first part will be a spoiler-free review of the how the game looks, sounds, and plays; and the second part will be my analysis and feelings about the story of the game.

Naturally, if the game doesn’t have a story, or the story doesn’t feature much, I’ll acknowledge that too. In the end, I’m mostly doing this to put my own thoughts in order about the game, so it’s just fine if you’re not too interested in this section. I promise, I will still be releasing one chapter of the Anubai Hero each week, regardless of anything else. Still, I hope people find these articles interesting and informative.

So, first on my list: Dishonored. Specifically, the PS4 definitive edition. I don’t expect to get through it in a week, but frankly I’ve already got a pretty good grasp of the story from other sources, so I expect I’ll be able to talk about it to some extent anyway. I picked the game up… well, mostly because I want to play Dishonored 2 in the future, and I have a minor personality tic about finishing games in order. It’s honestly a habit I’m trying to break… Anyway, I’m very interested in the game’s mechanics, so I’m still slightly pumped about playing it. So, starting today through next Sunday, I’ll spend as much time with the game as I can, and make my report next Monday. See you then! 😀

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Let’s use words to describe the world!

I, uh, I’m not sure what’s up with that title. Please disregard it.

But don’t disregard this: I’ve decided on my schedule for the near future! Beginning tomorrow (which is Monday…I think?) I will be working the following:

Monday: Karis & Briar (You know, my NaNoWriMo novel, which I still haven’t officially titled), ~1500 words

Tuesday: A Living Will, 1 chapter (usually ~1500 words)

Wednesday: Editing for ALW, plus anything else I have that needs editing; Posting 1 chapter of ALW

Thursday: Karis & Briar, ~1500 words

Friday: Other projects to be determined, or possibly an extra ALW chapter (~1500 words)

Saturday: Karis & Briar, ~1500 words

Sunday: Editing and reviewing for people who have asked for my help; Posting a summary of my activities for the week

By the way, this is the bare minimum I’m aiming for; I’m not going to stop writing if I’m on a roll, after all. So, as you can see, I’m currently heavily biased toward writing my story about Karis & Briar, but I will have at least one chapter of my web novel published every Wednesday. If I happen to have extra chapters, they will either be published on Wednesday or Sunday, depending on when I can edit them. In the future, once I have my novel closer to completion, I’ll probably move to two web chapters a week, but that’s significantly in the future.

OK, that’s all I’ve got for today! See you on Wednesday, for the return of A Living Will! 😀

Scraps and Pieces

So, once again I haven’t posted anything in a month. Dammit.

Do I have an excuse? Sure, lots of them. Do they make a difference? No.

The biggest problem, though, is that whenever I tell myself to sit down and write the next chapter of A Living Will, I immediately feel all the motivation draining out of me. Maybe I should just drop it…? I really like the characters, though. Zedda, Metria, and the as yet unnamed young-woman-with-a-problem…plus the posthumous Serpha and the weapon Arkesis. There’s a lot of potential for interesting stuff here, if I can just sit down and write it… Sigh…

Well, since it’s been a month, and since I do have people following the blog (for…some reason?) I do want to post something tonight, so, hmmm. What can I talk about…ah, got it.

So, A Living Will is not the only story I’ve started writing, and then left sizzling on the back burner. In fact, have I ever completed anything…let’s not go there. Anyway, here are a few stories that I’ve started, or at least put a little thought into.

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A Living Will, Part 1: The Trigger

I didn’t notice, until the handle of my office began to turn.

The building had been old when I moved in, all those years ago. Now, it was almost ancient. I had grown used to its song, a soothing lullabye of groans and creaks, shifting with the seasons and between night and day. I paid no attention to the occasional skitter of tiny claws, or the occasional skitter of much larger claws. At that time, I hadn’t noticed that what approached my door were not claws, but footsteps. Even when someone reached out to brush the dust off the sign on my door, I failed to take note. But then the handle turned, and I was suddenly alert.

My right hand tightened around Arkesis, loose in her holster. If I had eyelids, they would have narrowed. My eyebrows might have lowered, my mouth could have drawn back in frown. My left hand…but enough of that. Obviously, none of that happened.

When you’ve been dead for over a millennia, even drawing a deep breath ceases to be a reflex. Continue reading

A New Day Dawns!

Good morning. I am the Dark Jackel, an odd, pedantic, lizard-like being, who reads too much and writes too seldom. I started this blog to address the latter concern, by doing a long form review of the first book in A Song of Ice and Fire (which starts here, for those interested.)  So far I have managed to stay on schedule, which is good. I have not managed to get ahead of schedule, which is disappointing, but I have decided to move forward with phase two of the Plan. (The Plan does not deserve the capital P, but I am feeling generous today.) Continue reading

Let’s Read A Game of Thrones! Part 1: Prologue

By the by. Anything posted, mentioned, or derided on this blog, is in fact the property of its respective owner and copyright holder, and is used for purposes of entertainment, edification, and the advancement of bad taste, not profit. If you feel anything of yours is being unfairly used and maligned, please feel free to line up right behind Mr. George R. R. Martin.

Couple more things: for those interested in truly meaningless data, the version of A Game of Thrones I will be reviewing is the Bantam Spectra mass market reissue edition, August 2005. I don’t anticipate actually calling out pages, but if I do, they will match this edition. Also, this will be a blind read-thru, by which I mean that I will not be jumping ahead or spoiling future events, except so far as my imperfect memory of the last time I tried to read the book goes, with the gaps alloyed with rampant cynicism. (By the way, ‘blind read-thru’ seems like it should be an oxymoron but isn’t, and let me apologize up front to any blind people who happen to be unfortunate enough to read this; and let me just say those skills you have with the braille screens is freaking awesome. Ahem.)

Let’s begin, then.


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