• My Life,  The Lazy Designer

    Features – Hidden versus Growing

    Changing the User Interface This section is most applicable to point-and-click adventure games but has some relevance for related types of games In a point-and-click adventure game the player is able to click on certain hotspots on a painted map (i.e., click on a bucket to pour water). By clicking in different locations outcomes can be triggered to help progress the adventure forward. Or not. A fun indie game called Samorost 2 (play C1 online for free) is a great example of this system. In that game you play a man searching for a dog that aliens have kidnapped. You click on various locations to progress across beautifully painted maps.…

  • Review,  Writing Resources

    Review – Makers by Cory Doctorow

    Makers is a fascinating and exciting read. Exciting not in the guns and kabloomy sense, but because of the idea train that started rolling through my head on page one and still hasn’t stopped a few days since finishing the novel. Cory Doctorow has taken a look into our future and presented an optimistic society, flawed only by the difficulties that confronts those who are smart and creative. The heroes struggle to try and do what they love to do — create — in this world. The heroes are a lovable cast from a reporter who has stepped into the fascinating ‘new work’ movement to the creative tinkerers building and…

  • Second Project,  The Lazy Designer

    Data and Resource Generation

    There are many ways to organize game data. This section discusses some that have worked well for me in the past. Warning – technical game post. If you’re here for writing stuff only, run now. Overview Games are made of many things. There is the data — creature 3d models, textures, area maps, dialog files, and so on. And then there is metadata — lists that control which creature uses which 3d model, texture, dialog file and so on. The more complicated the game, the more metadata. Roleplaying games with hundreds of abilities, items, and creatures require an ‘insane’ amount of metadata. The simplest way to organize this data is…

  • Writing Resources

    Author List – Through Blood and Iron

    Since I’ve seen the table of contents for the Through Blood and Iron anthology announced elsewhere, I decided to post it here too. I am very pleased at the fine company my story ‘The Daughter’s Oath’ is keeping! Please note the table of contents might be incomplete as Rob from Ricasso Press was still looking for some flash fiction to flesh out the anthology. Lindsay Buroker, “Through Fire Distilled” Christopher Heath, “Azieran: Instant Carnage and the Secret of Runic Steel” Brent Knowles, “The Daughter’s Oath” Jeff Draper, “The Feorhmaegan” Jeffery Scott Sims, “The Guardian of the Treasure” Jason E. Thummel, “Talieron, Under the Bloodied Sun” John M. Whalen, “The Hostage…

  • Writing Resources

    On Spec – The Canadian Magazine of the Fantastic

    I’ve mentioned it many time so you all know that I’m a subscriber and have been for years of On Spec. I started reading the current issue today and thought I’d post another reminder for those of you who haven’t checked out this fine magazine to pick up a subscription or at least check out an issue to see what you are missing. There is also a digital option available that lets you read the magazine online or on your mobile device (iPhone, et cetera) — you can read a sample copy online. This issue, #80 (Spring 2010) contains: A Thousand by Leah Bobet Zebedee the Giant Man by Tina…

  • My Life,  Writing Resources

    Creating an ePub File

    I’ve passed the 25% mark on the second draft of the novel. As I mentioned previously I am writing the novel using a simple markup language that I can then ‘export’ to Word. However I realized that most of the time I am then converting the Word document to an eBook for my reader’s reading and so decided to add an ‘export to epub’ option to my exporter. It was both very simple and very difficult. The exporter takes the novel text and then breaks it into chapters, autonumbering them and doing other nice things that will save me work later on. I then add the epub file to Calibre.…

  • Writing Resources

    Prix Aurora Awards

    The winners of this year’s Prix Aurora Awards have been announced. The Prix Aurora Awards are Canada’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Awards (details here). Congratulations to all the nominees and winners. I think this is the first year that I can say I’ve read the vast majority of all the nominees and I certainly recommend them for those looking for some great fiction. Best Novel in English: Wake, by Robert J. Sawyer Meilleur Roman en Français (Best Novel In French): SuprĂ©matie, by Laurent McAllister Best Short-Form Work in English: ”Pawns Dreaming of Roses,” by Eileen Bell Meilleure Nouvelle en Français (Best Short-Form In French): «Ors blancs» by Alain Bergeron Best…

  • Writing Resources

    Speak to the Devil by Dave Duncan

    Dave Duncan’s latest novel, ‘Speak to the Devil’ (the first book in his new “The Brothers Magnus” series) is available from Tor. So far it has earned a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly and I’ll be picking up a copy of it shortly. More details on his website http://www.daveduncan.com/magnus/index.html.

  • My Life

    Facebook, youropenbook.org and other things

    So I noticed some people dropping out of Facebook. I haven’t really been paying too much attention to the recent changes that Facebook made. So I wasn’t really sure what the hubbub was. Anyways I jumped over to youropenbook.org and read their explanation page. Short summary – in April Facebook opened up their site so that other sites could interact with it to a relatively scary degree. It basically means anyone can search through all the posts, anyone posts on Facebook (unless the user has correctly updated the complicated privacy settings). Want to know if you’ve done it correctly? Copy your last status update and jump to youropenbook.org and check.…