I’ve been a successful participant in National Novel Writing Month three out of the past eight years. One thing each of those years had in common was a panicked realization that I hadn’t written or produced anything of value for most of that previous year. All it takes, really, is an aggressive and firm deadline and a well-defined deliverable.

But fiction isn’t what I want to do right now. Hasn’t been for a while. Also, since when did any NaNo project turn out a quality result?

What I want to do, and what I haven’t been doing, is making games. Unfortunately, building up a “promising” playable prototype hasn’t been sufficient to hold my interest when there are so many other fun things going on.

I moved into a new apartment three months ago and my whiteboards have barely changed at all since then. My printer is still sitting in my bedroom closet. My paper cutter is languishing desperately in a drawer with my notebooks, index cards, and other prototyping supplies. To be fair, my mother died about six weeks ago. And the weeks leading up to her passing were quite full.

But, every time I look at any of this stuff - this game-making stuff - I feel depressed. Like I’ve been neglecting a friend. Not just any friend, either, but a life-long friend who has always been there when things are bad or good, and now I’m realizing that I’ve been taking that friend for granted and wondering how I would feel if our roles were reversed. Anthropomorphizing a hobby? Maybe. But the feeling is real, and I have a real need to turn it around.

So what, now? A publicly-stated commitment. No more sitting around waiting for inspiration to strike at an opportune time.

This month, I will finish a game. It will be published and you will be able to buy it (probably at The Game Crafter). Yes, in a month. 

On or before November 30, I will take the last step before self-publishing: ordering myself a production copy of my game to review before release. I’ll share my progress here. There will be pics.

I hope you enjoy it even more than I do.

"Because we do not know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. And yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really.

"How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, an afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you cannot conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four, or five times more? Perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty.

And yet it all seems limitless..."

- Paul Bowles

reading

You buy them books, and what do they do? They eat the paper!

listening

Forget about your seat -- it's the beat.

viewing

Television will make you dumb. C'mon and get stupid!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Weekly Gig Like Woah

Last Sunday, I spent some time talking with the bartender at Back Alley Social about promoting the Sunday night thing.  After some discussion, we decided to call it TGIS (Thank Goodness It’s Sunday)!  Sunday is the new Friday, after all, especially for the Sunday night crowd at this spot which is made up mostly of service industry folks grabbing a couple of quick drinks on their way home from work.

DJ Handsome Cam and I have been granted a way generous drink special and permission to promote the night in any manner we see fit.  I’ll be back in the booth night after tomorrow, we’ll take a week off, and then we’ll be back weekly. 

So what started as, “Hmm, I’d kind of like to play out once a month or so” has turned into a weekly gig for me.  Nice.  More news as it breaks!

posted on 07/24 • blog • (287) commentspermalink

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Short Story: Golem

A little steampunk/fantasy action for you guys…hope you enjoy.

It has been three weeks since the golem came to live at the Friedman house, and Greta Friedman still isn’t sure she likes it. In fact, she’s sure she doesn’t like it. “Him,” her husband Georg had insisted. “His name is Gob and he’s very nice and he’s here to stay, so you don’t want to offend him by using non-gender-specific pronouns, dear.”

Greta wrings her hands and frets as Gob putters, clangs, and clatters about the living room. Georg had brought the golem home one night as a gift to his wife, who complained that the task of maintaining their suburban home was interfering with her part-time work as a cosmetics consultant. Now Gob is the problem – he makes so much noise that she has twice had to postpone her weekly sales meetings until a more suitable venue could be found.

more...

posted on 07/23 • fiction • (1004) commentspermalink

Monday, July 20, 2009

Serato Scratch Live and Windows Vista, Not Exactly Nature’s Best Friends

Hello, Internets.  Let me tell you a sad story about how installing unsupported drivers for new audio hardware can entirely jack up your Vista machine. 

When I bought Serato second-hand from a dude on Craigslist, I was advised to just install the software that came in the box and update it afterward, so that’s what I did.  Yeah, I know, I’m a jackass.  I even do application support for a living and should totally know better.  Ordinarily, I toss whatever driver CD and go straight to the manufacturer’s website for even little things like USB wireless adapters.  But the guy, he said…

So I followed the advice I was given.  To his credit, the seller didn’t know I was running Vista (or he may have offered to let me out of the deal and find another buyer). 

Serato installed fine, the driver installed fine.  It started fine.  I loaded a couple of tracks and played around with the control records, nice.  Then I closed the program.

Blue screen. 

Restart.  Start the program, play around, close the program, unplug the device.

Blue screen.

more...

posted on 07/20 • blogpermalink

Friday, July 17, 2009

Back to Back Alley Social this Sunday

If you are in Austin and you got nothing going on Sunday night, come out to Back Alley Social and listen to a couple of (if I am allowed to say so) pretty damned decent DJs spin their tunes.  Oh, I know what you’re saying.  “I partied all weekend long, and now I have to get into a crowded, stuffy club on a worknight?  Naaaaaaaaaaait! :(”

Stop crying, buddy.  For starters, you don’t have to do anything.  But for real, this place on a Sunday is a pretty laid-back time.  It’s not crowded, it’s not hot (unless you’re in the booth), there’s no line for booze, and the bartenders don’t cop any ‘tude.

Plus, me and DJ Handsome Cam will be bumping sweet tracks.  Can you imagine going down to the warehouse district on a Saturday with your posse and having the whole place to yourselves?  Well, that’s basically what it’s like!

Back Alley Social (formerly Whiskey Bar) at 5th and Lavaca.  Sunday.  10pm.  21+. FREE.

posted on 07/17 • blog • (5658) commentspermalink

Thursday, July 16, 2009

So I Totally Bought Serato

I got a fairly decent bonus check yesterday, realized I don’t have to pay tuition for at least another month, and decided to check out Craigslist.  Lo, it was being sold by an experienced DJ looking to switch out for some new gear!  Bennett from rhythm sektion (check that link for some nice MP3 downloads and readable web log action) cut me a pretty sweet deal and threw in a laptop stand and no fewer than three pairs of control records. 

The only thing I’m missing is a pair of patch cables to get the pass-thru connected so I can still mix vinyl, but I can get those today at lunch. Meanwhile, my lovely girlfriend has declared that she will relinquish a metric shit-ton of MP3s she wants to dance to. Yes, people.  I am situated.

Turns out rhythmsektion is one of the Sunday night DJs at Beauty Bar here in Austin.  I’ll definitely have to check that scene out if/when I’m not at Back Alley Social (and you should, too)!

posted on 07/16 • blog • (1420) commentspermalink

Monday, July 13, 2009

DJ Set: Breakfast Chunks

Welcome to Monday, people!  Have some breakfast.  Each of these eight bite-sized tracks was hand-selected (just for you!) to get your morning started off right, help you focus throughout the day, and even keep your bowel movements regular.  Never mind the crunch…just enjoy!

track list

  • Cristoph de Babalon - Opium
  • Black Kids - Partie Traumatic
  • Of Montreal - Gallery Piece
  • Of Montreal - Climb the Ladder (Rory Phillips remix)
  • Simian Mobile Disco - Sleep Deprivation
  • Yelle - Je Veux Te Voir
  • Gold Chains & Sue Cie - California Nites
  • Markus Nikolai - Bushes

.:Download Breakfast Chunks:.

posted on 07/13 • music • (1930) commentspermalink

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