Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Book Review #003: Horus Rising

Horus Rising
by Dan Abnett

It's hard to begin this review without devolving into 13 year old girl-speak, but OMG, this book is awesome! The first installment in the much-lauded Horus Heresy series, Horus Rising takes the reader back to the earliest days of the Imperium, during the famous Great Crusade when primarchs like Horus, Lorgar, Russ, and Sanguinius still walked as gods among mortal men.

It is easy to be swept up in the thrill of something new while simultaneously experiencing glimpses of the familiar. Warhammer 40,000 fans will recognize much of the gear and vernacular utilized by the Adeptus Astartes of olde.

All told, Abnett crafts a tale that has you falling in love with characters who you know will become the arch-enemies of mankind. Amazing. Simply amazing.

Find more Warhammer 40,000 action at http://www.blacklibrary.com!

Character Development - 10
Dialogue - 10
Plot - 10
Overall: 10

LEGAL DISCLAIMER: This review is an opinion piece provided for your viewing pleasure. It does not replicate, in whole or in part, any body of work that I know of. Any and all subject matter is the intellectual property of the aforementioned author/artist and I'll be damned if I'm going to try claim any of it as my own (which I'm not)! If anyone has any legal issue with my review, please contact me before unleashing your lawyer(s)!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Random Observation #001: Tobacco World

Having left my good cigar lighter (butane type) at my buddy's house and wanting to smoke tonight without the hassle of fighting the wind, I decided to drive into town and purchase a new one. The first (and only) stop in my quest was at Tobacco World, a quaint little place on the side of Highway 30. Before I can properly tell this story however, I must first tell of my first experience at this establishment:

I was on the hunt for some cigarillos and didn't feel like driving into Scappoose, so I went to Tobacco World instead. I walk into the store and my first impression is one of immediate distaste. I suppose I shouldn't expect a smoke shop to be classy, but this place makes Georgia look nice, and that's saying something.

Anyway, not seeing what I'm looking for, I walk up to the counter and ask the attendant if she has any cigarillos. She replied that in fact, no. Not only did she not have any cigarillos, she didn't have any cigars at all. Now, correct me if I'm wrong here, but the name "Tobacco World" gives one the impression that tobacco -- in all its forms -- is sold there, right? Unless they plan to expand any time in the near future, they should probably change the name to "Cigarette World" or "Trashy Cigarette World", one of the two.

Which brings me to today (and the stupidest yet funniest part of the story): I walk in and stand there for a moment, trying to visually locate the lighters. Hmm... past the rack of garish t-shirts with Chinese dragons and multi-colored skulls on them... there! They did, in fact, have butane lighters (which some might say are particularly meant for lighting cigars, which are much more difficult to light than cigarettes). I selected one that looked more or less like a lighter and not like a mini-bong, purchased it, and began to leave the store.

As I was leaving however, I noticed a sign on the back of the big case of bongs (what else can you call glass instruments designed for smoking?). It read as follows:

"We sell water pipes and tobacco pipes ONLY!!!"

This made me laugh out loud. For, if there were no ambiguity at all, they wouldn't need a sign. What's more, just the fact that they had to justify their wares by posting such a sign denotes a certain level of guilt (and therefore, culpability). They might as well just make a sign that says:

"We know you aren't buying this to smoke water or tobacco in, but for legal liability's sake, we're going to keep up the pretense that those are the only two things these pipes can be used for.

NOTE FOR THE POLICE: Please don't investigate us!!!"

Nice work Tobacco World, nice work.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Project #002: Iraq 2012

Iraq 2012 was a concept I came up with in 2008 before I deployed to Iraq (surprise, surprise). The concept was simple: What would Iraq be like after the Coalition pulled out? To answer this question, while simultaneously having a good time, I developed a game (once more) based off of Risk.

With a friend, I made a game board out of cardboard -- free-handing everything -- and we tried it out. There were a few things that needed tweaking, but eventually, I'll get all the bugs out.

The goal of this project is to create a digital copy of the game board -- along with all necessary tokens and action cards -- so the game can be played by anyone, anywhere.

Here is a sample of one of the tokens:

Feel free to download this and any other graphics I put up for your personal use. The rest will be forthcoming in future posts. Enjoy!

LEGAL STUFF: Iraq 2012 is not affiliated with Hasbro's Risk or any other Hasbro game. It is a freeware game created by myself for your private playing pleasure. If you have any beef, e-mail me!!!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Project #001: Emergence

Being a recent college graduate -- and subsequently unemployed for the remainder of the Summer -- I've recently found myself with what some might term an overabundance of free time. Therefore, I've taken it upon myself to finish at least one of the many projects I started a bajillion years ago that have been either cluttering up my already cluttered basement. Unfortunately, this is harder than it sounds as I have a number of other hobbies and interests which compete with the aforementioned projects. Why work on a project when I can watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer in my underwear while stuffing my face with those pink and white Animal Cookies? You get the point. Anyway...

First on this auspicious list is a project I started at least two years ago. It's had a number of working titles, but the most recent -- inspired mainly by (surprise, surprise) Gears of War and (naturally) Fallout 3 -- is Emergence.

The concept is simple: You are a warlord who has risen from the ashes of some sort of worldwide disaster and find the Earth is ripe for conquest. However, in addition to your human opponents, you also face a dizzying array of beasts and situations which will test your armies.

The game is based largely off MiltonBradley's Axis & Allies and Hasbro's Risk which have been, for the better part of my life, my two favourite strategy board games.

Now, I know what you're going to say: "People still play board games?!" Yes. We do. And if you damn kids could sit still for more than a second without checking your cell phone or posting on Twitter, you too could discover the wonders of Emergence!

Anyway, the Rule Book is almost complete and will be featured -- in its entirety -- in a future post. Templates and examples of play cards (yes, it incorporates those too!) will be posted after that. All other items relating to gameplay will be posted upon completion.

For questions regarding Emergence or this project in general, please e-mail me or comment on this site. For now, imagine and enjoy! :)

LEGAL DISCLAIMER: This blog is not affiliated with any of the aforementioned business entities in whole or in part and may not be held liable for any association accredited between the two by a third party. This project is being undertaken and is provided here in this blog for entertainment purposes only and is not intended to be used for monetary gain by any person or entity. If anyone has any legal issue with my project, please contact me before unleashing your lawyer(s)!