I've been bugging my friends about the game, but at the time we were all committed to other roleplaying campaigns. In the past few weeks though, I suddenly found myself agreeing to running two separate adventures on fairly short notice... and I hadn't even fully gotten a solid handle on the rules yet!
I had very little experience running a tabletop game, so it took some cajoling to convince my friends to give me a one-time try. That trial-run session turned into a bi-weekly get-together that lasted over sixty-four games, a campaign that wrapped up last week when the main characters died in a heroic struggle to save a besieged city. We had a lot of fun in our small scale game, with many fantastic in-story and out-of-character scenes. Going chronologically(-ish), here are some of those memorable moments...
Last week, I went to see the HD remaster of the 1922 expressionist horror film, Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror. Seeing actor Max Schreck is such striking black and white inspired me to play with inks, textures, and halftones. I've come to the conclusion that I need a lot more practice with inking. That, and I need to come up with more excuses to use halftones. I adore halftones! :)
So, when we last left our hero, I had a basic game mechanic involving hexagon tiles. I thought had potential. Upon revisiting it this past week, I felt the main problem with the idea was the overall theme. Collaborating book authors, competitive subplots, word counts... it was just too high-level a concept. Instead, I changed the theme to something a little more literal, something a little easier for me to explain and others to get interested in
Last week's Secret Handshake meetup had a "gaming" theme, and people were encouraged to bring tabletop and video games to show off and/or play. If you're looking to bring a table game to a pub, I highly recommend Jenga; it got surprisingly competitive and progressively rowdier as the evening went on!
I had a hand in building and maintaining the previous versions of the site, and though I haven't played in the game itself in years, I still like participating by way of some donated web development time. Not only does it give me the opportunity to add to the game's flavour and mood, but the project lets me scratch at some creative itches.
Our holiday themed contest is over and we've randomly drawn a lucky entry from the hundred and twenty submissions. A big congratulations to Shannon W., winner of the News Year's Eve Winnipeg Jets tickets
Someone was having a wee bit of trouble working with newsletter templates this afternoon... :)
Time for a good ole fashioned meetup. Meet new people and chat about creative things. No agenda. No stuffy speeches. Just hang-outs with Winnipeg's creative professionals!
Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey, Viscount Howick, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. His administration saw the abolition of slavery in the British Empire. With all that under his belt, he deserves the smarminess. This is another of the office's tea sketches. The teapot had a combination of Earl's Grey and Gunpowder Green, inspiring this doodle.
Though local notifications have been around for a while, those only worked as long as the site visitor had a browser window open on that page. Push notifications held a lot more potential: the user didn't have to stay on the webpage. They didn't even have
Over the last couple years Matt Smith has grown into one of my favourite Doctors. Working alongside Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill, his incarnation of the British character has brought a lot of the fun and wonder back to the show. I doodled this rather quickly over lunch and mostly from memory. It was more of an excuse to play with the available markers again. I'm obviously limited by the thicknesses and colours at hand... but that can be fixed with a stop to the local art store next paycheque.
I have the thought that a witch-cowboy hybrid would make for a fun fictional character. Drawing wands out of belt holsters at high noon, riding brooms through desert valleys after stage coaches. There's potential there! In this case, I wanted to do something in colour but only had whiteboard dry-erase markers available, hence the primary clown colours... though, looking at it now, there might be some potential in this, too.
Xcode 5 comes with an updated version of Subversion that was not compatible with our Coda 2 SVN repositories. This caused us a couple headaches, but we were able to find some easy solutions.
Here at the office, we use sketches like these to politely indicate what flavour of tea is currently brewing in the opaque pot. This one is inspired by gunpowder tea's tang dynasty origins and the tea's distinctive rolled pellet shape.
When some developers went on vacation over the summer, we were worried if we would get along without them. Their glaring stares, their bearded magnificence… our only option was to make construction paper facsimiles that we could share as masks. They were perfect for settling coding disputes and for sneaking into Secret Handshake meet-ups! :)
We have a green teapot here in the office that reminds me of stuffy british parliamentarians.
One of our intrepid web developers went on a well-deserved vacation a couple weeks ago. As the days went by, we looked upon his empty workspace and started to fret. How would we get along without his assistance, without his wisdom, without his magnificent
A friend and I went to the Winnipeg Art Gallery to take in the 100 Masters exhibit. I had already seen it a couple months ago with the office but I enjoyed it enough that I wanted to see it again... and this time, I took my sketchbook.
Here are four more comicbooks that you should give a chance. They're all available digitally. If you're looking for a good comicbook, if you're looking for a good read, you won't go wrong with one of these...
I ran across this TEDEducation video recently. It's by Matthew Winkler and it beautifully illustrates 'the hero's journey', a common and powerful myth that crops up in many classic and modern stories.
Now, I was halfway through a tale about countless doomed lives... and yes, my friend, I do know the difference between 'countless' and 'seven'. Those tragic academics were only the first direct victims of these newly formed cosmic crowns. What happened next was intended to prevent more loss of life, but it actually placed the entire universe in peril.
I play in a bi-weekly Burning Wheel game with a pair of friends. One of them has a set of dice he's cobbled together with little glued-on pieces of paper. Having played over fifty sessions in this ongoing campaign, they were starting to show some wear. Though he could've repaired them easily enough, I thought it'd be more interesting to get a proper set of custom dice made up instead. It'd be a unique momento for us and our long-running roleplaying adventures!
If you went to my RACC fiction subsite, you would have seen that it had a haphazard, half-finished appearance. Though I poked and prodded it several times over its existence, it never really benefited from the attention it wanted. This had a lot to do with the site's lack of focus; it started out as one thing, but as ambition overcame commitment, it became a much bigger job than the work I put into it.
If you'll indulge me, I'll tell you a story about how some people ( who were much too smart for their own good, I'm afraid ) tried to find an easy, quick solution; by doing so, they doomed countless lives to AGES of suffering.
Being located in the heart of the Exchange, we occasionally wet our whistles over at the Kings Head Pub after a long day of building the internet. Imagine our surprise this afternoon when they got ahold of us to let us know that we had won a foosball tabl
"The Szuper Wizard From Szpace is sztill alive. And He sztill has Hisz coszmic crown." We say it aloud. Not to anyone. To ourselves, as swirling shaking thoughts become cold and real. This is real. This is happening. "Why? Why have you done thisz?"
Emperor gestures back to the great monolith and declares, "At-the-behest-of-our-electronic-ennead, I've-entombed-the-Super-Wizard-From-Space-within-the-Pyramids-Of-Ka! His-power-will-feed-our-preservation-batteries-for-countless-cycles."
I've been jazzing up my apartment's bae walls with artwork the last couple years. Though I like what I've collected, I wanted to add a couple small pieces that felt more like comicbooks: bold colors, panels and gutters, word balloons, story flow, etc. I had a blank space right beside my standing desk that I would be perfect for it, and would make a good "inspirational wall" sort of thing, something to encourage creativity when I'm working.
A short while ago, a couple friends and I spent an evening at a pub. I was able to convince them to bring along their pencils and erasers, and together, we tried out that collaborative comic strip idea I've been wanting to do.
In the clarity of the desert night, a single point of light smolders against the blue-black curtain. And it slowly grows the closer it gets, falling toward Us through immense distances. The Super Wizard From Space is coming to Planet M.
Over the last week or two, I've expanded on my initial card game idea. With the ability to scribble out ideas on a whiteboard and bounce ideas off so open-minded associates, I was able to work through some initial problems. This will hopefully provide a solid enough foundation to expand on.
When at work, I find myself doodling on post-it notes rather than the proper sketchbook that I have within arm's reach.
I have had an itch to make a board or card game for a couple months now. It is not something I have any experience in... but I certainly enjoy playing several different games such as Settlers Of Catan, Pandemic, Tsuro, etc, and trying my hand at designing my own seemed like a nice side project.
I often had an issue working at home, a place I associated with rest and relaxation. Attempting to accomplish any task at my desk at home became more problematic after I got used to a standing desk at work because I started to equate sitting with "taking a break". So I decided to "build" a standing desk at home, too.
"I-hereby-challenge-the-Super- Wizard-From-Space-to-combat," spits out Emperor M, the bile broadcasted from his loudspeaker face, "and-you'll-bear-witness-to-it , you- insufferable-bitch."
Across the vastness of galaxies, a nameless forager bee achieves a stable geosynchronous orbit with distant Planet M. The ladened insect has been in contact with appropriate representatives, has deposited it cargo. It now maintains a microwave relay with the surface, and only awaits permission from the Hive to open communications.
The Super Wizard From Space towed his wounded prisoner to a dying system in a lonely constellation. It was a place that had been full and vibrant when the universe was young, a very long time ago. Now, it's small, dense white star bled away its diminishing heat and weak light into empty space.
A bunch of these are from small web-comic ideas that I'm toying with. I may get aorund to doing them, though, like Sock And Bag, they'll probably just be throw-away runs to get used to pencilling and inking.
"My name is senior lieutenant Yuri Gigan Topithecus, last survivor of the once-mighty space-sasquatch race. I was a hero of my people and a triumph of my government, becoming the first of my planet to journey into outer space... and as I completed my first orbit in my prototype capsule, I helplessly watched the Super Wizard From Space destroy my world."
In the seedy bowels of a seedy mining camp, Cephalo Paul roused from blurriness to found himself at the mercy of an unkindness of anthropomorphic ravens. The lot of them stood on four clawed talons, spoke through horrifying beaks lined with serrated edges, and had too many ruby-coloured eyes.
Jon suggested Ross's character provide inspiration and morale by singing a "dwarven digging song". It seemed like a bit of a stretch to find a couple more helping dice for the skill check, but came to a compromise...
Third in the series, and I'm getting a little more comfortable with the inking.
Another little comic, experimenting with a couple things.
This is a little comic strip idea I had in my head that I wanted to get down onto paper...
When it came time for Fusion and Visual Lizard to relaunch the St. Vital Centre website, one of our goals was to modernize it as much as possible. This meant using up-to-date web standards, creating a responsive layout, and replacing Flash-based elements
DC Comics did a complete restart of its entire line a little over a year ago, and Marvel Comics is just about to refresh a lot of its line after the Avengers Vs Xmen crossover. This means there's a lot of people talking about a lot about mainstream superheroes right now, and admittedly, many of those series are good reads. But there's a couple other comicbooks that might not be on your radar that I think you should give a chance. They're solid, they're smart, they're fun, and I'd like you to give them a chance...
A couple people have expressed interest in the "cheat sheet" document I had with me when playing Feodor, the original character. Rather than putting together an in-depth character origin story, I opted for an outline of notes I could refer to when I needed to provide flavour, context, background, etc. All info I cribbed off Wikipedia, with some creative liberties to fit our game's plot and world.
Several of us in the office have an iPhone 4 or 4S. I own an iPad 3. Our first retina display Macbook Pro has arrived in the office. So unsurprisingly, a number of us are really noticing the lack of higher resolution graphics on the internet. Any 72 DPI i
Two friends and I started a dwarf-centric table-top roleplaying game a year and a half ago. We are nearing our 40th bi-weekly session and all three of us are still excited about the game, so I guess we're doing something right. But this success is also because we are flexible enough to do something different when it was called for.
There's a growing trend of people switching over to standing desks. I've noticed it in my Twitter feed, with fellow internet and creative professional raving about it. Here in the office, a couple co-workers alternate during the day.
If, like us, you have recently updated to OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, you may have noticed that your Coda application is no longer updating or accessing your SVN repositories.
The Winnipeg Fringe Festival is on again, celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary! As I've done before, I've purchased tickets to some shows that I absolutely did not want to miss, and using this blog post to keep a list of other shows I'll catch if I can manage. If anyone is looking for some company to these or other fringe performances, just let me know and we'll coordinate :)
As heavy internet users ourselves, we encounter forms all over the place. Registration forms, contact forms, payment forms, etc. Usually, getting to the form is a quick trip, a short easy-to-find link that appeals to our impulses.
Several weeks later, I am still playing in and enjoying the WW2-based roleplaying game. Our characters are deep in occupied France, ahead of Patton and Montgomery's lines, clandestinely chasing down our targets through Paris and, inevitably, Germany and Berlin. Its a gritty game, the odds are stacked against us, we're outnumbered, we're outgunned, and our small field team has already taken serious casualties.
For a couple weeks, we were lucky enough to have Meaghan Gorchynski in the office for a work placement. We presented her with a challenge: update the "Who We Are" tab, keeping the same basic information, but giving it a fun make-over. Something that refle
Not as many doodles from my sketchbook at work because we've been busy slamming out a couple great projects. However, I did manage to squeeze out one or two...
The Devil, The Secret Living Language, and the Super Wizard From Space stood upon a massive square of black stone half buried in blistering desert sands. "This is it, end of the line," the Devil announced.
Looking about, he could see endless desert interrupted by black stone squares, similar to the one they were taking refuge on. A long wind was blowing, picking up loose dunes, shifting them up and over and around in an ever-moving landscape. It gave everything a burnt look, a rising sea of sand that just faded without an horizon. The only thing cutting through the leather-colored sky was the sun, massive and oversized, ten times larger than it should be.
This weekend, me and two friends decided to try out the D&D Next playtest that was released a couple weeks ago. Our campaign had reached a point that allowed for us to play some interstitial scenes in the story; since we'd be running a couple different side-characters, it made for the perfect opportunity to run a different set of rules.
The fifth Humble Indie Bundle is out, and it looks like the best one so far! Experience the fear and paranoia of Amnesia: The Dark Descent; the intensity and impact of LIMBO; the zany characters of Psychonauts; the future-retro, audiovisual concoction of Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP; and, for those of us who pay more than the average price, the action-RPG, Bastion.
When Coda 2 was released, I was one of the first to download it. I was so excited to try Panic's upgraded application that I grabbed it as soon as midnight rolled around.
Neil Gaiman address the University of Arts Class of 2012. Must watch.
Its 1944, deep into World War II. The Allies are pushing back against the Axis powers. But in our historical fiction, we have weaved in the mystic and occult. A limited number of artificers are working for various national powers, industrial progress steamrolling forward due to the push of war. Witches are becoming a worrisome wildcard as Germany delves into the occult, forcing the Allies to turn to the same. Dwarves and elves exist in small minorities, but are as affected by world wide war as anyone else.
Black glass and brittle shale and oddly shaped boulders all bashed against each other in the tornado ferocity of the space between conceptual realities. Every small piece was both nonexistant and an immense solidity to itself, dragging and throwing and colliding with its surroundings as the entire mess fell through infinite layers of fractal
I've seen several people do those pictures-a-day projects and was interested in doing something similar... so I started a new Tumblr blog called "Ahead Of Yesterday".
Somewhere in the dank musky darkness swamp, a single snapping growl was followed up by a chorus of hungry grumbles and hollers and howls. Jagged trunks of twisted trees creaked and cracked as something massive pushed through. Huge lungs filled up and expelled, making for a thunderous breathy bass echo.
The ashen remains of the gorgon sunk into the circling river of molten rock and disappeared down the sinkhole in reality, pulled toward the punishments of Triple-Hell. A bleating car horn sounded. The Devil tugged at the wizard's shoulder. "Come along, guv. Our ride awaits."
A slow, thick consciousness leaked in as the Super Wizard From Space opened his eyes. His thoughts were dulled, like he'd slept for far too long.
With Facebook rolling out the timeline interface to Pages, we decided to to make the upgrade a bit early to better get acquainted with the new look and feel. So with a flip of a switch and a couple image uploads, we polished up our Visual Lizard Facebook
So I figured, if I had to replace my iPad lock screen wallpaper anyway, I may as well create my own. A vector-based EPS file of our lizard mascot and some work in Pixelmator, I made the following...
More sketchbookery, scanned in and uploaded to my Flickr account for the internet's entertainment...
For lunch, Dwayne had brought ingredients to make a small homemade pizza in our office kitchen. Since he is a generous cook and some of the rest of us had other fixings available, we all chipped in and it became a spontaneous office lunch!
I recently began a D&D game where the setting had a Victorian-esque feel to it. In discussions with friends, we had the idea of creating paper currency, specifically the oversized banknotes that were used in those times and in colonial america. They worked like the bills of today but were much larger and chunkier. I felt such a paper prop would fit well in this new game's setting and set about to making some.
"Once upon a time, five dark lords of multiple underverses made the mistake of signing a series of magical contracts in an attempt to insure some level of trust between them. Inevitably, all five of them went back on their words and now the tangled wording of those contracts have trapped them in the stone sepulchres of Quinto-Hell."
Over the season holidays, I decided to reformat and reinstall OS X Lion, the first time I have started fresh in years. I like to believe everything is booting up and shutting down faster because of it, but I have not bothered with any measurments so that
"I will not tolerate your presence here. Nor your trickery. I will burn away every molecule. I will crack every atom. I will unravel your infernal form down to the minimalist components and grind the remains under my boot."
Just when I thought I was on top of all these RACC covers, the newsgroup launches the brand new LNH20 imprint, celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the Legion Of Net.Heroes... d'oh :)
Sharp super-lightening split across a sick dry sky as a lone yellow cab pulled up in front of a long abandoned university. The pale driver scratched at his unkept beard. Hunched over the steering wheel, he got a better look through the windshield at the derelict campus. "You sure this is where you wanna to be?" he gruffly asked the passenger in the back seat.
I keep a second sketchbook at work in case I want to draw something. It doesn't fill up nearly as quickly as my sketchbook at home, but that's because I'm usually, you know, working.
A portion of empty space bubbled and bulged, like plastic melting in a fire, then peeled away to reveal the spitting green end of a warp tunnel. Wrapped and protected in a cocoon of pale starlight, the Super Wizard From Space blasted out of the tunnel opening at incredible speed. The wound in black reality mended behind him with a practiced flick of
He wiped his hands on his bloody apron, then stroked his long grey beard with a smile. It was with great experience that he could judge the quality and balance of a blade and in all the experience, he had never worked with such magnificent instruments.
My CanoScan LIDE 100 was a cheap buy, around eighty bucks a couple years ago. For that price, I easily got my money's worth. But I believe its starting to show its quality.
After a frustrating evening trying to come up with a site design, I decided to switch gears and make a few RACC covers.
I have never seen dinosaur fossils before, so this was a great treat. It was awe inspiring, standing there amongst these massive skeletons, trying to imagine a time when monsters really did roam the earth.
On the side of a small lake, a simple man was fishing off the end of a rickety dock. The lake was usually a clear blue, filled with many delicious fish. It was not so now. It was murky, tinted pink and red, the fish preferring to stay closer to the bottom, where the water was cleaner and lines could rarely reach. It meant the man would be lucky for even a small catch, but that would be enough. He lived alone on this shore, in his cabin up the hill, and had only himself to feed.
"Andy, don't do this," whispered Brody, "You can't." "Yes I can! Yes I will!" he shouted back at him. "No more bad habits disguised as tradition! No more of yesterday's rules deciding today's fate! I will show you what change can accomplish!" He spat on the floor in disgust, and backflipped off the balcony.
"You are unbalanczed. You cannot be truszted with coszmic power." Her hand closed into a fist and squeezed. From every direction, the spectral fish tossed out their determination in crisscrossing grey lines, trying to ensnare his mind.
Originally launched way back in 2002, the www.ManitobaMusic.com website has been an invaluable resource for both the Manitoba Music organization and for musicians throughout the province. We were happy to help establish their site online way back when.
In a clearing at the center, a nine-foot lizards bowed respectfully to his duplicate. He dressed the same way. He moved with the same simple grace. He stood with the same relaxed posture. And he looked back at him with the same calculating eyes, measuring the short distance between them, judging the smallest of movements.
Visual Lizard is moving to it's new offices on Princess Street, right in the heart of the Exchange District!
The streets of chinatown were crowded and busy and loud. People were rushing to and fro, pushing through the many pedestrians and bicyclists, yelling in a mishmash of english and chinese. It was a breezy bright afternoon, and despite the shoulder-to-shoulder shoving, everyone seemed to be in good cheer. Everyone, that is, except the cowboy and the astronaut waiting impatiently outside a small convenience store.
"I'm hoping to meet the Legion!" "Legion, huh? Are you, um, you supposed to be sooper-heroes?" "Nah. Grant says there's so many that we'd never get noticed. So we're going to be bad guys instead! Bad guys are keen, they get to spend a whole buncha time with the heroes!"
I warned him not to use the Gong Ago, as the volume required from that sacred instrument would have unintended side effects. But like an old mule wearing ragged blinders, he rung it out anyway. And that powerful pitch has freed me and my like-minded brethren. My name is Andy Dharma. I am the master villain of the Invisible Monks.
Some fantastic advice, both for me and for anyone else getting into any sort of creative work. Good luck, everyone, and just keep trying. :)
He was lying on the ground. Still at the top of the mountain monastery. Yes, he was certain of it. There was no mistaking. He remembered the feel of these particular stones. And the scent of that particular moss. But he could not remember how he had came here. It was like his mind was rattling around in his head while at the same time trying to swell larger than his skull could contain.
I grabbed my sketchbook, intent on adding a couple more doodles to it this weekend, when I realized that I had quite a few pages in it that I had not yet scanned in. Well, that simply will not do. :)
At a dollar store, I found a cheap passport holder and suddenly wanted to make a prop for the dwarf-centric D&D game I was running.
"Sharkasaurus Rex is feeding on the simple people of this planet," said the Super Wizard From Space, pointing to where a sticky-looking red hue spread in the red mist for a space-minute before the fin moved on. "He's converting their psyches into spiritual mass, growing exponentially. This incredible instrument is our only hope."
Geisel was gone, his phantasmal form torn apart in savage fury by the recently de-crowned Sharkasaurus Rex. The equally ethereal Theodor watched the entire sudden rending in still shock. As did the rest of the infinite school, millions of fellow ghost fish that had all gathered to psychically leash the mighty megalodon.
"Master hero! Master hero!" cried out the young boy, frantic enough to ignore his disciplined training. "A terrible occurrence! The infinite school have lost their hold on their grisly teacher! The cosmic crown reacted suddenly and cut off their psychic leashes! Sharkasaurus Rex is loose!". The young boy wildly rang the same small gong all the monks in this
I was able to get a Google+ invite late last week and gave the new social network a run over the weekend. Now, a couple days later, I'm finding myself ignoring it. There is a lot of interesting ideas in it, but that is it's main problem; there are a lot o
It's almost time for the 2011 Winnipeg Fringe Festival, and like last year, I've compiled a list of shows that have caught my eye. Most of them are playing throughout the week-and-a-half the festival is going, but I'll be trying to nail down a more solid schedule later this week.
"Oh dear me!" shouted Brody Dharma to the marble diamond hall, his gecko eyes spinning in shock as the ghostly forms of Geisel and Theodor circled over the sticky yellow remains of Queen Buzz. "Fish! Please! Contain yourselves!" "Tyrant!" flared out Geisel angrily, telepathically sharing horrific
It took nearly every ghost fish of the infinite school to confidently herd Sharkasaurus Rex into the depths of the invisible galaxy. The megalodon's monstrous instincts were near impossible to fully understand, a hundred million space-years of predatory instinct and insatiable hunger. The spectral school's entire telepathic concentration
I am Theodor. I am a rainbow blue fish. I lived on a planet far away. Then I died. But that is was not the end. That was the beginning. I became a ghost. I became part of the infinite school. Thanks to wise Rex. This is the story of Rex. He is big fish. A big shark. Many sizes big. From a far away blue
The two super wizards stood stock still as the two floors of the building above them were eaten by the ghost of a cosmic megalodon. Bigger than a rocket-ship, it nonetheless hung effortlessly in the air, it's fifty-five rows of cleaver-like teeth surrounding their room as it floated vertically above them. The daylight of the alien sky shone
A monstrously giant bee made of hollow electricity used its clawed legs to peel open the hull of the crashed rocket-ship. It glowed brightly with a pale light, partially transparent and seemingly fragile as it opened up the armored cockpit as if it was made of tinfoil. The ship's two occupants didn't even have a moment to shake off the shock before
The Super Wizard From Space and the Hermit Wizard From Space were trapped in an asteroid belt by a swarm of gigantic space-bees! As it's fellow drones circled uniformly, one particularly grusome space-bee broken from the formation. It was as massive as any of the drifting asteroids, it's gigantic yellow black body big enough to drag smaller free-floating
Two figures hurtled through a scarred green warp tunnel underneath the skin of the universe toward the lost planet of the silver skull machine. The Super Wizard From Space was leading the way, encased in a cocoon of hard light that protected him from the rigors of space travel. His companion, a filthy bearded hermit,
In the ruins of an ancient city of pillars, an alien octopus pointed eight dangerous looking ray-guns at a white-bearded hermit. "You best be giving me that there data-cylinder, Gavrilo, or I'll vaporize you right where you stand, I done swear it!"
After seven game sessions, our dwarven protagonists had to start a long journey out into the world, which mean for the first time in seven sessions, they would be travelling outside the valley we had created for them. It was uncharted territory... literally, as neither me nor the players had defined anything beyond the setting we had roleplayed in for the past four months! The map was blank!
On a filthy cobblestone hell-road outside the infinite walls of Double-Dis, the Super Wizard From Space stared up at the triumphant face of the Super-Devil. The monster's massive grin dribbled thick lava as he shouted out "Hey there, jerks! Welcome to Double-Hell!"
I recently discovered that Pages for Mac can export documents as ePub files, the ebook format that iBooks uses. I'm a big fan of reading on my iPad and have been curious about easy ways to bring some RACC publishing onto the tablet.
Cocytus the demon-glacier had the Super Wizard From Space engulfed in its icy grasp, forever to be a frozen prisoner of the ninth circle of Hell. Meanwhile the victorious Devil stood atop the massive field of ice, grateful to be back home. The Devil tilted his head back, closed his eyes, and just basked
On a distant world, a mummy-robot and a brown-robed monk silently made their way to the center of a blasphemous cathedral. Though the robot lurched ungainly, it's servos making an uneven whirring sound as they moved the broken machine through black-stone hallways, it held it's bandaged head high, the ghostly
I bought a fish about two weeks ago, a blue betta. His name is Gavrilo, named after the Bosnian Serb who assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in 1914... for no particular reason other than I liked the sound of the name and I was feeling overly-clever at the time. :)
If you haven't seen it yet, 3aenuts is a little project that takes Charles Schulz's comic strips and omits the punchline, creating a new existential experience. I particularly liked the one below, good advice that I'll have to try to live by more often.
"Very well, we agree. A tournament, then, to end this rampage. But you have witnessed the power at his disposal. He has a billion billion years of our science-sorcery at his command. Will all you great super-civilizations commit your super-champions to this?"
"Hurry, uni-scribe! We have less than one space-hour to get to the negotiating table before the Great Disaster arrives!" The desperate uni-diplomat paced back and forth in the room. He kept looking at the space-clock, watching the moments tick away and whinnying quietly under his breath. The light in the room was starting to fade away as ominous clouds rolled in, covered up the twin suns. It was as if the very planet understood the impending doom and was losing hope.
Visual Lizard joined Velocity Branding in go-kart-ing at Speedworld's indoor track, Le Mans-like.
Another two games of Clans And Codex under our belts, and I'm happy to report all three of us are still having a fantastic time. The two sessions dovetail together nicely, so I've combined the summaries into a single blog post.
I caught a great show last night at the Albert by the Thrashers and the Rockadoras. I manned one of the merch tables during part of the evening, but I found some sharpies and discarded record sleeves to keep me busy between sets.
We met at a downtown coffee shop, and my two players each had a character sheet they had each put together over the break. In the last session, we had laid down some broad strokes in our game world. Now it was time to start getting to specifics.
This session was particularly interesting because the players' goal in it wasn't to defeat a monster or to retrieve a treasure or to accomplish anything so heroic. They simply had to convince some politicians, bureaucrats, officials, and lords that there was a real and credible threat in the world that someone needed to look in to.
Added four new covers to site; Captain Sestina, Dev Tripwire Report, Superhuman World 2011, Slim's Scythe. You can enjoy them on the main page or, if no recent issues have been released for the series, the cover gallery. Enjoy!
While working on our blog's commenting system, I had to look into Twitter's avatars. After a user uploads an image, what are some of the image sizes the Twitter system produces?
This is a perfect example on how not to set up an unsubscribe option for your email list. I don't understand is how anyone can look at that single "to unsubscribe completely" sentence and believe that the form beside it would actually accomplish anything
Getting together with a couple friends at a coffee shop, we collaboratively make a Dungeons And Dragons setting right straight out of the madcap imaginations of Doyle, Burroughs, Haggard, and Conrad.
Just over a week ago, I decided to switch mail programs from Apple's provided Mail.app to something a little different. I had been frustrated by a few things in Mail.app, just bored by others, and a little change could be healthy.
I wasn't originally planning on making this a series, but I am enjoying running my 4th edition Dungeons and Dragons game and continually writing about the experience afterwards. I like the idea of sharing what I am doing/experimenting with when DM-ing each game, especially the player responses. I also enjoy possibly of getting some feedback from my friends who shoulder some DM-ing responsibilities in other campaigns (hint hint).
Added three new covers to site; Men's Course Will Foreshadow, Mordecai, and Sonnet Null. You can enjoy them on the main page or, if no recent issues have been released for the series, the cover gallery. Enjoy!
This past weekend, I was able to DM a second session of my small Dungeons And Dragons fourth edition roleplaying game. This was a short afternoon game, only lasting about three or four hours, but it was already more successful than the previous game.
I have played a few third and second edition games in the recent years, and by comparison, the fourth edition rules were a streamlined dream. I have participated in a fourth edition game as a player for months now, and it's got me re-interested in getting behind the DM screen.
I have been a little lax in adding covers to the RACC site recently, but my focus on rebuilding the site has spurred me to whip up a batch. You should be able to see them all in the recent issues page or, if new posts arrive by the time you read this, in the cover gallery. Enjoy!
This weekend, I pushed forward with the RACC rebuild I was thinking about when I sketched out couple rough layout thumbnails. Specifically, I focused on the MySQL datatable structure used to store the issues and posts once I parse them out of the Google Groups rss feed.
One of the regular issues I keep tripping over when developing with CakePHP is the naming conventions. Even years later and dozens of CakePHP applications under my belt, I can still lose hours being frustrated at an obscure bug that turns out to be
I bought two books collecting the comic works of Fletcher Hanks.
This past weekend, I picked up this little drawing table for half price. It's a perfect fit for my little apartment!
Still unhappy with my RACC site design, I try a more basic approach, sketching out thumbnails of possible layouts.
In BC for a developer conference, I afterward spent two days enjoying the west coast with some friends.
I had a thought inspired by next month's NaNoWriMo: a thirty issue challenge for RACC authors, an issue a day.
I've been playing Minecraft pretty consistently since I got it. I love the true sandbox nature of the randomly generated world, and the nostalgic lego-like nature of the gameplay.
I've managed to make more progress on my always-in-progress RACC site, reducing the number of pages, but using the remaining space more effectively (hopefully).
I've never been to the Winnipeg Fringe before, despite having lived in Winnipeg nearly fifteen years. This week, I hope to attend a handful and take in some of the fun I've been missing up until now :)
Following up on the massive success of Dark Knight, director Christopher Nolan teams up with the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, and Ken Watanabe to produce a fantastic movie that's part bank robbery, part matrix, and part beautiful surreality.
So, in my ongoing attempt to make headway in my personal projects, I'm nearing the finish line with my RACC subsite. I'm experimenting with HTML5 and CSS3, and developing with Mac browsers in mind foremost, so those of you sporting Internet Explorer machines will probably see gibberish. Until I do some proper cross-browser fixes, here's a screenshot of how it's coming along.
I switched gears and made a couple cover images, a habit I want to get back into.
I have the impulse control of a two month old puppy dog; despite knowing I don't really need one, I just bought a 16GB iPad.
So this past Sunday, my damn glasses broke. You know, the glasses I actually need to see.
A while ago, I had this thought for a collaborative comic strip that I want to do. I'm not under the impression that it's a completely original idea, but I do think it would be a fun way for a couple people who like to draw to spend an evening... and to have something to show for it .
Last night, I went to the Lo Pub in downtown Winnipeg to meet with a group of creative individuals whom I have been following on Twitter but had never met in person. And man, am I glad I went! :D
On Wednesday afternoon, Valve Software officially released Steam, their video game launch platform and online store, for Mac. Steam had been a service exclusively for PC users since launched it in 2004.
It's been a busy couple days here on my site. Over the past week, I've been nudging things around, and I'm getting happier and happier with the results. There's still a lot of work to do, but here's a quick review of the changes I've made lately.
I promised a brief review, free of spoilers, so here's it is: I'm sorry, but it isn't as good as the first film.
Last week, I found some time to work on my website and got around to adding an apparently long awaited RSS feed for my personal blog
Scanned in a couple more pages from my sketchbook, posted them to my Flickr account, and sharing them with you. Enjoy :)
I finally realized, unlike the large corporate or organization sites I usually work on, there was no reason I couldn't release the half-finished version you see now, and just continue working on it "in public".
I play in a fourth-edition Dungeons And Dragons game, and our gaming group encourages us to write little in-character journals. It helps us get a better feel for our characters, and helps share that direction with the GM and other players. I haven't been doing so until now, but I'm feeling creative tonight :)
For those of you who haven't heard yet, I bought myself a new car, specifically a 2010 Dodge Challenger SE.
Over the long weekend, I found some time to keep working on the redesign/update of my website, including the Rec Arts Comics Creative area. I've had a clear picture of how I wanted it to work for a while now, but I kept getting stumped when I tried to apply a design to it... it just wouldn't come together.
Money can't buy happiness. But it can buy marshmallows, which are kinda the same thing.
Computer! Gimme something sugar-coated, watered down and fact-free!
I am continually working on both my personal website and my RACC subsite when I get a chance. Much of it is a reprogramming of the back-end, but I am also throwing in some design tweaks, including updates to the logos.
I participated in Hourly Comic Day earlier this week, a semi-regular event where a bunch of people make a journal comic every hour they are awake. and then they show these journal comics to other human beings, sometimes on the internet.
One of the main reasons I like having Windows 7 installed is that it is not the operating system I am using at work.
A couple more doodles, posted to my Flickr account.
Winnipeg Transit raised the price of it’s fares up five cents January 1st. This means the new (red) 2010 bus tickets also cost five cents more each. The older (orange) 2009 bus tickets can still be used as fare for three months, but you will also need to pay the nickel difference when boarding the bus.
As usual, you can view all my posted sketches at my Flickr site.
I am working behind the scenes to rebuild my RACC front-end. It's been a long-time coming, and I not only hope to fix a couple functional annoyances, but maybe streamline some usage issues.
Yesterday, what I thought was going to be a quick thirty minute task turned into a six hour interface rebuild. Sometimes, you just need to step back from the screen and rethink the whole thing... preferably with smelly markers and lots of drawing space!
Working with Visual Lizard and Guppy Design, On Screen Manitoba has revamped and relaunched it's website!
Tuesday afternoon, Visual Lizard went down to the CanWest buildingâ€™s courtyard for the official launch of the Culture On Every Corner website, an exciting new initiative to promote Winnipegâ€™s vibrant arts and culture scene.
Just a couple more doodles that's cropped up lately...
Marlo's job was shit. Marlo's apartment was shit. Marlo's life was shit. And the straight and narrow path only promised more of the same. Then someone came along with a promise of some easy loot and a chance to run along the wrong side of the fence again... what could possibly go wrong?
One player in particular, a Brujah by the name of Dominic, had a bit of a rough night trying to track down these wayward ghouls. Turns out he ran into one, a Lasombra ghoul named Trenton, twice... or more correctly, Trenton ran into him. Twice. With a car.
I ran across this video in my RSS feeds, linked over by Gizmodo>, and I have to agree with Diaz, "If this video doesn't bring a tear to your eyes and makes you smile for the rest of the day, you are a cold hearted bastard. Watch it from beginning to end—you won't regret it."
Since I had a few minutes to kill during lunch yesterday, I grabbed one of my old sketchbooks and borrowed the scanner. I've uploaded six new pages of old sketches, doodles, and meandering to my Flickr account. Enjoy! :)
Been meaning to do some more drawing. Found my old sketchbookes, and had a scanner handy. Put my Flickr account to good use. Feel free to comment and/or enjoy :)
She used to be a super-villian named Zip, the "lickety split". She had a gas, but she got caught and she paid the piper for it. Fast forward to today, and she's tried to stay on the straight and narrow, but it isn't working out for her. Crummy job, harrassed by cops, and just under the poverty line... the hell with it, stick with what you know!
The larp game started out pretty slowly, with a couple people not being able to make it, and those that did make it weren't showing any initiative to do anything. However, talking started, rumours of "rat-men" in the sewers! It wasn't long until people were charged up, wanting to go looking... including two lone Toreador. :)
After a brief experiment at work, I had to purchase a second monitor that I could keep in portrait mode!
The company, yU+Co, that created the opening credit sequence for Watchmen has made the sequence available at their official site. The sequence which features the vocals of Bob Dylan's "Times They Are A-Changin" has been loved by many of the critics and I am sure fans alike.
Porting over the player and character data from the old Fred site to the new Sang Nordique site.
I purchased a new card game, based on all those great spaghetti westerns. Have played it before, and am looking forward to trying it out in a future pancake night!
Work continues on the new Sang Nordique site for the vampire LARP I participate in. Screenshots of how it's looking so far included.
George Taylor releases his Fishmen short on Youtube, and gains a little internet fame thanks to Warren Ellis!
Working on a CakePHP application, I found needed to associate two models, but not in the regular way. The FinderQuery option seemed to be what I wanted, but why wasn't it working the way I expected?
Am still finding time to built the Sang Nordique LARP website.
Greg Dean feels my pain.
A somewhat NSFW but definitely funny condom commercial :)
I just picked up Shadows Over Camelot, a board game made by Days Of Wonder. I've played it before, and I love the mostly-cooperative gameplay, with a hint of paranoia due to the *possibility* of a traitor. :)
Hopefully, a better movie than Last Stand was. :)
The closest thing we've going to get to Batman versus Terminator :P
I loved this cartoon when I was a kid, and am looking forward to this new 3D version! :D
My Xbox 360 got the New Xbox Experience update this morning, and I put together an Avatar. I figure it looks pretty much like me, what do you think? :)
Who watches the Watchmen? I certainly will, when it comes out. This film is looking fantastic!
Pixar has added a new short film to the WALL-E DVD about a fellow robot on the ship, named BURN-E
Filled out a HelloQuizzy quiz, based on Vampire The Masquerade clans.
Visual Lizard gets new stationary and business cards to compliment it's new office space!
As I write this, I am packed up and heading to the airport this early Friday morning to fly to Edmonton for the weekend. I'm there to be Best Man in my friend's wedding, and I'm looking forward to it! Im taking my camera, so you might find out what I look like packed into a tuxedo, and I'll be back Sunday evening. :)
Special field agents, make sure to clearly mark your department-issued hardware with Directorate for Science and Technology approved wallpapers.
Two online videos that will blow your comic book geek mind!
7-11 convenience stores celebrate their birthday by giving away free Slurpees on July 11th, while supplies last!
Games Workshop's fantasy football game gets a next-gen videogame adaptation, with a new trailer debuting.
Another amusing Postit note sketch, with an amusing LARP story behind it.
Wil updates his Flickr account with photos of the Visual Lizard boys hard at work.
I don't see why this keeps coming up as a problem in games, it seems pretty straightforward.
Just stumbled upon a new music video while trying to set up a YouTube account. Never heard of Bo Burnham before, but this little music video is both fun and clever, in my opinion.
A smart nine-minute presentation about sex and it's trouble relationship with video games.
The first release of Penny Arcade's episodic RPG-adventure game is available right now!
Wil turns thirty-one years old on April 2th, 2008!
The official CakePHP website has (finally) updated it's online manual for 1.1 and 1.2
Another little post-it note comic about an amusing moment at the Vampire LARP.
The first trailer for The Spirit, the Frank Miller directed movie based on Will Eisner's classic character.
Using the power of PHP and MySQL, the Fred By Night has new and updated archives for it's in-character newspaper and out-of-character photo galleries.
Free tickets to the 2008 Winnipeg Comedy Festival available.
Spontaneous Fargo roadtrip? Let's find out...
Participating in the Livejournal LARP character box list thingee going around.
Pixel artist Paul Robertson releases his newest animated creation, and it is all levels of excellent!
In honor of St Patricks Day, an old Youtube video of the Swedish Chef, Animal, and Beaker singing "Danny Boy". :)
Wondering if anyone is planning something or going somewhere for Saint Paddys Day? This weekend sometime, or the Monday itself?
My last day in Rome. Checked out a couple museums and wandered around the ruins of the roman forums before boarding a train to La Spezia!
Vatican announces the addition of seven new social sins to the original seven deadly.
Quick sketch of a short, amusing encounter at last LARP game. Only slightly exaggerated for amusements sake. Guest starring Reddz as L'il Messenger Bird! :)
Watchmen director Zack Snyder has revealed on the official website a first look at five characters from the highly-anticipated movie, which is now exactly one year away from being released on March 6, 2009.
After a brief Battlestar posting, I find a couple more upcoming releases I'm looking forward to!
Excited about the upcoming Battlestar Galactica boxset, and a question about Italy photosets.
Full IronMan trailer released to Myspace. And it is awesome! ...the trailer, not Myspace.
Day four of my trip to Italy, I go visit Vatican City and more in Rome! And, as before, more Flickr pictures!
Having LARP fun in game and online... or trying to, at least.
Wil continues to write about his recent trip to Italy, and posts more photos to his Flickr account!
Back from Italy, I start posting pictures to Flickr and blogging about the sites, sounds, and adventures.
I'll be in Italy for a week and a half in mid February. Rome, La Spezia, and Venice. I promise to return with many pictures.
Obviously, waiting until I do a re-design is futile, so I made a couple changes to the site I already have. And I'm pretty happy with it.
The latest Iron Man TV spot appeared during the Superbowl last weekend.
If you're still opening up two or three instant message clients to talk to you contacts across multiple networks, I'm here letting you know there's another way.
My recent experiences with my new digital camera and my first foray into Flickr.
CakePHP website gets an update as the framework moves a step closer to a stable 1.2 release.
Seasons greetings to all RACC writers, readers, and enthusiasts! Enjoy a free Flash-based music player with Christmas music :)
Guillermo del Toro and Ron Perlman are back with Mike Mignola's comic book pulp hero. The first teaser trailer of the Hellboy sequel is online at MySpace.
The latest trailer for Nolan's next Batman film is online, in Flash and glorious high-def Quicktime.
Apple iTunes and Xbox Live finally opens their online video stores to Canada.
Canadians gathered in Calgary to oppose Industry Canada Minister Jim Prentice's copyright legislation, described as mimicking and exceeding the worst elements of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
USA Today has eight pictures from the upcoming live action "Speed Racer" film, by the Wachowski brothers.
Added an imprint tag and link to Superguy, as it seems to be back and running!
A gentle reminder to RACC authors to format their subject lines.
Mid-October, and Wil is trying to catch up on a couple more RACC covers. :)
Coudal Partners and Adobe jazz up Fridays with schedule Layer Tennis matches.
New phone-less iPhone becomes the flagship product in Apple's super popular iPod line.
Three new covers. Some troubles getting Google's new Group search working properly. Playing with ads.
New cover images created for LNH series "58.8".
Wil moves his sites from "Wil's Ego" to his new "Wil.Alambre.ca" domain name. Please update your bookmarks and links.
Apple's standard issue OS X browser gets an upgrade for Leopard, and get released for Windows!
Hell, it's about time!
Racc covers created and uploaded for September and October posts.
The easiest way to get Apache2, MySQL5, and PHP5 on your Windows machine!
The day after the release IE7, Wil downloads and tries out Mozilla's browser upgrade.
The Google Groups team has spun off an alternate beta version of their newsgroup web reader.
Frank Miller's excellent comic, 300, is coming to the silver screen.
Using the Music Genome Project to give you the free web radio you want to hear.
Racc covers created and uploaded for August posts, plus a couple other shoutouts.
Team Fortress 2 is resurrected with a cool new look and feel!
Adds file transfers, voicemails, and currently listening to status messages.
Winnipeg's College of Applied Arts, Science, and Technology relaunches it's website, giving it an new look and feel!
Replaced the original black and white LNH cover with a more colourful one.
New underground gaming group calling itself the World Republic Of Nihilistic Gaming begins nationwide Shnotes propaganda. DoHGGA release downloadable wallpaper, and promise an investigation.
New high end Mac and Leopard feature previews.
Internet Monitoring and Maintenance has authorized for release three avatars for public usage. The 80x80 pixel avatars are of the DoHGGA seal, and are free for public consumption.
Jeff, Sasha, and Caroline return with Episode 21 of their popular roleplaying themed podcast.
Cute animations detailing a standards compliant upgrade
If you use Windows Explorer as your FTP client, do not install IE7 Beta 3!
This is a pretty sweet poster!
Wil upgrades his content management system and breaks things :)
Watch the pilot online for free at SciFi.com
Who keeps searching for this? What are they actually looking for?
Racc covers created and uploaded for June posts.
A continuation of Richard Donner's Superman and Superman II, in story, style, and feel.
First Apple Quicktime trailer of upcoming Spider-Man 3 trailer! Awesome!
Fred by Night is featured on CSS Remix and CSS Mania
Opera releases the latest version of it's under-appreciated browser.
A fellow roleplayer and I redesign the look, relaunch the site, and reinvigorate the playerbase!
Careful budgeting pays off all debts
RACC covers created and uploaded for May posts.
This movie will be the Batman: Forever of the series.
Shaun Inman and me are on the same page when it comes to AJAX
Ghost Rider movie trailer at Apple
After attending my first Keycon, I am both glad I went and a little disappointed.
Keycon 2006 is being held Map 19th to 21st in Winnipeg, and will be the first Keycon I attend.
Watch four people demonstrate four player Wii Tennis... cool!
Wil's kneejerk reaction to Sony's kneejerk reaction to the PS3
Updated my list of free icons I have, and am looking for!
New Superman Returns trailer available in Quicktime. Not much else to say but... holy spit, this film looks freaking awesome! Kevin Spacey looks like he kicks ass in this film! I canâ€™t wait!
RACC covers created and uploaded for April posts.
Wil makes some updates to one of his RACC mirror admin tools
Just a shoutout for all the birthday shoutouts!
Wil turns twenty-nine years old on this day!
The Manitoba Audio Recording Industry Association, Visual Lizard, and Guppy bring a new face to the Manitoba music community!
The Directorate for Science and Technology has completed years of research and planning, and has finally made available a downloadable application form.
Another online application from the people who are taking over the internet...
The Office of Intelligence and Analysis provide online information on it's beleaguered Division of Quality Assurance, despite cries of corruption and misrepresentation by it's head, Sasha.
The Office of Intelligence and Analysis takes time out of it's busy schedule to post the Division of Statistical Coordination online.
Now supports user images and themes
OSX and WIndows on a single, beautiful piece of machinery.
The Office of Intelligence and Analysis announces that it has updated it's section to include public information on the Division of Hot Girl Screening and it's head of operations, Caroline.
Giant monkey! Dinosaurs! Savages! Three hours! ... three hours?!?
RACC covers created and uploaded for March posts.
The Department of Hot Gamer Girlfriend Acquisition launches it website to keep you, the desperate, male gaming population, informed.
The Wachowski brothers take a clever Alan Moore story and glam it up for the big screen.
RACC at Wil's Ego wins "Spider Spins!" Little Lulu Webpage RACC Award for fourth year in a row!
The adventures continues past issues three!
Grim, gritty, crushing, and very, very Russian!
A very agreeable looking city, from a hotel room window.
Damnit, people, at least Ed Wood could blame his lack of budget!
Beta testing completed, website launched.
RACC covers created and uploaded for February posts.
Danko Jones new album, Sleep Is The Enemy, kicks all out ass!
Out of beta pan and into the fire... just a little further to go!
Get your ballot, and vote for the best original comic book fiction of the year.
Godling, Speak!, and The Goddess And The Bomb.
Wil launches his personal website, and with it, the beta version of his RACC mirror...
More comic book, vampire versus werewolf action!
Just a reminder, RACCers and RACCettes-- in three short days, the month of January will be upon us, and with it, Apes Month...
Tom Russell and Saxon Brenton declare January to be Apes Month! RACC shall be deluged with talking gorillas, orangatuns, chimps...