Five Years?! 

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If you count the original, crummy grey book that was considered the first edition, it was published five years ago today.

And that’s bonkers! I really don’t even have a real draft of The Demon’s Guardian to work from?! What kind of author takes that long? People are on George R. R. Martin’s case for the gap since his last book, but I’m pretty sure it hasn’t been 5 years yet.* (On the other hand, people have waited much longer for Kingdom Hearts 3, I suppose.)

Anyway, this kind of anniversary is usually marked with a celebration. But I am just going to take this moment to say that I am officially starting to write The Demon’s Guardian today. Plus it’s not really 5 years because that first edition doesn’t count in a lot of ways. So yeah. Happy birthday, Rasuke.

*UPDATE: I was just guessing, and it seems I was wrong. Turns out those books have historically taken quite some time to come out. The last one was in 2011, in fact. Who knew? 

Quarter in Review: Winter 2017

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Okay, that title sounds really formal and corporate, but I want to at least try this kind of format out for the year. Why not? Let’s at least see how it went so far. 

Early in January, I realized my attempts at using Unity were not working. Game development quickly turned over to RPG Maker, and I designed and got working on a prototype for Dungeon University. 

It wasn’t easy. Quite often, just cleaning the house or even resting took priority. Bugs tended to stop me in my tracks. In the end, the prototype isn’t really a small playable game like I’d hoped, but it does show that I can get the main pieces working together. I also discovered aspects of the game that I didn’t see before, like the wonders of a small scale.

Meanwhile, Shelby has found herself a distraction from wedding planning: she now sells LipSense products. I don’t honestly know a lot about it, but it looks like she’s about to start making some real money now that she’s all set up. I’m really proud of her for all this.

And, of course, there’s that outline for The Demon’s Guardian that I mentioned. That’s just a big step toward the next few months, which I’ll have to cover in another post since this one is basically long enough already.

Overall, it’s actually been really productive. In the short term, I kept getting frustrated about not doing more, but I guess it turned out pretty well after all.

Okay, friends. What have you been up to so far this year? 

The Outline 

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Yesterday was a very intense day of working on The Demon’s Guardian. Specifically, I mapped out all the characters into groups and made sure each group gets a complete story arc. Then, I organized those pieces into a description of every single chapter of the book.

Honestly, I set out to get it done that morning because I thought it would just take an hour or two. But before I knew it, it was the middle of the afternoon and I hadn’t even eaten a thing all day. That left me only a little time to try to clean the house. It was more stressful than actually going to work!

But this opens up a lot of possibilities for the future. I had planned to work on this kind of outline right up until the point where wedding preparations take over our lives. This way, though, I could potentially get through a first draft by that time if I worked hard. Which, compared to my previous plan, leaves the second half of this year wide open. Needless to say, I like that. 

Progress!

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From left to right, Sam, Ziziere, Mikard, and Chromia. Oh, and a slime in the background.

So today I finally had a day off where I wasn’t busy or sick or anything. It’s very much been a good thing, because I was worried that I could never catch up to my goals in time. Lo and behold, a productive day!

Dungeon University has been the main focus. As mentioned before, I set it up so that the pairs give each other major bonuses, including special “Pair Burst” attacks. Basically, each pair has a set of points (which don’t have a meter yet because it’s tricky), and either character can use those points to trigger a really powerful skill unique to that pairing. Surprisingly, a system like this wasn’t really out there in the wild yet, so I had to use some cleverness to hack together a solution. Suffice to say, I’ve got a way so that one of those attacks, at least, works!

My other time was used to take notes on The Third Face. I’ve been rereading it for a couple of weeks, and now it was time to put down the thoughts and details that I noticed. You’d be surprised at how much I managed to forget! It’s a good thing I found it, though, because there are probably enough loose ends here to fill another whole book, even if I didn’t introduce much new stuff. But I do have new stuff to introduce, so that’s why there are two more books, not to mention the fact that entries tend to get longer as a series goes on. Hopefully this means that The Demon’s Guardian will be relatively easy to write, once I get down to it.

Overall, I am probably being really optimistic right now on both fronts, but for a guy that’s always worried about doing well enough and whether I’ll ever finish, that is a really good thing. Now let’s hope that my house and wedding plans are as cooperative!

New Perspective

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I never really thought about it before, but for the last couple of years, I’ve more or less been hiding my first book, The Third Face. I don’t mean that I stowed every copy away and took down the listings. But out of the people I’ve met since it came out, only a few know it exists. 

Recently, some of my coworkers have discovered it on their own. I’m not sure how, but the information is spreading fast. And most of them ask me something like, “If you have this other talent, why are you working here instead of using it?”

There are basically three answers:

  • It would be a bad idea to quit my day job just to work on a project that’s not even making money.
  • The more I pushed myself to write, the less fun it got, until I hardly liked it.
  • Making video games is more interesting to me right now.

All of these were good reasons to put less emphasis on writing. But were they good reasons to put it off indefinitely? To quit? I don’t know.

Right now, though, it’s a topic worth thinking about. After all, I’m ahead of this year’s schedule for Dungeon University, which gives me some time. (I should probably say more on my progress there, but… Next time!) 

Status Report

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Here’s a few updates on how things have been going with me lately, in no particular order.

  • Although my girlfriend and I were only casually looking at the house market, we found the deal of a lifetime, so she went ahead and made an offer yesterday. She might close on a great house today.
  • Since getting home last weekend, I’ve submitted about 20 job applications. Some of them have already responded, but I’m on the fence about those particular ones.
  • Trying to write 1000 words a week on The Demon’s Guardian. That’s going fine, but I fear I’m just writing another complete mess.
  • A small change in Dungeon University has revealed a lot of bugs that I don’t understand. Today I’m going to start commenting all the programming, and if I don’t know what something does, I’ll find out. (Someone else got it all started, you see.)
  • I really suck at remembering Japanese vocab and characters. Good thing I have Anki flash cards.

Thanks for reading. I’ll probably expand on some of these in separate posts later on, but this is the basic summary. How are all of you guys doing? I want to hear from those that visit me!

The Long Hiatus

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In April of 2013, I published my first book, The Third Face. I was really proud of it at the time, and I planned it as the first in a trilogy. It even says that, right on the cover!

The second book is still not written.

Actually, I had done a quick draft of it right after The Third Face came out, but I wasn’t happy with it, so I resolved to rewrite it. At the time, my college career was getting serious, and then I came up with the concept to create a game…

Before I knew it, years had gone by without me so much as mentioning my second book, The Demon’s Guardian. But, that is about to change. Starting this week, I’m going to try to write it one small piece at a time. It may still take a long time to release, but there will be steady, if small, progress.

Turns out I had cover art for it saved on my computer, so you can check that out below. The only thing I want to change is the font, since that part is not so hot.

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