Sorry for the Lack of Updates

Yikes, it has been too long since I’ve updated! This is partly due to a series of illnesses in my family but also something I need to improve upon. I feel like I owe it to the two or three fans watching my progress to be better than this. I haven’t had as much time to work on the game as I would like but I have gotten a few things done since my last update. Mostly minor bug fixes, and code refactoring. One major change was how the attack works in the game. The difference is subtle but I like it a lot better, and the code is nicer. See if you can notice! I have also been working on replacing all the art assets in the game, which for me is going to be a pretty big undertaking. I’m not a very experienced artist, but so far I’ve been pretty pleased with myself with what I’ve been producing. It is time consuming for me, but I know I’ll get faster and the quality will improve with time. Here is the new orc I’m working on. I’m still tweaking it and I only have the side walking animation. I feel that it is coming along pretty nicely though.

The Two Minute Rule

I have to confess something. It feels so silly to admit this, and as you read it you’ll probably agree that it really is silly. My greatest fear in life right now is simply picking up a pencil and drawing a picture.

I decided that for a handful of reasons that I’ll likely go into in a future blog post, that I want to produce all the art for my game myself. To that end, I need to level up my drawing ability and produce a lot of art. The game I’m making is very art heavy, with loads of monsters, characters, and other set pieces that populate the game. My skill level is such that I can produce everything I need, but it will almost always take quite a few more practice attempts, drafts, and touching up of my work than a seasoned pro would. That means that to be successful I really need to be drawing every day as much as I can. The problem is I’m terrified of picking up that pencil!

I think a lot of you will know what I’m talking about. You’ve want to start something new. You know you can do it. All you need to do is just start and you’re probably most of the way to completion of the thing from that point on. Yet, because your own mind can be your worst enemy you find it to be a terrible mental challenge to just start it. That is what I’ve been going through. I’m afraid to put pencil to paper, because what if that one drawing isn’t good enough. What if my drawing looks bad. The thing is, it probably will at this stage, but that doesn’t even matter. It shouldn’t bother me, but it does and it is very difficult to push past that.

To help with this problem I’ve decided to try to implement The Two Minute Rule. I won’t go into detail about how the two minute rule works since there is so much already written about it. I’ve linked a couple of articles on the topic below. My goal is to simply draw for a minimum of two minutes every day. I even put a reoccurring appointment on my calendar for 2pm to remind me each day.

I will update in the future to let you know how well this new strategy is going. So far I have felt really good about it. Not only are my drawing sessions generally a lot more than 2 minutes, I just don’t feel as much pressure from the sense of obligation to draw and it is easier just to start.

The Hole in the Oak: Day 2

I am as with pretty much all my blog posts very late with this one since we played about 2 weeks ago. This post is a recap of a Dungeons and Dragons session where we play a module called The Hole in the Oak. Please be aware that this whole post is a spoiler for that module.

This blog post was actually written by Elena who plays Monstera. In the future I will try to be less lazy and do more work on these posts on my own, but I’ve gotten to a point where I just need to quickly have this ready before our next session!

‎A Hole in the Oak Session 2 – 12/‎4/‎2020

We decide to head back to Ramius’s house to investigate the study, which we left in haste 5 nights previously. 

We enter the study, and begin to investigate. In the room, we see many shelves of books that contain childish stores, and some upholstered chairs.  None of us discover any traps (so many fails), however suddenly Shen asks the group if anyone saw the chair in the center move. No one did, but  then Rhys walks over to the chair and gives it a kick. Suddenly, a ton of books fly off the shelves at us. Some of us take damage. We enter combat, and defeat the upholstered chairs handily. We then head back towards the faces.

Bosbe agrees to forfeit 5GP to hear another hint from the faces in the wall. They say, “A silver sword lies hidden in a pillar of stone”

Shen also pays out 5GP to hear more. The faces say: “The horned ogre owns a treasure whose value he doesn’t understand” 

Kaliyah pays out 5GP to hear the following: “Reptile worshippers dwelt here long ago. They entombed a great enemy, guarded by his queens.” 

Monstera reluctantly pays 5GP as well: “Do not meddle with the hunter. His presence still haunts these caverns” 

We decide to head westish, towards the sound of rushing water.The path is sandy with 6ft high ceilings and some roots hanging about. The path then curves to the north, where the sound of wind/water gets a little louder. 

Ahead, we suddenly see the ethereal form of a white haired, purple robed wizard. He gestures seemingly benevolently, and says “Welcome to the realm of the imperishable… Please wait in the …. provided…” and then the voice cuts out. It sounded sort of like a borken, magical recording. 

I proceed forth and check for traps, and successfully dont find anything. However, the rug in the center of the room gives me the heebie jeebies. 

Rhys investigates the rug (as he is a magic user) and comes to the conclusion that the rug itself is not magical, but there seems to be magic in the room maybe?

Shen chooses to throw a pebble  onto the rug to see what happens, and the pebble sort of disappears into the shag of the carpet, but thats it. Shen repeats the process of throwing a pebble, and as the pebble reaches the center of the rug, it seems to disappear, just like the first time.  Shen moves the rug a bit and throws another pebble to see if the “center” of the rug where the pebbles have disappeared remains with the center of the rug, or if the pebble disappears in the center of the actual room. it disappears in the center of the room. We determine the rug is not magic, but something in the center of the room is. We roll up the rug and push it to the side. In the space that was covered by the rug, there is a circle of magical runes. Rhys is not skilled enough to read what the runes say. 

Suddenly. worms wriggle up from the dirt between the cobbles and form the words “Burn the Stump” before quickly wriggling back into the ground.

Shen moves forward a bit to peek down the hall to the right.  something is reflecting light from his torch, but he cant tell what it is.  

There is a door with tree motiffs on it on the left side of the room, a path to the right (that Shen checked out) and then the path continues to the north, where the sound of water/wind is emanating. 

I choose to to open the door on the left. Inside i see stone walls and floor, and an ornamental table about 2ft high in the room. there are dozens of glass jars and one green bottle. In the jars is a tiny dead person, about 1 inch tall. They are human, and appear to be fully grown, but shrunken human bodies.  I check for traps and enter the room to inspect the jars of bodies. It doesnt look like anyone has been in here in a long time. The bodies in the jars all look different. THey are fully clothed, and it looks like they died in the jars. The green bottle appears to be half full of wine or something, and there also appears to be a piece of rolled up paper in the neck of the bottle. It looks like the intent was probably to keep the bodies in the jars like a kid keeps a bug in a jar. 

While i am checking out this room, shen listens to the north. Nothing remarkable is heard. 

I pocket one of the jars. I then pull out the paper from the neck of the jar and find that it is actually two sheets. One is covered in writing i cant make out. The other appears to be a page from a tale about a journey to a world of micro people. I pocket the story. 

Rhys glances at the paper with undiscerned writing, and mentions that the paper is covered in magic writing. It looks like a magical scroll. I give the scroll to Rhys on the condition that he buy me a drink when we get back to the tavern. 

Both the table and the rug in this appear to be high quality, and could be worth a pretty penny if we can carry it out of here. 

We then proceed down the path to the East. In the center of that easterly path is a statue of a Hunter with his two hounds. He has a bow in his hand and sword at his belt. The statue appears to be made of stone. The walls to the sides of this path are lined with tall mirrors. The statue brings to mind the prohecy from the faces, regarding  avoiding the hunter. We snealpast the statue taking care not to disturb it. 

We then come upon an archway in the path, made of tnree carved stone serpents intertwined. 

Shen chooses to throw his pebble down the hall through the archway. As the pebble passed directly under the archway, he noticed the very fleeting image of something reaching down and back up again.  Like an appendage maybe? 

We decide to turn around, grab the rug and the table, and head back to the tavern for the night. we hope to get a bigger party together before proceeding any further into the eastern path. It takes us three times as long to get back due to dragging all this heavy stuff. 

Treasure per person:


and we keep the rug and table to decorate our space. 

Resurrecting the Blog

Writing is hard, there are many constraints to writing but I think most of them are mental. I’ll circle back to that in a future post, because obviously the mental issues are the most important challenges but I want to get the other stuff out of the way. For now I just want to talk about finding the time to write. I plan to use this blog that I’ve had for years (but very seldom updated) as a space for my creative writing. The following, is my plan for this blog and how I hope to keep it updated on a regular basis when I haven’t been able to before.

Time, at least for me, is probably the biggest non mental challenge when it comes to my own writing. I want to write but I have so many other responsibilities. How on earth do I find time to write when work, family, my home, and everything else that takes up my time fills up my day? Time is elusive, I think we all have time to write, we just aren’t able to find it. I’ve started carrying around a notebook with a fountain pen attached to it so I can write down ideas. What I’ve discovered is that even when I have time and realize I have time, it can feel like I don’t. I will think to myself, “I have 10 minutes to write,” then I experience all the mental road blocks that a writer often faces, suddenly that 10 minutes is all used up, and I have written nothing. Still, carrying around that notebook has helped. I’ve resorted to just trying to write down simple ideas, just the bullet points, which I would eventually want to copy and flesh out when I get to a computer anyway.

Another thing that helps is thinking about why I want to write. Understanding one’s goals when it comes to writing helps a great deal. Finding time, very often involves finding the little bits of time spread throughout a busy day. In order to properly utilize those bits of time you need to break down your writing into chunks that fit into those small increments available to you. I have several reasons for writing, the first is to come up with new adventures to run for tabletop role-playing. The second is to eventually write a novel. Each of these can be broken down significantly enough to fit into those tiny time slots we have throughout the day. Here is how I’ve determined to do so.

Both of those goals involves world building, which is the main thing you will find on this blog. World building is not something you do all at once, although you could, I think it benefits from thinking about it over a long time. Adding, changing, and growing the world organically. World building tidbits are things that can be created over a 10 minute span of time and fleshed out later if necessary. I can write as much or as little about a person, place, or thing within the time I have and then add it to my world as is, modify it, or dispose of it. Eventually, the world building vignettes posted here might be compiled into a complete story. The main thing is just to create. This blog will serve as my main proving ground for world building. Most of what you’ll see here will be written in a stream of consciousness format, with probably very little editing. The blog posts may never be referenced again or they might be edited into a finalized form, made into something publishable, and published. The goal is of course just to write. I’m going to set a goal of creating a minimum of two drafts per week with the goal of publishing once a week. That way I should have a nice backlog. It also takes some of the performance pressure off. I can write something I might never want to share with the world and that is OK. That isn’t to say I’m going to promise high quality every time I publish to this blog, these posts should be considered rough draft brainstorm sessions and I’m sharing them more for myself than the reader. I believe it will help motivate me, the benefit to others is that they can see my creative process, and I think it will be helpful to gauge which writings people do and do not enjoy before creating a more formal publication outside of this blog.

Well, I’ve used up all my ever elusive time. My goal for this week is to write two more drafts. Hopefully at least one of them will be something worth sharing on here, if not I have other writings I can make into blog posts. I really enjoy doing character creation and have a hand full of those writings that I could and will eventually share. I haven’t decided what I want the schedule to be for this blog so it might be a little irregular until I get that figured out but keep checking back, I want to find a good and consistent schedule. I think I can keep this up now that I have a real plan for doing so.