Tag Archives: critical table

The Updates! I can reveal them!

TyperwriterSo I can finally give some links for these shenanigans! For those of you who don’t know already, I’m now a freelance writer for Technology Review (online), which is a MIT publication. My first article, which is on the augmented reality/GPS navigation Android app Wikitude Drive, went live today. And I’m currently working on a second article. Good times!

Additionally, I’m a staff writer for the gaming/geek culture website The Critical Table, which I have mentioned before. My first interview went up today. It’s with Chuck Wendig, freelance “penmonkey,” and game developer for White Wolf Publishing. For those of you who know my gaming background, I’m a big World of Darkness fan (White Wolf’s main line). Specifically Vampire and Hunter, the latter of which is the game that Chuck was the main developer for. So this was exciting for me on two fronts.

These are my big two announcements this month. Feels good to know that I’m getting somewhere with this writing nonsense… 😉 I’m also cracking down on another project, but I won’t be talking much about that on here till it’s completed (probably towards the end of the year). This one’s an even bigger secret… Shhhhhh…. So look forward to that.

Not much else to say today, working on a few things and trying to get myself organized for my trip this weekend. I will be flying out to California on Saturday, then driving cross-country back to Delaware. Looking forward to that, I love traveling.

That’s all for now. Stay tuned tomorrow, when I’ll get something solid up.


Projects: A Current Look

The Cult of Done ManifestoA fancy title for a simple post. Now that I’m not working I actually have a lot more going on than before in my life. Quite a few projects have fallen at my feet since then, plus I’ve reinstated a few that had been tossed aside when I started the overnight hell of Walmart employment. One of those tossed aside ones that I have rebooted is of course the Blogenning. However there are others. So, this is just a list of projects that I’m currently working on/involved in.. kind of to give an update of what is going on in my life.

Lazarus – Lazarus is a movie idea that a friend, and the manager of the local gaming store, approached me with about a year ago. October 2010 he mentioned this movie idea he wanted to work on, and I told him casually “Hey, I’d love to help if you get it off the ground soon.” Well apparently that sparked his motivation, because now I’m directing, and co-wrote the movie with him. We’ve cast it, and are working on getting our location set up and getting some finances in order. It’s a short film, we’re aiming for about 45 minutes, about zombies. We’re attempting to do a different approach to the zombie phenomenon, while keeping it similar enough to the main genre to keep the zombie fanatics (like myself) happy. For more information go check out the Facebook page here.

Critical Table – Critical Table is a gaming/geek culture website that announced it was looking for writers a few weeks ago, and I hopped on board. The site is just getting off the ground, but hopefully once there is a steady stream on content rolling it will be a paying gig for me. I got my first article up the other week, and am wrapping up a second on now. The site centers around game reviews, editorials, and honest reporting. Too many game reviewers get paid to give games good reviews… and it’s ruining the landscape for a lot of gamers. That is what Critical Table hopes to fix. So go check it out!

Writing – I’ve been writing a great deal, and not just on here. I’m working on a short story that I aim to get published. I also have dusted off an old horror movie script I was working on to finish. Also, the comic I was almost done with, but stalled out on while looking for an artist to work with, and I’m pulling together ideas for this years NaNoWriMo, which I hope to actually complete this year. In addition I’m always working on shorts that I hope to do something with one day. I have about 10 completed short stories that are currently sitting on my computer, waiting for a direction. Perhaps I’ll decide what to do with them soon… working on it. And of course there is here… and the Blogenning.

Music – This is kind of a small one, but the band Far From There asked me to write and record a short, spoken word intro to the song they are currently working on. I completed this and sent it to them, and once the rest of the song is mixed and finished I’ll have a link to it on here.

Remodeling – I’ve been remodeling my parents’ house since I quit Walmart. It’s been how I’ve been making a living, so to speak. After completely gutting the bathroom I redid the shower, knocked a wall out and fixed that, painted, redid the floor, replaced some of the various hardware around the room, and over-all made it look entirely different. And they love it, so I’m happy. Since then I also painted their half-bath, and am currently working on the living room. In the living room I sanded the floors and re-coated them, and now I’m going to paint and put up french doors. An easier job. I also installed some ceiling fans and re did the garage and did a massive cleanup in the basement. Oh and cleaned the gutters… there’s more but it’s eluding me currently. So yeah, big project. Here are some photos…

I think that about wraps up the project list. I just woke up so if I forgot anything, sorry. Look forward to a more legitimate post tomorrow!

~Ian


With Apologies…

I’ll apologize now for the lack of “real” post on here today. I had the script for Lazarus to finish, another project I am working on for Brandon Schory‘s band Far From There to finish, and of course my mother’s birthday is tomorrow. So instead of writing a craptacular post on here for today, I will save what I’m working on tonight to post tomorrow so I don’t have to worry about it… and give you this, a day early…

Happy Birthday Mom!

Intentionally bad jpg is win...

So as I was saying, sorry for the off day, but you’ll get a post tomorrow. I promise!

Although technically I did post something today… check out my inaugural post over at The Critical Table!


A gaming we will go…

Tabletop Gaming at PAXHello, my name is Ian, and I’m a geek. I’ve been gaming since I was young, probably since I was old enough to talk. My mother and I used to play board games and card games all the time. I was brought up on games, books, and music far more than television (hell, I don’t think we even had cable till I was in 8th grade…). Besides the usual suspects of Uno, Clue, and Scrabble, we played Backgammon, Checkers (also known as Draughts), Milles Bornes (a French card game), and Mancala, a game my mother learned where she grew up – Africa (and a game I used to know as “the bean game”). Now don’t get me wrong, I spent plenty of time outdoors also, I used to love playing in the woods, climbing trees, riding my bike, and swimming. But playing games with my mom is probably my fondest childhood memory, next to reading.
And then, probably a few years after its release, I got a Super Nintendo. Tons of fun, some of my favorite games of all time are from that console. Final Fantasy VI will forever remain the penultimate gaming experience for me… laughing at Gau’s antics, shedding a tear during the Opera scene… ah, the wonders that game introduced to me. And let’s not forget Mario, of course… ah Mario… the howls of laughter at watching my mother consistently drive backwards around the track in Mario Kart (and this is the person who taught me how to drive… frightening). And of course… Lord of the Rings. For Super Nintendo, this game was particularly frustrating, because not only was it almost impossible to figure out how to beat on your own, but many of the copies of the game were released bugged, so you couldn’tbeat the game. I was never able to figure out if ours was the bugged version or not… by the time we got the internet and I was able to look the game up I never got around to playing it again…
D&DAnd then… Middle School. A harrowing time for many boys just hitting puberty. School didn’t worry me. I made friends, I had fun. But this was the year it happened. I was placed in the high school band because I play trombone, and they needed a good trombone player. Here I met a guy named Kyle. Kyle discovered that I was pretty knowledgeable about computers, and told me about an issue he was having with a game he had bought. So after school that day I went over and showed him how to fix the issue he was having. And he showed me his Advanced Dungeons and DragonsPlayers Handbook. I was entranced. A version of Final Fantasy I could play with friends? Where I controlled my character? Where the story could go on forever, and I could change things far more directly through my actions than in any video game (at the time…)? Yes! Sign me up!

This was of course only one of many new games I encountered over the years. From AD&D I discovered White Wolf’s World of Darkness, specifically Werewolf: the Apocalypse, and from there Vampire: the Masquerade… Now, Vampire was I game I could get into. The mix of darkness (and by this point I was a teenager in high school, so I thought my life was pretty dark…), political intrigue, history, and ripping people’s faces off? I was there. I immediately devoured all the material on this game I could and started running a game with my friends. A game that I ran for four years straight. Now… those of you not familiar with gaming might not think much of that, but those of you who are familiar will know that four years is a damn long time to run a game. But I did, almost every weekend. For four years. And it was glorious.

Then came college. I changed a lot in college, as I’m sure most people would say. A lot. For one thing, I stopped gaming. I knew I wanted to do well in school, and focused on my grades. Well… I tried to anyway. Or at least I started focusing on my grades after I changed my major twice… but that’s another story. I stopped gaming. Sure I played the occasional computer game, a little Counter-Strike, but it stopped being the center of my free time. I hung out with people, did a lot of new things. I really dove head first into the whole college experience. Then a friend introduced me to World of Warcraft (thanks Will…). And I was, once again, immersed. A free-form RPG that I play online with thousands of other people? Wow (pun intended). Of course, it wasn’t all fun and games… $15 dollars a month starts to add up… and by the time I had moved off campus and delved into my final choice in major (Philosophy), I was done with WoW. Enough of the late night gaming sessions and wasted hours farming materials for crafting. No more!

And then my best friend, and roommate at the time, Brandon asked me if I wanted to come to his Sunday D&D sessions with him. A new version of Dungeons and Dragons (3.5) and a 10th level rogue/shadowdancer later… I was back in the game.

Now that I’ve graduated, moved away from Boston (for now), and jumped into the “real world,” I still game. Of course there’s XBox 360, and Wii, and PC games still… And I still run a World of Darkness game, or play D&D with friends. And once again I’ve discovered the joys of board games… now that I’m older I’ve discovered all the “adult” board/card games… Dominion, Munchkin, “We Didn’t Playtest This At All,” Catan… But when I look back over the years the thing I remember best is the thrill of a new game, a new character, a new adventure. In an age where children are brought up on television, watered down educations, and books like Twilight, it’s no wonder that geeks are the ones leading the way in innovation. When you think of the most important aspects of the last ten, twenty… even thirty years, what comes to mind? The internet… smart phones, GPS, CERN and their Large Hadron Collider. And who are the people behind these inventions? The guys and girls that grew up rolling dice and slaying dragons in their parents’ basements… in their college dorms. The kids that spent hours jumping on mushroom guys and turtles till three in the morning when they had school the next day. The teenagers who would have rather been learning the rules to that new board game than swinging a bat or throwing a ball.

Don't worry... this isn't mine.

Lately I’ve wondered what my life would have been like without games. Even if you leave the board games there, but take out the Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: the Gathering cards… Would I be the same person? I couldn’t tell you, because I don’t see how my life could have gone any other way. Would I still want to be a writer? Who knows… I don’t care.

As a final note… take a look over at Critical Table. Soon you’ll start seeing some articles written by me floating around on the site. I recently struck a deal with Courtney, the creator and owner, and I’m really looking forward to joining the team over there and writing for them. And if you’re looking for any advice on new games to try out, feel free to ask. I’m always looking to let someone know about that awesome card game I played last week…