Friday, November 26, 2010

Writing Exercise: Epic Speech

Lately I've been trying to think of new ways to develop and strengthen my character creation skills. As I was reading some tips from fellow writers, I came up with an idea for a writing exercise. I call it The Epic Speech.

What you do?
Imagine the character you have written is about to fight an incredible battle. The odds are against him/her, and everyone he/she is about to go to war with will likley die. The air is dark and dangeoeus, but the soldiers need inspiration. It is time for your character to give an awesome speech to pump them up. Write what your character would say, how would they say and how would they feel. Do they feel silly and awkward , or courageous and noble? Don't worry about timline, as that is not the purpose of this exvercise. Do however, pay attention to your character's personality. If they have a tendency to cuss, they'lll proabably cuss more than a few times. If your characyter is an elven ranger, he won't be worrying about killing Zergs on Jupiter.

What is the objective?
Creating avoice for your chaarcter is one of the most important objectives in character creation. This is an excercise in creating a character's voice. If you are struggling to do so, maybe you need to think about your character more. Then again, maybe your charcter is struggling to find the words as well. Either way, once you've finished this excercise properly, you may know more about your character then you did before you started.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bioware Poised For Next Big Game

Today, Bioware released an image to their next game, whatever it may be. It's just a picture of a futuristic military dude aiming a sniper rifle out of a window. Some people say its Mass Effect 3, others do not. If folks recall, there was a rumor awhile back of the company seeking designers for their next game, a brand new IP. It was a military action FPS, with absolutely no mention of RPG. Personally, I think we're looking at the protagonist of Bioware's first non-RPG franchise. It will likely be a shooter game ala Gears of War and possibly feature co-op play. It will be the next step in Bioware's fall from the studio that brought us the richest, most story driven role playing games in the world, to just another studio.

Now their is some evidence to suggest this is indeed Mass Effect 3 or possibly a spin off. The armor the dude is wearing would not be out of place in the Mass Effect universe, and the gun he's holding is remarkably similar to the Incisor Sniper Rifle. There have also been strange codes circling the forum, one suggesting the atomic mass of iron, and another a temperature of -128.5 degrees Farenheit. Could this be a reference to the planet Aequitas in Mass Effect 2, where you discover Husks? Considering the impending Reaper invasion, even a seemingly minor quest like that could bare signifigance in Mass Effect 3. This planet was said to have iron canyons and a surface temperature of -128.5 degrees. But wait, there's more. Atomic MASS of iron, and 128.5 degrees FE. MASS EF? And what about this dude with the gun? Could this be a new companion for ME3? Or perhaps its the villain?

Hypothetically speaking, let's say this is the teaser image for ME3. I would speculate that given the fact that if you killed the council in ME1, Shepard is denied SPECTRE reinstatement in ME2. If you saved the Council, Shepard can deny the reinstatement and tell the council to piss off. They then threaten Shep. If you are reinstated, that still doesn't change a few things. Things like allying with Cerberus, a known Citadel enemy; consorting with the Krogan, the Geth, and (perhaps) the Rachni; performing tasks for crime lords in the Terminus Systems; killing a SPECTRE. These crimes are eerily similar to another Mass Effect character. His name was Saren. Suppose Shepard is declared a rogue SPECTRE, what is the only way to stop a rogue SPECTRE? Send another SPECTRE. And with Humanity being on the Council (or being the coucnil), why wouldn't they have more SPECTREs? Is it possible that the dude is this video is not only the antagonist of Mass Effect 3, but also a SPECTRE hunting Commander Shepard?! Implications unpleasant.

In any event, all will be revealed on December 11th, the day when the trailer is set to premiere. I personally hope that its Mass Effect 3, because if its the other option, well, then bye bye Bioware.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Star Crossed Galaxy #1 at Drive Thru Comics and First Review

Hey everybody! Star Crossed Galaxy #1 is now available at
Also notice the great review from Brian LeTrendre. 4 out of 5 stars! Awesome!!!! Pick up a digital copy for $0.99. You can't beat a deal like that.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Star Crossed Galaxy #1 Is For Sale

Star Crossed Galaxy #1 has been officially released. Buy your copy at It was a long road. I remember starting to seriously write this story back when the first Star Trek teaser was released. I mean the JJ Abrams version by the way. I'm not that old after all. At the time I just wanted to see more sci-fi stories that featured spaceships, distant worlds, and fantastic characters. A lot has changed since then, and for the better I'd say.

I would like to send out my thanks and congratulations to Bernie Lee, the letterer and editor of TwilightPop Productions, as well as Justin Williams who inked the our excellent cover. I would like to send out a special thanks to Matt Martin, the artist of Star Crossed Galaxy. This is his first published comic book work, as well as mine. So here's to you Matt, Bernie, Justin and myself. Congratz!

Also, welcome aboard Fran Guedel, our new inker starting with issue 2.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

And We're Off!!!

Star Crossed Galaxy #1 is off to the printer folks! And if it isn't already, it will be very shortly! Check in September to get a copy of the first fantastic issue! This has been an incredibly exciting process all the way, and I couldn't be more pleased with how issue 1 turned out. Next year,, we'll likely hit a few conventions and sell some product. Issue 2 has already began production, and we may have a new member on the team (too early to discuss in detail).

In other news, I have recently got a gig with ingenre. I'll be writing monthly columns starting very soon. I have also been toying around with an idea with a buddy of mine. We'll see how things go. So make sure to read Star Crossed Galaxy #1 in September, then give us feedback on the forum.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Dragon Age 2 Announced

Okay so this isn't a SCG related topic, but anyone who knows me knows that I love me a good game, and Bioware is one of my favorite gaming companies. Perhaps it's from the perspective of a writer who actually favors story over game play, but I think their concept of story driven games have effectively changed the way games are created. More and more games have become dramatic, cinematic, artistic and more story driven then in the past. Bioware wasn't the first to adopt the "games can be used to tell good stories" method, but they are certainly one of the more powerful framers of the philosophy.

Dragon Age 2 is both a relief and a disappointment rolled into one. The fact the hero of Fereldan will not be carrying over, and the story of DAO is pretty much told and set in stone is the culprit for both. I'm disappointed because I would have loved to have seen my character reunite with Morrigan at some point, despite the fact that their relationship was doomed from the get go. I would have liked to have seen Alistair being all kingly. I would have loved to have traveled to Orlais and combat the Darkspawn as they rose up from the ground again (semi covered in Awakening), but most importantly, what happened to my kid?!

But then relief sets in when I think of Mass Effect 2's epic fail on those counts. Considering Bioware's track record for sequels, I'd say that I wasn't going to see any of those things regardless. Though maybe I would have gotten an impersonal, half-assed note in DA2 that would have probably glitched. Better to do a spin off then a remake I suppose.

In any case, DA2 is offering up some exciting new prospects. A decade long campaign (hopefully with character aging), the game's landscape changing throughout based on your choices (likely taking a cue from Alpha Protocol's single redeeming feature), and graphical and combat enhancements (ala ME2, so expect a God of War-esque game rather than a Dragon Age-esque game). Coming to stores in February, I believe that DA2 will be very telling as to where Bioware intend to take their games into the future. Especially in terms of Mass Effect 3.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Star Crossed Galaxy Release Date!

Make sure to check out Indy Planet in August, because Star Crossed Galaxy (yes we added to the title) is coming out then! Right now we're still ironing out the colors for our cover, but here's a peek at the inked version. Pencils by Matt Martin and inks by Justin Williams. Big, big thanks to both Matt and Justin. They've done great!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Star Crossed 6 Page Preview May 1st

Star Crossed will have a six page preview up for Free Comic Book Day on May 1st. Download the first six pages of the all new sci-fi epic from Twilight Pop Productions. Visit their site (link to the side) and get a look at Black Cathedral while you're at it! Star Crossed is set for release Third Quarter 2010. I hope everyone on the planet picks up a copy, but that's just unrealistic. Also, I was at C2E2 yesterday, and I can't wait to give an update.