Saturday, October 5, 2013

Updates, News and Other Bullshit

Hey, folks.  A few updates for everyone to digest.

First off, I have compiled the text for my two novels, The Fapper in the Rye and The Battle of Denver, and I am in the process of publishing them in full form on my website.  For those unaware, my website can be found here.  I will post an announcement once they are complete and uploaded, which should hopefully be soon.  I was planning on releasing The Battle of Denver on this blog chapter by chapter, but ultimately decided against it, opting for an html version on my webpage which will be easier to navigate and read, and keep this blog mainly for news updates and such.

I am also currently writing a third novel, which I am trying to make shorter and more concise than my other two.  The title is Muttering Goats, which some people might remember as the title to an aborted writing project I wrote one chapter of and posted on my MySpace page like six years ago.  Well, that project was actually an attempt at adapting an untitled, unfinished story that I started writing during my senior year of high school. 

I'd always liked where that particular story was going, and always wanted to do something with the idea.  However, looking at it as an adult I found the writing to be crude and infantile even by my standards, so naturally the thing had to be redeveloped and rewritten.  The first Muttering Goats chapter was an attempt at that; however, I never really got anywhere with it, and at this point I am too far removed from it to get back into it.  Plus, I lost the original word file.  Thus, I decided to start from scratch.  I am presently about 10,000 words in, with hopes of capping it off at about 15-20,000. There is a good chance it will end up longer than that, though.

On the digital front, the SFJ sequel is progressing nicely.  I have designed a couple of new environments and will post renders soon.  I also recently obtained a vintage Macintosh Performa 550, which I bought off eBay specifically for the purpose of running System 7 applications and games.  In the process of trying to get this computer fully-loaded, I discovered that there is apparently a community of retro-Mac users out there, who play old games and such either through emulators or actual vintage machines like the one I bought.  Anyway, playing around with this thing and poking around on the internet has gotten me thinking about the reason I became interested in adventure game programming in the first place:  the old HyperCard adventures I used to make as a kid.

I have absolutely no idea what the user-base would be, if any even exists, for an all-new supplementary Stanley "Frankfurter" Jones short adventure, developed as a HyperCard stack and available only on a defunct, no-longer-supported platform, but I'll tell you this:  I intend to find out.  If nothing else, I've never been the sort of person to let not having a user base stop me from making and publishing original games.

In any event, lest you be revealed to all the world as a complete and utter toolbot, I would like to firmly suggest that you get yourself a classic Mac emulator, or obtain a classic Mac.  Otherwise, you might never be able to experience the glory that is:  Stanley "Frankfurter" Jones In:  The Case of the Missing Butt.

 On the musical front, I've been slacking.  Sorry.  I've just about completed the El Guapo ep, though, and I just banged out another track I'm pretty proud of for Frozen Glue the other night.

Also, I'm currently in the process of trying to pick up a second job.  While this will undoubtedly result in more money, it will unfortunately come at the expense of free time, which means my current projects will take even longer to finish than they usually do.  Fair warning.  However, you may rest assured that I will spend every hour of free time I end up with as productively as I can, for as long as it remains necessary for me to do this.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Random Dumb Stuff

"The monarch has his hands in many sinister soups."
                                                       -- The Monarch

Okay, so as if I didn't have my hands full with enough silly things, I've recently started making YouTube poop.  For anyone unaware, YouTube poop is the "art" of taking some sort of source material, such as an episode of a TV show or a bit of a movie, and editing it in a funny way and then posting it on YouTube.  I did a few of them using iMovie a few months ago, and they've been sitting on my hard drive since then.  More recently, while I was staying at a motel room in Portland and found myself with a few hours of downtime a night, I downloaded Sony's Vegas software and started experimenting with it, and created my first "professional" poop.  Anyway, as of a few minutes ago, all three of them are available on my YouTube channel:

I haven't done much recently on the musical front, however I wanted to feature my most recent release, Songs That Didn't Need to be Covered...or Did They?  which is probably going to be a Volume I.  Anyway, it features the best of a batch of cover songs I did and released on my website as well as partially on a podcast I made an attempt to start.  It is quite delightful and you can listen to it HERE.

In other random news, I have decided to post the entire text chapter-by-chapter of the first decent book I've written, Imaginary Diseases Book I, as a series of posts on this blog.  Then, when I eventually get it published and it becomes a worldwide hit and I make like mad dollars and shit, you can be among the handful of fortunates who can gaze down contemptuously at their friends and tell them that they read this New York Times bestseller back when it was just a post on some crappy little blog.  I just need to transfer the file from one computer to the other, maybe do one more quick proofread, and then it's up on the internet.

Stanley "Frankfurter" Jones II is going well and is going to be a delightful game.  The high-budget low-budget look of this really adds to the funniness of it I think.  I'll probably have a playable demo of the first little sequence up shortly, and I might try and do a trailer or something at some point when production is a little further along.  It is probably going to be released in chapters, both to compensate for the fact that due to the high-res graphics the game is going to be bigger in terms of space than a point-and-click adventure probably should be, and to help keep people interested by having more frequent releases.

Haven't done anything with Ravensbrook in a while; I'm going to have to get back to that one.

To conclude, here are a few brief, random thoughts about things I've been reading/watching/playing/whatever recently, which I feel slightly obligated to include since this is technically supposed to be a blog for reviews of things:

Elysium (film):

If missing your own point were an Olympic event, the creators of this film would not only take home the gold, they would flaunt that very gold in the faces of the millions of starving Mexicans populating dystopian Los Angeles.

Kick Ass 2 (film):

If I were to describe in detail everything that Chloe Moretz's performance in this film made me want to do, I might finally achieve my dream of having my website receiving hundreds of thousands of hits.  Unfortunately, most of them would probably be from the FBI.  Seriously, though, this movie was good.  I don't think there was any aspect I didn't enjoy.  I especially like the way it somehow manages to simultaneously be a complete fucking cartoon, and at the same time a brutally realistic depiction of what would probably happen if you actually put on a costume and tried to fight crime as a superhero.  The whole thing is very cartoonishly surreal in a way that I think the Scott Pilgrim movie was trying to accomplish but couldn't seem to pull off quite as well.  I need to read the comic at some point.

Higurashi When They Cry (game, anime, manga, and probably some other adaptations I don't even know about):

This is pretty much one of the best things I've ever played/read/watched.  Seriously, I've not been this engaged in an anime-type fandom in a long time.  I wish I'd known about this back when all the other weebs were into it, so I'd have had people to discuss it with. The anime is basically the readers digest version of the story, and is probably the weakest of the adaptations of it.  So, I would definitely recommend starting with the games or the manga if you have no familiarity with the story.

Plinth (band):

I found this group because this guy named zippy72, who bought one of my records on Bandcamp, had this in his list of artists he supports (along with me:) ).  I haven't had the chance to listen to more than a few songs, but what I've heard is AMAZING.  Seriously, play this shit in a pitch dark room:

Kujibiki Unbalance (anime):

This show is weird.  The three episodes that they made as supplements to the Genshiken universe were good.  Unfortunately, instead of finishing the series that they started making with Genshiken, they for some reason decided to make a completely different series, that was supposed to be a re-boot of the original (that they never even completely made in the first place).  They really should have just made the original show.  This new one is okay, but it's not great.  Why didn't they just make the original show?  That show was good.  They should make it.

Southern Gods (book):

I haven't actually read this yet, so I can't review it.  However, I picked it up completely at random and read the back of it, and bought it immediately.  Here is a sample:  "A Memphis DJ hires recent World War II veteran Bull Ingram to find Ramblin' John Hastur, a mysterious bluesman whose dark, driving music - broadcast at ever-shifting frequencies by a phantom radio station - is said to make living men insane and dead men rise."  I am really excited about reading this book, and plan to start it pretty soon here.  Thought I'd alert people to its existence. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Stanley "Frankfurter" Jones Screenshots

Okay, so I promised news and here is some news.

Got a couple of screenshots from the new Frankfurter game hot off the press.  Nothing terribly fancy as of yet; just a couple shots that show a couple of new rooms and help you get a feel for how the game is probably going to look:

As you can see, this game features higher resolution graphics than its predecessor, as well as smoother animation, nicer looking environments, etc. etc.  In this game, the player will also be able to toggle back and forth between Stanley and Stinky Pete as playable characters.

I hope to have a short playable demo up for this game within the space of a couple of months.  Here's hoping.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Okay, sooooooooooooo.............

Here is my first post in three years on a blog I swore that I was going to do something with three years ago.  I feel kind of bad, reading all of the comments of encouragement people left me.  Oh, well, the important thing is, I am now going to try, ONCE AGAIN, to finally do something with this stupid blog.

This was at first intended to be a review blog for stuff, which it may still be at times.  I may also post occasional random things, writing samples, or anything I happen to feel like posting.  However, I was thinking  that I would like to start up a development blog for the projects I'm working on, and then I realized suddenly that I already had a perfectly good blog set up that I never use, so here we are.

So, anyone who is interested can now check this blogspace for the latest updates concerning the various moronic projects I undertake, as well as probably some other stupid and random stuff as well.  At present, these projects are as follows:

-- The Legend of El Guapo (now with 40% more terrapins!):  A completely stupid short EP I am working on.  It consists of a bunch of orphan tracks that I've recorded in the last year or so that I haven't been able to do anything with, as well as one new song written especially for the EP, all of which are sutured together with a series of audio collages based on my collab song with sci from FAWM, "My Gold Plated Terrapin Connector".  This one is just about finished, and I hope to have it out within the next two weeks.

-- Frozen Glue:  My next full-length album, which I actually think is turning out pretty good.  Going slow, though.  Most of my recent musical work has consisted of half-formed, spontaneous ideas I have at random points throughout the day, which I then sit down at some point and try to bang out in more or less one shot.  The end result is turning out to be a little bit reminiscent of The Residents' Commercial Album, if I might toot my own horn a bit.  Anyway, here's a short sample to whet your appetite (this one was also a songfight entry, although it didn't win):  This one is moving slow, but I will provide periodic updates and samples of new tracks.

-- You Know It Really Hurts (to have your hymen torn):  Another short EP, which contains a bunch of even older orphan tracks, some of which have been re-recorded.  This one is sort of like the Muffin Records equivalent of a yard sale; I'm basically taking a bunch of old songs that have been lying around in my garage for five years or more, wrapping them up in an album concept and slapping a cover on them that is just as old, and putting it out there for anyone who is interested to come and rifle through.  This one is also just about done.

And now, on the interactive front, as some people might be aware, I've been playing around a bit with adventure game development, using the AGS engine. 

My first complete adventure game (at least the first one that was actually any good) is called The Adventures of Stanley "Frankfurter" Jones and is a real hoot.  It can be obtained for free right here:

Anyway, here are my ongoing projects in the realm of indie game design:

-- Frank-Further:  The Further Adventures of Stanley "Frankfurter" Jones:  As you may have guessed, this is a sequel to the original Frankfurter Jones game.  This will eventually be a full-length, bona-fide adventure title, or at least bear a close enough resemblance to one to be able to fool most people.  The story will be set in the world of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and will feature both Stinky Pete and Stanley as playable characters.  Also of note about it so far:  considerably better graphics, better scripting, better music, and...pretty much the same sort of ridiculous story and offensive content that comprised most of the first game.  I have screen shots and some other stuff, and will post them along with detailed progress reports as I go.

--Ravensbrook:  My first ever attempt at a serious title.  I am still using AGS, although I think I am pushing the bounds of what it was intended to be used for a little.  Nevertheless, it's a very versatile engine and I have high hopes for this project.  It is a first-person horror title in the vein of The 7th Guest, although the format centers less on solving individual logic puzzles and focuses more on story-based puzzles as in traditional adventure games.  The story is set in 1924, and centers around a family who are summoned by the head of the family to a creepy mansion in the middle of the woods.  People start getting murdered, and really weird stuff starts to happen, and it is the player's goal to hopefully survive long enough to piece the mystery together.  Again, I will be posting screen shots and progress updates and demos and such as I go.

Also, the first novel in what will probably be a series of some sort of length is now nearing the end of the editing phase.  I will probably post an excerpt here at some point in the near future.  Not sure what I'm going to do with this book just yet, but the title is Imaginary Diseases:  The Battle of Denver, and so far I think it is shaping up to be an interesting story.

Anyway, that's my first blog post in 3 years.  I will try to stay consistent with updates on the above projects as I work on them, and post random nonsense and reviews of stuff whenever I don't have any news worth reporting.  Here's hoping.