Saturday, April 28, 2012

Republique - A New Hope

Call me a sentimental fanboy, but Camouflaj's upcoming project has stuck with me and I wish to see it through to the end.  If you're scratching your head, check out my initial preview of Republique here!

Camouflaj has now announced that they will be making a SPECIAL EDITION of Republique, designed especially for play via the PC and Mac.  As Ryan Payton has stated, this will be much more than a simple copy and paste from the iOS version.  This is a good thing, because while the game is looking incredible so far, it's more of the experience that it offers, leaving players panicked about what may happen if their battery runs out with Hope trapped in an elevator.

I'm pretty curious as to what all the PC and Mac version will offer, although I will admit I'm a bit disappointed by the outcome.  Like I said, it's the experience that really drew me into the game, something completely different and, while I have faith that Camouflaj will come up with something amazing, putting it on a computer seems too much like an adventure game.

Really it's just the idea that the hard-working developers had to roll over a bit and sell-out some of their newly won freedom just for the opportunity to make the game.

It hasn't hit goal yet, but has sky-rocketed since the introduction of the PC version.  So I ask you kindly, help keep this momentum going by spreading the word!  Pitch it to Hunger Game fanatics, Angry Bird enthusiasts and George Orwell junkies!  Just pass on this link -

Less than two weeks to go and a lot of ground to make up.  Help Camouflaj bring gaming and iPhone usage to all-new heights by encouraging and supporting!  Every dollar counts!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Exerpt from The Forever Girl

Slight change of plan due to a miscommunication with blog scheduling and all that jazz.  Instead, you can find an excerpt of Rebecca Hamilton's debut novel RIGHT HERE!  That's right, look no further for the jingle-jangle of an oncoming sweet-vender packed full of treats for your eyes and minds than this very blog.

Without further adieu... or any other funny words with an over-abundance of vowels...

He rested his forearms on the table and leaned forward. “Was that a yes or a no to dancing?”
I shook my head, but my smile said ‘yes’. Not to mention Marcus was still staring—and in the least intriguing way. He gave me the creeps. If I was dancing with someone else, that might get the weirdo’s attention off me. I spotted Ivory dancing with another girl, perhaps a friend she’d met here before, and figured one dance without her wouldn’t hurt.The man across from me stood and offered his hand. My palm warmed as I accepted, and, as I rose to join him, my balance shifted. I wobbled, nearly falling right back into my seat.
He hooked his arm around my waist, supporting me against his body, his breath soft on my ear. “Careful there.”
At his sudden embrace, a small shock flashed through my body. After a moment, my vision steadied. With his biceps behind my back and his forearm against my side, I felt somehow smaller and safer at the same time. I tilted my face up, catching his gaze. The candlelight from the table danced inside his irises and illuminated flecks of amber in his eyes. He cocked one eyebrow slightly, his amused expression also somehow gentle. Perhaps I’d misjudged him.
The moment rapidly becoming too intimate, I tensed. I needed to put some distance between us, to ignore the unwanted fluttering in my stomach. I stepped back. The air in the room lacked the warmth and comfort of his body.
“I’m okay,” I said, which was true depending on what one’s definition of ‘okay’ was.We wedged into a small opening in the crowd near the speakers. The burning scent of hot electrical wires replaced the fruity aroma of liquored drinks. He tilted his head down toward me as he stepped tentatively closer, then he rested his firm but gentle hands on my hips, his arms bent at the elbow, relaxed.
I was decidedly not so relaxed.I peered up at him, unsure what he expected. I’d never danced with a guy, not unless relatives at weddings counted.Awkwardly, I placed my hands on the front of his shoulders, steadying myself as I swayed with him. A shiver flashed down my spine at the firmness of his body. How could he be so solid and still so graceful? His hands easily covered my hipbones, his fingertips pressing just behind my sides, into the muscles of my back. In that moment, I felt another kind of vulnerability.
He leaned forward and pressed his lips to my ear. “You okay?”
I nodded, stepping closer and sliding my hands around to the back of his shoulders. I buried my face against his chest, safe from his imploring gaze. He smelled like vanilla and musk and sandalwood, and I tried to commit the intoxicating scent to memory.
What the hell was I doing? I hesitated backward, away from him, but he easily guided me right back, and I had to bite my lip not to gasp as an unexpected shudder ran through my body. The heat radiating from his flesh burned through my dress, the warmth igniting in my stomach and snaking outward in an involuntary arousal. An arousal I needed to dismiss, even if only out of the irrational fear I’d become the kind of woman Mother would damn to Hell. Of course, Mother already thought that’s where I was going.


At least one lucky commenter will win a FREE COPY of The Forever Girl in E-book format of their choice!  So be sure to stop by and say howdy!

For everybody else, you can find distributors for the format (electronic or paperback) of your choice here - at Immortal Ink Publishing

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Forever Girl Review

The problem with new authors is that, since the recent trend of self-published e-books, there are so many of them! Having been a wanderer of many a bookstore and library in my youth, the days of casually browsing through shelves of familiar names are all-but over and a beloved past-time has been desaturated with tired angles and rehashed stories.

Breaking the mold is one Rebecca Hamilton, a rare gem picked up by Immortal Ink Publishing for her first book, The Forever Girl.

I'll be honest, I happened across an interview with her on a blog that was offering a free copy of the book, so I thought I'd give it a shot. With a complete stroke of luck, I ended up winning the copy and did a ridiculous happy dance that lasted all of 3.2 seconds before I realized nobody was there to witness my gloating. (Self-gratification is for suckers)

So on to the book itself -

The Forever Girl follows the life of twenty-two year old Sophia Parsons, a practicing Wiccan in a small, religious town. Not her religion. Already being set apart as an outsider, things complicate when she can't seem to escape a constant buzzing in her head.

From there, Sophia's attempts at deeper understanding lead into a well-crafted world of supernatural beings. Not your typical vampire/werewolf nonsense that has taken paranormal romance by storm and run rampant and streaking through the quad with all the appeal of a sun-burned manatee...


Instead, Rebecca has woven together an amazing mythology that holds through out the story. Her ability to write tension is some of the best I've ever seen, painting panic with words to accompany the rich, vibrant hues of the world she's crafted.

My advice? Pick up this book and call in sick, because it's damned near impossible to find a stopping point.

Aside from being a fresh talent with a unique perspective on writing, Rebecca's a pretty cool person, having agreed to do an interview for the writing group this week. Read it at the KFWWriters blog, then check back on Friday for an excerpt and book give-away (so you can see what I'm talking about)

Or pick up a copy for yourself! And thank me later.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Camouflaj Revolutionizing Interactive Entertainment

So it's a relaxed Saturday night in. You're chilling on your couch, flipping through 1527 channels of the same old garbage, letting the monotony and bullshit of your corporate persona slowly run off of you like so much molasses.

Then something breaks the routine, something unexpected. Your phone rings – an unknown number. Instincts tell you better, but your curiosity gets the best of you. Let's be honest here, it's not like it'll make your evening any more dull.

The terrified face of a girl flashes in your screen – young – late teens or early twenties. She says her name is Hope and she's trapped inside a city you've never heard of.

Congratulations, your Saturday night just got more interesting. Heart pounding, you soon realize that you are this girl's confidant and savior. Somehow, your phone becomes a second set of eyes and ears for this girl as you attempt to lead her through the Metropolis, taking control of security cameras, hacking computers, and setting up distractions to mislead guards who want to keep her locked up.

Now let's step away from this nice bit of fiction. Or better yet, what if I told you this was real? No, I haven't been peeking in on your miserable Saturday nights, but this is an experience that you can have – a reality that you can participate in.

Last fall, Ryan Payton was struck with a fury of inspiration. It was one of those lightning spark moments that drives people into madness. Dropping everything including leaving his job with Microsoft and liquidating his assets, he pulled together a handful of trusted individuals, called on Alexei Tylevich, founder of world-renowned production company, Logan, and set to work.

Under the name of Camouflaj, Payton's new independent company set out to change the way gamers view their phones. With the casual game market the dominant leader, Payton's vision was to create an entirely fresh experience, pushing the visual boundaries and interactive capabilities to the limits.

The game, Republique, is his brain-child. Inspired by literary masterpieces such as George Orwell's 1984 and Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, the game is set in a fictional dystopian society, one that's part of our world, but locked away.

The girl, Hope, was designed not to be some bad-ass chick or sex-bunny flaunting her digital curves and canyons. Instead, the character herself is meant to bring about a feeling of sympathy with the player – with you. Instead of setting it around grinding up points, money, gear, or kill cards, Payton's desire is that the player will build a bond with Hope, making each decision that you make in the game more stressful as you want nothing bad to happen to her in her attempts to escape.

When I first heard about this game, I got the chills. The concept of attempting to lead through surveillance has been attempted in games before, but never with this level of technology and never implemented into your own hands. Honestly, I don't even own an iPad or iPhone – I've got an Android. But there was no way that was going to stop me from picking up a new personal goal – seeing this project through to fruition.

As more companies are moving to Kickstarter to seek funding for original ideas instead of major production houses, Payton saw this as an opportunity to move away from the strict guidelines and see his dream become a reality.

Being a bit of a penny-pincher myself, I would never dream of asking anybody to run over to the site and pledge money for something. What I will ask is that you check it out if any of this grabbed your attention or pass the information along. 

Some people get giddy over apps that let you buy coffee from your phone. I get excited about the prospect of the next step in interactive entertainment. If funded in time, expect to see the finished product hit iOS stores in Summer 2013.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Set Up (Me and the Dragon)

At the prompting of my wife I now have a supersecret super awesome project. While it may do terrible things to my grammar and spelling, it opens up a whole new world of writing potential. What is my grandiose scheme you might ask? Simple. Using the power of technology, I will dictate a series of stories.

The above text was all written by speaking into a headset plugged into my netbook.  Pretty damned schnazzy, eh?  Honestly, I would’ve done more, but my wife’s trying to get the baby to sleep and I was told to ‘shhh.’  You can’t shoosh brilliance, sweetheart! 

Although, as I said, it was her idea.  I for one didn’t think it would work.  So far, I have been pretty excited with the abilities.  But come Monday, I’m taking this bad boy out for a field test.

The purpose of this particular project was to try and maximize my time so I’m not always feeling so pressed come 10pm to motivate myself to work and crunch out anything worthwhile.  But at the same time, I have at least an hour and a half commute every day.  This time is spent doing car karaoke and cursing the gods of traffic (You bastards!  You know who you are!)

This seems like a perfect win, right?   Well unfortunately, there are a few drawbacks.

First of all – who actually writes by dictating it?  Sure I can READ a story out loud like it’s nobody’s business, but thinking it up and speaking it out without a visual reference to reread lines that I just wrote is going to be… an adjustment.

Next order of business… anybody wearing a headset while driving down the road looks like a total douche.  I don’t care HOW attractive you are – if you look like you’re telecommuting to your call-center job from the car, it screams nerd.

…and now I understand why my wife thought this was a good idea…

But I digress.  In a week’s time, I’ll post up the results including accuracy and daily word-count for any of those interested.

On the plus side, it’s a relatively cheap investment.  I picked up the Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 package from for $50.  It came with a headset, but I purchased a KOSS headset best known due to good reviews.  These were marked down to $17 when I purchased them.  Next-I already had an Acer Aspire One D255E with 1.66Ghz atom processor, 1 gig of ram and a 3 cell battery.  (but it was $220 when I got it), but it doesn’t have an external DVD rom.  I grabbed one for $22 (not shown.  Any external DVD rom drive will do)  and finally, I grabbed a car charger – opting for that instead of a bigger battery.  I’d prefer not to go into sleep mode while driving.  The netbook too…

Keep your fingers crossed I can boost productivity here and I’ll let you know how it turns out!