Sunday, November 28, 2004

I Hate The Holidays...

My chief reason for this statement comes not from dealing with all the family and friends that one happens to be around during those times. That actually can be pretty good. No, I despise the holidays because it is a disruption to my and my family’s routines. I like routines. I am very much a creature of habit. So when things enter the picture to alter my usual schedule, I tend to get cranky and thrown off of my rhythm for a bit.

As a result, some work I wanted to have finished by this past Saturday remains incomplete. Granted, I can make a up a big chunk of it tomorrow on my day off, but I wanted this particular bit of work done so I could go on to some other work. The bulk of this work has to do with the whole Shared Lobotomy thing, but a few items deal with more personal and family issues (mostly house related). Oh well, the current chunk of work is 65 percent done, and I’m fairly certain I can get the remainder done tomorrow. Once that is done, I can spend an evening typing it all in and then I get the enjoyable task of playing with contracts and contract language. Yea me! Go Me!

Overall, this past holiday wasn’t TOO bad. I’ll also admit that my work schedule had a touch to do with how AI handled some of it (i.e., my day job made me cranky). Together, with a little help from each other, my wife and I made it through. The kids seemed to have a good time, and that’s more important to me than my own enjoyment, so… (shrug)…

peace… RHM

Sunday, November 21, 2004

So It Begins...

I got together with most of the folks in the Shared Lobotomy endeavor, tonight. Dennis was unable to attend due to family stuff. We talked a bit about company set-up and then laid into our schedule of products.

We pretty much decided to put together six products or so before we even release the first one, just to give ourselves some lag time to work on other stuff.

Jeff is handling the bulk of the writing for our first offering, Foe File1: Cheap Thugs, while Sean and I will crunch the numbers for the characters. Once the text is done, either Sean or I (probably both) will proofread and edit Jeff's text. Dennis will (hopefully) provide the interior line art. Finally, Pat will distill all the elements into a usuable PDF document.

Our second offering is looking to be as yet unthought of adventure for D20 Modern. From the sounds of it, I will handle the overall design and writing of that one, with others to edit and check my mechanics.

Third, we at Shared Lobotomy are looking at producing an original card game. We have three ideas on the table, the first one created and through playtest gets the green light.

That's about it from me for now. I have things to print out, characters to create, and contracts to write.

peace... RHM

Monday, November 15, 2004

Hot LAN Action...

Last Night, I gathered a bunch of people over at the Pancake House (thanks, Eric) to do some Halo 2 action. We brought a bunch of stuff and ended up with four Xbox-es, four TVs, and four copies of Halo 2 all linked up and going. It quickly turned into "Bust-A-Cap In Your Friend Night"! It was an absolute buzz, and all involved seemed to have a good time. Kudos to Cookie on being the most improved of the bunch. Special mention goes to my 10-year old son, Marc, who basically busted out a can of whoop-ass on almost all of us. He has become so good it's scary. You rock on toast, Son! =)

Other than that, not much is happening. I'm still researching all the hoops we have to jump through to start Shared Lobotomy, and trying to coordinate with Jeff the skeletons of our first offerings. Work proceeds slowly, but it proceeds.

Take care all and, as always...

peace... RHM

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Well, it's formed...

…sort of. I went over to Jeff’s house today and discussed some things with he and Pat. Things like company name, product focus and some of what we have to do to get this puppy moving. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but we all seem to be agreed that this is what we want to do.

For anyone who’s interested, the group has decided to call itself “Shared Lobotomy”, mostly because one has to be crazy to think they can actually make money in the game industry. Somehow, we think we can at least make a small share of coin out of this, so we’re going to give it a shot.

Much research remains to be done in terms of company formation, securing a lawyer, securing an accountant, registering a web domain and building a web site. Overall, though, those are some of the last steps to be taken. Our first priority is to get some products together. To be honest, we should probably have around six to twelve items ready to issue by the time we are official. Not so we can blitz the marketplace, but so we have some cushion time to keep a steady stream of releases going while we work on new things.

Oh well, that’s it. I’ve blogged a lot this week. Now I need to go write some letters to a few industry folks. Take care y’all, and…
peace… RHM

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Is this what I really want…

Do I want to be a game writer/designer? After much thought about the subject, the answer is yes. Yes I do. I tried this once before, and failed due to a number of reasons, but it all boiled down to me. Now, I have the potential for another chance at it and I am not letting this slip by again.

I must like my current job. I’ve been there for over four years and while it’s mundane, it has its advantages. I work for the best boss I’ve ever had. Overall, he’s patient and generous, and it’s not always with money. He lets one of my gaming groups use his restaurant after hours to game in once a week, and in about two week, he’s letting us use it to host a Halo 2 LAN-type get together. All he asks for in return is a bit of money to cover our soda consumption and that we leave the place relative clean for business in the morning. Another plus is my schedule. Yeah, I have to go in at O-dark-early in the morning, but I’m off in time to pick the kids up from school, which allows me to spend some time with them. That is something that no other job has afforded me before.

So why am I thinking of venturing off from an employment situation that sweet? Well, I’m not, at least not initially. A game company is something that can be started on a part-time basis and the overall fact of the matter is that I want something of my own. If it’s not exclusively mine, than at least something that can be called “ours” and have me included in the equation. I want to venture out on a path of my own choosing, not idle in what life has dealt me thus far. I’m not starving, but I am hungry, and it’s time to hunt.

peace... RHM

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Once more into the breach...

Well, I did it. I asked someone to form a game publishing enterprise with me. Tentatively, they said yes. I know I’ve done this once before, with disastrous results due to a number of factors. So what’s different this time around?

First, I’m in a better space mentally and with life in general. Before, I tried to do this at a time when my marriage and (eventually) my mental health were tenuous at best. It’s been a while, and I’ve finally sorted out my priorities; husband, father, friend, prep cook, game designer in that rough order. In fact, most of those involved this time around have other things in their lives that take precedence over our endeavor. This, in my opinion, is a good thing.

Second, the mix of people is little different than before. None of the folks involved are thinking that running a game company will make us rich. It won’t. To be honest, the best it’ll do for the first five years or so is net us a bit of pocket money with which to buy more games. Seems fair to me. Use my hobby to fund my hobby. =)

Third, I no longer have the urge to reinvent the wheel. With my previous endeavor, I was all fired up into creating the “next big thing” system-wise. I need to face facts. The wheel has been done to death. The best I can hope for is maybe to present a shiny new set of rims for the game world to ride on, but why bother? There are many open and cheap to license systems out there just waiting to be used. I should take advantage of that instead of snubbing my nose at them.

Forth, this time we’re going a different route. Before, everything was geared to have a product to be printed; to have a physical thing that a gamer could hold in their hands. Admirable, but costly, and requires a fair number of hoops to jump through. Now, like many others before us, this new and as-yet-unnamed collective is traipsing down the path of electronic publishing. PDFs are cheaper to produce, with almost zero printing hassles on the creative end of things. Neat!

Lastly, as a group, our focus is different. With my first foray, I wanted to give a gamer a huge tome with which he/she could do anything. Now, we’re aiming a touch smaller than that. Small little adventures, collections of foes and traps, perhaps some treatments of generic locations (banks, taverns, warehouses, etc.), and other little projects like that are our aim. Quick bang for not a lot of dough.

Overall, I’m pleased with myself. I have a good feeling that this can work. I hope that the others involved do to.

Peace... RHM

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

It's That Time...

Time once again for everyone who is registered to vote to do so. I'm not going to go on a schpiel on who to vote for or any of that. Basically, all I'm saying is do it. Because if you don't, then you have no real reason to complain about how this country is run. Sorry, personal opinion.

Admittedly, I didn't vote in the 2000 election, and I'm kicking myself for it. As it stood, it came down to a lesser of two evils (Gore and G.W.), and I couldn't decide either way. On one shoulder I had GW, who really struck me as sort of a poster child for ADD. Not really stupid, but seemingly easily led. On the other shoulder, we had Gore, who had rankled my nerves with the whole PMRC deal back in the late 80s. Basically, ol' Al pulled strings to get his wife and her cronies a congressional hearing on a moment's notice for what should have been a non-issue. Being a music fanatic, the whole deal struck me with a hint of persecution. As a citizen, I was outraged as many other more meaningful issues got bumped back in the schedule of hearings because Tipper got her panties in a bunch.

I guess what I'm trying to say is go vote. Make your voice heard. Never stay silent when you have the chance to speak for what you believe in.

peace... RHM

Monday, November 01, 2004


I didn't blog yesterday like I wanted to. In fact, I didn't do much of anything I wanted to yesterday. The day was filled with a serious negative vibe for me and my family and was not good. I started to blog, but realized the only things in the forefront of my mind to write about was the current family strife. I decided not to air my family's dirty laundry. Yea me. =/

On the music front, I picked up the new GWAR CD, War Party, and it is good if you like GWAR. It continues in the metal seriousness that was re-started by their last effort, Violence Has Arrived (HIGHLY recommended), but with a decidedly political tone. Highlights of the new disc include Bring Back The Bomb. Krosstika, War Party, and the Reaganator. Overall good stuff.

Speaking of politics, the October 25th edition of the comic strip Get Fuzzy really summed up my feelings on our current political system. Yeah, almost anyone can run for President, but if you vote for a candidate that's not Democratic or Republican, then your vote is pretty much wasted, and that's a sad thing.

peace... RHM