All words presented in this blog are purely opinion, not fact - unless specifically stated otherwise in the post.

Wednesday 30 April 2014

Complete World Project

Last week kind of vanished on me. Not sure where it went. No idea in fact. It was here one minute and I was thinking about writing a post about this idea I came up with and then it was the following Monday and I was totally confused.
Even worse than that I realised all this yesterday and suddenly I was going to bed after only writing the post title.
So I apologise for my failure to post. I'd like to say it wont happen again but I'm going camping for 4 days in 3 weeks and going to America for 16 days in just under 3 months.
That's right; I bought my tickets and my hotels. California for 4 days, Las Vegas for 2 and then a half ton of national parks! It looks like it's going to be super fun time extravaganza and I'll be blogging about it when I'm there and when I get back. Also we'll be doing the first in the new series of Stuff and Things. Not sure what the first topic will be but if you have any suggestions leave a comment or e-mail me at with the subject line 'SNT'

SO! what I wanted to talk about, the idea I had;

Complete World Project.

So I had an epiphany over the weekend... the weekend before last. Fantasy worlds are designed by a single person. Yes there are some that were made by a group but for the most part they were created by a person with a focus on a single main area. Yes they look at other areas now and again but for the most part its one specific area that is important.

I have a theory that one person can't make a full fantasy world anywhere near as well as multiple people.
Each nation was started by someone completely different, and so every nation has differences, just like people. whether its their traditions, their laws or even just their way of thinking, every nation is different.
In the modern world television and such makes countries start to blur together, but in an era when the world didn't have such ways of showing the entire population what another population is like it would be significantly more difficult to spread a way of life without an invasion or a take over.
I've been thinking about this for a while and I think it's an interesting idea, an interesting point.
I want to see what other people come up with when they think about a fantasy setting. I want to know what people think their city, their country would be like if they put it into someone else's world.

If you think this is a good idea then leave a message in the comments or e-mail me at with the subject line 'CWP' and I'll look into setting up some sort of forums.


Sunday 20 April 2014


Wondercon. It always gets such a bad rap. I'm not sure why. It seemed just as lively as San Diego Comic Con, even if it was smaller.

I didn't get to attend any panels (and to be fair, there weren't that many that interested me), but I still got to experience the heart of the con - the cosplayers.

 I'm sure others will disagree with me, so from my opinion, seeing everyone just as nerdy as me dressing up as characters I love is the highlight of any con. Sure, the panels are fun. And the exhibit floor is amazing (Wondercon is no exception to this). But I love the cosplayers!

Some of these people take cosplay ing beyond a simple outfit. I nearly squeed when a girl dressed as Jack Frost (rise of the guardians) jumped into character when asked for a photo. She stopped in her tracks, jumped down and asked "you can see me?!" It's the fact that people become the character that makes cosplay my favorite part of any con.

Of course, this con was different for me than San Diego because I actually had some monies!!!! And I spent it all on art. Seriously, the artist hall was just fabulous. I wish I had more money. It was so inspiring. 

All in all, it was a great time. True, the con continues tomorrow, and I'll probably go, but I'll probably end up in Disneyland for most of the day so I'm reporting tonight. And it's awesome! Seriously, you should go. Cuz I said so. ^^

Wednesday 16 April 2014


Just a little bit of a story I've been workign on lately. I'm not sure how much further I'm going to go with it. I'm not really sure what it is yet.
I'm starting to think that I need to stop writing the prologue first. I'm writing these big epic entries that dont really have anythign to do with the next bit of the story and it's making me feel a bit meh about the next bit, like it's an anti-climax, maybe. I don't know. What I do know is that I'm getting to the next scene, the scene with the character you're supposed to root for and that's where I'm stopping. That's where I'm falling down.

Anyway, here's the latest in a long line of prologues.

Ten dead men stood in a circle around the seal. It was roughly three meters wide and raised ten centimeters from the floor. None of the dead men were certain that it had been there before the battle, but here it was, right where the old words had said that it would be.
The dead men looked very much alive, and from a certain perspective they still were. Each still had a pulse, their skin was not sallow, they had scars and wounds, of course - they had just been though a great battle - but in any manner that a good physician might measure life they were alive, these ten dead men.
Each one looked different from the last, a man from every major province of the world. some with blonde hair, some with brown, one with red, two with black. one man had skin as black as night, one had flesh as light as milk, and the rest were shades of in between.
The dead men wore armour, each one adorned with the best armour of their peoples. They all looked so different. The different styles and qualities that the cultures of the world had created were so alien to one another, from the brightly coloured and greatly ornamental armour of the orient to the conservative steel grey armour of the west, they were all just as strong and capable as the last, yet they looked so different that they could have come from different worlds entirely.
With such difference between these men one would assume war, one would assume that battle had broken out between them, each one believing that they were the true way and all others were wrong, and a decade ago that might have been true, but these were great men. Kings in their own right. They had rallied armies, accomplished great deeds, won terrible weapons and fought back a darkness that had threatened the entire world.
The dead men had but one task left to them, and it was for this reason that they were chosen, that they were given the weapons that they had won. Each man carried one, a spirit of justice handed down from the All Father in heaven. The spirit took the form of a weapon, whatever weapon most suited it’s owner. Swords, spears, axes, a glaive, a warhammer, one of their number even carried a longbow. Each weapon glowed faintly, adorned with jewels and engraved with the symbols of the Maker, and each was meant to be taken to the halls of the enemy to end his attack once and for all.
That was why the dead men still stood; to pass through the seal and defeat that which lay beneath.
The Seal was gold and silver, spattered with the red blood of men and elves and the black ichor of the demons it was supposed to keep at bay. It was engraved and embossed with pattern upon pattern, so intricately designed, so carefully carved and sculpted that it had to be the work of the divine itself.
The dead men and the seal they stood around were in the middle of a vast open space. It looked as though it was once the fields of a farm, but if ever there stood farm houses they were long destroyed. In their place lay the bodies of the dead men’s fallen comrades and the ash and bone of their enemies.
Few had survived the battle. The chaos had enveloped the world like a tropical storm enveloping an island, with these plains as it’s centre, though the eye of this chaotic storm was anything but calm. None were spared, save those who hid, and many even of those were discovered.
all around the dead men lights rose from the bodies of their compatriots. spirits, returning to the arms of the all father to receive their eternal reward. The ones that the ten dead men could see were only a fraction of the souls that were returning. A million million souls flooded the sky this night, and the world glowed with the lights of the dead.
But not all was lost. In the depths of caverns, of dungeons and cellars, men and women cowered in fear of the chaos and had been saved from it.
One of the dead men, a dark skinned man with brown hair that had been tied back into a tail, knelt down and reached out towards the seal. He was tall and of slim build, but young, perhaps the youngest there. He carried a golden sword that went by the name of Oathbinder.
“What are you doing, Nathaniel?” Another of the dead men asked, from across the Seal.
Nathaniel looked up from it, fingers millimeters from it’s surface. He frowned at the speaker. “What we came here to do, Jed.”
“We defeated the demons. We’re done. We won.” Jed responded.
“He’s right.” one of the other dead men said.
“No he’s not, Markis.” Nathaniel cut in.
“He’s not right!” Nathaniel stood up, shouting the words. “It’s still down there. It will return. Once it musters it’s armies it will return. You all know this. There are only a few moments before the seal disappears. We must go now.”
“It will take an age for him to replenish his forces.” Another of the group said.
“Gyn...” Nathaniel sighed, looking sideways to the speaker, he hadn’t expected the man to argue. Him of all of them he didn’t expect it from.
“We’ve pushed him back-”
“We have, so let us finish him off!” Nathaniel argued.
“We’ve pushed him back and we will be ready when he comes again.”
“A millennia ago, when the last group of ten men stood around this seal and betrayed the world - as your own church professes - by choosing not to act, I’m sure they said something similar.” Nathaniel spat. “We will be ready next time. We will prepare. It will not happen again! Were we ready? Were we prepared? Jed? Markis? Gyn? Did it happen again? Those men promised that we would be and we weren’t.”
“We are not those men.” Jed growled, glaring across the seal at Nathaniel.
“You are exactly those men.” Nathaniel argued back. “The only difference is that you know it won't work. You know that you are setting the world up for death and destruction One thousand years from now. If even there is even a world of people left then.”
“I promise you, Nathaniel,” Gyn said, moving away from the circle, moving around the men between him and his friend, to stand at his side. “We will be ready. we will make sure of it. we will make laws, traditions. We will build our city on this dirt.” he stomped his foot down.
Nathaniel shook his head. “We made vows, Gyn. We bled and made vows to the All Father. We cannot back down now. We swore to end this.”
“And we have.”
“No.” Nathaniel disagreed, pushing his old friend away. “No we haven’t! This isn’t over, and vows to the Maker are not easily broken.”
“I had vows before all this you know, Nathaniel.” Another of the ten spoke up, stepping out of the circle. “My marriage vows, vows between myself, my wife and the maker. Those vows seemed broken easily enough when-”
“Edwin...” He spoke softly, trying to cut off the man’s train of thought, but the anger in his eyes told Nathanael that the rage had been building for a while.
“When the All Father let her die. When he took her from me.”
“Edwin, you know that’s not-”
“The All father betrayed us, why should we hold to the pact we made with him?” Another asked.
“Your wife is fine, Frey!” Nathaniel blurted out.
“Aye, and I’d like to get back to her. I’d like to see her again, and my son.” He rumbled. “But thats not the betrayal I spoke of. The All Father is power incarnate and yet he let this happen. He is all powerful, and yet these tragedies were allowed to come to be. Why?”
“I don’t know-” Nathaniel admitted.
“Either he want’s to, but cannot or he can, but does not care to, in either case he is not God.” Frey argued. “The all powerful, benevolent god that I believe in could not and would not have let any of this happen, Nathaniel, and I’m sick of pretending otherwise.”
“Or there is another reason.” Nathaniel responded. “A reason we don’t understand, a reason we could not understand. A bigger picture so vast that our minds comprehend it.”
“‘We cannot comprehend the monumental strangeness that is the way of the allfather.’” Jed recited the words of old, words from the scriptures that had brought them here. “Is that all you can offer us?”
“I don’t know why it has to be this way. I don’t understand the All Father’s ways… what I do know is that by leaving this unfinished you leave it to our children.” Nathaniel tried to play on the dead men’s fatherly instincts, but he already knew that his cause was lost. All of them had made up their minds.
“We have a thousand years, Nathaniel.” Gyn said, smiling, gently, reassuringly.
Nathaniel sighed, and looked between each of them. “You’ve made up your minds?” He asked, “You break your deal with the All father?”
They looked at each other, then back to Nathaniel and nodded. “We will be ready, Nate.”
Nathaniel’s eyes moved down, lowered in failure and caught the glow of the ten spirits of justice, the weapons that had been gifted them by the All Father. They shone brightly, as brightly as they had when they first saw them, when they were yet to take form. As brightly as they had when they slew the demon armies. Guessing what was to come next, Natheniel stepped back away from them, hand held strong on his own piece of Justice. “No, Gyn,” He sighed, “You won't.”
Each weapon vanished from it’s place on the ten dead men, and returned to their true forms, that of women, or at least that was what they looked most like. A cross between humans and elves with the wings of birds, they vanished from their wielders and formed behind Nathaniel.
Each man stared upon the angels and reached for their weapons, finding them gone.
“What is the meaning of this?” Jed demanded. “You steal our blades because we refuse to fight for you?”
Nathaniel shook his head and sighed, averting his eyes as much as he could. He didn’t want to see what happened next. “The deal you made was with the All Father, and part of it gained his aid in the fight. Aid he offered you in the form of his most trusted spirits of justice. You broke the deal, you lost his help.” Nathaniel started to notice it, started to notice what was happening. wounds began to bleed, old scars re-opened, other cuts appeared where they had not been. “You lost their protection”
Gyn was the first to notice, reaching up to his nose and touching the blood that dripped from his nose. “What-” he started, looking down at the blood, and then at the others. “What have you-”
“It is not what he did, Lord Gyn.” his spirit of Justice said, stepping out of the crowd. She looked lovely, positively radiant with golden hair and matching wings.
“You broke the deal.” Nathaniel sighed. “She was keeping you together. You really think we got through that battle alive?” He shook his head in sadness. “We’re dead men, Gyn. The All Father was the only thing keeping us alive.”
One of the men, one who had not spoken died at the back of the group. He didn’t so much explode as he fell apart. it was as if an unseen force had been keeping him together, holding him in place, and when the force was released… his body crumbled.
The other’s, their wounds rapidly growing and appearing from nowhere began to panic, their eyes darted from the pieces of their fallen to the angels that had once been their weapons. “No...” Jed muttered. He fell to his knees and shuffled to the feet of his former weapon. “Please! Please don’t leave me!” he begged, pleaded with her, but she was bound by the All Father to do nothing. A thin line of red slid across Jed’s features and the top of his head fell away.
Nathaniel looked up at Gyn, his oldest friend, to find, not panic, but resolution. He shook his head and looked at Nathaniel. He smiled as the other dead men’s minds caught up with their bodies. “I’m sorry, Nathaniel.” He said. “I hope you can do what I was too afraid to.”
One by one Nathaniel watched as the ten dead men fell to injuries long since sustained. their bodies fell apart, their insides became outsides, their ends became final. Gyn was the last to fall, as the best warrior amongst them he had sustained the fewest injuries, but he did still fall. The wound that took him was a blade to the heart.


When Gyn’s eyes opened, they were to the sight of a beautiful angelic figure. She was garbed in gold thread with long red hair flowing down her back to her elegant red, hawk-like wings. She had long pointed ears that pierced her hair and created long locks of hair in front of the ears that flowed down over her breast.
She wore a severe expression on her features, features that were beautiful and unique. Like all of her kind her eyes were the eyes of a bird, but unlike most of her kind her nose looked human. Most of the spirit’s had much smaller, flatter noses, but this angel… He recognised her.
“Oathbinder?” He asked, sitting up.
All around him the eight dead men’s bodies littered the field. their flesh, their blood, Gyn couldn’t tell one from another. He didn’t understand. Was he in hell? Was he going to be forced to re-live the last moments for the rest of eternity?
Or worse; was he still alive?
“You awaken.” She said, stepping back.
He looked around for Nathaniel. If Oathbinder was here, then he would be also, no? He could not see him. The other spirits of justice - his own blade, Lifegiver - were gone with him. Where could they be? where could they have gone? Unless…
He turned to look at the seal, but it was gone, along with any indication that it was there, save to a patch of dirt that had not been tainted by blood or Ichor. “What- Nathaniel?”
“Gone.” She responded. “He and my sisters fulfilled their pledge and travelled through the seal to try to finish what we all started.”
“Did I not go with them?” She asked. Her voice was angry, and it was directed at him. She looked away from him, to where the seal had been, a longing sadness reaching her features. “You are fortunate to have the love of someone as Nathaniel.” She said. “Before we go any further I want you to know something; I love Nathaniel. He is a god among you humans, the only one of you worth a thing.”
Gyn sat forward and wrapped his arms around his knees, looking down at his feel. “I know.”
“He had a message for you.” Gyn looked up at her, the severeness was back on her features. He shied away, nothing she could say would bring him any relief, he was sure of it.
“Brother, What I do I do for all the world.” The voice was not Oathbinder’s. It was Nathaniel’s. Gyn looked up and found his friend standing over him. “This is to be your punishment, for breaking your vow with the All Father, for betraying me and the world when we needed you most, this is your punishment; to live. To see it unravel all over again. In one thousand years they will come again, and they will bring a blight that will unmake the very essence of our being. I will not be able to stop them, even with Lifegiver, Truthsayer, Darkslayer, Lightbringer, Lovepreserver, Honourdeliverer, Codewielder, Pridebreaker and Wrathkeeper with me I wont be able to stop them. They will come again. Perhaps if I had Oathbinder… but the other spirits are not bound to me. together they can keep me from death, but I cannot perform as well as I could with Oathbinder, and I can’t take Oathbinder with me. I leave her with you. She was the only one who still had the power to save you. The only one who had the power to bind you to your oath. You may have missed the seal, but you can still perform your duty.” Nathaniel smiled at Gyn. “You can, of course make amends for your crimes, my brother. The All Father is merciful, and forgiving. You need do but one thing: Prepare. do as you had intended, prepare the world. You must travel the globe and bring everyone here, to this spot. it is here that you will re-make the world, and at it’s centre the knowledge that they are going to come back.” Nathaniel’s expression turned serious. “Do not fail me, Gyn. I might be able to slow them down, but they will come. make sure that when they do it is to face a mighty army, unlike any they have fought before. Make sure that the next ten finish it.”

That was the prologue of what I'm tentatively calling Blackwatch. As always not sure what's happening with it. Thanks for reading.


Wednesday 9 April 2014

Born to be Wild(star)

So Over the past couple of months I've been playing the new MMO (coming out in June) titled 'WildStar' and they've just (about 20 days ago) dropped their NDA... wait... no, they've lifted it. So We can talk about it now!

It's Great.

- Ja- Okay! Okay! I'll talk more about it, get more on the subject and explain why it's different from other MMOs.

So Wildstar doesn't work the same way that most MMOs work. It doesn't use the traditional style of select an enemy and press a number to attack that enemy (with the occasional area of effect attack). There are a couple of abilities that do use this - though I think just heals - but for the most part they do not.
What they use instead is the telegraph system. telegraphs are images that appear on the floor to show the user where the damage (or heals) will be. Players can't just sit back and auto aim, throwing attacks no matter what they're looking at and hitting. They have to aim. They have to target and they have to hit.
The whole game requires a lot more skill than any other mmo I've seen. TSW came close, but this really works. Even the enemies use telegraphs, making it so that the player- if they are good enough -can avoid every enemy attack sent their way.

Customisation is a huge part of the game and they throw the costume selection screen in right from the start. One of the big things for Wildstar will be player housing. Now hold on, it's not just something pretty, it's actually really useful, even from a gameplay perspective.
First and foremost, logging off in your house gives you rest XP - a multiplier to your XP gain as you play - but even more than that it gives you more rest XP the more customisations you have made to your house. Got 2 items in your house, you'll get a bonus. Got 1,000,000 items in your house you'll basically one hit level (Disclaimer: I don't know if theres a limit on number of items you can have in your house, probably less than 1million, players probably can't rest XP their way to lvl 50 in 1 go) You can also put in plots around your house that allow the player to mine, farm, craft, go directly to PVP or dungeons with extra added Buffs.
Plus it looks seriously cool. Yeah other games have got customisation, and some other games have got player housing, but no other game makes use of it so well.
Replayable choose your own adventures where the outcomes really do matter. From the characters who survive the mission to the rewards you get at the end. at the moment there are only abotu five of them, but I would guess that more are coming - they'd be stupid not to add more. The most interesting sounding of which is the gangster murder mystery. I mean seriously, how awesome would that be? in an mmo to solve a murder mystery.
Sure it's PVE, but lets take it one step further. PVP where you dont have to kill everyone, but instead you have to figure out who the person who is trying to kill everyone is! Sure it's not actually in the game nor have they made any plans to and so I probably shouldnt put it here... but the Adventures show a hell of a lot of potential.

Just... the style of the whole thing. sure there have been space mmos, there have been anime mmos, but this one... it just makes me feel epic without ever telling me I'm important. I am just one of a million players, but still, every tiem I level up they make it the most exciting thing in the universe with fireworks and huge Death Metal writing.
They could work on making the quests feel as good, but otherwise it just screams exciting.

Anyway, that's what I've seen so far. I'm really looking forward to release. it comes out on June 3rd, click HERE to preorder!

- James

Friday 4 April 2014

3 games that should be on the Vita

So in the wake of the FFX/X-2 HD release on the PS3 and the PSVita I've been thinking about a lot of games that should be on the Vita. Mostly I've been thinking about the ones that ARE on the PS3 but I would like to play on the Vita. Don't get me wrong I understand that there are limitations to the PSVita that the PS3 doesn't have, but it's still a robust and powerful machine and I don't understand why these games haven't been released on it.

So here are my top three games that I feel should be on the PSVita!

Number 3
So I had originally intended to write number 3 as "Any PS2 re-make ever" but then I remembered that all of these games are PS2 games. So I kicked that plan to the curb. Number three is Ultimate Spider Man.
Ultimate Spider Man is a great game, and the best super hero game I had ever played. it fully captured the feel and essence of Spiderman, without compromising anything. The story didn't completely fit into the time line (it wasn't cannon for the comic) but it still felt like it made sense and it was really fun. all the relationships seemed real and the gameplay was spectacular. other games required players to learn one move and do it over and over to win, Ultimate Spiderman kept the player on their toes and made it interesting. Made it fun.
It's not a hugely memory intensive game and it was on the PS2, so it wouldn't be terribly difficult to port (nor need to convert the control type too much.
It is fun and would work on the Vita.

Number 2
Shadow of the Colossus. (and I suppose Ico, but I care less about that). Shadow of the Colossus is another PS2 game, but this one is on the PS3 Network. It's a great game, its interesting and its the only game I've ever played where the enemies are the levels you have to play through. Yes there are games where you feel like the world is out to get you, btu for the most part we're talking about the things that enhabit the world.
In SotC you are literally killing the level. you have to figure out how to get onto these giant colossal monsters and then work your way around their bodies to kill them in their week points. It's fantastic and just plain beautifl (in story and imagery).
Again its not memory intensive and if my PS2 can play it my Vita can.
Plus I don't like that I have ot stop playing to go to work. I want to go to work and keep playing.

Number 1
Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2.
Kingdom hearts 1 is already on the PS3, but only as a disk game that can be bought and played. As yet there is no PSN version but it's the perfect game for the PSVita. its fun its exciting. Its fast paced and it works with several of their target audiences.
It's a vibrant, fun game with a depth that most people don't understand. plus Disney characters, whats not to love.
Sora, Rikku, Kairi they're fantastic characters and the team that designed it actually managed to make a game that gives edge and darkness to a mickeymouse Disney story.
It's absolutely fantastic and the Vita is a perfect place to gain a fresh new audience, especially in the lead up to the KH3 release.

- James