Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Beethoven, Zombies, coupled with Qalidar and the Microization of Media.

Has anyone else noticed that Beethoven's even sympathies are always upbeat and the odd sympathies are wistful? Well it doesn't take a PHD to notice for sure. The reason that I mention this little observation is because the guy seems to have had a plan, or scheme, or something beyond straight creativity in the back of his mind as the composer went about his works. Maybe I am projecting, because I am proving what a technical writer that I can be these days. Something that I am mildly proud of, enough so that I would place myself up there with Beethoven in practice, though definitely not talent.

I have once said that "a little bit of pirates and zombies goes a long way," if not here, then at a breakfast table with an illustrator. Guess what I am working on like a job these days? Luckily, I haven't been delving into the life of the high seas nor researching the knickknacks that make up a swashbuckling aquatic bandit. But on the other hand, I have been shambling through tales of those who live beyond the rest of the grave. Writing, re-writing another, as well as producing others tales of the reanimated, both in fiction and game pieces. And I only have myself to blame. Well maybe not... .

Monk sent me a TAG scenario that he'd pieced together, necromantic pun intended, called "Six Degrees of Zombification" about eighteen months ago. Following that, Matt Franks, Dino, wrote up the short story "A King's Ransom" last September, I think. And then around last October I asked Darryl Nichols, King Rat (not used as a derogatory term here, folks) for a scenario to compliment Monk's work, and lo and behold around December he produced "Camp WTF?". Full of myself, around the Holiday season, I got the term 'The October Offensive' in the back of my head. I then outlined a zombie yarn of sorts loosely based on my viewing of the great flik White Zombie. From there I determined that in October 2009, right around time for Andy Hopp's Con on the Cob, TAG's first horror release would come out.

Around the New Years, talking with Lucius, we came up with the working title "CrawlSpace," which was supposed to combine RuinCrawl and Spacers (also called Freefall in PDF form) rules for Sphere Fantasy gaming. At the same time, Monk and I started talking about special TAG horror rules. Then around February, Peryton teased me for being blind about not being able to find a title for the developing TAG horror rules, though it was staring me in the face, literally on a Post-It note at my desk.

"But that's for my Sphere Fantasy!" I demurely said.

"You've been working on that 'Marsoom' thing (you hopeless hack) since I've known you." Was the reply. "You seem to have something more pressing in front of you. Think about it, no one thinks Flash Gordon when they hear the word 'crawlspace.' "

Sometimes, even I get the obvious. So from there, TAG's Crawlspace set of rules has been underway. The first printed product planned being Zombie Zig-Zag, most likely released released around October 15th, coming up very soon. The Rat King has been so kind as to paint a cover for us, and Widowmaker has been working on interior illustrations. And I have been plugging along, revelling in the zombie-ness of it all. Poor Peryton and OBoy are going to have some editing challenges here in about a week so we can get it out in time.

Working against this progress has been Peryton's up-coming projects for her award-nominated product Qalidar and other D20 products. It is just too much fun brainstorming with that chick. I can't resist a god fantasy trip with the old woman.

At the same time TV has become interesting again. Not sure if I mentioned this before, but Peryton and I cancelled cable TV last year. Not for finances but the collosal waste of time that it was becoming. We had to schedule time away from our creative process to indulge in basic cable shows, classics all of them I am sure, with their keen dialog, striking performers and nail-biting plot twists. And when in doubt, there was always cable news filling up sixteen hours of air time, to stay tuned. All at about $100 a month. I have had a problem with this since 2003. I have railed on this subject elsewhere on-line, stating that I'd consider the cable providers immensely intelligent if they'd allow me to pay for the shows that I want at what time that I want to watch them.

Since quitting cable, we've discovered Netflix has a special device called Roku, with which one can watch movies available on-line on their TV. And there were plenty of movies available to view on demand. Later Amazon started selling movies and TV series episodes through the Netflix platform, including all of cable's latest and greatest shows. On-line I have discovered my hard to find soccer games, as well as on-line exclusive shows like Gold the Series. Talk about niche markets, and it's what I want to watch, not what's available at a certain time, nor cataloged in my cable account for $15 more for a pre-set package that I must maintain a large percentage of my monthly income with. News and whatnot, thanks to the main outlets has been as readily available on-line as well. So for about $200 a year, I am getting the best entertainment options that I have ever had, for what would run me $150 plus a month. Wow, isn't life great these days?

All this said, I still have to get out Zombie Zig-Zag, because hopefully; no one ever can get enough zombies nor pirates. Someday remind me to talk the 'New India Sea' idea that I have clanking around in my brain box. Just not right now... .

No comments: