Free game!

Sometimes when I’m not writing video games for other people, I take some time out to write something that allows me to exercise ideas that might be on my mind, or game elements that may not be present in current projects.

Last year, I created a short piece of interactive fiction called The Freelancer’s Survival Guide.

It was based on my own experiences from my first year of freelance writing, therefore, it’s pretty ridiculous. Click the link below to play through the narrative that reacts to the choices you make along the way (sort of like those awesome Choose Your Own Adventure Books that were popular when I was in grade school).

The game uses persistent variables to track your choices, ultimately offering you a good or bad ending. It takes about 10 minutes to play.

While it was originally written in the interactive software Inkle, I’ve since converted it to the Twine Harlowe format. I hope you’ll check it out. It’s FREE!

Click here to check out The Freelancer’s Survival Guide.

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Chambers Update #13

After one year and three months of writing, drawing, coloring, lettering and editing, my crime-fiction graphic novel CHAMBERS has been turned in and accepted for publication.

This is a pretty huge milestone in my comic-making career as this 88-page graphic novel took a lot of time, attention and dedication as it made its way toward completion. In the near future, digital and physical copies will be available  for purchase and I’m excited for readers to get their hands on the first graphic novel to have my name on the cover.

Big thanks to series artist Kristian Rossi and colorist Kefas Armando who also spent lots of time and care bringing this story to life and made it even better than it originally looked when it only existed in my mind.

I look forward to being able to share some artwork, release info and the name of the publisher bringing this book to the shelves soon enough. I’ve even heard rumblings that the book could make a debut at a big comic convention in July. It’s all up to scheduling, printers and the powers that be to get things sorted out, but I’m looking forward to a wild ride as we begin to get the promotion ball rolling.

Stay tuned!

Chambers Update #12

During the first week of April I sent off my completed crime-fiction graphic novel, CHAMBERS to the publisher and began playing the waiting game on editorial feedback.

Today, those edits dropped in my mailbox.

It’s been an interesting experience leafing through 88 pages of notes, feedback, suggestions, errors and inconsistencies. I’ve never worked with a comics editor on this level before and it’s a crazy feeling to know that someone has gone through my story with a fine-toothed comb. A story that, just a year ago, only existed in my brain.

While you hope for an editor to come back say “It’s fantastic! Amazing! We’ll sell millions of copies of this!” it rarely works out that way.

Because this is the first comic that I did for an actual company, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect in the way of feedback. When I finally garnered the courage to kick open the PDF file I saw note upon note upon note upon note.

My heart dropped.

As I re-read my way through my work taking a new viewpoint into consideration, I realized everything that the editor suggested was right.

As humans, ego is a funny thing. I enjoy giving feedback to others and know the importance of being open to it. By the time I reached the final page of my story, I was re-invigorated by the notes and ready to dive back in and start making corrections to ensure that the comic is best it can be. It also made me aware of similar mistakes that I was currently making in other projects currently in the pipeline.

Not that I expected it, but I’m glad that I wasn’t told it was amazing. I’m glad that I’m being asked to make changes that will ultimately lead to a better product that the publisher will be proud to put their name on. I’m glad that the editor takes their job seriously enough to take the time to give feedback on the level they did. It really meant a lot, and I felt bad for “letting them down.”

This is the type of thing that makes a writer better. Pushes them. Fixes them.

I work under the rule, “how do you know if no one tells you?”
It’s nice to have people in your corner who will tell you.

Editorial is typically a thank-less job, but I’m thankful for both the editor, their insight and for the entire experience thus far.

As I work on the next pass of the book, here’s the final character sketch for Chambers, as drawn by series artist, Kristian Rossi.

Meet Detective Kurt Emerson. If you have a problem, he’ll solve it.

Kurt_

Chambers Update #11

Great news on my upcoming crime comic book, CHAMBERS!

Kefas Armando, colorist for the high-octane series has turned in the remaining pages, bringing his duties with the book to a close. All 88 pages have been through penciling, inking and coloring and all that remains is to add lettering to the final 11 pages and format the book for print.

I have every intention of turning the book in to the publisher by the end of next week, at which point I hope to be able to reveal who will be bringing this graphic novel to the shelves and ideally, some sort of date for release!

Expect a final round up once all has been submitted, but for now, here’s artist Kristian Rossi‘s original character sketch of Nate Ashby, one of the series’ central villains.

Enjoy… I only have one of these left to post!

Nate copy

Chambers Update #10

At long last, my crime graphic novel, CHAMBERS, is on the fast track toward completion and it’s exciting to know that in just a few short weeks I’ll be submitting this book to the publisher and securing a release date!

Over the past few weeks, interior artist, Kristian Rossi, completed five different (and amazing) covers that will be the face of the book. One for each issue/chapter (soon available digitally), and one for the trade paperback.

Colorist Kefas Armando has finished coloring issue 3 and has only eleven more pages to color in issue 4 before his work on the project is complete.

I’ve lettered issues 1-3 and will be beginning on the final issue shortly. Once those are complete, we go to pre-press to format the book and make it look fantastic so that you may soon hold it in your hands.

To celebrate, here’s Kristian’s original character sketch of one of the book’s baddies, Jamie Tillman.

Jamie_