Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Woo Hoo! Summer Update!

I haven't posted here in a while but boy do I have stuff to talk about! I'm working on cards for the next step in the board game series on GZ and it's coming out awesome! So today I'm going to tell you about some of the new character cards that are going to be in this game. There's going to be more action than in a ring full of wrestlers on hyper steroids.

If you want to find out more about this and other GZ products, be sure to hit the links to the right!

This edition is going to become the new core edition of the game and it's setting is good ol New York City. It will be based on the characters from then main novel series for GZ that starts with Chaos Rising. That means the heroes of PAC will be there along with villains of all sorts. The power levels will be off the charts. Here are some examples.

Sandstorm: Good Character: 
Raw Power: If Sandstorm's first attack against you is a natural 17-20, he wins the combat.

So watch out if you play evil against this character. He may just blow you away before you can do anything. But check out what you get as a bonus if you are good and recruit him!

When another player attacks you, roll 1d20 with no modifiers. On a 17-20 move that player up to 6 spaces away in any direction and end their turn.

He also gives you protection from elements so no fire, wind, ice, lightning, or other elemental cards or spells can affect you while he's your ally.

Electrode: Good Character
Fast Combat: Every time you miss Electrode he gets +1 to attack for the rest of the combat.

And he starts out with a +8 attack value so you better be having a good dice day or he will catch up with you FAST. But, he gives allies a nice bonus as well.

If you roll a 6 for movement, you may move to any location on the board.

Having trouble catching up to another player? Even if that isn't perfect he still gives you +3 to your movement.

Blacktide: Good Character:
Disintegration Aura: When you hit Blacktide in combat, you take 1 damage.

Fighting this guy is a thorny concept. If you are playing a goal on taking damage, great, you have a way to win. If not, this is going to be worth 3 damage just to beat him. Be ready to heal. But as an ally, he gives you this:

Other players cannot challenge you to combat or stop adjacent to you.

They can still ranged attack you, but full on combat is out of the question. This is a very useful protection to have since a lot of nasty tricks involve adjacency. But what if you are the one who moves adjacent, right? No problem. Nothing happens. You can move adjacent to or challenge to combat if you want. Other players just can't return the favor.

Nyhtwulf: Good Character: (I'm still working on what makes him dangerous to fight, but check out his bonus:)

When a player moves away from being adjacent to you, you may immediately move adjacent to them after they move.

This depicts the character's ability of neuro tracking from the book. Once he's met you, there is no escaping him. But what if it's Blacktide versus Nyhtwulf? What if a player with Blacktide moved adjacent to a player with Nyhtwulf and on their next turn moved away? Could Nyhtwulf follow? The answer is NO. Because Blacktide's power prevents other players from stopping adjacent to that player.

I know some language may need to be sorted out, but this is the hash out phase if you know what I mean.

Monday, January 9, 2017

New Year 2017 Update!

It's high time for a new update and what better way to kick off the new year? While planning stories for GZ Tales Volume 3, I've also dug into revisions for the GZ role playing game. This will be an official publication, likely available on Amazon! If you enjoy role playing games that give you lots of freedom and creativity, this will be for you.

GZ RPG will be a percentile and D10 based system. It is a game in a preset universe of characters, monsters, alien races, magics, and more. The old quote of 'everything but the kitchen sink' certainly applies.

It's a game where you get to choose how to build your character by use of Karma points you earn for your side of the balance of good and evil. And yet, you don't have to just good or evil. You can serve Chaos if you prefer and make your life goal the destruction of the balance. It's up to you!

It is a game of magic and super powers so there are lots of cool ways to power up your character creation. At today's count there are over 386 powers and you can roll for your powers on a new character totally at random. For that matter, you can roll your entire character at random if you so desire.

That's not to say there isn't an intelligent side or academic side to the game. There are over 200 possible occupations/academics for characters that give modifiers to dice rolls. Since it's set in a modern day setting, your character could be a person with any kind of actual job before their life turns upside down on adventures.

Still, you can be anything you want with a broad number of alien races also in the mix. You can see prime examples of all this with a visit to the Galaxy Zento Facebook page or even by perusing these blog entries.

I don't have a release date at this time because I'm just jumping in on the revisions now. But there will be updates.

Project work also continues for the board game and it's expansions and accessories. If you haven't jumped into the GZ universe yet, there's no time like the present. The current accessory pack will bring the gods of GZ to the board game. More posts on those completed cards will be coming soon. Currently, I'm halfway through the artwork (and there's been lots of positive feedback!).

That's pretty much it for the current update, but it's a major desk full for me!

Here's hoping you all had a wonderful holiday season and face a new year of all new excitement and adventure.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

All the links!

Hey all you awesome people out there! Today's post is a special one. I've been having trouble with my author's page lately. Not all the books are attached to it properly. I've written to Amazon and haven't had any luck. On Goodreads they are pretty much all together, but not where it seems to really count. Naturally this causes confusion issues. So I've decided to create a post where you have all of those together in one place. But not only that (because just a set of links would be boring), but a recap of what you get and what the stories are about. It seems like the perfect time of year for this and folks have asked me where the best jumping on point is among my books. So, for your convenience I will also make a note of which those are. The name of each book will be linked to it's page on Amazon (for the hardback, but they are all in Kindle too). So just click on the name to get the book you want.

Chessmen: Opening Moves:  The queen died in childbirth and the king has been murdered. When the Royal Guard is framed for that murder they have no choice but to go on the run to protect the infant princess from the real killer. Pursued by mercenaries and assassins, attacked by monsters, and forced across the stars; the heroes soon discover a plot overshadowing their own problems and threatening their whole solar system. This is the origin story of a unique team of heroes. [Good starting point]

Chessmen 2: The Queen's Gambit:  Having survived what they thought was the worst, the Chessmen prepare to take the fight to their enemies once and for all. But Queen Margel has invited a new threat to do her dirty work for her. The Maker has come for the Chessmen and will take anything he wants in the process. He is a threat that neither side my survive. This story carries maximum action from beginning to end on a spiraling roller coaster ride with all new characters. Witness fantastic feats of power and survival. Will the Chessmen finally return to Chyssia?

Chaos Rising: When the Earth is enveloped in darkness bands of killers with strange weapons attack all the police precincts of New York City. Nothing seems to stop them short of taking off their heads. But that's only the tip of the proverbial ice berg. The White House is taken hostage and bizarre acts of evil erupt across the country. Hakim only just got his powers in the likeness of Anubis and will have to learn as he goes. A new team of heroes must band together to hunt down the cause of their problems before something even greater comes to destroy them all. [Good starting point and these events occur before Chessmen 2]

GZ Tales Vol 1:  Assassins with a mystery target, an imaginary friend that kills, the core of time and space, and a demon that serves Death himself, are just a few of the short stories that wait for you in the first volume. This book includes the short story, Tale of the Gator that won honorable mention in Writer's Digest. Some stories are origins that carry on and others are about heroes that appear in the novels. Either way, they are action packed and full of fun. [Good starting point]

GZ Tales Vol 2: Even more awesome stories about GZ heroes and villains. Meet Maestro, the King of Demons, take on poachers with Killer Whale, and see what a day being a psychic is like. Read stories that pick up where some left off in volume 1. You'll read about heroes in unlikely places with the strangest of problems.

Galaxy Zento, the Adventure Game: You've read the stories (or even if you haven't), now play the board game! Travel the universe for good or evil and race to complete your mission before anyone else. The characters from Chessmen are there as enemy or ally. Face beasts and obtain artifacts. Escape from dangerous traps. You never know what the deck will throw at you next. About an hour of fun for 2-6 players, aged 10 and up. This game is customizable so you choose what goes in the deck.

Galaxy Zento, Expansion One: Lots of great cards to add to your board game. Check out the all new Monsters! More spells, more characters, more artifacts! Comes with a tip guide on how to customize your game!

Marshmallow Fight!: (I would be remiss if I didn't put a link here even though it's not GZ). This is a great family party game! Perform stunts with marshmallows for points and be your household champion. You can finally play with your food! This game has been reviewed by PalladinElliott and FatherGeek with approval from both!

And there you have it! This will be the ultimate guide to all the links that I will share in a few places. If you haven't jumped in on GZ yet, you've been missing out. It's a universe of unique and original characters. People have said some interesting things about it:

- It's like Star Wars met Marvel.
- It's definitely not Disney.
- A new kind of space opera.

And the story is really only getting started. Big thanks to all my readers! More to come!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Art Process

Once in a while I get asked what my process is to my artwork. Today, I'll answer that question. I have several steps that I use to put my artwork together. Sometimes I work on a Wacom tablet, but my true love is pencil to paper. I'm going to use a pic I was just working on for a special prize set to go with my board game. This will be the art for the Horseman of Apocalypse called, Plague (or Pestilence if you must).

First I start with pencils. I just use a number 2 and sketch away with basic shapes and refinement.  I work on paper that's at least 50 lb weight. That means it's sturdy and less likely to crumple when I erase pencil marks. I do have a tendency to use what's on sale if what I really want is too expensive. Hey, artists have a budget after all. I don't get into a lot of ultra small details at this level because my hands simply can't do it. On today's pic, I was having an exceptionally good day. Any other time and smaller details get added digitally.

Next is inking (photo above) This is the hardest part for me. I have to ink when my tremors are at their calmest. That's usually first thing in the morning because I haven't done anything to tax myself yet. For new readers; I have MS and my work is part of overcoming that. I have a cup with more than one set of drafting pens in it. I use several tip sizes to preserve the detail I'm aiming for. Even so, some errors will have to correct in the digital step.

Digital. I take the photo that you see from the ink step and load it up in Photoshop. I crop the image and use a layer called 'threshold' to instantly make it digital black and white. At this point, I can use tricks to zoom in on lines and correct them or make sure they are all connected where I want. I can add small details (see if you can spot the changes) that my hands weren't letting me do before. Once I have all the lines fixed and have added details I want, I get to my favorite part.

That would be coloring. I use the filler tool for the flats and then brushes for all the other details. I can zoom in and add all sorts of neat details like bloodshot eyes. I'll be the first to tell you that I'm not the most tech savvy guy. I still don't know a lot of tricks and even videos don't help with my specific programs as much as I'd hope. But I'm learning and that's what is important.

Now that you see Plague in color, you might be wondering what he's holding. Well, it's not his sneezy cloth. It's the Scarf of Pestilence. The nasty looking end can give you any disease while the clean end can cure any ailment. On second thought, maybe that's how he fuels the thing. Nah. Hope you enjoyed the simple breakdown. I have more drawing to do!

Friday, September 30, 2016

The God Pack

Actually, they are called Lord Entities and Entities in GZ rather than gods. Pantheon gods are actually a lesser power compared to the officially ranking entities of the GZ universe. But what is this about?

It's about a very special game accessory that I'm putting together. Players will only be able to get it under special circumstances. What it can do for customizing your game experience, well, check it out.

The lore: Way back in ancient times there was a war of the gods. The pantheons of Earth had become restless and took to fighting each other. Many died but not before the fighting reached out beyond the stars. The numerous deaths tilted and broke the balance of good and evil bringing Chaos into the universe. The remaining gods had to pool their power to contain Chaos and seal him away. They were successful, but the damage had been done. To repair the balance, a new universal pantheon was formed under the supervision of the four lord entities (Destiny, Time, Nature, and Cosmos). Three pantheon gods were promoted to entity status in order to govern their position of the balance. Set and Thoth, survivors of the Egyptian pantheon were given the positions of evil and neutrality. Thoth's position had the added requirement of protecting the balance as a whole, even moreso than simply being neutral. Thoth became the direct opposition to Chaos. Crimson King was a leading pantheon member of a distant galaxy, ravaged by the war. He took the mantle of good.

Each entity has their servants and agents to work for their perspective side of the balance. Who will you serve?

An entity or lord entity is put in the main deck. When revealed on any player's turn it acts like a super event. Some stay in play and continue to affect the game. Some grant you a special power, putting you in the service of that entity. These powers are huge, but let's take a look at the entities first, shall we?

Mother Nature (Lord Entity): When she is revealed, the player who revealed her is healed of all damage and negative effects (including spells). Nature remains in play giving all beasts +3 attack and defense.  -So yes, she helps and hurts at the same time. What would one expect of her?

Destiny (Lord Entity): When he appears, all players roll 1d20. The highest roll becomes a Herald of Destiny (whether good or evil) and gets the Herald of Destiny special power card from outside the game. After this, Destiny is removed from the game (does not go in the discard pile).

Time (Lord Entity): Does nothing on appearing but stays in play. At the beginning of each player's turn, that player must roll 1d6. 1: Lose a goal token (from a time anomaly), 2-3: Nothing happens, 4: Gain 2 achievement tokens, 5: Lose 2 achievement tokens, 6: Gain a goal token (Yes, 6 can cause you to win the game).

Cosmos (Lord Entity): When revealed, the player who revealed him must roll 1d6. On 1-3: Incur his wrath and all players take 1 damage. On 4-6, incur his benevolence and all players are healed of all damage. Cosmos is then removed from the game (does not go in the discard pile).

Karma (Lord Entity and daughter of Nature and Destiny): She does nothing on the reveal but remains in play. Every time a player hits another player with a ranged attack, they must roll 1d6. On 4-6, that player takes 1 damage. (Keep in mind that 5 damage is fatal)

The Four Horsemen (Sons of Nature and Cosmos):

War: Remains in play. Every time a player enters combat with an enemy from the deck or initiates combat with another player, they must roll 1d6. On 1-3 that player's opponent gains +10 to attack. On 4-6, the initiating player gains +10 to attack.

Death: Remains in play. All hits in combat result in damage tokens. (Normally combat only results in one damage token to the player who lost the combat)

Plague: Upon appearance, all players take 1 damage. Remains in play. On each player's turn, they must make a d20 roll of 12 or better or get another damage token.

Famine: Remains in play. All players modifiers and movement are cut in half rounded up.

Entities of the balance:

Thoth: The player who reveals him rolls 1d6. On a 6, that player gains the Guardian special power card and Thoth is removed from the game (does not go in the discard pile). On 1-5, that player gets that many achievement tokens and Thoth is shuffled back into the deck.

Crimson King: If the player who reveals him is "good", they get the Starknight special power card. If they are "evil" they lose all powers. If they have no powers, they lose all achievement tokens. When a player gets the Starknight card, Crimson King is removed from the game (does not go in the discard).

Set: If the player who reveals him is "evil" they get the Minion special power card (and Set is removed from the game). If they are "good", they lose all powers. If they have no powers, they lose all achievement tokens.

Chaos: The player who reveals him, rolls 1d6. On a 6, their alignment becomes Chaos and they gain the Chaos Lord special power card (and Chaos is removed from the game). On 1-5, lose that many achievement tokens and shuffle Chaos back into the deck.

That's just the main cards of this little pack of cards. There are a few events to add and yes, two of them can send entities away (remove from game). One of the events causes you to become a servant of one of the entities and gives you special powers.

So what do you think? Are there any suggestions you would make on the effects? Shoot me those comments!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Fall Update: Guess what's here!

This week has been loaded with surprises and now you can catch up on all of them at once. The first image you are seeing with today's post is the cover art for the box and yeah, it's the expansion set! I'll be getting my first copy from sometime in the next week. After I check it over, so long as all looks good, it will be launched. How much is it going to be? Just 24.99.

Now, with holiday shopping already starting, it's as good a time as ever to plug the board game and you get get your copy HERE for 44.99. It's new and improved to match the new layout of cards in the expansion. But then there's the lore of it all and there's something new to that too.

The newest novel and the second book in the Chessmen series is now available via Amazon and Kindle right HERE.  Be sure to use the "look inside" function for a quick sampling of the story as it begins. If you haven't read the first Chessmen story you can find it at the link in the upper right regarding the books. Here is where I have to address something more serious.

There is one thing the new book is  not going to be, aside from filled with action and adventure. It will not be FREE. For every book prior to this, I have done a free giveaway and put a lot of free books into people's hands. Unfortunately, it's time to admit that this has not been good for my own bottom line. I strive to be low cost in a tough age and I hope my readers will understand. The idea behind the free giveaway marketing is that it brings in sales of the other books and, in the last five years, this has simply not happened. That's not to say I'll never give anything away for free again, you can bet I will. Just not at that magnitude anymore. Just can't do it.

Okay, enough seriousness. I have been asked to clarify the order the books go in for people who want to catch up. Where to start? The exact order of the books is as follows:

Chessmen: Opening Moves
GZ Tales Vol 1
Chaos Rising
GZ Tales Vol 2
Chessmen: The Queens Gambit

Now, in the first three books, you could start with any of them. There is a character connection, however from Chaos Rising to the second Chessmen book. I won't tell you what those are of course, you'll just have to read for yourself.  So what will this have me working on now?

Crazy Harry
More artwork of course and more stories. My next bookwork will be GZ Tales Vol 3 and that is going to have some awesome stories in it. I can tell you that the adventures are only going to escalate from here. After that, I will dive into chapter work for the book that comes after Chaos Rising, tentatively called Wicked Ways. And for my in between time when I'm not writing I'll be working on the game expansion for New York City and the GZ combat system card game as well. Sound like enough for me to do?

Outside of Galaxy Zento, I want to point out that my family/party game Marshmallow Fight now has two glowing reviews (reviews are not easy to get) and you can check those out at the following links by author:


And you can get this game HERE also at theGameCrafter.  If you are considering developing your own game, I highly suggest looking into theGameCrafter. Not only can you put together a playable and nice looking prototype; you can continue developing with their step by step process and even sell your game on site (print on demand). Excellent quality, shuffleable cards, and bright colorful rendering. I have loved making my games through them so far. Customer service also gets an A+ from me. So check it out. And if you are looking for games further off the beaten track and want to support some true indy designers, you will be in the right place.

Seems like I have enough to keep me busy during the school year. The only thing I haven't been doing is conventions. Well, that will change around Spring, so stay tuned! Much more to come!

Monday, September 12, 2016

This board game just got a makeover!

My adventure board game, Galaxy Zento (based on the characters of the epic universe by same name) just got a huge makeover. There is a lot that's really cool about this and I'm going to spell it all out right here.

First, why the makeover? Because of the new layout being used in the expansion set. At this point in the planned sets I have for this customizable game (two sets include new boards) it just seemed like a good time to make sure there's a uniformity in the cards. Even a couple of my harsher critics really liked the new layout. The open art at the top of the card gives the artistic feel I was aiming for. The framed text gives the look that players wanted. Yay, compromise! But wait, I hear another question brewing.

But dang it, Dave, what about all the copies of GZ that people have already? Excellent question! Glad you asked! Because here's the truth of it. Not that many people have a copy of GZ yet. So here is what I'm doing. Everyone who has a copy so far is getting a whole replacement set of cards absolutely FREE. That's just my way of thanking them for their support.

But are you going to change the layout again? What then? No. I will not be changing the layout from this point on. New cards will have the same layout. The only way that may change is if GZ gets picked up by an publishing company with new agreements and whatnot, even then, not much should be changed.

So, you see, this really was the best time to do this. Right now, I'm waiting on the first set of new cards so I can check them over. Once I've done that, barring any corrections, I'll relaunch the board game and the expansion should happen very soon after that. Finishing touches are going into the expansion artwork now. If you would like to check out all the new art and card effects for the board game, you can do that HERE.

Check out the expansion set (what's done so far) HERE.

So what's next? That's easy! Next will be my fifth book and second novel in the Chessmen series: The Queen's Gambit.  It's a novel that will be jam packed with even more action than the first. After that will be GZ Tales volume 3 with work starting on the New York expansion of the game. That doesn't even include the juicy surprises I'm working on!  So keep those dice a rolling and we'll see you next time for a new and wonderful update.