Monday, December 3, 2018

I missed Doctor Who last night, and that doesn't bother me

But that fact does bother me. I should be excited about a new season of Doctor Who and my wife can tell you I started it out ready to roll. I was in with the first episode. I found the Stenza villain to be weird and awkward, but over all I was in! I loved it. I looked forward to seeing where the series would go from there. Oh, SPOILER WARNING. If you haven't watched any of this season of Doctor Who with Jodie Whitaker as the Doctor (and you avoid spoilers) this is where to stop reading.

Unfortunately, the following episodes that I have seen so far, have been disjointed, awkward, and flogged with PC culture to the point of brow beating. But I will say, if it were only one of those issues, it would be forgivable.

Let's start with the Stenza. This looked to be the new big bad of the show and I hated them for their evil deeds right from the start. When tooth-face (I know that wasn't his name) told the Doctor that his people kept abducted humans as trophies in suspended animation, I thought, "Oh you just screwed the pooch, buddy. The Doctor will be coming for you and yours." When the Stenza were behind the destruction of the next planet they went to (to find the TARDIS in episode 2); it seemed this would indeed be the case.

Mentions of the Stenza in any way or form since then... ZERO. Not a nod, not a hint, not a mention. Nothing at all. Story line possibility left dangling out in the aether somewhere.

Come episode 3, to stop random bad guy from altering history (to keep "people" in their place as he was directly quoted saying). Random bad guy is not human and is from the same prison planet that barely managed to hold River Song. Random bad guy wanted to stop Rosa Parks from triggering history for black people. Why that would have any beneficial effect on random alien bad guy is never explained. Only the flimsy teaser of "little things affect bigger things" was given as his excuse. This gave me the false hope that he would one of the things revisited later on to tie everything together at the end of the season. Alas. It gets worse. One of the companions takes random bad guy's time weapon and throws random bad guy to some unchecked point in human pre-history. Because what damage could he do back there, right?

When the Doctor is told about this, she doesn't bat an a eye. It doesn't bother her in the slightest that one of her companions just did something that could irrevocably destroy history by way more than keeping Rosa Parks off a bus. And that's the last you see of any effect of random bad guy. Apparently that really did the trick because there is no change of anything at all when they get back home. Nope. Not the slightest effect tied to him unless they want to say that the giant spiders were his fault. But the whole episode turned into a history lesson of bash you over the head with American black history while going "cough cough" England didn't do segregation (actual quote of a companion). And that was it. Yes, they had to protect history, but the rest was a sham.

But wait, giant spiders! Giant spiders are cool right? When I sat down to watch this episode, I was ready. I thought, "All right! Here we go! Now we're getting on track!"   Alas again.  I'll just briefly mention the Trump mocking with the uptight billionaire business man who planned to run for American President soon and get on with it. This was not a revisit to Planet of the Spiders but felt a little like The Green Death. The giant spiders were made by some lab doing experiments on the lifespan of spiders. The failed specimens were sent to a disposal sight under Trump guy's new hotel along with chemical waste. Enter giant spider that has babies and they wind up in exactly just two people's homes. One of the companions and a woman from the lab. The rest of the spiders, for reasons unknown, never venture out of the hotel. They discovered the chemical dumping zone as a massive cavern you could fit a city in under the hotel. No one does anything about that by the way. No UNIT troops, nothing of any other intervention. There's a cavern of biological altering chemicals under London... oh well. They trick all the small spiders into a "panic room" and close them off "forever". Then they hunt down Mommy spider to find she's dying anyway because she grew too big. A fate that would have befallen all the spiders anyway. The Doctor was literally not even a necessary part of the story. And then billionaire guy shoots the spider and kills it anyway while remarking how great guns are and how everyone (like Americans) should be shooting things with them.

Next we have the Demons of Punjab. We delve into the early history of one companion's family during the time that Pakistan was created in the divide of India. This story was a total sham. The first half gives you the promise of ooooh alien assassins messing with history (like random bad guy?) but ends with, oh they weren't assassins after all, just watchers of history and there was no reason for the Doctor to be there. That's right, the only plausible threat was keeping Yaz from messing up her own family tree. The rest was a flat history lesson an nothing else. Rosa Parks was better aside from the 'bash Americans for segregation stunt'. I don't know what I was tricked into watching, but it wasn't Dr Who. Oh there was the point of the first woman to be married in Pakistan.

The Pting thing was the next episode (not the actual title). It was about the Doctor and friends getting hit by a sonic mine while searching through a planet of junk for who knows what. They are on a medical ship that takes off and leaves the TARDIS on said junk planet, causing the Dr to have panic attacks. Then comes the Pting. A tiny creature that can eat through anything and is indestructible to boot. It was the only awesome thing about the story because the entire other half was about a whiny pregnant man who didn't know if he could be a father. The Doctor did need to save the ship from the Pting, which she did in true Doctor fashion. But that was the only save. I just found whiny preggers man to be way overplayed. I started to hope that maybe this was the turning point and it would get better from here.

Bring on KERBLAM. While obviously a massive joking jab at Amazon and automated jobs, the show was better. There was still some seriously thoughtless writing however. In the beginning, one of the companions mentions how creepy the robots look (because robots!). The Doctor takes some offense and says some of her best friends were robots and uses the word 'robophobic'.  Now this line of thinking doesn't stop the Doc from having every single robot on Kerblam world commit suicide at the end, but oh well right? All because some guy re-engineered bubble wrap to kill anyone who popped it after opening a Kerblam package. So, title and all, the whole thing felt more like a parody of a Doctor Who story than an actual story.  And no, at the end, she actually did not have to have them all destroy themselves. Wasn't necessary at all. If you watch it to prove anything, make it that.

The Witchfinders again started with some promise but fell short. The show spent entirely too much time lamenting how unfair it was to be a woman during those times (being the time of the witch trials, but in England rather than the colonies). But it is historically accurate as you can see HERE.
It is only towards the end that we discover an alien race behind it all, reanimating the dead or taking over the living to be free of a prison some other alien race made out of a freaking tree. But again, it's more history lesson than story because if you read the link I give you, you get everything except two things. King James never put himself in the middle of the hunts and there were no aliens. It is absolutely about how women were the sole targets of those hunts. This episode has caused critics of the pc culturing to lose their minds. I just found it shallow and the alien thing felt like an afterthought.

I missed the current episode last night. I will be watching it out of morbid curiosity more than hoping to see a true Doctor Who storyline. I am in agreement with the critics on the points of how few shows we are getting with even less next year. None of it feels promising. Shows are not tied together enough or at all. It all feels like a mish mash of randomly sought historical examples thrown together. I've heard them say that they wanted this to be a kids show again (again?) and I can say it is reminding me of a very similar kids show. Magic Schoolbus.

Thanks for reading! I don't know where Doctor Who is headed, but if they want the TARDIS to be the next magic schoolbus, I'm afraid their going to wind up off the road and in a ditch.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

What's gonna happen to Fallout 76?

If you take a little trip to Youtube and look up Fallout 76, you will find quite a mix of reviews and information. You'll see all the quick fixes to exploit the game for all sorts of silly gains. What I'm going to talk about today is the reviews and new rumors about the failings and possibly falling of the game. I've been researching the claims that I have found and I learned a few interesting things.

These are the talking points critics are using to herald the failure of the game:

It's already being sold half price.  Wait. Where? I checked Bethesda, Walmart, Target, Gamestop, Xbox (Microsoft) and all of them are selling the game for 59.99. That is exactly what I prepaid for the game back in July. It did go up by ten dollars for maybe a month and then back down, but that's all. Hardly "half price" by any stretch. Yet, critics continue to proclaim that the game has been reduced due to "failing sales", but no one links to any proof of this. Speaking of proof...

There's 'already' a lawsuit pending.  Word around the net is that a law firm is "investigating" Bethesda for "failing to refund consumers for unplayable games" and "deceptive trade practices". Yet, as this article from Techspot points out there is no evidence anywhere of said investigations of any kind. So what's going on? As I understand it, people have asked for refunds and supposedly anyone who downloaded the game is not eligible for refund, but that leaves out a great deal of crucial details. It's hard to tell what we are really looking at. When it comes to these refunds however, I think we have to look at what the consumer in question's definition of unplayable is. Did it crash your computer? Did it blatantly not work at all? Or was it just that you didn't like the color of the leaves? This may be unpopular opinion, but in my experience, our society is becoming such a bunch of fickle crybabies and equally fickle and picky haters that the slightest hint of something unlikable is worth condemning the soul of anything to Hell.  From what I've seen of some of these complainers, they knew there was going to be glitches and issues. They even named them but bought the game anyway.

But the glitches and bugs! Yes, there are glitches. Fallout 4 had them. Fallout 3 had them. Fallout New Vegas had them. Yet, these games managed to survive. Why is that? It isn't because "people who buy are stupid, durrrrr". When Fallout 4 came out it outsold certain porn outlets and even took sales away from those outlets. Fanboys who were porn addicts wanted more Fallout than porn. All the games had their issues. They had freezing issues. Yes, that means that they should have fixed it by now, but do you know how to fix it? Do you really understand what they are trying to do? Fallout 76 is a far cry from being WoW but it wasn't meant to be. And putting this game out is a major change in how Bethesda is doing business or making games. That's how companies grow. They take on new things. And stop comparing them to No Man's Sky that crashed before it could get off the runway. Not the same scenario.

But a server crashed! And what, that's never happened before or something? Yes, a group of players managed to launch 3 nukes at the same time and it crashed a server. I guess Bethesda forgot to consult their crystal ball on the possibility that multiple nukes could go off on the same server and missed the memo. This is a perfect example of unrealistic expectations of any gaming company trying to put out something like this. No one has tried to pull off anything with the classifications that Fallout 76 is carrying out (that I can think of, including WoW or No Man's Sky). WoW has had server crashes too, they happen, kind of like having a rainy day. There is no such thing as an infallible server that will never crash. So it's really stupid to expect that. If anything, Bethesda should have learned a few new things so they could work on making the game even better.

But there's no NPC's! Seriously. The company was 100% up front and forward on this. Everyone knew and yet for all of you who still bitch about this yet bought the game... I just can't. They were also 100% upfront about how this is NOT like any other Fallout game. How it is not meant to be Fallout 5. How they knew there were going to be issues that would have to be fixed because no developer could possibly predict every little thing that could happen. The same goes for PVP (player vs player). They didn't hide anything in anyway. Everyone who bothered to pay attention knew what the score was. You can't accept changes like NPC and PVP, buy the game, play the game, and then continue to bitch or expect your money back. That is stupid.

I have experienced a ton of glitches, all of which have been reported. None of which can be altered on world wide live game OVER NIGHT. Heck, likely not even in a month. Some will take over six months. I've had float drifting monsters, been kicked off servers,  and had game freezes. I even had to jump servers because I died and game said I couldn't respawn because I was overencumbered. Have I lamented to the sky and demanded my money back? Hell no. I still enjoy the game and none of those glitches prevent me from playing. They have not encompassed it so badly that I can't be a big boy and get past them. I realize that what Bethesda is trying to do is not only new for them, but impossible to completely avoid no matter how long you work on a game like this.

I'm starting to wonder if some of these claims aren't more of active corporate sabotage than actual misdeeds of Bethesda. I do think, if it goes down and 76 dies, I won't be blaming Bethesda for that loss of my 60 bucks, rather a new generation that can't cope with pitfalls of reality and have ridiculous expectations of everything around them.

This has been part of a new turn I'm taking for my blog. I will be engaging in more gaming and geek culture; sharing my thoughts and reviews in the goings on of it all. For those interested, I'm still a published author and board game designer. You can still find out more at the links in the upper right. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Farewell, Stan Lee

He called us 'True Believers'. He exclaimed 'Excelsior!' like a magic word. A word felt in the bones of all who heard it. He lived to entertain and brighten the world for everyone. He should be proclaimed the Saint of Comic books. That's Stan Lee.

I still remember my very first comic book. It was Amazing Spider-man 184 titled 'White Dragon, Red Death!'. I was so hooked! Yes, I'm old. I grew up on the Adam West Batman series and the 1970's Spider-man and Hulk television shows. I took them all in with wide eyed wonder and they kept me out of my parents' hair. They inspired my creativity for all my life beyond.

Stan lived an amazing life and never slowed down once. Even though his last few years were laced with torment, his fans could count on his appearance until he was 95 years old. I wanted to include a quote, but there are so so many that I grabbed this LINK to some of the most awesome things the man ever said. Read them.

He was a humanitarian. He believed in kindness, tolerance, acceptance, and most of all love for your fellow human being. He demonstrated that behavior in everything he did. And in reality, he is immortal. He can never truly be gone for his creations live on in his stead.

I remember when people got together to make sure my son could meet Stan Lee in New Orleans. He still has the autographed photo put away up in the closet. It's a saved memory he can have for the rest of his life. I have an autographed copy of Drawing Comics the Marvel Way. It will never be for sale.

I think, if we could all adopt those practices of Stan Lee's life, the world could be an amazing place. I know the world was better just for having him in it.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

I published a coloring book!

It's my very first one and I'm going to share some of it with you here today. I had a lot of fun putting this project together. I could say that drawing for me is nearly as therapeutic as coloring for many of you. I worry that it's not absolutely perfect but art is also very subjective. Not everyone is going to love it. That means I am going to get some one star reviews and I'm ready for them.

There has been a great deal of love and support on this project from many of my awesome friends(fans) on Facebook. They are one of the stronger reasons I went ahead with this.

So the subject matter of this is artwork that used to get me accused of doing drugs when I was a kid. I never did any of that, but my imagination is pretty warped when you get right down to it. In my research of other coloring books on Amazon, I didn't see any surreal or abstract works. That gave me cause to think that I'm providing something unique. I know it's weird. That's the idea. Some of the images were suggestions/challenges from Facebook folks and I was glad to tackle them.

The link to the book is HERE. Now let's take a look at some of the artwork and share some history.

This is a digital redraw of a picture I drew when I was 16 years old. It's called Portals.  Yeah, I drew this in 1986. It's just plain strange. About one fourth of the images are from older artwork in my portfolio that no one even knows I did. That isn't something I explain in the book, but you get to know it here. Every one of the 40 images in this book have some sort of weirdness to color in.

I call this one, Aneurysm. Mouths, eyeballs, and a big detailed brain with floating islands make up something really whacked out. One of the things about my book that I like is that you can redefine what you see as you color. Is that fire on that island or something else? You get to decide as you apply those magical colors. It's more about what you see than what I thought of.

Death's Head makes you wonder where his head is really at. Are those little birds flying out of a cracked planet up there? Is that lightning or cracks in the sky?

A friend of mine's son suggest I draw this and I was game! Strange fantasy is where this book is at and every image is a new world. I think there is a lot of coloring time available in this book. I wish I could show them all here but that would be way too telling.

Okay, ONE more. This is Merlin's View. There are a few neat castles in the book and I will have to arrange a new set of keywords so people have an idea of what's there. I hope you enjoyed this. You can order your copy at the link above and if you do, and enjoy it, I hope you'll go back again and leave a review!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

I'm doing art commissions: See what I'll do for you!

My Godfather as a werewolf
I'm writing this blog to share around my open commission status. What you see here are works I have done for others and can do for you too. I have few limits, but what you see of my style is what it is.

I use photo models that you provide (or that I search for in case of celebrity tributes) and mixed media to put together colorful and fun portraits.  I have a comic book style and I use bright lively colors (muted on request).  Once complete and paid for, your work will be emailed to you and you can take it to Snapfish or vistaprint to have a print ordered for you. You may post it where you wish of course. It will be YOURS.  My base charge is 20 dollars.  Here are some things I can do for you:

A friend's family as GOT
-Your DnD character (with your face on it if you want) with a fun background
-You or a loved one with a background that fits interests, this can include pets
-A fantasy picture of your choosing
-You as a superhero or other character type
-Celebrity tribute picture and yes you can be in it.
-pet or animal pic

Any combination of the above or hit me with your own idea. Don't know what you want but know you want something for a loved one? Talk to me. I can help.

20 dollars covers up to two people in a picture, additional people are 10 dollars each. I'll do an extra pet for free. I've been known to add animals for effect for no charge.

I do my work on 8x12 at 300dpi for best effect on portraits unless you give me specific ranges.

Avatar work with stock images
Other work I will do: Avatars for website with specific pixel measurements, 15 dollars.
Banner for your web page with specific measurements, 20 dollars. For these I use stock images as well as my drawing to put together what you want.

I do not do special effects like animation or gifs

REVISIONS POLICY: Read this part very carefully.  I will make up to 3 revisions before I start charging you extra for the time. That will be 10 dollars for every 3 revisions I do starting at the 4th. It is 10 dollars whether you only want one more revision or a total 3. That's for MINOR revisions. Major revisions are subject to scrutiny of price but will cost a minimum of 10 dollars.

NO FETISH OR PORN. I will turn you down flat.

I reserve the right to refuse service to anyone (usually based on abusive attitude) to the point of complete refund.

So, in order to make your order contact me at or on my Facebook page Dave Wilde. Tell me what you want.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Summer Board Game Update and More

Daxeon, Vengor Angel-Chessmen
It's hard to keep a blog up to date when you have so much to do in development, writing and art. I'm going to touch on all three of these today and more.

GZ New York only needs it's box design and rule book in order to be finished. Then I have to order a set from  and make sure it all looks right. If you've been following along, you know this expansion has more components than I've ever put in a game. That is all thanks to suggestions from you, my awesome readers. I know blogger makes it difficult to post comments directly and that may make for some changes in the future. But you've let me know what you thought. I know the box can be one of the most critical designs of all so I'm brainstorming hard on how to put it together to be better than anything I've done.

At this point the game cost looks to be around 80 dollars retail and that's not gaining a lot for myself. But then, I don't think I'm quite known or selling enough to raise prices. If I can get known and move my brand to a full on publisher, the cost may just go down. Who can say. But I know people are willing to pay that much and more for games by going out and talking with people. From what I've gathered. GZ New York may just take over the game representation for my brand. So much to decide and none of it easy.

My writing has been interrupted via genre. A non-fiction project has jumped to front burner and I'm nearly done with it. I'm not saying too much about it here because it needs its own special reveal and launch past this blog posting. Still, my next book of short stories is halfway done and I'll be starting a new novel soon as well. I already started it, its just hard to write so many projects at the same time. My brain loves to try. The book series has been hard to get out to people and I've been trying out Facebook ads. For a free book, it went pretty well. About 40% of people who clicked on the book, took one. No one has come back and given any reviews yet, but 40% is a pretty good number. I just hope doing a non-fiction project helps get my brand noticed a bit more.

Ah, the artwork. Art is such a fickle thing and is the most criticized of any factor in game or book cover development. Because I am still at such a grass roots level, I'm still doing over 90% of the art myself. Because my hands have gotten worse, I've had to learn new digital techniques with mixed media and layering to make it work better. Some have said it's the best work I've put out to date. I have my critics though. I've been told plenty of times that I'm not good enough. Some of this criticism came with a dollar amount. If I don't pay someone over a thousand dollars for artwork, it will be unacceptable. That's fine and all, but I've seen plenty of work that someone paid out the nose for, that people still hated. With my art, I aim for engaging, colorful, and fun. I aim for a comic bookish style that relates to the type of characters I create. And I constantly look to learn new things as best I can.

I do wish I had a team and a company to put this out because I know its good. I know it can be a great success. I just need to keep on trying. So the fight goes on. Now I have a couple of questions for you my readers. I do hope I get some feedback from this.

First of all, how do you like the new layout of the blog? I  have had some input that white letters on black are faux p aux and not liked that much. Darker letters on lighter color, they said. So here is a try at that. Please let me know what you think. I tried to get black lettering, but I would have to lose the cosmic backdrop for that to work.

Second, I started up a mailing list and have been working on getting readers to sign up. I've only done four newsletters and the percentage of people opening them has been pretty dismal. When I compare it to the views I get right on this blog, it's an enormous gap. Over 100 readers click on this blog. Out of 30 subscribers to the email news letter, less than 10% open the email. What do you think? Should I keep putting time into the newsletter? Or should I just stick with the blog and keep asking people to subscribe? Let me know. I value your input.

Till next time!

Monday, May 14, 2018

Board Game Preview: CARD TYPES and COMPONENTS!

It's time for another awesome preview of what's in the New York edition of the adventure game, Galaxy Zento. For those who need a little catch up, it's a 2-6 player game that utilizes an event deck and interactive board to simulate an adventure where you are trying to complete a random goal for good or evil before anyone else. So much has gone into the creation of this game that gives nods to classics like Talisman and other event deck games. If you liked Talisman you will love GZ. The game is packed with action and options. Even as today's post gives you a solid view of that, it only scratches the surface. So lets dig in! (click on image for better view)

Player Characters: The first thing you get when you set up for play is a random player character type. There are 18 of them with GZNY and they all have cool abilities to help you on your journey. Some of them are even predetermined to be good or evil (otherwise you would have a choice). Some of them have special cards that go with them to boost them even more. The symbols are for attack (star), defense (shield), recruit (speech bubble) and evade (arrow). While red and green are part of their color scheme, the symbols are colorblind friendly. Next you have stats for Spells, Traps, and Obtain. Not all PC's can start by playing spells, but all have a stat for them should they become able during game play. Traps are for escaping trap cards and obtain is for artifacts. Each of the numbers, except defense are your modifiers to add to d20 rolls where they apply for each type of
encounter (traps, artifacts, combat, etc). Ways to build on your stats are all over the place and most players wind up pretty huge in just a few rounds.

PC Specials: These are identified on the back of the card by the word "special" and you only get them with certain player characters. There is another type of special card, but we will get to that in a few. The best specials are for the Elemental in this case with four cards. Each one is powerful but can only be used once per game. There are 11 specials spread out to 4 PCs. So there is a good chance of seeing them in play in a six player game.

Goals: These are the win conditions that are dealt randomly to players. Some team play options will be included. Goal cards also back you up with built in rewards as you play and earn your goal tokens. You can read much more on goals in my last post, linked HERE. In the next newsletter I will be spoiling more of the goal cards so be sure to sign up for that! If you can't get the link in the upper left to work, hit the links in the upper right and visit the Facebook page. You can't miss the pinned sign up link there! The newsletter comes with character spotlights, game spoilers and more! Resends of the first 3 editions will start next week and will only go to people who either are new or didn't open them in the first place.

Powers: These also have their own deck and there are lots of ways to get yourself a cool power. With 36 powers available and a limit of 3 in play per person, the combos are nearly unlimited. There are even a few you might call "broken". But fear not, nearly everything has a balancer in place. No matter how powerful you are, something out there thinks you're a snack. You'll be getting a solid example of that soon. The first two expansions had powers in the main deck and those are still good depending on how you want to run your game. Remember that the game is totally customizable so you can play it any way you want. Play or don't play any card you want.

Spells: The spell deck contains 90 powerful cards that make spell castors special in their own right. But there are several ways to wind up able to play spells. If you can play spells, at the beginning of your turn, you draw a spell card that you don't have to reveal. Spell cards are the only secretive cards in the game. You only have to reveal a spell when you actually play it. Everything else is full reveal. Spells serve nearly every purpose you can think of to the point of duplicating some effects. Spells can really be easy come easy go however as the game changes pace over and over again. Be careful when hoarding spells that something doesn't make you lose your hand. Spells can be used both in and out of combat with specific rules for each way of play.


As if all that weren't enough, you still have the card types within the event deck itself to contend with. GZNY comes with a main deck of 126 cards that you can adjust to your whim. Want to play all death effects and see how far you make it? Go ahead. Want to make it super easy with only the simplest things? Same deal. These are the types of cards that you will have jump out you as you wander New York City.

Items: A simple freebie card. Who leaves a laser rifle laying around? Whatever, it's yours now. Found a power potion? Cool! Only at focal points do you have to worry about them not being a free pick up for your turn (if you reveal a threat with it because you reveal 3 cards at focal points- see the board explanation HERE).  Items can be weapons, armor, or just some cool gimmick. Either way, they add to your play abilities and help you on your journey.

Specials: Another freebie that can accent your play. There's one to help reveal more cards and another that allows you an extra ally. There aren't very many specials hence the term, but they are handy.

Artifacts: These are more powerful can common items and require a dice roll to pick them up. If you fail the roll, they vanish. If you make the roll, you have a new powerful trinket. Artifacts do all sorts of a awesome things to enhance game play but watch out for....

Cursed Artifacts: There is no roll required for one of these. In fact, they will attach themselves to you as soon as you reveal them. They will block you from using any other weapon items or artifacts. Some will send away your allies. Some will turn you into a monster. There are ways to get rid of cursed artifacts, but your best bet is to get your PC killed in action. Most of these will make you a danger to the whole table and a target anyway.

Event: An event card triggers as soon as it is revealed and before any other actions can be taken. They can be both good and bad when it comes to the game environment. In some cases, more than one event can trigger at a time. In those cases, the player whose turn it is gets to decide which is first. Many of the events mirror things that happened in the novels the game is based on. Check those out via the links in the upper right.

Gods: A god card is a permanent effect with special rules. Gods have a powerful effect on the game and offer a little more if you succeed at praying to one. You can appease a god with a sacrifice of a power or artifact followed by a dice roll, but be wary. Fail, and you still lose your offering. Just like events, some gods are beneficial to the table. Others raise the stakes considerably. There is an event and spell to help clear them out, but you have to draw it first.

Traps: Trap cards require a dice roll to escape. Failure to escape causes bad things to happen to you. Pretty simple.

Training Cards: A training card is another freebie that gives you a boost or two. They can affect nearly any of your stats and allow you to play spells, attack better, or hunt for monsters.

Beasts and monsters: These two types serve many of the same purposes with a few differences sprinkled in. Some have different rewards for defeating them in combat. The same to be said of the repercussions of failure. As you look at the card you see several stats like your own. They have their own attack and defense before giving a number to roll if you think you can evade them. Failure to evade any threat means going into combat. Sometimes, failure to evade makes the enemy stronger because they noticed you. Some rare beasts can be made into allies either by spells or special ability.

Good and Evil characters: This is where your alignment really matters. If your alignment matches a character you reveal, you may roll to recruit him or her as an ally. Allies give you bonuses listed on the card. If they don't match, you can either try to evade them or fight them. Combat involves being the first to hit the opposing defense three times. If a player loses, they take 1 damage (per combat, not hit) and sometimes, something else bad happens. When it comes to characters, you want to be careful who you fight. These are the heroes and villains of the GZ stories. There are plenty of them.

Team Memberships:  If you look closer at that character above, you will note a word under her name. That word is the super hero team she belongs to. There are a few teams represented both good and evil in the game. When you reveal a membership, it's a freebie and you belong to that team, making it easier to recruit them as allies when you come across them.

Special Enemies: Special enemies have no alignment requirements and are general enemies to everyone once they are triggered to a point. Some will attack everyone no matter who reveals them. Some will start with the player who revealed and move on to everyone else afterwards. All of them are dangerous and challenging.

Other components: Do you love lots of components? Well, this comes with colored tokens to keep track of your goals, health, achievements, and poison. There are special cardboard chits for the special enemies that you put right on the board when they appear. There are 38 cardboard chits and they represent some spells and some threats. The game comes with 2 d 20s and a d6. It comes with a fleshed out rule book and alternative play methods. The best part, as I write this, is that it's almost available! All I can say is to stay tuned. Hope you enjoyed this very revealing post! Got questions? Hit me up in comments anywhere!

Monday, May 7, 2018

Board game preview: HOW TO WIN!

Isn't that what everyone wants to know? How to win the game is the single most important key to nearly any game out there. Well, it's time for these previews to heat way up as I show you just a few ways to win at the Galaxy Zento adventure game!

As I've explained before, in game set up, each player is given a random goal. The first player to complete their goal wins. But not all goals are created equal. Thanks to the game being heavily customizable, the host should make sure the main deck is built to support the goals being used. There will be 18 goals with the New York edition, but you don't have to use all of them. For a 6 player game, having 7 to 8 goals possible is plenty. I will get more into main deck arrangements later. For now, let's look at just a few of those 18 new goals!

Achievement Hog:  Of course, the first one I show you is kind of a dirty trick. You might look at the player with this goal and think, "why bother playing any further?". Well, don't let a guy with a ton of achievement tokens deter you. There is a good chance this guy will have a bull's eye on him all game long. Since players can take damage and 5 damage kills a player, you know how to nerf this goal. Getting achievement tokens only happens when you win combats, escape traps, or obtain artifacts. And getting a lot of tokens isn't that easy to build up. But with the right build up of powers or spells, the achievement hog can do a lot to interfere with other players while building up their stash. He'll force you to pay attention around the table as you make way for your own win.

Archaeologist: Gain three artifacts from the deck. Seems simple enough right? The best way to win goals like this one are to utilized force points on the board to make those cards come out for you. If you caught the last posting of this blog, you got to read about them all. There are 7 points on the board that can up the ante for revealing cards from the main deck for any goal like this one. So what's to get in your way? Threats from the main deck and other player's goals of course. There are similar goals for hunting beasts, or fighting enemies. Of course, cursed artifacts don't count. Note that when you start pulling off your goal you get bonuses. Every time you obtain an artifact, you put a goal token on this card to keep track. The bonus allows you better chances at dice rolls to obtain artifacts. But some artifacts you have to fight for.

Combatant: First of all, please not the dedication to our nation's veterans. Then note the goal itself. It's simple. Just win combats. These can be from any assortment of enemies in the deck or other players. To get in combat with a player, you just move adjacent on the board and challenge them. With but a few exceptions, they can't say no. Then hope you win the combat via d20 rolls.

Power Monger: Remember what I said about goal tokens. Well, there are two goals that give them a slightly complicated twist. You will have to track your goal tokens two ways on this card. One is for the bonuses you gain and the other for what actually will apply to win. Powers come from their own separate deck and there are several ways to get your hands on them. Of course, if you get the original game and the expansion, powers can come from the main deck too. Totally up to you when you host a game. Power monger can get really beefed up once he starts cycling powers. The limit to powers is 3 so you have to have 3 before you can start changing them.

Serial Killer: When a player character dies, the player isn't out of the game unless they want to be. If they think they still have a chance. They can continue with their goal and player character card or change them both at random to try again. The Serial Killer is there to help players make those choices (I know. ha ha ha). As you can see, this goal also affects a player's alignment of good or evil. Also note the effect on achievement tokens, allowing this goal to challenge the Achievement Hog. The Serial Killer has to be very opportunistic to win, watching for players to build up toward fatal damage before diving in to take them out.

Strange Addiction: Some effects of the game will poison a player character. Apparently, some of them like it. With this goal, you want to see about getting poisoned without actually killing yourself. Watch out if the Serial Killer is on the table while you try this goal. Getting killed means starting all over again.

King of the Hill: For the last one today, I bring you one more dirty trick. The player of this goal will literally spend the entire game beefing up with items, artifacts and spells for the last combat of the game. Past that, it's wait for someone to call "winner" so the title bout can begin. The winner of that combat is who really wins the game that time around. It's not a guaranteed win, just a different one.

Want to know what the other goals are? Well, you can only find out two ways. One, wait for the game or two, sign up to the mailing list!  See upper left corner or links in upper right. Because that is where I will be spoiling some more of them.

About the artwork. You might wonder, in my universe of heroes and villains, why more of them aren't represented in these cards. That's because the seemingly random people in the cards are meant to represent YOU. You, the player who is exploring this aspect of the GZ universe. Thanks for reading. More to come soon!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Board game preview: HOW THE BOARD WORKS

I said I would and here I go. Time to show you the board for the New York edition and give you the scoop on how it works. By the way, if you haven't signed up for the mailing list, you're missing out content and stories that don't go anywhere else. This will include giveaways and contests. So what are you waiting for?

This is the New York Game board. It will fold in six sections.
Click on image for larger view

To re-explain the game a little bit, the object is to complete a random assigned goal before other players. A goal may have you hunting beasts or monsters, recruiting a number of allies, gathering artifacts, or just beating up other players. There are far more goals than even that, just to point out. Everything you try to gain in your goal will come from an event deck that you reveal cards from on every turn after you make a move. You might find that daunting to depend on luck of the draw to complete a goal, but fear not. The board will help you.

STARTING ZONES: The white flares around the edges of the board are the starting zones. Since the game supports 2-6 players, there are 6 zones. The player who goes first gets first choice of where to start. Starting at the right spot can put you closer to map points that support your goal. But even if you are on the losing end of that equation, there is a way around it.

AIRPORTS: If you look closely, you can see three airplane symbols on the map. When you land on a plane you can immediately continue your movement via any other plane on the map. Trivial fact: At least two of the airports are positioned where real airports are in the real New York City.

DRAW 2: When you land on a number 2, you get to reveal 2 cards from the event deck instead of one with no other restrictions. A normal move only reveals one card.

FOCAL POINTS: The red X's on the map are Focal Points. When you land on one, you reveal 3 cards from the event deck with a couple of restrictions. One, you can't evade or run away from anything that comes at you. Two, if there are freebie cards in the reveal, you can't have them unless you defeat any threats that appeared with them. The only control you have is if there are multiple combats or traps. In those cases, you only have to do one combat and you can discard the rest. Same for traps. But a combat and a trap will both stay and you must deal with both before you can take an item or artifact from the focal point. As an additional bonus to this, if you succeed against all threats of a focal point and there is an artifact, you do not have to make the obtain roll for the artifact. It becomes free.

FORCE POINTS: A force point is a location on the map that allows you to make a die roll on a d20 to force a specific card type from the event deck. For any of these points, you roll a 15 or more with no modifiers and you get to reveal until the specified type comes out. Then you shuffle the other cards back into the deck. A card forced cannot be evaded, so be careful. There is a symbol for each card type that can be forced from the deck to achieve your goal:

Pot of gold: Shop: force an item card
Ancient Ax: Museum: force an artifact
Paw Print: Zoo: force a beast
Tombstone: Cemetery: force a monster
Letter H: Hero base: force a good character
Letter V: Villain base: force an evil character

HOSPITAL: The red heart with a cross is the hospital. You can land there for a chance at healing yourself.

ZONES: Each colored location of the map is a zone that caters to a certain type of threat card (except Staten Island). In those zones, when a card of the zone type is revealed, you cannot evade it and it has +2 attack against you in combat. 

Bronx: Monster zone
Queens: Beast zone
Brooklyn: Villain (evil character) zone
Manhatten: Hero (good character) zone

The odd ball on these is Staten Island, the power zone. For each time you enter Staten Island (so long as you didn't start your turn there) you get to roll a d20. If you roll 15 or higher, you get a power from the power deck. The limit on powers is 3, so you might have to pick and choose. There are other ways to get powers built into the game so no worries if you can't get to that side of the map enough.

Any marked location on the map falls under a rule that you cannot start your turn on it, move away and go right back to it. You have to leave any one marked space for an entire round, before going back to it. If your movement allows you to reach another marked space of the same type, that is a legal move. 

And that's the board! What do you think? Enough action to go around? Tell me your thoughts in comments and thanks for reading! Remember to check out the links in the upper right for the books and the original game!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Board game preview! MONSTERS!!

It's time for another board game preview! This time I'm going to share some monsters that will come for you out of the event deck as you search New York city for your goal to win the game. If your goal card says you have to fight monsters, this is what you'll face!

This is for the Galaxy Zento Adventure Game: New York City. The game is tied into two other expansions that can be mixed and matched for how you want to play and is based on the stories and novels (see links in upper right of page).

 I know you can't see exactly what they do yet, but I will explain the card layout. The symbols are for the monster's stats.
Star:  Attack power added to a d20 attack roll
Shield: Defense you have to roll on d20 with your own attack power.
Arrow: Evade level you have to roll on d20 to escape it without fighting it.
Naturally, each monster will have perks and challenges of their own.

The Were-beast is a combination threat that you treat as a monster but can count as a beast. If it defeats you in combat it passes its curse to you and you become the next were-beast and a special enemy to everyone else in the game. You can count on it not being a pushover in combat too.

The Chimera can attack you three times in a row before you get to attack once. That means it rolls to hit your defense three times in a single attack turn. You should hope you've built up your defense or can make just as many tries yourself to even it out. Thanks to its snake tail, its also venomous and will poison you if you lose a fight against it. Poison has multiple effects in the game to include hindering movement, blocking powers or abilities, or blinding you so you can't make ranged attacks. Fortunately, poison is somewhat easy to get rid of since all you have to do is be healed of any amount including zero.

The Harpy is a mean monster that can attack twice in combat. If you beat it, you get to keep its card and gain a special artifact weapon called the Harpy Feather. It grants you a boost to your own attack for future combats.

Power Ghoul is a pretty basic monster with a very straightforward effect. If you beat him, you get a new power from the power deck. If you lose, you lose a power if you had one in the first place. Since New York comes with a full deck of powers, there are more chances to get powers than in any expansion so far.

New York comes with a slew of spider cards thanks to what happened in Chicago in the novel Chaos Rising. This one comes with two attacks in combat and is venomous. Thanks to other effects in the game (traps and events) spiders can pop out at you nearly anywhere or anytime during game play.

That isn't all the cards that count as monsters, but it's a nice sharp view of what is coming. I have some artwork left to do and a rule book and hope to release New York this summer! In my next edition I will spoil the game board itself! For now, here's some links to the other expansions!

CHESSMEN or first edition


Hey, want to know what comes after this? The all new Chessmen card expansion will have all the characters from both Chessmen Novels! All the heroic Chessmen, their allies and enemies will be on hand to merge with your gaming experience. All new special edition cards, team memberships, and more still in planning stage! 

Monday, April 2, 2018

Check out the Chessmen and a Contest!

It's time for another GZ update blog and I have more for you than just Chessmen. I have a preview for you too. First I want to show you brand new artwork for the Chessmen. For those who don't know, the Chessmen are a team of heroes from the world of Chyssia. They were forced to flee their home world with the infant princess in order to protect her life. The story has been called a space opera with super powers and you can get your hands on the first book of the series for just 99 cents HERE. Some of this art has only been seen in the email newsletters so far so don't hesitate to sign up for that at the end of this post or in the upper left of this blog page.

Here's Falconer and Sersi, the leaders of the team. Falconer is a powerful elemental capable of commanding any element or weather. He can reshape stone, convert it to water and back to stone, summon lightning, and create storms of any magnitude. Sersi is a mystical falcon with spell casting abilities. Watch out for her thunder dive, it can wreck a tank!

Next we have Helshred, the unlikely hero. Despite his fearsome appearance and odd behaviors, he is the most loyal member of the team and heroic to boot. He is an amnesiac due to the wound on his head and he can never remove those bladed gauntlets. Helshred desperately wants to regain the knowledge of his past and hopes that Falconer can one day help him do that. Helshred is agile and acrobatic, capable of short distance teleportation. Since the gauntlets are indestructible, he's practically a living weapon. They can slice through nearly anything. His tail is prehensile and can grasp a weapon or a person.

Reigndale is a soldier of Amnath and a highly experienced marksman. He knows military tactics and strategies. He is also  a solid hand to hand combatant. Reigndale is ashamed of his people because they are part of the coup that forces the Chessmen from their home. He turns his back on them to serve the princess. Reigndale has a secret that even he doesn't understand. Somewhere within him is another person.

That person is Daxeon the Vengor (vengeance) Angel. At certain times of need, Reigndale's body will disappear and be replaced with Daxeon who is so fearsome on sight, lesser beings flee. He fights with cosmic energies and a blue diamond sword. He can exist in the vacuum of space. Daxeon is super strong and can lift well over 100 tons. He fights in raging fury and when any threats are eliminated, he vanishes and brings back Reigndale.

Viro was an astronaut from the planet Ruwano. He was investigating energy readings from a small star when his ship was overcome by strange radiation. He was rescued by a race called the Cyborians but they had to seal his body in armor. Viro is always encompassed in a green gas within his armor. He can create viruses that can do nearly anything he imagines. He can heal, dissolve, strengthen, weaken, or alter the properties of nearly anything. His power is limited and he often has to rest and recharge. Viro lives in constant caution of anything that could break open his armor for he could destroy and entire world.

Halley is the guardian of the Halley's comet shield. The powerful artifact allows him to fly in space just like a blazing comet. With it's power he can smash through enemies and even the hull of starships. The shield also collects and stores energy from attacks that it protects Halley from. Once enough is stored, the shield can fired a powerful energy blast that can clear trees or knock a space craft out of the sky. Halley is the only human member of the team. He was abducted as a child to be studied, but found the shield and escaped into space.

Major Xeroh is a cumulative mimic. He can use the cumulative physical attributes (strength, speed, endurance,) and powers of any beings within about 50 yards. Even without other people to boost him, he can fly in space and has his own physical strength. The eye piece is a scanner that tells him what sort of powers people have at a distance before he gets close enough to register them with his power. He also uses it to scout long distances ahead for danger. Xeroh is boisterous and often comical without intending to be. Like Viro, he comes from Ruwano.

Messiah is quite possibly the most powerful member of the team. He carries the power of Faith. It is the only power that Xeroh cannot copy. He can use faith to heal or accomplish amazing feats. He can fly in space and boost the abilities of others to astronomical levels. He can be stronger or faster than nearly anything he faces. He has even used his power to stop the cannon blast of a starship from killing his friends before he knocked the ship out of the sky with a gesture. Even if it weren't for faith, Messiah is a master martial artist. His past is as much a mystery as Helshred, but only because he doesn't speak of it.

There you have them, the Chessmen! Now for that preview I promised. It's nothing less than the board for the next edition of the adventure board game! Check it out!

The new board is far more interactive in the game than the first one. There are spaces where a roll of the dice can force a card you want to come out of the event deck. Each location has built in dangers depending on what you draw for your turn. For example, the Bronx is the "Monster zone". Monsters revealed in this area cannot be evaded and have +2 to their attack for combat. But if you are looking for monsters, just hang around the cemeteries. You're bound to find them. Worried about distance across the board? Don't. Just land on one of the airplane spaces to instantly go to any other same space on the board and continue your move normally. The starbursts are starting zones for up to 6 players. Much more will be coming out on the game in the newsletter so be sure to sign up!

Finally it's time for that contest! How would you like to have you or someone else drawn as a super hero or villain? Well here's your chance! It's a coloring contest. All you have to do is color the picture and send it or a photo of it to by April 30! Easy! Print it out or color online and send it to me! If you win, I will draw the person of your choice from a photo you provide! Have fun! And that's all for this edition!