Thursday Trenches – Coming up – Vixle

So, you may have heard that on Tuesday, the Kickstarter for Vixle launched. I thought I’d come up from the trenches and talk about it a bit.

To start with, Vixle is similar to Minecraft. Things are built with blocks. You can create whatever you can imagine. If you’re already a fan of Minecraft, you should definitely check it out. What makes Vixle really cool, is the coding aspect that Brian McBarron added to it. Imagine building something in Minecraft, and then actually having it do that thing that you wanted. But redstone you say? That’s child’s play compared to this.

This is where I came in. Brian was inspired to learn to code by the Micro Adventure Books. Brian approached me to see if I would be interested in doing something similar for Vixle. Of course I loved the idea. And a short time later, Journey to Galaxy’s Edge was born.

So you are the character in the story and once you reach certain points throughout the story, you will switch over to Vixle and code your way through the adventure. Your ship was under attack and damaged. You must go into the computer systems and re-route power from non-essential functions in order to get the ship moving once more. What’s really cool about this is once you’ve fixed the code to make it all work, you can see the changes come to life in the game. So the engines will power up and other systems will go dark.

The thought that my stories might encourage kids to learn coding is very exciting! If this sounds like it might be your thing, I encourage you to swing by the Kickstarter.

-Keep Writing

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Gaming News

Last weekend, I sank into the dark abyss of gaming. No, not WoW (though we’re currently playing that too). My wife got me into playing Magic: The Gathering.

I never really “played” M:TG. Sure, I had the cards. It was more of a collection though. My friends and I just built decks and then arrayed them across the floor or table.

My wife is currently playing at her work which re-sparked her interest. We headed over to our local store and decided to pick up two starter sets and some booster packs. I chose the “Grab for Power” set (Black/Blue) and she chose Entangling Webs (Green/Red).

It was a lot of fun! I really enjoyed the strategy of the game. Of course, I made quite a few mistakes. It was a lot more fun than I was expecting. I’m looking forward to future games. I’ll start adding in those boosters and see how much I can mess up the deck.

On the video game front: As I mentioned, we are currently playing World of Warcraft. It’s fun. We started on a new server with one of our friends. (Seems like all our friends are spread across 20 different servers.) Just keeping it low key with our goblins.

Still playing Halo: Reach. The story may be a bit “light” but I still enjoy it. Also planning on making a few purchases in the near future on XBL. Want to pick up Castle Crashers, Mr. Fancy Pants (the kids love this game), and Dungeons and Dragons: Daggerdale. I think the kids will enjoy playing all three of those. (Okay, the last one may be a bit more for me.)

A long weekend

I am standing here on the edge of a long weekend. I am really looking forward to an extra day off work. I have a floating holiday I -have- to use. Woe is me.

Writing was so so this week. Missed one day. Have beem jujst mentally exhausted after a day grinding numbers. Fortunately the writing usually is done early.

I am struggling to get through the end of Mass Effect. The story really didn’t grab me like Dragon Age. Still want to get through it and try ME2. Playing Star Wars Legos with the kids a lot.

We’ll have a good weekend. Soccer practice, halloween party, concert, and family fun Sunday. I am fully expecting to be exhausted by the time is over. I will definitely need a break after it is over.

Getting things moving again

Well, here we are, registered domain name and all. A little more professional looking than blogspot/blogger, yet only the things I really need on a site right now. I don’t need a shopping cart or 10,000 email addresses that a domain host would offer. Just me and my wordpress blog.

I have kept writing through all this time. Certainly not as much as it was before the new job, but that is to be expected. The new job is going well, by the by. Mortgage still getting paid and all that happy stuff.

I brought over the word meter. Mostly so I could have the code there. I haven’t made much time to keep track of my number of words. Quickoffice has betrayed me and made opening files on my droid a real pita. I have found another solution, but have a huge section of notebook filled with my poor handwriting instead. I pity whatever distant relative stumbles upon these notebooks and tries to decipher them after I’m gone.

So with the snazzy new site and domain time, it then falls to me to make a commitment to actually updating this blog rather than letting it stew.  Don’t be surprised if I throw up the random movie or video game review to help fill the space. I certainly spend enough time playing games to facilitate a review or two. I think my first review will be a comparison of  Dragon Age: Origins vs Mass Effect.

So you ask…

What have I been up to lately?

I have gone to great lengths to overwhelm myself. Yes, that was entirely the goal. And it’s succeeding! Go me. I started classes last fall at a local community college working toward a Software Development degree. Last semester was just one class, Biology. I was late getting to registration and there wasn’t much left. This semester, I decided to take 4 classes, two “easy” and two I knew I’d have to work at. School has always come easily to me and I don’t want to be dragging a 2 year degree out to 4 years. My two “easy” classes are easy, but it’s still a good chunk of work.

So what else has kept me busy? Still working full time. The kids are doing great (it’s no longer safe to spell words around my daughter). And my wife decided it was time I got an XBox 360. I resisted getting this for a long time. Why you ask? Because I love it! The great thing about getting it so long after the release is that all the games I have wanted to play are dirt cheap at Gamestop. Picked up Halo 3, Fable II, Gears of War 2, and Left 4 Dead 1. And there are still plenty more games I want to grab.

Also been taking the time to read lately. There has been a book here or there lately, but I haven’t really made much time for reading. Have started reading The Dwarves by Markus Heitz and Heinlein’s To Sail Beyond the Sunset. Also reading Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb from my wife’s e-reader.

I almost stopped reading The Dwarves. There was a prologue, and it really wasn’t catching me. But I love dwarves, so I pressed on. 150 pages in now and enjoying it quite a bit.

Sunset is great so far. This is the first Heinlein I’ve read besides Starship Troopers. But I felt like there was a gap in my SF reading and found this one so snatched it up.

Haven’t gotten far into Assassin’s Apprentice yet, but I think I’ll like it once I do.

My wife is currently going through the Dresden Files on her e-reader, so I’m sure I’ll be getting to that shortly too.

I was thinking there was something else too, but I can’t think of it right now. I’ll go through them in more depth later.