Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Confessions of a Failed MMOer

Yeah, I played an MMORPG once.  My brother called me up, said he bought it, and thought we could play together. Fair enough. I dropped the $49.95 and thought, “What’s the harm?”  Physical, emotional, and marital strife is the answer we’re looking for, folks.
Having played pen and paper RPGs for years, I thought the game was about experiencing a cool story and enjoying cooperation towards common goals.  This game shook me out of that illusion with the gentleness of an industrial paint mixer. 
One night, my new wife gently said, “Come to bed, honey,” at approximately 11pm.  “Just a minute,” I said. Then my stomach roared. It was 3am. I had lost time, like an alien abductee, and the game was as fun as the associated probing would have been.  But I had to play on, killing spiders alone in this forest, because some jerkwad with a yellow exclamation mark told me to.  And I needed to gain on my brother, who I couldn’t quest with because he was four levels above me and somehow that precluded our teamwork. 
Anyway, back to my stomach.  I was wrapped around my spine, screaming for food. So, I mashed a bunch of number keys—so my Orc warrior would defend himself for a minute against these eight-legged fools—and sprinted to the kitchen.  My bride had bought groceries that day, so I had so many choices. But I had to act quickly, because my kick/stomp combo in the forest would soon run out and my Orc was too dumb to raise a shield against spider fangs.  Idiot.
I snagged a handful of deli-sliced salami, like a crackhead raiding a Salvation Army change bin. No order, no decorum, no chewing. I had insect glands to collect…or something.  I finished five slices of salami before I made it down the hallway. My warrior was still alive, although assailed by three arachnids while some other players stood there refusing to help me. Apparently teamwork only happens in a 40-man raid. Douche tools. I logged off and went to sleep.
Morning, and a new day. Eight hours in a cubicle thinking of how I’m going to ruin my perfectly good sex life with digital adventure tonight.  Then suddenly, pain. I felt a sharp stab just south of my stomach.  It last a couple seconds, and subsided.  An hour later, it was back, but in a different spot, lower. I was doubling over at work, and coworkers thought I was being exorcised. Again, after lunch, It was on the other side of my abdomen. I was certain I’d be getting an appendix out that day.  It repeated throughout the day, the pain moving throughout my GI tract, until I had a swell BM that evening. Before I flushed, I peeked (you always gotta see how you did, amirite?!). 
Blood! I stared into the bowl at the string of blood, going through a mental checklist. It’s not a xenomorph, or it would have come out my chest. I haven’t eaten glass. Nobody punched me in the kidney. You know, the obvious. Then it hit me. The red stuff wasn’t diffusing in the liquid like it should. I got a closer look, and saw it wasn’t blood.  It was the plastic ring around the salami that some deli meathead didn’t take off before slicing it (and that some gamer meathead didn’t notice as he choked it down).
Yes, I ingested plastic and risked bodily harm in order to save my Orc avatar from having to resurrect at a fictional graveyard.
Yeah, I played an MMORPG once. And I don’t do that anymore.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Well, with a week left (and on my bride's birthday, no less) Pure Steam is 100% funded on Kickstarter.  I'm extremely proud of our dev team for the amazing game they put together.  Brennan, Davin, Lance, and B.J., I appreciate it all, and look forward to working with you for many years.

I think there are three key reasons we are successful where other similar projects aren't.

1. Our product is just better.  While it's my baby, I'm being honest.  We have the right mix of talent putting together a fresh take on steampunk that no one has done yet.  Appalachia: check.  Grit: check.  Low-magic options: check.  Coherent concept: check.

2.  We marketed like dogs.  We didn't just expect people to walk up to us and give us money.  We pounded cyber pavement and kept charging forward, even when it looked bleak.  We sought the wisdom of our betters, and had the humility to implement it even when it ran counter to our own ideas.

3.  We networked and got several significant bumps from fairly famous individuals.  We earned 20% of our funding in the last three days because Steampunk Boba Fett (John, not Danny) and Ay-leen the Peacemaker nodded at us once each on Facebook and Twitter, respectively.  It may have had something to do with the monogoggle, but I'm not sure.

"What if it doesn't survive Kickstarter? Pure Steam's no good to me dead."

That's my take on it, anyway.  Now, with a week left, we have a chance to unlock bonus rewards.  If we hit $13,900 on Kickstarter, we'll start a line of Kickstarter pewter minis.

Also, we are in talks with Apparition Abolishers and Altered History to produce licensed gear and patches.  So you could be walking around with an electromagnetic belt of deflection, steamthrower at your next convention.  Or be sewing on patchings identifying yourself with the Rauschite Cavalry, Ulleran Air Corps, Kanatan Military.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Where You At?

I've been silent on here as I've been working feverishly to promote Pure Steam on Kickstarter via YouTube, , Twitter, and anywhere else they'll like me write words.

If you're still reading this blog, I apologize for letting it rust like a car in the front yard.  We've made good progress so far, raising 58% of the required funds on Kickstarter at the time of this writing.  But we've only got three weeks to go, and I could really use the support of my core gamer friends (that's you!).

Would you mosey over to Kickstarter and drop some love?  It'd mean a lot.