Musivational – M3 is now out!

My 3rd full length album (18 songs), M3 is now out and available just about everywhere you can digitally download music!

Start at Bandcamp, where you can stream the album for free, or purchase it for a measly $3.

If you’re a Spotify fan, you can stream the album there as well.

Amazon’s digital music download has it for $5.99.

iTunes and Google Play both have it for about $10. Unfortunately, there’s no way for me to control the price on those platforms.

Please enjoy, and let me know what you think!

Musivational’s second album, Controlled Chaos launches today on all platforms!

The second album from Musivational (i.e. Ben) launches today on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Music, Spotify and of course, Bandcamp! The latter is the cheapest option at $4

Once again Musivational has returned to the roots of 80’s music, generated by 2017’s digital instrument’s with a 90’s fashion sense and the scifi goodness of the 50’s through the present. Add all that up and you’ve got a little slice of Controlled Chaos. 17 tracks touching on such wide and varies subjects as 80’s manga, modern fiction, bad-ass level 1 spells and the tech breakthroughs that should have come 30 years earlier.

Not only is this a bit of a passion project but the music can easily fit into any scifi/retro/cyberpunk style game night. Please check it out!

Track List (linked to Bandcamp where you can stream these all for free):

1.  Moonwalker 04:23
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Scalzi 06:05
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Tree Frog 04:04
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about

Musivational – a new album of electronic “RetroWave” music from Ben is now available everywhere!

Not gaming – but certainly Creative. I’ve been hard at work on an actual musical album, called Musivational (also the name of the band). Hard to believe but this album is out… now! It’s all electronica in style, and belongs to a sub-genre called RetroWave – which harkens back to the glory days of the 80’s. Think Terminator, Stranger Things and heavily synthesizer influenced TV soundtracks and you’ll have a good idea.

I’ve been listening to a lot of trance/dubsteb/electronica lately as it’s a wonderful way to relax. I can simply listen, or work on something else creative while the music plays and I find it keeps me very focused. I’ve tried to recreate that with my own work.

Another influence is the the artist Simon Stålenhag – who’s evocative artwork gives me the chills! I think back to the RPGs we played in the 80’s, the fiction I read and Simon’s artwork is the best of all of that squeezed into some amazing pictures.

All 16 songs were generated on one lowly iPad – using Garageband. Lots of loops, lots of me performing electronic instruments and just a few vocals as well – though heavily digitized.

If you’d like to hear it, you can listen right here:

https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=359138304/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/transparent=true/

If you’d like to buy it, you can go to Bandcamp, iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Music and more. Also – it should be on Spotify and Pandora by now as well. Please let me know what you think and feel free to rate the album wherever you listen to it or purchase it. Thanks!

The ZOMG! Indie Talks Podcast sale!

Indie Talks launches tomorrow! ZOMG! My new podcast hits the etherwaves with episode #0 on June 6th.

On Indie Talks, you’ll get to meet the people behind independent gaming. Also the people in front of it. And those slightly off to one side of it. As I’m preparing to record episode #4 tonight, and launching with my little introduction tomorrow, it occurred to me that I, too, am an indie game developer.

This means that I answer to no one but myself. Am master of my own fate! Can achieve anything! And I get to say when my stuff goes on sale.  So a sale it is! Get $12.95 of my best selling stuff for the nice, round sum of $5.00.

This sale will last a week – until Indie Talks episode #1 with Tracy Barnett goes live on Wednesday, June 13th. What you get:

  • Argyle & Crew – Adventures in the Land of Skcos
  • Argyle & Crew – The Little Book of Big Ideas
  • Devious NPCs and Curious Creatures (Pathfinder)
  • Herbology of Aruneus (Pathfinder)
  • Mirkmoot’s More Magical Mayhem for Creatures Great and Small (Pathfinder)
  • The Supplicant – a new Character Class for Aruneus and Pathfinder (Pathfinder)
  • The World of Aruneus – Contagion Infected Zombies (Pathfinder)
  • The World of Aruneus – Orcs! A new Player Character Race (Pathfinder)
  • Mirkmoot’s Magical Accouterments for Creatures Small and Great (Pathfinder)

Enjoy!

I've been rejected!

I’ve decided to start writing literature for children. Actually I decided this some time ago; now I’m acting on it. It’s a side project to my side projects.

Of course, with my attempts at writing, and submitting them to people, comes rejection. I’m rather proud of being rejected, because it means that rather than thinking about doing this, I have done it and am trying.

I decided to spice up my rejection letters to give them a bit more oomph. Perhaps if agencies out there did this, there would be fewer hard feelings?

I believe I may do this for every rejection I receive, as a way to stay inspired and not dwell on rejection. Think positive! Positive with animated, fighting skeletons!

There are no roads where we are headed. But we have a map. Living in a science fiction reality.

The Arkyd Series 100 LEO class. A assembly line manufactured, low planetary orbit telescope designed for remote sensing in space and detecting rare elements, water and metals.

The Arkyd Series 200 Interceptor class. A modification of the LEO where propulsion capabilities have been added, allowing for deeper spaced penetration and coordinated tracking of orbiting bodies using multiple Intercepter class spacecraft.

The Arkyd Series 300 Rendezvous Prospector class. A modified Interceptor class craft with tight beam laser communications capabilities, exhibiting swarm capabilities with other Prospector class craft they will minimize risks of deep space mining by spreading that risk across multiple, semi-autonomous craft.

Whether you like your SciFi gritty and human, or slick and scientific, you should be celebrating right now.  All of those craft sound a hell of a lot like science fiction, but in reality these could be less than 20 years in the future. In fact, the Arkyd 100 LEO is slated for use before 2020.  Cheap, assembly line created spacecraft for use in prospecting throughout our solar system with the end result being water depots in space and rare-earth elements being brought to our planet.

In what really is a historic press conference, Planetary Resources outlined their mission, nothing short of asteroid mining (the basis for so many scifi stories and game elements) which will certainly change the way we as a species view space, and view the resources available off-Earth.  I was watching the press conference yesterday and I was really struck by the overall science fiction feel of our modern lives.

Continue reading “There are no roads where we are headed. But we have a map. Living in a science fiction reality.”

Tonight I'm gonna game like it's 1999. On Project 1999's Everquest server!

Shamelessly stolen from the Project 1999 Facebook page

A few weeks ago, I became aware through my Technical Vizier of a project called EQEmu.  Not a strange, flightless bird, but rather a reverse-engineered emulator of the popular MMORPG EverQuest.

I have to admit, on hearing this and then visiting the EQEmu site, it was love. Why? Let me delve a bit into the past.

Back in 1999, I was a fresh-faced office drone, just out of college and looking for the kind of distraction we’ve come to know as massive multiplayer online roleplaying games. A friend had been playing this new game called EverQuest and talked me into giving it a try. And I was hooked! Not in a “forget the outside world” kind of way, but I enjoyed the game very, very much. After Masters of Orion 2, this was only the second time I’d every gone head over heels for a video game.

I loved the interaction with other people, the ability to do quests, the social aspects that existed before most of the social web did, the fact that it was like Rogue but with graphics and many, many other people.  Some of my best gaming experiences were had in this game. Sadly, I got a bit burned out, especially when expansion after expansion started coming out and gave the game up for good around 2001.

Now my friend and I stood up our own EQEmu server, and after digging out our old EverQuest Titanium installs, were able to get up and running! Everything was there again! There it was! The world of EQ as we remembered it… almost.  What was missing was the interaction.

That’s when we discovered Project 1999 – the largest EQEmu servers available to the public, with the mission to keep things as they were in Everquest classic.  This really hit our sweet spot -back in the game we loved as it was when we loved it most, and doing this with a thousand other folks at the same time.  Surely not as busy as the EQ servers were back in ’99 but still more than enough to have people in every zone, characters of every level and class.

I’m loving it! For the first time in a long time, I eagerly await the time I’ve been able to set aside to play video games. In fact, I’m now eagerly setting aside time rather than doing something else. Everything that I enjoyed about the original game is right here, in all it’s 1999 glory.

The folks at Project 1999 have a great getting started guide that’s very easy to follow. Probably the hardest thing you’ll have to do is dig up an older copy of the client software from somewhere. Once you’ve gotten that though, the rest is a breeze. I was up and running on Project1999 in 20 minutes, and that’s including the 10 minutes it took to install the client software.

If you’re even slightly nostalgic for the experience that was Everquest in its early glory, I can’t recommend doing this highly enough! I’ve started several characters so far and am still fairly low level, due to the limited time I can play. I can tell you that everyone I’ve bumped into in the game has been very friendly and helpful! If you get yourself into this, keep a lookout for my Druid, Toetagger and my buddy’s Monk, Elthar.

Special thanks to Slave – it’s never easy being the one who knows all the right words.

Total Confusion XXVI and my further adventures in gaming

Total Confusion

Last year the folks at Total Confusion were incredibly nice to me and invited me to attend their convention as an industry guest. I neglected to tell them that I had snuck into the industry when someone left the back door ajar and was currently running amok through the basement level of self publishing and PDFs.

I participated in a few sessions, did the official TotalCon podcast with Blix, ran a couple of games and generally enjoyed the hell out of myself and the convention while gaming all weekend. It was a purely joyful experience and everyone involved in running TotalCon were amazing.

This year I’ve managed to sneak back in as an industry guest! My bio is a bit outdated and I won’t be running any formal Aruneus sessions this year, but I will be doing a few fun things. I am running two hours of Argyle & Crew for the young players at the convention. That’s happening on Saturday. Later that evening, I’ll be running a Talisman game, in which my wife will once again attempt to kick our collective gaming asses, as she seems to do every time.

If you’re in New England, or near enough, I’d highly suggest you stop in. TotalCon runs from February 23rd through the 26th, and with about 1000 attendees it’s the perfect mix of not to big but big enough. Last year I met a ton of cool people, tried a ton of new games and generally had an amazing time of it. I’d like to meet more folks, have more cool discussions and games and have set aside more time this year to actually play.

Other Gaming Stuff

In other gaming happenings for me, I’m finally making strides with both Encounters ~ Plots ~ Places and Aruneus again. It’s great to have even limited use of my left arm back. Limited still encompasses typing, which is all I really need to move forward.

I’m also working on a new Argyle & Crew project which I hope to share more of in the near future. The chances of me getting it done before TotalCon are pretty damned low, but I’d like to have it out early this spring.

I’ve also found myself getting more and more into board games. My wife has been slow to convert, but the board game fever is starting to take hold with her, which means we have very little self control when we wander into our FLGS. Not really a bad thing, I think. You can expect to see a few more board/card game reviews from me in the future as we start playing through our unopened library.

 

A new years recap – gaming over the break and mini-reviews of many games.

Hello and welcome to 2012! If you’re like me, you’re going to cram as much gaming into this year as you can because come December, well that’s it for the entire world.  Not that I believe that, but I’ll take any excuse to get a few rounds of Dominion in, or an extra Palladium Fantasy RPG session on the boards.

It’s been a while since there was a lot of activity on Troll in the Corner, due to several factors beyond my control.  Here’s a quick recap on the content front, and then we’re going to dive right in a talk about gaming with a bunch of mini-reviews.

First and foremost, I had to have my left shoulder surgically altered so that the bicep tendon is no longer attached to my arm inside my shoulder joint, but rather a bit lower down on my humerus. In spite of any obvious comical links, it was not a fun time. I’m still in a sling and taking life mostly by the right hand – but able now to type in short bursts. Things are getting better and I’m looking forward to getting back to writing to finish off two ongoing projects – Aruneus and Encounters ~ Plots ~ Places.

Second, a number of my go-to writers and editors have found themselves either too busy with every day life, or moving on to other projects, which leaves most of the writing load on me and my poor, abused left shoulder.

With those two factors hitting me hard, the content on the site has fallen off dramatically, and over the past three weeks I’ve been pretty much unable to contribute to it, or write for either of my two projects.  Good news is on the horizon though – the somewhat stalled Aruneus project is back in motion, with more art flowing in and me gearing up to write furiously on it.  Same with Encounters ~ Plots ~ Places.  The outline for EPP is complete as is about 75% of the layout work – now it’s just a bunch of creative writing, editing and some finishing up with the layout once the full text is in place.

Over the break, despite the dead weight of my left arm, I did manage to get a bit of gaming in. Here’s what I played, and what I thought about it.

Continue reading “A new years recap – gaming over the break and mini-reviews of many games.”

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