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Zombie Exodus, Part 3 Updates

Written on October 10, 2011 at 10:22 am, by

New Bug fixes and updates based on user feedback:

Part 3 Intro
1. Changed text and added choices during the scene with Heather entering your room.
2. Fixed text when meeting Candace and Mindy after arriving at the cathedral.
3. Fixed text when Uncle Lou is climbing a ladder.
4. Corrected typos when using molotov cocktails on zombies when defending the cathedral.
5. Fixed an error in the depot section occuring when blocking the front door.
6. Fixed text when breaking into the depot related to the overhead camera.

Part 3 Month 1
1. Added a relationship check for Emma at the beginning when she brings your breakfast.
2. Added a check which adds text if you allowed Heather to take all of her bags in the city escape scene.
3. Increased your relationship with Candace if you choose to build a lab as a scientist.
4. Increased the amount of water produced from a carpenter’s water filtration system.
5. Reduced offensive rating from the choice “Improving the cathedral’s defenses in case of attack” and increased offensive rating from the choice “Training others in the use of weapons”.
6. Based relationship changes off of charisma if you choose “Being a social support for others”.

A Writing Style Exercise — the Edgar Allan Poe excerpt

Written on September 10, 2011 at 6:48 pm, by

In a fiction writing class at Gotham Writers’ Workshop, I completed an assignment to transform the style of a few paragraphs of an in-progress short story into a completely new style. The story I chose is a short story involving a young college-aged, streetwise man who is reluctantly an accomplice to an assault of a low-level mobster in the aid of his friend.

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New chapter of Zombie Exodus

Written on August 27, 2011 at 1:55 pm, by

I have posted a new chapter of Zombie Exodus for beta-testing.

  • There are 4 major paths to take, and 1 is currently available for everyone to read. The other parts are not done yet, but I didn’t want to hold up the first major path so that updates are not too far apart.
  • The first path has a bit of a cliffhanger.
  •  This section is fairly complex. I included a lot of choices and flexibility. Please let me know if you feel there are too many choices, not enough story, or you enjoyed it. For those who like to try every path, please try to break the game and see if choices do not provide a smooth transition

Vampire in the Manor – Original Short Fiction

Written on August 10, 2011 at 1:15 pm, by

Tonight will be much different from those many long nights of peering through half-open windows and stalking the perimeter of his estate. Tonight, Henry Coveton will die and by my hands.

Before you think I am insane, like those fools over at the Ministry, let me announce that Coveton is an evil man, born of Hell, and I will send him back there before the sun rises. Read more

The Point of View Writing Exercise

Written on August 1, 2011 at 6:00 pm, by

When writing a short story, I always consider point of view near the start of the process. I consider a few main questions:

  • How intimate do I want the reader to be with the protagonist?
  • Do I want to describe setting and other characters from the protagonist’s view, a neutral view, or simply some other view?
  • Do I want to restrict the reader to information only the main character knows?

In a fiction writing class a few years back, I learned a useful exercise to help answer these questions. The instructor asked us to take several paragraphs of a story we are working on and rewrite it in another POV. At the time, I was writing a story about a bank robber using the third-person limited point of view.

Third-person Version

“Hey, how’s it going?” Curt threw out as he brushed past the guard.

Curt wondered if that was a good job — security guard.  I’ll look into it, he thought.  His eyes moved around the bank floor.  In the old days, before prison, he would enter a bank or store and scan the area to absorb all the details: the route that customers take, the exits, the security cameras, and doors leading to separate areas. He would stare at all of the occupants of the room, to figure them out, even read their intentions.  It was his business to analyze.

As he walked towards the main counter, he noticed the two tellers waiting on customers.  Nameplates told their names: Loretta on the left, a short, squat middle-aged black woman with a constant grin, and Connie on the right, a serious white woman with heavy makeup and an odd curl to her lip.  Curt went towards Connie.  A thick red, braided rope partitioned off part of the bank floor to form lines up to the bank tellers.

First-person Version

 “Hey, how’s it going?” I said to the security guard.  I always said hello to the guards.  Makes them comfortable. Man, that looks like a sweet job, just sitting on your ass all day, getting paid to hang around.  Maybe I’ll check it out and see if they have any openings.

I looked around the bank. It was a compulsion to check out all the details, every single aspect of the place, from the big ticket items like security camera placement to the subtleties like the way the egg-shell colored window blinds slated from left to right. Of course, I picked up on the number of people inside, the number and layout of exits, the positioning of the staff, and scanned the faces of the personnel. It felt strange to be in a bank again, but I liked it.

I walked to the main teller counter. Two women waited on customers:  Loretta, a short black middle-aged woman, was on the left, eagerly grinning like the smile was stuck on her face, and Connie, an older white woman, who looked like a classic disgruntled employee that did the least amount of work possible to get by. She had heavy lipstick to cover a strange lip, or maybe to bring attention to the one interesting feature or her dull face.

The path to these two ladies was sectioned off by a thick, braided rope making artificial lanes for bank goers to walk through.  Reminded me of prison cafeteria lines.  You had to walk the line even if no one was ahead of you.

Not the best writing, but it was an exercise.

First person provided focus on the protagonist, added a strong voice to the character, and restricted descriptions to a single vision. Mainly, writing from both perspectives gave me a view (no pun intended) I needed to complete the story.

New chapter of Zombie Exodus posted

Written on July 29, 2011 at 7:41 pm, by

Part 3, Chapter 1 of the interactive fiction game, Zombie Exodus has been posted. Here is a clip of the story:

You run inside to the sanctuary to find Tom, Jason, and Uncle Lou standing at the meeting table. As everyone files in, Tom speaks up:

“Jason spotted a pack of zombies running up the back pathway, like they were chasing something here. Nothing showed on the security camera besides the zombies though. The crazy thing is that they went right to the front yard near the main sanctuary door, like the thing led them right to our doorstep.”

He heads out to the church, and everyone follows. Jason runs to his computer setup. On the southern wall, near the main entrance are several ladders leaning against the wall leading to a catwalk. Tom climbs up and peers outside.

“They’re at the main door now.”

That’s when the banging starts.

Interactive Fiction articles

Written on July 26, 2011 at 3:16 pm, by

Two good articles on interactive fiction I recently came across:

David Cornelson Illuminates Interactive Fiction is an interview which discusses IF, its place in literature, and projects Cornelson’s company is working on.

At the game design blog, Genius and Muse, comes Second Person Narratives in Interactive Fiction, which discusses the concept of the second person POV in IF.

Using Screenplay Paradigm to write fiction, Part 1

Written on July 21, 2011 at 8:03 pm, by

A friend of mine had an idea for a screenplay and during the months of writing, I participated in an online screenwriting course, mainly to workshop the script. Having taken numerous college and online fiction writing courses, I found the Introduction to Screenwriting, at first, fairly easy with little new information until the instructor described the screenplay paradigm (coined by Syd Field in his book Screenplay). This concept reworked my own paradigm on to how to develop plot in any story.

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My first interactive fiction game — Zombie Exodus

Written on July 21, 2011 at 2:41 pm, by

Zombie Exodus

Zombie Exodus Logo by Aron Brand

I have been working on an interactive fiction game using Choicescript, a language developed by Dan Fabulich of Choice of Games. My game, Zombie Exodus, is a survival horror story, which starts during the week of a viral outbreak leading to a zombie apocalypse.

Beta testing of the game has gone well, and I have submitted my game for publication by Choice of Games. Soon, it will be available on their Web site, as well as downloadable on the iPhone, Android Marketplace, and Amazon’s Kindle Marketplace.

To try the first two parts of the game, please visit Zombie Exodus.