Bookwright, game designer, gamer, collector of too much stuff. Want to discuss a project, idea or send hate mail just email me!!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

How People Found Me

From time to time I like to post how people found me I find in interesting and mostly amusing.
And here we go:

jim hammond sealtac ii

necronomicon logo

really angry face

game of throne sword

merry christmas shadowrun

movie real cartoon

pen writing on paper animation

pictures of honesty

shadowrun cars

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Salty Bay Con

New convention in Tampa Salty Bay Con, check it out .
It is at the very beginning, get in on the bottom floor.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

What a Great Productive Weekend!

This weekend has been really productive for me but on projects I have not worked on before.
While Samurai Sheepdog is getting up and running as a company, and we have a few projects in different stages I had a creative streak and am working on two projects with two people I have not had the pleasure to work with before.

Even if neither come to fruition, starting to work on my first sound idea for a board game and my first rough attempt at a children's book have been some fun stuff.

I want to thank the people that are willing to even start discussions with me on this Marc F and Jim P.

Thanks for listening to me ramble!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

I Need Playtesters

As it gets closer to 2013 I realized we have a few projects that we would like to come out BUT we need help, we need playtesters.

Playtesters are people willing to print up rules and temporary "pieces" (if needed) and play the game and then write up any thoughts and opinions.
It is not hard but you are depended on, to take a serious look at the item and critique it fairly and honestly.  It is one of the few positions in gaming that your opinion can change the item.

So if you like role playing games (C&C, PF only for now), board games send me an email at hal at samuraisheepdog dot com.

In that email put in the subject line playtest-(and what you would like to playtest), in the email tell me a little about you, your gaming group and anything else that may seem like a positive.  Also list your name and all of your groups names since we will need NDA's (non disclosure agreements) on some items plus you get your name in the game you playtested!

Look forward to working with you in 2013!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Original of the Cover--The Awakened

Thanks Greg, it looks great!  Came with a fancy envelope as well, I do not want to crack the seal its so cool looking!  Happy Hanukkah to me.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Thursday, December 6, 2012

What's in a Name?

Some people have asked where the name of the new company came from, well here it is....
Doug and I were looking for a unique name that people whould remember and we wanted something that did not have the word games in it since we have some non game ideas.

That was when my daughter decided to "dress up" our sheepdog.
I started to call her my samurai sheepdog, and we both (Doug and I) while on the phone really liked it, it is something that people will remember!

So the name was born, then we started working on logo's and an image and the very talented Jhoneil did us the honor of taking care of the art for us, and so Samurai Sheepdog is born.

In a few I will explain a little more about some projects we are currently working on.

Come visit us at our Facebook Page

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

It is Official, Bluffside for C&C!!!

TLG 8509 Bluffside City on the Edge
Adventure, 120 pages (estimated), Perfect Bound
ISBN: 978-1-936822-56-0

Bluffside: City on the Edge Civilization is still picking up the pieces following an asteroid strike two hundred thousand years ago. The epicenter? Bluffside. Only 208 years after its rediscovery, Bluffside is a boom town boasting the most precious metal in the known world - adamantine. From the ancient ruins of Sem La Vah, to the vast Undercity, to the floating port of Sordadon, Bluffside: City on the Edge promises to become the home port for thousands of adventurers. Used as a stand alone city, or combined with other sourcebooks, thereby creating a modular world one great area at a time.

We are lining up cover artist Jason Walton of Myriad Studios to bring the City on the Edge back to life!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Closer to Spilling the Beans

We had a great phone meeting about some upcoming releases!
We spoke to two people who (once announced) will be coming aboard as Project Managers.

I am just waiting for Doug to have all the ducks in a row, then I can start spilling said beans!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Kickstarter Tiers and Goal Ideas

In the process of working on some and helping another, what are some cool ideas/things you would like to see as tiers and stretch golas for Kickstarter?

Role playing Game books and a hardcover fiction book.

Any ideas, post here or on my Facebook or even e-mail me!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Good stuff for 2013

As I mentioned previously we have a few things for 2013:
The Awakened anthology, some great and talented authors based in a setting created by me
Bluffside for C&C, converted and expanded for summer (I hope) 2013, it will be an official TLG book
Possibilities: A graphic novel based in the world of The Awakened
                     A few Kickstarter projects for Pathfider
Extreme possibilities: A boardgame to be released on Kickstarter
                                    A second Awakened anthology
                                    Some conversions of some great product for C&C by a few companies but brought together under one roof (more to come soon on this).

2013 seems very bright in the writing/game design field for us!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Like a Phoenix

We have some cool stuff to announce soon, like a phoenix we will see some old products come back to life and some other new things to be released in 2013.

I can not say anything yet but all will be revealed soon, I promise!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Weekend Update 11/24/12-Thankful edition

Have some cool stuff happening soon, sorry to be so cryptic.
We are getting Bluffside C&C edition ready for 1/1/13.
I am waiting to hear from the publisher to see what stories made it into the anthology.

I did pitch another anthology idea.
I am in the middle of trying to get more items for C&C available, just waiting on TLG feedback.
We did send them a little gift to use with Bluffside C&C, I hope they like what they got.

I am thankful to my friends and family and the ability to be creative and get paid for it, I am thankful for my home, my kids and their health, and hoping mine improves this next year.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Google+ vs Facebook, Is Google Winning?

In the past 2 days I have seen two people post on FB to come see them on Google +, I have been a member but not active and so I wanted to make sure you can visit me where you choose...

Here is my Google+ link.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

D&D Museum is a Possibility

Here is an idiegogo plan for a D&D Museum, I like the idea, but tend to think an RPG museum may be smarter and appeal to more people....

Indiegogo D&D Museum Site

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Great American Teach In

Today I am going to my kids previous elementary school as a representative of my company to tell them what it is like to work in insurance.  I have done this for 6 of the last 7 years so its not a big deal, I just need to be on my A game, so the students like me, and the female teachers think I am funny and cute...OK Hal, time to bring your A game!

And after that time to work on some writing, since school lets out before I would get home from work, its free time, until me and the dog need to pick up my kids from the school bus!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Firefly 10 Year Anniversary/My Props

It has been 10 years since Firefly first aired, on Science Channel tonight 10pm EST is a reunion special, on this shiny occasion, I give you my Firefly/Serenity props:

Zoe's earpice, Alliance stunt pistol, The Alliance hook from the last scenes from Serenity as it tore down the wall to get the Alliance to attack the Reavers, and a bank note from the series.

Stay Shiny Browncoats!

Friday, November 9, 2012

All Quiet on the Florida Front

I realized I have been quiet of late so here is an update:
Troll Lord has Bluffside to start ordering art and maps.
Playtesters have it as well to check out our conversion, Doug will be doing a once though to edit and get it cleaned up
The Awakened Anthology is att he publisher and he will be reading it over and making decisions by 01/01/13 and then I can hopefully announce who is in the book.

Have a few other things I am working on, I do not know when we can announce them, but when I can I will.
This weekend, I think I will catch up on a few movies, do some reading and I am thinking Chinese food tonight, come on over!  Saturday my youngest goes back to the beauty salon (groomer).

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Failed License Revealed

I blogged a few months ago that we ( a group of designers and myself) were in negotiations for a license, and then I became quiet, well I became quiet because it never came through, which happens.
Well somebody asked about it and I figured, heck why not talk about it...

The license was for Robert Adam's Horseclans, it is a science fiction series by Robert Adams, set in a North America that had been thrown back to a medieval level by a full-scale nuclear war.

I loved this series as a youth, and loved the art of Ken Kelly on the covers, but alas it was not meant to be.  The last game supplement for it was for GURPS and has been OOP for a long time.

It would of been for Savage Worlds.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Charity Item I worked on Now Available For Free!

I loved working on this project, get it free BUT be sure to donate to or another non-profit.
Hungry Little Monsters


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween and Donate to Red Cross!

Sandy has ruined a lot of people's Halloween, so instead of buying more candy treat others by donating to the Red Cross!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Search Words-And How People Found Me

I found this interesting and funny, these are some of the recent search words used when people clicked on my blog, most come direct for the Hal goodness but lets look and laugh:

game of thrones actors

games of thrones 2013

gary gygax memorial plans

shadowrun corporation

dog text

female chimney sweep

jeff dee art


rpg one shots

shadowrun noble elf


Monday, October 29, 2012

Bluffside C&C is in the Next Stage!

Bluffside is off to the playtesters and TLG 3 whole days before it was due--woot!
Any designer/freelancer knows how exciting that is!

Few months of feedback for tweaks and we are good to go, we are doing a bonus item for TLG so we will see how they want to use it.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Great Weekend, Lots Completed

The Awakened is off to the publisher...I liked all the submissions so now it is in the hands of the publisher and editor.

Bluffside for C&C is 99% done, cleaning up some NPC's and we are ready for playtest and it being sent to Troll Lord Games to start getting it ready for print.  We added some web enhancement items that were not included in the original as well as some new places of interest just to say thanks to the Castle and Crusade fans.

Necronomicon was fun, got reacquanted with some great people and met some new ones along the way, panels went well and heard some varied and intelligent thoughts.

Now back to reality, groceries, laundry....maybe try a Dungeon game with the kids if they can finish their chores in time.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Awakened Anthology is off to the Publisher!

It took longer than I wanted but we had some hiccups on the way, they are all taken care of and all of the shorts are sent we wait!
Thanks to all who contributed and as soon as I know you will know!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

What the Pro's Feel About my First Necro Panel!

One of my panels at Necronomicon Convention is MMO vs PnP RPG, since 99.9% of you will not be attending here is what some people I know who have been in both industries said:

Jim Butler (Trion-Rift and WotC and more) Each of the genres have their strength. PnP tends to be much more sociable, and you can do anything and reshape the world through cooperative storytelling. MMO is instant, visual and provides a level playing field for everyone. There's room for both. :-)

Jeff Grubb (ArenaNet GW2 and WotC) MMOs have a lot more restrictions. Everything you see on the screen, and all of your options as a player, have already been pre-determined before you even sat down at the table. Good MMO design provides a wide variety of options, but they are still from a menu. PnP on the other hand, has the ability to respond instantly to the situation of play itself.
I use a bunny as an example. For an MMO, you see a bunny on the screen. That represents someone concepting the bunny, drawing the bunny, animating the bunny, determining bunny behavior, determining bunny skills, determining bunny reactions (does it have a death animation? Will it run away if it is within aggro of a fox?). Oh, and someone to determine if all of this work is worth it just to see a bunny on the screen.
In a PnP, you have the following:
PLAYER: Do I see any wildlife?
DM: (MAYBE flips a couple pages in a book). Yeah, you see a bunny.

Darrin Drader (38 Studios and WotC and more) Well, I agree with everything Jim and Jeff just said, and thanks for including me in this, by the way. One of the things I realized once I moved to work on an MMO is that things tend to be much more meta in MMOs, and I think this point is really just an elaboration on what Jeff just said. For example, when you play through an encounter in PnP, the goal is whatever is laid out for you by the scenario (assuming that the GM isn't just winging it). In an MMO, there might be an encounter, but it serves a specific purpose. It might be designed for single player game play, in which case it's not entirely unlike an encounter you'd find in a regular single player RPG, or it might be designed for multiple players.
If it's a multiplayer encounter, there are a number of design decisions that might go into it, but the ones I've worked with had the following requirements: it had to be challenging for 3 to 5 players, it had to involve multiple stages that progressed in a logical manner, and bonus stages for when the group was too efficient dealing with the regular stages. It also had to have a story reason for it to reset to its base state. Likewise, there's PVP encounters which are usually had to have a little more going on than just an empty map where players from opposing factions can kill each other.
I also think that aside from these meta considerations, there's also something to be said for the fact that PVP really doesn't exist as a supported model in any PnP that I'm aware of (though there are many, many board games where it is).

Another thing is mob naming. In most PnP games, you have the monster name that comes from the monster book, for example, 'orc'. You might also have a specialized type of monster, such as 'orc archer'. You might even have a uniquely named and statted monster, like "Grunhaar the Orc, commander of the Deathaxe Brigade". That's really about all the complexity you need to worry about with tabletop. And in truth, some video games don't go too far beyond that either. However, in order for quests to work properly, you have to be able to tell the player that you need to go to do something (collect something, kill something, deliver something, etc.), and while you're there, you're going to run into trouble. What trouble? Well, they might be orcs. However, in order to help the player know that they're barking up the right tree, it helps to give the orcs unique mob names. For example, you might have the red orcs in Bloodhollow, and the Grizzlefang orcs in the Bear's Hollow, and the Skyrager Orcs at Silverhorn Peak. Further, you might get rid of the name 'orc" entirely, and call them Grizzlefang berzerkers, or Skyrager Grimaxes, and so on. Of course this gets complicated pretty quickly, so it falls on someone to put together an expansive spreadsheet on which groups exist where in the world, that way you don't accidentally repeat a mob name half the world away, which of course would be nonsensical. Item naming in an MMO tends to run into similar issues as well.

Ryan Scott Dancey (CCP-Eve/ Pathfinder MMO and WotC) The MMO is to the TRPG what the automobile is to the horse.
Its not just about getting from place to place or carrying a load. It is a fundamental restructuring of the way the world functions and what human capabilities are.
We are raising a generation that is as comfortable in a digital world as they are in the physical. I've even stopped using the word "real" to refer to the physical world because it is actually no more "real" or "unreal" than some digital worlds.

This generation will have a relationship with digital worlds the way we and our parents had a relationship with television. Their experiences in digital worlds will drive a lot of the way they understand human events and society. These digital worlds will provide entertainment and education. They will provide a space in which work is performed and wages are earned.

But unlike the TV epoch which was a one to many broadcast system, the digital world epoch is a many to many social networking system. This is a new level of human organization and it will be fascinating to watch how it changes and evolves the arc of history.

The tabletop world laid the foundation for the digital worlds of the future. And there will always be people who are interested in the limitless potential of the tabletop environment, where the "rendering engine" and the "client/server architecture" is the human imagination.

As a benchmark for what could be, the tabletop will remain a crucial way to measure progress in the technology of digital worlds. But in terms of sheer impact, the tens of millions of people who engage with each other in digital worlds, which will soon be hundreds of millions, and then billions, will have a much more lasting and deeper impact than anything we did achieve, or might achieve, on the tabletop.
Jim Butler I pretty much agree with what everyone has said here. The biggest problem that PnP faces now is that it hasn't aged well, and it's inability to merge technology with the social experience is killing it for this generation. If it doesn't figure out a way to level the playing field, it won't make it.

Kevin Kulp (Disruptor Beam-FB Game of Thrones/Marvel MMO-various PnP projects)  I think the difference that always resonates with me is that MMOs are generally incapable of agile adjustments in pacing. There are some exceptions in games - Left 4 Dead is one, with its zombie rushing system that takes into account how you're doing - but in a PnP rpg I can change and adjust an encounter on the fly to make it as fun as possible for my players. You don't find that in a MMO.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Almost Done With The Two Big Projects-NEXT?

It is almost 11/1 and my two big projects, my anthology and Bluffside for C&C are almost done and will be done by the end of this month as far as my part goes.

I have one project that we are working on, another new venture (like the book) and will take some of my free time but not much.

So I look towards the new year with little on my plate....we have ideas, we have some people inquiring about freelancing but nothing set in stone.

What I would love to be doing next year:
Project above does well and moves ahead.
Bluffside for Pathfinder-expanded and enlarged.
Another anthology for The Awakened.
A comic adaptation of The Awakened-no luck finding a comic artist/publisher who is willing to work with this with me (lol).
A few freelance jobs of projects that excite me.

Since I have a full time job in addition to "the cool stuff", I tend to have more freedom and less pressure to get jobs, while the freedom is nice it sure would be great to do something you love and be financially secure.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Necronomicon Schedule- It is next weekend!

Florida's Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror ConventionOctober 26-28, 2012 
- Hilton Bayfront St Petersburg

My schedule:
DAY          TIME                ROOM                  EVENT NAME
Friday        4:00:00 PM      HTC 3                    RPG vs. MMORPG
Saturday    9:00:00 AM      DEMENS              Getting Started: Writing Game Modules
Saturday    11:00:00 AM    DEMENS              What's New in Gaming?


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Cover Artist for The Awakened Breaks Bad!

Greg is starting a new paintin of one of the best characters on TV, Walter White from breaking bad, see the sketch HERE!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Bluffside for C&C Status

I am very excited to say we have one more small section to convert and then it is just rechecking and putting together the work we have done.

The people we have working on this want to make this feel like it was not converted but made for C&C, we have new classes, races, spells, items and magic items then add a HUGE city with enough detail to use it forever but with enough openness that you can add what you need and not feel like the city is breaking. 

I can not wait to turn this over to playtesters and Troll Lord Games!  The cover art will be all new and improved as well.

Do not forget Necronomicon in about 2 weeks, hope to see ya there Tampa!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Cover Art Released!

Anthology Update and Necronomicon

Waiting on one short and a rework on another.
Cover is done and a friend is making a screen saver for it so people can enjoy the cover, that will be on The Awakened FB page.
Publisher liked the cover and we will be moving ahead slowly but steadily.

Do not forget about the Necronomicon Convention later this month.  I will be on 3 panels, come out and join us.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Weekend Update 10/07/12--Great Week!

Great week here.....
Daughter turned 13, on our way to a nice resteraunt.
Almost level 45 in GW2.
I finished up my part of Bluffside for C&C, it is 85% completed right now!
Publisher loved the anthology cover, I will sneak it on the internet soon.
Waiting on a few stories before I send the anthology into the publisher.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Anthology Update

Cover is here!
I have 12 final stories in my folder with the rest coming in by 10/10.
Publisher saw the final cover and really liked it.
We are close to handing the project off to the publisher, very close!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Necronomicon-3 Weeks Away!

 Florida's Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Convention
October 26-28, 2012 - Hilton Bayfront St Petersburg

4:00:00 PM
9:00:00 AM
Getting Started: Writing Game Modules
11:00:00 AM
What's New in Gaming?

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Weekend Update 09/30/12

Is it just me or does it feel October has come way too early?

Authors should be wrapping up their parts to the Anthology this week.

Cover artist Greg O should be wrapping up the cover.

Bluffside C&C is really moving fast, the two new designers are moving at great speeds, and all races and classes are converted, I am almost done editing all the POI's places of interest in all of Bluffside, after that it is time to edit the rest of the book but that should go fast.
We will be sending parts of the book to playtesters soon, if you play C&C and want to playtest the conversion, please email me for more information.

I hit level 33 in Guild Wars 2 and ran my first dungeon....I died, a LOT.

Still real congested so need to find something to let me breathe so I can use my machine to help me sleep, I am not getting very much rest.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

One Shot RPG Kickstarter

I normally do not plug specific items on my blog, but if this item reaches a goal of 11k, I am one of the people who will send in a short story and hopefully get it published by them, I have a really cool idea, so I would love to have it seen.....
Here is the info:   One Shot RPG

Monday, September 24, 2012

Weekend Update for 09/23/12

The two newest editions to Bluffside for C&C are doing fantastic! Goal is to have conversion done by 11/1 and playtest it for a few weeks and then send in any tweaks that are needed.
Slow week on Anthology, no updates.
Had a bad cold that made it tough to do much of anything.
Did play a bit of GW2 and still enjoying it.
Saw friends we have not seen in a few weeks, it was a very nice lunch.
Back to the grind, today...real life *sigh*.