Browse Month

February 2016

Fallout 4

I’m looking forward to the upcoming DLC for Fallout 4.  Especially the settlement building.  I saw that there are going to be more things to craft, but I feel there’s so much room for improvement to what is a fairly light aspect of the game.  A recent patch did a great thing by showing you what a settler was assigned to while you’re in settlement mode, but it can be more.

First, more stuff to build.  You’ve got tons of object assets, now let me put more of them in my settlements!

I want the happiness stat to be a little better explained, and a little more nuanced.  Example: As far as I can tell, there’s no reason to give anyone a bed other than a sleeping bag (which uses the fewest resources).  I want a boost to happiness if I give everyone a better bed with a frame (at a higher resource cost) and give everyone space between beds.  Maybe a nightstand for everyone.  I’ve actually already done this on my main settlement and I kind of want to be rewarded.

Actually, open happiness up.  Give each settler their own personal happiness stats.  They each want different things.  Maybe there’s a particular kind of bed they like, and they’re happier if they have one of the rare comfy pillows.  Let me assign settlers to individual beds.  (Stay out of that bed, Preston.  Goddamn it that is Piper’s spot!  Go to the corner Preston!)  Maybe every settler has a preferred set of clothes they want, depending on what job they’re in, and having those clothes makes them more efficient somehow.  Admittedly, a lot of this could end up just being more fetch quests, but let’s be honest, that’s pretty much what all of Fallout’s radiant quests are anyway.

So how about more quests?  Especially cases for Nick Valentine’s detective agency.  I know the last big bit of DLC starts with one of his cases, but how about a whole lot more.  Detective style quests could really open up more RPG encounters that this game was sadly light on.

Back to settlements, what about better building options?  I want to be able to turn the clipping and snapping off so I can put a wall wherever I want.  I’m tired of it insisting that for some reason this perfectly normal building corner cannot exist.  I want to create crazy sculptures out of junk.  I want to be able to assign settlers to a work detail where I can tag a junked car in the wasteland and have it hauled back to the settlement, either for scrap or as a foot for my recreation of Robosaurus.

Give me a working Prosnap camera in game.  Let me take pictures with it, then put them on canvases to hang in my settlements.  Huh?  Huh?  That’s a good one.  Give me photography quests.  Encourage me to explore and find great vistas to capture on film, or demand action shots with deathclaws mowing through raiders.

Fix the dialog.  I know it’s too late to change that most of the dialogue options lead to the same answers, but at least tell me what I’m actually about to be saying.  I don’t like guessing at what I’m about to say.  That’s the behavior of a crazy person.

Of course, there’s really only so much Bethesda is going to want to do, so maybe I should also be addressing this to the modding community.  Have at it!

Book 2

For those curious to know, I just finished the first draft of book 2, Blood of the Green Children.  It’s currently a little bit longer than the first draft of A God for Thieves was.

Happy Valentines Day.

Affiliate Links and DRM

This is sort of a good housekeeping, full disclosure kind of thing to start off with.  If a link on this page is going to Amazon or Smashwords, it is probably an affiliate link, which basically means that if you end up buying something Amazon or whoever will give me a small cut for having sent you their way.  It doesn’t increase your price or anything, it’s just a small part of how I try to support my family as a writer.

And on to something that people will actually like, let’s talk about DRM on my books.

A God for Thieves does not have DRM on it.  That way you can put it on your phone, tablet, or whatever and read it at your leisure.  I chose to go DRM-free on the basis that if my books were in dead tree format, nothing would really stop you from enjoying that book as you saw fit, or even reselling it to a used book store.  Heck, I buy most of my books used, so it would be fairly hypocritical of me to apply a different standard to my own work.

That being said, if someone seeds my book onto a file-sharing service and thousands of people start downloading it for free, I’m going to be pretty bummed out.  Like I said, I am trying to support my family here.

The Book is Out!

It’s true!  A God for Thieves is finally finished and out there in the wild.  It is currently available through Amazon and Smashwords.  More formats are coming soon, but if you’ve got an app/reader of choice, let me know and we’ll work on getting it there.

It’s been a long process but now it’s free to roam the internet.  I’m very excited for people to be reading it.

If you want to help me, the best thing you can do is read the book and leave an honest review on your retailer of choice.  That will help drive more eyeballs to it.

Thank you so much.

Three Things

This may become a regular-ish feature on my site, but here are three pieces of media that I am currently a little obsessed with:

1. The Mountain Goats – We Shall All Be Healed

When the little stereo in the kitchen isn’t tuned to NPR, it’s playing We Shall All Be Healed on repeat.  It’s a perfect album for singing along to while I’m cooking dinner or doing dishes.  I’m digging lyrics like “the ghosts that haunt your building have been learning how to breath”, but the maudlin subject matter is lightened by energetic beats.  I can’t get enough of it.

2. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl

There is no reason why a book based on one of Marvel’s most ridiculous characters should be as good as this, but it is.  Ryan North delivers consistently hilarious writing and Erica Henderson’s art is vibrant, full of those wonderful facial expressions that really only work in a more cartoony style.  Read it.

3. Discworld

I first tried reading these in high school and only ever finished The Color of Magic.  I clearly wasn’t ready for them then, but I am now.  Terry Pratchett built an awesome world full of enjoyable characters, but the ones I really look forward to are the City Watch books.  I’m always eager to start another case with Vimes, Carrot, Angua, Cheery, Nobbs, Detritus, Dorfl, Reg… okay, I’m not going to list them all.