Dead ’til Dawn Takes to the Sea

 

Great news! As of my last update from the manufacturer, the games were loaded onto a boat in Shanghai on the 15th, and should be powering across the Pacific ocean RIGHT NOW! She sent me these photos to share with you guys:

 

The estimated shipping time is 15 days, though a close friend of mine who knows a ton about shipping just warned me yesterday that things like shipping and importing are tricky, and to expect more delays, just because there often are many things that can happen, like inspections taking extra long, paperwork delays, pirates, whales, etc.

 

The games should arrive in Seattle in about two weeks, and then get loaded onto a truck and taken to Portland, Oregon, where they’ll be unboxed and re-boxed and boxed off to you! Boxed, of course.

In just a few short weeks, fifty of these boxes of boxes will arrive!

 
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I am THIS Close to Shipping! Also, ®!

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Well, it’s been 2 weeks, so here’s a new update about Dead ’til Dawn®! In short, THINGS ARE HAPPENING. They’re just happening in China, and slowly, but they ARE happening!

According to my contact, Annie, with my manufacturer, CustomedCards (https://www.customedcards.com/), they’re aiming to have the manufacturing done this next week! There’s a boat that they are trying to catch that leaves Shanghai on August 16th. More on this as is develops, of course.

A word on CustomedCards – I know this process has taken a lot longer than I thought it would, but if you’re looking for a company to partner with to make your game, I HIGHLY recommend them. Some of the delays have been things that I would never have thought to check on, but they did! They have a great artist on staff to help with issues that arise, and Annie has been AMAZING at replying quickly, understanding what’s needed, and just everything else. Especially if you’re looking to get a prototype printed, they’re cheap and the one I got from them is easily professional quality.

One last little piece of news – I heard back from the lawyer I hired last fall, and “Dead ’til Dawn” is now a registered trademark, owned by Cavewolf Games, and I can start putting ® after the title! You may be asking (and SHOULD be asking), “shouldn’t that have been settled BEFORE you slapped that name on your game?!” Yeah. That would have been smart, but THEN you’d be waiting until 2019 for this game, and the WORLD NEEDS DEAD ‘TIL DAWN!

Also, trademarking a game’s name isn’t really necessary, as long as you can demonstrate that you’ve been selling the product with the name FIRST (this is all stuff I’m acting like I know, that I mind-leached from my lawyer). The real danger with THIS game is the super-saturation of the market with zombie-themed properties with “dead” in the title. My lawyer was mostly worried about the Romero empire getting their feathers ruffled, and so I charged ahead! And now, when Dead ’til Dawn® explodes into children’s cartoons, lunch boxes, and fidget spinners, I’ll be RICH! Buahahaha!

So that’s the news! I’m hoping that this next week I get to update you with YOUR GAMES ARE ON A BOAT! We’ll see! Tune in next week!

 

Green, Cash, and Little Cardboard Bullets

Hey all! I have some time, and I get asked frequently for more updates, soooo here’s a very detailed account of what’s happened this week, with regards to the game. If you are a busy person, you can just skip this update, it’s like a non-arc episode. There’s some craziness, but in the end, it’s all back to normal.

Three fun things this week:

Chapter One – Fifty Shades of Green

Several weeks earlier, when there was a lull while I was waiting on something-or-other, I got the idea to tweak the image at the bottoms of just a few of the zombie cards. Just a little change on only eight of the cards. Changes like this:

Pretty nifty little things for you to notice later and go, “oh whoa, this card is a little different!” and then you’d paw through all the cards, and feel special for noticing something that I’d left for you, and we’d laugh and skip into the meadows hand in hand, with the bluebirds, and raccoons, and orangutans, and breakfast cereals…

So, this last Monday, I get a message from Annie, my contact in China, about how those cards I changed ended up getting the colors in their name banners changed, too, and while the colors look exactly the same on a screen, when printed they are noticeably different. ARGH! So, I set to work to fix those colors, but after 5 attempts, and 3 days, they still didn’t match. I’m actually really good with Photoshop, so this made me crazy! But the problem is that InDesign is involved, and there’s some things about how colors shift from digital to print that are BEYOND MY POWERS! It was slowing everything down, so Thursday, I decided to drop the little plan, and go back to all of them having the same zombie heads and butts. Everything else had been printed – the boxes, the instructions, the tokens, everything was waiting on THIS, and… nifty pics got axed.

Cue sad panda.

Chapter Two – Other People’s Money

Then, the next lame thing happened. Yesterday, I was grading some stuff (I teach), when I got a call to investigate some possible fraudulent charges on my account. Someone had racked up over TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS in charges on iTunes, using my business bank account. That’s YOUR money! It’s all been resolved, and we’ll get the money back, but still! This account exists only to get your money to the manufacturer, and to the post office to ship you guys your stuff. Ugh! How on Earth did anyone get the info?! They have no clue. Blech. Sigh.

Cue angry panda.

Chapter Three – A New Hope

The last bit of news is GOOD! I mentioned earlier that, other than these zombie cards, everything has been made already! This is awesome news! Annie sent me this pic of one of the token punchboards that you will get with your game:

And so, there’s all the news for this week!

-Steve

New Bumblebee Movie Trailer Reveals – He’s Still Just a Mute Metal Pokemon

The new “Bumblebeemovie trailer is out! Bumblebee is FINALLY back to changing into a Volkswagen Bug (so his name makes sense), and as a robot he’s much less of a Bay-mess and more reminiscent of how he’s looked in every other place for the last 30+ years. Plus, this movie isn’t directed by Michael Bay at all, but by Travis Knight! So, fans of Transformers should be thrilled, right?

Nope.

And it’s not because this one finally has a girl lead – that’s fantastic, and something Bay could never do. It’s not because of how he looks, either. At least he doesn’t look like one of those magnetic metal shard sculpture toys that “cool” uncles have on their coffee tables. This new Bumblebee actually looks pretty cool.

It’s because, once again, a director has decided that Bumblebee is best without the ability to speak.

Now, that might not seem like such a big deal, right? I mean, what kid didn’t see Bumblebee and Sam in the first Bay movie and think, “Aw, I want a Bumblebee!

But, that’s the problem.

Bumblebee is a thinking, feeling being. Stripping the ability to talk reduces him to being some kind of pokemon, that you can imagine catching and making yours (which is also weird, but not what this article is about!). Ripping out his voice makes him unable to express how he actually feels, what he thinks about, who he really is. The old term for mute is “dumb,” which is what these movies make of Bumblebee. His personhood is stripped away, making him a loyal pet. A dog, who can also give you a ride to the mall. How fun!

For the last 30+ years, in 20+ different animated series, 10+ different comic book series, 3 hit console games (not counting the ones based in Bay’s universe), a pile of game apps, and much more, Bumblebee has been a talkative, youthful Autobot who you can identify with, and dream of being like, and friends with, rather than wanting to OWN.

That small difference is actually huge. There are HUGE ethical problems with wanting to OWN a fellow intelligent being, AND with taking on that sort of attitude simply because you can’t understand their speech.

If you haven’t heard Bumblebee’s voice, here’s a clip from the original Transformer’s movie (warning, Spike (cartoon version of Sam, though he’s now adult here, cusses in this, which made my mind explode as a kid!). Skip to 1:16 if YouTube doesn’t do it for you:

Beyond these ethical issues, this is simply weak and lazy storytelling. In the Bayverse, Bumblebee lost his ability to speak “through battle,” and even though he can clearly play clips from his radio that aren’t on the radio right at that moment, he is too stupid to dice the clips up into useful noises, and communicate. Then, at the end of the first movie, he suddenly CAN speak, and says he’d like to stay with Sam! Only to start the second movie not speaking again, but this time, because he’s refusing to.

We should expect better storylines, for entertainment we pay for.

The fact that this movie has a new director is encouraging – perhaps we can someday get free of Bay’s versions of transformers as pets and prop pieces, rather than fully developed characters and stars. We can see a story actually about Bumblebee, rather than about a girl who finds a pet and learns a valuable lesson in whatever.

Maybe after this we can get a Transformers movie with Transformers characters who we can get to actually know, who can learn lessons of their own, who we can identify with rather than wishing we could keep. Maybe we’ll get a Bumblebee who struggles as a fully developed and actualized person with flaws, opinions, feelings, dreams, and hopes. The Transformers are an ancient race of sentient machines who have been in civil war for over 4 million years.

Maybe give them a voice, to tell their story.

I’ve Sold a Romance Story!

An erotic romance story of mine, “The Brownie will Help,” has been scooped up by Lethe Press for their Stoner Boys anthology! I’m excited, not just because I love getting my stories out there, but this marks a new type of popular fiction for me to jump into.

So, what’s it like, writing erotica? Hard! GET IT?! But seriously, it was MUCH more work than writing about something easy, like space werewolves or alien ninja robots. Those are simple! Capturing the sexual subtleties that lie under the surface when NOT having sex… to me, THAT’S half the heat! If you haven’t tried writing something sexy, I can’t recommend it enough, even just for an exercise. If you give it a shot and want a proofreader, check in and let me know!

And, it doesn’t hurt that romance and erotica pay EXTREMELY well, especially compared to angsty poems about your dad for high-brow literature magazines.

Not that daddy issues don’t get plenty of attention in this story… I mean where would we all be, if we all had great parents?! But why ruin the story for you? Pick up a copy: https://www.lethepressbooks.com/store/p409/THCock.html

What’s Really Wrong with Black Panther

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Having seen Black Panther several times now,

I can finally put my finger on what really bugs me about that movie. Honestly. It’s infuriating, it’s disgusting, and it’s in Killmonger’s final line:

“Bury me in the ocean with my ancestors that jumped from the ships, because they knew death was better than bondage.”

See? There it is. No doubt you thought the same thing I did when it happened…

Who.

My ancestors WHO jumped from the ships.

Honestly. It’s like, read a book, Killmonger! Killmonger? More like Kill… M… Mmnnot good at grammar!

Other than THAT gross mistake, the movie is amazing and everyone should see and love it! It’s one of the best Marvel films to date, with perhaps the most sympathetic villain I’ve seen them come up with yet. And while the movie is getting loads of hype about how it tackle’s the race question, the movie ALSO presents a host of strong female leads as well who definitely don’t need no man!