Kickstarter Goodness

So, I've recently come across a few Kickstarter projects that I've backed. Perhaps they'll interest you as well. I'm only going to mention the live ones I've backed, of which there are 4. The first one is for Magnetips. They're refillable, magnetic color pens. If you like to sketch, draw, or are into costume design, I think these would be a great addition to your art kit. They'd also be fantastic for the adult coloring book craze. (5 Days to Go)

The next one is Littlest Lovecraft. I have backed these folks in all of their Kickstarters. They produce gorgeous quality illustrated Lovecraftian tales. You have the option with this project to get back-editions of their books as well. I've enjoyed all of the books I've gotten from them. (36 Days to Go)

The third is Joking Hazard, a Cards Against Humanity style card game based on the Cyanide and Happiness web comic. If you like any of those words I just said, you will probably like this project. (4 Days to Go)

And last, is a project to create an audiobook of Harlan Ellison's original script for "The City on the Edge of Forever", often considered the best episode of all the classic Star Trek episodes. I'm a huge fan of Ellison - he is one of my top 3 authors. If you have any interest in him or Star Trek, please consider backing this project. (13 Days to Go).

All of these projects are fully funded already (or nearly so), so if you back them you will get the goodies they are offering.

This Week Online - April 14, 2014

Hola all - please enjoy some amusements I found online in the past week!

Lastly, you know I'm a big fan of Tabletop, the Geek & Sundry web show hosted by Wil Wheaton on YouTube. They've decided to crowdsource the third season of the show over on Indiegogo. Check out the campaign and give if you can. If he can reach $1m, we will get a third season of Tabletop with 20 episodes AND a new spin-off show all about roleplaying games. THAT is something I really want to see!

Enjoy your week!

This Week Online - February 15, 2014

Hey all - I'm getting ready to head out for a short vacation to Miami, FL, so I wanted to toss the things I've found so far online this week up on the site. Enjoy!

Have a great week!

Two Kickstarters to Check Out!

Hey folks - It's been a while since I last promoted some Kickstarter projects to back. I've found a couple that I'm pretty excited about. I hope you'll check them out too.

The first one is a Kickstarter seeking funding for the creation of an animated video for the upcoming fourth JoCo Cruise Crazy cruise. Disclaimer - it's being run by an old friend of mine, who is fantastic and talented. Check out the three previous videos he's done on his Kickstarter site. If you're a fan of great animation, or Jonathan Coulton, or John Hodgman, or Paul & Storm, give this a look and back it!

The other one is a Kickstarter seeking funding for the creation of a short film based on the character of Storm from the Marvel X-Men universe. Storm is awesome. The premise of this short film sound really compelling. It seems to me that it could be as good a glimpse of Storm as the Wonder Woman short was that I linked to back on October 1. Check it out. Back it!

Hope you are having a good November. I'm crazy heads-down doing NaNoWriMo this month, so I wanted to blast a bunch of updates here before things get too old.


This Week Online - Sept 23, 2013

Hola folks - This week had wide ranging things of interest. I hope you enjoy!

  • Do you eat meat? Are you a vegetarian? Do you think about the impact of what you eat and how you eat on your health, your community, or the planet? This is a well-written and well thought out article on what it means to be a conscious carnivore.
  • Two key members of House Lannister from Game of Thrones appeared on Sesame Street recently. Enjoy Peter Dinklage (singing!) and Lena Headey!
  • Did you back Neal Stephenson's videogame kickstarter? It was all about creating a realistic motion capture sword fighting game. I'm a huge kickstarter participant and I remember looking at this. I thought to myself, I've been mad at Stephenson since he stopped writing good books, so I'm not going to back this project. Petty, really. Well, now I'm glad I didn't back it. Definitely a lesson in the pitfalls of kickstarter investing and in thinking about where you decide to put your money.
  • Have you upgraded to iOS7? Do you know about the privacy settings that you need to enable STAT?
  • Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen are awesome. And their friendship is a thing to envy. Truly, these two are way up on my list of people I'd invite to a dinner party.

Enjoy these tidbits. I'll be back tomorrow with a review of Riddick!

Realms of the Ancients

rota A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with one of the creators of a new roleplaying game (RPG) that is seeking funding on Kickstarter. I haven't had a chance to play the game myself, but I know several people who have and have shared their play experiences with me.

Realms of the Ancients is a RPG with its own set of mechanics and its own setting. The mechanics are straightforward, and all of the various classes, races, etc. generally factor down into four core stats that determine success/failure when rolling dice. The setting is vast, encompassing anything you can think of on many planets in many galaxies in many universes in many dimensions. You like fantasy? Here are knights and armor and swords. You like science fiction? Here are starships and lasers and space travel.

There is a lot of choice offered to the player in terms of character creation. There are sixteen races and thirteen awakened paths (think classes) to choose from initially. Over the course of game play, the character will receive transformations (which are mainly up to the game leader and the particular story being told) which can entirely change the character in new and unexpected ways.

If you don't like the predictability of RPGs like Dungeons & Dragons or Pathfinder, the transformation concept in ROTA is compelling.

The game is geared for an ideal set of 5-6 players maxing out around 8. Groups of players should try to balance the roles of their characters between tank, healer, ranged damage dealers and melee damage dealers to create a group dynamic that is interdependent and able to face any challenge.

This is a game for an experienced storyteller/dungeonmaster/game leader. Because the setting is so vast and limitless, the DM can tell any story that they want to. The rules allow for the earning of experience though events, puzzles and quests, so the types of stories and play can be quite varied.

The team at Immortal House has three weeks remaining on their kickstarter project. Through various backer levels, you can receive the rule book, the novels upon which the world is based, and you can even participate in beta testing, helping to refine the game system prior to publication.

Do you like RPGs? Do you like open worlds and interesting game mechanics? ROTA will appeal to you. Check out the Kickstarter and help get ROTA funded!

E is for Erfworld

erfworld Have you read Erfworld? It's an insanely creative webcomic by Rob Balder.

The premise is vaguely D&D-esque, but he's created his own language for the world which spoofs and references things from our "normal world". He also has written a fair amount of text-only chapters (Book 0) telling the backstory of main characters in the world. The language is inventive and hilarious and the story is compelling. It's what keeps me coming back week after week.

I really can't recommend the webcomic enough.

In the time that I've been reading it, the comic has used two artists. The original artist was Jamie Noguchi (Book 1) whose vision for the look of the comic has persisted no matter who is doing the art. Book 2's artist was Xin Ye - the general look remained the same but in a much higher level of detail.

Erfworld is now getting a 3rd artist to take over -- David Hahn. You can see some of his art on their Kickstarter. It looks fantastic so far.

The point of the Kickstarter is to create an Erfworld primer (alphabet book) for fans to enjoy and give the new artist practice drawing everything in the comic before beginning to illustrate the comic itself. Depending on your backer level, you can also get nifty things like the hardcover of book 1, original art, plushie dwagons, stickers, etc.

The Kickstarter is already well-funded (the project closes in THREE DAYS). But if you're looking for a great webcomic to read and some serious creativity to back, think about backing E is for Erfworld. You'll be glad that you did.

Smart Cargo for iPad

I have an iPad. I use it frequently, mainly for productivity, web browsing and book reading. On trips, it is an invaluable resource. Last year, I backed a Kickstarter called Smarter Stand - it was a neat little invention of a couple of clips you can position on your smart cover to help it stand up in more ways than it can by default.

The same person who invented Smarter Stand is running another Kickstarter called Smart Cargo. It's a nifty handle/container that attaches (magnetically) to your smart cover and you can easily carry chargers, earbuds, styluses, etc. inside it.

There's a limited pledge level going on right now (437 of 600 left at the time I am writing this) where you can back this project for $15 and get a Smart Cargo. Or, if you want the Smarter Stand as well (and those clips are REALLY useful), you can get a combination of the two items for $34.

I'm backing this project. The previous project was run well and rewards were sent out in a timely fashion.

If this is something you'd find useful for your iPad, please back it as well!

Blood Kiss - a Vamp Noir Movie starring Neil Gaiman and Amber Benson


I love a good vampire movie. The Hunger, The Wisdom of Crocodiles, The Lost Boys, Shadow of the Vampire, Fright Night, Blade 2, Near Dark, Let the Right One In (the Swedish original), etc. So when I came across a vampire movie being funded on Kickstarter, I had to stop and take a look.

It's smartly written by all reports. Gaiman and Benson say it's a good script with well rounded characters. And there's a graphic novel being produced at the same time! The movie is set in 1940s Hollywood and is a "classic film noir tale of a Sexy Jazz Singer in distress and a Private Investigator who takes on a little more than he bargained for".

For those who may not know who Neil Gaiman is (I can't believe you'd be reading my blog if you don't), he's the writer responsible for the comic series The Sandman (quite possibly the best comic series ever written) and fantastic novels such as American Gods and Neverwhere (to name a few). This movie will be his first time acting when not portraying himself.

Amber Benson is an actress and writer who had a big role on the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She writes the Calliope Reaper-Jones series (urban fantasy). She was also on the Gloom episode of Tabletop!

The Kickstarter for the project hit its base funding level in the first 14 days of funding. Now they're trying to get to the first stretch goal which will improve the quality of the film shoot, sound, and provide for costumes and makeup effects.

Please check out the Kickstarter project and help reach that stretch goal!

Machine of Death


I just finished reading a fantastic book called Machine of Death. It's a collection of short stories edited by Ryan North, Matthew Bennardo and David Malki.

The premise is that all of the stories are set in the modern world with one important difference - there is a machine which can tell you how you are going to die. And it's vague. Cryptic, even.

The stories all focus on exploring what the world would be like if people knew how they were going to die.

Every single story is excellent. I don't think I found a single tale unworthy of inclusion in the collection.

I had first heard of this book when I came across a Kickstarter for a game that was being based on the book. The game looked sick and twisted and pretty darn funny, so I backed the Kickstarter. It was only after the project funded and closed down that I decided to get a copy of the book and read it.

I'm very happy I did. I highly recommend it to you.

There's a second book that is coming out in July called "This Is How You Die" which is another collection of stories around this same premise. I am very excited about it.

Penny Arcade Kickstarter

I'm a huge, huge, huge, huge fan of Kickstarter. I completely believe in the historical goodness of the patronage system. I'm also a huge fan of the webcomic Penny Arcade. They not only create entertaining content several times a week, but also run huge fan conventions (Pax) and a wonderful charity organization (Child's Play) which gives video games to sick kids in hospitals.

This Kickstarter campaign they've started is to try to crowdsource removal of advertising from their site. I wish they'd done a bit better job of explaining why exactly they want to get rid of the advertising (aside from the fact that it's bright, animated & sometimes distracting), but I think it's a great goal regardless.

The video explaining the campaign is hilarious. I highly recommend it!

Penny Arcade Sells Out -- Kickstarter Campaign