Saturday, July 22, 2017

Funny Business

If you're wondering what I've been doing with myself this past month, or so (I know I have), then you might be interested to know that among the things that's kept me busy has been putting together my first, self-published role playing game - now available on Drivethrurpg.

It's called...

Yep. That's a real game, really made by me, and really available right now for purchase.

It was inspired by my love of those very particular puppets seen on television, in movies, and in many other entertainment formats over the past 60+ years.

It also celebrates all puppets, and puppet programs like theirs, from Rags on the Patchwork Family, to the Gary Gnu of The Great Space Coaster, and the characters of more adult fare such as Avenue Q, and Netflix's The Fuzz.

If you've enjoyed that sort of wanton craziness in the past, and would like to try it as an RPG, please give it a look-see. 


Barking Alien

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Out of Mothballs

The door to the Barking Alien blog bridge, control room, and coffee bar lounge opens only part way with a slow, deliberate hiss. Adam and Barkley stand at the doorway tentatively, each pulling out a small flashlight and moving it slowly across the room. 

A thin layer of dust - the exact origin of which given the life support systems, and artificial climate is unsettling at best -  covers everything in sight.

Adam walks across the room, accidentally stepping on a droid part here, an empty nutrient-pack there, until he reaches the main display interface. He runs his hand, fingers outstretched, over the screens, a forlorn look on his face.

Suddenly there is a low beep, a hum, a quite series of music notes, and the entire interface, from floor to ceiling comes alive. 

Looking about every which way, he finally fixes his gaze on Barkley, his paws 'index finger', firmly on the 'Power On' button. A smile beams on his furry, snouted face. Barkley moves his gaze from Adam to the 'Command Chair' and back again, as if to say, 'Go on. Sit down'.

Adam stares as the chair for what feels like an eternity, then sits stiffly, uncomfortably, like being around old high school friends you haven't kept in contact with while at some sort of reunion. Barkley just shakes his head. He saunters over, clicks on the mic, pulls out the keyboard, and points to it. 

"Just write. Write...what's on your mind."

Deep breath. Here goes...

Hi all!

I've been away for a bit, dealing with some real world issues that have luckily been resolved, and the results include my living in a new apartment, in a great neighborhood, within easy walking distance of my day job. 

The added free time (though it has still been at a premium) has given me the opportunity to complete my first, honest-to-goodness, for sale table top RPG product! Well...sort of...

I'm really passionate about RPGs. I mean I love them, and I want to write them, and...yeah. My problem is, there are a whole boat load of other skills that are needed to really do them right, professionally that is, and frankly, I don't really have those skills.

At present, the game is complete and has been uploaded to DriveThruRPG. It takes a day or so for them to approve it I guess. We'll see what happens. 

I thought I'd be super happy when it was done, but during the process I felt rushed. It was partially my own fault for announcing to people that I was doing it before it was really done, done, but then people just kept asking me if it was finished, and...well...sigh. It's done now. Hopefully people will like it enough to buy it. The artist in me feel it could be a thousand times better.

What can you do?

Well...Hopefully one thing I can do is make the next product even better. This one was pretty special to me, both because of the subject, and the fact that it's my first, but next one is going to benefit from the mistakes made this time around. I hope.

When I know for sure that it's available, I will link it's page here.

In the meantime...

Barkley and I have a lot of repairs, and cleaning to do to get the blog back up and running. We're low on dilithium crystals, there are mynocks, and frackles practically everywhere, and the trouble alert keeps blinking '12:00'. 

We'll be here working until late, so stop by in the comments and let us know you missed us. Heheh.

Don't worry, we'll be back to normal soon.


Barking Alien

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Declaring My Independence

I am working really hard to get my Soon-To-Be-Published RPG product completed, though the more I work on it the longer it seems to be taking. 

I haven't yet reached the point where I wish it was just done already, but yeah, I'm getting close to that mark.

I'm going to watch some fireworks, cheer myself up, and keep at it. 

Happy Fourth of July, American Independence Day everyone!

Barking Alien

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Where Are We Now?

I have moved into my new place.

It has been a pretty crazy week, ending a pretty crazy month, and generally speaking, it has finished on a positive note.

For the past two years I've been living in a pretty crumby neighborhood, on the sixth floor of a steep staircase walk up. Every day, several times times a day, for the past 730 days, I've had to walk up and down six flights of stairs. It sucked, and not just because I walk all day for a living as a professional dog walker.

The building was often dirty due to neighbors who didn't care. The streets around the building were the same way. The supermarkets all had crappy selections unless I walked really far from my apartment. At the same time, they were more expensive than similar grocery stores in other parts of the city.

I tried very hard to see the positives, but after two years I just hated it.

It's been tough on my self-esteem, my drive, and my peace of mind.

Things have greatly improved.

I am now in a much nicer neighborhood, in a much nicer apartment, with better shopping, cleaner hallways, and people who say hi, and tell me how beautiful my dog is when they walk by. I am closer to my clients, and get to walk my own dog more often.

Best part so far? I'm on the third floor, and there is an elevator.

I don't tell you, I'm pretty happy.

Somehow, in the last two weeks, I've run a Dungeons and Dragons 5E game, two sessions of Mobile Suit Gundam/Japanese Anime-Style Giant Robots, had a session zero for an upcoming Ars Magica mini-campaign, and discussed with my buddy Dave a possible new Superhero campaign (likely Champions 4E).

Lastly, I am a day or so away from releasing my first professional RPG product on DriveThruRPG. I think it has turned out pretty good, maybe even damn good, and I really hope you will all give it a look see (I won't lie - I need the money - the new place set me back a ways). 

Well, that's where I've been, and where I am. Further updates will be forthcoming, and of course I will announce my game's official release when it happens. 

Thanks for checking in. 

More to come.

Happy Fourth of July to my fellow Americans, and Happy Canada Day to my friends in the North.

Barking Alien

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Into The Sea, You and Me

I'm running a fill in game for our Wednesday night Google Hangouts group next week.

As we prepare for our big, upcoming Marvel/DC Crossover mini-campaign, our regular GM Keith has asked for a short break to re-familiarize himself with Marvel Heroic.

Since I expressed an interest in running Anime/Manga style Giant Robots in the recent past, and others in the group have expressed interest in trying out the genre, I am to take this opportunity to run a story I've been thinking about for a while...

Gundiver is a Mobile Suit Gundam 'Side Story' set during the original series 'One Year War', in which the Earth Federation Forces develop an undersea operations Mobile Suit in an attempt to counter the superior aquatic mecha of the enemy Zeon Navy. 

Having developed the Mobile Suit first, the forces of the Grand Duchy of Zeon have a head start in the arms race to build the better giant, humanoid machines. While the armies and navies of UN SPACY (the NATO of the United Earth) have a mere half dozen robot designs that they customize and adapt for various missions, the Zeons have numerous mechs specially designed and build for various situations. 

When fighting underwater for example, the Earth forces normally use the General Model Mobile Suit, or GM, adapted for aquatic conditions. Later, they start specifically outfitting the RAG-79, or Aqua GM, with the gear it needs right off the assembly line.

Unfortunately, by the time they do so the Zeon forces have the Gogg, the vastly improved Hygog, the Z'Gok, the Z'Gok-E, the Acguy, and the Zaku Marine Type (the mass produced counterpart to the Federation GM). 

A trio of Zaku Mariners on the hunt for Federation Forces.

Our story will begin in space, where an Earth Federation Space Forces vessel prepares to send a 'care package' to its allies on terra firma. An experimental, prototype Mobile Suit - the RAG-79-G1 'Waterproof' or Aquatic Gundam, nicknamed 'Gundiver' will be orbital dropped to a hidden rendezvous point of the coast of Brazil.

It seems Zeon Intelligence is at the top of its game however, as Zeon forces attempt to insure the thought-to-be-secret 'Gundiver' never reaches its destination...

The game will likely be run with my own, homebrew Extended Mecha system (based on the free RPG Extended Mission). There will be about six players (not including myself as GM), and the plan is for this to be the first of three sessions.

I will keep you posted.


Barking Alien