Used Game

Video games grew out of the computer age. String your code together correctly, and you have something that millions of people will enjoy for hours. As this industry has grown we have seen video games become a powerful economic force, but there is an ongoing debate within the industry. Are used games hurting the game industry? My opinion, there is no way that it doesn’t hurt the developers. Although companies like EA, Microsoft, and the other developers are going about changing it wrong. Allow me to explain a little.

First thing that has to be understood about the used game market. Used games don’t help the developer at all. One hundred percent of the used game price goes back to the seller. Based on a 2009 report, I know its old, which stated half of the game’s price is pure profit. In contrast, they make about twenty percent back from new game sales. To give an example, Uncharted 4 released not too long ago. This game is currently selling new for sixty dollars. The price of a pre-owned Uncharted 4 is fifty-three dollars. When you take away the cost of the trade-in value you still have about twenty to twenty-eight dollars of pure profit. Now I’m not trying to say stop buying used games. However, I have seen several people go on and on about how game companies are screwing the player by making them pay to play a used game. They yell this while studio after studio is shutting down, and almost every major company goes through massive layoffs.

Now let’s talk for a second about why game companies need this money now. Oddly enough, EA’s CEO made one of the best argument in his quote to Gamespot about DLC and Season passes. “Eight years ago when I joined EA, we were publishing 70 games a year. And this year we might do twelve.” We can say what we want about EA, but I think that highlights how the industry has changed over the years. Productions for games take longer now than they have ever before. I have done game development, and it’s not easy. The people working for places like Activision, EA, Ubisoft, they are the best at what they do. To build the games as well as they do takes time, but because of that, they can’t release as many games. That means they have to get all the income they can out of each release.

Now, what can be done? Honestly, I like used games. I have no personal problem with the practice of used games. What I don’t like is people trying to force players to pay after they already paid a game seller. Game publishers have the power to force GameStop, and other sellers, to the table, and make policy that would give the publishers, and developers a cut of the sale. They need to work out an arrangement before they try and force the burden on players, again.

For where I got the EA quote:
http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2015/08/ea-exec-says-complaints-about-on-disc-dlc-are-nonsense/

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July Announcements

So last month didn’t go as planned. The month taught a lot though.

On the Chronicles of Hazard City, I was spending the later part of the month deciding whether to take a break from editing the chapters and just writing the first draft. I decided that I did want to take a break from editing in the hope that I can get the first draft done in a few months as opposed to having a good second draft in a year. Things have worked out on that front. It has been three weeks since that decision, and I have finished three chapters.

Over the month of June, I did pose a question to other writers. The question was whether to take the drafts and publish them to patreon. Their advice was to be cautious about doing it. I have given it much thought, and I have decided that I want to publish the chapters onto the patreon site. If I see the response as harmful to the overall book, I will stop, but for now, I will start publishing the next chapter in a few days, and will continue posting as I get the chapters done. These chapters will be first drafts, which are raw, and unedited. So judge them with a grain of salt.

Aside from Hazard City, we are going to be having a new short story series. This will be the story of the Archangel Lucifer, and a demon named Eva. They will be published on the patreon, fully revised and edited, and will be published on Amazon.

For the blog, we will have a few more research article. The first is a small article on Batman Vs Superman and more specifically a theory I have regarding one of its villains, Doomsday. The second will be another research article on nanotechnology. This time I will focus on the medical side of it and talk about robotic cells such as nerve, and red blood cells. Finally we will have more articles about writing, how to create a world.

As side from that, I will just keep going on the book, and will keep everyone up today with what is going on with it. Hope you guys are enjoying the work so far, and if you haven’t yet like us on Facebook, follow on twitter, and subscribe to the blog to be kept up to date on everything.

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Doomsday

One of the biggest controversies of Batman Vs Superman was the use of Doomsday. Earlier this week, I was watching the ultimate edition, when something bugged me. The AI in the Kryptonian ship says, “None would ever again give life to a deformity so hateful to sight in memory.” The words I am hung up on is “again”. This scene comes after Lex is taught about the knowledge inside the Kryptonian database. Both these scenes leave me with a question. Is there an older Doomsday?

So why do I have this question. In the comics, Doomsday was created by a scientist named Bertron. He wanted to create the ultimate lifeform. After killing the lifeform repeatedly, he lost control of it. The creation killed him and escaped the planet. Doomsday then went on a killing spree throughout the galaxy, almost bringing it to conflict with Darkseid. Eventually, he fought the Green Lanterns and the Guardians. The fight caused a tear in space where Doomsday was brought to a planet called Calaton. He was eventually defeated by an energy being called the Radiant. He was placed in a casket and set out into space.

Now they have confirmed that the creature in Batman Vs Superman is Doomsday, and I’m not trying to say that he wasn’t. In one of Doomsdays storylines, he was resurrected by Lex Luthor, with the help of Darkseid. In the comics, Superman was able to defeat that creation. At the end of the movie, Lex is shown with one of Darkseid’s generals, an alien known as Steppenwolf. It does indicate that there may be a connection between Luthor and Darkseid. With that connection, it is entirely possible that Steppenwolf helped Lex create this version of Doomsday.

Now let’s go back to the conversation that Lex Luthor had with the AI that controls the ship. The AI bot says that the research is forbidden by the Kryptonian Council. The AI bot used very specific words when talking about the experiment. It was as if the bot knew what Lex was going to create. It was as if someone had done the experiment before.

This brings me to the final point. How did Lex Luthor know that anything he was doing would result in a survivable creation? Let alone something strong enough to take on Superman. The only way that it would logically make sense is if the ship’s computers already knew about the experiments performed by Bertron. When you add in the laws that say you can’t do the research, the connection to Darkseid, and the fact that Doomsday is a tough S.O.B. to kill. I think that it is entirely possible for there to be another Doomsday in the DCCU.

If you think I missed something, feel free to leave a comment below.

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Crafting a Story

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Writers are in the business of creating stories. These stories should captivate the imaginations of the reader and entertain them. As a writer your goal is to entertain, and sometimes inform. To me when creating a story it always comes down to three things: story, characters, and setting. These three things make up every story and if one lacks the other two suffer greatly.

Let’s start with the story. The story is the events that take place in the book, movie or game you are writing. In Lord of the Rings, it is the journey to destroy Sauron by destroying the one ring. When creating a base story, it’s good to remember, what do you enjoy? When I started the story that would become Chronicles of Hazard city, it was much different. It was a five-part story of four different heroes. A soldier in the Middle East, a girl in China, a mercenary in Europe, and a military experiment in New York, all of the were unknowingly working against the same force, a company known as Hydra. The first four stories would have been the individual stories, and the fifth was them being brought together.

At the time, I wanted to write for video games, and I wanted to create something that was different. The games would be episodic, and would tell the story in installments. Over five years I worked on the story, and it changed as time passed. I became a writer, but I still had that story.

I tried to write it twice, failed twice, reworked it a hundred times. I uncomplicated the story, started stripping parts away. Eventually, it was placed in one city instead of four, and I gave it the name Chronicles of Hazard City. The first story, was about crime starring a lone mercenary named Dylan Price. Before it wasn’t ready, I wasn’t ready, now I’m taking another shot. We will see how it works out.

My advice for crafting a good base storyline. Start general, a story develops through interactions between characters. The details of your story will come from interaction. As you develop your characters, you will develop a better overall story. The same rule applies towards building the world. The forces that work inside your world will influence your story. The details of your world will add layers to your story. So the best advice I can give. Make your story like putty, able to stretch and change shape to fit the current need, and it’s ok if things change to the point that it is an entirely different story.

Characters, they are the drivers of your story. When I started writing, I thought how writers could talk about characters performing actions as if they had any choice. I like most people thought that the author makes the decision in the universe. They decide what the character does and what the character doesn’t do. This isn’t true.

Think about you as a character. Your family influences you, they stories they tell, the prejudice they feel, everything that makes your family unique is in you. The friends you keep, are they rich? Are they poor? The hobbies you keep. These things will shape you into who you will become.

Your characters will also have all these traits. Most of them will be picked before the story begins. Dylan for example, mother died giving birth, dad died while fighting. He wasn’t rich, but he was sent to a military academy after his father died. He didn’t have many friends growing up but did have one real friend in a man named Miles Jackson. He believes in doing the right thing, but not at any cost. If someone shoots at him, he shoots back.

The backstory for Dylan’s character influences his decisions. He lost his family so he wants to protect others. In books two and three, he starts to build a team of extraordinary individuals. People become the family he lost. He doesn’t see himself as a hero so when people try to honor him he rejects it. When you build a character, he has to act like that character.

When writing a character you have to do what makes sense for that character. Other characters will also have to do what they would normally do in response. If the main villain wants to kill the main hero, and he gets an opportunity, he should take it. If the story calls for it, kill your main character. If it’s hard on you, it will be hard on your audience.

Some general rules for characters. Heroes need flaws. They make the character human in the eyes of your reader. A hero that is able to take on an army is awesome. A hero that would rather take on the army than the demons in his head is even better. Your villain is the hero in his eyes. Whatever he, or she, is doing, they have to justify it. No real villain has ever stood up and said, “I am doing this because I’m evil.”

The world, I’m planning to make a long piece dedicated to this later. The storyline, the characters they all are affected by what is happening in the world. It’s not easy to make a good one. This will take time, but it is one of my favorite things to do. To build a good world you need a couple of things.

The most important aspect you need to this world is history. History is what drives most conflicts. Iraq is probably one of the best examples. It’s a region that politically has about three factions. The most important ones are the Sunni, Shia and Kurds. The Sunni and Shia factions have a long, complicated history dating back to the formation of the Islamic faith. The Kurds are a tribe that doesn’t even want to be part of Iraq. When you add in the other parts of the country’s history, like how it was created, the western intervention in it, Saddam, you get a complicated region with a complex history. It’s also not unique, history is complicated, and the meaning of events are constantly changing.

The history of your setting needs to be defined. To do this is complicated and takes time, but it is well worth it. The easiest way to do this is to take some character’s backstory and turn them into full stories. Tolkien wrote short stories that were set in the same universe as the Lord of the Rings. Each of the rings they talk about at the beginning of the first movie has a full story attached to it. Gandalf has more than a few stories written about him. Adding history to your world is a great way to make your story have depth and give small details that really set your story apart.

The setting is more than history. The setting needs to have a character all its own. Take Hazard City for example, the city is dirty and rough, it’s a tough city to live in. That makes the people who live there harder. The people of Hazard City know they can’t trust the police. Therefore, they rarely trust anyone. This adds character to the city and gives a bit of direction to characters.

There is a lot more to developing a good setting. I didn’t cover things like unseen forces, magic, religion, and several other topics, but trust me I will get to them in another article.

The only thing I have left to say is write. For a writer, story creation is a need and less of a want. Chronicles of Hazard City started as characters made as fan fiction inside the Marvel Universe. I built the characters, then the story, then setting. Then I restarted and built them all again. The setting will influence the characters. Characters will alter the path of the story. The story may change the setting a little. My closing words, no story is perfect. No game is perfect. No movie is perfect. We strive as storytellers to tell the best story but know when to stop. Nothing is worse than working years and never finishing, but having someone enjoy your work, nothing is better.

END

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Writer’s Block

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Writer’s block, everyone gets it. For a college student, it’s the blank page, and being unable to start a research paper. For writer, it is much more complicated. For me writers block comes in three forms. The first is unable to think of anything to write. The second, is able to think of what to write, but unable to put it into words. The third, you think of too many topics that you can’t focus on one. All of these result in the same thing, you can’t write, and for a writer you can’t live.

I spoke of three types of writer’s block, and while there are more, I’m going to focus on what I have listed. I’m doing that because I have encountered those three more than most of the others. Most of the others just have something to do with silencing your inner critic. To the people who are afraid that their idea is boring, or won’t be liked, remember Game of Thrones is called boring, and every book you have ever heard of has people who don’t like it. You can’t control everyone, you can’t write for everyone. So write for you. Write your passion, and it will show through. Now onto the three I have chosen.

January of every year, I can’t focus. No ideas are coming, and I’m staring at a blank page. For me frustration builds, and I start taking off hand remarks as personal attacks. For me this is becoming normal for every January. How do I deal with it? I read nonfiction, and wonder the possibilities. I did this to write a story, that I needed to have under a thousand words. Before I came up with the story, I was reading about the presidential election. I was looking into third party options and read an article about John Mcafee. He wrote an article about cyber security how we compared to China. He didn’t paint a very pleasurable picture. When I looked farther into cyber security I read another article about two hackers getting into someone’s car and turning it off. After I thought and put the two together. It wasn’t easy, but the block was cleared, and I wrote the fiction. That story became Crash, a fiction piece that I put up a few weeks ago. It was about a man driving on the highway when he loses control of his car and that causes a massive crash on the highway. I wouldn’t have been able to write that story without the true things to inspire it.

The blank page, as writers we all hate it. For me I’m always scared that whatever I write won’t grab the audience. I write one thing, then erase, and then repeat a hundred times. My current novel I thought was running long on its first draft so I made a post in a writing forum about it. I was told that during your first draft it’s more important to get the ideas down than to get everything pretty. Grammar doesn’t matter. Style doesn’t matter. I asked if I should have just “shut up and write,” I was told to shut up and write. To get passed this type of writer’s block I advocate before starting, write an outline. What are the larger events of the book? When do you want them to happen? How does the book end? These all will help deal with large issues in the book and I can almost guarantee that you won’t get lost half way through your book.

To many ideas? I always hated it when ideas start hit me all at once. I started writing when I was young, but never really tried completing anything until college. I started because I had to. I would have to write a paper for a class, but all I could think about is a character I was developing. I did research into it, and found that if I wrote about that character I would stop focusing on him as much. I could focus on my classes. It worked, I stopped thinking about them every second and started being able to focus on other things. So that is my advice. You can’t focus on an idea so focus on all of them. Now don’t do it permanently, just write the scenes you are thinking about at that moment. Put them away to find them later. Take a day or a week and clear your mind. We all have to do it sometimes.

Writer’s block is something all writers have to deal with. Stephen King gave twenty tips to writers. In one he said, “You have three months to write your first draft.” I think that makes sense, any more time and start to doubt yourself. He didn’t say it had to be good in three months. He didn’t say it had to be the final version in three months. He said the first draft had to be done. So write. No one will ever know that story better than you will, and at the end, you’re the only one that needs to like it.

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The Nano Age

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By now, most people have heard of what Nanotechnology is. Nanotechnology is the study of things that are measured in nanometers. It is a technology that is difficult to talk about, because it can be used in so many different ways. Nanotechnology is probably going to be one of the things that defines this generation. Its potential to change our world has been measured on the same scale as the internet. With something that big, I want to make something that I can refer back to when doing other articles about nanotechnology. To do this I’m going to start at the beginning.

What is Nanotechnology?

Nanotechnology is technology that works with the dimensions less than one hundred nanometers. To give you an idea of how small that is, two nanometers is the size of DNA. The technology is mainly used to manipulate matter at the atomic scale.
Origin:
The science began in 1959 by physicist Richard Feynman, but the term nanotechnology wasn’t used until 1974. The term didn’t get popular until 1986, when Eric Drexler wrote a book called Engines of Creations: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology. In the book, he proposed the idea of a nanoscale assembler, which had the ability to build copies of itself. The book brought the nanotechnology to the public.

Gray Goo and Nano Assembler:

The book would give life to the great fear of nanotechnology known as gray goo. It is a hypothetical end of the world scenario that robots will consume matter and replicate themselves until there is nothing left. Though it is something popular culture has held onto, most scientists don’t even consider it a possibility. Even Eric Drexler, the man who started the idea, has made public efforts to retract the idea.
The theory of a nano assember though has started the idea of using nanotechnology to explore the galaxy. Pretty much the idea is we send an assembler to a planet. It will land, create ten more, and send them off to other planets. This process will continue outward for almost an unlimited amount of time.

Carbon Atom:

Carbon atoms, environmentalist hate them, nanotechnology loves them. In 1985, scientists at Rice University discovered the carbon sixty atom. This atom was the first molecule discovered that fell into the fullerene family.
Fullerene atoms are hollow molecules that come in several different shapes. The most important ones for nanotechnology is the sphere, and tube shaped molecules. When shaped like a sphere the carbon sixty molecule is commonly referred to as a bucky ball. When shaped like a tube it is known as a carbon nanotube.
Both of those types of carbon atoms have their uses, but the carbon nanotubes is one of the most versatile elements. Nanotubes cables have been made that exceed the conductivity of copper and aluminum cables, and are the highest conductivity non-metal cable. They have also been looked at for structural work. They have created walled and multi-walled nanotubes that produce materials that are tougher than man-made or natural materials. The potential applications for nanotubes also include solar cells, hydrogen storage, batteries, and several other applications.

Medical research:

One of the most talked about things in nanotechnology is the possibilities it has in medical technology. Now I’m just going to skim the surface of what scientist are currently working on because I’m probably going to be doing more than one nanotechnology article in the future, and I want to do those in real depth. So if there is something you would like me to talk about in the future, please a comment at the bottom.
Nanotechnology has been changing the way people look at everything. Nowhere does it show up more than in the medical field. The old way of medicine is you create a drug, and it is for the entire market. The biggest change nanotechnology is bringing to the medical field is the medicine is tailored towards you. The drugs they give will work better with your body than with anyone else. The cancer treatment will target only the cancer and not everything else.
Other areas of research is just making the human body better. They create artificial nerve cells so someone can walk after being injured. Artificial red blood cells, that carry more oxygen than normal red blood cells, go throughout your body. They give oxygen when the body needs it making it possible to run for longer periods. They can also keep you alive during a heart attack.
The medical community is using nanotechnology to take down some of the scariest things we have to deal with today, but it is overplayed a little. People say that we can practically become immortal from the innovations. We may conquer cancer, and no longer have to worry about heart disease, but disease will still be here. I celebrate the innovation of nanotechnology. But I don’t think in thirty to forty years we will be immortal like some.
However, I will be doing more research into this in the coming months. If there is something, you want me to research feel free to leave a comment below.

Arts:

Confused why this is here? I would be to. Nanotechnology is something that most people would consider used for serious things, but what if I told you that the Romans were capable of it. Would you be shocked? Considering we weren’t able to look at a nanoparticle until the mid-1990s, I would.
The art piece is called Lycurgus cup, and the cup has dichroic glass. Dichroic glass changes color depending on the lighting conditions. When researchers looked into the Lycurgus cup, they found tiny nanoparticles of gold and silver dispersed throughout the glass making it change from red to green depending on how it was in the light. This is the earliest creation in nanotechnology.

Conclusion:

Nanotechnology is going to be a great revolution. I skimmed the surface of what nanotechnology has to offer, and I have only just begun writing articles. If you have any questions, feel free to post them.
Also, don’t forget to like our Facebook page Chronicles of Hazard City, and our twitter page @ChronicleofHC.
Thanks for reading have a great night.

June announcements:

This day marks me blogging for one month. We have made some strides in that month getting off the ground. Normally I would have an announcement at the end of each blog post to clue the reader on what is coming next, but I figure I would start focusing on creating content instead so at the beginning of each month I will be sending out a post about what’s in store for that month.

First, I am going to be continuing to post the first season of Chronicles of Hazard City on patreon. The chapters will be:

Chapter 4: Extortion:

Zeek is at a local shop when a group of thugs comes in demanding protection money. Zeek is forced to step in. The event brings back memories of Zeek’s past, and he asks Dylan to hunt down the thugs.

Chapter 5: Savagelands

Zeek gets word that another hit has been put on Haruna. Dylan goes to try to watch over her, but she is taken by a group called Verox. Will Dylan go into the dreaded Savagelands to save her?

In addition to the new chapters, the first three chapters will also be reposted after making some edits to the original.

Second, Chronicle of Hazard City is being expanded. I’m going to be posting the first in a six part series called Hunter. The first part is going up this month.

Third, we are going to be doing another research topic. This time it is going to be about creating carbon nanofibers from the atmosphere.

Fourth, we are going to be another short story:

A teenage girl lost and alone is about to end everything when an old woman comes to visit.