Category Archives: marketing

Bold Curves now available @ Amazon KPD

I’ve been a busy little bee, haven’t I? Bold Curves can be purchased at Amazon in ebook and paperback form now, so do check it out. I’ve tweaked any issues I found in the Smashwords edition.

Also, I’ll be publishing another collection that features Every One Fight, Sector Bomb and some previously unpublished related short stories as Whitegraft Musings. As I’m value conscious, I realized Every One Fight wasn’t a good deal on its own. Keep an eye on this blog or my Patreon for more information.

If you’d like to see into my creative process, I’m posting pre-release artwork accessible to backers.

Ta for now~!

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Filed under fiction, marketing, novel, promotional, publishing, science fiction, stories, writing

Starlit Ruins – Published @ Smashwords

Sailor Rifts lives on in eBook form as Starlit Ruins, a free download at Smashwords. Maybe I’ll just answer the questions I think you’ll ask, right now?

What is it?
Palladium Rifts and I have a history. It was my first experience with intense story feedback; facial expressions are powerful indicators. So I used my fandom to lead them through a rescue mission of no less than the Bishoujo Sailor Senshi. This is that ‘infamous’ fanfiction novel I called a darkfic, back then.

Why re-release it now?
It kept nagging at me. Really. Over the course of two years I worked at it in fits and starts. I’d pour over a chapter and tear apart some dialogue here, realize I used “realize” far too often. I made all kinds of mistakes one does, inexperienced. It wasn’t done right, or justice.

Where can I get it, how much does it cost?
It’s free. You can download it from Smashwords directly, or from iTunes, the Kindle Store and more. Follow the link and grab your copy in your preferred format.


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Filed under digital publishing, fiction, freebies, marketing, novel, science fiction, writing

Writing, Music, Reviews and HonestGamers.com

Where have I been since the beginning of the month? Waiting for Paypal, mostly. Nonetheless, I’m back, and I’ve been busily writing, studying, working on music and reviewing games. Here’s a breakdown with links (which open in a new window):

Reviews

Kirby’s Epic Yarn (Wii)
The Wii was never a doomed platform; it sparkles with possibility and is home to some of gaming’s most iconic motion controls. Well, the controls that people actually enjoyed. Masahiro Sakurai took the road less traveled, however: There are no motion controls in Epic Yarn. [Read More @ HonestGamers.com]

Chocobo Racing (PSX)
About the last thing I expected from Chocobo Racing’s stuttery menu was a thoroughly enjoyable story mode and racing well tuned enough to warrant many playthroughs. And competition with friends. And more playthroughs. Chocobo Racing could have one of the best story modes of any racer I’ve ever played. [Read More @ HonestGamers.com]

Final Fantasy IX (Steam/Windows)
There’s a monkey in 18th century finery who’s going to try and steal your heart, but not before Vivi clambers into it. Romance is the language of Final Fantasy IX, and a happy-go-lucky attitude is its vehicle. IX is Shakespearean in more than its presentation; after the consequences of war, genocide and the subjugation of races are the stage for presentations of human truths and nature. [Read More @ HonestGamers.com]

Music

Remasters at Soundcloud
I’ve been remastering a selection of classic tracked mods for an upcoming album, and posting the pre-release results on Soundcloud. 1998: Sailor Rifts HD sounds pretty good …. pretty much the way I always thought it should sound, but could never accomplish with an eight channel module. I’ve released the aforementioned and: T2K Sugar & Spice HD and Cold Effects HD. [Hastypixels @ Soundcloud]

Writing

Sliver of Light
Still in progress and week by week the manuscript nears completion. If there’s any development, you’ll see it here first. My Patreon’s a little on the quiet side, but I’m still working on what to make “exclusive”. In the mean time, I’m just doing what I do. Once again, thank you for your links, feedback and time!

Be safe, friends.

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Filed under digital publishing, gaming, marketing, promotion, review, trideja

1000 copies and a new manuscript.

So it’s been two years since I self published Every One Fight, Bold Curves, A Thief at the Gala and Sector Bomb. How have my books fared?

Not too badly.

Between them all, just short of 1000 copies have moved across the digital storefronts through which Smashwords distributes my works. I probably avoided looking at those numbers because it’s not a comfortable thing to do. They’re not hundreds of thousands, not even tens. I’m not disappointed.

Consider that there’s been zero dollars spent on my ad campaigns for these books, which were short lived and social media fixated, er … centric. That’s actually a lot of books, and some of you actually keep them in your library. Thank you.

Anyone who follows me here, or on Twitter, may or may not know how much work I’ve been putting into Sliver of Light. I canned the blog “Cobalted” because I needed to rework it, and because I plan to sell it. That’s right, I’m fishing for an Editor. Those sales numbers confirm my suspicion: I’m good, but unrefined.

Like a piece of coal, you know, I need to be compressed … probably a lot … to bring out the inner gem. Oh, that’s … yeah, not inner gem. Lesse … I need to be put under pressure to bring out my best work. I won’t do that to myself; other writers might but I’m not one of those. That’s okay, because I’m also not clinical enough about my own work.

Editors play an important role in the writing world, and they will as long as we write. So, my submission goes out tomorrow to the first publisher on my submissions list (which admittedly is more in my head than it is recorded anywhere). I’ve been updating my Patreon page more than this blog, so be sure to check that out and consider supporting my work if you’re interested.

The numbers say you are, and I like that they are numbers.

While I’m here, I’ll pass along the word that I’ve been game reviews for HonestGamers.com for six months now. I’ll cross post an article about ChronoTrigger as evidence … it’s a nice community and the readership is respectable. What have I covered? Well…

Front Mission Evolved (PC) – Read
Dust: An Eylsian Tale (PC) – Read
Audiosurf (PC) – Read
Audiosurf 2 (PC) – Read
Chroma Squad (PC) – Read
Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest (SNES) – Read
Final Fantasy IV (PC) – Read
Rogue Legacy (PC) – Read
The Ninja Warriors (SNES) – Read
Half Life 2 (PC) – Read
Skyborn (PC) – Read
Stardew Valley (PC) – Read
Black Mesa (PC) – Read
The Swapper (PC) – Read
Half Life 2: Episode Two (PC) – Read
Guacamelee! Super Tubro Championship Edition (Wii U/PC) – Read
Half Life 2: Episode One (PC) – Read
Front Mission 4 (PC) – Read
Mighty Switch Force! Hose It Down! (PC) – Read
Transistor (PC) – Read
Sonic & All-Stars Racing: Transformed (PC) – Read
Monster Loves You! (PC) – Read
Chocobo Racing (PSX) – Read

Sorry for the backlog! It’s all for your interest, anyway. Enjoy, and take care of yourself.

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Filed under digital publishing, freebies, gaming, marketing, novel, personal growth, promotion, publishing, review

Critical About Gaming: Where Do You Draw the Line?

I’ve never killed a man. Not once. Not even accidentally. I’ve hurt people, sometimes intentionally, physically, and emotionally. I make mistakes. I have no desire to hurt even a misogynistic misanthrope like Trump.

My Steam library approaches five hundred titles of which I will play only a portion, but some not ever. Certainly there isn’t enough time in the day to get to them all, even if I were employed gainfully to do so. No, when it comes down to I choose not to be part of certain scenarios and character behaviours.

In my youth I gave death no thought; in Doom demons were slain; in Duke Nukem, mutant cops and aliens; Quake, monsters, and notably, other players. Friends and associates. Capture the flag, shoot anyone who tries to stop you from running away with it. A fair description for a game? Continue reading

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Filed under indie, marketing, opinion

Troubleshot in the Wallet

Microsoft’s idea of help has always been questionable, but you can rely upon the focus of someone getting paid for something. That’s not inherently wrong, but it does come across as sneaky and underhanded, especially the way Microsoft presents it.

For instance: Adobe Photoshop, once worth $700-$1200 now ships under the guise of a service entitled “Creative Cloud”. For a nominal monthly fee you get access to the unfettered, full version of Photoshop, or any other single program they ship via this model.

Even $260 a year doesn’t sound that bad for a single program, unlimited support and handy extras like stock photos, cloud storage and a bunch of other stuff. Frankly it’s a good ideal and probably more than most people need.

Which brings me to the alternatives. You can pick up Paint.net for the glorious price of free, or grab Photoshop CS2 which grants you 90% of the greatness that otherwise costs so dang much. CS2 is free because its unsupported, so if you’re in need of a full, legit version of Photoshop, you can hardly go wrong with this.

(Adobe’s links are now behind an Adobe ID sign in blockade. They’re obviously not pleased with the adoption rate of Creative Cloud…) Adobe Suite CS2 was developed for use Windows XP and glitches a little on newer versions of Windows. The last patch brings it up to version 9.0.2 but doesn’t address any of these issues, and they have no plans to do so.

Microsoft knows this and has tailored the Compatibility Troubleshooter to pitch you the retail solution if you’re unsatisfied with the glitches, which are minor and entirely tolerable. Specifically, after roughly a half hour the floating menus begin to disappear, not to mention your photo windows. Clicking on them brings them back from … whereever it is they jaunted off to.

I tried setting the compatibility setting to Windows XP Service Pack 2, and this solved the issue of the floating windows going away, but upon exiting Photoshop I was greeted with a question. You know the one: “Did this program run correctly?” Auotmatically I selected no, because I wanted to try another setting. Instead it popped up this window:Troubleshot_in_the_back

A what is who now? Excuse me? How does it know? Oh wait … I mean, I turned off Siri—um, Cortana. All of those advertising options and sharing nonsense are also switched off.

I don’t trust Microsoft, that’s all. Ultimately this isn’t hard to understand, Adobe’s a big company and have a vested interest in making sure depreciated versions of their software are broken… I mean, that new software runs great on the latest Operating Systems.

Am I suggesting sabotage? Perhaps by inaction. Adobe isn’t required to patch their old software, but it would encourage me to invest in the Creative Cloud for new features that overshadowed the old software. Except of course that none of the CC “apps” do that. We’re talking about a value proposition that can be difficult to substantiate when so many other pieces of software give you a high percentage of the functionality for free.

Yes, I can use Gimp, and it does more, but it also turns filters into a ridiculous guessing game. Anyone determined to become proficient with Gimp has too much time on their hands, and that doesn’t represent most of us.  Photoshop just works and is still more user friendly than Gimp.

I know that’s like saying building a house is easier than baking a cake.

The strangeness didn’t end with Microsoft’s retail pitch. Curious, I clicked on the link to take me to the “paid software upgrade”. Here’s where I landed:

Er_What-Adobe_in_Spanish

Er … um. Hey, what? In Canada our national languages are English and Canadian French. Not … Spanish. I think that’s Spanish. Truly impressive. Why do I think that this was something simple they should have gotten right but still managed to screw up?

Because I know Microsoft. This is what they’ve been doing for over thirty years.

Stay on your toes folks, because I don’t expect that to change.

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Filed under marketing, opinion, sale

Final Fantasy II is free, sort of.

According to an email I received Final Fantasy II a free download until Feb. 14th 2016 on the Final Fantasy Portal ( Google Play | iOS ), but if you need to re-download again after this event, you’ll be paying for the download. Is that to add it to your account or is this a game vending machine?

DRaMa
In the process of trying to find out I hit an absolutely ridiculous security wall called “One Time Passwords” and “Security Tokens”. These are heavy handed DRM controls to restrict both piracy and rampant farming in Square’s MMORPGs. This is why ratings don’t matter. You can’t taste awesome cake under lock and key if you don’t know which doors to open to get to it.

Why does everyone play Candy Crush? Open the package, taste the cake. It may be cheap, it may gouge you on the price of the drink you need to choke it down. It may even shove twenty other kinds of cakes at you while you’re eating, but you know what you’re getting and where to find more.

Square “cakes” are gorgeous, luscious, many layers works of art they’d rather not see abused. Who can blame them? I can. Creating an account to register the game I purchase is like going into the neighbour’s house to get dressed in my clothes. Go to site you’ve never heard of to create a two factor authentication code only you can use or just go play something else.

You need to be invested in order to do this.

LoopHoles
If anyone wonders why MMOs are reported as being on the decline, this is one of the reasons why. Who wants to spent twenty minutes hassling with trumped up security features when there’s so much competition? Square-Enix reported profits last quarter, but they’ve also been making cost cutting decisions and have a tendency to never put their games on sale.

Consequently no one talks about them, and even fewer play them.

Steam, GOG, Origin and Uplay appreciate the power of presence. Put a product in their hands, don’t worry if they like it. The point is you gave them something of value and they’ll remember you fondly. They have a higher chance of returning and spending money on you. Sampling. There you are.

Back to FFII. There’s no reason to jump through so many hoops for this game. There are superior free to plays available. I said it. Go find a few at Itch.io! FFII is classic, but its mobile presentation is lacking: Clumsy and boring by current standards. Few agree it’s worth its asking price.

Note that FFII is not available on the Google Play store as a stand alone purchase. If Squarix was looking to hook players on must have IP, this isn’t the way to go. Deal seekers beware.

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Filed under gaming, google play, marketing

Audiosurf 2 – “Width of a Pixel”

Vitals
Developed/Published by: Dylan Fitterer
Platform: Windows, Linux, Mac
Available via: Steam ($16.99) -|- Direct from Publisher ($14.99 USD)
Consider also: Audiosurf ($10 CDN)

We’ve been down this road before, but it was bumpier, a little jittery, and underpowered. Acceleration was poor and the brakes squealed, but it was our first ride. We’d paid for it with our own money and no one could tell us where we could go or what we allowed to listen to. Continue reading

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Filed under article, critique, gaming, indie, marketing, review, viewpoint

Location Unknown

Irritably enough I am reminded that the Cloud is just that. Intangible but enforced by marketers as ever necessary for all tasks. Offline access of files, while crucial, remains awkward. Not seamless, not particularly user friendly either. Continue reading

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Filed under marketing, online services, opinion, technology, viewpoint

Eschewing the Silly

This is exactly why I didn’t get into NaNoWriMo. I’ve a story with an ending, now, but it gets in the way of the first part of a novel that needs to be finished. I’d hoped to include it in Bold Curves, but … until it’s ready … that won’t be happening. It might, mind you, and become part of the anthology available for pre-order thanks to Smashwords. Bold Curves will be retailing for a price of your choosing. While I’ve been quiet, I have published also A Thief at the Gala and Sector Bomb, both free as well.

That’s all for now.

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Filed under digital publishing, impromptu, marketing, promotion, promotional, writing