Its About Time! *angry face*

Blackwood Moor

The plan was to have this done back in April and have the sequel to Castle of Blackwood Moors done by now… but China.

 

What do I mean? Well, the CCP in all their wisdom, decided that only 100 games will be available to the Chinese public PER YEAR! With well over 200 Chinese game companies, if you do the math…  you can come up with the conclusion that most game companies here came up with…

STARK RAVING PANIC!!!!

Luckily, I work for a company that makes mobile games for non-Chinese markets so we wont be affected much (I hope). But the majority of the companies here are now trying to make games for a western market… aka. they will fail horribly.

Why do I say this?

Well, pull of a tree stump little bippy and I will tell you.

China has the most draconian internet in the world (North Korea doesn’t allow their people to have internet, otherwise they would take the prize for this).  Logically, this means that Chinese people really do not have an accurate view on what outsiders are like.  How could they? The government filters everything they see and hear about anything non-Chinese.

Now imagine these people were trying to create a game that others would play passionately… or write a story that captivated the hearts of others?

Simply put, they can’t.

People might get mad at me for saying that, but in the 7+ years i have been here now, I have seen well over 100 games try to make it outside of China and SEA (south east asia) and I have seen ALL of them fail. When they do, its always the same song and dance, “They just don’t understand Chinese culture.”

This is the most ignorant reply ever. The United States is made up of ALL cultures. But its easier to blame others than to say something which would be more accurate, such as, “I guess we really did not understand what they wanted.”

But that is the underlying thought of how the Chinese game design mind works though.

One of these days, I should really write a book about my game design experiences here. I am sure some will find it interesting, while others will want to tar and feather me.

Oh. I forgot what I was talking about. Because of the above situation, things have not been stable here at all. But excuses aside, I just sent the first draft off to a proof reader (I am trying to get a few). If you want to be a play tester, please drop me a line at madoverlordmail@gmail.com and I will try to hook you up.

Be Good.

Stay Mad.

GaryCon 10 has been over for a while… but I am finally getting around to my posts now. APRIL FOOLS!!!!! Here is are pictures of one of the strange oddities of China..

In the USA, there is always a line of women outside of the restroom… and no line out side the men’s room….

In China, there is always a line outside the men’s room. Because men usually smoke, talk on the phone, play video games….  what ever while doing their business.

These picture were taken on three separate days.
I only thought to take a picture of the empty ladies room on the last day.

CHINA FOLKS!

More stuff coming soon… including my Garycon 10 photos and what I am working on.

Be Good.

 

Xīn Nián Kuài Lè 新年快乐 2018 MY MINIONS!

As the year of the Rooster heads to the KFC, the Year of the Dog is about to begin (no they do not actually eat dogs in China).

The company I work for has their big holiday party! Where they give you lots of food, and tell you how great the company is doing and they make you watch hours of acts (The entire event takes about eight hours. Yeah, eight… ending at about eleven in the evening), some of them are really good, some of them are really lady-filled.  Make of that what you will (Mad Overlords kick that whole Political Correctness thing in the head. If you want to be a REAL Mad Overlord, you should as well). One of the acts made me swear and question my will to live.. so I guessed it was an attempt by the forces of Good to break this Mad Overlord’s will… BUT NO SUCH LUCK HAHAHA!!!

There are 15 parts of this…. I included all of the footage I shot… some of it might be boring, but I left it in since some folks have asked me many questions about what life is like here. Leaving in the stuff in Chinese is the best way to show this.

PLEASE DO NOT WATCH IF YOU HAVE NO SENSE OF HUMOR.
If you take things too serious, are offended by women dancing around in tiny clothes… or me making fun of people who really cannot sing. Then click elsewhere.

So without further furtherness, On with the show!

Part one: Outside the building. Wondering about our seating arrangements.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part Two:  Inside the building. Wondering about our seating arrangements.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part Three:  Where the heck are the seats!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part Four: SEATS!!?! Where are you?!

 

 

 

*In best Chuck Barris voice*
Don’t go away,  we’ll be back with more stuff!

I’d like to get me, on a slow boat to China. All to myself…alone. No. Wait.

Hey Hey Mad Minions!

Another quick post about life in China. Today I will be showing off the long, long, lines outside the US Embassy… (if no one told you, there are a LOT of people in China. A perfect place to hide during my plans of…

WORLD DOMINATION!!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!)

 

But this line of people are all trying to get into the USA, and I took this video at 9:45 am 15 minutes before the Embassy opened. Note at the end of of the video, they let me right away. BECAUSE I AM A MAD OVERLORD!!!! HAHAHA!

The second video, is me eating my favorite Chinese food… Hotpot.  I like to get it as spicy as I can. Xiabu Xiabu is a chain, so its not the best… but it has an English menu so beggars cannot be choosers.

If you are curious about what real Chinese food is like (there is no sweet and sour pork, Kung Pao chicken etc.) if not, this might be a boring video for you.

Stay tuned, something veeeeery interesting (or goofy) is coming soon.
Until next time, Be good!

Twilight Imperium 4. More epic than the Sony Fant4stic Four movie.

Hey hey Mad Minions!

Just a quick update because I am just getting over my flu.

BUT! I wanted to post these videos showing off some cool peeps playing Twilight Imperium 4th edition.

I did not get here in time to join, but if people vote to have me to do a video on more board games in Beijing… then I will gladly will … will do… those things… and stuff.

 

 

Seriously, this game is a lot of fun if you have not played it.  It’s sometimes a long game… but fun stuff.

 

Finally, a new Dr Demento album came out this week! You cannot be a Mad Overlord with out new Dr Demento albums… so run out and buy a new copy for every day of hte week, all nine of them.

This is just some of the awesomeness you will hear:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iwfrb6Eja8

Plus, Weird Al does a Ramones cover.  What more could you want out of life? Food? Shelter? World Peace and equality for all? Your neighbors dog to stop pooping in your yard?
Trival In No Sense Nonsense comparatively.

Stay tuned. This weekend is the BIG Chinese New Year company Holiday party…  Long lines at the US embassy and me eating.

No really.

Be good.

 

The SK-K-K took my bay-bay away.

Hoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooody doo! Mad Minions!

Recently I had to take a trip to South Korea to reset my Visa (long story.. I will relay it here some day, just not today – I am just happy to finally get these videos up).  Wish I could have stayed longer, since it was a lot of fun. Met an old friend of mine, who is a very cool gent… I hope some day to come back and we can play some board games.

What is kind of scary is at the time i was in SK (January 4-6) North Korea launched a missile and it went off course and crashed into one of their own cities. Seoul is pretty close to the NK border… but people there did not even bat an eyelash at this news.  Crazy.

So when you came to this page today, I bet you were saying to yourself…. SELF! I wish I knew what the inside of a Korean comic book store looked like?

Here at Mad Overlord Studios, we aim to please!

(Disclaimer: aiming to please void if it does not match our plans of world domination as well as some parts of Utah)

So without further ado, Let’s hear me sniffle endlessly while wandering in yet another country!

An intro!

Three Videos about wandering in a Korean comic book store.

 

Korean comic books store 2

Aaaaand last, but not least… In the center of Seoul at night. You can see the palace in the background.  Yeah, I am still sniffling during this.

 

Okay that’s enough for now. I went to a really great bookstore, but I will show the pictures this weekend (since I am fighting off the flu).

Stay safe! Stay Happy!

EDIT: Okay I am feeling really bad so I am going to send the afternoon loading up the bookstore pics.

First Pic. This is the South Korean subway map.  It looks like a drunken spider web… but in general the subway system runs a million times more efficiently than Beijing.
(The people are more polite as well. Sorry China, but they are.)

The next few pictures are of this road that splits Seoul directly in half.

The next NEXT few pictures is the BOOKSTORE!!!! Man, I spent a lot of $$$ and I could of spent so much more. IN the coming weeks I will be doing book reviews on some of these.

(After all I started this blog to keep after me writing correct?)

 

These last few pictures are of some of the WONDERFUL food I had there. So tasty. I recommend a trip to Seoul for the food alone.

Second to last picture… the subway map was posted clearly in the station. Unlike some places (Boston cough, cough) And the last picture is from when I landed again in China, this guy was putting on his coat and hit me in the side of the head when putting on his coat and then looked away without apologizing.

Just because I am Mad does not mean I have bad manners. Madners. Madders. Maaaaa …
Whatever.

ANYWAY! Hope you enjoyed the SK pics. It was a great trip and I encourage people to visit.
Now I am going to go lay down and try to feel better.

*Sneezes all over the place*
Bleah.

Merry Christmas! I have learned how to bypass the Great Fire Wall.

After a zillion, billion, million years, two months, nine and a half weeks, four days, twenty six hours, eight minutes and .0003 seconds. I have found out how to dance around the Great Firewall of China (as I just said right above here in the title of the article. No really. Its right up there. Look).

Okay… Time to get serious (or as serious as I can get. If you do not know me that well…trust me, do not set your sights too high.. I am a screw ball.), Christmas just passed, so what did I do? I spend a lot of time helping Alenah’s Kids. http://childrenshope.net/

Now to be Politically Incorrect for a moment, most of these kids have never unwrapped a Christmas present, so I went out and bought them a bunch of presents and wrapped them (well, I had some help to be honest. Mucho thanks to Alan, Danielle, Shino and Rebecca. Many people volunteered, yet when it came time to put your foot in the stinky shoe, they actually showed). It WAS a lot of work, do not kid yourself, carrying about 40-50 presents around Beijing is a special kind of misery… every day in China is like Black Friday times 10). But I wanted to make sure these kids knew the joy of unwrapping a present at least once in their life.

That paragraph went longer than I thought.

All this was worth it though. Check the pictures. The kids were happy.

20171210_16260220171224_13412620171224_16365920171224_14355820171224_160542Screenshot_20171224-19264420171224_150727(0)20171224_15073020171224_15091220171224_15092120171224_15092420171224_152418mmexport1514153961075[1]mmexport1514111985858[1]mmexport1514111982084[1]

 

20171224_172838The kids are all physically or mentally disabled. The girl I was pushing around in that chair, she is mostly blind from MS. It made me smile to see these kids enjoy the presents, yet it was heartbreaking at the same time. But these kids need someone, and it is the Christmas Spirit to help others. Anyway, I am not sharing this to be an sphincter, and be like “Look at me! I am SOOOO kind and wonderful!
Crap, that is the LAST thing the internet needs is more narcissism ( I am looking at YOU Facebook). I did it because the Christmas season is not about what you can get, but what you can do for others and hopefully it will inspire others.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

HEY WAIT A MINUTE AXIOM YOU JERKFACE! Who is that guy in the last picture?
Oh yeah!  I am glad you asked, multiple personality me.

Christmas is only another ‘getting stuff’ holiday in China. Seriously, this country has like fourteen valentine’s days and you need to buy stuff for ALL of them. There are decorations, but few people actually get into the spirit of the holiday. (A popular saying here is Go! Go! Go! Buy! Buy! Buy!) I live behind a huge mall called ‘Joy City’ (I will cover that in another episode) and after getting out of the taxi, I was mobbed by people all ready to spend on themselves.

Pushing and shoving, not caring about others, just ‘what can I get for me (That is not a mentality just for China either, just saying)? So I go around the back of the mall where the deliveries come in just because there are less people there. But there was this Chinese delivery guy, dressed as Santa! He looked at me and smiled (as you see) and in broken English he said, “Mirry Crissmass!”

Between the magic of the kid’s faces, and this nameless delivery guy, I truly had a Merry Christmas.

Hope you did as well.

I forgot a step. The 80’s.

Yesterday I posted a bit of a history of the world I use for my D&D world that has been around since ’83-’84. But I forgot a step (you will find I will forget a lot of stuff as this blog continues), the world took a huge change in the late 1980s, early 1990s. I apologize for the quality of the pictures, I had to take them with my phone, I don’t have access to a scanner here in China for some reason.

1602109819

You will notice a few things, first it is blurry as all get out. Apologies, I am HORRID at taking pictures of things. Second, the size, you can see the tip of my foot in the bottom of the picture. Considering I wear size 14 shoes in the USA (size 50 in China, a size they do not even make here, I have to get my shoes custom made), I did not crop the shoe off so you can gauge the size of the map. It is about 3-4 feet from top to bottom, so it is a pretty huge piece of paper. Lastly, you will notice that the other maps were longer from left to right and this is longer top to bottom, so what happened?

What happened with this (short lived, despite how much work my young self put into it) version of the map was that I got a bunch of this huge hex paper for free and I wanted to use it. In my young mind, free was more important than consistency, so why not! I was about 16-17 years of age when I made this. But you will see a lot more of the world get fleshed out and even some things that disappear in the later version you have seen yesterday.

Here we see parts of the map a bit closer, and think goodness, a bit more clear as well.

You can see a few things that have changed, for some reason, I put the Abysmal Swamp west, south west of the Apuno lands, and Middenlund is not even on here at all anymore, I just leave that area blank. I did add the Jupair-Gimesh Hills, mostly because I needed to add locations due to the fact this map was so much more taller than wider now. It was going to be a land run by beastials as a buffer between the Middenlund and the Apuno Lands. Honestly, I am happy this area disappeared, however I do like the name. Maybe, it will make a return some day, some way.

You can also see the original land that started this all, the barbarian lands of Guardias (shown in a blog post here about a week ago), is also not marked. You can see the city of Norcross, and even the tiny town of Blackwater – even the city of Kobur Nogan and the Rust River, but no title. I did include the Shard plains to the west though. I even included red dotted lines for political borders. No Guardias though. Sorry barbarians.

 

Here are some close up shots of the same map. You will see a few things here. First, in the north west, The city of Mikonec and the area of Ehee-cheeo, close by Yakpu-Qui and Uhili-Qui. This was a huge, huge mistake. Mikonec was the captial of the Miquatica (a race of Aztecs influenced people) surrounded by the lands of the Tian Tang (a race of people based on China. The new map for these lands will appear here some day). Eventually, the Miquatica got moved to the south lands now called the Ash Peninsula, but yeah… in my 16 year old mind, this was a good idea for some reason.

Here is where the human race of ‘Proth’ came from as well. But where the city was once called Proth and run by humans of the same name, the city is now just known as “The City at the Edge of the World” and is run by elves (Elves are hedonistic, arrogant jerks in this world and yes, these are the same elves that fought a war against the dwarves of Kobur Illid I mentioned a few posts ago).

In the center of the Great Inner Sea are two islands of note (The small island from yesterday becomes a few larger islands *face palm*) the Ram’s Head Isle: which is kind of like Switzerland, no weapons allowed by visitors and basically there for anyone from the Murk Lands to come and trade. The other isle is Voro’s Isle. Voro is the land’s ‘Gandalf’, or ‘Elminster’, accept he does not meddle in anyone’s business (That is ‘The Benefactor’s job. More on them later). He has had very little impact in any of the game’s I have ran over the years. Some of my player’s are unsure if he (or she) is still alive. Even the name changes depends who you ask. Voro, Vorom, Voromyr, are all names used to describe this enigmatic figure. Personally, I like that a lot better than someone like Elminster, who everyone in the Forgotten Realms knows everything about. Heck, some of my players even spread rumors about Voro in order to achieve things in the game, which is always clever.

The last thing I am going to talk about today is the Mer-Succhur Marsh. Named so for the plague of the Succhur. What is this plague you ask? Well, I will tell you. There are various bloated flies that are a bit more bloated than normal flies, and have a red mark on them somewhere (varies from fly to fly). If some one is bitten by one of these flies and is not treated they become a carrier. Eventually (1d4 days adjusted for CON), the character gets weak. At the end of the gestation period, the carriers head swells up like a pustule and bursts, revealing a mass of rope-like tentacles that are evenly spaced around the area where the neck used to be. The neck is now the mouth of the Succhur and the rope-like tentacles now attempt to entangle a near by victim and drag them into the maw (which now stretches to engulf any victim.

For some reason, my players only ventured there once and after meeting a Succhur, they never returned.

I could have added a LOT more detail here, but life calls. Would you like to know more? let me know. Is my grammar terrible? Let me know. Is there anything you would like to see me go over with more detail? Let me know.

Keep smiling everyone. Don’t get bitten by weird looking flies.

The pictures finally showed!

The pictures finally arrived! Jeepy Creepys that is some SLOW internet….

Okay, here is the first of a few posts of an event I went to called Khankon (www.khankon.com) in Shanghai. It is a table top RPG convention mostly for Chinese folks (Table Top RPGs are gaining ground here but more on that later) with a smattering of board games and card games thrown in. First off, the place was VERY COOL. I was an old jazz club from the 60’s and 70’s. Very few bands still played there but the restaurant on the upper floors was still operational (I did not eat there so I cannot tell you how the food was), but the downstairs where the games were held still had original woodwork and everything.

 

As you can see, it got REALLY packed down there, and a lot of fun games went on both of the two days. One odd thing was the only a few Chinese players and western players would jump ‘borders’ as it were. Most of the English speaking people stuck together and most of the Chinese natives stuck in their own little groups. I was really curious to ask the Chinese gamers what they liked and disliked, but my Chinese is not that good so I didn’t. I also noticed that most of the western players were playing 5th Edition D&D and no one was playing Pathfinder… whereas most of the Chinese RPGers were playing Pathfinder mostly with two groups playing 5th ed and two groups playing Chinese created RPGs (characters will be posted soon).

 

 

Okay, here is the portion of the blog where I plug my book. Showing the book to many people at Khankon was a lot of fun. I am kind of an introvert so it was a big deal to approach people and ask them to take a look at something I wrote, but gamers are usually a pretty cool bunch of people (except in that first picture, that is the founder of Khankon being a smartass with my book *CURSE YOU DAN!**).

Luckily, everyone really liked it and I even got a few sales out of the deal. The coolest thing though was the direct feedback. When you write a book you do it mostly in a vacuum and hope people will like it, so when they say things like, “This is fun.” “Where can I get one of these?” and “I suppose I won’t beat you up with a sock full of quarters and ditch your body in an alley.” It makes a lot of it worthwhile (well, maybe not that last one, luckily no one actually said that to me though).

 

 

Finally, here is some left over random shots. The Game of Thrones boardgame which is a LOT of fun even though I got smoked like a cheap cigar. The Chinese character sheets I promised as well as the picture of the guy who ran the 5th ed game I was in. Lastly, this little girl that kept following me around and asking me what I was doing, and let me know how bad my dice rolling was in a game of Descent I was playing.

Thanks kid.

 

 

Oh, China. *shakes head sadly*

As some of you already know, this past July 25th, I have been in China for five years. There are some great things about China, some bad things, just like anywhere. This post is going to be about some of those things.

This past weekend was the Mid-Autumn Festival (do not ask me, since the first day of Autumn is actually September 22, just one of the weird things about this country), which were also the days of Shanghai Khankon (www.khankon.com) and I attended to show off “Castle of Blackwood Moors” as well as the computer game I am working on. It was a lot of fun! I got in on a game of 5th Ed Dungeons and Dragons, and I enjoyed it a lot. It plays a lot cleaner than 3rd edition or Pathfinder in my opinion.

But now the bad.
I took a lot pictures, mostly of people reading my book and trying the computer game, but the internet is so weird here. Copying the photos directly does not work so I had to email them… which I did three times since September 17th… and they still have not showed up.

That is all I am going to write about right now. Hopefully the pictures will show up soon so I can finally post them.

Have a good week fun friends.