November 5 2016

Should MMORPG Developers Draw Inspiration from LITRPG?

LITRPG stands for Literature or Literary (varies from person to person), Role Play Game. The most prolific example of this type of work would be Ready Player One by Earnest Cline.

In fact, while this article is not about Shroud of the Avatar, the developers of that game did, in fact, work with Ernest Cline somewhat and using some inspiration from him and Ready Player One put some elements in the game. This is how Row Housing came about.

If you go further back in time with the same company, Portalarium, they also worked with Ernest Cline during the beta stages of one of their games “Ultimate Garage Sale Collector.” While that particular game did not work out, I do remember taking place in the game elements that revolved around a Ready Play One Contest.

Reading Ready Player One myself lead me to my interest in the LITRPG genre. When I say I have read a lot of it, believe me, I have read a LOT. From horrible to amazing I have read just about anything I could get my hands on while the market catches up with me from time to time.

I recently started “Ascend Online” which I am enjoying enough I am willing to say “yeah, go read this.” I can tell it’s going to be fantastic even though I am only midway through the first book.

It is important to understand that the LITRPG genre has a broad range of styles in the genre. The primary theme, of course, is that the feel of the book, in some way, is as if the characters are playing an MMORPG game.

This can vary from only a character perspective, story and plot tone, and scene is presented so as to create the feel that the characters are in some video game. Here is a prime example of that style.

Alternatively and more commonly, the characters themselves are playing a video game, and know they are doing so. This can be from a low level of VR technology all the way up to brain transference and any other number of things in between.

So as I have read and continue to read this genre I have found myself concluding that the books I often enjoy the most, often present game mechanics and gameplay that make me feel like I would enjoy the hell out of the game!

This leads me to wonder how much inspiration developers may get from the LITRPG genre and if they even try to utilize that opportunity. Keep in mind, the LITRPG had only recently broken ground and gained a lot of popularity. Books are coming out now at extremely fast rates by authors being able to self-publish them. It would be very understandable for this to be an untapped resource.

It would be impossible to pursue them all, but putting the biggest sellers on your reading list and pulling inspiration from what people “like” seems like a solid development resource.

So I say yes, most definitely. I think it is reasonable that developers should keep eyes on some of the novels from this genre as a resource for improving their games. I also feel caution has to be taken though as programming and computers are not capable of all that the imagination can provide, and so realistic inspiration is necessary!

Ankh Quill

September 14 2016

Looking For Something to Read? Check This Out!

Been a while since I have done any book recommendations and this one has been on my list to share for a while.

Check out “The Minus Faction” by Rick Wayne.

THE MINUS FACTION is a super-powered sci-fi thriller about extraordinary abilities and how not to use them. In Episode One . . . Beaten. Burned. Broken. Capt. John Regent returns a paraplegic after escaping months of captivity and torture — except no one knows who took him or what he disclosed.

When a government agent comes for answers, she discovers John’s fantastical secret and sets him at war with his own country. But the veteran in the wheelchair has one last mission, and he’ll fight off the powers-that-be long enough to save the life of a troubled soldier — even if it costs John his own.

I really enjoyed this series! Check it out for yourself!

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August 19 2016

Book Review – Sci-FI – Trilogy – The Legend of Zero by Sara King

I am behind on several book recommendations! For those of who are wondering when ones they know I am supposed to get done are going to be done, I say now. Soon!

If you like Science Fiction, do not mind if it’s a little unplausible, and don’t mind losing sleep because you can’t put a book down then read this series!



One of the reasons I have been a bit behind on things of late is this series. Absolutely can not pick this book up and get to bed at a decent time! I am mid-way through the third book, so cannot say yet how well I like the ending but I can tell you this reader will be reading everything this author writes!

You can currently read these from Kindle Unlimited on Amazon, which is how I found them. Here is an image link to the first book, go grab it!

THE OVERWHELMINGLY POPULAR #1 BESTSELLER!!! ****ONE OF THE HIGHEST-RATED MILITARY SCI-FI NOVELS ON AMAZON!!*** PARASITE PUBLICATIONS ~ Character Sci-Fi The Legend of ZERO begins the epic journey of 14-year-old Joe Dobbs in a post-apocalyptic universe following a massive alien invasion of Earth. The oldest of the children drafted from humanity’s devastated planet, Joe is impressed into service by the alien Congressional Ground Force—and becomes the unwitting centerpiece in a millennia-long alien struggle for independence. Once his training begins, one of the elusive and prophetic Trith appears to give Joe a spine chilling prophecy that the universe has been anticipating for millions of years: Joe will be the one to finally shatter the vast alien government known as Congress. And the Trith cannot lie.… But first Joe has to make it through bootcamp.

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July 24 2016

Preparing for a Game Launch

Anytime you have a new video game coming out that you are excited about, and you have invested into; there is bound to be a certain amount of excitement. Possibly even preparation so as to make the most time to enjoy said game as possible.

This, not a launch, Shroud of the Avatar has a significant milestone taking place on July 28th. The last time the game data is deleted (persistent play), and the land rush schedule for pioneers to stake their claims. To me and many others, this is very much a launch even though it’s not a real launch yet. I thought I would share some of my preparations with my readers for consideration, whether they are also preparing for SotA or may find of use in the future.

Demon book

Scheduling time off work, life, and everywhere else you can. With the wipe taking place on the 28th and one of my placement spots being soon after, I have scheduled the 28th and 29th off of work. This gives me an overall four-day gaming weekend to get started with things on, before returning to a schedule.

I have also made my friends and family aware that this will be the majority of my time, and I would appreciate if I am left alone to enjoy *winks*. I am working extra hard and will continue to do so, catching up on as much of my chores, obligations, and other things that could be an interference until the 27th. Unfortunately, I will not be 100% where I want to be and will still lose a little time to obligations, but it will be minimal.

Be sure your gaming area and tech are ready to go. Your environment and tools are critical! Is there any hardware or peripheral upgrades you want to make? Is your area clean with everything in reach? I keep my gaming area immaculate on a regular basis, but some prepare to clean on an occasion. Make sure your all set for your special event!


One of the most important things is not forgetting to stock up on your snacks! Personally, I am not a fan of shopping and try to get as many things by mail as possible. Beyond that, though, if I am going to stock up for an occasion like this I would rather even make that aspect of it more special as well. Get as much enjoyment from my time off and preparations as possible, and keep it simple to do. So I would consider going with a subscription box or four!

Not only will I be playing for those first four days on my long weekend but I will also be working more time for gaming into my schedule for quite some time for a while. Therefore I will make sure I am going to have something on hand to snack on as enjoyment with my game more so than I normally would. Several months of a subscription box gives me a great experience delivered to my door to go with my game.

There are thousands on the market so you can find ones that suit you the most. However here are a few I have reviewed and am willing to recommend as good choices!


I know there will be occasions of play coming up that I will be doing some things that do not require all of my mental attention. Such as harvesting or farming for example. During these periods of times, I like to have some movies going on the TV. Maybe you should start preparing a watchlist now if you do the same thing, so that come game time you are not spending your time figuring out what to watch? Here are some recommendations!

Clicking on the image will take you to more details on Amazon.

July 16 2016

Ultimas Auction Spotlight – Maps, Lots of Cartridges, and a Non Ultima for The Big Box Collectors

I was out hitting garage sales today, something I will be doing again tomorrow and have not done nearly enough of yet this season. Garage sales are the pot full of gold for the poor video game collector. When you can score a console and a bunch of games for a flat price as a bundle, it can be superb. Sometimes I am wanting to start collecting is Retro Video Gaming and I am on the lookout! They are getting hard to find.

I was at a sale that had a nice assortment of cartridges. Some SNES, some Sega Genesis, others. Unfortunately, I couldn’t come to a deal I could walk away with anything on, especially since there were no systems involved and I don’t have any. I will continue to be on the look-out, though!

If you’re looking for some Ultima Cartridges, though, here are a couple of lots that caught my attention on Ebay.

This one caught my eye because there is an Ultima Exodus in the lot. It is for 12 cartridges, though, and the other eleven are not Ultima. With a starting bid of $0.99, someone will walk away with a good deal. If you don’t want those other cartridges, send them to me!



If you just want SNES Ultima Cartridges this may be more up your alley. Be warned though its going to hit your pocket book quite a bit more!

ULTIMA SNES Lot Runes of Virtue II, False Prophet, The Black Gate games only

ULTIMA SNES Lot Runes of Virtue II, False Prophet, The Black Gate games only***

You map collectors should get excited about this auction with eight maps all in one lot!

Origin Ultima Map Lot I II III VI IX Underworld Online T2A Cloth and Paper RARE

Origin Ultima Map Lot I II III VI IX Underworld Online T2A Cloth and Paper RARE

Not for the Ultima Collectors exactly, but this showed up on my sonar and It caught my eye as I remember the game. I wouldn’t mind haveing this on a shelf in the home.

Adventureland By Scott Adams Graphic 1983

Adventureland By Scott Adams Graphic 1983*Adventure #1*Pre:Ultima*Wizardry*SSI*

July 9 2016

Ultima Auction Spotlight – Apple II ~+~ Movie Reccomendation

Mouse over image to zoom Apple-II-Plus-64k-With-Drives-Monitor-Language-Card-and-many-other-upgrades Apple-II-Plus-64k-With-Drives-Monitor-Language-Card-and-many-other-upgrades Apple-II-Plus-64k-With-Drives-Monitor-Language-Card-and-many-other-upgrades

One of the things I am missing a lot in my life is my old gaming systems. My Atari 2600 hundred with games over the 100 mark, NES, and even some specific computer systems. While I never owned an Apple II, having started out with an IBM PC Model II, I very much hope to have one in my game room someday running Akalabeth.

I mean, that is the father of the Ultimas. I own an original handed to me by Richard Garriott himself! Seem’s wrong not to be able to play it in its native format. Although no, my original stays in it’s place and I would obtain a copy somewhere.

If you feel the same way but have cash flow, I do not, this may be an excellent auction. This thing looks to be in fantastic condition, said to be working, and has had some serious upgrades put onto it. The Drives have not been tested, but If they are bad, they would be easy to replace and possibly worth it just for a nice setup like this.

I don’t know if the pricing is great or not, as this is an area I am just starting to learn. The setup does seem a lot nicer than most I have seen in the last couple of weeks, though.

Mouse over image to zoom Apple-II-Plus-64k-With-Drives-Monitor-Language-Card-and-many-other-upgrades Apple-II-Plus-64k-With-Drives-Monitor-Language-Card-and-many-other-upgrades Apple-II-Plus-64k-With-Drives-Monitor-Language-Card-and-many-other-upgrades

Included upgrades are:

Language card (to add 16k ram)
Serial Card
Disk Controller card and 2 drives
Sup ‘R’ Mod II TV Interface Unit
Monitor II (A2M2010) with Apple stickers on each side

This unit is very clean and has only a few scratches and nicks (see pictures)
All logos and decals in perfect condition.

I wathed Trek Nation last night. Found it very enjoyable and informative. I would not say I am a “Trekkie”, although many would. I believe I have been to a Trek convention before (Iv’e been to so many conventions they blur), and I have seen every TV episode and Movie. No, you do not need to ask which incarnation. I am an Artemius, I mean every episode, period. If it exsists and it is Star Trek I have seen it.

Why not a Trekie then? Well, I watch everything. Haven’t you figured that out yet? Although the movie I am watching right now I am not to sure about…

July 8 2016

Watching Movies With Stile From Your Man Cave

Ok, looking for some more Movies to watch this weekend? Here’s a quick run-down of some stuff I have fielded for you over the week this week. Click the images to go the Amazon link.

Make no mistake; Grizzly IS a 1976 movie, and you will notice this immediately. The nice long intro with twangy music and pretty rivers is a great indicator! If you put yourself back to the time, though, and an era of such movies, I found it enjoyable. Sort of like Jaws in the woods!

I did not particularly enjoy the Eye2 myself, just found it lacking for some reason. It is fairly popular in some circles though so you may want to put it on your list.

The Finest Hour was fantastic. The acting, writing, directing, and effects were all above the top coming together to make a fantastic movie about a great historical event.

Skyline had me at “Arthur C. Clarke”. I grew up an avid fan of the true Sci-Fi greats and devoured everything by them, Arthur C. Clarke included. So I am well familiar with his work and was curious to see how it correlated to the work being done in this field. If I think about it sometimes, I need to ask Richard Garriott what he thinks about the Space Elevator projects that have been explored.

More than likely you are going to be familiar with the movie Maximum Overdrive based on Stephen King’s work. What many people do not realize is that there was another version of this film made previous to that one, in which, unfortunately, the soundtrack was NOT done by ACDC. Objectively I like the Emilio Esteves version better, as does my wife. On the other hand, this version has some enjoyable moments the other didn’t, and I LOVE the ending!

I am not a fan of most American comedy, especially more modern pieces. This piece did a good job of not being over the top and mixing a lot of fun into an enjoyable plot. My wife and I both enjoyed it and I would give it 8 out of 10 torches.

Wanting to expand your knowledge of Geek history? This is a MUST watch. It covers the history of Atari and some of the peripheral companies, including Activision. The Nostalgia I felt watching this movie was overwhelming. It made me think back to all my consoles and cartridges and I can only hope I rebuild those collections someday!

I did not know much about Burning Man until I watched this. Given the bulk of the documentary takes at the event, you come away with I think about the best feel short of going or future VR tech, you are going to get.

I actually did not watch this one this week. I started it up and said “oh, I’ve seen this” and hit stop. Was about a year or so ago and is a good documentary I learned a lot from.

July 5 2016

More Movies From Stile’s Watch List

If I didn’t send you enough this last weekend to keep you occupied, here are some more flicks I have caught in the last couple days.

First, if you need to learn a bit more about your Geek roots.

Learn a bit about Napster and what else grew from that, which you are probably still using today.

I personally did not find this one all that enjoyable. Seemed to have way to much focus on Cosplay and drama as opposed to the industry.

Great movie, really enjoyed it! It has some very gory scenes though so be warned.

This was also fairly enjoyable.

Based on a H.P. Lovecraft story. What more you want?

My wife liked the sequel more than the original. Im torn, but enjoyed both.

Made more for a different generation and more for the young adult, cheesy, but fun.

Interesting… just interesting!

July 4 2016

Celebrating 4th of July Geek Stile

So this 4th I am working on trying to get some things accomplished, getting side tracked with things like this article, and watching movies while I do it all.

Looking for something to watch? Then watch with me! The below images are links to the titles on Amazon if you want more information.

I have been watching quite a few documentaries.

Now the above is all good and fine and stuff I enjoy, but I like to mix it up with some fiction. Additionally, it is not my wife’s cup of tea, so it has been watching when she hasn’t been present this weekend, and then here is some of the stuff we have been grabbing together.

July 4 2016

Celebrate Fourth of July With some Loud Noise – Buy Xounts

As my Shroud of the Avatar readers hopefully remembers, I did a piece on the Xounts Kickstarter recently. They have a Shroud of the Avatar skin being offered that SotA fans should be drooling over (I know I am!). If you didn’t catch that piece or even if you just need to read it again as a refresher please feel free to take a moment and read it here and then come back. I promise I will wait for you.

I just saw that for the 4th of July Xounts is doing a special deal in which if you pledge today you get an Independence Day skin. It looks pretty cool to me, so if that looks like it may be of interest to you go get more details and maybe sign up.

The details are here:

Xounts Website:

On Kickstarter:

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