Tag Archives: gaming

Welcome to Devlin

DevlinGreetings, Dreamers!

With the release of my book, Devlin, I wanted to tell you a little more about it to give you an idea of what you are in for.

If you happen to be traveling in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, north of Charlottesville, you may be strangely dawn to a tiny, hidden town, nestled far away from the bustle of the modern world.  Its cobbled streets are lined with an eclectic collection of homes and buildings, adding to the uniqueness of the town itself.  From the quaint shops that line Rowe Street, to the Gothic Church of St. Michael, to the Autumn House Bed and Breakfast, Devlin is picturesque, peaceful and pastoral.

It has been hidden away from the world for over two centuries, and when I say hidden, I mean that only certain people can find it, and only if the town wants to be found.  Life has continued this way for the people of Devlin since the late 1700s, living self-sufficiently in peace and harmony, but that is about to change.

Beginning this Autumn, the people of Devlin uncover the truth behind the establishment of their town and discover an ancient plot that has spanned centuries, threatening the very existence of their town and the rest of the world. And as the town performs their yearly Halloween ritual, the world will never be the same.

Devlin is much more than dark fantasy.  It has elements of horror, paranormal, supernatural, and metaphysical.  Devlin has something for everyone.  I am an avid gamer; console, PC and role-play. The Waking Dream is nothing more than an exploration of our reality as a cosmic game. You can read more about the Waking Dream Universe in the following posts.

  1. The Story of Creation
  2. The Story of Immortality
  3. Of Sleepers and Dreamers
  4. The Way of the Weird
  5. The Three Realms

Devlin is on sale on Amazon and on all eBook readers.

Waking Dream (Part 3)

WeirdnessGreetings, Dreamers!

In my last post we discussed the concepts of Immortality in the Waking Dream Universe.  Today we are going to discuss the two other types of beings in the Waking Dream Universe — Dreamers and Sleepers.

But before we begin, I wanted to clarify that a Planet-Bound Immortal was once a Dreamer, and it is through the process of Awakening and Enlightenment that a Dreamer becomes an Immortal.

There is a two tiered allegorical argument when we speak of Dreamers and Sleepers.  Dreamers, and Immortals, are the Architects of the Waking Dream.  They are also those who will not sit idly by and allow their lives to be affected by others.  They are people from all walks of life, from white-collar to blue-collar.  Sleepers on the other hand, are the engineers or worker bees.  They are people who do not accept that they have control over their life and look to the Dreamers to lead them.  This is not meant as a derogatory statement, it is a simple observation.  In one sense, Dreamers are the observer, collectively, in a solipsistic world, where the Sleepers do not really exist other than to be actors in the Dreamer/Immortal play.

Of Sleepers and Dreamers

Sleepers

In the Waking Dream, Sleepers can best be thought of as automatons, or robots.  They are the vessel through which Dreamers can occupy the Waking Dream.  They are born, live their lives according to the design of the Dreamers and Immortals.  They are a function of the grand algorithm created at the beginning of the universe, as designed by the Creator.  Their main purposes are to make the world for the Dreamers to live in, and serve as bodies for the Dreamers to interact with the physical reality. As mentioned in my first post in the series, when a Dreamer dies, they return to the Spaces Between, which can be compared to the Afterlife, or what I like to call, the InBetweenLife.  It is the realm of the Weird, and it is from there that all consciousness emanates.

One point that needs to be made is that any living thing is a Dreamer, so it is not limited to humans.  It may be the desire of a Dreamer to inhabit an animal, or a tree, because the Waking Dream is about experiencing the universe.  We created the Waking Dream to explore every aspect of the universe, because it is a gift to have consciousness, and a gift to have such an amazingly diverse reality to explore.

Dreamers

Dreamers, at the base level, are pure consciousness.  When they are not inhabiting a Sleeper and affecting the Waking Dream, they can peer into the life of any Sleeper and determine whether they wish to inhabit them.  They also, for a limited time, can enter the Waking Dream, in an incorporeal form.  Both Sleepers and corporeal Dreamers, can sometimes see them in these ghostly forms, which is where ghost sightings come from.  Sometimes, they do forget that they are not in a body, and will return to a place they died again and again, depending on the manner of their death.  Particularly violent deaths can cause a Dreamer to temporarily get stuck in a pattern, and this is what constitutes a haunting.

When a Dreamer enters the body of a Sleeper, at any stage of the Sleeper’s life, they take on the memories and persona of that Dreamer, much like when one chooses a character in a game.  They forget all their past lives and memories, and the fact that they are a Dreamer.  This is when they begin the quest to Awaken and use their Weirdness to affect the Waking Dream.  One can think of this as learning how to operate a new vehicle.  Once the Dreamer has full control of the vehicle, and knows its limitations, both physically, mentally and socially, the Dreamer can then undergo the process of Awakening, which happens differently for everyone.  It is usually brought on by trauma of some variety, like someone slapping you in the face saying “Wake up!”.

Dreamers are connected to the Spaces Between by the Somnambula, or what used to be called the Silver Cord.  This is how they are able to channel the energy, or Weirdness, to affect the Waking Dream.  This also accounts for why Dreamers experience deja vu, as sometimes a location, conversation or experience, triggers a memory stored in the Weird.

All Dreamers exert their will on the Waking Dream in different ways, but they are usually subtle, as it takes a great deal of energy to create more dramatic effects, such as throwing a fireball at someone, which is possible, but usually only by Immortals who have a greater command of their Weirdness.  Dreamers usually exert their Weirdness through either mundane abilities such as charisma to become a leader, or extraordinary creative abilities such as musicians, artists or writers.  The more famous a Dreamer is usually tied to their Weirdness.

Other Dreamers exert their will in supernatural ways, such as practicing ritualistic magic, such as alchemy, Wicca, witchcraft or illusions.  Others have abilities such as empathy, telepathy, telekinesis, or second sight.  But there are many more ways in which Dreamers can exert their Weirdness.

Conclusion

In closing, I would like to propose to you a personal experiment.  While I am presenting these ideas of the Waking Dream as fiction, there are some truths woven within this view of the universe as a Waking Dream.  I tend to think that the only people who read my blog are Dreamers.  They are people seeking others to share their thoughts, and learn from one another.  They want to believe that they have greater control of their life and environment, yet they lack the solidarity from others with the same thoughts.  This can be seen with the development of religion.  Each religion has common beliefs among all of its members so that their beliefs become more real to the collective.

Take a look at your life, and see if you have your own Weirdness.  Is it possible that all of the universe is really not what we think it is?  Is it possible we are responsible for everything that happens on our planet on every level?  The universe is inherently weird in the way that it operates.  We still have not come to any conclusive evidence than anything we see is actually there.  There is no way to know, and that, my friends, makes life all the more mysterious, wonderful and exciting to explore.  If we have limits, it is because we have imposed those limits upon ourselves.

Next time, we will discuss Weird and Weirdness in the Waking Dream.

Intelligent Design, Evolution and Creation

I have been researching world religions for most of my life.  A great deal of it is to understand myself, but also understand the rest of the world.  We have so much discord over religion, it requires a lifetime to understand from where it sprang to where it will go.

There is only one answer — and each religion has pieces to the larger spiritual puzzle.

So today I felt that I would discuss why Intelligent Design and Evolution can exist — which is the basis for the Waking Dream Mythos — the Way of the Weird.

First, we must remember that we have free will, so we shouldn’t be concerned about fate and “god’s path”.  We should be concerned with the path we create for ourselves, each and every day.  I liken the idea of being “fated” or “destined” to be someone disheartening.  I don’t want my life to have been scripted by someone I can’t see or understand.  I want to be the captain of my own ship and sail where I please.  If I am not in control, then what is the point?

Second, why don’t we entertain the idea that the Creator or Intelligent Designer, simply wrote the rules for the universe to be structured.  Say for a moment that the Creator was a game designer and he simply created the framework for us to play in.  I think Richard Back said it best when he said, “We are the otters of the universe.”  The Creator doesn’t need to be a chess player.  He can simply be interested in creating a world and seeing how it unfolds according to his design — his equation.

I have played far too many MMORPGs and if you spend time in them enough, you can see how they ultimately model our world, and how they evolve without the intervention of the players.  Players form guilds, create an economy, form relationships and ultimately mold the game to their will.  This is also evident that when subsequent versions of the game come out, they always incorporate the wishes of the gamers, and not necessarily the wishes of the programmer.

Evolution does not need to be mutually exclusive with Creationism — this is the simple untruth we’ve been fed.  They can exist in harmony, in the same way that science and religion can co-exist.  The purpose of science is to discover the rules of the game (and in gamer terms the “easter eggs”). Religion teaches us how to play the game together in harmony and peace — because if we cannot attain peace and harmony, we will always be a scourge on this planet.

I personally believe that there is a Creator, though I am unable by design to understand its will — I believe this is because we don’t need to know its will.  And all of our religions have professed to understand the will of the Creator, yet none of them can come to common ground.  It is saddening to see people killing in the name of the Creator, when just about every religion expressly forbids this.  What does it gain us?

The true evil in the world is the notion that we must attain things, and if someone has more than someone else, this is somehow unfair.  And that may be rightly so.  But instead of getting angry that someone has more than you from a materialistic perspective, why not look at what you do have — and not as an exercise in trying to best someone else.  I am not rich, but I don’t hate rich people.  I don’t live in a mansion, but I don’t begrudge someone who does.  If I can’t buy something the moment I want it, due to financial restriction or other, I analyze if I really need it, and if I want it, I simply wait until I can have it.  Patience is not a virtue, it is a necessary aspect of life, because time only moves as fast as it moves and we cannot quicken time, no matter how we try.

The human race has become obsessed with shiny things — just as Ravens are — which means we are an ever growing Unkindness of Ravens, fluttering from store to store and hoarding these meaningless shiny objects.  What we have forgotten is that its not the things, but the people in our lives that make life wonderful.  Its the journey, not the destination.  Each moment has its wonders, if we shed our fears and just look around.  Some days, I take a moment and look up at the sky, because it is wonderful.  And I am able to shed all those stupid thoughts that we all have, and just be for a moment.

I mean, no matter how rich or poor you are, you can find that one thing that makes you happy each  and every day.  A cup of coffee.  A hug from your child.  A kiss from your spouse.  That first sip of wine in the evening with a wonderful meal.  Some of these things you simply cannot buy, no matter how much money you have.

So did the Creator design this wonderful universe so that we can sit around playing with shiny objects?  Or did was it created so that we could mold it and enjoy it — together as one people, one world, one galaxy and one universe?  I think we all know the answers, but fear is what stops us from being a truly wonderful world-wide civilization.

 

The Gamer Author

I thought I would take a moment to talk about who I am as an author.

I am an avid gamer, and the Waking Dream Series is the culmination of all the table-top role-playing games I’ve ever played.  From Dungeons and Dragons to Werewolf: The Apocalypse, I’ve been enamored with the idea of the perfect storyline for players that will never have to end.  And I think the framework I’ve established with the Waking Dream has accomplished that.

Dreamers are the player behind the controller, and when you choose a Sleeper to inhabit, you are immersed in the dream — the game.  But, in my story you forget who you are behind the controller and become one with your character.  And, you’re always playing hardcore mode — you get one life with that character then you have to start all over from the beginning.

The end game is Immortality, where you can remember that you’ve played the game before and use your experience to better manipulate the game — in whatever manner you choose, wielding your Weirdness.

All of the ideas and stories within these books began as table top role-play, and I hope one day they will continue that way — and I have provided the rules on Way of the Weird for those of you who want to explore it, once the first book is re-released.  The Libellus Somnium is the rule book.

But, the catch here is that I didn’t provide dice rules, because true role-play should be governed by the rules that already govern our planet.  However, Weirdness allows people to manifest their imagination — their dreams.  Its an adventure that you can play alone or with friends to discover the Weirdness within you and help us change the world.

Reality Minecraft.

Devlin is coming this summer.  If you haven’t read it, do and give me feedback for Book II.

Amazing News!

I’m beyond excited to tell you that my book is going to be published by Assent Publishing/Phantasm Books.  So I am finally saying good-bye to indie publishing!

They are currently picking up both my books for distribution so they will be re-edited, reformatted, and illustrated.

The original first additions will be available on Amazon until the ink is dry on the contract.  So if you’re interested in a new way of thinking, and a journey into a dark fantasy world, you should definitely check them out. These are now collector’s editions.  The new versions will be in hardback and paperback.  Thank you all for your continued support!

Waking Dream: Devlin Book I

Immortal Memories: Volume I

Waking Dream: The Unkindness Book II

The UnkindnessI thought I would take a moment to talk about the next novel in the series.

Waking Dream: The Unkindness Book II picks up where Devlin left off and thrusts the reader into a fast-paced story of deception, redemption and transformation.

The architect behind the end of the world will be exposed. New characters will be introduced to help the Dreamers of Devlin, and Dreams across the world, survive the storm brewing in the depths of shadow and transgression.

I have already begun writing Book II and I expect to release it towards the end of this year. But as a solace, many stories and ancillary information will be available on both the websites. Waking Dream and Way of the Weird

I also have some exciting news. I have been contacted by real publishers to read my manuscript. It looks like there is a very good chance that I will have a publisher within the next month. Those of you who purchased the original first editions are fortunate because those versions will be discontinued, and become collector’s items as first editions — assuming this series gains any steam in the Dark Fantasy community. So when I return to the Spaces Between, you’ll have the first ever copies of my work.

Again, I thank you all for your continued support and interest in my universe. I hope it brings you as much enjoyment reading as I enjoy writing it. There are so many places we can explore together. I hope that you will stay on the path with me, and see how the world is inevitably transformed, which is what is really happening in our world today. Perhaps, if we work together, we can awaken our weirdness’ and change the world before it’s too late.

Waking Dream: Devlin Plot

Now that Waking Dream: Devlin has been released, I wanted to take a moment to talk about the plot. Many of you have downloaded the Immortal Memories book, which was a collection of short stories about the Immortals. All of the Immortals in Immortal Memories make their appearance in the new novel, which is just the first in a series of 9 novels.

The town of Devlin is a town hidden by a force called The Weirdness. And the focus of the novel is the inhabitants trying to understand the visions of the elder of the town, Jonathan Weir. His powerful visions, a manifestation of his Weirdness or magick, have made him aware that an apocalypse is on the horizon, threatening all the world.

The novel takes the reader on a phantasmagorical journey between fantasy and reality, sanity and insanity, culminating with the realization that they have been unwitting pawns in an insidious plot that has been architected over a millennium.

I feel that once you read the first book, you will be hooked, and want to read. I have many stories to tell. And I can assure you, I will continue to build the Waking Dream until it is indistinguishable from the real world. Because, it only takes a leap of faith to embrace your weirdness, and change the world.

Available now on Nook and Kindle for $6.99 — 355 pages and 70,000 words of weirdness.

Immortal Memories: Volume II will be available in spring, and Waking Dream: The Unkindness Book II will be available on Halloween 2013. The struggle for the control of reality has begun.

Making the Waking Dream

As my editor checks my grammar and continuity, I wanted to take a moment to talk about the Waking Dream.  It is not something that is solely mine.  It is a realization that the lines between reality and fantasy, fiction and non-fiction have become blurred.

I am trying to explain the way to a better place.  The tales are parables.  The lessons are my experience with which I am sharing with you.  The universe is unimaginable.  It is wonderful, it is beautiful, and it is full of the Creator.  We can be anything we want to be, and we should never let someone tell us we are anything less than we want to be.  You are the captain of your ship.  You control your dream.

The first book, Waking Dream: Devlin follows our hero, Auber Weir, as he realizes that he is in control of his life.  And at the end, will you be a sleeper, a dreamer or obtain immortality.  It’s up to you to decide which you will be.

The struggle for control of our reality begins now.

Skyrim: Elder Scrolls for Xbox 360

Well, when they said that Skyrim would warp your sense of time and priority, they were right.  As you can see, by my nifty twitter feed to the right, that I have been quite engrossed in Skyrim the last couple weeks.  As an avid fan of Bethesda Softworks, and the Elder Scrolls series, I was impatiently awaiting the release of this game from its first announcement. I was so impatient of this game, that I had decided to go to the local Gamestop for the midnight release, which turned out to be a great surprise. 

I live in a small town south of Richmond, Virginia, in a community with at least 15 churches in a 5 mile radius.  When I pulled up to the parking lot at the local strip mall, my hopes were immediately crushed; there were easily 500 other people in line, wrapping around the strip mall like the Midgard serpent.  With the temperature dipping into the 40s, I decided I would have to wait another 10 hours to get the game. Thankfully, I was the first person in line the next day, and now, two weeks later, I am level 18 and 20 hours into the game.

In my opinion, this game is the pinnacle of Bethesda’s achievements thus far.  This game is so completely immersive and enthralling, I can’t see how they could possibly top this.  I have played every single Elder Scrolls game, (17 Years worth!) and I have to say that this is my favorite.  In addition, I have also played the Fallout series, and while it was great homage to the Fallout’s Interplay beginnings, it is not nearly as immersive as Skyrim.

I don’t want to spoil any of the storyline, for those of you who have not been fortunate enough to get your copy yet, but I do have one piece of advice: If you get any game for Christmas, this should be the one.  The sheer magnitude of the world is overwhelming.  Even from the very first ten minutes of the game, and the storyline had been set, that I could simply get used to the world by picking a direction and going off to explore.  One feature, which is presumably enhanced from the Ultima days, is the ability to pick up herbal ingredients from the wild flora and fauna of the world.  You can pick berries, catch butterflies, fish for salmon, go clam-digging or just do some old fashion bow hunting.  There’s something for everyone — and we haven’t even gotten to the quests and storylines.

The UI for the game works very well for the Xbox, in my opinion (having played both morrowind and oblivion on the console as well as PC).  It is quick and easy to find things you need in your inventory, without having to memorize what different icons stand for, as in Oblivion.  Having played the others on the PC, it took me some time to get the same alacrity with the controller vs. using the mouse/keyboard.  It’s obvious that the UI was developed with the console in mind, as it seems that PC gaming is quickly becoming a thing of the past. (At least not as pervasive as it had been).

There are many features to Skyrim that I love, and I have not even explored a fraction of the world as of yet.  Here are my top five, as of this writing:

5) The World is Beautiful:  There are many different environments to explore, each with its own appeal. From snow-covered mountains to swamps.

4) Werewolves are back: This was one of the biggest features I missed in Oblivion, and I am glad that they returned this to the game.

3) Skills System:  Their system has been greatly simplified with the addition of perks. The skills interface, with the constellation UI is very easy to use, and adds to the beauty of the game.

2) Followers/Spouse:  It is always nice to have a little bit of help from your friends.  Some of the quests I’ve done so far may have been nearly impossible had I not had a follower.   The jury is still out on whether we needed marriage added 🙂

1) Dragons: I have played quite a few games that had dragon components, including Dragon age.  The animations, the models and the battle sequences, as well as the rich history of the dragons, makes this by far the most exciting experience for the would-be dragon slayer!

After I’ve gotten further in the game, I’ll post another installment to give a more detailed review of the storylines, the quests and the replayability.