Fifty Down, Ninety To Go

Fifty stories, one hundred and forty words long.

Really, that is not a lot. Not a great big total of words, and not a great big total of stories.

It’s a start though. And for this project, it marks some kind of a milestone.

Seventy will be better, half-way .. But fifty is okay.

The next few, a dozen-ish, are breaking the rules a bit. A few years ago I wrote up a short story in the world, for a character, of a book that’s still very much in the early stages of writing.

The short story was called “Proudblood’s Revenge”. Needing some impetus, being a bit lazy, I decided to break it up into 140 word chunks.

Hope you like it.

The One Forty Words Project, Progress

I’ve written 25 “140 Words” stories (some of these are scheduled over the next couple of weeks).

That’s over one seventh of the target one hundred and forty stories.

Yay for art!

It’s a measurable target, and it’s not too big.

That is, it’s not like some of my old project ideas .. like writing a computer game or an entire novel. Ha.

This however takes almost no time, and it happens without too much thought needed.

Google Docs is my friend. I open up a new document and start writing, pressing C to check the word count towards the end.

If the story doesn’t fit, doesn’t come, doesn’t fly .. the doc gets named “(140 Words)” and saved, then I start over with a new one.

A simple process.

Just started thinking about the word count for this post. Nice.

My Minecraft Clone: Storytelling, Innate Aptitude and A Flag To Start With

Okay. I just don’t have the brains to get around Tessellating Quads and Perlin Noise and other wonderful game development understandings.

A few weeks back I looked around at 3d Engines and came across Panda3d. In a swirl of intensity I got a demo to the point of .. A square block moving about on top of other square blocks.

Huzzah for the world!

It came to me that I probably don’t have the quickness of understanding OR the time to be intensely single-focussed (that’s a decision, not an excuse) to get any further with any great speed.


Here’s my brief. It’s a game I think would rock the world. Because it has it’s roots deeply embedded in Minecraft (mega shouts out to @notch). And because it’s quite different.

It all starts with a flag.

You begin the game in a world of forests. There are hills and valleys and mountains in the distance. Random-generated, this is important

And the only piece of equipment, the only thing you have is a Flag.

“What is so special about a flag?” I hear an eager 14-year old reader ask.


This game, this Minecraft clone, is all about YOU.

A flag has two singular (can’t be both) purposes.

1. Either you place the flag, or 2. You keep the flag on your person.

Placing the Flag

Placing the flag would instantly create a circular-ish ring around it’s location. Here I was envisaging a kind of Settlers (the old versions) or Civilisation mechanic.

This is your Kingdom.

And in this you have made your first choice. To be the sovereign of a Kingdom. To care for the kingdom (or not). To nourish it (or not).

Keeping the Flag

Deciding to keep the flag means you have chosen the lone wolf, the brave sell-sword, like Drizzt first out in the above ground world, seeking a place, a name, a cause.

The flag gives you strength and ability in some form. Depending on what RPG mechanics are put into the game

And so you journey about the game-world without a fixed abode, but far stronger (and it would grow with you, not a static effect) than if you had placed the flag.

Random Story-Telling

I haven’t yet worked out exactly how this would roll. But first thoughts are that with either path chosen you would have quests. Random within themselves, but also chained in various instances. So a quest could have a number of linked quests (because the randomness is placed upon the group, not the single quest).

BUT .. If you do choose to Keep the Flag there would be an over-arching story. Something about a growing evil.

In fact (making this up as I go, as you can see) keeping or placing the flag wouldn’t change that. A growing evil is in the land.

Innate Aptitude

One really cool (but untested) mechanic I wanted to try out was this.

Your character is generated with an innate aptitude towards a randomly selected Skill Set.

That means you start the game and you are good at something, but you don’t know what.

It could be building things, or mining things, or killing things. It could be that you find Treasures (another single mechanic) better than usual, or that you have much more influence over the people than usual.


Which reminds me of one of the things that sparked me on this journey.

Playing Minecraft (single-player) I was really, REALLY, lonely. At heart I’m a single-player junkie.

So the world would be populated with non-playing characters. Some would be merchants. Others would come to your kingdom, or be Friended (like a Facebook or Twitter mechanic) if you’re going the Lone Wolf journey. Not exactly sure how to get around that as a Lone Wolf you could at any time place your flag


Treasures would be chests or other stashes that you can find. They have to be found. They might be linked to a quest, or a character (eg a Dragon’s hoard), but they are found.


And there you have it. The beginnings of what I think would be an awesome game.

Thanks for reading.

Once I teach my brood to code I’ll have a team to make this game and many more. Mwhahahaha, the Family Business!

My First eBook, Thanks to David (@dmscott) and his “Real Time” Seminar

Today I had the privelege of attending David Meerman Scott’s “Real Time” Seminar.

It was fantastic!

One of the many great topics raised in my mind was that of eBooks.

It got me thinking. And that got me hungry. But then I got thinking again .. Here is a perfect opportunity to try out this “eBook” thing with the talk I’ve done a couple of times, “A Super Heroes Guide To Development”.

So, without further ado, leading mcduff on:

I’ve also put a page up, under the “Books” menu item above.


wilberforceI’m ashamed to say I’ve only just watched the movie "Amazing Grace".

As the story finished, as the piper slowly marched, left then right foot arching slightly inward .. As each section of the band came into view and joined the symphony of sound that began with a bagpipe, I was lost in wonder and awe of the song.

Amazing Grace.

If ever there was a movie that respectfully gave Christians an uplifting account of God’s good Grace, it is this one. While "Chariots of Fire" is a wonderful film, "Amazing Grace" is surely the most intelligent and thought-provoking movie about a man used mightily by God.

The humanity of Wilberforce was so evident. His sickness, his frailty. But equally so was his fervour, his passion, his dedication. How simple and potent was the prayer (or the beginnings of) to God as he lay in the grass, and the following conversation with his butler-fellow.

And the way they cast John Newton as an older man, humbly mopping the floor in almost sackcloth and ashes .. It seemed right. A little bit grumpy, full of care for Wilber, a man driven to speak the Word of God against the evils of that day.

It’s a great movie. But it points to an even greater reality.

‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home.

Cobwebs For Al? (Round 1, 2011 – Waratahs vs Rebels)

Thanks to a glorious meeting of Xbox and Foxtel, I’m now able to watch the rugby from the comfort of the lounge. Rock on!

What can you say about the first round of games that won’t be washed away over the next few weeks? Well, I guess it’s all opinion and comment, so .. Here’s my two cents into the fray.

The Rebels performed the way you would expect (but not hope) a new team to. They were ill-formed and mis-type-cast, kind of like the bug-ridden code I write.

It would have been interesting to know how Greg Somerville’s thoughts were proceeding over the course of the game. Probably something like:

Greg Somerville’s Thoughts In Real-Time Game Time

(00:40)     Feeling good. Still got it.

(5:34)     Phew. Bit harder than I remember.

(16:12)     Young punks. I’ll teach em.

(36:48)     Boy do I miss playing with Richie and the boys.

(49:20)     Wasn’t this Cipriani fellow supposed to be good?

(65:43)     Morty’s blowing as hard as me. Nice.

(74:23)     At least I’m getting paid a filthy amount.

(80:03)     I’m too old for this .. game.

** True story.

Quite a few of the opinions I’ve read talk about The Waugh-horse and how well he played. It’s true, he did. Orc Commander on the Battlefield.

The two blokes in the piggies who impressed me were Ben Mowen and Kane Douglas. You could see the "go-forward". They made impact when they hit the line.

Barnes was okay, Mitchell and Beale pursued excellence and Damien Fitzpatrick made a wonderful George-Smith-Style steal 77 minutes into the game.

The "almost the whole team" maul try was pretty cool to watch. I bet it was a cauldron of ferocity in there.

Sam Cordingly made some strange mistakes. I watched a bit of the Toulon / Biarritz game, and watching Michalak was like watching Cordingly. Just wierd.

Speaking of wierd, when you come off the field you have a bloke there holding out a water and a gatorade. Since when did hard rugby blokes need the pampering .. oh wait. Money. As Mr Crabs would say .. "Money money money money money!" Changes things. It just seemed so out of place. Here we have the greatest sport in the world, in the universe (except if there is some form of space-rugby), where we pit brawn and brain together in battle .. And when you come off the field you are asked politely by a waiter-type-bloke if you’d like a spot of tea.

A few years back I remember propping against a Barraba prop who was fairly reeking of intoxicating liquidity, who apparently came out of the bush to play rugby. He was beering it up and half-time. A real man’s man. Not really. Also, not sure where that story is going, but ..

I guess none of it matters.

Whether you play with half a tank of beer or get the choice of placebo-replenishing vitamin drinks, what matters is the game.

So take your gatorades and your waters and the bloke that hands them out .. And win! Play hard. Not Brett Sheehan "punch a bloke in the face once per half" Hard, but "John Eales / Richie McCaw / Martin Johnson – win a crap-load of silverware" Hard.

Stu’s Rating:

5 / 10


** 5 / 10 is a game where, although there was great play, it wasn’t a great game. In Stu Ratings, 5 is good. Very watchable. 6 has a couple of fist-pumps. 7 is Ashley-Cooper swan-diving. 8 is our scrum dominating. 9 is Beale falcon-ing, kicking, chasing and catching. 10 is George Smith winning the world cup with a chip-kick, regather and pass to Latho for his tenth leg-pumping, gut-busting try of the tournament.

"The Questioning Ones" – My First Blog (From 2002!)

Check it! Discovered a link to the Way Back Archives (which log just about everything) which hold my very first blog. It was a hack of php and html, mashed together from tutorials found on the web. Not pretty.

It had a problem with quotes and backslashes, the editor was a "Title" field and a "Body" field. But hey, it was a blog!

The archive doesn’t hold most of the images, or the background color. But here ’tis:

The Questioning Ones

All of these posts have been added to, so you can take a gander at the Archives if you like, or go to "the questioning ones" tag.