Current News

Watch the “Chess Parlor” Teaser Trailer

October 14, 2021

Jay Haynes made this nice video about “Chess Parlor,” our Horizon Worlds game in VR:

Check it out!

Judge “Second Wind” Game in IFComp2021

October 2, 2021

My new game, “Second Wind,” is now online as an entrant in the Interactive Fiction Competition 2021 (IFComp2021). With a free account at IFComp.org, you’re invited to judge it and the other contest entrants until November 15.

“Second Wind” is a text adventure game in the parser style, meaning that you interact with environments with commands like OPEN DOOR and USE WRENCH. I programmed it in a wonderful game engine called Adventuron. It’s adapted from a short story of the same title, first published by Horror World in 2012 and later collected in Dominoes in Time. Michael Heath Pecorino generously gave me permission to use art from his comic adaptation as the game’s cover art.

Here is its synopsis:


Journey across a post-apocalyptic wasteland to get medical help for your pregnant wife.

You and Lorraine live in Shelter 5. It’s an airtight building in a radioactive desert. It’s airtight to prevent exposure to werespores left over from the war and which would transform you into a mindless proto-human. When Lorraine goes into labor with your child, she needs a C-section, or they will die. The only doctor qualified to help is your ex-wife, Wendy, miles away in Shelter 4 — and Wendy hates your guts.

Getting help before Lorraine dies of exhaustion will require escaping Shelter 5’s confines, a perilous journey across a desert and bombed-out city filled with hostile weremen, and confronting your greatest nemesis: your ex. Your family is worth it, though. So put on your environmental suit and start running.

Content warning: Violence/gore, childbirth trauma, profanity


IFComp is the world’s longest-running competition for text adventure game creators. It’s run by the non-profit Interactive Fiction Technology Foundation. For the second year, I am donating to the prize pool the full audiobook production of any contest winner’s short story.

Finally, here are a few screen shots from the gameplay. Enjoy!

Second Wind 1

Second Wind 2

Play “Chess Parlor” in Facebook Horizon

September 26, 2021

Jay Haynes and I are proud to announce you can visit our VR game world, “Chess Parlor,” on Facebook Horizon! Play chess in a mountaintop lodge against other VR users.

Features:

  • an automatic game board-reset button
  • play inside a beautiful mountaintop cathedral to chess!
  • a crackling fireplace
  • an intricate grandfather clock
  • entrance door that opens/closes on a pressure plate
  • a single-pole light switch that operates the bar lights, just like in real life!
  • finely detailed chessmen, chairs, lamps, coat rack, and fireplace
  • snowmen
  • cigars you can smoke, beers you can drink!

The game is still in beta because there are other features we may add.

Let us know if you need a chess opponent!

Visit the Chess Parlor with your VR device

Maze Runner Game

September 9, 2021

I’ve spent the last few weeks programming another little free desktop game in jQuery. It’s called Maze Runner.

Navigate through a procedurally generated maze while avoiding non-player characters. The controls are just your four arrow keys.

Click below to play:

“The Confession” Reprinted in Italian

July 31, 2021

A foreign edition of my work is a new one for me. The Big Book of Blasphemy from Necro Publications, containing my short story “The Confession,” was translated into an Italian edition from Independent Legions called Il Grande Libro Blasfemo. My short story is called “La Confessione.” Check it out!

Book Signing Today at the Book Dragon Shop

July 24, 2021

Keith Minnion and I will be signing books at the Book Dragon Shop (Staunton, VA) today from 1-230PM. I should have most of my books there for sale. Stop by and chat!

Click below for details:

Win a 30-Minute Audiobook Production

July 12, 2021

THE WHAT & WHEN

For the second year in a row, I’m donating production of a 30-minute audiobook as a prize to the Interactive Fiction Competition (IFComp). The description is:

A short (up to 5000 words or 30 minutes) audiobook of a story by the author
Includes pre-production, narration (by the donor), and post-production of your story, with music intro & outro, suitable for distribution through Author’s Republic to platforms such as Audible and iTunes. Must be claimed within one year.

IFComp’s winners will be announced in mid-November. See their schedule.

THE WHO (not the group)

The Interactive Fiction Competition is a 27-year-strong contest sponsored by the Interactive Fiction Technology Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization for the preservation of interactive fiction. Interactive fiction (IF) is the genre of text-driven digital games and stories such as parsers and game books.

Each year, they solicit donations to the contest. These consist of cash to the “Colossal Fund,” which is awarded to contest winners, plus services from the prize pool such as editing, publicity, content creation, gift certificates, games, books, magazines — and, in this case, an audiobook production. There is no fee to enter.

THE HOW & WHERE

A writeup about my process is here: Audiobook Production Tips. Samples of my work can be heard at this link. My latest project was an audiobook of the children’s book, Sizzle.

THE WHY

I’m competing for my second time in this outstanding contest. I would also like to give something cool to the IF community, as well as pad my CV of audio work.

With all that said, best of luck to my fellow competitors, and I hope to work with one of you soon! And to the general public, keep an eye on the IFComp website for this year’s entries, and vote, vote, vote!

Have a ‘Tea Party’ at Coffin Bell Journal

July 6, 2021

Coffin Bell: a journal of dark literature has published my flash short story, “Tea Party.” Please click here to read it.

Here’s a fun fact. This story was inspired by a writing prompt from Theatrefolk, with a cool picture of the floating tea party set. I’m attaching it here for your enjoyment.

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New ‘Sizzle’ Audio Retailers

June 27, 2021

I’ve linked up some additional audiobook retailers from the Sizzle book page. Here’s where you can find the book now:

  • Audible
  • Audiobooks.com
  • AudiobookStore.com
  • Downpour.com
  • Libro.fm

Still on the fence? Here’s an excerpt from one of my favorite scenes:

Play Juhyo Card Game Online

June 20, 2021

An online demo of the JUHYO card game Deena and my sons designed last year is available for you to play! I spent several months programming the demo in Javascript, and my wife designed a beautiful website to showcase its rules. An ecommerce store for the physical cards is in development.

JUHYO is a bridge-style game for 2-4 players where the suits are monsters from all over the world. Click the below picture to play!

Juhyo