The New Toy, December 2012 Edition

You may recall that about a year ago my desktop computer crapped out, and my choice to replace it was at first nothing (I was using my MacBook Air) and then a Mac Mini. These solutions worked tolerably well, but in time I decided I needed a little more ooomph, both for the various graphics processing things I do and for the occasional zombie hunt. So after doing a bit of research I picked up this: The Dell XPS One. This is the tricked out version with a ten-point touchscreen and all the other bells and whistles. It came down to between this and the iMac 27-inch; I went with this one because of the touchscreen and it being marginally less expensive. The iMac would have slightly more power in the graphics processing arena (they both have NVIDIA GPUs, with the iMacs having a slightly higher number), but this one does well enough for what I will do with it. And here we are. In any event, if I still have a hankering for the Mac environment, I plugged the Mac Mini into one of the HDMI slots. It won’t be a problem to get at it.

The Dell came with Windows 8, which I am fiddling with now to see what I think of it; mostly I think at this point it adds another screen of things before I can get to the stuff I actually want to access, but I’m willing to give it a shot and see how it works. I will admit it’s nice to be able to touch the screen and get things to move about, although we’ll have to see how much I end up actually using that in the long run. I do intend to keep a cloth for the screen handy; it’s already smudgy.

And now I’m off to download Steam and some of the FPS games I’ve been missing. Excuse me.


My Dear Friends: You Will Not Be Able to Unsee the Unspeakable Terror That is the Jim C Hines/John Scalzi Cover Pose-Off

All I can say to you of it is:


Are you prepared? Are you?

Then follow this link and see me and Jim attempt this pose:

BUT I WARN YOU: Whatever you think it will be? It is so much more than that.

I have done all I can to gird you. It is now in your hands. And eyeballs. And brains.

Edit, 10:53 am: There’s a poll over there in which you can vote for who does this cover best. I’m not saying you have to vote for me, but if you do, I’m giving five cents a vote to the Aicardi Syndrome Foundation, the organization Jim is fundraising for, up to $500. Yes, I am totally buying your vote! Don’t worry, it’s allowed. Bwa ha ha hah ha!


Introducing the Video Game I’m Working On: Morning Star, From Industrial Toys

As most of you know, for the last year or so I’ve been working on a video game with Industrial Toys, the new video game studio formed by former Bungie founder Alex Seropian. We’ve been quietly chugging along in the background putting the game together; my job has been working with them to create an overall game concept as well as the narrative that fits into that concept. It’s been a hell of a lot of fun, in no small part because my co-workers at Industrial Toys are some of the smartest and most creative people in the video game business.

We’ve been keeping the title of and images from the video game pretty close to the chest to this point, but today’s the day we officially announce the game, complete with trailer. Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Morning Star:

As the trailer notes, the video game is a first-person shooter, but with a bit of a twist: It’s designed specifically for mobile gaming on tablets, which means that everything — gameplay, controls, story — was put together incorporating both the physical layout of tablets and the gameplay dynamic of mobile gaming. It’s not a port from another video game medium, in other words: It’s at home in mobile. Which is also very exciting.

There’s going to be more to discover about Morning Star in the coming weeks and months and I’m going to tell you about it here — but you can also visit to sign up to be the first to learn more about the game. If you’re a gamer it’s worth the sign up.

I’m really excited to be showing off Morning Star to you. I can’t wait for you to see the whole thing soon.

Update, 9:10: Some more information on the game on the Industrial Toys web site! Also, check out this story on the game over at Polygon.

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