Candle’Bre, The Reckoning: Book I – Darkness Falls, MultiMedia Presentation

October 22, 2012 in Completed, Featured, Freebie, Other


Hello and thank you for taking the time.

I’ll not keep you from the story for long, but I wanted to put a short note here for those who may have landed in this place by accident or happenstance.

Candle’Bre is a unique fantasy world, built from the ground up. In the original vision, the world was designed and developed for a computer game, but in pursuing that project, we discovered that we needed a static frame of reference to build the game around. A “Game Bible,” if you will, so I started writing one.

Ultimately, that side project took on a life of its own, and a four book series grew out of the original idea.

This is the first of the four, and I’m making it available here, free, but for a tweet, for one simple reason.

Taking a chance on an author you’ve never heard of is fraught with risk. Making this entire first volume available to you for naught but a Tweet removes all the risk from the equation. By the time you reach the end of book one, and probably a good deal before that, you’ll know if you like the work or not.

That said, I’ll get out of the way and let you dive right in! To get started, just click on the image of the book’s title, or click play on the video below for a brief introduction. Enjoy.

PS: I’ve closed comments on the story blog itself, but if you’d like to comment on it, please head back this way and do so!

If you’d like to begin your journey now, you can either watch a short preview video (below), or click this button to begin!

**Note that this website merges audio and video elements into the story text to create a unified, multimedia experience. Just so it doesn’t catch you off guard! This presentation has been optimized for Google Chrome. It utilizes sound files in *.ogg format, for maximum compression.

Credits

Producer & Director:
Christopher D. Hartpence (Velociryx)

Artists:
David Sobotka
Christina Stone

Technical Support:
Daniels Umanovskis (Solver)

Music and Sound Effects:
Levan Iordanishvili @ Vel9 Studios
Ian Hughes
Kevin McLeod and Incomptech
Free SFX
Intro Vid Track: “The Ephors,” from “300″

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Everything

October 21, 2012 in Completed, Featured, Other

…And the Kitchen Sink, too!

So…if you love a good read, but can’t decide which of the books here to get, then boy, does [the] DeVel have a deal for you! Get the whole set, right here, right now, and the Candle’Bre soundtrack too, to give you something to listen to while you read!

**All the works of fiction are included: Guardians, Five Days in May, Candle’Bre, The Reckoning I – IV, Candle’Bre, Tapestry, This Side of Madness, The Pandorica, The Poetry Collection, and the Candle’Bre 6-Song Soundtrack – Best deal on the site!

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Five In One

October 20, 2012 in Completed, Featured, Other

If you’re intrigued by the Candle’Bre project and story line, and just want to jump in with both feet, there’s no need to buy each book separately. Instead, you can get all four volumes here, along with the soundtrack to the game, and wind up saving a bit of money to boot.

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Just click the button below and we’ll get you hooked up.

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Get your digital copy right here, for just $6.95!

-=Vel=-
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Bad Company – Illyriad Fan Fiction

October 14, 2012 in Freebie, Ongoing, Other


Okay, I admit it. I’m an Illyriad junkie.

I don’t spend a lot of time playing games any more. To my way of thinking, if I’m playing games, then I’m not designing or writing, or creating.

Of course, a little downtime does a body good, so I do allow myself some indulgences now and again, and Illy is one of them.

Totally addicting, highly recommended game. Join me!

Project ongoing since February 2012

-=Vel=-

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The Pandorica

October 14, 2012 in Books, Ongoing

Life, it seemed, was not quite through with me yet.

In 2010, my marriage ended, and I separated from Christina while working on this latest volume. I think we managed to part as friends, and I hope she feels the same.

I also hope that when time and distance heals the hurt, she will look back on our time and remember the good with at least as much clarity as the bad, because there was a lot of good.

She will ever remain a dear friend.

As to The Pandorica itself, as you can see, it is currently lacking its clothes. It’s cover.

I’m working on that, but haven’t quite worked out what it should be.

If you have suggestions, feel free to get in touch and let me know what they are!

The story itself is unlike anything I’ve ever written.

I spent more than three months researching Greek mythology and working my plot line relentlessly until I could marry the two, add to the body of lore in sometimes subtle ways, and tell a good story while doing so.

The Pandorica is set in modern times, stars the Goddess Pandora, and is a sexy, romantic thriller involving…you guessed it, a madman.

Any story that involves Greek Goddesses, sex, madness, and frogs…dude, you just know it’s gonna be good, right?

To get your copy today, click the button below!

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Project completed October 5, 2011, minus cover art

-=Vel=-

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This Side of Madness

October 14, 2012 in Books, Completed, Featured

As you can see by looking at the project completion dates, there was an enormous gap in productivity in the 2007-2010 period.

Lots of reasons for that.

By the time the curtain closed on the fourth volume of the epic Candle’Bre story (2007), the curtain was also closing on the game (bearing the same name) as well.

Our team had shrunk from more than thirty, at its peak, down to just three, and soon, it would shrink to just Solver and I.

People still liked the game and wished us well, but the project proved to be much larger, and much more time consuming than volunteers were willing to stick it out for.

We’d often go months with no visible signs of progress, and that took its toll (this was one of the most valuable takeaways from the experience in terms of doing another, by the way…progress should be steady and visible!).

Real life was intruding on the party, and as it did, the party inevitably waned.

I got married.

Had a heart attack, and two other near death experiences besides (and this, in addition to a host of other “colorful life experiences” earlier on).

During the latter stages of the most active portion of the Candle’Bre project (when we began producing playable builds) and my divorce, some four years later…it was a season of madness, and I mean that more literally than you perhaps know.

Most of all though, I was tired and worn thin.

The game and the four book series had taken their toll. The deaths and physical ailments took another sort of toll.

Then came the Great Recession, like a giant, sour cake topper.

Splat!

Overnight, my comfy life got hit by a wrecking ball, and anything even remotely creative got put on the back burner, as we went from worrying about what to write next to such things as, how to raise fifty bucks for food for another week, and how to keep the house warm during the winter.

Creativity?

There was no time for it.

We were in full on survival mode.

In time, of course, we figured it out. Explored our entrepreneurial sides and learned how to live, not off of whatever pittance the corporations deigned to hand down to their serfs, but by our own pluck, talent, and skills.

Early on, there were lots of “Ramin Noodle Nights,” I can tell you, but it’s funny.

When you start relying on yourself for your success, and stop thinking about that next paycheck you’re shackled to, it opens you up to a whole new world of possibilities.

Before long, we had things firing on all cylindars again, and even better, I was beginning to feel…dare I say…creative?

Yes!

I thought I’d lost it, but it was back!

Sure, sure, while it was away, I had convinced myself that I was okay with its long absence. That I had a decent body of work behind me, and I’d be content if there was to be no more, but that’s the funny thing about a season of madness.

It has a way (for all its pain and destructive tendencies) of reigniting fires you thought may have gone out for good, and that’s what happened in this case.

This story, “Madness,” as we call it shorthand, it a direct outgrowth of this period, and distills much of my life into book form.

It’s about twenty percent fiction, and eighty percent autobiographical.

To this day, I can’t go back and re-read it.

It’s too raw. Too visceral for me, but everyone who has read it calls it my best work.

It’s elemental. Raw. Chilling.

A psychological thriller, with bits of romance and horror tossed in for grins.

Add a little “Madness” to your life today by clicking just below!

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Get your digital copy right here, for just $1.95!

Project completed, September 2010, on my birthday, the 22nd

-=Vel=-

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Batch Article Spinner

October 14, 2012 in Business, Featured, Ongoing

I‘ve always been a fan of automation. No…that’s not right. I’ve always been a fan of the IDEA of automation. Most of the time, until somebody points out that I’m doing something longhand that a machine can accomplish in ten seconds or less, I don’t notice.

I’m bullheaded like that, but I confess that I love the IDEA that if I can get a program or machine or device to do something repetitive for me to free up my time, that’s fantastic!

There are lots of repetitive tasks in internet marketing, and one of the most annoying to me is article spinning, so, after talking with my buddy Solver, we came up with a solution. (clarification: Solver was aghast at how much time I was spending on certain tasks and lent [the] poor DeVel a hand!)

If you want to grow your business, then volume’s the key.

The problem with volume is…the more stuff you’re handling, the longer it takes.

Sure, sure, there are other article spinners on the market.

You open your first file, plug in the article, push the button, done.

Close the file, open the next one, plug in the article, push the button again, done.

Rinse and repeat, and that’s all well and good, but when you’re dealing with more than just a handful of articles in a given month, you’re looking at a huge time sink.

BAS removes it. Load ALL your text files into the software, set your destination directory, push the button, and collect the output.

It used to take me an entire day each month to do this.

Now it takes about two minutes.

I’d call that a win.

:)

Anyway, if you’re into internet marketing at all, and want to give it a look, we’ve got a video on the Batch Article Spinner (BAS) site that shows it in action. Check it out by clicking on the image of the site!

Project completed, June 2010, though development is ongoing and new features are always being considered

-=Vel=-

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Crossroads

October 14, 2012 in Business, Featured, Ongoing


Having done nothing but fiction work in various forms to this point, and having lived through a number of life changing experiences, I suppose you could call me [a] DeVel at the Crossroads.

In any case, in 2008, when the Great Recession ate my job, and saw me go from cushy middle manager in Atlanta, living a six-figure lifestyle, to security guard in a Condo parking lot, working thirty hours a week for twelve bucks an hour (and that was after six months with no work at all), I guess you could say I’d been burned once too often by the corporate world.

I determined to find a way to make it on my own, and that led me to explore all sorts of possibilities.

One of those possibilities was internet marketing.

I spent lots of time doing all the wrong things, before finally finding a home with good teachers, dug in, and started doing the boring, repetitive, unglamorous work that is the reality of internet marketing.

And you know something?

It works!

As a job, it sucks, but it does work, and it does pay the bills, and the two brilliant, beautiful things about it are these: 1) it keeps earning month after month with little added input, and 2) you’re your own boss. If not for those two things, I’d never recommend it, but I regard those as two fairly big, important things, and I suspect that most folks do.

In any case, I figured out my own methodology, which proved to be quite different from what other folks were doing, and turned it into a blueprint for success.

Thus, Crossroads was born.

The image above leads to the Company Store site, if you’re interested in knowing more.

Project completed, January 2010 (with ongoing updates), after more than a year’s worth of experimentation

-=Vel=-

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Here There Be Dragons

October 13, 2012 in Completed, Games


The first board game I ever designed was in college…a cult classic called “Beer Run,” where you started in your dorm room with $1.83 (the amount of cash I had on me on the night I put the prototype together)–the game board was modeled after the game, “Life”–, and had to make your way to the gas station across the street, buy some alcohol, and return without getting caught. Along the way, you had to try to secure more money and a fake id (which improved your chances of success once you got to the station).

I like to think I’ve come a long way in terms of my design abilities, and in 2009, I had a chance to enter a local design competition with a title called “Here There Be Dragons.”

The hook here is that you play AS the dragon, trying to secure treasure and a lair site.

At game start, each player draws a card that defines a starting ability (all dragons have the basic flight, some magic, and breathing fire, but each player also gets a little something extra, as defined by the cards).

As you move around the board, you fight fantastical creatures, capture human towns, get hunted by angry humans, secure a lair site, stock it with guardians (monsters you control), and gain other powers, spells, and abilities.

The first dragon to secure ten gem stones for his horde, wins!

I took second, losing to a WWII tactical game, but I didn’t mind. All the judges got together every weekend to play exactly those kinds of games, so I was not surprised.

Still…second’s a pretty cozy place to be. :)

Ostensibly, the competition was the reason for designing the game, but if you’ve been following the little timeline, you’ll note that this was right in the middle of the “Dead Broke Cos of The Recession” period, so the main reason was…Christina had a thing for dragons.

Anyway, to my knowledge, only three copies of the game exist. Dave Sobotka has one (he did all the artwork), my ex wife has one (it was her birthday present that year), and I’ve got the third.

It’s not for sale, but this list would not be complete without giving it a mention.

Somewhere on my hard drive, one of the Candle’Bre volunteers (Dale!) made a little computer game version of it which is quite fun! (thanks Dale!)

Awesome stuff.

Project completed, September 2009

-=Vel=–

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Candle’Bre, Tapestry, Volume I: Collected Threads

October 13, 2012 in Books, Completed


I promised myself that I’d take a much needed break after the more than six years it took to write the three Candle’Bre volumes that made up the main story, but there was more yet to say.

In the intervening years, as we’d begun releasing early game builds, I’d often amuse the team by writing shorter pieces that illuminated odd bits of Candle’Bre’s history during the two centuries leading up to the time that the game (and the trilogy proper) is set in, and over that span of years, I came to have quite a number of them.

Many, I’d written myself, but some…some had been written by team members and fans of the game.

Fan fiction.

We actually had fan fiction.

How cool was that?

So I gathered them all up, and set about editing them and tying the various threads together to make a fourth volume for our world.

In under a year, it was done.

Sadly, it is at this point that (if you’re reading these chronologically) our narrative begins to take a darker tone, and “Collected Threads” would be the last work of fiction created purely for the joy of creating, for quite some time.

We did not know it at the time, but the Great Recession was about to hit, and when it did, it would bring with it all sorts of other calamities. Health issues, heart attacks, and, depending on your point of view, it probably also planted the seeds for the eventual dissolution of my marriage.

Anyway, “Collected Threads” is to the Candle’Bre trilogy what “The Hobbit” is to the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Although it came last, its actually a prequel to the story proper, and I just love it.

Some great stories in that collection, and just as important, some stories that shed yet more light on some of the seldom trod corridors of Candle’Bre’s history.

Get your copy today by clicking the button just below:

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Get your digital copy right here, for just $1.95!

If you’re interested in the Candle’Bre storyline, don’t buy them separately…get them in bulk here and save money! You get all four books (fully illustrated PDF’s), and the 6-Song Soundtrack from the game. All your Candle’Goodness in one place!

 

Or…
Get the Full Set!

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Project completed, July 2007

-=Vel=-

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