The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #128: Reading from The Unicorn Treasury: “The Court of the Summer King” by Jennifer Roberson

Episode #128: Reading from The Unicorn Treasury: “The Court of the Summer King” 

https://archive.org/download/Podcast128_201801/Podcast%20128.mp3

This week, we are reading from The Unicorn Treasury, compiled and edited by author Bruce Coville and illustrated by Tim Hildebrandt.

The short story we’re reading from is called “The Court of the Summer King,” by fantasy author Jennifer Roberson.  Here are some illustrations from the story:

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #127: The Wayfarer’s Escape Part 3 of 3

Episode #127: The Wayfarer’s Escape Part 3 of 3 – a Dungeons and Dragons Campaign Based on the World of The Thirteenth Hour

https://archive.org/download/Podcast127_201801/Podcast%20127.mp3

This week continues the recording (part 1 and part 2) I did of my first real foray into Dungeons and Dragons with a campaign my brother created using a backstory for the next installment in The Thirteenth Hour.   The Wayfarer finds a Rocketeer style jet pack this episode that may feature in a future installment.

 

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After the campaign ends, my brother and reflect on the experience, and we talk about a few what ifs.

 

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #126: The Wayfarer’s Escape Part 2 of 3

Episode #126: The Wayfarer’s Escape Part 2 of 3 – a Dungeons and Dragons Campaign Based on the World of The Thirteenth Hour

https://archive.org/download/Podcast126_201801/Podcast%20126.mp3

This week continues the recording (part 1 here) I did of my first real foray into Dungeons and Dragons with a campaign my brother created using a backstory for the next installment in The Thirteenth Hour.   Here are some photos from this week:

Abram and Wayfarer Breaking out of the cell.

the party

The party of four about to break out of the can.

Varisse grappled

… and into the fire …

sniping from distance pied piper 286160_screenshots_20171102032438_1 all gone to shit Cpt Dingas burns

dragon lighting the camp up

Getting singed by a dragon …

Stay tuned for part 3 next week!

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #125: The Wayfarer’s Escape Part 1 of 3

Episode #124: The Wayfarer’s Escape Part 1 of 3 – a Dungeons and Dragons Campaign Based on the World of The Thirteenth Hour

https://archive.org/download/Podcast125_201712/Podcast%20125.mp3

Despite having grown during the 80s, I never got into the whole Dungeons and Dragons fad.  I think I might have liked it had I had a group of like-minded friends to play it with, like in Stranger Things, but I didn’t know anyone like that.  It was also a lot harder to find out information in those days, so if it wasn’t in the public library or the Yellow Pages, it might as well not have existed.   I did discover bits and pieces that were related, like D and D game books, but really had no conception of what an actual role playing game was until much later, and when I actually found out it was like acting in a play, I was woefully disappointed.   I’m not really sure what I was expecting, but it surely wasn’t a big game of make believe – that was for kids, wasn’t it?

So, although I had to admit, the little figures and the game books always held a certain curiosity, my interest never really went any further than that.  In addition, it all looked needlessly complicated, and in the day and age of computers, what appeal could imaginary landscapes, dice, and turn based battles have?

A lot, actually.

Like a lot of things, your perception and experience of them depends on whether you are at a point in life to be receptive to them.  At this stage of my life, while I still enjoy playing a handful of video games (generally limited to times when I run on a treadmill), I often find the idea of them more appealing than actually playing.  While video games have the capacity of awakening the senses and transporting you to a virtual world and an immersive story, more often than not, I find myself getting frustrated with how much like work they seem.  If I’m lucky enough to have a few minutes free, the last thing I want to do it spend it on some mindlessly repetitive fetch quest or filler that game developers stuck in to add bloat to their game.  And as someone with young children, I find it increasingly frustrating to combat the inevitability of all the screen time in the average child’s life these days (and that’s to say nothing for the average adult, who might spend much of the day in front of a computer screen tapping out TPS reports or something similar).  There’s something appealing about slower paced, more analog forms of entertainment.

Enter Dungeons and Dragons – as an adult.  If it weren’t for my brother, who also discovered D and D later in life, none of this would have happened.  But after he got into it, played a few campaigns, and began functioning as a dungeon master (the person who organizes and coordinates the whole campaign for the other players and serves as narrator and referee), he offered to create a 1:1 campaign to allow me to experience this little piece of the 1980s that I missed.

And that’s what the next few weeks will be – a showcase into a little, self-contained campaign that Jeremy created based on a little segment for the next Thirteenth Hour book.  I gave him only a few lines and character sketches to go by, but from those humble beginnings generated several hours of play that opened my eyes and changed my mind as to what this slower paced gameplay could be like.  And I finally understood not only how much fun an actual role playing game could me (and not just a digital representation), but how people could spend all day on a D and D campaign, forget to eat, sleep, and go to the bathroom 🙂

The main character is this little adventure, who features heavily in the next two Thirteenth Hour books, is called the Wayfarer, a half-elf freedom fighter who has been captured and locked up in a makeshift dungeon.  While the method of his escape wasn’t something that I was planing to go into in the actual book, it made for a great backstory and gave Jeremy room to add and modify it as he wished to make the campaign more interesting.

In this episode, I talk a little about the backstory to set up the gameplay.  Since I audio-recorded a few parts, there will be a part the includes the first battle, which actually went on a little longer than anticipated and made me think of “turn based combat” in a while new way.

Here are some pictures from the campaign.  We didn’t go entirely analog, though.  Jeremy used a program called Tabletop Simulator to create visuals to simulate the little figurines, maps, and gameboards that can add depth to a game a help a D and D Luddite like me understand what’s going on.

File Dec 29, 6 02 05 PMFile Dec 29, 6 02 24 PM

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I finally learned what all the funny shaped dice were for.  It was also a great exercise as a writer to create my character, the Wayfarer (since I had to do that anyway).  There’s something about the D and D character creation process, though, that helps to make more fully fleshed out, 3D fantasy characters. 

Below are a few Hero Forge digital figurines Jeremy created to represent the Wayfarer (the jetpack comes in part 3).

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This fellow (not sure where he came from) provided Jeremy the inspiration for Abram, the Wayfarer’s prison break accomplice.

So in summary, I’d have to say that as a parent, I’d much rather have my kids get together with actual, live, in-the-flesh human beings and use their imaginations and problem solving skills to go through a Dungeons and Dragons campaign than play the equivalent in digital form with virtual players.  Stay tuned for part 2 next week!

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!  Thanks for coming on the show, Brent!  It was a pleasure!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #124: The Robocop Show (30th Anniversary Tribute with Jeremy and Brent Simon)

Episode #124: The Robocop Show (30th Anniversary Tribute with Jeremy and Brent Simon)

https://archive.org/download/Podcast124RobocopShow/Podcast%20124%20Robocop%20Show.mp3

Last show of the year! Happy holidays! Brent Simon and my brother, Jeremy, came on the show this week to cap off 2017 to mark the 30th anniversary of the 1987 film, Robocop.  We also touch on the recent remake and a number of other things from the era, like some Saturday morning cartoons (there was a trend of making kids’ cartoons out of hyper violent 80s action films, like Conan, Chuck Norris flicksRambo, and, of course, Robocop – click on the highlighted links or the pics below for youtube clips of the show intros).

Image result for conan the adventurer

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The original Robocop was an interesting film in many ways since it was sort of aimed at kids … yet not (in that it was over the top violent and barely squeaked by an R rating)! However, robots were all the rage at the time.  Kids, adults, we all loved them.  Remember that this was the age of super robots cartoons (Transformers, Gobots, Robotech, Voltron, M.A.S.K., and a skew of others, mostly from Japan that didn’t get as much exposure here in the US) and ones in films like Star Wars, Short Circuit, and Terminator.

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We also covered a number of Robocop spin offs, like the games and some crossover comics.  Jeremy, who has encyclopedic knowledge of comic books and is behind the Classic Batman Panels Instagram page, contributed a lot of great info on the show about comic crossovers (many of whom were published by Dark Horse), including the Robocop / Terminator miniseries written by Frank Miller.

Image result for robocop terminator comics

Of course, one must check out the AVGN videos on the games spawned by the Robocop franchise.

The originals for the NES looked pretty shite.  In this epsiode the AVG Nerd also comments on the interesting 80s/90s phenomenon of making kids games’ out of R rated movies.

The Robocop v Terminator SNES game looks like it might have been ok to while away a few hours.

I originally intended to purchase a used gas blowback airsoft replica of Robocop’s auto 9 machine pistol on eBay for the show and include a video clip of it letting loose like in the movie but decided against it when I saw the price tag. 🙂   Ganking a clip off youtube was much cheaper!

(The auto 9, as a heavily modified Beretta 93R, doesn’t actually exist in real life, so a replica is the closest you can get if you want to legally own something like in the movie.  Even so, a gas blowback airsoft pistol will still set you back ~200 USD.  If you are in the States, a retailer like Airsoft Atlanta is a good option, and you won’t have to pay international shipping charges.  However, the latter may be worth it in some cases.  The HK retailer Redwolf Airsoft has a good selection and generally reasonable prices.)

lara auto9

This pixelart animation of Lara Croft for the Tomb Raider game I intended to make once upon a time shows her shooting an auto 9.

Find more Brent Simon here (parts 1 , 2 , and 3 here) or on Jeff Finely‘s channel (below, Brent’s interview and Jeff’s – they were both multipart episodes, and Jeff compiled them into these videos):

A day in the life of Brent Simon, “The Brentumentary,” done by Jeff, and Brent current project, Aerial Focused.

Giveaway:

Nirvana Pilot Yume is a recently release PC game now available on Steam created to answer the question: what happened if the 1993 space racing MS-DOS game, Skyroads, were a visual novel with 80s anime visuals and a synthwave soundtrack?

Image result for nirvana pilot yume

Image result for nirvana pilot yume

Image result for nirvana pilot yume

The team who created it, Dev9k, came on the show last week (12/18/17) to talk about their influences and have graciously supplied a free copy of the game for a lucky entrant into this contest!  It will go on until next week. 

Happy holidays.  See you in the New Year!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!  Thanks for coming on the show, Brent!  It was a pleasure!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #123: A Conversation with Dev9k Game Developers – Creators of Nirvana Pilot Yume

Episode #123: A Conversation with Dev9k Game Developers – Creators of Nirvana Pilot Yume

https://archive.org/download/Podcast123_201712/Podcast%20123.mp3

My brother and I recently connected with European game developer team Dev9k (Massimiliano ‘Haematinon’ Nigro and Antonio Scacchetti), the creators of the recently released 80s anime inspired video game, Nirvana Pilot Yume, which answers the question – what happened if the 90s shareware game Skyroads were a visual novel with a synthwave soundtrack?

Given the misadventures my brother and I had making games in our youth, we were both looking forward to the conversation with Massimiliano and Antionio.  We covered a wide range of topics, from the creative process, aspects of game development, working within technical limitations of technology (and how that sometimes fosters more creativity), and 80s era Japanimation – case in point below:

Check out the synthwave group Retroxx, who did the soundtrack for the game, for more synth action.  And if you don’t recall what the game Skyroads looked like, here’s a quick runthrough:

Interested in learning more?  Check more about the game and its developers on IG and Facebook.

You can now find the game for the PC on Steam.   Grab it while it’s still on sale!  There is a demo available for webplay/download here so you can try before you buy.  Even if you’re not into video games, it’s worth it just for the art, concept, and music alone.  Supporting an indie game developer is also good for your karma 🙂

And if you’re at all interested in game development or collaborating on making a game out of The Thirteenth Hour, let me know!  Read more here.

Next week, in time for Christmas, Brent Simon and Jeremy return to discuss the 30th anniversary of Robocop!  Stay tuned!

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

  • QR code email signup Signup for the mailing list for a free special edition podcast, a demo copy of The Thirteenth Hour, and access to the retro 80s soundtrack!
  • Follow The Thirteenth Hour’s Instagram pages: @the13thhr for your random postings on ninjas, martial arts, archery, flips, breakdancing, fantasy art and and @the13thhr.ost for more 80s music, movies, and songs from The Thirteenth Hour books and soundtrack.
  • Listen to Long Ago Not So Far Away, the Thirteenth Hour soundtrack online at: https://joshuablum.bandcamp.com/ or Spotify.  Join the mailing list for a digital free copy.  You can also get it on CD or tape.
  • Website: https://13thhr.wordpress.com
  • Book trailer: http://bit.ly/1VhJhXY
  • Interested in reading and reviewing The Thirteenth Hour for a free book?  Just email me at writejoshuablum@gmail.com for more details!

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #122: The Making of “Because We May Only Have One Night” (Vocal Version)

Episode #122: The Making of “Because We May Only Have One Night” (Vocal Version)

https://archive.org/download/Podcast122_201712/Podcast%20122.mp3

After finishing the instrumental theme in episode #120, lyrics started coming.  That’s the thing about the muse.  Sometimes, unbeknownst to you, she starts doing her own thing at a time you least expect.  If you recall, this was a little love theme written for a scene in a Thirteenth Hour sequel book when our two main protagonists, Logan and Aurora, are reunited after a long time.  Since the course of true love never runs smoothly, it’s meant to convey a mixture of bittersweet yearning and a desire to push everything else away for just a few moments alone with your heart’s desire.

This song is dedicated to my wife.  When writing the lyrics, I was reminded by the short love songs on the collection 69 Love Songs by the Magnetic Fields (that was a car CD we’d listen to a lot in years past) and some saccharine, mellow, haunting songs from a different time, like “Such a Woman” by Neil Young and “If” by Bread.

Today’s backing track was done on the synthesizer and electric guitar with the vocals done afterwards.  Mixing was done on the synth and in Audacity.  You can hear the final version at the end of the show.  Download this song and the instrumental version on bandcamp.  You can also stream them below.

Here are the lyrics:

Because We May Only Have One Night
G
If I had one day
Em
Before the world was through
C
I’d spend it all with you
D
No looking back

If we had one night
Just one night to hold you tight
And be there close to you
Never let you go

Bridge:
G
And all those things
Em
That get in the way
C
Make them disappear
D
Forever and forever …

Just one day to
See the world in your eyes
Capture all the memories
Never let them fade

Just one night
One night to hold you tight
And be there close to you
Never let you go

Bridge:
And everyone
Who won’t let us be
Make them go away
Forever and forever …

Just one night
To hold each other tight
Maybe just one night
What are we waiting for?

Coming attraction: watch out for Dev9K discussing their 80s anime inspired video game, Nirvana Pilot Yume, which answers the question what happened if the 90s shareware game Skyroads were a visual novel with a synthwave soundtrack?  The game releases on Steam on 12/13, so check it out and find out more next week!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

  • QR code email signup Signup for the mailing list for a free special edition podcast, a demo copy of The Thirteenth Hour, and access to the retro 80s soundtrack!
  • Follow The Thirteenth Hour’s Instagram pages: @the13thhr for your random postings on ninjas, martial arts, archery, flips, breakdancing, fantasy art and and @the13thhr.ost for more 80s music, movies, and songs from The Thirteenth Hour books and soundtrack.
  • Listen to Long Ago Not So Far Away, the Thirteenth Hour soundtrack online at: https://joshuablum.bandcamp.com/ or Spotify.  Join the mailing list for a digital free copy.  You can also get it on CD or tape.
  • Website: https://13thhr.wordpress.com
  • Book trailer: http://bit.ly/1VhJhXY
  • Interested in reading and reviewing The Thirteenth Hour for a free book?  Just email me at writejoshuablum@gmail.com for more details!