PAX South to hit Texas

Posted April 14, 2014 By Jim Franklin

PAX Penny Arcade Texas SouthIf you’re somewhere around Texas at the start of 2015 you might want to drop into PAX South, the latest festival brainchild of Reedpop and Penny Arcade. Penny Arcade is one of the largest communities of gamers you can find on that big ol’ world web, so mix them with Reedpop the company responsible for some of the largest gaming festivals in the world, and you know that good stuff is going to happen at PAX South.

Unfortunately, I will be nowhere near Texas at that time. Unless of course, any kind person wants to spring me a couple of plane tickets and a stay in a 5 star hotel nearby, then I would be glad to have a look around, it would be my pleasure.

No? No-one?

Oh well, guess drizzly old England it is then.

Well, if you can get there, you can look forward to a good dose of all the latest and greatest in video games, tabletop games, game inspired music, and information from our noble gaming industry leaders and some competitive game-play to boot.

You can find out more information from their website ( or from the press release, below.

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Flash Fiction Early to Fall

Posted April 4, 2014 By Jim Franklin

lava pools hell magma

This week’s flash fiction challenge is all based around Hell. We have to write a piece of flash fiction of no more than 1000 words based in or about Hell, which is kinda one of my favourite topics. Why? God knows. That’s something a psychologist and a defense lawyer can worry about.

Not going to bother about writing any pre-amble this time, so let’s get straight in to the fictiony goodness…


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Flash Fiction : Supposed Injustice

Posted March 28, 2014 By Jim Franklin

Flash Fiction old building orpanage old decrepid ruinI still have some time left over so I thought I’d have another go at Chuck Wendig’s flash fiction challenge. First one is here and it has all the details of the contest, so I won’t bore you with it again. This time I am going to write another piece of flash fiction based on the words that are left over.

  • Whalebone
  • Orphan
  • Hermit
  • Hound
  • Acid

So here we go… Hope you enjoy it.

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Flash Fiction : Foxglove, Lollipop and the Djinn

Posted March 28, 2014 By Jim Franklin

flash fiction purple smoke gas cloudAfter last’s weeks storming effort to get the Flash Fiction challenge written and uploaded with hours to spare, I’m making sure that this bugger is written in plenty of time. At least that’s the plan. My day is empty apart from trifling pieces of work that keep interrupting me, so there really is no excuse.

This week’s Flash Fiction challenge is a bit of a flash back to earlier challenges, The five random words challenge. Chuck has given us five random words that must form part of the flash fiction.

When I saw the words I instantly had images of those old school reading books, and knew just what I had to do. I’ve chosen Foxglove, Lollipop, Topaz, Djinn and Casket and I’ve got 1000 words and any genre to write about.  Hope you enjoy it, and always looking for comments.

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Flash Fiction : Flash in Ten Chapters

Posted March 27, 2014 By Jim Franklin

Red demon eyes evil monster darkBoy, Wow, Gee-willigers and holy crap has it been a while since I’ve written any flash fiction. Plenty of excuses( well isn’t there always?) but they aren’t important. The important thing is that I am here to lay a fresh batch of flash fictiony challenge on “yo ass. y’all”.

Hmmm, not sure I’ll try that street talk malarkey again, aaaaaand technically, I’m not laying any kind of flash fiction challenge on a bottom of any kind. I am merely participating in the flash fiction challenge expertly hosted by Mr Wendig at

The challenge this week is to write a piece of flash fiction of no more than a thousand words, except this time we must present it as ten chapters. No other things to consider here, nevertheless I feel that the challenge part of the title may be true to its word.

Here it is…


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Beta Testing Video Games : The Four Don’ts

Posted March 5, 2014 By Jim Franklin

video game beta testing cat gamer video gamesThe Elder Scrolls online beta test, probably one of the last ones there’ll be for ESO, seeing as it’s released at the start of April, took place last weekend. Though I didn’t really take part in this one, I’ve taken part in the beta testing for a few online games now; Champions Online, Star Wars the Old Republic, Warhammer Online, and a few of the previous Elder Scrolls Online beta tests as well as a few I can’t even be bothered to mention.

Most of these beta tests were enjoyable enough experiences, yet from them I learned that there are things you need to know before you jump straight in; things that will help you deal with the pitfalls and annoyances of beta tests, and make sure that you don’t spoil the games release for yourself.

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Jungle Rumble Mobile Monkey Drumming Madness

Posted February 27, 2014 By Jim Franklin

Jungle Rumble Logo Are you a fan of rhythm games? I’m very much on the musical fence. Like every other video game genre there are those that are done well, like the guitar hero franchise and those that we’re not done so well, such as Rock Revolution. Although not one of them has any monkeys in it. Monkeys can make any situation better, except pithikosophobia, delicate surgical operations, complex mathematics or construction, food preparation… ok, they probably don’t make many things better per se, but they do make things more fun.

Or at least that’s what Disco Pixel are thinking with the nearly released Jungle Rumble, and far be it from me to disagree. Well, at least until I’ve had chance to have a go.

Jungle Rumble apparently merges together rhythm and real-time strategy elements. Players are sent off into a weird and colourful jungle to help lead them against some naughty rival monkeys who are up to… well, the type of business that naughty monkeys get up to.

 According to the press release below, it’s not just a standard rhythm game. Monkeys notwithstanding, Jungle Rumble adds an element of strategy, so you won’t just be doing what you’re told. Oh, and another good thing, there are no micro transactions within the game either.

Jungle Rumble will be arriving on iOS and Android in late April, but if you can’t wait that long you could always pop over to PAX East expo, play the game and can get that monkey off their back before its release.

For more information on Jungle Rumble visit:

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Dungeon Keeper iOS Review

Posted February 10, 2014 By Jim Franklin

Dungeon keeper ios logo horny devilI have played many games over the years, but there are very few that I keep going back to play over and over. Dungeon Keeper released all the way back in 1997 by the now defunct Bullfrog games is definitely one of those games. For many of us, we spent countless nights on our own in front of the computer screen slapping our imps. (What? Dungeon Keeper has imps and you can slap them.)

So imagine my joy when I discovered that Dungeon Keeper has been released as a mobile game by Electronic Arts. Then imagine my disappointment to find out that all the enjoyment of the original game had been sucked out and replaced with a heart-wrenching gaming void that’s little more than a thinly-veiled way for Electronic Arts to make cash. Read the remainder of this entry »

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Flash Fiction The White Snake (well, Adder)

Posted January 28, 2014 By Jim Franklin

white snake reptile flash fiction adder This week’s flash fiction challenge ably hosted by is a bit of a mash-up thing. First we needed to go to a page of Grimm fairy tales. (here) select the one we wanted, and then with the help of a random number generator decide which genre the tale would be rewritten in.

I decided I would choose the tale of The White Snake for mine (full tale can be found here) and I got super-hero as the genre. It’s not a word for word rewrite of course, I have taken a  fair amount of creative license with this but I think the result still worked well.

Here is my re-written super-hero tale called…

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Flash Fiction Accounting for Revenge

Posted January 22, 2014 By Jim Franklin

flash fiction accounting adding machine calculatorAlready falling behind on my personal flash fiction writing objective, the Terribleminds flash fiction challenge is just what I need to get back on track. As a small diversion to the usual drill, this week’s challenge is to write a piece of flash fiction that can be up to 2000 words in length. Yes, you read that right a whole 2000 words. This means that I can go into more detail, and hopefully end up with something a little more special. Although I’m away from home this week, so it may be difficult for me to find the time to write this double-length fiction.

The gist of what my flash fiction is split into three sections, ‘who’, ‘where’ and ‘uh-oh!’ Using a random number generator gave me these details.

I rolled and I got these…

  • Who – An accountant
  • Where – a trailer park
  • Uh-oh! – Left for Dead / Out for Revenge

Now the easy part, forming those three points into a well thought-out and perfectly written piece of flash fiction of 2000 words. Ah…

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