Category Archives: role play gaming

Interview with game developer Mike Voit

Please note, that is interview was given for the Bloodletting.org game. We used In Character names for some of those mentioned in the interview to protect their privacy.

 

1.    What was the inspiration to create Bloodletting?

The inspiration came from a game called Mafia.org. Very similar with forums for RP and the ability to kill those that piss you off. That game has morphed into a game called mafiareturns. But the original is where the inspiration came from. I couldn’t code so…in 2004 I met Dracula when he came to work in Virginia. We were both in the Air Force and stationed together there. I heard he could code and told him about my idea. He was sold instantly and we started developing the game. Two years later after lots of planning, taking time off to finish degrees and Dracula getting married, we launched the game. In its initial format, it resembled Damnation a lot more. Mafia.org was a one character – one death game. You die, you start over with a new character from the beginning.

 

2.    Where do you and the team get the inspiration for details on the gameplay from?

I get a lot of ideas from other games I play. I might sign up for a game and it sucks as bad as you can imagine but they have one feature that attracts me, so I start developing it for inclusion in BL. City Searches idea came from a game I played called HoboWars and FC tributes came from another vampire game I played for a bit. Other times I just get an idea and bounce it off of DK. If we both agree it will work, we add it.

 

3.    Do you speak with other game developers for ideas? Are other developers eager to provide input on things they’ve done and tried to help you along in creating your own unique twists?

The only developer I have ever worked with is the creator of mafiareturns. He used to be the main coder in mafia.org and I pitched him my idea for BL back in 2004. So he drove down to Virginia from Jersey and sat with me for the entire day loading php and mySQL on my computer so I could get started. Unfortunately I have no skill in coding, so the stuff just sat there until I met Dracula later that year.

 

4.    What idea came first for the game? The gameplay aspect, or the writing? What do you feel pulls at you the most?

They both were worked on concurrently. The appeal to me for mafia was the interaction in the forums. They had some phenomenal writers over there. Otter being one of them. So when I was designing the game I was approaching it from both angles. For those that wanted to write and those that wanted to smash buttons. I myself, have a love for the writing aspect of it and I try to create an environment that foments that activity.

 

5.    How has Arctic Moon Studios, and the people of Bloodletting, changed aspects of your life over the years?

Well AMS for one has brought me a great friendship in the form of DK and Dracula. DK and I used to do a lot of Theater in Virginia. Me acting, he Stage Managing. When I sent out a mass email to all my contacts in email asking them to sign up for the new game Drac and I had just developed, DK was one of the first ones to do so. I soon learned he could code and as a player he started assisting Drac and I. When we decided to form Arctic Moon Studios, we initially asked DK if he wanted to be a part of it. He said no and we were rightfully bummed out about it. Just before we registered the company however, we asked him again and he agreed. He has become one of my dearest friends. I even performed his wedding ceremony. All three of us regularly get together for trips and talk on the phone.

Bloodletting is another thing all together. We used to do regular BL meets throughout the country and had the chance to meet players at them. Stalker and Tala Hemming became early and close friends. Stalker is considered family. He came to my retirement and my father in law’s interment at Arlington cemetery. Edward Broccoli (sp?   Lol..Brollachan) and I have a venture we are working on. Otter and I used to talk regularly but then he discovered girls and jujitsu, Bastet writes to me all the time when I am deployed. I performed Mackenzie’s wedding ceremony. But there are sad moments that come with it as well. Mallory Quarters we met several years ago at the very first BL meet. She became a dear friend to both me and my wife. We went to New Orleans regularly and always stayed with her. When I got the call in late 2017 that she had passed away in her sleep, it was devastating. It’s sad whenever I learn we have lost a player, and there has been a few. But Jen (Mallory) was like family to us. In the early days of the game we had a player use an exploit in the source code to kill all of the other players in the game. We thought that was the end of Bloodletting. It was a brand new game, up only about a month. Luckily for us two things happened. First DK, who was still just a player that assisted with coding and database management, had backed up the server only a few hours earlier, mitigating the damage. Second, Jen (Mallory) made to enormous donations to the game so we could ensure the security of it. Jen was a very wealthy woman who made her fortune as one of the largest pumpkin farmers east of the Mississippi. She loved to game and she loved Bloodletting. My wife and I loved her and we miss her a lot. So when you see her online 24/7, that’s one of my tributes to my friend.

The player behind Lisbeth has become a great confidante for me over the years as well. I know I am forgetting people but it’s late here and I am fighting off a virus. Please don’t be offended if you don’t see yourself mentioned here.

The player behind Smith, I consider a friend. I was actually able to meet him in England several years ago and have a few beers with him.

Shenanoska, an old time player is a friend as well.

 

6.   Do you read all the stories posted? Has there ever been a storyline so moving, it stuck with you?

I wish! I used to read them all when there was just a few entries. But alas, life gets in the way. I do try to read as much as I can. I don’t think I could pick out one storyline. Even the poorly written ones are amazing in the fact that someone at least tried to create something.

 

7.    Characters come and go. Is there any that you truly miss seeing their antics?

I miss the troublemakers. The ones that want to start wars and execute the mundane. I miss the mother out of the Platypire in all honesty.

 

8.    You’ve had to make hard choices over the years when it come to the rules. Has anyone ever really threatened you due to their own violation of the rules? Do you get ‘hate mail’?

The only hate mail we ever got was from a player that we were working on a lot of projects with. She was so involved in every aspect of the game. Then one day we received a very nasty email from her that to this day I still have no idea what prompted it. We responded with our own letter telling her that what she said was highly unprofessional and she shouldn’t have made threats and demands to us. That led to her, her husband and at least one other player quitting for good. She posted our letter to her so we posted hers to show we weren’t randomly attacking her. I truly miss her presence in game. I used to talk with her all the time via video or phone and she was just a bubbly personality. I have no idea what prompted the letter from her in the first place.

I have sent a threatening message to a player. The one that exploited the code. I sent him an email letting him know I had no issue driving to his house and beating the  **** out of him in front of his parents. I included his home address so he knew I wasn’t BSing.

Former players have posted unkind words on FB. But that’s about it.

 

9.   Over the years, you and the team have implemented new and exciting things for the Realm and its players. However, something new, and much bigger, seems to be coming for 2019; you’ve dropped a few hints to many things. Just how many things are on the horizon for 2019? Can you give us some specifics…please? Pretty please?

Houses are going to become more important. Potions are being developed. Special features and areas are in the works for the level 20s. Skills are being developed. One thing people have to keep in mind though, is that it is just DK and I really. I do have Smith assisting me on a project and Dracula has indicated he wants to get more involved. But we are limited in personnel and resources. If people want to see features roll out faster, they need to keep their Alts legal. In the past I haven’t been as strict on that rule, but when we had to make a decision earlier this year whether to keep going because of lack of funds, I had to get more on top of the illegal Alt situation.

 

Thank you Mike, for giving me your time and for all you do for everyone on Bloodletting!

 

 

 


A new direction

Hello my sweets!

As you can see by looking around, I have made some changes to the site. I have taken down my book and some other pages, because, really, sales are down and the book can be found anywhere.

Why the change? Its time to branch off in a new direction. My tags will change, my content will change.

Whats to come? More talk of gaming, more talk of writing (no change there) and some more on the things that fascinate me the most in our world…like serial killers and news items.

Oh, there will still be plenty of talks of my daily hilarity that is called my life, and plenty of talk of the kitties and their adventures in driving me mad.

The book and movie reviews will be back, as I love doing those.

Of course, the occasional rant will find its way into the pages from time to time, because I am small and can only contain so much rage.

You will also find that I have an added website. I took my ‘Clattering Keyboard’ blogger site off google and gave it its own fancy smancy domain. It is listed under my real name. It WILL, at time, have different content. You can find it at www.clatteringkeyboard.com if interested.

Please keep in mind, I am not done with either site. The listing for the Bloodletting game is not quite complete, as I have a lot of content and explanations for the game yet to go.

Now, as for the difference in the site, as I’ve said, this site may have content different than the other and vice versa.

Its funny, and kind of weird, to be in the world as both Zoe Ambler and Beth McMarlin.

I have a friend I met online under the name Zoe, and we now meet face to face every few months for a lunch date and she insists on calling me Zoe rather than my real name. I am simply her ‘Zo Zo’. And I love it.

A note on the kitties. All three are terrors and I think they are plotting something because suddenly all three are getting along really well. Definitely plotting.

So, thats the update for now.

Be sweet to one another, my darlings. ~mwah~

 


November was dismal

Howdy my lovelies!

November did not go over as planned. Not by a long shot.

NaNoWriMo was dismal, with 3 people in all showing up to the Write Ins at the library. Still a person better than last year. I’ve noted that the NaNoWriMo organization as a whole is taking a plunge in the past two years. No one is donating to reach goals, the NaNo staffers had to issue a statement that the fun times for MLs are not happening next year, and, participation is just kaput.

 

In personal news, my hubs damaged an aircraft tail rotor at work on accident. It didn’t come off the trailer right. Despite it being an accident, he was fired the entire month of November while the Union worked on getting him his job back. It was awful, his blood pressure was way too high and he was bored. He slept a lot. A plus side was that he went to every one of my NaNo events with me. That helped my anxiety. Thankfully, on November 28th, his Union representative came to the house and told him to pick up his badge and CAT card and report to work that night. He lost no seniority (25 years worth) and no change in pay grade status. The downside is that he has no pay for the month of November, and we are going to have a crappy Christmas. I have a deep freezer with food and food in the cabinets, so at least we wont starve, I hope.

 

I’ve worked on some short stories over NaNoWriMo, mostly horror, because you know I cant get away from the horror genre for some reason. I’ll post some up soon.

 

All my cat kids are doing well. BaxterMarie is still queen bee, Jeff is suspicious of everything and Lil Man hasn’t a care in the world unless its antagonizing BaxterMarie.

 

In the coming days I will be talking about some games I play. Well, two of them. I only play two. They are online browser based RP games, both pretty fun, one more-so than the other. Some shameless promotion. I mean, if you are an avid reader, why not take a look? Play around a little, write your own stories. I’ve posted plenty of my RPs to here and its fun. Its nice, because its not a tenacious as sitting down and working on a novel.

 

But, that is to come.

 

For now, be sweet, my darlings…<3

 

 

 


New Year with Cheezy Horror Flix

 

So I have been ringing in the new year with some of the most horrible Horror Movies ever. I have a rather large list, but just today I watched this series of movies, Bad Ben, Steelmanville Road (prequel) and Badder Ben.

 

They were just awful, yet enthralling. The f/x were way laughable. The premise was hilarious. They characters themselves were worth a chuckle because the acting was so terrible.

 

The reason I stuck it out on these horrid movies was because I am a die hard ‘found footage’ movie fanatic. I love found footage movies. I have watched quite a few of them, going off of a list I found online. Some of the best ones out there, however, are subtitled due to being foreign films. I hate having to read a movie…too much chance I will visually miss something important.

 

We had a lovely Christmas and New Years in my household, and over this past weekend I got to meet my daughters future in-laws. They are great, and we will come together to build a fantastic family.

 

I have been trying to get the cats to take a picture of them in my carry on bag and duffel bags. Normal, they would be all fighting for who gets to sit in them. Now, when I want a picture of it, they are blatantly ignoring them. Little turds.

 

Things seem to be nice, quiet and happy here of late, and I am really enjoying it. I sent a bunch of mail out in December. Cards and letters. I got a lot in return as well. I love my pen pals. And my email buddies. Its nice to have more than just the cats to talk to, because they always turn out ignoring me to lick various parts of their bodies, or looking at me in that ‘I am cat, I am judging you’ way.

 

More to come soon. Been working on a few writing pieces here and there. Gaming a lot. We are at war, so that’s always fun!

 

Be sweet, my lovelies.


When things just don’t go right…

tumblr_inline_ncwirn6Lr91sulaml

So the past few days have been a little annoying for me. Things just don’t seem to be lining up right and running smoothly.

 

My fancy Antique typewriter? Well, I had many a plan for writing fun with it. So, the significant other and myself sat down yesterday morning to clean it up and replace the tape.  Only, said significant other is the type who needs to know all about the inner workings of things. He broke something. The typewriter is now useless unless I can find someone local who can work on a vintage typewriter. I think I found someone, I mean, he advertises typewriter repair…but what is on his web-page a newer examples. We shall see come Monday. Until then, I have been kind of giving Mr I Have To Know What This Little Piece Of Metal Does is getting the silent treatment.

 

My NaNoWriMo projects. This year, I am feeling overwhelmed. Nothing has changed since last year, I just feel stressed for some reason. I am also torn between plotting and pantsing. I mean, I have 15 stories and outlines on my external drive to choose from, but do I want to go that route, or do I want to sit down on November 1st and just start typing with abandon?

 

Online gaming. My character and her husband have been planning a special celebration. It is being done in both the role play writing forum and in a live Discord channel chat this evening. I have had the role play writing thread started like two weeks ago, and there are only 4 participants out of 16. Its aggravating. Now, some people in are group just don’t have time to sit down and write a long form role play segment. However, I have given ample time to just make a single post of their character interacting. Tonight, we will see how the live event goes. I will be disappointed, and I’ll admit, pretty hurt, if people don’t come and play it out, seeing as they gather for nearly every other event, especially in Discord, where we can have music and live talk rather than just typing. We shall see.

 

We are actually getting cooler weather here in the south. I admit, I am torn. I miss my heat, however, the cooler temperatures are nice. Especially at night because all the cats want to cuddle with me in bed. The downfall of the cooler temperatures is the bugs. Most bugs go die or hibernate or whatever…except roaches. I am getting crazy amounts of roaches and water-bugs coming into the house. Now, its not uncommon for them to get in in the summer due to the cow field and crops on this little back road. But, I am getting a lot more than usual. The moment you open the door they fly in. And spiders…a lot more spiders. Thanks to the cats, we aren’t having any problems with field mice…yet. An assortment of wild critters have been trying to get into the garbage can lately, like possums and raccoons, but that’s pretty normal. The coyote packs are bigger this year, and making all kinds of racket in the back at the treeline at night. All that I can deal with…except the bugs. Ew.

 

I have a feral mama cat and a single kitten that I have been feeding. I place food on both the front and back porch every evening for them when I bring my rowdy bunch in. I know where the mama cat is keeping herself and the kitten during the day, and for hiding, but I would like to bring them into a safer area, closer to the house, with better conditions. I plan on having the two men in this house build the kittehs a shelter big enough for both mama and baby, blankets and to keep food and water inside for them. Its just a matter of getting the men-folk to get off their butts and doing it.

 

Well, I suppose I have whined enough for now. My next post will be a review of a show or two I’ve managed to sit down and watch. Currently I am watching the second season of Stranger Things. Love that show.

 

Be sweet, my darlings!

 

 

 


Even the uneventful can be funny…

zombie-hand-other

So, last night, in my gaming world, we were about to go kill this character who attacked the head of our family. This game is based on big Families and Clans. But, while waiting for the call to arms, my character, and her boyfriend, were just sitting together outside of the place were people get married or adopt others. We had been there because we attended several ceremonies in the family of the last few days.

So, while everyone was preparing weapons and locating the target, his character tied up mine and hefted her over his shoulders, walked into the place, and they got married. No one was the wiser until nearly 24 hours later…when the enemies newpaper announced the binding.

Oh, our family was shocked. They has been fighting along side of us all night and hadnt noticed. We never gave any hints that we were planning to wed any time soon to begin with. We just upped the timing. It was perfect.

So, when our family found out through a third party source…an enemies at that…oh, that was a hoot. I simply told them all thats what happens when two spies get together…we do stealthy things.

So that was entertaining. We killed the target, though he is trying to make a comeback tonight, so we are watching him to thwart him.

I play this game with a great group of people. My best friend being one of them. Her character is married to the head of the family. Its highly entertaining.

So, I am sorry to have such a short posting for you today, but I am tired, my back hurts, and I am still getting scornful mail for not sharing the wedding with everyone to attend…lol.

My back is killing me. I called and am scheduled to have a series of injections on the 17th, and I will be talking to my doc about fixing the herniated discs in my lower spine…my thought is that it might alleviate some of the pressure on my nerves.

Lets hope.

Be sweet, my darlings!


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