Chance to Support Indie Gaming

Aim for the head in the upcoming indie FPS, Deadly Walkers — due out Fall, 2013.

I’ve been following the progress of Deadly Walkers for a while now, ever since game developer Francesco Calvi contacted me to see if I’d be interested in some cross promotion.

Specifically, he asked if I’d be willing to create a series of ‘newspapers’ for the game detailing how a zombie outbreak might progress in London. It seemed like a neat project, and I’ve always wanted to work in video games, so I accepted.

The first two newspapers are out now:

2 Day Before Plague (Click to Enlarge)
1 Day Before Plague (Click to Enlarge)

You can read the full story as it’s released (there should be a new edition today) by clicking HERE.

And now YOU can support indie gaming too. They just started their kickstarter campaign this week, and for only $10 you’ll get a full copy of the finished product. Check out their full list of pledge incentives at the Deadly Walkers Kickstarter.

Support indie artists!

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Something Violent This Way Comes

Okay, here goes. We can all agree that senseless gun violence is atrocious and that mental health needs to be addressed in our country. Don’t worry, this is not a rant about the Second Amendment. It is, however, a rant about the revitalized call to ban violence in movies, television, video games, and other forms of entertainment.

Since some of my writing leans toward the violent, I take exception to this argument. Full disclosure: one of my stories involves a mass shooting. Yet it’s obviously  a parable about white collar helplessness, not a story encouraging senseless gun violence.

Maybe that’s why “violent books” get a pass in this proposed boycott. Maybe it’s understood that books are meant to teach us something, whereas videogames put your finger behind the trigger.

Yeah, well so does INFECTED, my survive-your-own zombie apocalypse book. It puts you at the heart of adrenaline fueled deplorable choices. But it’s adult entertainment, and I think that should be the point. How about instead of banning adult entertainment, we call for parents to take an active role in screening their children’s entertainment?

“I think you know there’s violence in the world, tragedies happen, blame the playmakers. It’s a Western. Give me a break.” –Quentin Tarantino, on the violence in Django Unchained. According to BBC, he’s tired of defending his films each time the US is shocked by gun violence.

Violent entertainment has never once made me fear for my life. Nor has it made me consider taking the life of another. Just as playing tug-o-war with your dog won’t make him want to rip out your jugular. Riding a roller coaster shouldn’t make you want to jump off a cliff. In fact, it should do the opposite. The itch should be scratched.

I think I missed this episode when I was a kid.

So here’s the point: If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. And if you don’t think your kids should watch it, don’t let them. But don’t try to ban any forms of expression or entertainment. Please. We have rating systems for a reason.

 

I Found Your Christmas Present!

A zombie pandemic, the gift that keeps on giving:

A very special THANK YOU to Mike Beeson, the talented filmmaker who put together this trailer. Yes, INFECTED is now out in paperback. I know I said it would be out for Thanksgiving, but I wanted to make the announcement when I released this spot. The more astute of you may have noticed that the paperback has been linked to the Amazon page for a couple of days now.

Now go bring some Christmas joy to the zombie lover in your life and Get INFECTED!

Mind-blowing Fiction

Looking for something to blow your mind? Look no further.

Reading the new INFECTED paperback has been known to kill boredom.
Use at your own discretion.

Only 3.5 days left in the giveaway. In case you missed yesterday’s announcement: INFECTED will be out in paperback just in time for Thanksgiving, and to give “Thanks!” to all my readers, I’m hosting a giveaway. And in the Holiday spirit, share share share this link: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter to win at Rafflecopter or on Facebook.

The Paranoid Gamer reviews INFECTED

Product Spotlight: INFECTED by James Schannep
Posted October 2, 2012 by Daniel Flatt in Paranormal

If you’ve ever known the thrill of choose your own adventure books that were popular back in the 80’s and 90’s, then you’ll be familiar with the concept behind INFECTED. You are the main character and it’s up to you to put all your pre-made zombie apocalypse survival plans you made with your friends to the test. As you make your way through the story you’ll be asked to make choices at certain junctures that will change your overall plot within. The book is a more adult take on the idea though, your character will meet bloody and violent ends throughout the experience with a wrong decision. Most importantly and complimentary to the author, your choices never feel too forced with more sweeping impacts to the narrative than most choose your own adventure books.

Three unique overall storylines are presented throughout the book to mixed results. Each of them are pretty well written with the author’s previous military experience peeking through in certain points and legitimately witty references to pop culture throughout. However there are elements that just aren’t up to snuff pacing and plot wise to the rest of the book. In addition, characters often come off as one sided caricatures, which honestly in this type of book I’m not sure how much more development they could have seen with so many different balls to juggle. Both these issues add up to my one real problem with the book. Throughout the experience, in most cases, the narrative feels slightly rushed and you’ll go from in danger to saved or dead within the space of a good night’s reading. At times the swift pace is certainly appreciated and there are moments that will legitimately get your blood pumping, I just wish there was more time I could have spent with every story.

Honestly, that’s a compliment in and of itself as I just wanted to spend more time reading and making choices in this setting. The book, while perhaps not the next Lord of the Rings, is immense fun and can be enjoyed time and time again due to the variety of endings and branch offs that explore different facets of an overarching narrative. Some of the multiple narratives even weave in and out of each other and you often see hints of one story in another. Death scenes, usually a sentence or paragraph in most of these types of books, are well written and usually leave you wondering up till the last page if you’re going to meet your end. Impressively enough, even though the characters aren’t the most fleshed out, you’ll find yourself caring more about them and even more so your fate, simply because you are more invested in the story. I can proudly say that my first read through was met with unmitigated success as I survived the zombie apocalypse without dying once, and with my morals mostly intact. Maybe not so much the second time.

Even more impressive, and I never thought I’d say this with a book, is the fun you can get by adding in more people to the experience. I’ve read this aloud with friends and my wife and it’s simply a blast to play through together and make choices. There’s even a drinking game featured on his website that entails ways to turn the book into a real party experience and, though I don’t typically enjoy that sort of thing, it certainly seems like it would be lots of fun.

As a gamer I doubly appreciate the interactivity and re-playability (re-readability?) that this form of writing brings to the book. Before now I’d almost forgotten about the appeal of choose your own ending (or in this case called click your own poison), but it was back in full force with this book, and with the more mature themes, was even more impressive. It’s worth noting that the addition of using an E-Reader means you can click through the choices and go directly to the consequences of your actions instead of searching for a page; something I never would have thought of myself before this, but that makes the experience even easier to enjoy. I’ve gone through all three storylines now and comparing my stories to my brothers, who read through at the same time. Even though we saw some of the same storylines, ways we navigated them were different and we got to know more about certain characters or see more aspects of the full plot because of our choices. There’s even a website you can share zombie apocalypse survival stories with other readers if you so choose.

INFECTED is quite simply a welcome evolution to an old format that just begs to be enjoyed. The zombie apocalypse is an instantly identifiable and enjoyable setting to many, especially us gamers who have spent hours in conversations with friends about the topic. With the internet being leveraged to share stories, the e-reader bringing even more accessibility, and the more mature theme; James Schannep has truly managed to bring choose your own adventure into this generation. The future looks bright for this subset genre of books and I can’t wait to read more from this promising author, in this format or any other.

If you’d like to purchase this book you can do so at this link.

via Product Spotlight: INFECTED by James Schannep- The Paranoid Gamer.

Get INFECTED!

Whether you know it or not, this is the day you’ve been waiting for. This is the day I unveil the latest and greatest in storytelling technology. With INFECTED, the flagship book in the Click Your Poison series.

What is Click Your Poison? It’s the first gamebook series (a book in which YOU are the hero, and your choices directly influence the story’s progress) aimed directly for adults. What series like Choose-Your-Own-Adventure, Give Yourself Goosebumps, and Fighting Fantasy (UK) pioneered for children’s books in the 1980s & 90s, CYP now does for those fans who’ve grown up but still crave more.

Except now, as an ebook, you simply click your choice and the story flows forward for you. No flipping pages.

The first CYP book, INFECTED, allows you to answer the crucial question of our time–Will YOU survive the zombie apocalypse? Jump into the book right at the outbreak of a global zombie pandemic to learn how you’d fare against the walking dead. With over 50 possible endings and 3 unique storylines, you can pick up INFECTED a few minutes at a time on your smartphone, or dig deep on your tablet or PC… finally, a book with replay value.

I hope you have as much fun reading it as I’ve had writing it. The book’s PR campaign kicks off in the next couple of weeks, so this announcement is a special head’s-up for my blog’s community. Be the first of your friends to “Get INFECTED!”

Where to buy:

PS — Drop me a note, let me know how you like it!