Current Projects (last updated 11/24/2018)

Project I: The First King of Montana (70% complete)
Description: A post-apocalyptic novel. Washington D.C. has been destroyed in a war of independence waged by Mexico allied with rebels in the Southwest. Jack, a marine returning to Montana in defeat, finds his state in the grips of tyranny and anarchy. He is forced to confront a dysfunctional democracy and unite a fragmented populace including Amish, Mayans, white-supremacists, and assorted nihilist thugs—and give them something to believe in now that comfort is a distant memory.

Current Status: (1) first draft outline complete, (2) first draft manuscript 30% complete, (3) second draft outline 95% complete, (4) second draft manuscript 30% complete.

Project II: Mist and Legend (30% complete)
Description: A fantasy role-playing game, adaptable for both adults and children ages 5 and up. It emphasizes themes found in ancient epics, medieval legends, and fairy tales, including trials of courage, chastity, charity, and other traditional virtues. Enchanted forests are preferred to dungeons, and skirmish-level combat (which is 60% of the game for most mainstream RPGs), is still present but de-emphasized in favor of moral challenges, kingdom building, romantic plotlines, and political intrigue. I've been playing the children's version with my kids, and they keep asking for more!

Current Status: (1) An abbreviated draft of the rulebook, for my own use as a Game Master for children, is complete and being playtested. I am also working on (2) easy-to-use rules for world-generation, (working version mostly complete) (3) the adult-oriented rules, which are drafted but need more testing by myself, and (4) a complete set of tables for story elements, which are mostly complete for the children's version.

Project III: The Cultivation of Wisdom/A System of Metaphysics (26% complete)
Description: A non-fiction philosophy book. I am trying to lay out a full system of philosophy. My previous outline called for the following chapters: “Cosmology,” “Philosophy,” “Logic,” “Physics,” “Systems,” “Evolution,” “Ecology,” “Civilization,” “Mysticism,” “Metaphysics,” “Story and Myth,” “Religion and Value.” Fifty pages following this outline have been written, however I am currently in the process of reorienting the project to focus on explaining how to reconcile four systems of metaphysics: those of the Bible, Plato, Darwin, and modern cosmology.

 New, Experimental, and Unsettled Projects:

Sagas of Orthadel: A fantasy computer game. A hybrid of real-time strategy (like Age of Empires or Warcraft II), role-playing, and Tolkien's The Silmarillion.  The world will be complete with ecological interactions among plants, animals, humans, and monsters. There is no artificial "spawning" in this game, where monsters randomly appear from nothing. All organisms are produced by parents and inherit genetic traits (and sometimes magical powers). Humans can fall in love and marry, learn and teach skills, create artifacts and magical weapons, forge political hierarchies and alliances, or hire soldiers and wage war. Most of the basic rules have been playtested in board-game form, though it takes 5-6 hours to finish a game, and sometimes to play out the scenario to your satisfaction takes dozens of hours. Current Status: (1) Planning stage complete, (2) basic movement, collisions, landscape, and map creation engine complete, (3) basic static object logic (for things like trees and buildings) complete, (4) basic dynamic object logic (for things like swords and harps) complete, (5) basic logic for character stats, random sprites, actions, combat, reproduction, aging, and attacking complete, (6) pathfinding AI in progress. 

Board Games: I've invented and playtested a number of board games, some having gotten good-enough feedback that I'm considering publication. The Sage and the Tyrant is a cooperative eco-fantasy game where scattered heroes and teachers share skills and try to defeat rampaging, egg-laying dragons before they multiply and destroy all the villages and forests. The Sorceror's Apprentice is a cooperative card game based on Goethe's poem and the Disney cartoon of the same name.  Noir and Bloodline of the Eldar are semi-cooperative games where players are given secret game objectives that may or may not conflict. These four are the ones I'm most likely to publish (when I have time to focus on them) and they are all based around an eco-fantasy sandbox theme. If you are interested in play-testing any of these, please let me know and I'll send you a copy of the rules.

The Philosopher Who Recovered (working title): Several people have told me they'd love to see a fuller autobiography detailing the story I share on this blog: how I fell in love with the progressive, materialistic, value-free worldview, how the meaninglessness of my existence led to crisis after escalating crisis (both spiritual and intellectual), and how I finally found a more stable foundation in ancient wisdom and a more traditional spirituality. I attempted something like this a couple years ago, but it evolved into more of a history of philosophy than of myself. Someone told me that I should write the book for my kids, and I find this an inspiring thought, and writing this book is once more high on my list of projects to get started on.

Ivanhoe: A screen adaptation of Walter Scott's novel about medieval England. I've finished two drafts and have done some major revisions to enhance character development. If you're interested in taking a look, let me know.

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