OUR Rescue – Bringing Hope One Child at a Time

#OURrescue #Abolitionists #SlaveStealer #hope

In this blog post, I want to discuss a more serious matter. There’s a man, Timothy Ballard, who has become one of my most recent heroes. He’s dedicated his life to rescuing the innocent from sex slavery. He used to do this for the CIA, participating in sting operations. But bothered by all those he couldn’t rescue, due to limits in the CIA’s  jurisdiction, he left and founded the oranization, OURrescue. OUR stands for Operation Underground Railroad.

Here’s a video about one of their recent successes:

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There’s also a documentary in the works about Tim and his mission called The Abolitionists, from the producer of Schindler’s List, Gerald R. Molen:

If any of this tugged at your heartstrings, like it did with mine, support them at ourrescue.org

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WereDragon Melee Kickstarter Postponed

@kickstarter #weredragon #dragon #crowdfunding #gamedev #boardgame

Thanks to all those who’ve helped support my WereDragon Melee board game on kickstarter. However, the time has come for me to cancel the project for the time being as I gear up for a bigger and better launch in January (more specific date TBD), utilizing what I’ve learned from this one to be more prepared for success. So let’s do this! Blow it out of the water in January!

In the meantime, I’ve setup an email list here. Sign up if you’re interested.


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Too Much Time on Yer Hands

#angryoldman #sistinechapel #minecraft #finalfantasy

You know what one of my pet peeves is? The phrase, “They got too much time on their hands.” People commonly say this about the all manner of crazy things you find online on youtube and elsewhere.

The phrase implies that if you found time to come up with this clever or impressive sort of thing, entertaining to watch, then shame on you. You should have been too busy with the mundane of life to accomplish it. Ba humbug to fun!

Several years ago, I took an art history class at BYU. As we went through the modern era, one of the works we discussed was an urinal the “artist” put on a pedestal, displayed at an art museum, and signed with his own name. My initial knee jerk reaction was to be off put by this. Later, in assignment for that class to write on what art is to you, I argued against why this urinal isn’t art.

But you have to give it to this guy for how significantly he influenced art history in such a simple way. The area that most of his creative energy went into was defending what he did as art.

However, I think the principals behind my arguments against it do have merit, but maybe not so much for determine whether or not something is art, but rather, at what level should something be admired. Arguing “what is art?” long enough turns it into a ridiculously moot point. But, on the other hand, who can deny the contrast behind putting a toilet on a stand and creating the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel? Four years of strenuous back breaking work laying several feet from the ground with poor lighting, using the frustrating medium of fresco.

Was this worth doing? Well, centuries later, people still admire and are awe-inspired by this iconic work, travelling around world to take in the impressive sight. So you tell me.

Now, time to play the devils advocate. There is a flip side to all this that needs mentioning. I came across something just barely, the got me pondering on this subject again, prompting this blog post. A fan took two years to meticulously recreate a gargantuan Final Fantasy mod of a location called Midgar in Minecraft blocks.

Now, it could be argued that this was a worthwhile way to spend two years, but this is not my point. The point is to raise the pertinent question, “Where do we draw the line in exploring our creative passions?” When is too much, too much? On one hand, time, effort, hard work dedication is a big part of what makes something impressive and valuable, but on the other, things can get to the point where it’s much more justified to consider it a complete time waste. Though it’s perhaps highly subjective where to draw the line.

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WereDragon Melee Progress 2

KS Cover copy#tabletop #gaming #dragon #crowdfunding @kickstarter

[Update: The Kickstarter is Live!]

Here’s where things are at now, regarding my WereDragon Melee tabletop game, launching on kickstarter Oct 7 (SPREAD THE WORD and join the facebook event).

First, I’ve had more opportunities for game testing and refining, ironing out the kinks. Things are coming along.

I’m getting a quote from a different manufacturer than the one I was originally looking at. The first one was good and reputable, but not really a good fit for kickstarter projects.

The new one I found will allow for 500 minimum order which is much better, allowing for a substantially lower goal, though I’m still waiting the quote. Also, they provide a warehousing and ordering service which will make getting games out so much easier than if I had to do that myself. They do prototyping too, so I wish I found them earlier.

Fortunately, this is a company that moves much faster with the quoting process than the last one, so my kickstarter can still be on schedule for Oct 7.



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WereDragon Melee Progress

KS Cover copy#tabletop #gaming #dragon #crowdfunding @kickstarter

I mentioned in my last post that I’m making a tabletop game called WereDragon Melee inspired by my WereDragon stories. I plan to launch a kickstarter for it Oct 7.

Things are coming along. I hired a sculpture to design the game tokens. Her sketches are promising. I completed more of the artwork for the different components, increasing in my photoshop skills as I do so.

I’ve done some game testing mainly with my roommate and some of his friends. I’m recognizing now that perhaps the most thing that needs to happen between now and Oct 7 is much more extensive game testing.

I’m contemplating how to most effectively reproduce the tiles for the game so that I have more prototypes to work with for testing. The prototype I currently have was cut out by hand, extremely tedious. I’ll look into what services copy shops have and that to make this more efficient.

In the meantime, regarding the WereDragon novel, I’ve got people looking into it for professional editing. They are kindly and willingly offering me their services for free after learning about my circumstances. So very generous of them.

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