Saturday, March 26, 2016

End of Inactivity

First off, thanks to my friends and followers who continue to ask, no, DEMAND that I remain current with my blog and keep things updated for you guys. I appreciate the love.

I can happily announce that the Age of Inactivity has ceased and I will resume posting on a regular basis here. This woeful period of nothingness cannot easily be blamed on any one thing, but I can mention a few of the reasons and know you will understand. Chiefest of excuses is my attention to my family's needs over the last year. We moved to Denver and everything for us changed drastically. Some of you might be thinking, "A move? That is fodder for bloggers!" And I agree, it should be.

However, I was forced to limit my engagement with my creativity at the time and my paid writing contracts took precedence. Blogging felt like a waste, so I desisted.

Anyway, things are once again on a bit of a shift here at Castle Weeden and it has become clear that I should be keeping myself out there a bit more than I have been. Expect much more to come from this blog in regards to my current writing projects. These include two awesome, massively exciting video game projects and a *drum roll please* novel concept with my co-writer, Kayla Vanderbilt.

Be on the look see, eh?

~M. A. Weeden

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

New Home, New Jobs, Death of Dark Link

Recently, some friends have mine have asked why my blog lies dead in the sand. The answer is the usual: I haven't had time! The last few months have seen the start of not one but two new paying writing jobs, a huge move from Missouri to Colorado, and of course access to the best internet I've ever had. The latter item of that list means that I've been playing a lot of Halo and Destiny in my free time instead of typing my madness here.

But I should keep this thing going, shouldn't I? I still get daily hits on the content I've already posted. So, my break is officially over.

To answer some more questions that I've been asked recently:
  • Yes, I will do more Captain America Spotlight posts. 
  • Yes, I can record some Destiny videos to put on here. But I don't have any fancy recording software, just the Xbox One's Upload feature. Still, I'll be posting stuff with my Warlock here and on my Youtube channel. 
  • No, I probably won't be posting any snippets of any prose any time soon. 
  • Yes! The move to Denver has been awesome so far! My family is doing great!

More News!

Okay, so one of those new jobs I mentioned above is - and get ready for this - as the new writer of the Blade Bunny web comic!

Okay, so it doesn't pay as awesome as my current position as a contracted story writer for 3D Brothers but Blade Bunny is a fun, exciting, and amazing opportunity to work with comedy and a strong female lead character. As a huge Joss Whedon fan, this is something I simply couldn't pass up.

Speaking of that 3D Brothers gig, I obviously can't reveal a whole hell of a lot considering how creative work is necessarily in the dark at the onset, but when I can you should expect to see links-a-plenty here and on my twitter and facebook accounts. The game we are making is a survival/horror that you aren't going to want to miss. I promise.

Death of Dark Link; Anime game is a-Go-Go

Work also continues with Bio's Remnant Gaming. Though, sadly, not with Dark Link. A partner of mine seemed to have lost faith in the project or perhaps even in me and was unable to continue working on the project. We had an investor with money on the table waiting for a demo, but that is the catch 22 of this business isn't it? We needed money to pay our artist for that demo but our investor needed to see the demo before he'd drop the cash.

Without the original artist, Dark Link can't be done the same way. I'm still sorting out how to proceed with the project, but there are details about this recent let down that make it hard for me to return to the same situation as before. Likely, if this project were to respawn from its untimely demise, it would be under a new moniker and a new artist.

Now, the Anime Game - which shall still remain nameless - is fully underway as I finally have my team put together and working toward a demo. We have an artist, a sound guy, a programmer/writer, the license, and an awesome premise. This is also more of a comedy than anything else which is always fun! I'll let you know when there is any new information or a website available!

Gaming! MCC Woes, Destiny Rocks, Halo 4 Clan

Right, so if you are my friend on Xbox Live, you've seen me doing just about nothing except for Netflix, Destiny, and Halo 4.

I have played some Halo: Master Chief Colllection, but suffice it to say, all the people blogging about the mess that is Halo: MCC's matchmaking are completely correct. I won't do an entire post on it, but here is an example of an hour of playing time:

I'd played before some with my brother but the experience wasn't awesome. But hey, that is all matchmaking games sometimes. So I booted up the MCC again and went straight for the Halo 2 Anniversary ranked playlist. This time, I clocked the matchmaking process to see how long it took me to get into a match. Unsurprisingly (but still frustrating) is that it took six minutes from the time I entered the playlist to the time the map finally loaded and it was kill time.

A few minutes later, the brief match of Legendary Slayer BR on Lockout (5:05) was done and I was sent back to the multiplayer playlist selection menu. That's right, the playlist selection menu. Instead of taking you and some of the players you've been matchmade with into the next game in the playlist, you go back to the menu. I may be stupid, but how is that a "playlist"?

Anyway, it took just over 4 minutes to get into another match but this one was almost over. I was in that game for just over a minute. For the mathematician's out there, of my first 16 minutes or so of time, 10 were spent waiting. That is a 5/3 ratio that never felt like it improved for the rest of the hour. Actually, it was probably worse because TWICE the game crashed after matchmaking was done but before the map was loaded. GAH

Morale of this already too lengthy tale is to avoid the MCC unless all you want to do is have a blast playing the awesome Halo campaigns. Halo 2 has always been my favorite of the Halo campaigns and seeing it remastered made me as giddy as I was when I first played the game so many years ago. The campaigns all play extremely well after the sizable patches I've downloaded and I had a ton of fun revisiting Chief's story.

Okay, Destiny! I am looking for people to play with so add Lord Hexias to your Xbox Live friends list and let's do some strikes! I play Destiny on the Xbox One.

Halo 4 I am also looking for friends! Same name will do. I play this on the 360! I am part of a clan now called SKG or Sleeping Knights Gaming. We are chill but we are also pretty good at Halo as a squad. Send me a message and I'll see about adding you to the team. We play for a little most days but tend to overdo a little on the weekends. Haha.

Well, that is it for now! I'll post more soon!

Drop a comment and let's start a conversation! I love meeting new people so don't worry if I've never met you. See ya'll!


Go to the above link to become a Patron of the Blade Bunny pages I'll be doing! Just message Drowemos/Eric Kimball (the owner of the Patreon) and tell him that you would like to support my specific pages(Matt)!

To get caught up in Blade Bunny, start here:

And follow me on Twitter!


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Dragon Age: Inquisition & Assassin's Creed: Unity Under the Microscope [SPOILERS]

Finally back again to post and there is a lot to talk about in the world of gaming right now.

First off, I am pleased that another two games have been knocked off of the list I posted a while back here on my blog. Dragon Age: Inquisition and Assassin's Creed: Unity have occupied the lion's share of my playing time but I have to admit that a recent foray into EVE Online has been a source of fun for me as well.

I got my collector's edition of AC: Unity at my local Gamestop location and had more fun "unboxing" a game than ever before! The art book, music box, and massive Arno figurine were all epic additions to my gamer collection and the soundtrack has a noteworthy location in the car where we've listened to it frequently. My camera isn't working right but I'll see if I can get my wife's phone from her and snap a few shots of what I got from Ubisoft.


Assassin's Creed: Unity

Okay, so there is a lot of documentation and discussion about the issues surrounding Unity. Everyone who keeps up with gaming (even casually) has heard about the bugs, the game breaking crashes, and other problems with the launch version of this title. Before all of that hullabaloo emerged, I have to state (as many have) that I was having a major blast with this game.

Big time.

For one, customization was FINALLY meaningful in this installment and aided me in connecting with Arno more than any other Assassin in the franchise to date. But the biggest reason for my early enjoyment was definitely the city itself. Paris is alive in this game. Alive and beautiful. Crowds aren't just there; these things have minds of their own as they cry out against the King or rally to defend their neighbors from loyalist soldiers. Markets teem with action and buildings are finally the correct size (for the most part) when compared to the height of a human being. It was a grand experience, no matter the difficulty you might have had with a bug as you tried to traverse its streets.

The story and missions were solid, but not mind-blowing. I beat the "main story missions" fairly easily as Arno and never had my mind blown. I did enjoy the narrative, the voice acting, and the characters a great deal. Even more, I enjoyed the "present day" story that revolved around the assassins needing MY help to search Arno's memories and to help rescue other assassins trapped in various other memories (some even in World War II occupied France!).

Most importantly however, is that the combat was top notch. Despite having played every other Assassin's Creed game to date and being a master at the simple combat that had become a mainstay in the series I repeatedly found myself dying at the hands of skilled swordsmen or axe wielding brutes. This added a tension and almost desperation to many of my fights. It wasn't as much rhythm based as with Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor as it was timing based. That said, even after many hours of trying, it is still all too easy to mistime a parry and end up the victim of a vicious salvo or chain of attacks that leave you with no other option than to run for your life.

Multiplayer co-op missions were even better than I anticipated. I had a great time coordinating attacks and completing missions with my fellow Assassins via Xbox Live. I started my own club, recruited for my own personal little brotherhood, and was ready to enjoy what other multiplayer excitement Ubisoft had in store for me. But my game crashed. And, as you've likely heard, I can't even play Unity while my console's wireless internet is connected. The game just crashes every time I attempt to load my saved game.

With 25 hours into the game already, I am willing to wait until they fix things before returning to that game. I am hopeful that Ubisoft knows the definition of Very Soon and I can play FarCry 4 while I wait:

"Many of you have asked about how Season Pass owners will receive their free gift offer and we will have an update that outlines the process in greater detail very soon. For now, we can tell you that we’re working on a web-based solution for submitting requests and distribution fulfillment."

Or I can continue playing:

Dragon Age: Inquisition


Now HERE is a game.

Where can I even begin? There is so much to do in this game that I can't succinctly break it all down for you in any readable fashion whatsoever. Essentially, however, everything you do in whatever area you happen to be exploring or going through matters. Whether it is collecting materials to craft with, slaying monsters/enemies to collect more crafting items and quest items, questing, entering random caves in the wilderness, pursuing a lengthy conversation with a new acquaintance, or any of the many other things you can do in this game, the statement I am about to make remains true. All of the little things and each of the big things all go directly toward your Inquisition's influence or power and/or the members of your party.

You've probably heard about the story and the gameplay of Inquisition from other sources, so I just want to focus on why this is the best RPG I've played in a long time and why it will be the measuring stick for all other RPGs that come out for my Xbox One. 

Customization. Yes, this one thing alone is the reason I keep coming back to for why I am so immersed in the game and why I am enjoying it so much. I'm not talking just about the appearance of my Inquisitor or the skill trees I have access too (there isn't a TON of depth in the latter) but how everything works together to aide me creating a custom experience that is all my own.

To explain, I'll use Cassandra and the rest of my party as examples. I am playing a Dalish Rift Mage, so my character is definitely all about dps, aoe (area of effect), and making enemies pay for trying to get close enough to use melee against me. Naturally, this means I need a good tank. Cassandra fills the role nicely thanks to the Vanguard skill tree as well as some of her Templar abilities.

Most RPGs stop pretty much right there. You can buy them some thick armor, a good shield, and a powerful one handed weapon but that is all you can do to improve a character's tanking abilities aside from magical buffs or helpful potions. In Inquisition, you get those potions and buffs but also the ability to customize not only what kinds of gloves and boots are attached to Cassandra's armor but the material everything is made from. Picking the types of metal, cloth, and leather, for example, changes the types of bonuses she receives from her armor. For my game, I loaded up on health and guard boosts that aide her abilities, skills, base armor, and magical buffs in being the best tank I've ever used in a Dragon Age title.

Add in Vivienne, Varric, and Reyna (my elf) and the possibilities feel endless. I crafted Vivienne's armor and weaponry to benefit her as a Knight-Enchanter. She can get close with her magical blade and tear demons apart or sit back and buff/protect/revive the party when things get hairy. Her armor helps her survive even in a thick melee thanks to the deep level of customization afforded me.

Next up in customization is the option to strategically plan ahead of conflicts by giving orders to my party. I can make sure everyone does almost exactly what I want in just about any given situation simply by "pre-programming" their tactics from a handy little menu. Furthermore, I can pause the combat and give orders on the fly if those preplanned tactics are failing.

All of this together makes for an experience that feels solely mine. Not everyone plays RPGs with the goal of immersion being a focus, but for those like me who do, this is a title you don't want to skip.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Dark Link Trailer & Character Information!

We've done it!

And by it, I am of course referring to the Official Teaser for our new IP called Dark Link. After the video, I'll explain in this blog post what you are seeing and why you are seeing it. Enjoy this first look at an exciting new title from Bio's Remnant Gaming.

The Art and Animation of Larc Muckenmuller

The bit of gameplay footage you see in this brief teaser is the proverbial star of the show. Our Art Lead - the aforementioned Larc - did an amazing job of creating this Mephistopolian backdrop and bit of character work. You can clearly see Kaela moving to hide behind what we call a "Boo Box" before she is suddenly transformed into a rather ghastly monster named Rendark. He proceeds to launch himself at a second "Boo Box", destroying it and releasing the soul of some unfortunate creature from its prison.

And that is all you get for now. I know, the pixel art is better than anything many of you have ever seen (certainly surprised the hell out of me) and the world is definitely interesting, but I have to admit that we are still VERY early in the process of making this game. This footage wasn't even done in an engine. We have a long way to go.

This teaser was born out of the necessity of having something for us to take to Web Summit 2014 in Dublin, Ireland. We can show off our ideas and where our creative headspace is at while also displaying some of the work of our remarkably talented staff. This should go a long way in helping us secure some capital moving forward.

This month is already shaping up to be an exciting one, and not just because my birthday is tomorrow. We will find out over the next few weeks what exactly Bio's Remnant Gaming is and what we are going to have the resources to do as a company. I am excited by what is happening and can't wait to start proper development on this amazing game (as well as others!). Be on the lookout for some pretty meaty updates over the next few weeks.

And, as always, good luck!


Monday, October 27, 2014

Dark Link Has a Website & Logo!

I am too excited for words, so here is a picture that helps explain why.

We have a logo! A cacophonous round of accolades for Janece D. Winder and the amazing work she did for us on this image. You can clearly see the silhouettes of Rendark and Kaela and sort of get a sense for what might be coming with our game in the near future.

The game trailer/teaser/gameplay video is nearly completed as well. I am super excited to post that up and talk about it as well. Larc Muckenmuller is doing epic work for us on that front with pixel art and animation. I feel pretty lucky to have such a great team around me helping me get this thing done and out there.

Here is the link to the site:

Also, we have launched a community with the site as a means of providing everyone with a way to give feedback and hang out with those of us at Bio's Remnant Gaming who are involved with the project. Seriously, we actually do want the feedback of the gamer community. We are still really early into the development phase so your opinions and comments now would go a long way toward helping us craft an experience that would be fun and accessible for as many gamers as possible.

You can access that community here:

Any questions about Dark Link? Bio's Remnant Gaming? Me as a Designer? Make an account there and fire away. :) I look forward to seeing you there!

PS: If it won't hurt, do you mind sharing this blog post with everyone you know? Let me know if you've been spreading word about my blog and I'll tweet and share your link out to my followers in return. Thanks in advance!