The year is 1969: In the small city of Glennville people tend to stay to themselves. Neighbors matter. The streets, even in the poorest of neighborhoods are safe for children to travel on their own: Play kick the can after dark. But the city has its secrets, and those secrets have their dangers.
Under the city, a series of caves cut from the limestone by the Black River attract visitors, children, some have entered and never come out; maybe lost, maybe part of Glennville’s secrets.
Something else lives in the cold, dark caves. Something some have suspected but refuse to believe. After all, it’s 1969. Things are rational, safe.
Kyle Stevens in the Sheriff of Jefferson County, his office is in Glennville, since Glennville is the seat of Jefferson County. He likes his job. He likes the city. He came from Manhattan where crime was much worse; here he might have a serious case once every few months. Sure, even small places like Glennville have their share of run-aways, bar fights, mysteries, but in the summer of 1969 the body of a young woman is found dead in a weed choked field, and Kyle’s world changes forever…more
Once we had liberated a truck, it had still been slow going until we reached El Segundo Boulevard. The stalled traffic had been much lighter there, and we had been able to drive part of the way by cutting into the parking lots of fast food restaurants, that dotted almost the entire length of the highway. We had followed that to Willmington, and picked up another truck that had seen better days. Getting that truck had not been a problem; there were several used car lots along the road. We had used the parking lots to swing around the worst of the traffic, and that had worked well until we had intersected Compton Boulevard. It was hopelessly packed with stalled traffic. We had left the truck, which had sounded as if it was close to dying anyway, and struck out on foot again. Lana led the way as we cut cross lots through Compton Woodley Airport.
Crossing the dead airfield had been unnerving for both of us. The runways had cracked, and either lifted skyward, or tilted down into the ground. Blackened skeletons of large aircraft dotted the airfield. Most of them were so badly burned that we had been unable to tell what they had been before. I thought a couple of them may have been military aircraft, but as badly twisted as they were it was impossible to be sure.
Luggage, some burned, some untouched, was scattered across the airfield in every direction, and many of the suitcases were burst, with papers and clothing scattered everywhere along with other personal effects. There were bodies there too…
When I have time to spend I like messing around with 3D creations, game making stuff. I think I have tried most of the contenders and it comes down to what you like in most cases. I say that because many of us just want to have some fun and never intend to publish a video game. This page is not meant to be definitive in any way except as it pertains to my own experience.
Game Makers: 3D RAD
There are dozens of Game Makers out there, but I have seen nothing at all that allows you to build, distribute, play, and comes with pre-made game modules you can both learn from and customize to suit your needs like 3D RAD. I know, Unity, Unreal and the list goes on and on. Yes, they do have game creation systems, but they do not allow you to publish unless or until you purchase an expensive license. So, you can go ahead and create something, but unless you intend to pony up some cash you cannot publish or share it.
3D RAD allows you to use it to create games and you can do whatever you wish with those games. Publish, sell, share, it’s your choice. It also comes with dozens of game examples that work. It is easy, with a little work, to customize those games, add your own 3D models, skins, pieces and make something fun and maybe even profitable. It is also completely free.
Game Examples and Abilities include:
First Person Shooter
For me the choice was clear over 10 years ago when I actually purchased 3D Rad. It is now completely free.
While this is great, there are some things that cause people to stumble. First, learning a system, any system, even if it has projects and pre-sets to show you how to do it is difficult. It is time consuming. I have found myself investing mass amounts of time in other game creators to learn them only to find that, in the end, I need a license, or I have to pay for content to use, something along those lines. 3D RAD has been free for quite some time. I know of no plans to take it back to a retail product. So, you shouldn’t get surprised down the line somewhere and find it suddenly has to be purchased, or you need to pay for a license to continue using it. So the time you invest is worthwhile in that respect.
3D RAD uses the direct X file format for the 3D models it uses. There is no modeler that was purpose built to model in the Direct X format. Yes, I have seen a few that claim to be able to do it, but I have tried them, and they don’t get the job done, they are buggy, or they are works in progress. If I ever see one that actually works and has the features, you need in a modeling program I’ll list here. And that doesn’t mean it has to be free. Some things I will list here are not free.
So, there are no Direct X specific modelers. However, there are Modelers that can do the job. You can go right to the top and spend the money for a top-of-the-line modeler, or you can search the internet and risk contaminated files to try to find something that will do the job. Or you can do what I do, search for open-source projects that work.
Why Open Source? I use Open-Source modelers because I don’t have to worry about virus infection if I download them directly from Source Forge, GitHub or the projects own website. That might seem excessively cautious but after getting infected files several times I just don’t try anything else. And some of those infections were serious enough to make me completely shut down, wipe the drive and reformat completely. Even the low infection stuff copies files to your browser or hard drive and then you have to spend time deleting them, if you can. Oh, and they offer, of course, to sell you some virus software that helpfully can take care of this adware infection. Why put yourself through it? Well, because, like me, you’re cheap and you still want to play. So, go the open-source route. Find a something that works, download it and you’re set.
3D RAD does not include a module to skin or UV models.
It used to be easier, in the old days, before 3D RAD went to Direct X models, to skin or UV wrap or UV Unwrap models. It used 3DS models and it had a module built in, small, but effective, that allowed you to do that. Simple, but it worked great. Not any longer. Now you have to find a program that will do that. It also has to be a program that can work with various model formats you might be using, and one that has the ability to save to the Direct X format.
In the old days I used a freeware program called Lithunwrap. Google it, you’ll find it. I won’t link to it because it is not supported by the author any longer. It is also one of those files you’ll find on those sites with spy or adware, or those helpful download managers that also add spyware and ad bars without your permission. You may find it on a site that is free of that garbage. If so, grab it. It’s invaluable as a demonstrative tool.
So, I looked at the shortcomings and then decided that I like it well enough to find some workarounds to help me to use it.
A Modeler was the first thing I needed.
Open FX is an open-source modeler that was abandoned several years ago and then bought back. It has its quirks, but overall, it is a solid modeler and very easy to learn and use.
It imports Direct X, 3DS, OBJ, LWO, DFX, and DAE. It does not export Direct X. You might ask, well, how does that help me to get Direct X into 3D RAD?
It exports DXF and 3DS both of which can then be faithfully converted to the Direct X format (With the included ASSIMP Library) and used in 3D RAD. I know, I have used it exactly that way. Get OFX: Free Version – Pro Version
You can find hundreds of thousands of models on the web that you can use. Some are royalty free; some are not. Many need a lot of work if you intend to use them in a video game where the poly count can be your enemy. You need something that looks good but has a low impact size wise. Most model downloads are not going to fit that bill. You will find yourself spending hours upon hours on the simplest model trying to reduce the size or change it to what you need.
The best thing to do is look at the models that are in 3D RAD already. Go ahead and open them in Ultimate Unwrap, save them to 3DS files and then open them in Open FX. Take a look at how they were constructed. In most cases you will see that most of the perceived detail comes from rendering, not the model itself. Once you realize that and see how simplistic the models that are used in video games actually are you will realize it is worth your time to make your own simplistic models. But, go ahead, download that truck or car and have some fun with it. I did, and it taught me that I would rather build my own most of the time. Take a look at the tutorials for 3D RAD and for Open FX . Learn those tools and you’ll be making what you want to make pretty quickly.
If you find anything on this page that is not as I said, or that has changed, please let me know about it. In the meantime, enjoy 3D Game Building!
I hope this helped. If you have something of use, you would like to list drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and if it’s good I’ll list it.
Star Dancer: Book one. Michael Watson is the captain of an inner galaxy cruiser: He Purchased Star Dancer right out of school and has spent the last twenty years running people and supplies to outposts within the confines of the Solar System and the established bases on the Moon, Mars and Saturn’s moons. The times are changing though and the big money is in the longer out of system runs. To do that he’ll need a crew and a bigger ship, but he has the ambition and the rest just might fall into place.
Necro: #writerscommunity #ebooks He had been lying half in half out of the gutter for the last several hours that he knew of. He had no idea how long before that. Days? Weeks? Weeks seemed wrong. Days, he decided. #Zombie #Apocalyptic #Horror
Borderline: Collected Short Stories Dell Sweet Borderline:
He had walked past the mouth of the alleyway twice already. There was someone in the car, just a suggestion of a someone, but someone nonetheless. Wasn’t there? Or was it his mind playing tricks on him?
The motor purred softly on the old Ford as it sat in the alleyway, the exhaust rumbling off the brick walls. Just far enough back so as not to attract a great deal of attention, but close enough that it had caught Billy’s attention. And the problem with that was it would not let him go. He had to know what the car was doing there.
I buried the Mexican just after sundown. I can’t say much about the sort of man he was in life, but I can say he was a strong man in death. The Moon has led my way and I’m on my way across the desert into Mexico…
Yellowstone We all think that Yellowstone is the remains of an extinct volcano. Except it is not true at all because the Yellowstone caldera is not extinct, it is active. There were, at one time, many active volcanoes on the North American continent. Yellowstone remains ready to blow at any time… #Super #Volcanoes
The sun is down all the way here. I went back upstairs. Nothing on the horizon. That time of evening when the sun is down and the moon has yet to rise. Very dark. Can’t see anything in any direction. Thought they must be all sleeping in the barn, but I heard some movements out near where I… Never mind what I did there, I’ll get to that soon enough, I guess. I only heard it once, but I know damn well it’s one of them… Some of them… https://books.apple.com/us/book/apocalypse/id963866999 #Apocalyptic #Horror #Zombie
Glennville #4 Alabama: She drew a breath another and suddenly the noise and smells of the world rushed back in completely. The screams became louder. Horns blared. The ground trembled under her feet as if restless. #Apocalypse #EndTimes https://books.apple.com/us/book/x/id1565456831
Necro Dell Sweet He had been lying half out of the gutter for the last several hours that he knew of. He had no idea how long before that. Days? Weeks? Weeks seemed wrong. Days, he decided. He turned his attention back to the roadway… #Zombie #Apocalypse https://books.apple.com/us/book/necro/id1238359802
Michael Watson is the captain of an inner galaxy cruiser: He Purchased Star Dancer right out of school and has spent the last twenty years running people and supplies to outposts within the confines of the Solar System and the established bases on the Moon, Mars and Saturn’s moons. The times are changing though and the big money is in the longer out of system runs. To do that he’ll need a crew and a bigger ship, but he has the ambition and the rest just might fall into place. A new navigator, the beautiful Petra starts him thinking in a new direction and not just about Star Cruising. Maybe the next few flights for Star Dancer will be her last and he and Petra can set their sights on bigger adventures out beyond the stars… #SCIFI #Space https://www.amazon.com/dp/B098WV18B5
I like to write lyrics and have done so for a very long time. There have been periods in my life where I was a serious musician and dedicated and then I shifted my attention to other things as time went by.
Even so, I never lost my love for music, or for writing songs and lyrics. That is where a great deal of the drive to build guitars comes from. An instrument I would like to use, something I will actually play and enjoy, and something that will make things easier for me or make creating music a better experience for me.
When it comes to an audio DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) I had no intention of investing huge amounts of time, effort and money into software if I didn’t have to. And, there I so much out there that it seemed impossible to me that I would be able to look it all over, download it, test it and come up with likes and dislikes, but over the last few years I have done that.
Most of what I chose to use comes from the Public domain in the form of Open Source or freeware. Let’s face it, if you want to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars there are plenty of places that will gladly take your money and sell you something. But if you are like me and you simply want to record your demos of your lyrics and music you can get by with a lot less. I won’t be the one to say that you might be able to squeak by all the way with this stuff, but there are some that do and I think maybe you could.
Audacity: Audacity is what I use to record with. It is free open source software you can download and use just as it is. Or, you can download it, search the Web for VST plug-ins, load it up and use it like that. There are hundreds of VST plug-ins that are free or open source that will work with Audacity. This software records from a Microphone input, Guitar cable to USB. It recognizes and takes audio feeds from your computers ports for Line In. When I am using this to record something from another piece of software I simply use a short patch cable and run my external front panel headphone jack straight into my front panel Microphone jack. I then start Audacity, find that input and I am set to record that audio. You can use a program called Jack that is supposed to be able to join other pieces of software to this audio interface, but I have never had luck with it, and an 1/8 inch stereo patch cord for less than a buck does the trick nicely. And, I am not recording more than one input at a time.
Once I have all of my audio recorded to Audacity I can open it in the window as above and blend or mix it. I can also try different filters on the audio, stretch it, shorten it, take care of latency issues, pretty much anything I want to do. When I am satisfied with it I can save that final render as a WAV or MP3 file, and of course I can store all the separate components as Audacity Project files so that I can do another, different re-mix at some future date.
Chord Pulse: Chord Pulse is a nice, easy to use piece of software. This is one of the tools I use to lay out my music. Every project I do starts here. If you have a basic knowledge of music structure, specifically chord structures, you can easily build your basic song here in just a few moments. I play out the song on one of my guitars, note the chords and changes, and then lay it out on the interface for chord pulse. I may have to play with it a bit, beats per minute, the style I want behind it, but once I have that locked down all I have to do is play it.
Chord Pulse adds a bass-line, drums and the basic chording, or complex chording if I take the time to lay it out. Whatever I lay out is what it will play, backed with a drum-line and a bass-line too.
Once I’m happy with it I can export it as a MIDI file, or save it as a project to use within Chord Pulse if I intend to add more pieces, lead, bass runs, that will be used within the song.
Once I have the basic file I can take the BPM into Hydrogen and beef up the drum beat, or save it as a MIDI and use it in LMMS and add more backing tracks to it, or swap out instruments via sound fonts or VST plugins. Really, the possibilities are endless. A note: Chord Pulse is not freeware, but in my opinion it is well worth the money at under $30.00 U.S.
LMMS: LMMS is a full, open source, as in free, DAW. All the things I use different software to do it can do in different ways. I use it more and more as I learn its capabilities, and I suspect a day will come when I use only it to create a song from start to finish because it has those capabilities.
It can read and play sound-fonts. It can assign a MIDI part to its own file and it will allow you to assign different instruments to that file. Was it a piano piece? Well you can make it a Sax piece, or a bass run, or even a drum beat. Let your head take it where you want it. You could very easily spend days playing with your MIDI import file and sequencing it until you get it where you want it. Or, you could spend a few moments with it and be satisfied.
It uses VST and LADSPA plugins. It reads MIDI and it saves to a native format for your project files as well.
I often use layers in my writing and sequencing, and LMMS is perfect for that. It is also a perfect looping tool. I can do a quick guitar piece, loop it, and have an entire backing.
Once I am happy in LMMS I will send it to Audacity via the patch cable and save it as an Audacity file.
Hydrogen: Hydrogen is Open Source Software. Free for all uses private and commercial. I use Hydrogen to supplement my drum beats, but it can be used for much more than that. For me it is easier to learn as I go, and so I stick to the features I want from the product and pick up the other bits and pieces as I go along.
Hydrogen is user friendly. You can put together a beat in just a few moments. For me, I bring my info over from Chord Pulse in the form of style and Beats Per Minute. That BPM is really all I need to get a beat going that will sync with my original beat nicely, and either supplant it completely or compliment it nicely. That’s it. When I am done I can save that beat as a MIDI and take it over to LMMS or chord patch it directly to Audacity. Either way I have want I want. I tend to save all the musical pieces I generate as MIDI files so that I can use the VST functions in LMMS and swap out instrumentation.
An idea I’m working on for a shipping container home. Two 40 x 8 containers deconstructed each side forms a welded wall of the new structure set on a base of sufficient depth for your area. #Shipping #Container #Alternative #Housing
“The Yellowstone caldera is going to erupt sometime in the next few days. Not a maybe, not an educated guess: It has already started. We have had a few small quakes, but the big stuff is on the way. Super volcanoes… Earthquakes that modern civilization has never seen… The last super eruption was responsible for killing off the human population some seventy-four thousand years ago: Reduced it to a few thousand. And that is not the biggest one we have evidence of.” https://books.apple.com/us/book/yellowstone/id1441067513
I stand with Ukraine. I don’t want another Vietnam, but are we really supposed to sit and watch this happen again? #war #WARINUKRAINE I wrote this song about war. Pass it on. It is true. Listen to the lyrics. #originalsong
Lyrics and Music copyright 2011 Wendell Sweet Rights administered by BMI: from the EP Frequent Walker
I got to get away from here… This life is taking a toll… Always living in fear… I am… Less than whole…
Blood is welling up in fountains… Shooting up into the sky… I’m going home to my mountains… There is where I’ll die…
Hook / W Xtro
let me have my country… Leave me to my home… Go back to your land of plenty… Leave this man alone…
You have come to kill the people… Watch them weep and moan… Come to kill our spirit… Why don’t you take yourself home…
Why don’t you take yourself home… Leave us to our war at home… Take yourself home… Leave this man alone… Leave me too… My war at home… … … …
Why I Wrote It:
When I was a kid Vietnam was all consuming. The hippies hated it (I wasn’t quite old enough to be a Hippy but I liked the drug, rock and Roll, sex culture), society was torn. Young men kept dying. The T.V. Was full of news stories. They followed the soldiers into firefights. It was very graphic and there were kids all over the place that sat in front of televisions and watched that violence.
I saw dead men, children. Children crying, burned, separated from loved ones. The song came from that, although, really, war is war. It could be just as applicable to what’s going on now in the middle east… … … …