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Updated Game Demo!

Today I am happy to announce that we have an updated version of our Of Mages & Pages: Teento’s Revenge game demo! The update includes updated graphics, an improved graphic user interface, new music that’s different from level to level, and a much needed new game mechanic: re-spawning obstacles! One of the most received constructive

Game Demo Tutorial

Teento the Gnome

Teento the Gnome

Today I am revealing the main antagonist to our Puzzle game, Teento the Gnome.

I’m not going to give many details other than that he is the gnome Marvin spoke about in the Midieville cartoon episode: Spellbook 10 (must be on a flash playable device to view the cartoon).

~Jason

Re-Creating Mario 64 in HD

mario64-unity-100576026-large

This is a very cool post (imho). Taking a legendary game from the Nintendo 64 glory days and reformatting it in an expansive 3-D environment is pretty stellar.  Nintendo_64

This post tells me two things;

  1. Nintendo is more than just a competitive company in the video game market, it is a beloved console with plenty of good feeling nostalgia reflected in its brand.
  2. The power that drew people to the old 64-bit games is still there, even to the point where people want to revisit and enhance the old to make it new, yet familiar.

I wholeheartedly believe, due to the quality product we are producing, that bodes very well for the acceptance and longevity of our game – “Of Mages & Pages”

#i’mexcitedforthefuture!

~S. LaDon Ware

Updated Game Demo!

Updated DemoToday I am happy to announce that we have an updated version of our Of Mages & Pages: Teento’s Revenge game demo!

The update includes updated graphics, an improved graphic user interface, new music that’s different from level to level, and a much needed new game mechanic: re-spawning obstacles!

One of the most received constructive comments from our previous demo was that the levels were too easy.  The implementation of re-spawning obstacles completely fixes this issue.  The re-spawn times vary from level to level depending on the level’s size and complexity.  Some of them have been designed to be quite difficult to demonstrate how key this new game play mechanic is (Andy would be proud).

New Demo Level SelectSo, if you played our demo before, I highly encourage you to play the updated version.  If you loved it, you’ll love this one more, if you thought it was too easy and boring, we’ve solved that!

Please don’t forget to give us feedback and tell your friends. As you can see by this update, your feedback does not go unnoticed nor does it go unheeded.

We hope to have a full build ready in the next month or so to submit to Steam Greenlight first, then Android’s Play Store, and a special version with added GamePad controls for Nintendo Wii U later this year!

~Jason

We’re Working Towards Publishing on Steam!

Steam

I was in church on Sunday when one of my son’s friends came up to me and said, “Mr. Cox, you need to get Steam so Trevor and I can play games together. My dad and I have it, and we play all kinds of games on it all the time. IT’S AWESOME!”

To which I replied, “As a matter of fact, we are working on publishing a game on Steam, so I have to get it.”

Now, you are all probably savvy enough to know what Steam is, but for those of you who don’t know, Steam is an internet-based digital distribution, digital rights management, multi-player and social networking platform that provides users with installation and automatic updating of games on multiple computers. In other words, it’s a web-based place where the cool kids go to hang out and play games.

Steam-GreenlightThe first step in the submission process is to submit your game to Steam Greenlight. This is a place where they open the game up for a limited time and allow Steam users to play, evaluate, and vote on your game. The games with the highest numbers of votes get to go on to a full release using Steam.

So, here comes the pitch to all of you loyal 3twins fans. Sometime in the next 30-to-45 days we will be submitting our game to Steam Greenlight. When we do, we need all of you loyal fans to go to Steam and play the game and vote for us to be released on Steam. We are so blessed to have you all as fans and thank you for your support of 3twins and, most especially, Of Mages and Pages: Teento’s Revenge.

~Tom

Creating the Final Frontier

Image from Google Images, 2015, soundonsight.org

In 1977 Paramount decided to resurrect the Star Trek franchise
for the big screen. Cutting edge special effects were made
over long periods to time, and it was filmed with expensive
analog cameras using professional Hollywood actors and extras.
It was shown in cinemas throughout North America for a limited
time using film delivered in metal canisters.

Fast forward to 2015 and the young people who sat in dark
multiplexes and watched the continuing voyages of the Starship
Enterprise and her crew are now able to produce their own
homages to Star Trek and release them to the entire world for people to watch when and where they want. Some are simple but some are so well-crafted that professional actors and writers have lent their support to the fan projects.

Here are some of the more notable examples of fan films made
not for a profit, but out of love of being able to create and
share stories. Feel free to watch, enjoy, and share with your friends!

  • Star Trek: Of Gods and Men spans multiple Star Trek stories in a time-hopping adventure. It was released in 2007, and the producers are currently working on a Star Trek TV pilot:

  • Star Trek: Prelude to Axanar is set Pre-TOS and was produced as a teaser to raise funds to create a full film:

  • Star Trek Continues is a series of films that’s a
    continuation of the original TV Series:

http://www.startrekcontinues.com/

  • Starship Exeter takes place at the same time as the original series, but with another crew on the USS Exeter:

http://www.starshipexeter.com/

The Importance of the Unexpected in Fiction

Four Movie Posters_Theater

For me, the most rewarding element of any fictional work is the unexpected. The most clichéd example, of course, would be a plot twist; but I find an odd character with a strange characteristic or weird ability to be great fun. In fact, if I were asked to name the most compelling reasons to experience a fictional work, fun would be at the top of my list. The more unique the situation, the more fun I have, and this holds true for a written, audio, video, or live production.

Since I enjoy the unexpected, I cringe at spoilers, and I know some of you share my feelings. So, to avoid any spoilers in this post, I am not identifying any specific stories. Then again, I know that others of you may not share my feelings and don’t really mind hearing the details in advance of being exposed to a specific work. For me, however, even hearing in advance the name of an actor I didn’t know was in a production is a disappointment. I find that if I get too much prior information about the actors, characters, or story elements, it actually pulls me out of the story and prevents me from getting “lost” in that story to the degree I desire.

And that brings me back to plot twists. A twist is a good literary device, but if someone even mentions to me that a story contains a twist, I find myself preoccupied with finding it, when I would rather not know in advance and be caught off guard and surprised. I see that “hook” as a sign of good writing. Then again, when a plot twist is either overused or telegraphed in such a way that you see it coming far in advance, that’s also a letdown for me.

Finally, there’s the importance of a story’s ending. And, no, contrary to what Hollywood seems to think, an ending does not have to be happy. It does, though, have to fit the story; and, personally, I have felt cheated by some pretty lousy endings that simply did not work at all.

What about you? Have you ever loved a story (in a book or movie) only to feel cheated by a lousy ending? I believe everyone has; so again, what about you? Moreover, what about plot twists? Which are your favorite and least favorite works of fiction because of the parts you did not expect?

Thanks for being here.

~ Chuck

An Interview With Our Very Own Tom Cox

944613_671580499537544_856682250_nSteve Surine: Today I’m interviewing Tom Cox, Senior Vice President, Chief Brand Officer, and retroactive Cofounder of 3twins.net. Tom, can you start by telling us a little bit about yourself?

Tom Cox: Sure, Steve. I was born and raised in Kalamazoo. My father and sister were active in the local theater scene, and my sister even went to New York and acted professionally. So I was bitten by the bug at a very young age and finally ended up lying about my age to get into the theater program when I was 12. The age limit was 13 and older. I have been married for 25 years to my lovely wife, Michele, and we have three sons: Jeremy, Keegan, and Trevor.

S: And how did you get involved with 3twins?

T: I first got involved with three twins when we were attending Lake Center Bible Church. I had met the “twins” while singing in choir there and coaching “Teens Involved” back in the late 90’s.

S: And from there we reeled you in, Bwahahaha!

T: Right! Something about, “Hey, can you help us with a little something called ‘Star Fetched’?”

404378_10151713906078573_1746481496_nS: I’d like to get more into your history with the company, but first, what is your current role?

T: I am Chief Brand Officer and most recently Sr. VP. I have also been voted in as a retroactive cofounder, probably cause I’m old, and pseudo paralegal. Wow, that’s lots of stuff.

S: It is! Up until this past Fall I was actually the senior VP, but life got a little crazy for me, and I had to step back a bit. So this is a new role for you. How are you adjusting to it?

T: It’s a lot to do, as you know. But I love the people, the company, and the mission, so it makes it all worth the effort. I love to see the reaction of people when I tell them I work for a comic and video game company.

S: You’re right; that is fun! Speaking of video games, what are some of the things that you’re working on for Of Mages & Pages, specifically?

T: Wow! Let’s see, I am currently working on the marketing strategy to get our company and game well-known in the gaming community. But the most fun I have is providing10489866_10152528804481023_1261133446770779762_n the voices for Gorno the Centaur and King Mathos. I actually got to name Gorno after we found out BoJac was taken. I named him after an old Dungeons and Dragons character I had!

S: And as our fans might know, these aren’t the first 3twins voices you’ve provided. Can you tell us about the other characters you’ve voiced? Does one of them stand out as your favorite?

T: I think the most fun I have had is doing the voice of the Narrator for Hatman and Indigo. I’ve also voiced the evil GPS and a couple of others I can’t remember. But the Narrator is the most fun.

S: As you mentioned earlier, you have a long history with theater. How and when did you get into voice acting specifically?

T: I think is was in the early 90’s and my dad got me a paying job providing the voice of a character called Pneumatic Man for a Parker Fluidpower Corporate training video. From there I started working with SoundStage 1 in Galesburg and the Corey McCrosky agency on several radio commercials.

547223_10151210048018573_826372202_nAfter I got started in the business, radio DJ’s started realizing they could get paid extra money for doing it themselves, so work dried up. It wasn’t until you guys came to me that I got back into voice acting.

S: You’re welcome!

T: Thanks! It is where my heart lies.

S: Jumping back to your job in the company, your responsibilities within 3twins have grown considerably in the last year. What have you seen in this company that has made you want to invest so much time and energy into it?

T: Good question. I think the main impetus was that there are so many great people, family really, who are very excited about what is going on. We are so close to releasing our puzzle game Of Mages and Pages: Teento’s Revenge and starting to make some money doing what we love. It’s great to see the culmination of all the creativity and work come to fruition.

10580139_10152725797548573_483282621952851968_n

S: What do see in store for 3twins heading into the future?

 

T: Right now I am looking at getting the puzzle game released and soon after the RPG. After that, we’ll have to see what the Lord brings out way. Hopefully, it will be more animation, cartoons, TV shows, and maybe even movies. I think it would also be really cool to have more comics.

S: Thanks, Tom! It’s been a pleasure!

T: Thank you, Steve.

Andy singing for Good Friday

Andy

Here’s another song that Andy loved to sing for Good Friday and/or Easter services at his church. Enjoy.

 

~Jason

Sell Your Old Comic Books and Retire—or Maybe Not

Action-1-Comic-Superman

Last month I wrote about the origin of comic books, and I also mentioned how comic books have become prized collector items. In fact, according to CNBC (2014), a copy of the first issue of Action Comics featuring Superman sold for $3.2 million on EBay in August of 2014. Anyway, since writing that blog post, I have been thinking about the value of earlier editions of comic books, and the other night I decided to conduct a little research. I have, after all, an inquiring mind, and I always feel compelled (maybe “obsessed” is a more apt description) to answer those little nagging questions that pop quite unexpectedly into my head at odd moments of the day or night.

The Most Valuable Comic Books to Collectors

So, what are the most valuable comic books? Well, according to Nostomania, which is considered the world’s most accurate online coin and comic book price guide, the most valuable comics in order of ranking are the following, with number 10 being the most valuable:

1. Captain America #1 (March 1941) $353,000Captain Amercia Comic 1
2. Action Comics #7 (December 1938) $405,000
3. Amazing Fantasy, introduces Spider-Man #15 (August 1962) $442,000
4. All American Comics, introduces the Green Lantern #16 (July 1939) $497,000
5. Detective Comics #1 (March 1937) $529,000
6. Batman #1 (Spring 1940) $530,000
7. Marvel Comics #1 (October 1939) $578,000
8. Superman #1 (June 1939) $712,000Amazing_Fantasy_15-Spider Man
9. Detective Comics #1, which introduces Batman (May 1939) $2,200,000
10. Action Comics #1, which introduces Superman (June 1938) $2,970,000 or more

Okay, now before you go rummaging around in your grandparents’ attic, you need to know that just because you find an old comic book hidden away up there in detective-comics-batmana dusty trunk, that does not necessarily mean you are going to become an instant millionaire. After all, according to CNBC, “Among the most expensive comics are the ones that tell the story of a superhero’s first adventures, but in order to carry a large price tag, they must also be in near-mint condition” (para. 2). Therefore, if the comics you find are dog-eared, water-damaged, torn, or marred in any way, while you may still be able to sell them to a collector, it’s highly doubtful that you will be able to retire and buy your own private island in the Pacific.

 

~Carol
Sources:

Action Comics (2015) Google Images: technobuffalo.com

Amazing Fantasy #15, introducing Spider-Man (1962) wikipedia.org

Captain America Comic #1 (1941) Marvel.com

CNBC (2014) The Most Valuable Comic Books. Retrieved from cnbc.com

Detective Comic (1939) robot6.comicbookresources.com

Nostomania (2015) The Most Valuable Comics in Order of Ranking. Retrieved from nostomania.com

A Little Bit Of Perspective

Fusajiro_Yamauchi

Hello, fans and associates,

I’m here to encourage all of you entrepreneurs and innovative thinkers to take a deeper look into the successful people whom you admire in the business world and to recognize that many companies started with nothing more than an idea. For example, in 1889, Fusajiro Yamauchi produced handcrafted playing cards (hanafuda), and from that early endeavor a company was born, one that went on to achieve astounding success.

Walt_Disney_1946Yamauchi’s handmade playing card project developed into something far larger, much in the way The Walt Disney Company, commonly referred to as “Disney,” did from its founder’s vision. Yamauchi, like Disney, through dedication and over time, birthed a great team that shared his vision, a vision that would continue long after his passing.

In the 60’s Yamauchi’s company even ventured into side businesses, including a hotel chain. a TV station, and a taxi company. By the 70’s, however, the company merged back into gaming products and entertainment and is now valued at well over $80 billion dollars.

This is a reminder for those of you who sometimes feel overwhelmed or discouraged about your work, ideas, or business: Hard work and patience will pay off in the end. Moreover, that payoff may even continue long after you are gone. Dream big, believe in your vision, and do the work. I take my inspiration from every and any positive source possible. Today it’s from Yamauchi’s company, a company whose name, when loosely translated into English, means “Leave Luck to Heaven, but you know it better as Nintendo.196128_6270930550_8602_n

Michael Lude