Holy hell, it's already November, and yet at the same time, it's only November. This year is crawling and flying by, the duality of time continues. Let's get to the news shall we.
First off let's recap last month; AG7: Unexpected Dev-elopments came out on the 14th. It did about what I expected it to do. Even with the great reviews, and I thank you for those, it does seem like the following of the series is dying off. Which means my plans for the soft ending of the series with the next book is likely the right choice, even as my diehard fans of that series lament that news. And on the audio front, audio for AG7 has been handed off to Podium. As for when that will record, I have no idea. Once they tell me more I'll tell you more.
Okay what else...all audio is still up in the air. When I know more things will be updated. I know some of you audiophiles are champing at the bit, and I apologize, we'll get them out as soon as we can. I know the wait will be worth it to have the talented Andrea Parsneau performing the audio.
Hmm, what else do we need to cover? Oh, my website has the store link back up and running. All the merch is first come, first serve, and limited stock. If you are interested in the loot, head on over and check it out. Here is the website and the store links.
Next up let's talk Patreon. They are currently getting chapters of LV2: Cashing In. Reception to it has been good, and I hope you all enjoy the book when it comes out. The release date for it is in flux right now, but we're looking the end of November to the beginning of December.
Following LV2, chapters of BW6 will be showing up there. So for all of you who want to know what the cost of the battle was from the end of BW5, your chance to know before the book publishes is coming soon™.
Here is the link to Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/DJSchinhofen
With that said, I am currently writing BW6. The title is still undetermined, but I'm already 30k+ words into it. I want to say more, but spoilers, ya know. Let's just say things might not go as you think, or maybe they will... I know some of you are wondering about that release date now, and the best I can do is February 1st. But as will all my release dates it's likely to be sooner if things work out that way.
How best to keep up to speed on releases, and more, that's easy. First there's the mailing list attached to the website, see the above link. Other than that there is Facebook, Discord, and Twitter. Here are the links:
Of course once I finish with BW6, I'll be moving right on to AR3. Man I'm blessed to have so many wonderful stories that you all enjoy. Thank you all, without your support I wouldn't be able to do this. It means the world to me, and I try to give back, normally through the Facebook Live Chats. I give out free loot during those, so if you get the chance please stop by. The next one is on November 15th at 10 Am PST.
I'll be back to chat more in December, with updates about LV2 and how it's doing, and to tease more about BW6. Until then, stay safe, and thank you again.
totally consider myself a diehard fan of ag, it had its rocky moments and i wish it wasn't ending so soon. that said i am a diehard fan of you Daniel, you've got some awesome stories in that cranium you have skills with words many of us lack as for those who quit partway through Gothy is disappointed, there's all the classic races so far shy of beastkin plus better and more plentiful scenes with a focus on personal growth and murderhobo gameplay and exploits in gameplay. if you dropped off because of prudishness then this is not for you. thank you for an amazing ride through an asshole becoming a useful member of society... all it took was an apocalypseReplyDelete
All it took was his brain being turned into jam.Delete
I'd love to see a beastkin as the main character, Egypt has some serious backstory for it could make for a badass storyDelete
I want to start off by saying that i LOVE your books. Especially BW and AR are my cup of tea. I want to give feedback on some thoughts i had:ReplyDelete
- my interest in AG went down, because, especially compared to AW, i felt that the mc and harem lacked some depth, background and development in personality thorughout the series. The setting wasnt really mine to begin with, so maybe it just didnt stick with me as much as the other series. But that was my reason
- im slightly concerned how fast the harem has been growing in the last couple BW books. I appreciate some depths of character. So for example I loved the scenes in BW5 where we got to know Aria (my favorite next to Fiona and Ida). Meanwhile Lilly was added over a couple of pages and thats it. To me as a reader she still feels more like an acquantince than a love interest. Have there been any 1on1 scenes with the mc where we get to know her better? Again, simply my preference but id rather know 5 characters well than have 30 wives, some of whom only appear in every third book or so
- lastly, as much as I enjoy Andrea Parsneau myself, seeing how many books she has coming in, I dont see her line getting any shorter. Id expect the delays between book and audio release dates to get longer in the future. Sadly, this is a sympton of her excellent work. Having listened to your books numerous times and also some of her other work, I want to point out that characters and settings tend to mesh together. For example, the similarities between Stacia from AW and Felora from BW are enhanced by this. With this in mind, Id think it might be worth it to consider another narrator if you have a series in the future which is different in tone and setting from those before and you want to highlight this in the audio book.
Thank you for your time and again, I LOVE your books. Keep up your good work.
For those that stuck with me through the long text and were upset by the BW5 cliffhanger: The character sheet and the end of the book tells us who is alive and who isnt (unless its a small continuity error)
That sheet at the end only tells you what Sean knows. It's only reflected how he views things.Delete
AG is just a polarizing series. The characters have as much depth as any of my other works, just in different ways.
The harem in BW isn't growing too fast, but Lilly was maybe faster than many people liked as she had been mostly a background character until then.
As for audio, I'll stick with Andrea and be perfectly content to do so.
Thanks for letting me know your feelings and views on things. Hope you continue to enjoy the books.
Well thank you for worrying me about the ending months later :D I really needed something to distract me on election day.Delete
I love your work and those were my only thoughts on possible improvements. That leaves a ton of positives that I didnt mention!
I also appreciate how extensive your blog is and that you take the time to read replys.
No decision will ever make truly everyone happy, but I think most of us like our individuality. As Felora said, "variety is the spice of life". Just keep writing the books you want and are proud of and we will keep reading them. Obviously a lot us love them and for the rest, your MCs have some words ;)
Love all of you books I start from the beginning when a new book comes out so for series like AC it tookReplyDelete
A while to get to the newest book but I love having all the history in mind for the newest books. That said I love the arc for AG it has always really brought the world in a piece at a time making it feel more real. I am hoping the soft close answers some of the questions about the devs and why they are using real people’s brains as characters.
Side note don’t know how well you know Joshua Kern but I laughed at the shout out you got in the middle of his new book The Ridden.
I don't actually. Hmm. I'll have to check it out.Delete
Some answers will be forthcoming.
Thanks a ton for sticking with AG as long as you did. I'm a bit wary of Podium—I used to feel like they did a pretty good job, but lately I've been turned off by their choice of narrators, but we'll see. Frankly, I'm astonished that AG hasn't been doing better, not the least because there seems to be a glut of harem/polyamory books that seem to be selling very well on only paper-thin cookie cutter plots and risque cover art. I would have expected higher quality prose and a more engaging story to do better. Alas. And, for the record, this may be the first and only series where I might feel comfortable describing the protagonist as a bit of a douche, and yet still like him 100% (every other author I can think of that has tried to write an MC with this type of personality has ended up creating a Chad that I just can't stand). Was creating a socially abrasive character like this something that you thought of as a challenge/was it something you debated about when beginning the series?ReplyDelete
Fortunately, while I'm losing one good story to follow, I really like all the others you're writing. I've been meaning to support you for awhile on Patreon, but I kept letting time slip by—fortunately I finally stopped being lazy about a few mouse clicks ;)
Patreon is committed to Tess for the series, so that's a good thing. I can't comment on the harem comment, outside of everyone has different tastes. But that is a good thing, variety is good.
I set out to write a sociopathic MC who could finally let his true side out. I was glad that people enjoyed him so much, I thught that the series might fail miserably because of it. Luckily it was well received, at least to start with. I'm not sure what caused the drop off, but I think it was the road trip nature of the series. Ah well.
Thank you for the support on Patreon. I hope you enjoy the preview chapters of the books as they come up.
Speaking as a member of segment of your readership whose interest in AG has waned, I'd say the constant rebalancing of the world mechanics and alteration stakes had a lot to do with it. Made the worldbuilding and overall direction of the plot feel increasingly slapdash to me. The constantly moving goalposts made the whole thing start feeling directionless/pointless.ReplyDelete
Also, the whole extreme bdsm thing that the main characters all had going on was spicy when it was new/novel, but it ended up feeling grating over time. I guess it's a relatively niche/extreme fetish for a reason -- appealing in large doses or over the long term to a relatively small group of people compared to more conventional forms of sex.
It also doesn't help that the whole VR subgenre of gamelit/LitRPG is very overdone and people may be starting to feel some fatigue - - like they did for zombie shows. I know that I've recently personally started just hard passing on books that have VR tags unless the premise is somehow extremely well done.
Hmm, interesting. Thanks for letting me know what might have caused the decline of AG.Delete
Happy to help. And speaking more on the rebalancing issue, there are two specific things about it that might have contributed to disinterest or apathy, which I didn't really touch on.Delete
First is that unfair balance patches that screw over players in a game feels bad. I've experienced it a lot in my gaming past. It's not a feeling I'd seek for fun, so having in a fantasy book I'm reading felt a lot like having sand in my favorite bowl of cereal. Theyre annoying even if it doesn't directly or severely screw players over, but for he's them to play differently than it has. But these ones actively screwed the MC so they were extra annoying.
Secondly, the way that kiosks and settlements in general was rebalanced my the MC felt increasingly irrelevant to the world. At first it was that he would be developing and leading a network of towns and survivors who would look to him as a savior, and who he would be maintaining some degree of control over via the settlement mechanics. And it initially looked like he might be competing with other players. But the end of it, just felt like he was low level traveling merchant advertising the benefits of joining his distribution network. Something which the factions he was advertising to could and would have done anyways even if he didn't exist, because of the new way settlements worked. This definitely made the MC seem superfluous and fostered apathy towards the plot. It also removed the overall shape of where the plot was going at the beginning and contributed a great deal to making it feel meandering and directionless
I will be honest here, I am one of the people kinda growing weary of AG. I enjoyed the series, but everything deserves an ending. The longer a series goes on, the more weary I get with it. I dislike things that drag on forever without closure(Like most television and movies like to do), and it is even worse when they don't get proper endings because ratings drop.ReplyDelete
Either way, I am a fan of the author more than the series, so while one story ends, another begins and I am happy to dive into it.
I'm a bit late to the comment party but I figure I might as well add in my two cents. First off I agree with most of the comments. The moving goal posts, lack of real understanding of Why they're in a death game, and no real direction outside of survival is rather aggravating.ReplyDelete
On the other hand, AG is one of my favorite ALT life style stories. Instead of reading AG as an adventure story, for me it's more of a slice of life with lots of action. I love the bdsm dynamic the party has, though said party/family feels like it's a getting a bit crowded. If you ever reboot the series I would love to see Alvin gain some lifestyle friends. Other players who join the world to escape whatever social norms might bind them, natives falling in love growing and expanding. The idea of Alvin throwing a bdsm house party where he invites fellow doms and dommes over to see their dungeon with their subs is a dream I have often after reading through the series.
I'm sad to see it end, but I thank you for the journey.
Throwing my opinion in as well. I love Ag, but if I had to provide criticism I would say there was not enough interplay between Alvin and other Players. Also the ability to interact with fans was a missed opportunity and the Overall arch of why he was in the game was too much of a slow burn. You have to pet the dog to keep them on the porch. Also I don't mind harems but I feel any beyond 4 and you lose characters. That's why I loved Alpha World, we had our 4 and that was it. BW is great but we are starting to see many of the wives fall into the background like Fiona. She was his first and I feel she is becoming just a placeholder at this point. I would hate to see something like that happen to Yukiko. My suggestion keep to the AW model, its the right number to hit that harem trope but we get to see all the characters shine. Especially if they have strong personalities.ReplyDelete
Honestly, I'm just super bummed that we're not gonna get to see more exploration of the former dev turned toy. Unless the next book basically revolves around her, her introduction this late before a soft end is gonna make it hard to feel like she got her 15 minutes to really shine. Either as a character, or a erotica fixture. However you want to put that.ReplyDelete
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