SA McNeill

Game Review: Lifeline Games 1-3

Posted by in game review, gaming, mobile game

Title: Lifeline, Lifeline: Silent Night, Lifeline 2
Developer: 3-Minute Games
Platform: iOS, Android, Amazon

Like most people, I’ve got a mobile phone but it doesn’t get much use. I text occasionally, I make calls when I’m away from home base, and every so often, I play games. I’d seen some mention of Lifeline online, but I ignored them, far too much of a down-low hipster to give into hype, but when a friend sent me a link to the game’s GooglePlay store page, I couldn’t pretend not to be interested any longer.

Lifeline is a series of games you play on your phone. You get mobile messages from a character in peril and it’s your job to guide them through and keep them level headed. The characters are so well written, it’s easy to forget you’re not talking to an actual person. With the first game in the series, messages were infrequent. If the character said she were going to sleep, you didn’t hear from her for several real-time hours, making this game play stretch over several days (can’t say that about too many story driven phone games). When talking to her, conversations can go from 5-10 minutes at a time. They’re mostly one-sided and when you do get to respond, they’re with predetermined answers, but you do get options.

Lifeline follows Taylor, a scientist who gets marooned on a seemingly dead planet when her ship crashes. In trying to find help, her transmission reaches you, the player. She takes you through her whole ordeal from trying to find food to surviving the night. When the game was over, I actually missed talking to her.

Lifeline: Silent Night picks up where the first stops with Taylor getting rescued. This game was a little less enjoyable for me because of how fast paced it was. Granted, given the events of the story, it makes sense that things go by quicker, but there was something alluring about the setup of the first one where you had to wait, holding your breath to see if Taylor would respond at all or if she didn’t make it. I believe the time between messages in this game ranged from 10 minutes to a half hour, but it’s been a while, so I can’t say with 100 percent certainty. The way the game ends is hopeful, leaving you wanting to hear from Taylor again. I, for one, hope she’s doing well. (Note: I’m not sure where I got the idea that Taylor’s female. I honestly can’t remember hearing the character explicitly say so. That’s just the vibe I got. I’m sure there are others out there who say Taylor is a dude. I think that adds to how good this game is. It absolutely doesn’t matter what Taylor is. You can see it as either or nothing and it doesn’t take away from the game at all.)

Lifeline 2 is the first departure from Taylor-centric stories. This time, you’re getting messages from Arika, a witch on a mission, who’s Taylor’s spiritual successor in wise cracks and her dedication to getting shit done. This game was more like the first Lifetime as far as time between messages and the length of time to play. I didn’t find Arika as likable as Taylor, but by the end, I was rooting for her all the same.

Despite the changes through the games, each one was fun and not just a rehash of the stories that came before it.

With the release of Lifeline: Whiteout, I’m trying to figure out if I want to play–no, I am going to play, just not yet. The main character isn’t Taylor (hint hint 3-Minute devs) but I’ve no doubt the game’s still going to be engaging and will keep my glued to my phone until the end.

Podcasts Primer

Posted by in podcasts, what I'm doing

I mentioned way back when that I had other projects I wanted to work on. It’s a short list, but still too long to post in its entirety here, but one of the things I’m interested in dipping my toe into is the world of Podcasts. (more…)

How Not To Be A D-ck When Giving Crit

Posted by in am writing, the process

(That rhyme was completely unintentional.)

This seemed like a natural follow-up to my last post so I don’t get accused of harboring a bias.

Anyone who wants to grow in their craft (keyword here is wants) needs to realize that everything they make isn’t going to be perfect right out of the box. That in itself can be a tough pill to swallow, but one that’s only made worse by people offering “help” that is anything but helpful. I’m not expert on the subject and I’m certainly not an advocate for a never ending praise machine, but here are a few bits of advice that myself and other content creators wish more people would know. (more…)

A Brief How-To On Encouraging Content Creators of All Kinds

Posted by in am writing, open letter, personal

Just a little PSA because people seem confused by what is and isn’t helpful when it comes to helping or being encoraging to those of us who put ourselves out there to create things to share with the world or just groups of friends. The takeaway from this isn’t that encouragement is direly needed (though it does help) but the things in the “not encouraging” section can often be discouraging. I honestly would have preferred these individuals feigned ignorance completely rather than do those things. (more…)

Support Indie Creators!

Posted by in open letter, PSA

Long before I was an independent creator, I partook of works that strayed off the beaten path. Independent movies on Netflix, books on Amazon, comics, games, even makeup. I was exposed to so many things that normally would have gone beyond my notice.

A lot of the time they were hit and miss, I’ll admit it. Though the same could be said of the most mainstream media (and I actually say this all the time.)  The main difference between trying independent versus sticking with something that’s buzzing all over the news is price. Going independent is usually carries next to no risk at all. (more…)

Post-Publishing Life

Posted by in am writing

Noxus has been available for a little over two months now and I’m struggling to figure out what to do. I’ve continued writing(naturally) and I’ve tried to be pretty active on social media.

I’ve got a facebook, tumblr, and twitter. Of the three, twitter gets the most attention since they’re so short. It sounds simple, but it’s one of the hardest because you’ve only got 140 characters to be interesting. For a while, I was trying to mimic what I saw around me. The biggest issue with that was that you get swallowed up in all the thousands of other users doing the same thing. (more…)


No rest for the wicked

Posted by in am writing

So Noxus has been out for a little over a week now and I’m already plugging away at my next title(s). I expected to be drained after I published my first title but I’m more full of ideas than ever.

Writing Noxus was more involved than I anticipated, but I learned a lot from if, but no lesson was greater than learning to trust myself. No one else can tell me what I should write or how to write it. And no one way if better than another as long as it manages to be fun to write and a good read.

I’m claiming this ad a victory whether I sell a little or a lot. I’m not going to let anything or anyone hold me back.

So what about you? How do some of you feel about claiming Victor, both major and minor? Is it grandstanding or is it necessary?


Noxus is Available on Kindle, iBooks, GooglePlay Books, Kobo & Nook

Posted by in Rendezvous on Noxus, the process

Rendezvous on Noxus is now available on Kindle, nook, & all major ebook platforms

Amazon  iBooks  GooglePlay Books  Nook  Kobo

The cover of the science fiction novel Rendezvous on Noxus. It features 4 small ships heading towards a darkened space station.

The life of an independent cargo pilot wasn’t an easy one, but it was Paras’, and she liked it just fine. With her longtime friend and business partner Jabir, they cut their own path through the galaxy, one haul at a time. But nothing that good was meant to last forever.

A chance encounter with the strange and secretive Haben sucks Paras into a world of fully cyberized mercs, shadowy figures, and a lot of guns. Life aboard the Gizi may never be the same again.


Well that happened faster than I thought…

Posted by in the process

I know I’ve been posting a lot this week and I apologize for that, but you’ll have to forgive me. I’m just so excited!

Rendezvous on Noxus is live on Amazon and Kobo!

I published using Pronoun just yesterday and it told me the average wait time was 1-3 days, so I assumed it would take at least 3 days, but the Amazon post was up yesterday and Kobo went live today! There are two more platforms waiting to go, but they should be up relatively soon. You can check on their progress here.


The life of an independent cargo pilot wasn’t an easy one, but it was Paras’, and she liked it just fine. With her longtime friend and business partner Jabir, they cut their own path through the galaxy, one haul at a time. But nothing that good was meant to last forever.

A chance encounter with the strange and secretive Haben sucks Paras into a world of fully cyberized mercs, shadowy figures, and a lot of guns. Life aboard the Gizi may never be the same again.


Read an excerpt here!


Final e-Book Cover

Posted by in the process

I’ve only go a quick progress update for today

Noxus should be coming out this week, baring any difficulties. I just wanted to share the final e-Book cover.

cover-miniThis is different from the one I posted a while back, but  I’ve got plans for that cover as well!

The art and colors were done by Henry Wilson, the same guy who made my icon. The typesetting was by me. I hope I didn’t butcher it!

That is all!