Crossing the Line

Hi 2020! Man, it was a longtime coming, but time to say hello to the first month of the new decade. You only get ten of those before you die, so these are always momentous occasions of reflection and, often, change. For me, I’ve decided to finally get serious about a goal that I’ve been sleeping on for years, toying vaguely with but never really committing to: I want to learn how to animate.

Honestly, most of my video-editing practicing has been preparing me for the jump. I have the adobe products, the tablet, the stylus, and the voice-acting/video editing chops to augment the content…I just need to commit to learning how. In addition, the time is finally ripe that I have enough mental brainspace to focus on animation. I’ve moved to a new house which is quieter/more controllable than the one I lived in, and my new job gives me ample time off the clock to focus on my own passions.

In order to clear my mental palate, I’ve finished what will probably be my last Electra City content for a while. The Psionic Olympics is a novella starring Flora attending (you’ll never guess) an international sporting event where psions compete for medals while representing their respective facilities. It’s a pretty zany little adventure full of sports, surprises, and sex, so check it out if you’re into that sort of thing. Me, I’m sick of how nobody ever reads anything I write. Since my YouTube channel is the only thing that ever gets any clicks, I’m going to transition my storytelling drive into the one medium I can actually get an audience.

For the next few days I’ll be visiting family friends in a nearby city, but after that I’ve got some preliminary steps to take to hone the skills I’m still missing:

*Practise audio-mixing with the Yeti. There are two stories I’m debating between telling, and both hinge on my ability to give the protagonist the right voice. Whichever voice I can mix properly will likely determine which plot I go with.

*Start drawing with the tablet. Draw something every day. Ideally, start uploading things to the computer and get used to drawing digitally. I’m much more comfortable with pen and paper (I’ve actually been drawing comics almost my whole life, though I’ve never posted them online) but I can’t realistically see myself animating anywhere but the computer.

That’s it for now, I guess. Wish me luck! I’ll check in a few days from now with more updates.

 

I’m 29 now!

Probably last update of 2019. Most of my days are spent working diligently for Brendon.com and loving it, but some other cool things have happened so I decided to list ’em:

1. PCI Gaming brought me on for another voice-acting project. I got to do the intro monologue for their Agar.io fragiv:

2. I already gave up on Magic the Gathering, it got on my nerves far quicker than even I expected. My stupid white/red deck refused to give me more than a few lands per game, even though I had the right ratio according to the online guides, and my friends kept checking my deck and promised I just had legendarily bad luck for all three days I attended their daily meetups. For the last day I’d even purchased some new dual-colored lands, which didn’t solve the problem, and so I’m giving up. If wasting money on new cards won’t fix my deck, what’s the point of the game?

3. I wrote my last article for VGFAQ, about video-game catchphrases. Very long and felt like I was ending on a bit of a bang:

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4. Also wrote my last article for Daily Esports, though they haven’t published it yet even though I wrote it a week ago. I was endlessly delaying on writing this update post until it went live, but I got sick of waiting so I’ll edit this with a URL when it actually comes out. (Update: Here it is!)

5. I broke 200,000 views on the SPUF of Legend and 3,500 views on itch.io! This is pretty remarkable considering I haven’t been releasing content for either of them. I need to find a way to get my desktop up here, I tooled around with Clickteam Firefly on this laptop and it was really intuitive but the processor couldn’t handle it.

I did publish one halfway-decent video, but it’s not my greatest and my missing desktop is really affecting my output:

All in all, I’ve been in “adjusting to my new job and life in Portland” mode for this past month, and I’m probably not gonna kick it back into my old gear until the new year. But overall that’s just because I’m really happy right now with how everything’s going. I wouldn’t change a thing 🙂

Next Stop, Anywhere

𝅘𝅥𝅯 Updaaaates… 𝅘𝅥𝅯

1. I start my new job sometime next week, so I had this weekend off to do whatever I like 😀

2. I’ve written one final article for VGFAQ, and I plan to finish one final one for Daily Esports as well. I’m pretty proud of that VGFAQ one, even though it’s clearly content-mill drivel, though it made almost no splash whatsoever among my social media or any friends I linked it too because, well, it’s content-mill drivel.

3. I finally finished “Intuition Payment,” the last story in the Electra City canon I’d left unfinished and been hella procrastinating on completing. It first appears in the Hemlock Gang document on September 12, 2015, meaning it wins the record for my story that took the longest to complete. Thank god it’s over with.

4. I got to play Magic the Gathering for the first time the other day! My old college roommate Luke actually gifted me a red/white deck back in 2009, and my new circle of friends play every week so I got to test it out. The red half is all about cheap low-damage goblins and the white deck is all about health regeneration, so it was extremely noob-friendly and I had fun even though I lost every game with aplomb. I don’t think I’m gonna get addicted to Magic, but its fun to do while hanging with friends on a weekly basis. Though I kinda want to swap my red deck out for something that hits harder, like green.

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I bought a foil card for 50 cents, and couldn’t resist the poor sacrificial cow. She turns into a meat pie when she dies! Your sacrifice is appreciated, Hilda. 

I GOT THE JOB

Brendon.com called me with some followup questions, they liked the answers, and I’m gonna start work soon as an assistant video editor!!! This is seriously crazy news, I can’t believe how I landed a job doing what I love. I still haven’t quite recovered. For years now video editing has been a passion but I have no actual certifications beyond my portfolio of throwing myself into the deep end and doing it for years and years of projects (especially YouTube channels), so it’s crazy to think I’m gonna be video editing in an office environment. I am so done with the freelance life, I can’t wait to show up, work with other video editors from 9 to 5, and then come home and be free to work on my creative projects without feeling like I should be doing gigs to make rent.

I’m honestly really excited to transition away from game journalism too. It was getting kinda soul-sucking spending so much time reporting on virtual worlds and AAA studios that were never gonna give me the time of day, it felt like everything I released was a brief flash in the pan before being drowned in the ever-spawning deluge of new releases. I didn’t feel like my content was making a difference, so I’m really pleased Brendon.com has a focus on personal development. Mental health is the sort of thing that would give my work a bit more meaning, feel like I’m making a positive difference in the viewers’ lives.

So that’s far and away the biggest news I have, and I still haven’t quite come down from cloud nine. I bought that Regigigas event for Pokemon GO and wandered Portland all day yesterday in a happy funk, and now I just need to wait for them to contact me re: wages and contracts and the sort before I can begin work.

This is going to lead to some pretty big changes for this blog and pretty much everything I do online. I don’t really want to do the freelance life anymore, so I’m going to be pruning a lot of the things I do online and focusing on other things. By no means do I plan to go fully radio silent, but my plate is far too loaded right now. I’m planning to drop VGFAQ and Daily Esports after finishing my currently-assigned articles, and I’ve let the role-players on the Gang of Five know that I’m retiring from RPing. (More about that in the last blog post.) The SPUF of Legend will remain publishing semi-frequent videos, my itch.io page may publish new games every blue moon, and I may even write Daily SPUF articles now and again.

The times they are a-changin’, and I can’t be more excited!

On my retirement from the Gang of Five

Nobody on the Gang of Five reads this blog, so I think I’m safe to note why I’m leaving the site. I don’t really see a need for them to know, since I’m pretty sparse over there anyway outside the RPing section, which has a mere 3 other active users these days.

But yeah, with my new job starting up, I’m retiring from role-playing on that site and will focus exclusively on solo creative projects starring my characters. TBH, the RP scene on that site has been very disappointing for years, and I was starting to get mad that the few players left were basically ignoring what I wrote for my characters. In Insane Cafe, I had Hailey drop a uniform and her security card in a pile outside Dr. Zanasiu’s unlocked cell, only for him to ignore both and “find an ID card a security guard forgot” down the hallway to do his machinations. He also completely ignored Lúcia Shelton introducing herself to him, despite her having the last name of his longtime teammate who died mysteriously years ago. Then his author wrote that a fleet of nauseated security guards abandoned their posts, and when I asked the GM why, he said the other writers all thought Hailey had poisoned the water supply. When I said I never had her do that (she couldn’t, she didn’t have her keycard?), he replied “Well, it sounds like something she could have done.” I fully admit I got more needled about that than I should have.

Honestly, none of these were the dealbreaker I’m making them sound like, I was just tired of collaborative writing by this point anyway. I’ve been feeling way more fueled by my five novels starring my owned characters, to the point I’m pretty annoyed by the fingerprints the other authors have left on the works (like Chief Broadstreet in Officer Echo.) I’d really like to go self-publish them, or send them as manuscripts to agents, but I’m worried of the legal ramifications regarding some plots/characters having starting out as shared content. Luckily, I see tons of reasons I could have improved them and don’t really want to publish them anyway. I’d rather go write new ones that are better, but in the future I want to 100% own the storylines I tell.

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I guess my last-ever sentence will be a parody of this terrible line someone else wrote about pizza.

I hate to admit I was also frustrated by how the other RP writers never seemed to care about the supplementary content I wrote. In total I’ve released 40 short stories, 2 novels, 3 novellas and 5 flash fictions, and I announced every one of them in our shared Skype channel. They’d all ignore me except for one who I needed to badger via private PMs before he’d read anything. After releasing Gamer 2, a tie-in video game I’d worked for over 4 years on, I got the exact same indifference as I did with everything I’d ever released for our universe. I just think it’s time for me to find a new creative circle, maybe one with a bit more reciprocity.

My last piece for the Into the Black RP universe is this finale for Blanking the Slateas the RP petered off and I hate for it to end with so little left in the storyline. (The GM never got back to me with one-sentence epilogues for his two characters, despite saying he would, hence the two blanks at the end). I’m not retiring Emilena or Flora, but I’ll be creating an entirely new canon that borrows nothing from the RPs, to save myself from any legal headaches down the line.

Happy Halloween!

(Technically its the 30th for me, but WordPress publishes everything on some weird timescale where it’s usually listed for the day after)

Three big things happening soon! These all cropped up within the same 24 hour period, so that was an experience.

1. PCI Gaming, the L4D2 speedrunning community who I voiced a tutorial for (and also appeared in a speedrun) has asked me to v/o another project. I’ve already sent them the lines, and I like supporting their community since they’re keeping L4D2 alive in their own little way.

2. Ken Blanchard Co. had a brief freelance gig for me, I had to add text to a video and make it look “fun”. I decided pastels and wiggly text would best get that across, and they didn’t complain so hoo-rah? (And trust me, the shaky-cam vertical smartphone footage is all them, I just did the editing)

3. Most importantly, I’ve got a job interview tomorrow! I get to meet with the head video editor for Brendon.com and see if I fit a couple different video-editing positions they have available. It would literally be a dream come true if I could land the position, I love video editing and I’ve always wanted to do it in a “go to work everyday” office setting. Tomorrow I gotta wake up early, print my resume at the library, and get a haircut before heading over by 11am. (It’ll also be the first time I get to do a job interview in costume. I’m going as a Star Trek redshirt!)

And after that, I get to attend a wedding at 3:30pm between two of the friends I’ve made in Portland. It’s certainly gonna be a humdinger of a Halloween, I’ll tell you that. But I can’t wait!

We got a second follower but it is a LIE

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oh god make it stop

gamecool10 is no longer the only follower of this blog…except he is. Because Appeals is clearly a bot account trying to lure me into following back or acknowledging in some way. But I’m too wise for you, Appeals! I even let autocorrect change your username so your robo-detectors don’t perk up at this blog post and pay me any more attention.

(I wonder what gamecool10 is up to these days. I highly doubt he still reads this, and he flagged his blog private a long time ago so nobody could access it. Maybe he knows something I don’t.)

In other news, I’ve finally arrived in Portland and am currently in the process of setting up my room and gathering groceries. It’s cold and rainy, but not as cold as Ohio so I think I’m going to be okay. I’ve informed all relevant persons about my lack of a high-powered gaming desktop, which most notably means I can’t make VGFAQ videos for the time being. My #1 priority needs to be finding a job anyway.

Not much else to say. I love the room, it has its own bathroom which is a luxury I haven’t enjoyed since Ohio, almost five years ago. And the snow gives me an excuse for staying holed up and exercising on my exercycle instead of jogging or swimming at the local beach.