Updates on Things

Sorry I haven’t posted recently, I’ve got so many different things I’m doing here and there.

1. New Emilena story! This one was started ages ago, but I finally finished the other 80%. It’s readable here and takes place directly after “Orphanage”, the story where she returned to her childhood orphanage and killed her old warden. In this story, she confesses to the murder and is incarcerated in an all-women’s prison. It explains why she’s no longer a police officer in the follow-up “private investigator” story, and it gives her the chance to butt heads with a bunch of characters she defeated from older stories, most of whom are excited for a chance to even the score.

2. I’ve added a number of categories to the Darwin’s Soldiers Wiki, including Destroyed objects, destroyed locations, books, and family trees. I dunno why, encyclopedic cataloging just relaxes me. Sometimes I wish we had an Into the Black wiki, and other times I thank god we don’t have one because there’s way too much content to even fathom starting now.

3. I’ve shoutcasted a ton of Overwatch matches on Twitch. Most are part of League Zero, but there’s also a fair amount of pick-up scrims I’ve been publishing on VGFAQ. I’ve really enjoyed making videos for that channel, since it gets way better traffic than the SPUF of Legend. Maybe it’s possible I should feel bad for letting my own channel grow stagnant while earning click revenue and a bunch of unearned views on someone else’s site, but the SPUF of Legend has almost completely lost its fanbase since I gave up on Payday videos so I don’t think anyone’s particularly sad. And I might make more videos every now and then, but right now I’m scrambling to keep up with the many videos I want to make for VGFAQ. I need to start on a video for Inside the Magic as well…

4. I have taken out two extensions on the eSports course for the sole reason that I need to finish that darn final essay. It’s not even particularly long but its got a lot of parts and I’ve constantly had more important things to worry about. But I really should button that up one of these days so I can take it off my mental checklist.

5. I haven’t had much time to game for fun, sadly. That kinda happens when its your job to play games for various sources of income. Pretty much my only guilty pleasure is ARK Survival Evolved, which is an awesome survival game and the only one I’ve ever heard of that remains fun whether you’re playing with 0 other people, 100 other people or any number in between. Personally, I don’t have the time or patience to deal with online idiots, so I play on a solo server with Sydney and most of our time is spent taming dinosaurs and creating Miasmata-style outposts throughout the map. You can see our complete idiotic adventures in this playlist, which is finally populated enough I feel okay letting people know about it.

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Look at how cool my bird is! She has ‘FEAR ME’ written across her wings!

Esports and other current events

As you may have noticed, I’m putting the finishing touches on that Esports course! I learned some great things and turned a lot of the content into articles for DailyEsports.gg. I also qualified for E3 and will be attending to make videos for VGFAQ, not to mention I’ve resumed shoutcasting (after a 3 year absense) and now have a number of casts to showcase on this YouTube playlist. I’m hosting the VODs on VGFAQ so I can get some pennies for them!

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The longest was the Kilgore College cast, which was 6.5 hours long and consisted entirely of me covering 1v1s on Xbox! I was downright babbling by the 4th hour of it, but the audience and tournament organizers say they loved it so I can’t complain. Would do again!

Storywise, the Emilena story I mentioned in an earlier post is finally finished and readable here, I incorporated it into the old cycle because it doesn’t break anything, and even covers some ground the other stories didn’t. (This is the first story we see where she lives outside of work). I’m not sure what I’ll write next, might not write anything an instead spend my creative time learning how to animate or make 3D games in Firefly.

Sport Stories

I’ve been hitting the esport train pretty hard recently, and that isn’t going to stop for another couple weeks. This course has been awesome; I’ve met some great people and might even shoutcast an Overwatch tournament for one on the 26th. I plan to convert several of these weekly articles into DailyEsports.gg content (like I did this one), and I’ve been cranking out dozens of VGFAQ videos at the same time.

But that doesn’t mean I haven’t found time to write a few short stories at the same time. Apparently I’m in something of a retrospective mood, cause they’ve all tied into ancient long-completed cycles:

  1. First I wrote a new Darwin’s Soldiers story,
  2. …then a new Flora story, (which is actually now the longest story in either canon, beating Card of Ten by a margin of 5K words)
  3. …and finally a new Hemlock Gang story of all things.

And coming up next, mostly cause it’s the only untouched cycle left, one more story starring Officer Echo back in her police days. She’ll be investigating a restaurant suspected of being a hub for drug-peddling. Exciting!

(There actually was a different completely-standalone story written somewhere in there too, nominally tied to a different RP universe but I instantly dropped my main characters back on Earth so they could explore the Into the Black and Darwin’s Soldiers universes in a time-traveling non-canon crossover. Was fun to write, and mainly an opportunity to see characters from both universes bouncing off each other.)

Coming up in the professional sphere: Honestly, more esports articles and a few VGFAQ videos. Keeping my nose to the grindstone for probably another week or so.

Updates on creative projects

Happy Valentine’s Day. It’s been so long and they were a real handful, but I do frequently miss my polyamorous roommates from my Texas days.

I guess there are a few things that have changed since I last gave something of a progress update on various goals, so I’ll just list them all here for completionist’s sake.

  1. As mentioned before, we’ve hit some exciting milestones in several long-running series. As mentioned in “The 2s Have It“, we’ve got a bunch of big viewcounts on different websites, but the only number that really matters is 388; the current subscriber count for The SPUF of Legend. Subs are how you get anywhere on YouTube, especially considering most of my views come from me hyperlinking to the videos on reddit in related conversations. I haven’t had any real luck in translating our increasing viewcounts to a sustained community, though I know why it’s not currently working; I don’t really have a united theme in my videos to motivate anyone to come back.  You need to pick one game and stick with it in this industry; the Daily SPUF‘s viewership ratings were huge until we started covering games other than TF2, and the Spuf of Legend had a small dedicated community of viewers but they justifiably left when I stopped making Payday 2 videos. At the moment, my plan is to survive the next few weeks (more below) and wait for a really good, trendy, modern game to come out that I can leap on and corner the market with the same gusto I covered Payday 2.
  2. MasterClass has finished, and it was a great experience all around. Ended up recording footage from almost two dozen games, and the class turned out great. It was awesome watching the episode and seeing my recordings throughout, especially since many of them had my username aabicus in the HUD when the game needed it. Sadly it doesn’t appear to have translated into a full job with MasterClass, I would have loved to work with them as a fulltime employee. But there’s always the future!
  3. I went through the Darwin’s Soldiers wiki one day and added categories for gender. I mostly wanted to see the breakdown myself, turns out there are 280 males73 females, and 19 unknown/genderless characters in the Darwin’s Soldiers franchise. Guess that makes sense considering the combat/military focus, but I’m hoping we do a better job with the Into the Black franchise.
  4. Speaking of Into the Black, I finally finished an old story I’d started months earlier but abandoned when StarfallRaptor left the forum, since it was being written at his behest. But I hate leaving things unfinished, though I’d have made an exception if I’d known it would become the longest story in the canon. “Weekend at Jessica’s” is a Starfall story, so expect a lot of sex/adult themes, and I’m working on another Emilena story for people who prefer the ‘action noir’ style-storylines. It takes place back when Emilena was a cop, and covers her going undercover as a waitress to discover which employees at a fancy restaurant are using their job to peddle drugs.
  5.  GDC is coming up, and I might or might not be going. I have an opportunity for a free press pass, in exchange for reporting for someone else’s YouTube channel, and I am absolutely taking that opportunity if it happens for the sheer networking potential alone.
  6. Apex Legends surprised everyone by launching onto the public stage and genuinely being a blast to play. I find myself coming back to it even when I normally don’t like Battle Royales, and to my surprise I actually want to make videos on it. Let’s see if I can get a foothold in this brand new community.

 

Exciting YouTube Happenstances

Couple of cool things happening on my other social medias:

1. The SPUF of Legend hit its 100th subscriber, which means I finally qualify for a custom URL: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheSPUFofLegend Turns out they actually don’t let you choose that custom URL, you just hit the ‘Enable custom URL’ button and it turns your channel name into a hyperlink. But it’s still lightyears better than that cavalcade of letters and numbers you get by default!

2. Several videos on there are doing surprisingly well! The most notable of which are two presentations which are literally just recordings of lectures I gave for classes at school: Team Fortress Classic: Its Development, Gameplay, and Legacy, and Procedural Content Generation in Left 4 Dead 2. Both of them got triple-digit viewcounts within their first week, and the tie-in reddit threads quickly hit the top of their related subreddits. r/l4d2 even stickied it ^_^ I actually plan to start doing “lectures turned into videos” that are just me talking with a PowerPoint running in the background. God knows they were easier to make than the gameplay-synced-to-voiceovers I normally make.

3. This one isn’t YouTube, but I also scored a killer custom URL on LinkedIn. This time I actually had to type stuff until I found one available, and it blew my mind that my full first and last name were just available. Those other Nicholas Halseys were really sleeping on the job, I don’t know how we got all the way to 2018 without any of us snatching it up.

4. And, as we stray further and further from the point of this post, have an unfinished story where Flora learns C++. It was a failed attempt by me to approach C++ through another lens, to try and view it objectively instead of from the usual ‘oh god I don’t get any of this I’m doomed‘ purview that tends to prevail. With Destler’s class over, I have literally no motivation to ever touch this story again. But who knows, supposedly Whitehead’s class is putting C++ back on the menu, so Flora might be voiding more functions yet.

Edit 9/9/2019: I literally platinum’d someone on reddit to finish the code, so the story is now officially finished. In my defense, I’m long graduated by the time I posted this update.

 

Into the Black Codex

I need to get a new post up so that goddamn picture of sourballs stops appearing every time I open this blog.

I have done a lot of writing in the Into the Black universe, which up till now has not really appeared in this blog in any fashion, which is more focused on Darwin’s Soldiers. By and large Into the Black has been my universe of focus, as I really see the Darwin’s Soldiers story as mostly completed.  I told the tales that needed to be told and almost every character has had their history completed to my satisfaction. So in case you’ve been wondering what I’ve been writing all these days, here’s a one-page codex containing links to all the fiction I’ve written starring Emilena, Flora, and the other characters in this second flagship franchise of mine.

Electra City is out!

Update 9/23/16: Game is now updated and playable on itch.io! Check it out there!

Good news! That project I’ve been working on has gone through so many iterations, that I recently checked it out and none of the code from the proof-of-concept ended up in the final product. Which means I can release that proof of concept to all of you!

I held onto this for a while to add a few things that I’d always wanted in there. Specifically, special attacks, stat-altering rages, and a few tweaks to fix blocking being able to indefinitely stall the game

The post below this one does a fine job of teasing the game, so without further ado here it is to download! If you find any bugs, I probably already know about them, but if they’re particularly bothersome (and you ask ardently enough) I’ll feel motivated to patch them. Which fighter is your favorite?

And finally, an apology. I don’t post for you guys nearly as often as I should, I’ve been devoting the lion’s share of my internet time to my other two blogs. If you want more regular posts, you should come read my analyses and video game reviews on the Daily SPUF, which as it’s name implies has a new article every day! I’m also an occasional columnist on Lambda Generation, a news site dedicated to Valve games. But I’m planning on things picking up over here as soon as this big secretive paid project is done. I can’t say much, but since Electra City was a proof of concept, you should be able to piece together at least the genre. 🙂

A Good Shepherd Knows His King

Whoo, been a while since I posted on this ole thing, hasn’t it? What on Earth could aabicus have been up to?

Well, I recently made the jump from “literally doesn’t even count as a game dev” to “arguably a professional in the loosest sense of the word” because I’ve been hired to program a game in Multimedia Fusion! Or Clickteam Fusion as they’ve rebranded it. It’s gonna have art and music by other people, my job is simply to take their assets and bid them up into something playable. So while I wait for that project to start I’ve been coding* a proof of concept game and it’s pretty far along!

*all real programmers should scoff derisively right here

I’m not sure what aspects of it I’ll be allowed to release but I have been given permission to show some screenshots:


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Even if I’m never allowed to release the game, it’s taught me a lot about what MMF2.5 can do, and I plan on incorporating all of it into my next project. Also, I feel bad because my first update post in almost a year didn’t provide you guys with any new content so here’s a game I made in under two hours as part of a workshop where we all tried to make a full game in under an hour. I kinda lost track of time.

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