Job receipt #7

So I didn’t apply for a job today, but for a semi-good reason; my brother has offered to look over my resume and cover letter to see whether he has any advice for improving them. He’s head of HR for a startup that he joined right out of college, and he’s worked his way up there from an intern phonebanker, so he knows a thing or two about getting people to read your stuff without rejecting it out of hand. I don’t want to apply for anything until he gets back to me with feedback.

So I did some editing on Tabula Rasa, added a few scenes that I only realized after the fact improved flow in a few places. I also wrote a standalone vignette, Bare-athon, the first story in Electra City Chronicles that stars Emilena. It may or may not be based on a thought experiment where I pondered ways the city-crossing feat she pulls off in the story would be possible.

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omg so adorable

I also gotta play some video games today, because I once again have run out of Borderlands 3 videos in my queue. Thankfully I have no trips for the next month, so I can finally make these videos and actually create a backlog that I don’t immediately have to cash in. I need to finish the whole storyline by October 16th because I don’t currently have a plan for getting my massive desktop up there. I’m considering leaving it at home and using it as a motivation to find a real job and afford a long-term apartment. And I also want to do the 12 Quickplay games needed to earn Lego Bastion in Overwatch, just because he’s insanely cute and I loved Lego growing up.

Job receipt #1

I applied for a single job. Not great, I know, but baby steps.

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Most of today was spent doing various little things to prep for the move. Schedule times to meet for housing appointments with potential apartment complexes, touch bases with family friends who live in the area. I’ll be visiting Sydney for three days in the near future, which is nice convenient timing for checking things out.

Also I finished Flora++ and realized I had enough random assorted stories to compile them into one document. The Into the Black Codex is getting pretty large, I can’t decide if I should be proud or ashamed. (edit: Wow, after some number-crunching, I’ve written over half-a-million words total in the complete Into the Black and Darwin’s Soldiers canon. I’m planning on doing Nanowrimo this year, which should add a nice 50k chunk to that total. Maybe one day we’ll hit a million!)

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Download link here

Also made my first Minecraft mod, though it wasn’t really my work, I just merged this nude skin with this clothed skin so you can take the clothes off if you want. That’s a pretty nifty mechanic that the player character comes with toggleable clothing, now I don’t have to swap skins whenever playing with friends. I’ve finally gotten into Minecraft as it’s a really relaxing survival game that isn’t too complicated, and after learning how easy it is to make mods I totally plan to release some (actually done by me) texture mods, probably starting with Emilena the cop.

But, um, yeah,  job hunting. It’s going…well?

A Fortnight in Minecraft

Many many years ago I wrote a Second Life Journal. Now I have a “First Life Journal”; my first life in Minecraft, that is.

Yeah, I’d actually never played Minecraft until now. I owned it (got it for free as part of my work on the Will Wright MasterClass) but I’d never seen a reason to play the actual game until I found myself craving a super simplistic survival game with an easily-installable nude mod.

ElRiatas’ Diary 

(I’m legit not sure where the game found that character name. Was it procedurally-generated?)

Day 1: I spawned deep in the jungle and never even saw the starter crate I’d flagged to spawn. I stumbled around randomly eating watermelons for the first day before accidentally pissing off a zombie and barely escaping with my life. As it got dark, i climbed onto this giant stone structure and clumsily built a 7×3 house, which gave me exactly one square to stand on (it was originally 2 squares, but I punched out and it opened a pitfall deep underground). uncomfy but I survived the night only occasionally having to kite zombies so they fell off the side. 

Day 2 I was sick of the junglescape so I’ve been running in a straight line trying to find any other biome. so far it just seems to be more and more and more jungle, and by night I climbed the tallest tree and just stood there waiting for daylight. during that time I learned how to craft things, made a crafting table, and crafted a sword and axe.

Day 3 I’d run out of food so I continued sprinting through the junglescape, but I haven’t seen any new watermelons. I saw my first cow and got inked by a squid when I attacked it, but when night came I again climbed the tallest tree and hid there waiting for dawn. So far there’s been nowhere to build a house because everything is trees, beaches and lakes.

Day 4 I’d done some research and learned that I’d created a world 4 times larger than normal when I chose “large biomes” which is why this jungle never ends. When morning came I jumped from the tree into the water and sprinted as fast as I could through the junglescape. I found a red mushroom so I could finally craft mushroom stew, which is good cause I was out of food. I finally reached the outskirts of the jungle and built my first house in the first level field I found: a roughly 8×5 little hovel with no windows and a door blocked with sediment cause I wasn’t sure if zombies could destroy doors. That night was spent in pitch blackness until I discovered brown mushrooms give off faint light and stuck them in every corner

Day 5 I decided for the first time to settle down before continuing my mad hike into the unknown. I created a bed so I can finally go to sleep, I explored my surrounding fields, and I attempted to find coal, though I farmed four different types of grey blocks and none of them turned out to be right. I also discovered a massive faultline that plummeted into the planet’s core, I might build a staircase down there and try farming those grey blocks with squiggly black lines tomorrow. A creeper and a zombie scared the shit out of me by walking right past my door while I was crafting mushroom stews

Day 6 I emerged to find that the zombie, spider and creeper hadn’t despawned. the zombie died to fire and the creeper I darted away before it exploded, but I had to kill the spider with my wooden axe and earned an achievement. The rest of the day was spent slowly creating a dirt staircase into the faultline, where I earned an achievement for entering the stone age. That night I crafted a set of stone gear and plan to use it to expedite my staircase. 

Day 7 I completed my staircase…well, as far as I’m willing to take it. It turns out monsters start spawning on the bottom level once I got close enough, so I don’t want to completely reach the core. I stopped along the top near a coal deposit in the wall which finally let me create torches to light my house, not to mention start a fire and cook some real meals. 

Day 8, I’ve decided to continue my hike away from the Jungle, but today was spent prepping. I cut down some trees and converted them into planks, slayed some sheep for a bed, and spent the night creating jerky and a chest to store unneeded items. I left about half my food as well, in case I ever return hungry and empty-handed. Or if I never return at all and have to respawn…

Day 9 started off with a bang, when I walked outside to see burning skeletons everywhere. One of them shot me, but I managed to survive long enough for them all to die of burn damage. And that’s how I got my first arrow! After that I committed to the hike and traversed at a breakneck pace through the fields. near the end of the day I didn’t notice a faultline and fell inside, I hear zombies and skeletons but managed to reach back up to the grass in a blind panic. at the top, I noticed a village and met my first villagers as the sun was setting. One poor sod didn’t take cover and the zombies ate him, so I spent the night in his house, eating his bread and claiming his chest as my own.

Day 10 I woke up and quickly meleed a burning archer skeleton to death hoping to claim his bow, but alas I was unsuccessful. I decided to rest up in the village and spruce my new house up a bit. Then I explored the brewery, the blast furnace, the stonecutter, and other landmarks. I also explored a forest fire going on around a nearby lava pit. Last but not least I tamed by a horse by right-clicking it repeatedly, though I don’t have a saddle and they don’t appear craftable so I doubt the faithful steed will be coming with me. 

Day 11 started off scary enough…I had gone to sleep because there was a spider outside and I wanted to kill it for fishing string in the morning, but I noticed an enderman as well. I tried to fight it outright but it hit like a truck and kept darting around. at low health I finally hid inside a house, but it loitered around the front door screaming. Then the stone giant guarding the town stumped over and beat it to death. I owe that guy a beer. I returned to the nearby faultline and mined every chunk of coal I could find. I also carved a path to the river just to see the faultline fill with water. Looked pretty sweet. That night I dumped all my useless stuff into a crate and prepared to venture forth, leaving the village behind me. 

On day 12 I postponed my upcoming exodus when I realized you can right-click on notable villagers to trade, and I realized I was close to trading with the cleric (32 rotten flesh) and farmer (26 potatoes). I filled his plots with my stolen potatoes and fertilized them with bone meal, then went AFK in my house waiting for the last few potatoes to grow. When I returned, it was raining outside and I saw the farmer being assaulted by a zombie. I charged out there and kited the zombie into the iron golem. Realizing I could farm zombies this way, I darted around in the rain luring various undead foes (including my first baby zombie) to their ironic death. Until a horde of zombies spawned and murdered my iron bro ;_; I found an empty house and quickly went to sleep. 

Morning of Day 13 arrived with burning zombies everywhere. I kited them together and harvested their flesh for the cleric. After trading with him and the farmer, I earned my first two emeralds which I crafted into red dust. I don’t actually know what it does, but it was expensive as hell so it’s gotta be good, right?
It was already noon, so I ended the day by doing everything I hadn’t already tried in the village, since I wanted to leave before causing more destruction for the poor townpeople. I crafted iron boots from the remains of the iron giant and grabbed some pig and salmon meat to cook over a fire tonight, and I fell asleep hoping a spider would spawn tomorrow so I could try fishing. 

Day 14 arrived, and I charged outside and fought some burning skeletons, burning zombies, and (yessss) two spiders! They dropped more than enough string, so I finally crafted me a fishing rod and headed down to the river. I threw the bobber in, but i couldn’t figure out how to reel the fish in. Every time I tried nothing seemed to happen– BOOM! A creeper had snuck up behind me and one-shot me. I guess I deserved it for not keeping aware of my surroundings. 

Welp, thus ends this journal, as I promised myself I’d stop when I first died. Goodbye cruel world… though imo two weeks isn’t a bad track record for a first life.

Casting CS:GO in 9 days oh god I’m not ready

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Update: rofl guess I’m not doing any of that. Pretty relieved, ngl

I’m having more and more doubts regarding the CS:GO Charity tournament I agreed to cast for one of my fellow students from the Business in Esports course I finished last month. It’s not that I don’t want to cast it, I just don’t know anything about casting Counter-Strike because I’m hot garbage at the game. I’ve just never really been into twitch shooters, I prefer arena shooters with their crazy mobility and healing classes. But I’ve been watching CS:GO casters on Twitch for years and years, before Overwatch or my own shoutcasting career was even a thing, so I’m likely more qualified than I’m telling myself. I’ve got a short list of things I want to do before the tournament before I’ll consider myself ready to cast:

  1. Play a game of comp CS:GO to learn the pacing from the players’ perspective
  2. create flashcards of all the gun HUD icons so I can name whatever guns they’re using
  3. Practice learning map callouts. Much as I’d like to learn them, the tourney has 12 maps that aren’t chosen beforehand, so I’m gonna have cheatsheets on my second monitor while casting.
  4. Watch a YouTube video explaining the in-game economy metagame. The money is the one thing I’ve never really understood.
  5. Run a practice cast with bot teams to ensure I can handle the spectator controls. They say a third party will be handling camerawork/streaming, but I’d still rather know how to switch characters and see whatever I want to see in-game. (Especially the ‘switch to freecam’ button, I remember going insane during my first Overwatch cast because I couldn’t figure out how to do that)

I wish this was the main thing on my plate coming up, but I’ve got another League Zero cast this Sunday, and on Saturday my parents are celebrating their 40th Anniversary with a 60s-themed party and I agreed to help them prepare/clean up afterward. Everyone needs to dress up as something from the era, personally I’m going as a redshirt from Star Trek.

In other news, two new Emilena stories! The first, Hapsburg Manor, was a writing experiment to practice heavily using flashbacks. It chronicles Emilena solving a case as a child and then having to reopen it as an adult when new complications arise. (Flora also cameos; Eric Hapsburg was her name before she transitioned to female in college). The second story, Rust in Peace, involves her investigating an eco-terrorist gang disrupting a housing development project in the shrublands. The gang’s leader, Hania, briefly appeared in the canon as an anti-humanist nutjob who rubbed Serris the wrong way, and he was certainly fun to bring back in a prequel adventure.

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One of my videos got thirteen thousand views!

Also E3 coverage is wrapping up on VGFAQ, which means I can start transitioning into making more freeform content. Maybe I could start making the sort of list-based videos I specialized in on the SPUF of Legend. A lot of my video-making time is now streaming time; I got my first regular viewer who amazingly hasn’t missed a stream even though I never schedule them ahead of time. I’ve now made $35 dollars total, mostly in bits. It’s not much, but I’m pretty happy getting anything streaming. I vividly remember 2014 aabicus discovering Twitch and wondering if he could ever make a single dollar streaming, so I’m pretty glad to inform him that he could.

Last but not least, since I’m not updating this blog as much as I used to I encourage any hypothetical viewers to check out my Twitter since it’s finally something worth looking at. I’ve added a picture and made it look nice, and more importantly, I now tweet whenever I do anything for any of the zillion projects I work for. It’s the best place to keep abreast of whatever I’m doing in real time.

New stories, new gigs!

Hi all! Been a while since I wrote on this blog, and lots of things have happened!

The funniest one has to be Flora’s brief limelight on reddit after I mentioned one of her stories in a discussion involving a certain BDSM fetish. I got flooded with messages from people wanting to read it, and overall a lot more conversation on the topic than I expected. (The story is the nudist colony one I mentioned a while ago btw). Well, some dude messaged me and paid me ½ cent/word to write another one starring his OC Spectra. So, if you wanted to read about a candystripe tigress with mind control powers, “What Happens in Legal…” has you covered! (This marks the third time I’ve been paid for erotic commissions, beginning with “Taming of the Revenue” back in 2015. I wonder what point I need to start considering this a side gig.)

Other exciting news, MasterClass has hired me back onto another upcoming class! I haven’t signed any NDAs, but I’m positive they don’t want me talking about the content so I’m keeping my trap shut. I’m just excited to work for them again, the Will Wright class was a great experience and I’ll be putting a lot of time into them the next few days. So don’t expect this blog to start being updated any faster than it currently is.

VGFAQ is going good, releasing videos at a steady rate. E3 is in a few days, that’s when I’m gonna kick things into high gear on that front. I’ve started publishing articles for the VGFAQ blog, which forced me to learn block-form WordPress, which was weird at first but it grew on me after a while. It gives you a lot less flexibility for your formatting, but it simplifies cookie-cutter article creation quite well, which is pretty much all I make for them anyway.

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Lookit my sexy Twitch channel wallpaper! I update the words/icons after every stream so my viewers know what/when the one will be. 

I have two subscribers on Twitch!!! This means I’ve made 5 whopping dollars as a streamer, which is actually really exciting because I’ve wanted to commit to streaming for years and am only now finally doing it. It’s really fulfilling to know that people enjoy my shoutcasts enough to throw Twitch Prime subs my way, and I’ve been streaming ARK and Overwatch on a semi-regular basis to try and keep my numbers up. (By all metrics I shouldn’t be streaming ARK, the Overwatch streams are the only ones that get any traction, but I enjoy ARK and it feels like a natural continuation of the YouTube series of mine and Asmund’s adventures. Plus it’s not like I’m anywhere close to the 75 viewers average needed to qualify for partnership. I haven’t even broken 30 viewers at any given second, much less for a 30-day average.) When life settles down somewhat, I fully plan to reapply for a job at Twitch. Previously they said no because I had no streaming experience, but next time around it’ll be another story!

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!