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.

 

Next of Kin Now Live!

Next of Kin is now being posted on the Gang of Five! New chapter every day! Those of who clicked the Google Doc linked in the last blog post are now tasting karmic justice, since you’ve been spoiled. Serves you right.

If you’re curious what else I’ve been up to these days, I’ve been video editing for MasterClass! They’re kinda like an online course-offering website that has lots of big-name teachers like James Patterson and Gordon Ramsay, who give a series of online lectures based on the field that made them famous. I can’t go into more detail for NDA reasons but it’s been a really great opportunity and I’ve loved working with them. I’d actually taken their Patterson course back in the day, so it’s cool to get a behind-the-scenes look at how they make their courses. Plus it’s forced me to learn a lot of little things about Photoshop and Premiere I hadn’t known previously; Photoshop in particular is consistently surprising me with the amazing features it’s hiding. It’s got this thing called “batch processing” where you can set some parameters and it’ll execute them on every photo in a specific folder, which has been amazing for quickly converting something from PNG to TIFF and ensuring everything has the same resolution. I can see why nobody can quit Photoshop once they’ve learned it.

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didn’t even realize the keys were backlit till I plugged it in, fucking score

Other fun news: I’ve purchased a silent keyboard, since the old one’s Spacebar died due to overuse. See, Overwatch’s Lucio is a jumping machine and so I’m constantly mashing the poor spacebar like it owes me money. This new keyboard has far softer keys, which has resulted in me constantly doubble-tyyping lettters but I think it’ll be a lot nicer on my recordings whenever I have open mic on.

Because I’m planning on going into streaming! I’m getting a second monitor for my birthday, and I literally already own everything I’d need to leap into that pool. I’ll be honest, I plan to stream on Mixer both because I think it’s an up-and-coming platform and because I love the ability to add interactive buttons that viewers can click. My early plan is to create a rudimentary polling system where people can vote on which Overwatch healer I play the next round as (including Soldier 76 of course), and expand from there if it works. Streaming is the main online platform I’m not currently taking advantage of, and it’ll likely be a few months before I can stream regularly but I’m setting the pieces in motion.

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I added transparency to this pic with Photoshop! :3

Also, while I’m calling out purchases and things that exceeded my expectations, my younger brother gifted me a FitBit because he’s way more financially successful than me, and I love it way more than I expected to. It tracks your steps, your sleep, and you can input your meals into the app and find out how many calories above your diet you’re actually eating. The first step in fixing your sleep schedule, eating habits, and exercise routine is to find out just how badly you’re currently doing, so you can just try to beat your progress last week.

Thank you for coming to this week’s episode of Consumer Electronics, I’m your host aabicus, allow me to play you out with 21 seconds of me practicing the Ken Burns effect:

 

 

New Darwin’s Soldiers story!

Man, doesn’t this take you back to, like, 2014?

Been ages since I wrote one of these. And to be honest, I’m not done yet. But f-22 was one of the original players in Darwin’s Soldiers and he told me an idea he had for a story, and I liked that idea. Problem is, he’s already got a story he’s working on, and another story planned for after that, and let’s be honest he’s not exactly the fastest content creator, so this one would have to wait probably years to come into being if he wrote it. I’m not that patient, and he gave me permission.

Introducing Next of Kin, a sequel to the ancient story I wrote a bajillion years ago, Ship of State. Don’t actually click that link though, because it’s not done yet. And even when it’s done, it’s going to go live on the Gang of Five, where I post a chapter a day in a dedicated thread. This is a walk down memory lane to a different era, a time when these Darwin’s Soldiers stories were my only creative outlet. It’s really nice to get back to that, for just a bit. No editors, no filter. And I get to flood the wiki with new information as soon as that whole thing’s finally posted. Because every author knows you never post a story before it’s finished. Don’t click that link.

RIP Gang of Five

Good thing I archived all the Darwin’s Soldiers RPs in Google Drive, because their home forum has bitten the dust as of 10pm tonight. The admins are working on resurrecting all the forum content on a new host, and best of luck to them, but when I have to trawl through the Darwin’s Soldiers Wiki and TV Tropes pages and fix all the hotlinks, I’m making these Google Docs the primary links. At least those (hopefully) aren’t going anywhere.

I took the opportunity to create one with the three posted chapters of f-22’s story “the Disease“. If he ever posts more chapters I’ll have to go paste them here, but it’s been months so I’m not holding my breath

Gamer 2 released!

I started Gamer 2 in October 2013, and have worked on it on and off for almost four years. It’s by far the longest-lasting unfinished project in my retinue, and I’m really pleased to announce the game is now live! God willing there’ll be an in-browser version soon, but for now you can download it from Itch.io and play the culmination of MrDrake’s short story Gamer!

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This was supposed to come out on September 15th, the 8-year anniversary of Darwin’s Soldiers, but debugging necessitated delays.

New Darwin’s Soldiers Story!

And it’s not even from me! f-22 “raptor” ace was one of the original authors who stuck around through all three role-plays, and his two characters, Hans and Werner Donitz, are some of the most important in the entire canon. Well, I was pleasantly surprised when he messaged me a few days ago letting me know he’d recently read Chasing Seconds and wanted to write a tie-in story that focused on Werner during his time as leader of the desert settlement. The first part went live today, check it out here!

It’s exciting to get some new content for the Darwin’s Soldiers canon, but 2017 might not stop there; I’ve been periodically digging Gamer 2 out of the recesses of my hard drive, blowing the mothballs off and adding a bit more to what I’ve finished. At this moment I’ve only got to code the final boss fight, the secondary boss fight, and the final cutscene and then I’ll consider it complete enough to upload to itch.io. Stay tuned!