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.
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.
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!
(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!
Shortest blog post ever! Go read A Rose for Rose instead, it published today and was good stuff. In SB for my brother’s birthday right now, tomorrow we ride the Landshark, an amphibious vehicle that drives gaily off the pier halfway through the tour. I’m kinda excited to be able to say I’ve ridden an amphibious vehicle after this, even though it’s a pretty minor tick on the bucket list.
Won’t be able to do one tomorrow either, the family surprised me by a big family trip up to see my brother for his birthday. I don’t mind, but it’s a daylong drive.
I seriously don’t get who’s watching these. The whole game’s already on YouTube somewhere and I’m not even talking or anything. It’s just…footage.
I busted my butt getting enough Borderlands 3 walkthroughs to fill my Portland trip (which went super well! Should be moving up in the next month or so) and now I had to do another one-day marathon to fill the 5-day Birthday trip I’m about to undergo. Not too fussed though, because it’s super easy to crank out 15-minute snippets of Borderlands content. It really is a blast of a game, I wish I could play it as intended and not blitzing through without any friends.
Also got my first rejection, Action Squad Portland wasn’t interested. I respect ’em for letting me know, but blimey I dunno how I could have been more qualified. Ah well. Expect another blog post today, just to get an ease-of-life bookkeeping document out of my head.
(Update: Backdated it to August 14th, I’m probably gonna be linking to it in the future and I don’t want it flanked on both sides by job receipts.)
As great as it’s been to actually succeed at applying to daily jobs for the first time in my life (seriously, you do not want to know how many times I’ve failed at getting more than two in a row before falling back on bad habits and getting bailed out by a surprise freelance gig), I’m gonna need to take a short break as I’ll be up in Portland for the rest of the weekend looking at apartments. I’m also bringing a massive duffel bag of low-priority stuff and leaving it there to facilitate my eventual moving process. I genuinely have no idea how I’m gonna get my massive Area 51 desktop anywhere; me and Dad couldn’t even lift it. I might call Alienware, show them its history of bluescreens, and demand they swap it out for a new one at my Portland address.
Anyway, today was frickin’ busy so I’ve finally got other things to mention. Borderlands 3 came out last night and I’m getting paid by VGFAQ to make no-commentary walkthroughs so I busted the first 5 out last night so I didn’t need to think about it for the rest of my trip. I’ll be honest, I was not jazzed at the timing and went into my first playthrough extremely grumpy, so it’s a point in Gearbox’s favor that I quickly found myself loving the game anyway. It’s just more of the same Borderlands content but with every single one of my complaints addressed. (You want female raiders? Done! A button at vending machines that quickbuys ammo for every gun? Of course! Mobility mechanics? We stole everything from Apex Legends!) Thank god VGFAQ’s reimbursing me for the hundred bucks for the Season Pass.
The last thing I needed to complete before I could fly tomorrow was cleaning out the aforementioned duffel bag as it contained a massive laundry list of papers from every era of my life that I kept stuffing in there rather than sort my past out. It was honestly therapeutic seeing all the old stories, notes, screenplays, sketches, and outlines I’d created for various creative endeavors at different points. Most excitingly, I found a lot of my old tabletop RPG characters from college. I used to work as a professional GM for Strategicon, and I’d completely forgotten about the nameless amnesiac woman I’d played in somebody’s game of Psi*Run. The coolest thing about Psi*Run was how you wrote questions for your character without knowing the answers, and the game would organically tease out answers devised by everyone around the table. And any Into the Black readers should be getting some serious deja vu from this character sheet because she was ported directly into that universe as Lily North.
My second-favorite player character from that era was Presley August, voted by my college friends as the single most annoying character I have ever played. It was (and still is) the only time I’ve ever played Call of Cthulhu, and due to the system’s infamous mortality rate I decided to play an obnoxiously arrogant underage dilettante who thought he was better than everyone else. The team ended up ditching him in the hull of an abandoned ghost ship after he failed a Will Save to not start lighting cultist incense. Said incense caused him to lose all his sanity and hallucinate he was in R’lyeh seeing all the Elder gods at once, and then a Kraken showed up and swallowed the ship whole. The GM added that last bit just because everybody wanted to see him die. Poor Presley.
And lastly there’s Bogard, the first (and longest-lasting) character I’ve ever played. I wrote him a backstory and everything, set to the tune of Gilligan’s Island. My friends and I were all brand new to tabletop gaming, and we played that initial campaign almost every weekend for over two years. At one point we switched who was GM, and players frequently dropped out/joined or switched characters, and ultimately Bogard was the only character who survived the entire adventure (which was less of a campaign and more a series of unconnected vignettes sending them all over the medieval world). After getting some financial advice from GitP, I had him buy his own castle and rule over his own township. Most of my characters after him (including the two above) weren’t so lucky…
I applied for a single job. Not great, I know, but baby steps.
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!)
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.
As fun as it’s been to live rent-free with my parents for the last year, I’m starting to get that itch that says “I really want to go out and explore more of the world” and also “you’re a worthless waste of oxygen accomplishing nothing”. It’s a bittersweet, multi-faceted itch.
I’ve now set my sights on Portland. I’ve visited friends there once or twice, I love the liberal population and the left-of-center culture. Now I just need to have a job lined up so I can pay the rent when I actually show up, which thankfully will be easier done than in SanFran.
So we’re putting all creative projects on hold (except the ones that pay me like VGFAQ and Daily Esports). I can be creative in Portland. Right now, I need steady employment and I need it before December when my potential roommate’s current lease expires.
So, going forward, I’m going to be updating this blog daily with every single job application location I send out. That means with a screencap of the message informing me the application was sent in. If I miss a day, you’ll know I’ve been my usual lazy procrastinating self, and can shake your head sadly as I needlessly delay, thus putting my Oregonian future in jeopardy. It wouldn’t be anything new, any hypothetical longtime readers would have probably sensed a trend by now where I can’t seem to devote my brain to anything except building skills and completing freelance work that somebody plopped into my lap after finding me somehow. But really, I hope for once that doesn’t happen.
Hi! It’s been a while since I posted on this blog. A lot has changed, not all of it for the better.
Apologies for the radio silence, nonexistent readers, and I don’t really have a very good excuse. I’ve fallen into something of a slump these past few months. While I’ve kept my online obligations running (new SPUF of Legend videos, new Daily eSports articles), I’ve let a lot of my creative projects fall to the wayside. I’m not sure if it counts as ‘depression’ per se, but I’m really starting to feel the stress of my inability to land a job.
Feels like I’ve sent thousands of applications, and I hear literally nothing back. I’ve made it through two rounds of interviews at one place, but I haven’t heard anything in over two weeks. I had to borrow money from my parents to pay rent 5 days ago. It really feels like I’m running on a hamster wheel, the same wheel I’ve been on since leaving Ohio to chase a gamedev jobs in Austin 4 years ago.
I have to admit I’ve never felt more worried this was all for naught. Everyone I know from my graduating class has landed gaming jobs except me. It feels like I’ve blown thousands of dollars moving to SF and trying to break into a thriving industry that has room for everyone else. I feel like I bring a lot of skills to the table, but apparently they’re not the right ones for anyone to take notice.
My cumulative internet traffic is the only silver lining to my situation. I’ve broken 2 thousand views on itch.io, 2 hundred thousand views on YouTube, and 2 million views on Gfycat. Too bad I’ve had almost no luck translating those numbers into user activity, or a real community.
So…happy 2019 everybody. It’s weird to think I now have 7 years experience as a game developer, and yet I’ve never felt like less of one.