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!

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!

Job receipt #5

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the checkmark means I’ve applied

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.

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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.)

Getting Back on Track

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But which track?

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’ve been in something of a slump these past two weeks. I’ve written only two articles, one of which was a glorified announcement, and my only video was an unedited rip from my stream.

 

Part of it is a mental gridlock as I decide where to put my mental energies. I have many ideas for videos, but where should I post them? I want to post them on the SPUF of Legend, but I’m now a paid videographer for VGFAQ, it feels silly to spend my energy releasing videos for what essentially amounts to a failed attempt to make a standalone YouTube channel. After 3 years, the only videos that get any enduring traffic are the Overwatch League clips and me showing how to close a game without alt-f4 or the task manager. So, for this article, I’m mostly getting my thoughts out in one place:

Option 1: Release videos for both channels at the same time. It’s becoming increasingly clear I can’t do this. I spend a lot of time on my videos, and I don’t like having them constantly separated. I know I work better when pouring all my resources into one place to make it the best it possibly can. Which means my actual options are:

Option 2: Release videos for VGFAQ. There are some obvious pros; I’m getting paid money for doing so (albeit not much at all, but I think my value would increase quickly if I gave them my full attention) and I even have something of a fanbase. (There are a couple users who chat with me on Twitter and visit my Twitch channel, and they explicitly came from VGFAQ.) Plus, when talking to people in real life I can answer “63 thousand” when they inevitably ask how many subscribers I have.

Option 3: Release videos for the SPUF of Legend. The main pro is that someday, god willing, it came become a standalone channel where I get 100% of money. Right now I get a very small percentage of the money from VGFAQ, and unless Kevin bequeaths the channel to me in his will or something, that’s never gonna change no matter how big we get. In addition, SPUF was my creation; I created the channel with 0 subscribers and I’ve worked hard for over three years to bring 530 subscribers and 175,000 views to my channel, and I take a lot of pride in what it’s become. I like how all the notifications involve videos I made, unlike on VGFAQ where 99% of them are ancient videos published before I’d even joined.

There’s no easy solution. My upcoming video, My 5 Favorite Healers in Games, is one of those two-minute lightning lists that the SPUF of Legend was made for. It’s probably going on VGFAQ, but it’s gonna feel weird because it’s probably only gonna get a few more views and then disappear in the sea of their other content creators. I can’t help but feel I’m giving up on my chances of becoming a standalone YouTuber by selling myself to another channel.

But on the other hand, this could be an opportunity. Right now, SPUF essentially has no community; nobody ever contacts me asking when my next video will go live, and if I rebranded it into something completely different I doubt we’d suffer any real losses in subscriber count. If I could publish a different sort of video on SPUF (something the gaming-focused VGFAQ wouldn’t be interested in), I think I could find the energy to start releasing content for both channels again. And if I ever knuckle down and learn how to animate, I’m going to need somewhere to publish them…

The 2s Have It

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.

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:

 

 

A Pizza the Action – first look

I’m working on my next game title! This one’s all about procedural generation, since it started as a final project for my ProcGen class. You can see the video I turned in for said project here:

 

(or the tie-in PowerPoint, which I’m not going to record myself presenting because it’s only a five-minute presentation)

I’m almost immediately taking a two-week break from this game as I survive finals and travel around showcasing Major League Magic at various cool events like Sammy’s Showcase and The Mix, and I don’t suspect I’ll be done with this game any time soon. It’s looking to be something of a complicated endeavor, (I’m learning more about the RandRange command than I ever cared to) but I am excited to finally get to use my “flying angelic pizza sprite” in an actual game 😀