Me in 2016

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My 2016 will mean “more presence”, more content. I just have to shake of the constant sense of “Man, I can’t write a blog entry when I have this work here and that deadline there”. If I follow that road, I become really silent, because there is constantly something urgent to do. If there is NOT, I really have to do a whole bunch of worryin. I was super silent in 2015.

And I feel guilty having a moment off. While spare time is normal for everyone, a freaklancer (lacking a preset inherent work cycle) might be tempted to feel not entitled to any spare time, as there is this urgent deadline, and I am late for this project or that.

I think, this is rubbish, and doesn’t really lead to a great mindset and quality of life. Yes, I have some projects, yes, my album is late. BUT, instead of feeling bad about it all the time, I try to be productive, to do good work, make progress, and then take the time I need to recover, relax, regroup – and to talk more. Pondering over the silent weeks around the holidays, I realised, I need to express myself, to make life matter more, to be more present in the passage of time, and most important, for my sanity.

So, this year, I will try to write more, point out something interesting here or there, recommend, warn, inform, teach … I don’t have the time to be brilliant all the time, or super well researched. I’d still feel guilty if I spent many hours on a deep article while there is red-blinking work on my desk. But a few paragraphs? Why not!

It might just be a small hint here, or a nice game I played there. But, trying to drop at least a blog post every other day will make me feel present again in the goings-on of today, and for someone with my wicked mind, this is a healthy thing.

just played: Magic 2013: Duels of the Planeswalkers
just watched: Simpsons
just read: the crap you folks write on Facebook 😉

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Top5 Games I played in 2015

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Everybody and their horse has a Best Game of 2015 list of some sort. So, I gotta have one of them, too. Right? Isn’t this how it works? A very personal “best games I played in 2015” to be precise, I am nowhere near current. I am not a reviewer or youtuber, I don’t play too many games per year. I try to play more, but I have a lot on my plate. Seriously working on reconstructing my work day so I get a human chunk of spare time (to waste on more games) … But – that’s another story.

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#5 Kingdom

Nice little mysterious one-button sidescroller. Great pixel art weather and atmosphere. You can ride to the left and to the right, recruit subjects, arm them, build walls and wait for the next horrible blood moon night, with its creepy horde of monsters.

Kingdom turned out to be much more addictive than I would have thought!
Love it for: it keeps you in the dark about its mechanics, so you are eager to find out more. I like that.

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#4 The Consuming Shadow

Yahtzee (of Zero Punctuation fame) made a great, dark Lovecraft story-heavy roguelite game. I am a big fan of his sarcastic comedy writing, but with The Consuming Shadow, he hooked me with his dark side. Very well done, sir!
Love it for: Inspirational atmosphere. I fire it up and I am immediately inspired to write something dark.

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#3 Adom

In some ways, Adom will always be #1 in my heart. I gave it another go as it hit Steam, with the new graphics it’s still a wonderful roguelike, but better than ever. Have I mentioned lately, super proud that I actually discussed bringing it to Indiegogo with creator Thomas, expressing my optimistic opinions, and it turned out to be a huge hit there! 🙂 In 2015, I tried again to beat it (still haven’t). I will have to finish my dedicated blog post about it some day, there is so much to say about it …
Love it for: It’s extreme depth. There are so many guides out there, and they are massive, as there is so much to find. Pick one, browse a page, you will be intrigued.

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#2 Renowned Explorers International Society

Wonderful little explorer game, it feels like a great board game, with a rich research tree, light on-point humour, many strategies… I had beaten Renowned Explorers once, tried it again with other characters, and found many different tactics to play it.
Love it for: Showing how great you can tell little stories in this format, and keep it ever-changing by denying some of the content per playthrough.

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#1 Assassin’s Creed – Black Flag

Only XBox One game on this list, and the oldest. This 2013 game was a Game With Gold I grabbed for free, and on the same day it was upped as a free game, I actually had it in my hand in a store. (I was so happy that I didn’t buy it.) Weirdly enough, I even worked for Assassin’s Creed in a tiny way, more so on the Prince of Persia “originals” for that matter, but never really played an AC title. And this one’s great, the parcour is stellar and sailing the waves feels great … Fighting a fort, during a thunderstorm, while being shot at by the fort and 2 pirate hunter ships, breaching the walls, jumping into the huge waves, climbing up the broken walls through the smoke, joining the fight to conquer it and raise the black flag over the ruins – can a video game atmosphere be better?

I get it, there are so many AC titles, people were quite sick of them, still this one counts as one of the best. Having played it without being sick of the parcour site of things, it made a great impression on me. The first 10 hours or so, I didn’t even leave the 1st city.

I know it’s not a 2015 game, but I had so many nice 30 minute sessions on the open sea last year before going to bed, and I am still only at 29 % complete! 🙂 It’s my number 1 go-to-game at the moment (still), so the guts say #1.
Love it for: the pirate flair that made me remember what’s great about the pirate setting. I turns out, I love it! I almost forgot. Now that you say it… I loved those old pirate movies… Now I want a Port Royale game using this engine!

just played: minecraft
just watched: co-optional podcast 003
just heard: cagcast 435

 

Gamify your todo list – with Habitica

Formerly known as HabitRPG (a name I prefer), this tool helps you gamify your todo list.

Enter the following things:
– Habits you want to enforce or remove from your life
– Daily jobs, or jobs that you need to do on certain days of the week
– Oneshot tasks

Then gain gold, xp, loot & pets when you keep at it, or get damage when you don’t! Equip stuff, nurture pets into mounts, get some friends to fight monsters, solve quests, or join a guild of like-minded individuals to chat or quest with. Those quest monsters can be defeated just by being productive – don’t miss your dailies, or forget your to-do list items for too long, lest your party gets damage!

So far, it seems helpful to me. On it for a week now, level 5.

“Secret Hitler”

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Total Biscuit and 7 other Youtubers/Podcasters playing the card game “Secret Hitler” (by a designer of Cards Against Humanity) in Tabletop Simulator is a unique spectacle. It’s hard to follow if you (like me) know only a few of the persons involved (it’s 8 people talking). And they play it 4 times and learn the game more and more (making mistakes in the beginning).

Still, it’s a wild, weird game of lying, betrayal, paranoia … If you can’t invest 4 hours, and you don’t need introduction to the rules, just watch the 2nd video. I am watching both a 2nd time, because it was that weird and entertaining to watch. People shouting “you’re a fascist!” or “that is something Hitler would say!” at each other, laughing, double-crossing, triple-crossing … A very well made game.

just played: dirt showdown
just watched: see above
just read: still count of monte christo

 

Almost there …

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Coffee breaks of productivity! I just need the header for 2 categories, and our redesign is complete. Good practise for the album artwork I need to wrap up soon …
Tomorrow is teaching time again …

just played: assassin’s creed black flag
just watched: jim sterling – assassin’s creed thingy india
just read: still count of monte christo
just heard: cooptional podcast 105

New Design trodding along

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Almost done with the restructuring… New look for Game Design and Music is done, too. Rest will follow.

It’s kinda nice to polish this little blog in coffee breaks, but now I start to feel the new year taking up speed again …  A lot of contact with clients today, new work coming in. I like! But: I have to fight to keep remembering all my other things, #1 of them the album of course.

I also want to reinstall a weird little thing I had on my old website: Adding some needless “Now” info to my posts, just to make them super-current. 😉 Might be just more noise, might be interesting, I don’t know. Like this:

just played: dirt showdown
just watched: let’s drown out… james pond 2 (youtube.com/user/yahtzee19)
just read: the count of monte cristo (alexandre dumas)

Re-designing this, more posts, new stuff

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New year, new things one wants to do. I think, a blog is good for me. Helps me keep track of days, of progress, helps with the old mood swings and stuff …

I want to do some new things here, and want to post more often. Right now it’s a bit of a mess here, but I hope to have more to show soon.

It’s always a guilt thing: I have things to do, so let’s address this here: I am doing this for me, next to my work, not instead of work. So, me, don’t feel bad about this. It’s not wasted time, it helps me to focus and to keep my mind clean and sane. (I hope)  Blinking deadlines are good for me AND stress me out, which usually silences me (between stress, guilt and the feeling of fading away from the present). Weird, but there you are.

I have to go through all my old posts and update them to fit them into my new structure, wahhh…. This will take a week or two.

Seen: Minority Report ★★★★☆

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I somehow put this off for ages, maybe because Tom Cruise is such a charming character. But I saw it yesterday, and I like the setting, the general plot (with a strong 4th quarter, too) … I like the way mystery and intrigue is introduced. In general, it reminded me why I love sci fi.

Would love to remove half a star, though. The very end leaves me wanting a clearer resolution, and it feels vaguely “generic” all over the place. You know, the way “12 Monkeys” or “Fight Club” doesn’t. What do I mean? I think some characters just fulfill a role, all that “love interest” / “lost son” stuff feels soo generic, this could be a prequel to “Shutter Island”. I don’t feel a writer “putting something he HAS to say” into these parts of the story. It feels more like “Ok, we need a strong motivation here and here, and some reflection here. Done!” It is a 2 1/2 hour movie. Let the characters say and do things because they want to, or not because it is needed right now by the plot. The main characters literally have no interests, no odd curves or wrinkles. I don’t know why, but basic cold hard facts about tragic characters somehow reduce the impact. Show me a character and say “this one is very very sad”, it doesn’t work. Let me see him/her laugh about something in a weird way, flirt with somebody, try to find a new passion and fail etc. You know, the way suffering characters do. The most unique character, Agatha, stays SADLY underdeveloped. I would have basically given her the rest of the movie, she would have deserved it. The entire movie could have secretly been about her. But it isn’t.

As a movie in general: 5 stars. 1/2 star off because of the missing “soul”, and 1/2 off because I think I have discovered the weakest John Williams score.

New Adventure!

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Old friend, new team mate:  Me and my mate Martin have started working on an adventure. We had 3 sessions so far, very similar goals and wishes …

That means, my slooow progress with my Mystery Adventure is over for now. Game #2, which I worked on a bit alone will now be this new game. It will be a mystery adventure, and we are taking great care to make it interesting and worthwhile. Stay tuned …

Patreon & Jim Sterling

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About 2 weeks ago, Jim Sterling left Escapist Magazine (and just as I got used to that cool show Uncivil War, in which he battled my beloved Yahzee).

He goes indie now as a reviewer, podcaster, vidcaster or whatever. On Patreon, which appears to be a sort of “salary Kickstarter”.

I think, this site, of which I only diffusely heard so far, could be just what was missing.

Take a look. He offers 0 rewards. Only 1 tier. 1$ or more.  2713 patrons pledged (altogether) $9760.13 per month, which is an awesome salary.

How great is that?

Now I need to find something to offer, which people would pay for… 😉

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