New work routine strategy

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Just a tiny post. I have 2 interesting jobs I need to work on daily for a while, so I try a new method / strategy here, too feel more productive, to have a regular daily routine closer to humans. I got pretty weird lately, working later and later (mainly because of the heat).

Will work earlier, and more regularly. Let’s see how this feels.

Also, want to find back to myself, pick my album production back up ,… Things happen!

just played: Magic The Gathering
just watched: Bill Maher
just heard: my own music basically
just read: Wilkie Collins – The Moonstone

A new level of In-App-Evil: Watch out for Legion/Mydoo Ads!

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Letting a small kid play with your Iphone for 5 mins, nothing much can happen, right? 23 open tabs, some moved icons, maybe a few failed in-app purchases… Right? Wrong.

At a recent family gathering, my daughter of 2 years played with a relative’s Iphone, clicked on an ad, and got herself a 4€ / week subscription to Legion GmbH / MyDoo International. By clicking on an ad. That popped up in a free game for small children. In a game that is available on the Apple app store. There is no password or any complicated process, just a click on an ad, and apparently, that stuff is legal in Germany (German link). I can’t tell you how the ad looked, we weren’t looking, but you know how those ads block the entire screen. It’s very easy to misclick, especially if you happen to be the target audience for those games.

Wow. That’s great. We were informed by a text message from Legion (at least something, right?). And our request to cancel was accepted without fuss. Still, google MyDoo International and you find a lot of cases, and many people found out after a few weeks paying.

Easy fixes for this: Go into flight mode (usually no ads) or use Guided Access.

just played: Shadowrun Dragonfall
just watched: Co-Optional Podcast #124
just reread: Time in History by G.J. Whitrow

Back from the convention!

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OK! I am back from the Quo Vadis convention, back in the saddle, and I am trying to stay on top of things more. I have a bunch of stuff to follow up, a bunch of songs and sounds to do, and an album to finish. Also: Once again I find, the work/life balance might be the critical thing I always ignore. The more I try to be a good boy and concentrate on work, the less I am able to be productive, because I get dull and lose my creativity. So, spending some time with the game dev crowd but especially with my buddies in Berlin, even though that was exhausting, it was also refreshing if that makes any sense. I feel better now.

I also met 2 people who are great contacts for this blog and my secret plan for it, this might be another push in the right direction. Still, I need to finish about 3 dozen pieces of art, before that thing can launch, I will make progress in the next month.

 

just played: fallout 4 (trying again to have fun with that thing)
just watched: back to the future II
just heard: cox ‘n crendor in the morning dec 4th 2013
just read: stranger in a strange land (heinlein), 3rd time

Silence :/

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My band’s tour was cancelled, which was very stressful and unpleasant … in the aftermath of that, I find myself working productively (now that the tour organization and details are solved in this unpleasant fashion), and replanning the next week. Maybe I can invest some time into this blog again. I need it to take notes of what I do, of the passage of time, to project ideas and thoughts and to make people aware of me (all these things are productive), so I refuse to let this die down again here 😀 But: I promised to re-invest the days of the cancelled tour into finishing the album. If THAT is complete, I have much more free time. 🙂

just played: Sims 4
just watched: Co-Optional Podcast #37
just reread: Heinlein – Stranger
in a Strange Land

Next blog phase…

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Hmm. For my next blog phase, I need to invest some time and work before it can launch. Stupid thing is, I still need to finish my album, my tour is coming up AND I have to focus on my current work, too. So, it might appear silent around here. But, I have this blog on my Habitica to do list, so I see it every day. Stupidly, all my forthcoming posts need (as I said) investments I can’t make right now. I hate to lose my momentum here, before we really start, but I can’t stretch myself too much.

This will not be one of my “final words” followed by a year of silence. I hope to finish a lot of work next week, and maybe I can work a bit on the blog in between.

 

Back from Berlin, more bloggage next week

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Just back from a compressed trip to Berlin for a new project, looking very good! I hope I will be “forced”/allowed to go to Berlin once a month for the next months. I love the city, so yea!
Otherwise, I need to get back into my new-found work routines, that little trip messed it up a bit. So, the next 3 weeks will be work, album recording, blog, and preparation for my band’s tour at the end of the month.

just played: Sims 4
just watched: Total Biscuit Content Patch #203
just read: Still Monte Christo, almost done …

Podcasts and Vodcasts

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So, what are you listening to, podcast/vodcast-wise?

Because of my job and interests, I mostly listen to people ranting about the games industry. I like the podcast format, because it is great to listen to on the side (while sorting stuff/cleaning up/answering mails etc) or during walks/train rides. And if you manage to warm up to one, it’s hours and hours of free entertainment featuring somebody you find funny!

That being said, I tried so many more, and failed to like them. Good ones are hard to find. But these are the ones I currently recommend:

Podcasts at the moment:

Cagcast
Current issue:
436
Good for: Console Game news.
Three gamer dads talk about console game news. Cheapy D’s day job is a video game website about getting video games cheaply, which is a very interesting perspective! Wombat is more of a classic family dad gamer. Shipwreck is the collector & excel sheet jockey archetype, plays a lot of games. The 3 manage to cook up an entertaining show every Friday.

Co-optional Podcast (also a Vodcast)
Current issue: 107
Good for: PC game news. Sarcastic British commentary.
Total Biscuit leads this 3 hosts + 1 guest format. I love his british sarcasm. Jesse Cox is a freaky wild American, it took me some time to warm up to his crazyness, now I love it. Dodger is as lovely, loud and charming a gamer girl as I could imagine.

 

Vodcast:

Jim Sterling
Sub-channels:
The Jimquisition (68), Squirty Plays (495) …
Good for:
Entertaining crazyiness
I talked about Jim Sterling earlier in connection to his Patreon. This crazy dude with his unique personality will bring you both great insight into the industry and the weirdest jokes. Mostly, he checks out small crappy games and greenlight trailers, but also tackles the current topics in his own way. I know him from his old show with …

Yahtzee’s Youtube Channel (Yahtzee19)
Sub-channels: Let’s Drown Out (64), Ego Review (24) …
Good for: Sarcastic British humour.
Yahtzee Croshaw (of Zero Punctuation fame) has a youtube channel, in which he and co-host Gabriel drown out games or talk about his own game releases. I lost interest in his endless “Let’s Drown out Dark Souls 2”, but otherwise, enjoyable says fanboy.

Classic Podcasts:

Australian Gamer Podcast
Current issue: Sizzled out. About 215 issues.
Good for: Australian game scene & a historic period of console gaming (roughly the Wii/360/PS3 era 2006-2011).
Talking of Yahtzee, his regular guest appearances on this show made me discover it. Matt is one funny witty nerd. Yug is sometimes drunk and sometimes an idiot (today, mostly Pax Australia). 😉 They had a really good podcast, which I loved until it faded away. Towards the end, Yug had had the idea of the Mana Bar in Brisbane, and it was a huge success. Next, he moved to Melbourne to open another Mana Bar, and that was sort of the end of the thing. I backed most of them up, but not all. Collector’s item!

Russel Brand (BBC2/BBC6)
Current issue: 
Brought down by a massive scandal. About a total of 125 show.
Good for:
witty craziness
Not games related, but awesome. Russel Brand is the wittiest man I have ever experienced. Crazy, womanizing, well-spoken, improvising whole rhyming songs…  He feeds the rockstar side of me… The whole run of shows has ups and downs, it’s certainly not for everyone, but I can wholeheartedly recommend to grab them. Luckily, somebody uploaded all episodes.

Honorable mention:

Bla²
Current issue: Died at 39.
Good for: Hmm.
That was my own (German-languaged) podcast. I do miss it.

Are you following any Podcasts or Youtube channels regularly?

Got a new idea for a small series of posts ..

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… which will belong into the music category, and will spotlight a bit of my personal stuff. I will transfer some of my very old stuff from tapes to digital, and we will all gather around to laugh at it. Will be fun. I am also a bit more active on Twitter.

Next few days, I have a lot of sound design to do, I hope I will not become super silent here.

just played: worky work
just watched: co-optional podcast (on youtube) #004
just read: gamasutra interview with the makers of Kingdom

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 😉

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.