A la Mode

Welcome dear reader!
Hi, how is 2017 treating you so far?

I’ve usually attempted to post more by the halfway mark of the year but alas this year has been pretty much hectic with an added pinch of exhausting thrown in for good measure.

Why you ask , well mostly as my role has transitioned into something different, but while retaining much of the same stuff as I was doing before only more of it. Confusing right?

Streaming and gaming

I’ve been a little relaxing in my streaming habits, I started to ease back to streaming on Sunday mornings and will aim to keep up that habit while it makes sense to do so. I’ve been trying to keep the streams to relaxing games, mostly as it’s Sunday morning but also I usually have Little Troll in close proximity.

Gameblast was great fun this year and we raised more than our total in 2016, which considering there was on three of us this year was rather a good accomplishment. I totally love Special Effect and all the good work that they do.

Games

Munki and I are possibly going to get into a MMO (know first time in forever), we bought the game with the month trail as some kind of bonkers anniversary gift to each other, we’ll see how the first month in FFXIV pans out.

I am playing alot more Euro Truck Sim 2 recently, I think it’s that I find it quite relaxing ( until I hit something ), I’m covering more of the map to try and get those achievements.

Online Role Playing

Oneshot Island
Oneshot Island

Since the start of the year we have been playing through the Hoard of the Dragon Queen, we’ve had a few start and stops due to real life but it’s been enjoyable, we even picked up another player a month ago, So I must be doing something right.  It makes Sundays a little longer for me as a 8am start for streaming and a 11pm finish after the DnD session can make for a long day, but it’s enjoyable.

I find that Roll20 is such a great tool for our game, that I have now got a Pro account, which if they only thing it gave was the ability to copy between games would still be very worth it.

I had the pleasure of running a One-shot game for some friends from the streaming community I am part of, I was nervous as the last game I created and ran was in back in 1997, so I was worried that it wouldn’t go according to plan or I’d just turn into a blithering wreck. Thankfully it was fine and everyone enjoyed it, including me.

I have found that I enjoy building up scenes for the groups to consume, yes I know it’s all make believe, but sometimes it’s useful to have an idea of the environment or things that as the GM you want to remember to use in your story telling.

In getting to building these I pretty much bought all of the art assets by David Hemenway on Roll20, I find that his the art style lends itself well for use with both rendered and hand drawn characters, and the various packs fit well together.

Library Legacy

A clan mate and myself were discussing the use of a Steam account by relatives, that had belonged to someone that has sadly passed away.
Slightly macabre I know but as more things become released digitally, the material worth of worldly good diminishes more each year. Mine dropped greatly when I binned all fifty of my Babylon 5 VHS cassette tapes (but I recovered a portion of my house back, so you know swings and roundabouts).

Digital rights in death is not really talked with any view to a long term resolution, outside of Facebook’s memorial pages, but it’s something likely to become something more frequently discussed. If I collected Vinyl or Stamps it would be easy to pass those onto loved ones in a will, however all those films I bought on online services or music that was purchased digitally isn’t something that can be given easily, if at all, as many companies don’t allow account sharing.

So when it comes to Steam looking at something like SteamDB will tell you the current value of my Steam account, but of course all those games bought at release are now likely to have their cost considerably reduced in comparison. Family sharing maybe an option so some, but not a long term answer to who gets to inherit my Team Fortress hat’s.

Perhaps it’s just a transfer of the keys to a new owner, so no statistics or items move just the basic purchases, what do you think?

The road to Gameblast 17

Last year Munki, myself, friends and co-workers took part in a Charity event for Special Effect called GameBlast. Apart from some bad planning about start times, we had an amazing time and collectively raised £643.58 for a truly amazing cause.

Incase you aren’t aware of the charity Special Effect is an awesome organisation who strive to give those who aren’t able to enjoy gaming due to disability the freedom of playing games again, allowing them to interact with friends and family.
Although I can type of the good things they do, I would ask you to watch the following video which can do a much better job at explaining things than me.

This year we are taking part in GameBlast17 on 24 to 26 Feb 2017, with a more carefully planned schedule that doesn’t start straight after work. I think we are aiming for two 12 hour sessions so that we don’t need to work out child care. We are hoping to play some multiplayer titles, and if we can get the camera setup working correctly we shall even stream  some table top board games.

We are still working out the schedule of what we are playing and when, but most of the PC gaming events we shall be hopefully streaming the gameplay.
This post was to give me a bit of a kick up the arse to complete my fundraising page as much it was to start putting the word out about the event.

Habit This

For the last half of 2016 I attempting to motivate myself in an effort to become healthier and be more proactive in some areas of day to day life.
I started to search for applications to aid in this quest and found that there are a number of applications that have health as a primary goal, but in many cases it’s wrapped in a game or a mechanics that aims to teach you the best ways to reduce salt or training for running.
Not only were these too focused but there was alot of things that I didn’t want or need, this task of finding an app wasn’t as simple as I’d hoped.

What I needed was simple, an app that allowed me to track habits, not only those linked to improving my health, but some that we’re more as a reminder to complete them regularly. At this time I didn’t want to have workout routines, meditation plans or linking to friends to encourage me, I wanted to control the tasks and choose how I wanted to approached them.

I’ll most likely post on the exercise topic at another time, but since breaking my ankle and having multiple veins collapse in my leg due to DVT’s, extended periods of time spend on my feet can leave me feeling exhausted and unable to move easily. Low impact activities are my main approach to exercise at the moment until I can stand more strenuous leg exercises. So all these couch to 5k type things look great but I’m not in any position to be able to engage with them right now.

After trying out a number of different applications including SuperBetter, Fabulous – Motivate Me! and Habit RPG, I finally settled on HabitBull, I entered in the habits I wanted to address and tried it out for a few days before purchasing the app.
The setup is simple and once I had habits being tracked it was pretty easy to keep updated using widgets on my phone homepage. Over the next few months I tweaked the habits, dropped some that weren’t really needed and added some new ones.

The image here is an example, one of my key habits was to drink more water everyday, I obtained a large drinking bottle so I had a standardised amount that I wanted to ensure I consumed each day to receive a green circle and not the dreaded red ones. Yes I welshtroll am a complete sucker for gamification of any kind, but maybe not as far as engaging fully with as HabitRPG, who’s approach seem to be more about microtransactions or making logging of activities a little more complicated that tapping an icon, I just want to get on with things and not spend too much time.

There are most likely other apps out there that achieve the same thing (please comment if you know of any), but for me HabitBull was the perfect app at the right time for my requirements.

I could have continued my habits into 2017 as they had been, but I want to challenge myself a little more and hopefully prove to myself that I muster the willpower to achieve more concrete goals. I am attempting to be more active on a daily basis after agreeing to a challenge laid down by one of my fellow streamers, I’m hoping that I can link this into my habits.

I want to continue with my drinking water, I have a fruit bowl on my desk at work to try and encourage me to only snack on healthier options.

Do you have new year’s resolutions/approaches ?

 

The 2016 theme park

As the year draws to a close and I sit looking back on the mental rapids that the whole world seemed to endured during 2016. Of course there was the political events on both sides of the pond, that appears to be a massive blow to the freedom of citizens and a boost to corporate greed.

There was the rollercoaster ride of celebrity passings that took away many people’s heroes and champions of causes close to many people’s hearts. Everyone had differing relationships with those who passed away and each had to watch a little piece of their memories darken. For me I will miss those that made me laugh not that I was necessarily a fan of them directly but their work was something that brightened my life over the years Victoria Wood, Caroline Aherne, Andrew Sachs, Gene Wilder & Ronnie Corbett

Me, Myself and I

Personally 2016 has seen a number of changes to my work with a number of different faces and processes being introduced, also at Home we have had a few difficult times that parenthood books don’t really prepare you for. Sadly I haven’t really blogged too much despite waiting to find the time to keep up regular entries, I want to at least hit a low target of 1 post each fortnight maybe shifting to 1 a week if that is doable. Sadly my clan lost a member this year to illness, we approached this with a clan event held in their honour and a weekend of members sharing stories and everyone celebrating the times we enjoyed in our fallen comrade and each others company.

This year Munki and I have also taken to streaming, not on any regular schedule for the most part, but it’s allowed us to play around with settings and discover things, this has also lead to getting more involved with different streaming communities. We’ve found interacting with various groups of people from many different walks of life very interesting, similar to how our clan as always worked only a little more fluid and reserved.

Along with a number of MissPsyche’s community I have had my passion for pen and paper Role Playing Games rekindled which has been a refreshing break but has also allowed be to look at ways to play these games with my Son. This has now expanded into me looking into running a game for my clan mates that are interested in picking up pen and paper RPG games, hopefully with the Roll20 app.

Have a great New Year everyone.