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Lockdown for me so far

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For myself lockdown seemed relatively straight-forward, I have my “Office” setup facing a window so that family members walking by won’t distract me too much.
Munki has been homeschooling Little Troll since September so there has only been some small tweaks needs to handle my being home all the time.

I bought Animal Crossing New Horizon for Munki so there was something new to her distract from events and the fact we will at some point get on each others nerves, this hasn’t really happened but I’m not sure if it’s just luck or down to ACNH.

We are arranging for shopping once every 7 to 9 days to keep the fresh foods topped up, this seems to be working well so-far and we are noting down dates of foods so we don’t forget to use anything. This has actually seen our weekly food waste amount diminish quite a bit.

The Unexpected

The first Monday after the UK entered lockdown (23rd) mid morning we got the sad news that a family friend of ours had passed away (unrelated to CoVID), this came out of the blue even though they had been in Hospital recently they had been discharged and were at home.

Later that same day we learnt that one of my grandmothers had also passed away (again unrelated to CoVID), she had been unwell for a little while but it was still another shock that hit us for six.

This week both of the funerals have taken place and in both cases the number of attendees is heavily restricted, one to under 5 persons (excluding officials and pallbearers) the other 10 persons (including officials).

I couldn’t attend either of the events due to the limitations, there are plans afoot to hold events in celebration of people’s lives in the future once the world returns to normality.
However not having the release/closure that comes from the attendance of a service is something that is very difficult to get to grips with and I found this very overwhelming at certain points this week.

The worlds uneasy slumber

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Like me you are probably spending your days staring at the interior walls of your home and most likely at a number of differently sized screens throughout the day.

While trips to get shopping get me away from the house they leave me feeling both physically and emotionally exhausted, those essential works who still have to commute and do their job in such an environment continue to have my utmost respect.

When I saw Belghast was preparing a blogging event for April (Blapril), I was very tempted to to embark on the experience once more, however I wanted to ensure that I was better placed to achieve completion this time before signing up, My last few attempts had to end early due to health and being overloaded at work reasons.


I’m happy to say that I shall be taking part in this great idea giving “a dose of internet togetherness to combat the negative effects of social distancing”. Not having to commute gives me back a solid 75 minutes a day and I want to ensure I ring-fence that time into some constructive and creative like Blapril.

Even if you aren’t inclined to fire up your blog and flex those writing skills, please follow some of the participants, I can’t wait to read the blogs of some of those who have signed up (The reading list is wonderful BTW).

Happy (Thank-Goodness-Neverending-March-Is-Finally-Over) April everyone I hope you and your family all keep safe.

When is the future?

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It’s now? Right?
Welcome to the year 2020, YAY! We are officially living in the future, Now I just need my hover car and house in the clouds.

In all seriousness at least we aren’t all eating Soylent Green or glued to our Three-Dimensional Interactive Television’s like Harry Harrison and Ray Bradbury predicted…


Welcome to this, the compulsory first blog post of the year, which is of course rather late.

January is one of the busiest periods in my workplace so all the best will in the world doesn’t allow me to conjure up more time to devote to may extra activities.
February is usually dominated by our Charity Gaming Marathon weekend, however this year we also managed air travel and attending a wedding alongside all the normal madness.

The wedding was a blast and we all had a lovely time catching up with friends. Travel home was to a different airport as they had cancelled our flight, but the taxi driver played games and ESO so the 4 hour journey wasn’t too taxing.


The GameBlast20 Charity event went rather smoothly, in the past Munki and I often run a donation page each and stream in parallel over the weekend. This year we had a re-think of our approach and run a single donation page and run our stream in a relay fashion.

This year our charity team Digital Rogues did fantastically well, raising a wonderful £1,228.27  for Special Effect.


This year will see the 20th anniversary of me registering welshtroll.co.uk domain, I may not post as frequently as I used to but I still want to try and commit to posting on some kind of schedule this year, which leads me nicely on to…

2020 Goals

I wanted to write down my goals for this year, they aren’t anything too crazy but it will give me some focus throughout the year.

  • Redesign my Monster of the Week Templates for Roll20 – I kind of cheated on this goal as I started working on it in January, the bulk is completed I need to do some further clean up of the code and CSS.
  • I would like to flesh out more of the CyberPunk RPG world I started building last year, I am still adding additional elements into Kanka.io as they occur to me, however I’d like to dedicate some time to detailing more of the backstory and global history.
  • Replace my car – I have had this car for 5 years now and I need to start thinking about an upgrade, however I tend to spend again mulling over the details.
  • Think about a gaming themed tattoo, I have many ideas but I want to get a final shortlist of themes that I’m wanting to get, then decide on one.
  • Post at least once a Month, was going to aim for once a fortnight but I want to at least give myself some wiggle room.

I’ll sign off with the title song of this post.

Two months in and the pace is …

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Crazy!
2019 has been crazy year so far, I have a huge project on at work that is using up so much extra time and headspace, combine that with some last minute training, charity events, and a head-cold, I think I’ve just about hung in there but my time has been limited.

28th Jan

  • I got to see my favourite band VNV Nation, in a venue closer than 2 hours away, The gig was amazing and the new material just blew me away live. It was odd not seeing Mark on stage but I felt that the music didn’t lack any energy because of this. VNV live is a wonderful thing as there is so much warmth from the crowd and the interactions from Ronan.
  • My clan mate DefinitelyMod entered himself and tagged me into Corsair/Elgato’s 1 millionth twitter follower giveaway.
    In a shocking twist of fate, our names were the first pulled out of the hat. So we both got sent a Corsair M65 RGB ELITE Optical FPS Gaming Mouse and an Elgato Stream Deck Mini.
  • I took part in the launch day event for Sunless Skies, streaming the title that I had been playing since Kickstarter, every minute streamed raised £1 for the charity Special Effect, I had a fun time and got to play the final version of the sequel.
  • Munki crocheted a lovely blue shawl for my Nan for her 92nd birthday, when we visited she was in great spirits and loved the gift. I think I’ve seen her using most times I’ve seen her which is nice.

4th Feb

  • In later part of 2018 we got sent an email with some VERY good deals for a 4 night stay in a destination that our whole family loves to visit, so despite being almost Christmas we decided to make our Christmas presents to ourselves this holiday.
    It was a great mini-break and even though I was suffering with a headcold, we all came home with a smile and some fun memories.

 11th Feb

  • We recently had a shift in our departments naming and suggestions were wanted for a logo/symbol, basically something to represent our identify to the wider business. To cut a long story short submitted a few designs and through some democratic voting my designs were picked as the one to be taken forward for the art/design folks to shape into something usable. The ultimate silver lining is that for having my designs picked I earnt a £50 Amazon voucher. \o/
  • I managed to get my Diablo 3 seasonal character to Conqueror tier, which after Chapter 4 is the one to aim for since you can get the additional Stash tab ( if you haven’t already reached the earn-able limit 4). This seasonal has been great fun since the last patch the quality of life feels more balanced and the set bonus that got a buff definitely feel more rewarding to play.

18th Feb

  • 2019 was our 4th year taking part in the GameBlast gaming event fundraising for the charity Special Effect. We got another new member to the Digital Rogues roster this year as BroadSider joined in the fun. I am very happy to have reached my goal and that our group also pass our £1000 goal.
    I got to play some great games over the charity weekend and I really enjoyed the Return of the Obra Dinn which I bought after watching Pam from CannotBeTamed‘s Best games of 2018 video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBAhFlSs8Hc

So it’s been a bit of a crazy time these last 2 months, fingers crossed that things will calm down enough for me to write a proper blog post and not just a list of bullet-points.

Finally I wanted to give a shout out to the wonderful Psyche who has just relaunched her blog https://www.psycheplays.com/

2018 Retrospective

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So this started out as a short list and kind of bloomed into quite a weighty post, so I’m sorry if it’s a pain to read.
I wanted to list some of the stuff that I had achieved and things that made me happy in 2018, I also wanted to broadly cover personal goals I would like to achieve this year.

2018 Highlights

Meetups

This year we got to see so many people that we mostly talk to online, there were some new faces and some already familiar to us too.

Broadsider – We had the chance to meet BroadSider twice in 2018 when we were up in his neck of the woods, Broadsider is a wonderful person that is very entertaining regardless of if he is streaming or in real life.
We got to visit one of oldest gaming friends which involved a trip on a ferry, which is always an adventure travelling to an island.
FluffyBunEsq – Fluffy doesn’t live too far away so we met up with him a few times this year sometimes in Cardiff other times closer to where he lives.
BoopleSnootBex – We met up with Boople on one of ours outings to other parts of the country, despite it being a last minute event we all had a great time.
Lucanaii and EngineerAirhead made time in their UK visit to come to Wales, it was amazing to met them both and we had a lovely day out in Cardiff.
One of my dearest and oldest internet friends (back from the dial up days) was visiting London with her other half, so Munki, LittleTroll and I travelled up to the big smoke to and had a wonderful day catching up chatting about things that had changed since their last visit.
There was of course Twitch London but more about that later.

GameBlast18

Our third year taking part in the Special Effect gaming marathon weekend. Last year the Digital Rogues were were joined by FluffyBunEsq who went all out in his fundraising activities,
I raised over £650 which is a new personal best for me and collectively our Digital Rogues team raised £2,264.86 which is a stunning 350% better than our previous years total.
We were very lucky to have got some amazing gifts to give away from Developers and our community members.

EGX Rezzed

Munki and I decided to go to Rezzed it was kind of a last minute thing but there were two good reasons.
Firstly was to met Becky Frost from Special Effect who has been one of the primary contacts that we have conversed with for GameBlast, We had chance to sit down, grab food and have a wonderful chat. Becky is an amazing person and really has such enthusiasm for the work that she and Special Effect does.
Another attraction at Rezzed was to get the the chance to play on Megaquarium, the first playable Demo which I was very excited about and impressed by.

Also at Rezzed was a stack of other titles including:
Cultist Simulator – I game I that was already playing since the Kickstarter, but got some great stickers for my clan.
Yorkshire Gubbins – We packed some Hendersons crisps freshly collected from Yorkshire to give to the wonderful creator Charlotte Gore.
Unforeseen Incidents – This game was being shown and I got to play a Demo and speak to the artist, I was sold on the point and click adventure game, instantly.
Siege & the Sandfox – A lovely looking platformer that I got to play briefly and the gameplay reminded me of old school platform games were there was more than one way to approach a situation.

The Role Playing

2018 was great for RPG’s I got to run D&D 5E starter sessions for new players as well as running 2 campaigns which are so funny in various ways, but always a good laugh.
Breaks with my clan game allowed me to GM a game of Achtung! Cthulhu (Fate Edition) and Monster of the Week, my fellow clan mate GM’d which allowed me to play Blades in the Dark and a custom Fate Accelerated game themed on Planetside.

Each of these was very different and allowed us to try out new systems and settings, all of them were very fun.

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Twitch Affiliate

Since I stream for fun, getting affiliate was never a goal that I had set out to achieve, however at the end of May I finally ticked all the required boxes and got the email.
I only really stream once a week so I hope people don’t expect too much from me, however I appreciate everyone that stops by my streams, Sunday mornings isn’t when folks generally wake up early, so having folks tune into me while they are doing their usual household chores is kind of great.

I like having the emote but I’m still not 100% sure on how to have to fill all of that stuff in my on Tax Self-Assessment forms next year.

Twitch London Community Meet Up

The meetup in London was kind of last minute deal, we had seen it was happening but there weren’t any streamers we knew going, so we dismissed as being the non-drinking type, social events can kind of be awkward when most around you are drinking, even more awkward if you don’t really know many people.

When Psyche confirmed she would be attending, Munki and I started planning to ensure that we could make it, a round trip to London was the easiest since we didn’t have time to figure out a hotel or child care for an extended duration.
We were in the unusual situation that we had met Psyches other half in 2017 while he was in the UK on business, but alas we had failed to manage to meet her on any of her trips, such as FrontierCon and GamesCon.
Having a child means that travelling for GamesCon isn’t a viable option, so we had to make doubly sure that we could attend this event.

Wonderfully Psyche and Kolo were happy to meet before the event it’s self, which was rather awesome as we got to hang out and chat in a more causal situation (plus we didn’t have to compete with music and the louder background noise of revellers that we would encounter at the event later that evening).
It was wonderful to meet Kolo who is such a nice person and both her and her community are very welcoming, we got to meet some of her community members later that evening.

Finally got to give Psyche a big hug, after many years of watching her streams, I can confirm she is every bit as lovely in real life and we were so pleased that we had made the trip.
Also that day Breadicus was also able to meet up beforehand which was great to put a face to the name of community member, we met PaulArcher in the event itself and he’s as funny in real life too 😀 .

As I alluded the evening event was nice but as with anything of that nature, loud and busy for the most part, we got some free swag and a lovely photo. We also managed to see Becky Frost who was in full SpecialEffect mode with a squad of volunteers backing her up.
Munki and I made our exit at 9 so we could get the last train back to Wales, all in all it was an absolutely lovely day.

New PC parts

After a solid performance for 7 years I finally retired my trusty 2nd Gen i5 2500 and grabbed myself a shiny new 9th Gen i5 9600k. It’s been on the cards for a while but I kept pushing it back so that
I’ve not really pushed the system with anything meaty yet but I’ve been pondering getting a new shooter at some point, now may be that time.
Sadly this move meant that I finally had to leave Windows 7 behind and move to Windows 10. (I makes me feel ill just typing that.)

Health

So this year was quiet tough for me as I struggled with my mental health to the point that I was off work for an extended period of time.
I had moderate Anxiety and Depression but to took me a good while to recognise that there was a problem. I got some help from my employer who put me in contact with a Psychologist service with a handful of sessions covered by them.
It helped me to get back into work, I’m not completely rid of though thoughts that were causing the issues but I feel alot more positive about facing them head on.


So what’s for 2019

Play more RPGs!

I am getting back into GMing and will restart a campaign I had to pause due to my health issues.
Planning some more RPG workshops to help people get into playing and maybe branching out away from DND, so others can taste different games.
I also have so many RPGs I want to try out at somepoint some in space, some hero settings, some cyberpunk, others completely off the wall.

Gameblast19

We are all registered and getting setup for this years GameBlast19, this year we hope to have another member joining us for the fun and we can all achieve new personal bests.
In the next month I will be trying to shape up my stream list and focusing on drumming up sponsorship as well as sending out some emails to game developers to see if we can get any content for giveaways.
I think as we had issues distributing physical items last year we are likely to stick to digital items for the most part.

Streaming

I want to get back into streaming with a web camera again, after I kind of fell out of the habit in the early part of the year I never returned to it and I’d like to fix that If I can.
I used to do an adhoc Thursday evening stream that focused more on Role Playing and map creation, I’m not sure if I want to return to map making again but I’d like to throw in some extra streams maybe once or twice a month.

Blogging

You knew it was coming, as always I’d like to challenge myself to try and blog at the very minimum one entry per month. I hope that it will be more frequent but let’s start somewhere realistic shall we.
I need to review my BlogRoll.
I also need to get better at checking my RSS reader and commenting more on other peoples posts more often.

Games

There are so many good games coming out and so many games in my Steam backlog, I want to try and get my played percentage from 51% (via steamdb, 459 out of 898 games played) close to 55%.
I am gonna try and stop picking up bundles when there is only one title I’m remotely interested in contained in the bundle.

See you soon

I hope that see you all again soon, I hope your 2018 was enjoyable and that your 2019 is even better.