A Busy Week But No Excuse

Hi, I’m Non-Washable and it has been days since my last post on this blog.

You may fairly raise your brow at me and think, “A confession doesn’t really count, man.” and you would be absolutely correct. Regardless of how much time it takes me to write this out and start feeling better about my aggravating lack of posts this week it doesn’t make up for it. So while I’m busy confessing that I have been absent I will take a moment to at least try and justify why I was pulled away if you’ll humor me for a paragraph or several.

The first up is the reason which is least absolving for me which is that I spent some time playing video games. For the last few weeks I have played the absolute bar minimum by which I mean almost none save for trying to knock out my daily quests in MTG:Arena. Fortunately you can have up to a maximum of three quests build up, one per day, so I only really need to play twice a week to keep up. Unfortunately this also means a lack of time to brew decks or play just for fun but, nature of the beast, right? What did happen was that I picked up Frostpunk and allowed that to eat up nearly a day and a half of time I should have been working on things for this blog. Whats worse was that I didn’t take the time to use any of that gameplay to prepare for a review on the game. Feeling utterly stupid about that I did start writing up my feelings on the game and should be posting it shortly to rectify that mistake.

Short answer: If you like city-builders that pull no punches and punish you for sloppy play by piling up the corpses of your citizens like cords of firewood then you should be all over this game. Not to mention it is beautifully realized, sleek and feature packed all for the very reasonable price of $29.99USD. 11 Bit Studios is also offering 10% off that on Steam if you own This War of Mine, until May 1st. Hard to say enough good things about it but more on that later.

Ultimately I forgot my own rule which I set at the beginning of this that whatever I do I should make sure I can extract something from it for this blog to continue the feedback loop so I am always producing something. A lesson learned and I will be better going forward.

The second thing has been regarding my other decision to branch out and try to do things outside of my previous limited comfort zone and be a larger part of the D&D community. I really do love the game and for all my failures as a player and DM I do hope to use those experiences to help inspire others to join in or avoid the pitfalls I myself have fallen into. The last post I wrote was D&D related and got a good response which I felt really happy about! A conversation I had with some folks on Twitter this week reminded me, while I was telling them, that even the most basic of information re-iterated can help. A subject that has been expounded on thousands of times can still escape newcomers to our hobbie so it helps to have it done again, tweaked and put in different terms. You never know who you might reach that others have missed. Smaller creators and commentators communicate regularly with those who the larger personalities may miss. Not through any fault of their own but they have simply grown to play in new arenas, they have new concerns and demands on their time. So it is up to us to take up the banners in their place and be new conduits for advice and help in their stead. Ultimately we too may eventually find ourselves too busy to answer all the questions we may get but hopefully by that time we have helped to inspire new people to offer their unique perspectives and experiences on the game.

Aside from this I have found myself with a couple of other opportunities to become more involved and while at the moment I can’t really talk about them (I don’t think? Better safe than sorry.) I am incredibly excited/nervous for them. If for no other reason than I expect to embarrass myself in new and unexpected ways. Forcing yourself outside of your comfort zone is often stressful and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel it but I’m determined to get past that and embrace the experience. In response to that I buried myself in some prep work to the exclusion of keeping to my posting schedule which was certainly unwise but for my own sanity I think I needed it. Balancing this stuff is certainly going to be tough but that is just one more thing in a sea of them that I need to put in some work on improving.

So what positive things happened this week?

We recorded another episode of the Ourcast which was a lot of fun! It wont be up for a couple weeks as we still have a one week buffer between releases but I think it’s one of our best so far. I’ve become a little more proficient with editing which is shortening the time it takes to produce episodes. The downside to that is that now that its going quicker I’m experimenting more with different techniques and musical additions so really its taking me more time to do them now. Insert sad-face here. It’s good though, shows me I’m improving and its hard to feel bad about that. Prior to this last episode I also adjusted my desk and audio setup a little as I work on improving the audio quality on my side. Since I’m using a broadcast mic to record instead of my gaming headset there are a lot of factors I was previously unaware of that are messing with the quality of my output. For instance I was unaware of the part the vibration of my case fans would play in the audio quality though a 3.5mm jack. Hopefully the adjustments will show in upcoming episodes. Also because I have listened to way too much of myself speaking on the podcast I have realized that in an effort to hold a more conversational tone as though my co-host and I are sitting across from each other at a table I have inadvertently caused myself to sound somewhat boring and mono-tone. This past episode I was particularly annoyed at myself during the editing as it oftentimes felt like I was utterly lifeless while talking. I have a few more criticisms of my performance but suffice it to say going into our recording session this past Thursday I made a concerted effort to adjust my approach and be a bit livelier. Hopefully it’s a welcome change and going forward I’m going to try and embrace my “radio voice” and bring the enthusiasm out a little more.

On the D&D front my group finally was able to get together again after a couple week hiatus. The “Band of Others”, as they have chosen to call themselves, got their first taste of the Dungeon Trials beneath the beautiful city of Orskr. In a competition with adventurers from all over for wealth and rewards beyond imagining they’re going to face the toughest challenges of their lives over the next few sessions. First room of whirling blades caused a few cuts and dings but they got through it largely unscathed.

Tougher challenges to come however and I’m excited to see how they deal with them.

We’re also just a couple weeks shy of restarting our Dark Heresy Warhammer 40k campaign which I get to be a player in and we were all assigned a little homework prior to getting back in. Working on that has been really fun as a way to get reacquainted with my character and the setting.

Basically there a lot of things that are “coming soon” that I of course wish could get here maybe just a little faster. Until then though there are plenty of things to keep me busy so It’s time to refocus on those and first up I think is going to be starting on the project I set for myself with my Games on the Silver Screen post from when I was on vacation. Mortal Kombat is currently on Netflix and I can’t think of a better way to to start things off.

For now thanks for reading! Hopefully this offered a little insight to where I am right now and as an adequate apology for not keeping up through this week. Just know that no one will ever feel more irritation or disappointment from these failures than I do. The important thing is finding motivation in them instead of defeat.

In the interim thank you if you read this far and I’ll be back soon.

Happy gaming, folks!

  • Non-Washable




The Weekend

Hello folks, how was your weekend? No joke, I’m actually curious.

In the meantime let me summarize mine a little to keep myself accountable for what I did and did not accomplish.

Things I did –

Ran my regular D&D game on Saturday which was a lot of fun as usual. This group continues to prove to be one of my favorites from over the years. One of the biggest ways is that they seem to really enjoy taking things slowly. They don’t need me to skip over the mundane parts of their day and would rather take the time and see what happens when they come down from their rooms for breakfast or what the elf does because she only needs to meditate four hours a night. I think a lot of people incorrectly assume that the “down time” for adventurers is boring and only used as some sort of check book style accounting in between “the fun stuff”. I think some of the most entertaining moments from this campaign have come from their downtime antics. It may not suit every group to take their time going through each day but I encourage folks to give it a try, it might be more fun than you think.

I was pretty exhausted after that as the session was ~5 hours so I’m a bit ashamed to say that I laid down and spent some time reading gaming news and lying by telling myself this counted as work. Afterall thinking of things to write about counts too… right? Buying into that is basically what got me to where I am today starting probably five or ten years too late on getting this blog and my other ambitions off the ground. But hey, better late than never. If you’re reading this and thinking you still have time I recommend you find the nearest mirror, stand in front of it and slap yourself as hard as you can. You do have time but that time shouldn’t be wasted because you can always do the things you want to do later. Invest in your passions so you can enjoy them for as long as possible.

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Suffice it to say Saturday was wasted after 5pm. The MN Wild also lost to the Dallas Stars so that was probably punishment for me avoiding my responsibilities. Sorry boys, lets hope for some better luck tonight. I did my part.

Sunday wasn’t much better but I did start on two separate articles, one of which I published today and the other that I’m hoping to have finished for Wednesday at the latest. I did work a bit on my Star Wars: Legion painting project and got a Stormtrooper Commander and regular trooper finished. They’re not great and I’ll probably redo them but I learned a few important things along the way.

I uploaded photos of a couple of the models here if you’re curious what my work so far looks like. I also discovered that I can’t, at least yet, prime them in grey AND white as it obscures too many details and pools unattractively. It could just be my inexperience or it may work with an airbrush. As I’m only currently working with rattle cans I think I’ll stick to priming in white for the Empire which should help with the smoothness of the armor instead of hand painting the entirety of it.

My girlfriend sent me a link to the Twitter of @GorillaBrush whose work with Atlantis Minis is absolutely stunning. He held a stream on Sunday which I had a chance to watch and participate in, really nice fellow who is happy to help newbies to the hobby. This next Sunday he’s having a special guest on and will answer some fan questions about painting. Suffice it to say I had a few which I’m hoping they’ll have a chance to cover. Either way I definitely recommend a stroll down his Twitter feed or head over to his website gorillawithabrush.com to view some of his work. This past year was his 20th anniversary of painting minis and it definitely shows.

I’ll let you go now and get back to work myself! Going to try and get a couple more Legion minis painted today and tomorrow while trying to put into practice some of the tips I got from the gorilla.

I’ll be back soon, until then I hope everyone is having a great Monday!

  • Non-Washable

One Piece at a Time

In an ongoing rally between myself and my good friend SoapBubbles we’re making a concerted effort to boost each others productivity in our various projects. We’ve talked about this in parts during some episodes of The Ourcast and I encourage you to check them out if you have an hour or so to kill and don’t mind two people talk about their lives and futures. We’re not sure where our respective futures will take us but we do know that we want to spend the rest of it creating things for ourselves and others to hopefully derive some joy. We each have documents set up on our Google Drive’s where we can write suggestions for things to help inspire the other to write, it’s not that we don’t have ideas of our own but sometimes it helps to have others expand the scope of your attention.

Immediately after we decided to start doing this Soapy had a list of five or six things up that I need to start working through ASAP. I’m excited to start writing about them and already have the outlines started for a couple but first I just wanted to throw this up because the more I think about it the more important it is that I write down more of my thoughts instead of internalizing them. Otherwise what’s the point of having a blog? A podcast? A Twitter? YouTube? The most challenging thing of this entire endeavor, going back a few years to when I first set up this blog or really became enamored with even trying it is that externalizing all of this doesn’t come naturally. I’m used to having my thoughts on my own, some of them warrant discussion but most of them I consider to not be worth holding on to. If I’ve had that thought surely someone else has had it as well and enunciated it better than I could have anyways, right? The internet is a supremely powerful tool which allows us to find a viewpoint on any opinion we may have or ever have. Over time I’ve discovered that concept can be poisonous to the very nature of creativity. The urge to be standout and unique in the things you do is overwhelming even in the face of it’s near impossibility, that isn’t any reason to not try but it’s also absolutely no reason to not try, either. So with that creative hurdle somewhat cleared and instead just bouncing along dragging behind me like an anchor occasionally catching on some reef or an old sedan, the next one is a matter of habit. Throughout every day, every thing I think or look at and have an opinion on now needs to clear an additional filter before leaving my thoughts forever. Is it worth it write about this? Does anyone care? Do even care? I still don’t have concrete answers to any of that but I guess like with most things this too will become easier with practice, for now I will write about whatever I get my grey matter on and go from there.

In addition to writing regularly and overall writing more this next week will mark the start of another project I have wanted to get into for some time: Model painting. Specifically minis for games like Dungeons &  Dragons, minis which I have had for well over a decade in some cases, always well meaning about getting around to them but we know how that goes. painting_table

Barring a couple of items this is the setup I’ll be embarking with to learn from the ground up how to paint my mini collection and if everything goes well I’ll be sharing that journey on YouTube through a series of videos. Naturally I’ll post updates about that to this blog as I go as long as things I’m working on that don’t fit into the videos. The first set of minis I’m going to be painting will be from the new game by Fantasy Flight called Star Wars: Legion which I’ve been excited for since it was announced over a year ago, it releases this week on the 22nd. A man who goes by Game Methuselah, or Jim Murphy (Great name, especially after seeing Netflix’s Altered Carbon), recently started his own channel to talk about various table top games, concepts and do videos on model painting. As a Golden Demon Award winning speed painter it’s hard to pass up the opportunity to learn along with him as he ventures into his own new realm of YouTube content creator. He’s a fantastic resource and I encourage everyone to head over and give him a listen! Another resource I’ll be taking advantage of on this path of learning is Sorastro’s Painting guides, specifically the ones on SW: Legion. I’m sure my final product wont be anything up to his standard but they are exceptionally informative which is helpful for a newbie like me. Also, even if you aren’t painter yourself there are just straight up interesting videos to spend a little time watching. Anywho, I’m not what you would call naturally talented at these kinds of artistic pursuits but in one of his recent videos Jim made an excellent point that neither was he until he spent time learning it. Now or never then!

The next post will be on one of the questions SoapBubble was nice enough to provide me with and will naturally be gaming related. She’s given me several fantastic topics to mull over but in the course of writing this I think I’ve decided to tackle the first on the list, has a nice symmetry being that this week will include several firsts.

Is there a game developer that you trust explicitly and will always play their IP’s no matter what? Alternatively if there is no such developer, what are some that have lost your trust and require scrutiny before purchasing?” 

I’ll be organizing my thoughts on this over the next day or two and get it posted shortly after, hope you are well and I’ll be back to talk to you again soon!

  • Non-Washable