Summary for the month of June 2021

Welp. That’s it. After trying for a little while again, and having less than 1 viewer on average, I’ve finally given up on Twitch streaming permanently. I’ll still be posting videos on YouTube, I think, sometimes, maybe, and I’ve actually done a few live streams. However, I have only been doing live streams on YT set to become unlisted after they end, so they disappear, even if they don’t vanish completely. Catch ’em if you can randomly find me live, I guess.

Mostly that’s what’s new. I’m not sure if it makes much sense to keep this blog going, but then I haven’t been sure of that for a long time. IDEK.

Mostly this month has been about being too damned hot along with constant, pretty much daily, thunderstorms, flood warnings. There’s also been a few power outages and dealing with trying to get repairs to the house.

Other than a few live streams that are now unlisted, I’ve only posted 2 videos publicly, both in the last few days, and I’ve not done any actual tabletop / board game playing. Honestly, I start to get things ready and just give up, and have other things I have to do. Just not happening right now, still, again. Whatever.

Yeah. That’s it. ::shrug::

Summary for the month of May 2021

At the very end of April, I had brand new 1 Gbps Internet installed. I celebrated by actually live streaming for the first time since August 2019. Mostly I live streamed actual play of Ironsworn: Starforged but also played a lot of Destiny 2, and a little bit of No Man’s Sky and Outward.

My current tabletop streaming setup is pretty much the same as it was back in August 2019, but I did add, in May, a chroma background, which works mostly. My lighting is crappy, so it doesn’t work as well as it should, but it’s fine.

For live streaming games, I use to play on my Mac (iMac, Retina 5K, 27-inch, 4.2 Ghz i7, 64 GB RAM, Radeon Pro 580 8 GB), either native or using Parallels to run Windows on a virtual machine. I’ve given up on that. I picked up an extra screen that was on sale (Sceptre 27″ IPS QHD 144Hz), an Elgato HD 60 S+, and an HDMI splitter. Then I hooked all that up to my old Nvidia Shield TV, and plug in a keyboard and mouse. Then, I play games I own on Steam or Epic through GeForce Now on the device, and capture that to OBS on my Mac through the Elgato. It works pretty darned well, I must say. I also picked up a chat link cable, but, for some reason, that doesn’t work at all, so if I’m streaming I can’t yet use in-game voice chat in things like Destiny 2. The audio for chat has to go through the controller, but if I do that then the audio doesn’t reach OBS at all. But, that’s fine. I just listen to the audio routed through OBS as I play, without voice chat.

I signed up for the GeForce Now service, so I get priority access to virtual machines, and RTX is turned on. It’s pretty! And works better than trying to play on my Mac whilst also streaming from it. As someone without funds to get a real PC just to play games, this is an amazing solution. And the streaming works great, and there’s plenty of bandwidth for all of it!

Speed test 28apr2021 new fiber

The major downside, however, is that I really can’t play indie games anymore. I can only play what I have access to through GeForce Now, which is not small, but certainly precludes a lot of my library. But, what I do have access to includes a lot that I couldn’t even try to play before. So, it’s a trade off.

At some point this month, I bit the bullet and recreated a Twitter account. I found that I kept going back to Twitter to check on news from particular accounts, so I created a private account where I only have a list of those accounts I want news from; and I neither accept follows nor follow directly anyone else. It is my compromise. Without followers, I’m not tempted to lie to myself that tweets reach someone, that I’m not howling into an empty void. So, that’s where that is. (And, here I am howling into a different void. FML.)

Also, I heard about a replacement for the old Project Wonderful scrappy ad auction site, which I used to run over on Hermetic Library for a long time. I always liked being able to offer ad spaces that were more indie and open to people jumping in that wouldn’t really do so otherwise. So, I signed up and added an ad space to this blog through the ComicAd Network. The focus is less about books and writing, so doesn’t really work well for Hermetic Library like PW did, but the game and nerdy Odd Order blog does fit, even if there’s not much traffic. It’s neat to see what interesting and wacky stuff show up!

Yeah. What else?! Idek. That’s what comes to mind.

Twitch

I started to stream tabletop / actual play every Thursday 4:20pm–6:66pm US/Central. Other streams were entirely random, but probably a lot more than I will stream in June. I’m vaguely thinking about scheduling a video game stream on Saturdays 6:66am–4:20pm, but I’m not sure yet. If I had people watching, I would take it more seriously, but that’s chicken-and-egg …

Twitch analytics May 2021

Anyhow, for May 2021, I had an average of 0.9 viewers, gained 1 follower, have 0 subscribers, made $4.03 ($4 from cheers, and 3¢ from ads), and streamed for a total of 58 hours. Sad, but true.

I decided to only archive my actual play videos to YouTube, so the video game streams will stay on Twitch and expire in a week or two after they are live.

Ironsworn: Starforged Actual Play Series

Here’s the series so far, archived to YouTube:

Here’s other videos and archived streams for May 2021

Summary for the period ending April 2021

My last summary was back in September 2019. And my last post was in March, 2020. Yeah, that was a while ago wasn’t it? I was on indefinite hiatus. But, I still did some things whilst I was gone. I don’t know that I’m back to posting, let alone regularly. But, I thought I’d post something.

So, here’s a summary of stuff since then up until the end of April 2021.

In the last week of April, I got 1 Gbps Internet to my house. I’ve gone from DSL, which I’ve had for the last couple years after the cable company doubled their rates, to brand new Fibre, recently installed to my neighborhood, and now have 1 Gpbs speed to my home. I worked at one of the first commercial ISPs back in the 90s, and we ran our entire business on 3 T1 (1.5Mbps each) and later upgraded to a T3 (54Mbps) on which we supported 10,000 customers. Back then, through work, I had upgraded from dialup to ISDN (128 Kbps) to an actual T1 to my home, and I thought that was blindingly fast! Hey, but, also, my very first modem even, when I was a kid, was 300 baud, or 0.3 Kbps, and I had to manually dial the phone and then unplug the cord from handset and swap it to the modem before the other side hung up! Now I’ve got a symmetrical 1 Gbps to just me and the cats. Wild.

And, I actually did a real live stream on Thursday over on Twitch. It’s also archived on YouTube. It was a first look and readthrough of the preview edition of Ironsworn: Starforged, a brand new sci-fi setting and rule set, that’s currently in crowdfunding.

I’m tentatively thinking about streaming every Thursday from 4:20pm until 6:66pm (which is 7:06pm in normal time telling). We’ll see how it goes! I never did get around to setting a regular schedule for streaming. It’s like the one box I never ticked. Yeah, I don’t know. Same stuff, just regularly.

One of the things that I missed about streaming was that it really, oddly enough, cut down on how much time and effort it took to create videos. I mean all I had to do was set up and film and I was done, hit a button and archive it to YouTube. Easy peasy. No going back and editing. No having to upload the video over DSL. The whole process for even a simple video took an entire day! That’s not even mentioning the fact that if the video was longer than 30 minutes it took longer to upload than letting it go overnight, and so I’d end up having to wait around not being able to use any Internet until it was done even the next day. Totally a shit show. And unpleasant. That and so many other reasons that just kept piling on, like the constant noise and drama from my next door neighbors, nonstop every day, including psycho-couple arguing and yelling all the time and that time when they had their power shut off and ran a generator in the backyard for over a month. I mean, fucking hell. There’s still constant noise over there, but it’s not quite so bad as it was. Small favours, I guess. But, even not streaming, it was still hard to record when there’s so much noise and bullshit, and the effort required far outweighed the resulting fun, right? Yeah. That’s just a taste. I don’t really want to keep talking about it anymore right now.

By the by, I switched my YouTube away from being Odd Order to just being me as Rigaroga, so the “friendly” link has changed, and I’m pretty sure I got that updated most places, except where I didn’t. Although this blog is still under the Odd Order name and domain, I’m probably at some point going to migrate that over to Rigargoa also. At some point that will probably happen. Odd Order never went anywhere and if it’s just me, then it should be just me! I can still do on my own blog, as myself under the guise as Rigaroga, anything I would have done with Odd Order, just not as an imaginary and non-existant collective Odd Order anymore. Oh well. It seemed like a nice idea at some point in the past but didn’t happen.

Also, I killed all my Rigaroga and Odd Order social media. There just wasn’t any point and no one was interacting with me, so I gave up howling into the void. I did go back and recreated a Twitter account, but only so that I could create a private list of accounts I found myself going back and checking for updates every once in a while; but, it’s private, has neither followers nor is actually following anyone. Let’s just act like that doesn’t exist at all. I made the choice not to engage in any of that anymore for the geeky stuff. That’s brings me back around to the blog, and I’m not sure what point it serves anymore, to be honest. I’ll keep thinking about that, but it is possible that just archiving important links, like the old anthologies, and dumping the rest, will be where I end up.

I don’t even know what all else to say. So much time has passed, and so many things, both huge and tiny, have happened … Let’s just move on from here and see what happens now? I mean, after this point, you know, where I point to all the things that happened in the time that I’m moving on from. D’oh!

Well, that’s enough from me for now.

Ironsworn Actual Play

Here’s videos and archived streams since September 2019

Summary for the month of September 2019

Here’s a summary of activity for the month of September 2019.

I started out the month by taking an indefinite hiatus from streaming live, and I’ve also stopped doing videos for video games for the foreseeable future.

Starting the month, I cancelled my expensive Internet link, and tried out a couple of alternatives. The first was a 4G LTE mobile hotspot which turned out to have only a fraction of 4G LTE speeds. Turns out a wired DSL line was faster, for some value of fast that isn’t. So, even still, I’m doing that. How strange to be on a “slow” line. I mean, there was a time when a T1 at 1Mbps was out of this world, both in speed and expense. I started out, way back when, with a 300 baud modem.

I’ve been able to upload videos, but some of the longer ones can take … quite a while. A two hour video uploading to YouTube took me 36 hour, not including editing and preparing, nor including time to restart when the upload fails. But, I’ve been managing to do some videos each week. Started some new games, such as Tunnel Goons (with the Shroom Goons jam), Adrift, and FATE, and have started some pre-play work on papercrafting for The Forgotten God campaign using D&D 5e Solo.

I also had a number of videos queued up for premieres through the first half of the month, which helped keep things going each week whilst I was struggling with options. There’s the ongoing Stranger Things related series, which is still going. I also premiered the series finale of “The Island with No Name” from the Seas of Vodari Quickstart.

That’s about it. No posts to the blog this month. Just a few actual play videos and social media posts. Might stop doing the blog soon. Idek.

Here’s videos and archived streams this last month

Summary for the month of August 2019

Here’s a summary of activity for the month of August 2019.

The final couple episodes posted to the archive of season 1 of Expedition: The roleplaying card game by FabricateIO. Through ten quests I leveled up three characters to retirement.

I also continued playing D&D 5e solo with characters from the Stranger Things themed D&D Starter Set. I actually added one more, Max’s Zoomer, an archetype of Rogue, to the other five. But I continued with them using the first of three linked 4e modules themed around the Shadowfell, starting with H1 Keep on the Shadowfell. I’ve been calling that adventure Keep on the Upside Down, and the first have posted to the archive, while the rest I’ve streamed will post through mid-September, once a week. I streamed through Episode 7.

I finished streaming episodes of season 1, The Island with No Name, the introductory adventure in the Seas of Vodari Quickstart Guide. I got that because I was a backer of the crowdfunding effort, and played it because it seemed like a fun thing to do next.

For Seas of Vodari, instead of playing a bunch of full characters, I decided to try one character with some sidekicks, using mostly the Sidekick rules from D&D Essentials Kit but also considering the Unearthed Arcana Sidekicks rules as well. For the most part it worked well. It took a little while to get used to the sidekicks, and to stop treating them as full characters, instead of as support characters. And, a few episodes in I realized I needed to add an additional, third, sidekick. Even then, through the entire playtest, I feel like I was very underpowered. I suspect that if I play using sidekicks again, I’ll treat the suggested levels for encounters as actually n+1; so that if an encounter thinks characters should be level 1, I really need to be at least level 2 when playing solo even with a good roster of sidekicks. Ultimately, it was a pretty harrowing adventure with lots of danger faced! But, it was super fun to get to play the character I played and I really liked the funny, silly sidekicks I created. I’m actually sad to see that come to an end and felt bad for what I put them through!

I’ve got prep notes for tabletop RPG things I’ve been thinking about doing solo … but I’ve made a really big change recently that means I won’t be streaming anymore.

I actually did also stream a few video games this last month, so those are listed below too. But, I’m pretty much done with doing videos of video games, I think. Just no one ever watched them except for me (watching myself play a game in a video I already played when I streamed it is strange and silly!) so there’s not really any point to it. I always liked getting to check out new indie games when devs or publishers sent me a key, but also felt bad when I streamed them but had no audience watching. So, yeah. Going to let that go.

I did keep doing re-run marathons on Twitch through last month with all the videos that hadn’t expired. All in all, hanging out for 17 hours two times a week by myself commenting on myself playing was a bit much. I did see a lot of unique viewers and so forth, but not really any increase in people following my profile or hanging out to chat much.

I did see a few people come to my D&D 5e solo streams and hang out, which was pretty fun, and we joked about things and thought things out in realtime. I’ll miss that now that I’m not streaming. But, as great as that was, here’s the thing: I’m currently seeing more people checking out my actual play videos on YouTube in 48 hours than check out my streams on Twitch through the entire month. Still not a lot, but it’s a big difference! It seems like people find me on YouTube a lot easier than on Twitch.

A couple months ago, the promotional pricing on my Internet expired, and I called to cancel; but, I was told I could have a new promotional pricing that was only $1 more than it was. Okay, cool. Only that never got applied to my account. I felt lied to, to be honest.

There are two companies in this town working on symmetrical gigabit fibre but neither are on my street yet. They each charge about $100/mo which is a lot. But Spectrum/Charter charges $91/mo for a soft 400/25, and in comparison that’s just bonkers. When it was only $70/mo I could justify it. Not at $91/mo.

So, that’s it. I cancelled my overpriced high speed Internet service at the end of August. That means I won’t be streaming again for … who knows how long? Permanent hiatus until further notice. I just can’t justify the expense, and the only reason I justified the expense to myself was that I needed it to keep streaming. Without one leg, the other falls too.

I’ll probably try to record and post more actual play videos as premieres to my YouTube and Twitch channels to see if I keep it up. If I can get them uploaded. I’ll try it out, and I’ve got until mid-September queued up from past streams to tide people over until I do figure out a way, if it can be done well enough.

No longer thought of myself as a streamer even though I was streaming, and now I’ll not even be streaming. But, I may still post videos as premieres. We’ll see how it goes from here!

But, either way, that’s my summary of things through the end of August.

Here’s videos and archived streams this last month

Summary for the month of July 2019

Here’s a summary of activity for the month of July 2019.

The announced July 4th release date for the new rules and app for Weave by Monocle Society came and went with resounding silence. Eventually the app was updated, and the new rules made available, but only via a link posted on their Discord. However, the old rules are still what’s on their website, and the app has some of the same old issues along with totally new showstopper bugs. The app isn’t just a companion app, but it’s required to play. So, when I create a character and the character doesn’t save to the season, that’s a showstopper. Also, the new combined rules are a lot more complicated than the simplified ruleset I was using, but I can’t even try them out because the app is so broken. The app also doesn’t seem to have all the features that were supposed to be available, such as a playset editor, so I can’t while away the time making a new playset either. I’ve given up trying to play Weave for now. Maybe given up for good. It’s a shame, really, because season 1 was really fun and full us surprises to play. But, in the end, I can’t play what I can’t play.

I’ve finished season 1 of Expedition: The roleplaying card game by FabricateIO. Through ten quests I leveled up three characters to retirement. Mostly I did fun silly quests, but there ended up being a funny narrative I built for myself to tell them as a linked story. The final quest was pretty great, a dungeon crawl, and a suitable conclusion for the characters. Cool. I’m looking forward to starting up a new season with new characters and trying out some of the many other quests. Also, I keep thinking about looking into writing a quest or two myself, but haven’t gotten around to that yet. But, the last couple of episodes will post to my YouTube channel in August, although I already played them. If you want to watch them now, just head over to my past broadcasts on Twitch while they’re still there, before they expire.

I also finished season 1, comprised of 4 episodes, of the Hunt for the Thessalhydra from the Stranger Things themed D&D Starter Set. This was my first ever time trying to play D&D 5e solo! I feel like it worked pretty well; though I did lose track of some of cool abilities the 5 characters had available. Too much to track even though I used the Looney Pyramids for minis and Arcane Library Combat Cards to help me out; also I got the adventure on D&D Beyond. But, that was exciting to try.

I could continue the series by using the 4e modules themed around the Shadowfell, starting with H1 Keep on the Shadowfell. I’m not sure yet.

If I do more Stranger Things, I’ll keep all the characters, and probably add a Rogue Zoomer named Max. But, for other series, I’ll definitely tend toward one character with some sidekicks, instead of a party of full character sheets to keep track of whilst playing.

I’ve got prep notes for tabletop RPG things I’ve been thinking about doing solo, and now realize I’ve gone insane. Forgotten Realms (Beginner, Essentials & Ghosts of Saltmarsh), Ultraviolet Grasslands [also, also], Seas of Voldari, Humblewood

… but I’m still not sure what to do next! I guess I’ll know when I know, and then I’ll be doing it. I’m looking forward to the next thing … whichever thing that turns out to be!

Also, I actually streamed a few video games this last month! But, no posts other than the previous summary.

This last month I have started to do re-run marathons on Twitch. I’ve been doing a Sunday Solo Tabletop Roleplaying Rerun Marathon and a Tuesday Video Game Stream Rerun Marathon. I’ll keep doing those as long as there’s past broadcasts that haven’t expired.

And, that’s yet another month off the grill, toasted and sliced and presented on a pretty plate.

Here’s videos and archived streams

Summary for the month of June 2019

Here’s a summary of activity for the month of June 2019.

I finished Season 1 of Weave by Monocle Society last month. Littleback has been saved from a dastardly moonshard apocalypse! Essentially the triumphant end of season one! Since this game helps me develop a narrative story at the table, I posted summaries of my adventures, and Part 2 posted this last month. What next? Further adventures with Kabo Aboom? A different Weave playset? I think I’ve decided I will wait for the new rules and app on July 4th. I’ll decide what to do next at that point. Hopefully, some of the issues I’ve had with the app will be resolved, without new issues. Plus, I’ve got some ideas about what I’d create for some playsets, if doing that with the new app is as polished as promised.

I’ve continued playing Expedition: The roleplaying card game by FabricateIO. I made it through the three tutorials and finished my first non-tutorial quest, although the video posted to my YouTube channel today, I played it a this weekend, before the end of the month. Unfortunately, there’s a showstopper in that quest that makes it impossible for me to complete. I don’t know what the issue is specifically, internally to the app; but, it presents as the app hanging when I click on the “victory” button at the end of what I presume is the final battle. So … I don’t know. I hope that’s not something that happens a lot! I mean, this quest is a featured quest that won one of the writing contests, so I’d have imagined that it would have been well tested and functioning, right? Yeah. Without the app, and quests, if that turns out to be an ongoing, pervasive problem, then I’m not going to continue playing.

I went through all the prep notes for tabletop RPG things I’ve been thinking about doing solo, and now realize I’ve gone insane. Phandalin (Beginner & Essentials), Stranger Things, Ultraviolet Grasslands [also, also], Seas of Voldari, Humblewood … plus ongoing Weave, Expedition, Gloomhaven, and more … yikes.

And, that’s not even counting things I’ve kind of soured on playing, like Index Card RPG, Illimat, and Invisible Sun, but have series started that I’ve thought about continuing, after a fashion.

For playing D&D solo, I think I’ve got in mind that I’ll play the Stranger Things adventure Hunt for the Thessalhydra first. I’ll stumble through that and see how it goes. And then I’ll think about how things could go smoother, better, and, if I’ll continue. I keep noodling about it, and should just get to it at some point. Maybe.

And, that’s another month on the books, in the can, for the record.

Posts on the blog this last month

Here’s videos and archived streams

Summary for the month of May 2019

Here’s a summary of activity for the month of May 2019.

In mid-May, I finally hit 500 hours of live streaming on Twitch since my first stream back on Sep 5, 2014. It’s been a long, uneven, and strange trip. There’s been periods where I haven’t been able to stream, and periods when I only uploaded videos to YouTube, but over the years, off and on, in fits and starts, I’ve managed to stream 500 hours. Yay me!

Rigaroga Twitch 500 hours May 2019

I’m also seriously amused that even with all my struggles, I’m in the top third of content creators on Keymailer, a service where developers can send keys so people can check out their games. There are other services, some have come and gone, others still exist, which I’ve tried, but Keymailer has been, for me, the most useful. Okay, enough of the hype; except you might consider checking them out if you’re a creator interested in playing new things often.

But … I mean: just how long is that tail anyway? And, the spike in the top third must be enormous! I do wonder, sometimes, how much more I would have to stream, and be watched, to move into the top quarter. I’m sure it’s way more, but just how much more? I don’t know, and will probably never find out.

Rigaroga Keymailer top third May 2019

The only tabletop I’ve been doing this last month has been Weave by Monocle Society. I really have been enjoying the simple elegance of how it plays out for me as a solo player, even though solitaire play wasn’t part of the design. I did run into a hiccup where the game, which I had in front of me on the table, ready to stream another session, was unplayable because the app couldn’t connect to the server-side service, though there were no errors displayed; but the app was empty. My season was gone, no character information, all my playsets were gone … just empty space in the UI. I tried uninstalling and reinstalling, but nothing worked; until it just randomly came back a little while later. Welp. I experimented by turning off WiFi, and, indeed, the app does not cache anything useful locally. If I’m not connected to live Internet, the game is unplayable. That’s not a happy state for a game that I have physically in front of me. But, in spite of that, I did go on to play another session once the app was back.

I posted about the story so far, my game journal, through the first 4 streams, unboxing through adventure 3. And have continued to play, and, you know, learn how to play whilst playing.

As I’ve sat down to think about and plan to play other tabletop roleplaying, like Invisible Sun, the current preview for backers of Seas of Voldari or Humblewood, I’ve just been unexcited by the complexity of game play for my purposes. Too much work for too little payoff at this point. That’s also how I’ve been feeling about Gloomhaven or trying to bastardize a new, DIY Illimat, so I could play without supporting the solo-averse game designer, for further solo play, using the cards from Weave, or D&D / Gale Force Nine’s Tarokka as Luminaries, or something else. Although, I did get and unbox whilst streaming the Gloomhaven: Forgotten Circles expansion. There’s also plenty of new and old print-and-play things I have that I could play, full games and demos, but, again, just so much unfun work just to get to the point of playing hasn’t been exciting to me. So, the only thing I’ve played for tabletop this month has been Weave.

As an aside, I found myself idly wondering about and find it odd that video and tabletop games don’t have a “streamer kit” much like a press kit, but for streamers, with assets pre-cleared for use in stingers, interstitials, and thumbnails, and so on; static and motion graphics for streamers to use in videos and actual plays. I messaged a few people about the idea for some games I’m waiting for, and am thinking about streaming, and they hadn’t thought of the idea before. Seems like a good idea to me! But, I’m biased.

At some point, maybe, this next month, I’ll finally get my deluxe edition of Expedition RPG box, and be able to try that out … but, the status of that has been very murky, so I can only guess that it may arrive. I have high hopes that I’ll be able, and can sustain interest at the table, to play that on stream for a while.

I’ve had my eye on some other games, but my budget has been really very tight lately. I’m at the point where, unless I know 110% that I’m going to play something for tabletop streaming, I just cannot justify it at all; and even if I can justify it, I have such a limited budget that I’ve not been able to get anything new.

So, it is what it is. The month has passed, and I survived. I continued to stream games and tabletop. Also, I turned a half century old. Yeah. That happened. Wild, right?

Posts on the blog this last month

Here’s videos and archived streams

Summary for the month of April 2019

Here’s a summary of activity for the month of April 2019.

I don’t feel like I have a lot to say in a summary of this last month, after I said a lot about the previous summary. Ironically, I streamed more this last month than I did in the previous month, even after, essentially, saying that I’d given up on being a streamer. Like I said, I no longer think of myself as a streamer, but I’ll probably still stream. I’ve just given up on the idea it’s going anywhere or that I’m trying to build something bigger. But, for example, it’s been two months since my last Gloomhaven stream, and that’s a long damn time. After my Invisible Sun unboxing, one of the books, only read through once, fell apart, and it took over a month for the replacement to even be sent, so I cooled on my excitement about that whilst waiting. I don’t know. I’ll just keep doing things as I do them, and not trying to do it is the way I end up doing them, apparently. Whatever. It is what it is. I hadn’t planned on posting summaries any more either, mostly because I didn’t think I’d have anything to summarize, but here it is anyway.

I also ended up supporting several crowdfunding campaigns, though I really can’t justify supporting any more unless I am going to absolutely, positively do something actively with them when, if, they deliver.

I have three tabletop games that are supposedly on their way, but are in limbo, without an actual ETA, and really surprising lack of updates on them from their creators. Though I did finally get Weave, which I unboxed and played this month. And, I picked up a few video games in bundles, a few of which I played this month on stream. So, there are new games, actual and digital and roleplaying, that I might get to over this coming month, but who knows?

I’ve also found myself thinking about my ICRPG games, which went on hiatus after I kind of soured on ICRPG. But, I kinda miss the characters and their stories. I feel like Take is in a good place, and doesn’t necessarily need more; though there’s plenty that could be told. But what about the Mecha crew? They’re in transit to alternate Gamma World, and had many adventures ahead. There’s also the posse headed toward the Weird West. Or the companions in alternate Erehwon. But, I don’t know if I’ll ever get back to those stories. If I do, I probably won’t be using ICRPG anymore, per se. There were other things, like the additional scenario for SWRPG TFA or AoR (which I only ever unboxed) and even the unfinished Iris: Adventure Game, which has actually been redesigned since I last played, that I’ve thought about as well. I don’t know if I’ll ever get back to those either.

I guess I had some stuff to say about this last month after all. There was probably other stuff to talk about that I didn’t remember. We’ll see what the next month brings. Maybe something, maybe nothing. IDEK.

Posts on the blog this last month

Here’s videos and archived streams

Summary for the month of March 2019

Here’s a summary of activity for the month of March 2019.

I’ve been having a crisis of faith lately. I have sat down at my computer, thinking I’d stream something, and haven’t. I feel like there’s no point. I’ve been streaming, and trying to build something here on the blog, and had a Patron campaign at Patreon, and a Subscribe option on Bandcamp, a voice and chat server on Discord, and some other things … and I’ve been streaming for years now, off and on.

In the last month, and I’m not sure really how to talk about this, but when the Critical Role crowdfunding effort went off like epic fireworks, I started to feel even more depressed and discouraged than normal. It’s not jealousy, per se, as I think it’s awesome for them, and their success is deservedly phenomenal; but, I look at what I’ve been trying to do, without success, and have just felt like I’ve been wasting my time all this time, time time time.

Then another thing. I suppose everyone has their Star Trek captain, or Doctor Who, right? The one they think of first, and is probably the one they started to watch originally. Well, some day, maybe already, people will probably start talking about their first Streamer in the same way, maybe?

For the record, “my” captain is probably Janeway or Cisco, “my” Doctor used to be Peter Davidson, and remained so by just a hair for a very long time, out of nostalgia over how I liked his acting so much, though Tom Baker was both delightful and my “first”, until his comments about a female Doctor finally tipped it to David Tennant.

My first streamer was Ara_gaming. Ara_gaming was the reason I started to watch Twitch. I followed her to Twitch from the Sony Landmark actual play through videos. Ara_gaming is the reason I started streaming on Twitch. Her advice was “just start!” and I did. So, tongue-in-cheek, I blame Ara_gaming for everything.

The other day, Ara showed up in Echoics’ stream, another of the first couple of streamers I watched, after years of absence from Twitch, as a guest. That was cool to see, and definitely cool after so long. I’m happy that things ending for her own stream career was for the best, and that she and Echoics are still in contact. It was nifty to see her again, and remember those early days.

But, I started to think about how little has changed for me as a streamer over the years since I started. I’m a Twitch Affiliate, but I never gained any ongoing patronage or subscribers or even a regular audience in any of these or related places. I’ve met people online and in person, I’ve had people get to know me and hang out irregularly, and all that’s super cool. But, still, most of the time, I’ve streamed with no one watching. And, as I watch my own archived videos, I’ve never gotten to the point where my own views are not significantly the majority.

My attempts to stream games, and whatnot, is a kind of art project. There’s also the annual music anthology I put together as well … and so forth. It’s good to have something to be busy with that’s fun and creative, even silly. Part of my streaming is about this idea I got, kinda modified from something someone I know said about writing book reviews. There’s a guy I know that reads, no, really, a shit ton, and he writes some kind of review for every one of them. Even if it is just a few lines. He said his rule is that if it is worth the time to read the thing, it’s worth writing some kind of review about it. He’s a damned machine, but it’s an idea that I’ve tried to use. So streaming, for me, is about how if I’m going to play games, I need to have some kind of creative output about that. Playing and grinding in a game, video or tabletop, without something to say or show for it is something I try to avoid by making streams or something at least.

But, at what point does it not make sense to put out the energy to plan and do and post these things publicly anymore if there’s no audience?

When I was in high school theatre, the teacher used to talk about how sports can be played without an audience, because the scores still matter and get recorded and have an effect on the season. But, for theatre, if there’s no audience, it’s not still a thing. I suppose theatre without an audience is just a rehearsal, really. And, in essence, I’ve been in open rehearsals as a streamer for years now. Maybe I should accept that there’s no audience and the show will never open.

Adam Koebel, in a recent stream, said something that kinda struck me hard. He said, “Content is a magical thing. As long as people will watch it, it’s worth doing.”

So, I’ve been okay with not having an audience, because it was part of an overall project. I had a reason to stream even if no one was watching. I had a reason to tweet, even if no one was listening. I had a reason to blog, even if no one was reading.

But, maybe I’ve been wrong about that. Maybe I should accept that whatever I’m doing is simply not of interest to other people, and doing it publicly is just wasted effort. I … think I’ve found the core problem with my streaming strategy. Actually, to be honest, this equally calls into question all of my strategies for anything and, moreover, my life choices. But, maybe that’s a little much to fully contemplate at the moment, all at once. And, it’s pretty much way too late in the game for me to change my entire life now, though I can mix things up and rearrange the deck chairs …

So, I’ve realized this month that I’ve lost the faith. I’ve given up each time I’ve sat down to start streaming. I’ve just not done it, though I could have, again, and once more, tried to keep to the project. I’ve got ideas I meant to do for streams, including continuing with video games, Illimat, and Gloomhaven, and starting up new series of Invisible Sun and Weave, and maybe other stuff. But, again, I’ve sat down to do them and ended up not doing them.

Welp. Okay then. I don’t know that I’m done streaming, but I think I’m done thinking of myself as a streamer. My first stream was back in September 2014, and my latest stream was almost a month ago. I’ve had ups and downs, and periods of streaming every day and periods of not being able to stream for various reasons. I don’t know that I won’t stream again, but I think I’m done with the project. Any bits or subs I had never reached over or near $75, so Twitch will end up keeping all of it; and eventually I’d imagine they might remove me from the Affiliate program, but who knows? (Their ways are mysterious!) I’ve shut down my patronage campaign. I’ve removed the option to subscribe to the anthology. I temporarily killed my social media accounts, but ended up keeping them active-ish. I’m going to stop posting, as I’ve been wont to do, monthly calls for submissions, or the other monthly reminders about my overall project. I don’t know if I’ll downgrade my Internet connectivity, but if I’m not streaming I sure don’t need all that bandwidth anymore.

I’m sad, tired, and disappointed, to be honest. But, okay, after this month, I guess I can accept now that the overall project is at least dormant, if not dead. The project is dead, long live the project! Nah, if it still moves, it’s probably just undead, trying to eat my brain.

Thanks to anyone that has read, watched, or soever, over the years. Thanks, if you’re not just me re-reading this for any mistakes, to you for reading this. I hate the “I’m leaving” trope, but this is, in fact, the summary of my last month. And, there it is.

Posts on the blog this last month

Here’s videos and streams