Settling For Headphones

My 24th birthday is coming up in less than a month and I’m realizing that it will be the fourth birthday I’ve spent in New Zealand, despite having only lived here for a little over a year now. It’s a weird thing, moving to another country. Different people have different experiences and emotions about it because the reasons and situations can be so different from person to person. I can’t speak for anyone else – all of these thoughts and feelings here are only my own. I have just been feeling a bit homesick and nostalgic lately and felt a compelling urge to share.

Beautiful sunrise

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The White Captain of Rohan

This is probably the longest I have ever taken to work my way through an expansion’s content (expansions that came out during my hiatus not included of course). I am only just now getting Cithryth to level 95 and completing the corresponding Epic Story. And what a spectacularly epic story it is too! While I really appreciate the story and character crafting that goes into the Epic Story in general, I’ve never been quite as avid of a fan of it as some people. But as a Captain of Rohan, the Helm’s Deep Epic Story was truly moving.

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The Sociable

Yesterday I had the pleasure of being a guest on the LOTRO Players News podcast. I’ve never been on a podcast before and I’ve only had two previous experiences doing any kind of collaborative audio/voice recording (one of which never came to light), so it was a really interesting experience. I was quite nervous before-hand, like with most any social situation. Would I talk too much? Would I not talk enough? Those kinds of questions.

Fortunately the people at LOTRO Players are all really fun, interesting, welcoming people so my anxiety was gone pretty quickly. In fact I had so much fun doing the live podcast and chatting with them all afterwards that I’m left with a bit of a problem. It took me awhile to figure out what my feelings were exactly afterwards, but I’ve finally realized what my problem is: I miss being social in LOTRO.

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Hobnanigans – Too Frustrating to be Fun

All my little hobbit wanted was a pretty Black-footed Chicken for a pet. How shiny and beautiful its black plumage is! The lovely little chook would make such a nice wandering companion that I obliged her little hobbit wishes and took her to the Hobnanigans field. What we were met with was not quite as fun of an event  as we were both hoping for.

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Saturday Update – Onward and Upward

I’ve noticed that since I began making videos my blog presence has been… well okay, it’s mostly dropped off completely (save for my own video link dumps). So I’ve decided to rectify that by doing Saturday Updates every week. I’ll talk about what games I’m playing, how video production is going, any gaming news I find interesting, stuff like that. That way this will become more like a blog again!

So welcome to my first Saturday Update! It’s actually Sunday afternoon here, but since I upload videos on a US/Western-European-centric time schedule I figured I’d stick with it here as well. Spring is full on here now – the few trees that do drop their leave in autumn are budding again and the flowers are in a lovely bloom! We got a lot of yard work done yesterday. I planted some red bell peppers (capsicum as they call them here) and an heirloom tomato plant, which I am super excited about! Hopefully it won’t die :(

Apologies for my video uploading schedule this past week – we had plumbers and electricians in this week to do some work on our kitchen. Most importantly we finally got a dishwasher, which means I don’t have to spend ages washing dishes by hand and can spend more time gaming and making videos! Woohoo! But that meant my recording schedule got a bit messed up. Promise that my next Don’t Starve – Willow episode will be up tomorrow, though!

The past few weeks I’ve been playing a lot of the Binding of Isaac. When I played it the first few times after getting it in the Steam sale it seemed okay but I would continuously die very early (we’re talking like Basement 1, for those who have played it). However after a bit more practice I’m finally getting better and can consistently make it to the 3rd or 4th level down. I’ve also been watching a lot of Northernlion’s Binding of Isaac series (Today he uploaded episode #620!!). Not only are his Isaac videos great to watch as he learns and masters the game, but he’s just a great games video maker in general. I definitely draw inspiration from his success! He is also very helpful to other Let’s Players – he frequently posts in the LetsPlay subreddit with advice on getting review copies of games, what kind of things you should worry about for you channel and what you shouldn’t, how to effectively tag your videos, all sorts of stuff.

And so I’ve been thinking of starting an Isaac series myself. I feel like now I know what I’m doing a bit more I could add in another game to upload every week on Mondays. Isaac seems like a good choice because of its near infinite re-playability (did I mention Northernlion has done 620 episodes of it so far?) and it’s fast-paced gameplay lends itself to flowing commentary. The problem with it, of course, is that lots and lots and lots of people do Binding of Isaac series and a lot of them do it very well. But I think the ‘pro’ that trumps that ‘con’ is that… I just have a really fun time playing that game! And I feel like I would be able to do some good/entertaining commentary with it. So this week I’ll try recording a few play-throughs and see how it goes.

In gaming news this week Steam made three pretty big announcements – their creation of a Steam OS, a Steam Machine and a Steam Controller. This is all very exciting! At our house we have a PC hooked up to our TV that we use as a “media PC”. It’s Windows 7 and it stores all of our TV shows and movies and we use a program called XBMC to run them/have a pretty UI on the TV. However with these Steam announcements, we could instead install this Steam OS on our current media PC and use it not only to watch our TV shows and movies but also to play games with. OR we could buy a Steam Machine that fits our requirements and do the same. And we can use the Steam Controllers as remotes/game-pads. It’s definitely a very interesting prospect and I look forward to seeing how this shapes up. I’ve entered myself in the pool for the Steam Machine beta. If I’m super lucky I’ll get picked! But I don’t have my hopes up.

That’s about it for this week. If you have any feedback on how my blog/videos are doing please feel free to let me know! I am always looking to improve. Also if you have an idea for a game you’d like to see me play and record, let me know!

Videos From This Past Week:

LOTRO Lore-master Episode 15: And His Boots Are Yellow

LOTRO Lore-master Episode 16: Lalia Must Die

Lore-master Episode 12: Averting a War

Video – Farmer’s Faire Overview – 2013

Don’t Starve – Willow – Episode 4