Since I began streaming in August 2017, I have played a huge number of many kinds of games. The majority of those I have streamed have been single-player story-heavy games. Many of them, such as open world games, will also be full of side quests, activities, relationship building with NPCs, management sim aspects, or even a huge pile of collectables the player can find for various reasons. Some games obfuscate these objectives and leave them to be simply a bonus to your regular gameplay. An example of this would be the Fallout series, where you can find the bobble-heads or magazines and gain a small boost in stats. Other games will emphasise these side activities by displaying a score menu that tracks your progress or even giving you a showcase of these achievements in the form of unlockable cosmetic content.
Over the last few months I have been working on getting a YouTube channel up and running. It has been a journey, to say the least. And now the day has finally come where I can share the new channel with all of you! Click the link below to visit the channel. I will be uploading backlog content there regularly. Remember to subscribe so you won’t miss any of it!
There are more details about the YouTube channel launch, and what this means for Iron Wolf Gaming, in the announcement video below.
One year ago I wrote a blog where I opened up about being burnt out. I had the chance recently to discuss this with someone in the community and the idea of a recap blog sprang up. It seemed like a great idea so, here it is.
Since I wrote that blog, I have not felt anything close to the level of burnout that I experienced last year. So, I guess I can claim success! Yay! Oh, but hold up a second there Mr Wolf, before you go planning the wild celebration party. It might be a good idea to go over some of the specifics of the last blog and break it all down piece by piece to see what real measure of progress there has been in the last twelve months.
About ten years ago, thanks to EVE Online, Cheyenne and I met and became friends. Our first face-to-face meeting took place a short while later in Iceland at EVE Online’s Fanfest celebration. Since then, we’ve grown to be the best of friends—and in the last several years, even closer than that. So today, it’s with great excitement that we announce our engagement!
In the past we played the “game of life” individually. Now we’re looking forward to starting a co-operative game together!
Our wedding will be a private (parents only) ceremony in the Cumberland Forest on Vancouver Island at the end of May 2019. We hope to host a small gathering of friends and family in Alberta to celebrate our marriage shortly thereafter.
Recently, and not for the first time in the last year of streaming, I began to feel a period of burnout coming on. It was a slow creep at first, and last weekend it hit me suddenly like a wave. When this happens, the natural instinct kicks in and you either fight it or try to get out of its way, but it is too late. The water surges in and you feel yourself getting pulled around in all directions. To further milk this poetic tidal analogy, there is only so much water you can fight through before you fall in and get rolled around. And the only thing left to do is to scramble back to the beach with a mouth full of sea water and some seaweed clinging to your head
I live in a little slice of built up urban hell in South Yorkshire. OK maybe I am overstating this a tad, it is not quite a hell as such. It is, as I have described to friends who live in countries with wider open spaces between towns, quite built up none the less. There is not a direction I can drive here where it would not be one village and town blending into the next with barely a few moments of open countryside to admire from the window. And yet, as I drive around I do see countryside none the less. It sits out there between one housing estate after the other and sometimes I have thought to myself how my opening statement here is perhaps a little hyperbolic. Still, knowing that picturesque scenery is just a stones throw away and actually availing myself of it up close are not one and the same thing.
It’s been way too quiet here lately and I should blog a lot more so here is a little update on what I have been up to outside of the writing front. I have another half-finished blog about writing from a month ago I owe some time to, and will get round to finishing it. Meanwhile, I have been a little preoccupied with a new activity: streaming video games on Twitch.
Streaming games has been something on my mind for the last two years. I have been watching lets-plays on YouTube for around a decade, ever since I got bit by the Minecraft bug and played it non-stop when I was not at work. In the last three years, I have added watching live streams to my list of chosen entertainment and have found a batch of streamers who play games that I enjoy watching on a regular basis.
Over the many years I have been writing short stories, back before I even began writing fan fiction for EVE Online – though that was a starting point for more regular writing activity itself – I found I would always stick to a specific method of planning and fleshing out my works. I was not aware at the time, though I had a strange kind of determination to make the system work even when I should have seen it was clearly not. Well OK, to tell the truth, I suppose it was not all that bad. I do remember, a long way back, being able to rattle off large sections of a story at a time before the weight of the system pushed my productivity way down. Maybe having an eager mind full to bursting with ideas had much to do with breaking through the wall. But I am getting ahead of myself and should talk more about the system I stuck to for so long. The system that eventually burned me out for several years.
Sometime last year I began working on the setting for my Ferum Republic story and quickly saw a lot of potential for an expansive setting. As a result, my mind turned more to the subject of world building theory than it has done before for any writing project. When I wrote character stories for EVE Online I was working within someone else’s setting. It was pre-built and ready to use. All I needed to do was to shape a character to fit into it, and come up with a story that uses those pre-existing elements in the world. I am not going to say this was an easy thing to do, because it presents it own challenges none the less. But there is nothing quite like building your own world from scratch. I find something deeply satisfying to come up with a basic idea and then start fleshing it out. You find yourself collecting little ideas as you work on the bigger ones, putting them to one side thinking they will go nowhere, only to have an idea at night while lying in bed that blows that small scrap of an idea up into something large and awesome.
In November I published the first part of The Skid Journal’s first chapter. Needless to say, given the length of time it took to complete, I had a little trouble with this part. It is difficult to put my finger on why, though one thing I was conscious of was a need to work on something new and interesting while the idea was fresh in my brain.
In my last blog I spoke about a new project called Ferum Republic. I started making notes for this story earlier in 2016 and found it turned into a larger than expected world building project which has given me more story to work with as a result. Besides being a different kind of story to The Skid, I am also exploring a different style of writing. More off the cuff, with less actual planning ahead. This is new to me as I have always plotted out the script ahead of time and tried to write to that. I found with the last part of The Skid Journal that this sometimes creates problems. Maybe because my creative impulse is spent on the planning phase, leaving little else to offer when I was fleshing out my skeleton of a story.
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