The Good Work Continues…

The site redesign continues now that I’ve changed the formatting theme to something that I feel is a little more amenable to the current vision I have for the site. Unfortunately, now that the pretty, visual things are taken care of, the real grunt work begins with a little old item we like to call ‘content’. That, sadly, is taking a little longer to realize as I consolidate images from various galleries that I’ve had hidden for a few years, add a new tabbing layout to the various project pages and start building some public faces for what has, until now, have been very private projects.

Site Redesign and Project Update(s)

Just wanted to let everyone know that despite the lack of activity on this page that I had not gone away. In fact, I have been spending a great deal of time considering redesigns of this page so you may see a lot of things moving around, added, deleted and generally reshuffled as I work to find a new format that appeals to me.

In the meantime, I’ve managed to update a new model for the lead character of another project, Chains of Artemis, that you can find in the Gallery section.

A Little Motivation Needed…

It’s funny. Between my website, my gallery journal, my twitter account, my personal and public facebook pages and my youtube channel… I can never decide where I should talk about things. It would be really nice if I could just say it once and have it magically appear everywhere else. Oh well.

Anyway, the long and short of this particular post is that I need to set some ground rules for myself. Yup, after more than 40 years of laissez-faire living, I need to buckle down. 😀 There’s a certain irony in that, I suppose. Of course, I’m fond of spouting these things in a half-assed as manner as they occur to me. It’s sort of a free-thought experiment in self-dictatorship. “So what brought this on?” Taking a look around my house, I realized it’s a freaking disaster area that I’m always having to pre-apologize for. Further, I’m always complaining about those pesky 70-ish pounds I need to lose. Oh, and there are all those projects I want to work on, but never get around to because I keep distracting myself with other, shinier things. 🙂

A great life when you’re retired and financially stable. I look forward to returning to it some day.

In the meantime, let’s start with a simple rule for myself:
1. Effective every Monday, all dishes must be washed, the kitchen cleaned, all food items out of the office and living room and all recycling must be in the recycling bin in the garage.

Why Monday? Because my intent is to start doing large scale cooking for myself on Sundays so I can prepare some decent meals for myself for the week in advance. That way, whatever is left over is cleaned by the next day. Yes… I’m a day late implementing this rule. I should’ve done it yesterday. Fortunately, I am working from home today so I can catch up on that little discrepancy (in fact, I just took out all the trash and recycling and started a load of dishes about 5 minutes ago).

Ultimately, because I’m weak when it comes to assigning myself my own rules (I’m such a lenient master to myself), I need all the encouragement and pestering I can get to make sure I follow through on these commitments. 🙂 So, if you love, like me, or just think of me as that weird person on the internet, please feel free to poke and praise all you want. I’ll post updates and additional rules as I think of them and slip them into the schedule.

Threshold: Not just for players anymore!

poster-1I have decided to try a great experiment. The players and I have great fun playing our bi-weekly RPG, Threshold, but I wondered if there might be a way to engage the viewers more than chat, and I believe I have the solution!

Beginning with this upcoming session, “Episode III”, non-players will be able to bid on certain NPC factions in order to influence their actions during the game. This will, of course, cast currency traditionally earned from watching my streams but as I don’t stream as frequently as I once did, that obviously limits the earning potential of anyone who might want to participate.

So, I will be speaking to each of my players who have stream channels of their own and asking them to allow their viewers to exchange currency from their channels to currency in mine.

Here is a potential example of the “influence” of which I speak:
Bidding to purchase temporary control of the Necromongers will allow you to designate which planet/sector they next attack. Options will be gated by the amount bid; so if you bid at all, there might be 5 options available; bidding, for example, at least 100 would allow you to designate 2 targets from the previous group or open up 2 additional single targets, etc.

Unfortunately, the chat bot does not fully support Beam.pro so only Twitch users will be able to participate at this time.

To exchange points from VaiBeatFoo’s channel, tweet: “@VaiBeatFoo @SteelPhoenixTV <your Twitch name> <amount you want to transfer>”
To exchange points from JonSlice’s channel, tweet: “@JonSlice @SteelPhoenixTV <your Twitch name> <amount you want to transfer>”

Once I’ve ironed more of the details with the players, I’ll make sure to let the rest of you know! 🙂

Boredom, the Executive Producer

All things considered, today has been unusually productive. Not only did I manage to renovate the website (although admittedly it was an accident at first… but I still had to spend time cleaning it up afterward). Then I began work on updating my old DeviantArt gallery which included finally coloring an image that I had sketched in pencil about three years ago. After that, I completed an updated concept image for a character in the project I am currently working on and continued with the process of reworking the plot line for the story behind the project. And to what do I owe this unbridled bit of productivity? As you can tell from the title of this post: Boredom. I’ve had no one to talk to most of the day and haven’t been in the mood to play any of the video games I’m currently engaged in, and I don’t plan on seeing Captain America: Civil War until Monday when I have the day off work. It used to be that when I got bored, I’d cut my hair. Having considerably less hair than I used to, I guess I have to channel it into other tasks these days. 🙂

Reflection on the Divinities

Mind you, when I speak of Divinities, I’m speaking of a pantheon of fictional gods that I created to be the cosmological backdrop to several of my game and story worlds… a group known as the Al Khaem.  I have had some incarnation of these characters in my head since I was 13 — so if these were my children, they’d be over 30 years old by now.  And over the years, they’ve gone through a multitude of incarnations, but none, I think, more expansive than their current design.

I’ve been struggling with imagery for the gods to properly capture their current state of being and, after mucking around with some photo manipulation, I’ve managed to produce images befitting the first — and eldest — of the Al Khaem.

Branan, the Bound Lord Enkarri, the Trickster

 

The first is Branan, formerly the Overlord of the Elements and Ruler of the Al Khaem, but now and forever known as the Bound Lord, forbidden to ever take direct action against the world as we know it — a past time he was quite adept at in his prior existence — as a result of losing a bet against Enkarri, the Trickster Goddess, formerly the Goddess of Light.   Now, no longer under Branan’s imperious rule , unwilling to pick up the mantle in his stead, and tired of the burdens of her immortal existence and the sacrifices she has been forced to make, Enkarri has become a rogue element among the gods with an agenda wholly her own.

Truth be told, while I’d had Branan’s developments laid out for quite some time, a lot of Enkarri’s story developed as I worked on these images and this has, in turn, lead to unforeseen consequences for the rest of the Al Khaem that I will need to explore.

Resolutions

It’s a new year and, as traditional, it’s time for some resolutions.  I’ve only publicly announced my resolutions a few times in the past and, I’ll be brutally honest — I never live up to them.   Living alone means I ultimately answer to no one but myself and I’ve found that I’m far to lenient of a master at times.  😀

That said, I’m going to make another attempt and you can all be my witnesses/champions/taskmasters to see me through the year ahead.

First, on a personal note, I would like to lose 50lbs this year.  I realize it’s a cliche and everyone wants to lose weight at New Years, but I’m almost 44 and I work at a sedentary job with a fairly sedentary hobby and my diet isn’t the most nutritious in the world at the moment.  So to that end, I need to get off my lazy behind and actually make use of the treadmill and/or exercise bike that I bought last year.  My commitment is at least 30 minutes of exercise per day.

Second, I would like a dog.  I may even go so far as to seek financial contributions from the Twitch community to help with the costs of adoption… but I haven’t had a pet in my house since my hamster, Gizmo, passed away and she wasn’t exactly the kind of pet you could play with.  Plus, having a dog should help with my activity level.  Unfortunately, to make the dog happen, I need to fulfill my third resolution…

I need a backyard.  Yes, I technically have one, but it is currently filled to the overflowing with my neighbor’s out of control blackberry bush as well as the stumps from all the cherry trees I had cut down when I first bought the house.  That means that come tax return time, I need to hire a landscaper in order to clear out the backyard completely, lay down some sod and replace the back fence.  Then I’ll finally have a place for  a dog to run around when I’m at work.

Now, on to the hobby.  I realize that I have been somewhat neglectful of the community on Twitch and Youtube.  Never fear in that Geekamole will be making its 2016 premier in few weeks once we’re all back from winter break at which point we should be back to our normal Saturday afternoon broadcast schedule.  Beyond that, however, I would like to resume my let’s-play schedule on Twitch.  Over the past several months — and most notably over the Christmas holiday — I have picked up a ton of video games just screaming out to be played.  Since the vast majority of them are JRPGs, that seemed the most appropriate place to start in order to plan out a schedule… unfortunately, once I listed them all out, I realized what a daunting schedule I had:

My 2016 List of JRPGs

Admittedly, a couple of the games would be replays for me, but they’re replays of games I really enjoyed back in the day and it would be nice to see if the memory of nostalgia lives up to the reality.  This also leaves out a few other games I would like to play that don’t actually fit so neatly into the franchises above… Parasite Eve 1 and 2 and Xenoblade Chronicles X as well as replays of Legend of Dragoon and Wild Arms 2.  And this doesn’t even take into account any new games that might come out in 2016 (such as the remake of Final Fantasy VII).

As always, input and encouragement are more than welcome.

No Geekamole This Week

Unfortunately, schedules and illnesses have conspired to prevent us from having a new episode of Geekamole for this Saturday; as such, I will be rebroadcasting our recent interview with Lori and Corey Cole.

We should be back for our regularly scheduled episode on 11/21 for our final November broadcast  before taking a break for the Thanksgiving holiday.  Thank you, as always, to each of our fans and those who come out to watch us regularly — we are always disappointed when we miss out on opportunity to hang out with you and hope to see you very soon!

Last Week on Steel Phoenix TV

Last week was a little crazy around here thanks to one of our favorite holidays:  Halloween.  It even went so far as to inspire me — not altogether successfully mind you — to try my hand at a quick cooking show where I created mint white chocolate Frankenstein candies filled with chocolate fudge pudding.  I’ll have to do it again at some point with some better production value than simply sitting in my office while I mix things together — but as always, live and learn!

Here’s what you missed last week:

As always, thank you to our 24 subscribers and 1360 viewers on Youtube and our 60 followers and 1005 viewers on Twitch.TV.    Now let’s make like Bob Ross and go paint us some happy little trees.  🙂

Last Week on Steel Phoenix TV

In my ongoing effort to keep everyone abreast of all the latest going down here at Steel Phoenix TV, I’m please to announce that my new monitor stand has arrived and I’ve been able to arrange my widescreen monitors vertically in order to save on the ever decreasing horizontal desk space.  One of these days, I’ll need to break down and actually buy a whole new desk, but the new configuration should suffice to allow me to be able to monitor chat and my broadcasting software without hiding them behind my play-screen.

That aside, here’s the latest available for viewing on Youtube:

As with last week, special shout outs to our 23 subscribers and 1308 viewers on Youtube and 60 followers and 981 viewers on Twitch.  I will be continuing with my early access play through of Knights of the Fallen Empire for the next few nights.  And don’t forget to catch our Halloween Dress-Up Edition of Geekamole this Saturday at 1pm Pacific.  🙂