Last Week on Steel Phoenix TV

It has certainly been a busy week at Steel Phoenix TV — both on Youtube and on Twitch — so I figured this would be a good opportunity to summarize all our recent programming and what you might have missed!

I also wanted to take a moment to thank our 23 subscribers and 1248 viewers on Youtube and our 57 followers and 964 viewers on Twitch.  It’s thanks to your dedication that we continue to push forward and give everything that we can to entertain you.

Time for an Update

What can I say?  I’m all fancy-titled out.  😀

As many of you can probably tell, we’ve had a slight overhaul to the website, including the return of the journal to the front page and the addition of the social media links over on the left — along with the previously unmatched windows for Twitch and Youtube.

This has been a none-too-subtle effort to tidy up our virtual house in the wake of the start of our second season on Youtube as well as the upcoming trip to TwitchCon this weekend.

More to come in the days ahead so, as always, stay tuned!

Casting Towards the Future

With the recent re-launch of Steel Phoenix TV on Twitch and various plans in the works, I thought it might be an opportune moment to look ahead and what’s coming down the line.

First and foremost, we’ve been getting some excellent initial viewership and feedback on our new podcast/talk show “To Be Named Later”.  We recently completed our second (technically third) episode and it has been uploaded to Youtube.  I’m currently in the process of learning RSS feeds to see how the MP3 incarnation of the podcast can be set up for distribution via iTunes and/or Soundcloud.

MMOndays has begun with the most recent patch for Aion.  In two more weeks, I will be switching over to World of Warcraft to explore their newly released patch 6.2 and will begin scripting a formal review/recap for Aion to be posted to Youtube (rather than my previous habit of simply reuploading unedited gameplay footage directly from Twitch).

I am working with my friends at Tea Time Games on the possibility of a Minecraft server that may be made available to wither followers or Patreon contributors — which reminds me, I need to get to work on setting up a Patreon page at some point.  Speaking of Minecraft, however, I am looking at some sort of build-a-thon for the July 4th weekend.  It’s premature for me to announce anything officially until I’ve had the chance to set it all up but keep your eyes peeled.

Of, perhaps, greater significance to me is the end of August when, traditionally, I celebrate the anniversary of my studio.  This year, it will represent the conclusion of “season 1” and the start of “season 2” for all the shows; followed a few weeks later in September by TwitchCon.

Now, if only I could secure a bigger “staff” of contributors so that the channel could be on-air more than my limited schedule allows me to be live.  🙂

This Month on Steel Phoenix TV

This Month on Steel Phoenix  TVAfter a successful launch of our brand new show “To Be Named Later”, I figured this would be a great opportunity to update my off-air calendar to show what is currently in the works for streaming in the coming weeks.

Hero fur Hire returns?

It’s seldom that I can go a month without one of my friends urging me to return to drawing webcomics — which is ironic considering my four previous forays have seldom lasted particularly long.  In truth, the longest was the original incarnation of Jaitera which ran for roughly 70+ pages.  Part of my retiscence in returning to webcomics is that I consider myself perhaps the most criminally inefficient artist of all time.  Cleaning up my sketchwork and digitally inking and coloring the comics takes an impractical amount of time and, given my current foray into streaming and other video entertainment, I have even less free time than I did when I first started drawing comics.

However, that said, I have recently been guilted into digging out and hooking up my Wacom Cintiq tablet so that I can practice drawing directly electronically.   Below is my (second) attempt at drawing with the tablet…

After some initial success, I’ve decided to consider the possibility of maybe potentially resuming my work on one of my webcomics — Hero fur Hire (which is still available for review online here) and, in the fine tradition of the various “reboot events” done by major comic book companies and reliving the event that actually started HfH itself, I decided to determine the course of the new storyline by having my characters “fight” one another in a battle royale type tournament.

After two rounds of “battle”, the team has materialized in such a way that the universe doesn’t even require a formal reboot but can actually proceed with little more than a time lapse.  I’ve even gone so far as to begin work on the updated characters, beginning with the one that I had previously determined would never actually return to the comic world…

Djet Munroe was originally a cocky, girl-crazy high school student and cousin to the other series lead, TJ.  In the five year timelapse that will have occurred, Djet, following his cousin’s departure into the cosmos with the goddess, Shara Elix, was left to fend for himself.  Unfortunately, while engaging in his Hero Licensure Trial, the mission escalated dangerously, causing Djet to become trapped in a mystical world in the midst of an ice age for several years.  By the time he returned to his homeworld with the help of the witch, Morrigan, he had missed his chance to graduate high school, failed his Hero Licensure Trial and had his family assets seized, leaving him destitute and desperate.  Since then, he has found new employment with an investor looking to capitalize on the heroic legacy of Djet’s family name by establishing a new team with Djet and Morrigan at the head.

Let me know what you think and if I should proceed with the comic or not…

MMOndays on SteelPhoenixTV

To say that I’ve played a lot of MMOs in my day would be an understatement.  The number is so significant at this point that when I sought to list them all last night in a conversation with a fellow streamer, I kept forgetting some of them.  So, for the sake of my own failing memory and to make a point, here is the list:

  • City of Heroes/City of Villains (CoX) [now closed]
  • Champions Online (CO)
  • DC Universe Online (DCUO)
  • Lineage 2
  • Everquest 2 (EQ2)
  • Age of Conan (AoC)
  • Final Fantasy XI
  • Final Fantasy XIV: Realm Reborn
  • Prius Online: Anima Redux  [now closed]
  • Allods
  • Skyforge (currently closed beta)
  • WildStar
  • Aion
  • Rift
  • Ragnarok Online (iRO)
  • World of Warcraft (WoW)
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR)
  • Trove

To that end, I believe it’s time to put my years of MMO experience to use by producing formal reviews. So, beginning in a few weeks, when I resume streaming on Monday nights, I will focus on one MMO for each of four weeks, spending no less than 12 hours experiencing (or re-experiencing) the game so that I can grade it based on the various categories I have previously mentioned in this blog.  Once done, I will edit the review down into something readily digestable and post it to my Youtube channel.

Now here’s where you come in.  What MMO(s) do you recommend that I start with?  Please post your suggestions in the comments section below!  And don’t forget to watch me on !

Insert Clever Title Here

After finally resolving the ever changing ambiguity of one character in the latest of the never ending series of projects that strike my fancy, I decided to turn my attention to his potential travel companion.  As before, I struggled to find a satisfying background for her as I worried that she may have too much in common, at first glance, with my currently planned antagonist as well as the heroine of another novel project that I currently have on the back burner.

Fortunately, her character design resolved far more easily than her predecessor.  Now, my struggle lies with getting my rendering program to come up with a suitable design for her initial clothing… well, that and trying to come up with a decent name that appropriately embodies her strength.  I had considered the first name of Eislyn or Aislyn (pronounced AI-lihn) but I worry that, given the male lead’s name is Bowen, there would be too much of a phonetic similarity, in addition to the potential contiguity between their first initials.

What I have decided is that she is a sister of the faith, seeking some peace after years of violence as a guard.  She ends up being forced to come out of her self-imposed retirement in order to serve as a Charger — someone the faith assigns to oversee criminals who, rather than face incarceration, are sent into the field and abroad in order to fulfill obligations and redeem themselves in the eyes of the priesthood.

Below, I’ve included the updated character bio for Bowen as well as the current design for his companion in her adventuring attire.

bowen_stats femalelead

Verbal Serendipity

One of the oddest things I enjoy is coming across new, somewhat obscure words, especially when they help me fill out a set of knowledge that I didn’t realize was incomplete.  This happened yesterday when I was toying around with title ideas and playing with the words vernal and autumnal and wondered if there were similar words for summer and winter.  Sure enough, I came across a list breaking the annual seasons into six segments known as Prevernal, Vernal, Estival, Seritonal, Autumnal and Hibernal.

Fascinated by this revelation, I decided to carry that investigation over to daily cycles using diurnal and nocturnal as my start.  From there, I learned Crepuscular,  Marutinal, Vespertine and Cathemeral.  Since this isn’t exactly a dictionary blog, I’ll let those of you who care investigate those terms for yourselves, but I wanted to ensure that I’d documented my new found perspicacity.

On another note, I’ve been playing around with the 3d model I showed off earlier.  I decided to shy away from the more toon-like textures this time around and aim for a more realistic touch — and yes, I made him shirtless because it’s easier to see the flesh textures that way.  I’m thinking to name the character Bowen.  Unfortunately, aside from that, every time I come up with a solid explanation for this character, two seconds later I change my mind and attempt to come up with another.  Given I already have a basic story in mind, having a primary character who doesn’t wish to cooperate is proving quite the irritant.


Experiments in Toonimation

After getting some crazy ideas in my head while at work, I decided to do some experimenting when I got home and ended up producing a slightly improved, toon-shaded model of a character that I might end up using for an upcoming project.  Admittedly, not the most prolific update, but productivity is productivity.