Progress and Weakness

So, let’s start with the first one.

For the first time in many years I’ve rejoined the ‘competitive’ gaming scene. It’s something that I’ve thought of a few times before but after a couple of rather horrendous experiences I ended up dropping away from it and never really looking back.

A series of events lately saw me give it a go again. On one hand I played online matches in Dota (which although not strictly speaking competitive, it is pretty nerve-wracking even in the pub matches) and on the other I played two competitive matches of CS:GO. Now this second one is a big deal to me because way back in the day (CS 1.6 era) I actually did play in a couple of tournaments and we did fairly well.

As for how I’ve been doing so far… Dota I’ve won one match out of I don’t even know how many.

CS:GO we’ve won two out of the two matches I’ve played. And what’s more is that I wasn’t as useless as I thought I would be.

I’ll admit that I was in the lower half of the ten players, but for someone who has played a total of 16 hours of CS over the last five or more years I reckon that’s not a bad place to start (since I wasn’t dead last by a long way)

((If you are interested in stats: Dota, CS:GO))

So that’s progress.

As for weakness it’s the opposite end of the spectrum. That side of me that’s screaming that I’m not good enough, that I should just give up on both of those things and leave it to the ‘pros’. It’s stupid and I know that if I actually give it some time I’ll end up back at where I was all those years ago, heart pounding as we face off against a team that’s coordinated and deadly.

But for now I wonder whether the people I’m playing with would be better off without me. In Dota I can’t entirely dismiss that thought, especially considering my very poor win rate at the moment, but in the end it boils down to experience. Most of the people I know that play the game have played more hours than me in a smaller amount of time and so they understand the meta, they understand which heroes are strong and which are weak, how to counter the ones I pick and which ones are insignificant enough not to even worry about.

But then again, if I never try, I’ll never learn. So for now, I’m going to keep playing, throwing myself against the wall that is the enemy teams and hopefully I deal enough damage to it to eventually break through.

Ideas

Well, it’s been a while since I went into a blog post without a plan, but my head hurts and I’ve had a nosebleed and honestly I feel like writing. (Don’t ask :P)

It’s been an eventful couple of weeks, with dedication and trust playing a huge role in a couple of aspects, suspicion and anger in others. It’s unfortunate that in the same time where a major milestone was reached could be marred by petty people trying to hurt those around them.

It’s also been in these last few weeks that I’ve started to notice a change in behaviour in my boss. He’s gone from extremely stressed and focused on his stressor, to far less stressed but lashing out randomly. And the way he’s lashing out (and the reasons he’s doing it) make me think it might be a mild form of PTSD.

Now, the trauma that would have caused this is minor, we had someone around that was a habitual liar and would never admit to wrongdoing. Especially when someone actually complained about it.

There have now been a few times when things have occurred at work where someone has been an ass but Dave has immediately turned on me rather than backing me up and trying to find out what actually happened. He has immediately assumed the worst from me.

One of the times was my fault, I’d forgotten to do something that I should have done.

The other two though were not even vaguely because of me. Messages had not been passed on to those who needed to hear them and when that person then turned to Dave with a query about the very thing the message answered, Dave then turned on me, despite me saying specifically that I left a message to that effect.

The reason this has gotten to me isn’t because he’s not backing me up though. Yes, it was frustrating the way he addressed me with the query, and the animosity that he exhibited in the message, but when I answered him, he didn’t just take what I told him and relayed that, instead he seems to have re-interpreted it and so a few minutes later I got a call that I should never have gotten.

I don’t know what the call was about, it was a work matter way after work hours, but the fact that that person was calling me means that somewhere, someone took what I said and turned it into ammunition for their own issues.

And so, I’m going to have to deal with that on Monday.

 

But onto the ideas part of this post. A couple of fairly intelligent people close to me recently lost their jobs. Due to this they now have a lot of time.

This morning I thought of something that for some reason hadn’t occurred to me before. Between the two of them they could quite easily make a PC game with a little guidance. They have the patience and intelligence and attention to detail required, and one of them has the skills to actually guide the process.

If I do manage to convince them to consider it, I’ll keep you all updated πŸ˜›

Habits, Deliveries, Leave and Apps

Let’s begin with Apps. Recently I’ve been spending time doing things other than mobile gaming. Since I upgraded my PC the amount of time available for other things has drastically dropped.

Despite this development I’ve found myself hanging on to certain mobile apps that I really enjoyed, one in particular being King of Thieves. I love the game and the concept, and for the many months I played it was amazing.

But towards the higher levels you hit a plateau where, although it is possible to progress without payment, it require a large amount of time in order to perfect certain techniques needed to get through the later dungeons.

This time can’t be spread out over weeks or months and so I slowly lost touch with the game. But I’ve kept it on my phone.

This last week I had been inactive long enough for me to lose control of the guild I ran. Now, although running a guild doesn’t take much (or anything at all) it was still something keeping me in the game. With this loss, I feel like I might finally be able to remove the app.

Onto leave. I’m on leave at the moment for a week. Or at least I am in theory.

The reason I say this is because despite this fact I have had numerous work things to do today, things that I shouldn’t be having to deal with. Phone calls from people who have my work number but for some reason call my personal number. I’m honestly not sure why they don’t call the office but I haven’t answered their calls because I’m on leave.

The other thing that interrupted my leave was a problem where the buck was passed away from the person who should actually be fixing it. Now I don’t understand whether this was intentional on her part, or whether it was a side-effect of the people who were supposed to be informing her of the problem just not doing so.

It’s annoying because this particular problem is not actually something that I’m likely to be able to fix without hours of work.

And I have this horrendous feeling I’m going to be asked to come in tomorrow to do exactly that.

Deliveries. This one is a far more positive subject than those above. It concerns the girl I’m now dating. Today I drove her to her nanna’s house, three hours away. It’s not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things but it was me doing something I enjoyed with someone I like and it ended up being one of the most fun things I’ve done in a while, despite all the wonderful activities that I’m involved in in various places and with various people.

And finally habits.

A while ago I found an app that allowed you to create a RPG out of your life. I ignored it. More recently I had something asked of me and I thought of that app as the perfect solution to the problem.

So I looked into it. And it was okay, but lacked features that I needed. So I looked around.

And found Habitica

I have been using the app for a couple of days now, and this blog post is actually a result of that use. I’ve set myself certain goals so far as habits are concerned, and custom daily tasks that allow me to push myself into doing things like writing (both my fiction as well as these posts or letters or whatever else). So far it’s worked wonderfully and it’s been a really fun experience to set up.

Hopefully I manage to stick to it because if I do, it means I’ll start to write the space story again, and once that’s going I can look at posting it up here.

Here’s to hoping.

The Fallen, etc…

Right, today’s post might be a little longer than usual, it’s been a while since I wrote and there are a fair few things that I’ve wanted to write about. First up, I’ve finished writing the Fallen, and ahead of schedule as well, so at the end of this post will be the links to the full first draft. From here on it’s edits and refinements and expansions and so on. The real work starts now.

And now on the etc…

First off, a friend of mine has gotten herself into a situation where a few people have decided that she’s not actually just a friend. This has led to a couple of awkward situations thanks to the fact that she does actually have someone in that role and so she’s had to deal with expectations that she could not possibly fulfil.

This situation has led me to look at a few of my own interactions with people. And what I found there was quite a shock.

Now, I’ve always had an issue where I often assume more than there actually is, and this might very well just be an extension of that, but a few people who I have dealings with have shown signs of a similar expectation of me, and a couple of comments that have come out over the last couple of weeks are now seeming more ominous than they should.

I’m hoping that I’m over-reacting, or otherwise creating these situations in my mind so it doesn’t feel left out, but if I’m not I have to be wary because many of the people in question have good reasons why I should not be involved with them. Or rather, I’ve created good reasons.

Next, I’ve been gaming a lot lately and I’ve discovered a few things about myself. First off, I battle to stick to one game for long. This is something I’ve always known but I think there are a couple of reasons for it. I find I spend longer in games that have truly fantastical settings, and even longer in games with an open world element to those settings.

Games with closed stages I don’t play for long at all, and games in realistic settings, even those with large open worlds, I tend to play for shorter periods of time. One of these games was Fallout 4.

It’s an amazing setting with a great open world, but it’s semi-realistic. I found that despite the RPG element I got bored fairly quickly. I wasn’t sure why and I’ll probably go back but today I think I’ve made progress figuring out why.

I’ve been playing Ghost Recon Wildlands over the last couple of days in the open beta. Now, ignoring the little bits of the game that are broken and the atrocious vehicle physics (which were actually a source of more hilarity than frustration) I found that I felt alone in the world. Sure, I had three squad members with me, and there were pockets of enemies everywhere, the world was lifeless and bland and scripted.

((Full disclaimer here, I love the game and if it weren’t for being a little cash strapped I would have pre-ordered it))

Now one might say that Fallout is not the same, that there are many random events going on all over the map and sure, that is true. Patrols, random encounters with quest givers and a dog all make the world feel more alive, but still it always felt scripted. There was always a situation to be resolved and it was always fairly predictable. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it makes the world feel rigid.

So I looked at other games, ones that I played for ages. Skyrim and Dragon’s Dogma were the two that I looked at. Skyrim is a giant open world in a fantasy setting so it doesn’t ever feel too realistic. It has random encounters and lots of interesting things to explore and although the side quests tend to be pretty repetitive RPG standards, there was always more to them, a level of writing absent in most other games. Skyrim also had encounters spaced so that you often came across factions fighting or villages being attacked or that sort of thing. And with the modding in of civil war battles it had a lot of promise (before my old computer stopped being able to play it πŸ˜› )

With Dragon’s Dogma it was different. Again an open world, but this one was smaller and slightly less open. It also had various different regions that had to be loaded. But the world was more alive. You couldn’t go anywhere without running into something, and even once I had levelled up so far that nothing was strong enough to face me I kept running through the standard game, start to finish without switching to hard mode, because there still felt like there was so much life in the world.

Which comes to board gaming. Board gaming is fun because of a number of reasons. First off, no scripting. Generally everything happens organically because of the players or the rules of the game. There are often no real ‘set pieces’ that you come across. Even in board games that have set pieces in general, you normally don’t come across the same ones in the same order more than once.

And then tabletop gaming and pen and paper RPGs add more complexity to physically playing nerd games. The only problem is the social aspect. You have to have someone to play with and most of the time at least two other people. This is frustrating when peoples’ schedules don’t line up, or a couple of the people involved keep backing out at the last minute.

Of course then there are physical activities as well. Things like Judo, Ju Jutsu, Bumper Soccer and the standard sports (cricket, rugby, soccer and so on) which are amazing fun or horrible torture depending on a number of things, normally again related to those you are playing with at whatever event it is.

Onto other things, I’m writing a new story now. It’s progressing at a snail’s pace but it’s progressing. I do not know whether I will actually post it as well, at least not until the Fallen is in its final form, but I will find out tonight whether I should or not. I have someone that can advise me πŸ˜›

Anyway, here are the links to the full first draft of the Fallen. Hope you all enjoy it and I look forward to hearing feedback of any form.

EDIT: I’m also looking to get a cover for at the very least the kindle version so if anyone would like to submit something I would be happy to see it. Just throw a link into the comments.

The link:

PDF, Kindle, ePub

And as before, my email address is on the about page if you’d like to donate to me.

Confusion and Chapter Nine

So, last night I GMed a new RPG system called Faith. It was interesting and I think it might have some potential. My gripes with it are small (the rules are set out terribly) and all in all it was a fairly enjoyable experience.

However.

We looked at their webstore to find that most of the stuff is out of stock. Now, normally it wouldn’t be too much of a problem but what it meant for us was that we are unlikely to ever get more into the game, which is unfortunate because we are seriously thinking of doing so. I could create resources from scratch, the system is fairly easy to do that for, but that means that I have to come up with not just the creatures but also all of their stats.

Anyway, beyond the gaming I got home at around one in the morning, which isn’t normally a problem, but the whole day yesterday I believed that it was the tenth, and so I was panicking about the Fallen, since I hadn’t actually written the chapter yet. I knew what was going in the chapter but for some reason I had not been able to actually get the time to write it.

So I sat down and wrote.

An hour later I finally finished. My eyes were burning and I was properly exhausted. So I decided to leave the blog post until morning.

Of course this morning came around and I checked the date -_- I was not impressed with myself.

Otherwise things are going well, I finally got the use of my ‘lounge’ area back thanks to the stuff that was being stored there finally being removed. The day contained a lot of painting and stuff but it’s definitely been worth it. Tomorrow I start actually moving things around and getting ready to actually live here after a year of just staying in one room.

The links below are for the story.

Chapter Nine:

PDF, Kindle, ePub

The full link:

PDF, Kindle, ePub

And as before, my email address is on the about page if you’d like to donate to me.

Indecision

So what does one write about when nothing comes immediately to mind? It’s been a harrowing couple of weeks, with a lot going on, some that has been good, some not so much.

I know that I’ve been lucky, nothing outright bad has happened to me, but I’ve watched friends go through some terrible events and, although I know this is a selfish take on it, there’s been nothing I could do to help.

On the bright side of life I don’t feel so alone, I have a great bunch of people who are talking to me currently, and they are positive despite the things happening to them. They always seem to be able to summon up a smile and that really does help with my own fragile mental ecosystem.

On the down side my ever present need for physical affection has been difficult to control, with bouts of the loneliness that defined most of my life hitting me more and more often.

Unfortunately I’ve also made the mistake of re-reading Palace during this time. Every time I read it I identify with the characters, and seeing their interactions, both the ones who succeed and the ones who are forbidden from succeeding, tends to make me long for what they have.

It’s not all bad though. There’s something overwhelmingly romantic about forbidden thoughts in my mind, and so even if nothing can happen, chatting to people who something could happen with but controlling my own responses and making sure they could never guess has a sort of thrill that normal relationships lack.

There have been a couple of stand out moments recently though. Not to do with romance but rather to do with feedback. When I work I make sure that I do my best to make myself welcome. I chat to people, make sure that I find out about them and instead of each person just being a customer I work on trying to make them feel like I’m one of them, like I’m part of whichever team they are on. Obviously this works better in places where the people actually get along with each other but even in places where they don’t, I listen to gripes and don’t take sides.

This last couple of weeks have seen people starting to accept me in more places and that always makes me feel like I’m doing the right thing.

One last thing and this is definitely a highlight. My mom recently bought herself a gaming PC, a stunning beast with a sixth gen i5, 16GB of RAM and a GTX1060 6GB graphics card. I got to set it up and play on it and being able to return to PC gaming… There are very few better feelings to me πŸ˜›

Anyway, enough rambling. I can feel my hubbly kicking in (It’s clean, forbidden substances do not appeal to me) and so it’s time to go work on The Fallen. Hopefully my writer’s block dissipates πŸ˜€

Chapter Seven

Hopefully I manage to find something to write for this post to go with Chapter seven of the Fallen. My previous post has apparently already done fairly well, which considering its content is interesting. I didn’t think it was that great a post πŸ˜›

With two days left until this post… posts I guess I’ve had enough things happen to actually add to it, which honestly I was not expecting. I met someone who has had similar experiences going from a smaller scale technical environment to a much more corporate space and oddly enough their recounting of what they had gone through was quite similar to mine.

It makes me think that there’s a good chance that there are no good corporate spaces for a technician to work in if like me they want to fiddle with anything and everything they can get their hands one, be it hardware or software. (No warmware, that gets dangerous πŸ˜› )

On a different note I’ve finally taking the first step towards hosting a small gaming evening, one that would incorporate both esports as well as board games. I think it could be a lot of fun to run and of course to play in. With games like FIFA and Rocket league on the PS4 and various more complex board games like Arkham Horror and Game of Thrones it could lead to a very diverse and interesting group of people.

Regarding the Fallen, I wrote the entire last section of the now current chapter in one night and I know that at some points it is rushed. Please don’t hesitate to point those spots out as well as any spelling or grammar errors you find.

Anyway, the links below are for the story.

Chapter Seven:

PDF, Kindle, ePub

The full link:

PDF, Kindle, ePub

And as before, my email address is on the about page if you’d like to donate to me.

Repetition

One of my big challenges with this blog is that many of the things I face day to day are the same things that I would usually write about. While this might suggest that it should be easy to write due to the huge amount that there is to write about, I hate repetition and so I struggle along, trying to remember what I’ve written before and trying to avoid repeating myself.

Luckily this week hasn’t been as dead as it could have been outside of those ‘usual’ things. I’ve managed to get myself writing far more regularly in the Fallen, averaging a section a day (there are normally about ten in a chapter) since Wednesday. Although this doesn’t sound like much if I manage to create a habit that maintains this schedule it will make my target of two chapters a month that much easier to maintain.

I also had an interesting idea for another character in the story, and a potential answer to one of the questions that had come up in my mind when I was writing it. But that will only come either at the end of this arch (an arch is about three chapters) and even then I can not say for sure since a lot could change in three chapters.

Back in the real world, I’m organising a beautiful gaming machine for someone, hoping to order it tomorrow and have it by the end of the week. With an i5-6500, 16GB of RAM and a 6GB GeForce 1060 card it’s going to be a wonderful machine, and on top of that I’ll likely get to use it often since the person I’m organising it for only has one game that they’d like to play – Obduction by Cyan Worlds.

I also have a very interesting new friend, someone who I’ve known for ages but never really have been able to completely loosen up around. We discovered in a fairly awkward exchange that the reasons we had been so up tight around each other were in fact the same on both side, the worry that the other person isn’t really interested but maintained contact because they had to.

Needless to say that the removal of those limits on the conversation have led to someone new to discover.

And finally yesterday was an amazing day. A group of us went out to the Lion’s River Craft BreweryΒ and had an absolute blast. I’m not by nature a beer drinker, I can not stand the stuff, at least so I thought. The beers that we tasted and then ordered and drank yeserday were amazing. They are carbonated by yeast activation rather than by pumping CO2 through them and so they aren’t really fizzy.

Without the fizz of a standard beer I could actually taste what I was drinking and with the explanations of how everything was made, where the various ingredients came from and so on it made the experience a lot of fun.

Anyway, enough for now πŸ™‚ Time to return to life πŸ˜›

 

Oh, and go have some fun – Get Jinxed

Where to begin?

Technically this post is late, by about 46 minutes my time. It should have been here sometime today but I’ve only just gotten home and so I’m writing it now.

Luckily, I finished the chapter of The Fallen last week so I don’t have to worry about that.

I’ve wanted to write three blog posts over the last couple of weeks. Somehow I’ve just not had the time, either because people have visited or because something else get in the way. So to the best of my ability I’m going to write them tonight.

Let’s start with age. I have a few friends that are far younger than me, and although they are technically adults, I don’t really see them as such for various reasons. Expected immaturity aside they might not look old enough or various other equally trivial reasons.

This week I had a moment where I looked at one of these friends and suddenly realised that actually, she is an adult. It made me awkward and silly and immature, a state that often happens when I am suddenly faced with a new side of someone I know. I don’t know how to deal with people normally so when I suddenly have to learn someone new quickly I panic and revert to who knows when…

Normally I can catch it quickly enough, and then I merely mirror whoever is in front of me and that helps a lot.

But especially if I actually value the person I can’t catch it and I spiral into what is to me idiocy. Unfortunately that’s what happened this week.

 

Speaking of mirroring, I had a situation this week where there was nothing to mirror. I suspect that this person does the same as what I do, mirroring the current level of etiquette and so not appearing rude.

Unfortunately I found that with someone else there who doesn’t actually fit into that level I ended up trying to mirror her, which in the end meant she mirrored me and so we ended up and least in my mind being completely out of sync with the other two attendees of this particular evening. It ended in a very awkward uncertainty about how we should salute each other goodbye. The result, a failure to actually do anything because it was more comfortable for both of us to just walk off after we both started with hands bearing forward, suggestions of a hug and then finally giving up when there was no true advance from either side.

That first step from the other person that I rely on for my social cues just never came.

 

Which brings me to class.

Now, I was always brought up learning good manners. I’ve seen in my adult life that this included a fair amount of high-class etiquette even though so far as my life is concerned I’ve never really been anywhere near there.

At school however as an outcast I was made to feel low class. The people around me were always talking about the things that they were getting as they came out. I was lucky if I got them a couple of years down the line. And so class has become a big things for me, even if there really isn’t a difference that anyone can see I almost always feel lower class to people.

Unless they’re awful.

So for me to mingle with the people who can appreciate me is difficult, because they all tend to be of the higher class. I always feel like an imposter, like I don’t belong and when that thought eventually catches up to me, it tends to make me sabotage myself.

As I said before, I mirror when I don’t know what I’m doing so luckily even when I sabotage I can still normally even out again but those moments when I do lose it, when the awkwardness is around someone I’m already slightly awkward around for some other reason…. Those moments never fade away.

 

Oh right, one more thing. I played board games with a new group of people tonight. It really was an amazing experience, although it did take quite a while for people to settle into the games. In the end I had a lot of fun and I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one.

I really do look forward to it happening again.

 

Anyway, on to the story and below as usual are the links. I hope you enjoy it.

PDF, Kindle, ePub

The full link:

PDF, Kindle, ePub

And as before, my email address is on the about page if you’d like to donate to me.