Xpovos' Blog - Jul to Sep 17 (103 followers)

PermalinkOn the Dichotomy of Streaming vs. Content
So, the blog has been a little content-lite for a bit, with four of my last six blogs just a stream recap/YouTube link. Sorry, everyone! I promise I have a lot of content coming, including a blog post that I basically spent all of August writing. It's massive, but I haven't had the time to finish it yet because it's that time of year again! My work schedule is very much tied to the school-year schedule. It's not an exaggeration to say that about half of our total volume of work comes through in the first quarter of our fiscal year (Jul-Sep), then we spend much the rest of the year digging out of the mess that puts us in. As a result, August and then particularly September are just awful for me for hobbies, because when working long hours isn't enough, the few days I am not working those hours, I'm just too tired to really do much of anything. This is the time of year when I'll work 12-hours days, then a weekend shift or two, and then get right back at it on Monday. It's hard to do much gaming in the face of that, and even harder to do much blogging.

Here's a really good example of that from a few years back: Xpovos' blog post - Wake Me Up When September Ends. The patterns haven't really changed. If anything this year may be worse because every year brings a few new challenges, and I feel we were under-prepared for those this year.

I got a total of three blogs published all of last September, two of which were Xbox Fitness shut-down related. Only one was real content, and even calling that "content" may be stretching it. So the stream recaps seem likely to be the common items for a bit because streaming and loading the content to YouTube takes almost no effort.

So I'll keep streaming and pumping out some kind of content. It keeps me entertained, at least. But never fear, new real content will come, and probably pretty soon. I should be back on the blogging and gaming wagon again by mid-October.

Speaking of streaming, my co-host, Des, suggested I could probably get a better and more consistent following if I were better about "advertising" my streaming properly beforehand, rather than afterward. Makes sense. So I'm moving to keep a up-to-date schedule of what I'll be streaming and when in my Biography section. I'm also going to be moving the Biography section on my sidebar so that it will be more prominent. I'd had it at the bottom of the page for a long time because so much of the content in it was for me, not really biographic. I'm going to move most of that content elsewhere.

I'm not going to blog out the stream schedule all of the time. I think that would be too much. But hopefully, this new structure will help anyone who might have been interested but just had no idea when or what I was streaming.

For the record, though, I tend to stream most Tuesdays at 10 PM Eastern for an hour or two, depending on the game. On special occasions, I'll stream some other time as well. That'll usually be a Saturday, also at 10 PM. I stream late because I need my kids to be in bed before I get started--unless of course, we want my kids as co-hosts. I know that time doesn't work well for anyone over in Europe, but that's one reason why I post it to YouTube as well, and if you want in, shoot me a line. Maybe I'll do a weekend session earlier in the day. The current schedule is up in the Bio, which, if you're viewing this on my homepage, should be right over there -->.
Posted by Xpovos on 14 September 17 at 20:05 | Last edited on 14 September 17 at 20:12 | There are 4 comments on this blog post - Please log in to comment on this blog.
Permalink30 Second Failure: Dr. Chaos Strikes
I had an amazing gameplan. Des and I were going to stream Half-Minute Hero: Super Mega Neo Climax next. We spent the week prepping for it and because the game is so blatantly timed, I was particularly concerned about needing to focus on the game for extended periods and not being able to talk, ruining the stream vibe. So, I enlisted some help and we brought in a guest host for this episode. I was really happy to have Freamwhole join us. In case anyone isn't aware, Freamwhole is one of the hosts of the Zed to Zed podcast, where they talk about achievement hunting and the community that surrounds it. He's also been a significant contributor here at TA for contests. As a podcast host, I also knew he'd be a great personality to keep things flowing in chat when I was in the tank. We're all set and ready to go when...

Nope. Half-Minute Hero is not streamable via Mixer. At least not with the technology I had available. It was a crushing blow, but we rebounded, checked our plan and went on to the next game on the BC list: Interpol: The Trail of Dr. Chaos.

This turned out to be an excellent choice as finding hidden objects is a lot easier with the extra pairs of eyes from Des, Fream, our Mixer chat participants... even my wife joined in.

This was a particularly fun episode and we started to revisit some of the items we've talked around in the past few, so I made sure to provide links in the YouTube description.

I had a lot more ground that I wanted to cover. There were so many topics I wanted to be able to get to, but the time absolutely flew. So we'll have to try to do this again soon so I can get some of those topics done.
Posted by Xpovos on 13 September 17 at 04:04 | There are 2 comments on this blog post - Please log in to comment on this blog.
PermalinkHow to Ruin a Random's Evening
Last night Des and I returned to the stream for yet another card game. This time it was Hardwood Spades

Because there is not much gameplay to talk about, we got into talking about whatever was on our minds. Highlights of the conversation included a discussion of choice in game, how they are illusory and how that is probably OK. We also revisited the Netflix series, Castlevania, now that I've actually watched it.

But most surprising of all was that as I was playing in an open lobby, I actually had a random person join. And because I thought he was a computer and because I was just messing around, I managed to absolutely hose him in the game, playing partners, and probably ruined his enjoyment of the game and the first time he'd been able to play against a human being in a long time.
Posted by Xpovos on 06 September 17 at 05:28 | Last edited on 06 September 17 at 16:12 | There are 2 comments on this blog post - Please log in to comment on this blog.
PermalinkWhen Will This Madness End?
One more quick post on the Leap Frog. As these froggies keep hopping, this is the question that I think the contest team is asking themselves. Every time they design a fool-proof system, we find we have some very creative fools.

Now, the results so far have been completely in line with my expectations at least. We're down to a hardcore group and are shedding a decent number every day, but there are more left now than many expected. Today is Day 37 and we still have 36 froggies hopping along. In my first take on this, I projected a "gut feeling" of 40-60 days. The math currently says "about 70 days," and I'll come back to that in a moment, but the trendline is down. I think my 40-60 days, should end up looking pretty good. Though it's also a wide enough range that I think it's hard to take too much credit for it.

A projection of how many days Leap Frog 3 will last based on an exponential decay formula and the number of participants croaked to date, as of the day.A projection of how many days Leap Frog 3 will last based on an exponential decay formula and the number of participants croaked to date, as of the day.

I had a similar graph to this in a previous version of the contest, here's the current data for Leap Frog 3. This plugs all of the data into an exponential decay formula and then I graph the results. As you can see, the early contest starts increasing the expected count. That's because after the first day of eliminations, the elimination rate declines. This is a standard pattern. Day 1 has a ton of eliminations (badge, forgot, etc) and even for a few days afterward it is mostly just shaking out a handful of super casual players, so the croak totals are low, so the math figures we'll last longer.

Around Day 15 we start to dip, but this was a temporary dip. This is now in the part of the contest where I bowed out, and clearly many did as well. We're well into the multiples of achievements and the ratios are increasing to points where it is hard to maintain without access to one of the standby games, like Killer Instinct or Rare Replay. The dip is temporary because the community is hardcore. Instead of shaking some people, this seems to cause them to redouble their efforts, and by Day 22, a week later, we are back at our peak on this graph, of a Leap Frog that is projected to last 85.4 days!

At this late date, our decay is increasing. Even those standby games only have so many achievements available in the range we're talking about needing now. Still, the contest is projected to last another 30 days from here. It likely won't despite that current projection. As I said, we're trending down on the projection, and we should finally crash out, probably in the 55-60 day range, which I'll note is lower than this graph has ever gone. But that could change dramatically. A single day with an unexpectedly high or low elimination rate would change this graph substantially.

It's all guess work, even if "educated." But I figured y'all might like to see a pretty graph.
Posted by Xpovos on 05 September 17 at 20:42 | There are 4 comments on this blog post - Please log in to comment on this blog.
PermalinkPath of Exile
Last night Des and I were at it again.

In an extended play of Path of Exile (I didn't earn my first achievement until an hour-and-a-half into the stream) we spent the time doing the usual: talking about the game, current events, and our favorite topics, as well as the usual suspects

Highlights of the show include zero deaths, Hurricane Harvey, a discussion about censorship, the ESRB and consoles that don't allow AO games, ephemeral digital media, and Game of Thrones. And because we're talking things like AO titles, Game of Thrones and playing an M-rated game, the banter is a little saltier than usual, including some probably unprecedented levels of sexual talk coming from yours truly.

This one is long, clocking in at about two hours, but we had a lot of ground to cover and Path of Exile is generous in the content department.
Posted by Xpovos on 30 August 17 at 15:45 | There are 3 comments on this blog post - Please log in to comment on this blog.