It has been a busy couple of months for me. I'm always busy in the fall, due to my work schedule, but that spilled over in the the winter months here this year. That's not uncommon, but normally by the holiday season things have slowed down for me. Not this year.
The holidays were a massive rush of task after task. Even when I got to take some time off of work for the period between Christmas and New Year's, it was not as relaxing and easy-going as I had hoped. I had plans of writing a ton (blogs and otherwise) and playing a lot of games and doing lots of video editing work to build my skills. It just didn't happen. I've written four blogs since the start of November, which is a very slow pace for me. It hasn't been that I haven't had things to say, but that I haven't had the time to say them properly. Even the blogs I did do felt a bit rushed as a result.
I wish I could say it was just work that kept me busy. Unfortunately, that's not the case. I had to deal with a slew of the standard problems of life. Leaking plumbing, which turned into a "call the plumber," problem pretty quick. Then the plumber broke the counter-top, so that's taken a turn for the worse. I spent some time in the attic again, replacing a ceiling fan for the one that died. Being in the attic is not fun at the best of times, and the best of times are not when it's below freezing out. Even better that project has had knock-on effects because despite my best efforts I managed to damage the ceiling drywall from the attic, so now I get to fix that as a project. Nor is it all DIY homeowner stuff. Shortly before Christmas my older, but beloved, car started making a noise. Not a "huh, that's an odd noise" noise, but a "that's a bad noise and if I don't get it looked at it is going to get worse" noise. So I had my mechanic check it out and after a false lead (my fault) we got to the diagnosis: something in the differential. My old car's transmission was toast. Transmission specialists confirmed and the prices quoted for repair/replacement are about double (or more) what my car is worth. So, I bought a "new" car. Actually an older model than my previous (now broken) car, with fewer bells and whistles, but a little bit less mileage and most importantly, not a bad transmission. All for a price lower than my repairs would have been, even before trade in (junk). Having a new car is always a bit exciting, but I'm going to miss my old one. And even though this was the cheaper option, it still wasn't cheap, so my gaming budget is probably going to take a hit for a few months (at least).
A "new" car! Just imagine Rod Roddy said it.
Everyone has these kinds of problems come up in life, they're part of what make life what it is. And how we deal with them largely determines how we're going to feel about life. I'm not thrilled to be dealing with one thing after another, but it's important to keep my head up and stay positive, because the alternative is a path that leads to some very bad things.
Gaming is often a nice escape from those real-world problems, so I was very happy to actually be able to game a bit more with the new year. My last blog was about the end of my 2017 year-long streak. One of the takeaways from that streak was that I didn't game as "well" as I'd hoped in 2017. Another was that streaking was slightly detrimental to my more important gaming goals. No more intentional streaking (for a while). The recognition also gave me a bit of focus to buckle down on some other gaming goals: have fun, play the games I already own, complete them, etc.
So I tore into The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing II
. Van Helsing 2 has the distinction of being the only Neocore game released for Xbox One that wasn't Games with Gold. I bought it Day One, but I never got gripped by it. In part, the lack of grip was due to the fact that I chose the Arcane Mechanic character class and it just wasn't working for me. But I needed to stick it out regardless for an achievement, right? Well, even that wasn't enough and the game has languished too long on my "I should play that" pile. Last week I finished off the main story with that Arcane Mechanic and now I can work on grinding the rest of the achievements, which is a process I should actually find quite fun. Even better, with the story complete, I felt it was OK to start The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing III
, which I did last night. One of the gaming communities I partake in had a guy who wanted to start it and since I've never played the Van Helsing games in multiplayer, I wanted to give it a shot. We made pretty good progress in the about two hours we played before I had to get to bed so I could get up for work. As a result, the Van Helsing series is responsible for over half my achievements so far this month.
My current biggest source of TA comes from completing Madden NFL 15 (Xbox 360)
, though. My first completion of the new year, with a little help from Tressilation
. A few weeks ago I asked Tressilation for some help with Hardwood Hearts
to get through the online, since he had the game and needed the online too. While we worked, we chatted and he invited me to a GTASC team for 2018, so we agreed and now, with registration closed, we're in: Board Game Bros
. No illusions of winning here c(particularly now that smrnov
teamed up with RedmptionDenied
--what a powerhouse!) just hopefully a strong contention with a lot of extra motivation to play games, and play more games with Tressilation, which is awesome because we have a similar collection in terms of taste, if not scope. That will give us a lot of material to work on through the year as we did with Madden. It should be a blast.
If the GTASC and personal revitalization aren't enough to spark some scoring, I am still streaming. I wanted to take a moment to publicize the streaming schedule coming up, at least as far as we have figured out. All times are Eastern U.S. (GMT-5)
1/9/2018 @ 9:00 PM Slime Rancher
1/13/2018 @ 4:00 PM Hearthstone -- Continuing to teach Des how to play. Probably do some single-player content like a Dungeon Run and the first wing of Karazhan.
1/16/2018 @ 9:00 Powerstar Golf
1/20/2018 @ 4:00 PM Hearthstone -- Probably an Arena run.
1/23/2018 @ 9:00 PM Marlow Briggs and the Mask of Death
1/27/2018 @ 4:00 PM Hearthstone -- Probably the last episode of Hearthstone, dip our toes into the competitive scene.
1/30/2018 @ 9:00 PM Nin²-Jump
2/3/2018 @ 4:00 PM Military Madness: Nectaris
2/6/2018 @ 9:00 PM World of Van Helsing: Deathtrap
2/10/2018 @ 4:00 PM Ironcast
2/13/2018 @ 9:00 PM Doki Doki Literature Club
The Saturday sessions may get moved due to family situations, either in time, or postponed entirely. Unfortunately it's very hard to commit to a weekend schedule because life does stay so busy, as I started off with. Therefore its entirely possible this schedule may shift to accomodate the streamers. Please come join us
if these games look interesting, or just to hang out with Des and I as we have a good time.
You can also check out VODs of the most recent streams on Mixer
, or view them as I edit and upload to YouTube
. Hopefully I'll get better at editing and I can get some better highlights up there for folks who might be interested, but don't want to stick around for a whole stream.