God of War: Ragnarok Is as Fun to Play as It Is to Read

I’ve gotten a bit further in God of War: Ragnarok. I’m still only about halfway through the game, I think, since I’ve been distracted by things like getting adequate sleep, other video games, and a new book release, but I’m enjoying myself. I’ve had a few issues in combat,specifically with the game responding sluggishly to my controller inputs, but I’m also hypersensitive to input lag thanks to my work as a software tester and my sort of high-precision style of gameplay. Other than that, and a couple weird moments where the camera got pushed somewhere useless when I dodge an attack near a wall, it’s been a fun, enjoyable experience. Even when I’ve been fighting some really angry ghosts who keep kicking my ass to the point where I’d just give up on the fight and start over if I got hit a single time before I got said angry ghost to half HP. All-in-all, the game remains just as fun as the first one and while I do miss some of the combat mechanics I used frequently in the prequel, there’s plenty of new and fun combat mechanics for me to use in this one.

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Introduction To The Leeching Wastes

My reviewers and I need another week to get ready to start posting the rewritten serial story, so I’ve got something else for you today! The following is an introductory story I wrote for a small Dungeons and Dragons campaign I’m running for a few friends, based on a bunch of very different ideas I had. I was actually creating this world and campaign when I was writing my posts about creating interesting tabletop RPG worlds, so you can see how I put a lot of that stuff into practice. I told all of the players that their character was the “you” referenced and even though they all sat this watch together, their recollection of this experience was exactly as this short story is written. I won’t add too many disclaimers to the start of this since it’s just a fun “get a feel for the world” sort of thing, but I felt like some context would help. Now, without further ado, welcome to The Leeching Wastes!

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Space Pictures and Tabletop Roleplaying Games

I love me some space clouds. Thanks to the advances of modern technology, a whole lot of science, and an even greater amount of international cooperation, we now have some pretty fucking cool pictures of space. I can only imagine that more and more pictures from NASA have come out since I wrote this and if I go online for anything over my vacation, it will have been to look at neat pictures of space clouds. I mean, just look at this thing! It’s so freaking fluffy! Which makes since, since it’s a loosely adhered cloud of space dust that is only visible because we’re so far away from it. Like the haze of humidity during a warm summer sunset, we can only perceive it because we’ve got light bouncing off every bit of it towards our eyes.

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Some Site News: I’m Gonna Repost My Own Stuff!

I’ve been thinking about making some changes to what I post here. Since I tend to focus on other projects on the weekends, I frequently never get around to writing a Saturday post until I’m into the next week. It isn’t difficult to write an extra post one or two days a week, but I think I might go back through all stuff I’ve written in years past and share it here. Not just anything of course. I’m thinking of either reposting old poetry or doing a re-run of my Coldheart and Iron series. I haven’t really decided, but it’s more of a “which one will I do first?” than a “what should I do?” type question.

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Understanding Story Adaptation Between Mediums

I’ve always been interested in the way stories change as they are adapted from one form of media to another. For most of my life, the only examples I had were books to movies. I didn’t follow comics closely enough to really consider how comicbook characters were represented in superhero movies and TV shows, and I knew that most comicbooks had such varied, ever-renewed stories that adaptation was fairly open-ended. When the Lord of the Rings movies came out, I was given my first real chance to evaluate something I was familiar with as it moved from books to movies. I didn’t have the skills required to do it in a good, critical way when the first movie came out, but the movies remained a part of my life for long enough that I was still thinking about them and the books when I finally had the skills to do a thorough critical analysis.

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The Pokémon Anime Is Not As Repetitive As I Thought

I read an article a while back about the way that shows are produced and written for a weekly release (the traditional method) and a full-season release (new to streaming platforms). The article didn’t make claims about quality or superiority, it just clarified why some seasons are longer than others, why some shows have more episodes, and how the pacing, plotting, and character development can change between the two forms. The crux of it was that, by being able to drop an entire season at once, a show wouldn’t need to remind its viewers of important information as frequently as a weekly show would. Because it was meant to be consumed quickly, it could skip over a lot of the “last time on” type information and the “I’m going to remind you of this thing we encountered five episodes ago because it’s actually been four months for us.” Stories take longer to tell if you have to tell them in pieces and can’t reference the old information, or you have to tell stories without as many elements that are reliant on past information. It’s not better or worse, just different.

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Love and War

Bennel slumped down at the table with a sigh of relief. As his pack clattered to the floor and his cloak settled down around his shoulders, he put his head down and heaved another sigh against the surface of the table.

Tem placed one of the drinks they carried in front of the young warrior priest and clapped him on the shoulder with their now empty hand. “Rest, young one. Rest, eat, and drink! You have earned a taste of life’s pleasures after a battle such as that.”

Bennel winced as Tem’s hand slapped against the still-healing hole in his shoulder. “Careful, you rock monster. Magic might patch up wounds quickly but they still take a long time to fully heal.”

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All This To Say I Just Want To Talk About Stories

There is nothing I love more than talking about stories and storytelling with people. A mix of literary criticism, careful analysis, delighted comparison, and rampant speculation, nothing gets me as fired up, recharged, and happy as a long talk about beloved stories with someone who shares my enthusiasm. It is something that has been in short supply lately, given my isolation and what feels like the rising toxicity of the internet. Most of my friends who enjoy stories don’t really care for the level of analysis and discussion I would like, and the few places I have access to this online, there’s a degree of rabidity that makes me uncomfortable to engage with others past a surface level.

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My Work Continues

It has been nearly a week since I reached the end of my first full draft of the novel I am working on and it never really hit me. I never really felt any particular way about it. I could reanalyze why that’s the case, since I have been thinking about it in my spare time and there’s probably some work I should do about addressing the fact that writing 100,000+ words doesn’t feel like an accomplishment anymore since I once did 100k words in a single month, but I don’t think it’s terribly productive. I think it’s okay if I don’t feel any particular which way about it, since I have clear next steps and goals still to pursue, and I’d rather focus my energy on that than on making myself feel something.

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Every Day Grief

There is a particular feeling, sweet and sorrowful, that rises slowly in your consciousness as you near the end of something you have loved. A misty-eyed sensation you cannot address even in the privacy of your internal monologue because doing so means admitting it is real and present, and ignoring it means you can live in blessed ignorance for another day. It is a feeling as ancient and familiar to me as my own sense of self-hood, perhaps older even, because the day I was first aware of myself, this feeling was already there.

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