Computer Games Gaming Personal Piracy Inc RPG Shebang WRPL

Week Ten – Once Is Chance, Twice is Coincidence, Third Time Is A Pattern


First weeks at work are generally a bit chaotic, new accounts, new processes, new people. This combined with a few other complexities (We had a Virgin Engineer around to fix the fact that every so often my ping times hit 20 seconds or so, a side effect of a fix of an issue a few months ago, when some gas engineers took a back-hoe to the fibreoptics) made the week slightly less relaxing than ideal.

Going to a new place is often a point of comparison, and it’s possibly worth writing up some of the practices and theories of operation of doing AWS stuff at enterprise-grade that I didn’t have the mental energy to get permission to write about before I left. All theory, anyway, since I can’t refer it back…


This week we won a RL battle of getting all the people lined up to play the third session (And first with everybody there) of Doug’s Trail of Cthulhu game, the Charybdis Protocol. I’ve got an IC writeup of the second session (my first. Scheduling is hard), and I’m working through the writeup of the second (Slightly harder. I’m attempting to walk the line between “useful session notes” and “one-sided account” in a session where I kind of lit a jerry-can of explosives on fire and threw it at the rest of the character party) (In my defense, shit got weird). Those will appear on my IC Diary site – The Hero Diaries – assuming the rest of the PCs don’t mind, and I’ve got their character names right.

Video-Game-wise, I’ve mostly been playing Warcraft, as I’ve been attempting to get my Monk to the end of the levelling campaign. Right now I’ve hit one of my least favourite bit of WoW end-game mechanics, the “Do tiny repetitive missions that reward junk and reputation to get through the reputation gateway” bit. Happily, I’ve managed to get my gear up to the level where I can do pick-up Heroics, so I’m balancing that with knocking out low-level achievements (Explore these zones, Poke this NPC, Poke that interactive object) while watching Twitch channels.

Twitch is my current background noise. Annoyingly I can’t get my old username back – I had a Justin.TV account before they were Twitch – but I did just realise that I could do the same thing as I did for this, so my new Twitch channel is Twitch.TV/Aquarionics. My first experiments in streaming had some mic-quality problems, but it is something I intend to experiment more with.

This may be combined with the fact that SWTOR is picking up speed in my local community again, so might end up doing more of that, and the idea of live-streaming a character path appeals. We’ll see.


I’ve had no beer explode this week, which can only be a plus. Brain-gremlins are down, sociality is up. I never really realise how badly stressful environments screw up my headspace until I’m out of them.

The lack of Odyssey meetings and discussions is kicking in to my calendar, and I’m kind of itching to run something game-like. This, coupled with Torment coming out and a block of Cipher-system/Numenera setting content that I backed with Kickstarter years ago turning up all at once is making that look like a short-run Numenera campaign. Tempting.

However, existing projects exist. I tidied up a bit of The Book, and it’s looking a lot better than I thought when I gave up on it. I almost don’t feel the urge to ditch it all (again) and rebuild. What I probably need to do is go over the first few chapters, redraw the arcs, and get a second opinion on whether the style actually tells the story. And then: Pirates.


Week Five – Spiralling Upwards

Less great at the weekly thing than I’d hoped, to be honest, so the traditional WRP format returns.



Today’s crunch day, in several respects. Four weeks is the point where we have to push the big red button with HR saying “This person is leaving”. Today I’ve got to get my holiday requests in and any other outstanding things fixed on my record, and it’s coming close to the wire for if they can find a way to make me stay. So far I’m informed that in a meeting a couple of weeks ago that I wasn’t invited to, people were told I was “Probably not actually leaving” and “Offered a new role in London”, so I’m feeling kind of gas-lit as well as ill-inclined to stay, not that I’ve had any communication at all.

So I’m documenting all the things and attempting to get my ducks in a row, and assuming the future doesn’t have this desk in it.


A number of interesting conversations with a series of interesting places, none of which have resulted in any kind of forward motion yet, but four weeks is traditionally the point where I can start getting contracts in advance, so I’m hoping for some movement on that front this week.



Part of my lack of ability to do weekly updates is that I’m doing something larp related most weekends until mid-March. I missed The Smoke (a larp convention thing) at the start of the year due to a pile-up of stuff, but on the 14th and this past weekend were events for Slayers, the LARP set in the Buffy/Angel universe. One a social gathering with background weirdness, the other a psychological horror with added apocalypse, they demonstrated the range of things you can do within a single universe with the right setting. This weekend will be an Empire event, then the week after Happily Ever After, where I’m helping crew an event based around fairytales and their place in the real world. My resolution to do more LARP is going well, I think.

Computer Games

Currently nearing the end of my holiday in WoW, I think. Legion’s interesting, but the last couple of zones aren’t holding my interest and I’m not dedicated enough to start faffing around with raid builds. The last few evenings I’ve had playing things have been drunk by Factorio, which sits in the middle of a triangle made from the obsessive automation of SpaceChem, the crafting spiral of Minecraft, and the soothing production flow perfectionism of the original two Settlers games. It is Very Dangerous.


More productive on Fiction stuff than normal. I’m quite proud of Cats & Dragons, and I’ve poured some more words into The Book. I’ve also started the process of unstitching Piracy Inc until I get to where I made some fundamental design mistakes, so with any luck can start to move on with that soon.



Week One

2015 is a year full of things I didn’t want to do, some of which have turned out for the best. I regret having to leave London, shuttering Istic Networks for the moment, moving to a full time permanent job. I’ve not progressed in my personal projects hardly at all, didn’t succeed at any of my fitness goals. I am in almost exactly the same place I was – physically and mentally – last year, and neither of those are good. Worse, in fact, since my knee’s still partially fucked from the fall, and my shoulder’s not happy either.

Still, I’ve set up the dominos for next year. I’ve got a bike to reduce my commute time and increase fitness – once the knee and shoulder are willing – I’ve booked my theory driving test for the end of the month. The new job is fewer hours and less stress than any I’ve had in the last ten years, and once I lose the multiple hour commute I can take advantage of that. New city means new social, and smaller cities make that a lot easier.

This year I start playing Empire, which I’m looking forward to a lot, and the final acrobatic landing of Odyssey, which is exciting and intimidating in equal measure. I’m aiming to play at least one larp without crewing it at all – Tales out of Anchor is in Feb – and hopefully more.

So less me, more larp, and hopefully with it getting better at this weekly update thing.

Week one. Let’s do this.