April 2023 Wrapup

It’s a weird relief when a theme month end. Sometimes a theme month is so jammed that I’m glad to have the freedom to post any old stuff I want. Sometimes a theme is so challenging to work with (like, say, romance), that I kind feel like the last few posts are scraping off a very hard surface. Now, I thought that it’d be really easy to make make 30 posts that are mostly just about me, or special, deeply intense interests.

This month did not go as planned.

First of all, the Game Pile. I knew I wanted to cover two of these topics a year out. I knew that when I had ten years behind me, I wanted to review how I treated Bioshock Infinite, an aggressively mid game that, as a work of true art, reflected its culture and values perfectly, in that we all kind of sucked (which was a point I made about Duke Nukem 3D, too). I knew I wanted to make a video out of my article on Volume, partly because I like Volume a lot, partly to make it more shareable to a friend who likes my videos, and also, because Volume has only gotten more interesting with time.

I revisited Dishonored, because I know I love Dishonored, and that meant finding a new thing to talk about, and led to a video on the The Dishonored TTRPG, which I found interesting and engaging and it gave me some solid material to pull apart and explain. Then finally, I had to bring in at least something new this month, and that led me to stumble down an old road looking for creative work I engaged with a long time ago, something that’s been on my mind a lot (for some reason), and that brought me to the article on the Original Starcraft, but really just the map editor.

It’s funny how many RTSes I ‘love’ that I have never finished.

Then we move on to the Story Pile. Again, I had plans ahead of time. I set myself a rule that I had to finish Gideon The Ninth by my birthday. I don’t read enough, I told myself, so I’m going to try out this thing that means a lot to my friends and has that giant looming asterisk over it. I put that off until early April and then I finally read it and man it was great, and then I had to grapple with that asterisk. I’d also set out ahead how I wanted to talk about Lycoris Recoil, as how even a fairly modest fun anime has deep stuff to crunch away on that I find interesting. I also wanted to talk about Unseen Academicals, because it’s an old favourite of mine and it’s about games and about queers taking care of one another and it’s also about being a wonked up monster who has to learn how to be a person.

And I thought I’d have another slot, maybe for a movie I liked or a TV show that I’d enjoy and Summer Time Rendering came out of nearly nowhere and poleaxed me and the anime with a hot lady with a big hammer made me go ‘oh yeah I’ll check that out’ and then I blew through it in three days because it’s so good and well okay, now I had to fill in a slot there in April.

Basically, I had two things I’d never seen before April that became two of my favourite things in April. That’s pretty rare for me!

What about other articles that you might wanna check out, built on my particular interests? I talked about the Confederacy’s currency, and how much a bunch of awful people who sucked ass were bad at even making themselves look cool. I wrote two pieces on the Beastfolk of Cobrin’Seil, because we love furry animal people and we love spaces where they get to hang out and it doesn’t have to be weird. I also did another D&D-based two-parter, on the idea of the Warlock and the Paladin’s relationships to power, and while on the topic of D&D, I wrote about the Epic Level Handbook’s monsters, trying to dig into those interesting ideas that were executed just dreadfully. When reviewing my old work on a horror nation, I struck on something I really liked, which is the folding chair fluorescent tube lighting brain-rotted evangelical magical thinking.

The special the ongoing examination of an OC universe and the connected lore that reminds me of my beloved friends by talking about Ironworks, which means a lot to me because it’s basically treating fanfic my friends and I write together like it’s important. Because it is.

And I guess I should direct attention to the archive dive I did on PC Format magazine, and A Software Pirate Looks At 40. Because I think I’m okay, but man those articles don’t make it seem like I am.

Hey, this is this month’s t-shirt design! I’m happy with it, as someone who seems to just want to recreate the DOOM logo aesthetic in dozens of different ways. I had a little period this month where I just pumped out a few different designs and they went up on Redbubble and will get blog posts later, and haha, then at the end of April, Redbubble may? have screwed me? Oh well. The design is there for now, but I’m definitely thinking about alternate places to put my stickers and shirts.

Man, this month, this month. We dogsat a little dachsund. The weather turned rainy for the first time in a while. I got to play Wingspan with the really neat new expansion that added nectar. I watched a bunch of anime that turns out to be really great, like, 2022 was absurd. I hit a backlog of 40 posts on the blog. I did a bunch of graphic design, I got to play and finish Lunark (more on that later), I marked my students, and I managed to finally get one of those early nights I have been trying to get.

It hasn’t been great. Like, one day this month, Fox said to me ‘I missed you yesterday.’ Like I was in such an isolated, unconnected mood that she felt like I was absent. And that’s, you know, probably not good? And reading back on my writing at the tail of the month I’m kinda struggling with something.

What’s weirder is that I’m writing this as the last thing in the month…

… and like…

I feel pretty okay?

I want to spend the rest of today working on games. I don’t play enough.