Welcome to Smooch Month here on Press Dot Exe! It’s a month to consider and celebrate and scrutinise at length media that centres and focuses on what you might normally see called romantic media. At some point years ago, I offhandedly referenced the idea that ‘romantic’ is a term best suited to being about feelings and then that’s how I’ve used it ever since and in the process trapped myself into using the term ‘smooch month’ when what I mean, ostensibly, is exactly what everyone else means, in common language, romantic media.
And so! Here we are, with the idea of smooch media!Continue Reading →
One month down! 2024’s going to be easy, you’re going to see! We made it this far, we just have to do this again and I’m sure we’ll find a way. This month has seen a Games Done Quick event, a bunch of videos, five story piles!
Let’s get into it, looking at what you might have already seen and what you might have missed if you’re at all a fan of Things Talen makes!Continue Reading →
I’ve been trying to consistently put alt text on images here on my blog.Continue Reading →
It’s a new year, so it’s time for two little updates to my video presence online: A new trailer for the Youtube channel, which is here:
And a new introduction video for my Patreon!
These are essentially packing peanuts for stuff I make, but I also have to make them. Leaving these things unchanged over a long time is a great way to leave old mistakes, old mindsets on things, and I think that every time I make something like this, I get a little bit better at making the next one.
There’s a script below the fold!Continue Reading →
Hi. I’m Talen Lee. It’s 2024. Let me tell you what you’ll see here. But first I need to talk to you about podcasts.Continue Reading →
I think about these friend posts from time to time which runs the risk of making my really cool friends who are constantly doing things and making stuff in the day to day, like, more likely to get attention. And that’s not a terrible thing, after all, this is still the attention economy or whatever, by posting about my friend Amber, I might direct attention to her online presence and her cool cosplays, or if I post about my friend Nixie I might get people looking at her Patreon, all that kinda thing.
I wanna talk, today, this close to Christmas, though, about a friend who doesn’t really put himself out there on the internet, and who isn’t here to ‘sell’ himself. Sure, we’ve done that kinda thing, we’ve all had fun doing things… but
Some friends I want to talk about, and who I think about, because they’re my friends and I love them and that’s really cool and really good. Because my friends are great.Continue Reading →
Is the Game Pile?
For those unfamiliar, the Game Pile is a feature on this blog. It’s a column. It’s a weekly project. It is a war on the idea of a backlog. It’s an excuse to talk about whatever I want with a game as a feature. It’s a behavioural practice that I use to make sure this blog is not just twelve games back to back in a streak when I play them. And it’s a physical, tangible, thing.
I started using ‘game pile’ to refer to my games collection. This was originally because it was spread across my Steam collection, and some Good Old Games (remember when that was their name?), and some Humble Bundle games. I thought about it as a sort of form of the backloggery; that I’d play a game, and then write about it, in a purest diary sense. Some of my earliest Game Pile articles are microscopic, meaninglessly tiny examinations of games well before I got my dial in on how much time I spent on writing about games. Back when I started, I very much imagined this blog would be a gateway to working for a paid website selling my writing, ala a games Journalist.
Ironically, I think I was thinking of myself as following a path a bit like Ben Croshaw, which.
Huh, big news on that front this year.
Anyway, you ever wonder ‘what is the Game Pile? What’s the size? Is there progress in it?’
And sort of.Continue Reading →
Hey are you new here? Statistically speaking, no, but I’m still going to act like you are.
Long and short! Decemberween is here! All normal article content is suspended! Story Piles are going to be about Christmas movies and Game Piles are going to try and focus on things good for social experiences around family gatherings!
You can press more to read more about the kinds of things you’re going to see this month, or you can just go ‘oh okay, I’m not going to get a weird long-form story about a magician who lied about attacking the Nazis.’Continue Reading →
Ostensibly, this is the last article of the year that follows the ‘normal’ pattern of the rest of the year. There’s a whole month more after this, but this is kind of the last spot I have to put anything that doesn’t fit in Decemberween… … which is to say this is my last chance to be spiteful, mad, or cruel about something. Not that I spend a lot of time doing that, but it’s definitely the point at which I have to get any last minute spite out the door.
Oh, you don’t need to worry, you don’t need to worry about that at all. I’m not going to burst into vituperous rage over something, mind you. It doesn’t show up this month.
Much.Continue Reading →
Dread Month draws to a close! The spookiest of nights, the dawn of the dead, the uh, thing! We shed our shackles and dance in our bones, and tomorrow, go about the business of being people, once again, sloughing out into the drawing heat and the growing, burning, hateful light of a sun that resents us and we celebrate in spite of it. You know, the normal and natural way everyone relates to this time of the year.Continue Reading →
Behold as once more, October rolls around, the internet that is American gets all spooky, and the rest of us can either determine whether or not we want to go along with it or decide we want to be insulted for a month for not liking fun. Yay! Halloween!Continue Reading →
Spring has sprung and with it the first thirty degree day since February. Oh, that’s not a hot hot day, but it is a hot day. I sit on that evening and sweat slightly and wrinkle my nose as I consider the wrapup for this month, almost two weeks out from it. Let’s get into it.Continue Reading →
Kinda flew by there, or maybe it’s just that when a semester is firing, then I start breaking my weeks into more and more tightly managed little snippets. I think I’m going to have to change when I have snacks, any way, it’s time to get talking about all the great articles I wrote this week and youuuuu didn’t read yet!Continue Reading →
Ahah, it’s August and that means there’s nothing up my sleeve – nothing up my other sleeve – but here, on the table, under this hat that is hiding an enormous melon is the theme of tricks month. Tricks! Tricks, fun, chicanery, fooling and duping and the ways of the witty and wagering who ambiguated and disorientate with gesture and guile.
I love magic nonsense. I love magic philosophically and I love magic structurally, I love the way that magic can inform your mind and change the way you treat the world and I love it as a story element, as in, the way that a story can trick you into thinking the things the story wants you to think.
It’s not the same thing as lying.
It might not even involve any lying.
Tricks can be fun like that.Continue Reading →
Do you know that the majority of people who read my blog are in fact, super great and cool? It’s true, I have the analytics. No, you can’t see them. Why would you want to? Don’t you trust me? I’m very trustworthy and can be relied upon to have normal thoughts in my normal brain. I had it certified.
Anyway, it’s the end of a month, and I think it’d be good if you checked through this list of links and suggestions and see if there’s cool content on this blog you’d care about that you missed!Continue Reading →
Around early April, late March, I made a chart to check the distribution of material I was covering in Story Pile, and then the stuff I had planned to watch. I made this chart because I realised that there were anime I was looking to cover, but I already had covered an anime in that month. And then I realised that my initial idea to keep the distribution of content varied, which was to write anime articles starting in november and work towards the current now, had kinda hit a wall, because I had already watched more than twelve anime this year.
The anime had caught up with containment.
The anime had breached.Continue Reading →
June has ended, the time of Queer Pride is over, which means we resume our normally regular scheduled broadcast of Queer Wrath. Please do not adjust your set, we will continue to bang on pots and pans (both the metal object, and the people who are into lots of genders). Pride Month is the month where we party, the rest of the year is when we arm ourselves, you see.
But with that in mind, let’s check out a bunch of stuff I wrote and made this month and why you, you, you, might want to go back and read it, and see the cool things you missed!Continue Reading →
In the major English-speaking parts of the worlds I’m familiar with (which weirdly, is not Nigeria, despite it having four times as many English speakers as my home country and Canada combined), June is Pride Month. This is because a number of inter-linked corporate interests have been able to maximise sharing economic value by treating England, Australia, Canada and America as if we all operate on roughly comparable time scales and interests. For this reason, June is the month where America celebrates Pride, in the ways America does, and the rest of us are already buying your t-shirts, so your rainbows show up on all our soda cans anyway. Happy Pride! Buy something.
The obligatory response is of course, ‘well, why?’ and not just why do we do Pride in June, but rather, why do we need Pride at all? After all, isn’t homophobia solved and fixed and now we’re just kind of tidying up around the edges? Of course not, and if you’re reading this you know that’s not true, because I am not some general access explainer, I’m the blog of a weirdo who likes board games and anime and has somehow captured an audience just barely larger than a really suspect church congregation. But why not talk about it anyway, in the specific vein of Hey I’ve been thinking about this a lot.Continue Reading →
May’s over! We got there, everybody. That’s one more May in the books that won’t be hurting anybody any more. Just eleven more months before you see millenials busting out the Justin Timberlake memes again. It did bring an annual tradition of finding time to make at least one article making fun of Star Wars to run on May the 4th.Continue Reading →
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.Continue Reading →
I’ve been writing for you for a few years now. Who do I think about when I’m writing a post? And what does it mean to write ‘for you,’ for that matter? There’s clearly some personality, some identity I can conceive of as belonging to you, and I know there are things I think of when I’m writing an article.
What is there, then? What do I do when I think of you?
Let’s talk about it.Continue Reading →
Today, at some point after this post goes up, if I’ve timed this right, Twitter is going to close down the system that lets my blog freely create a tweet and post it, without me doing it personally. If you haven’t checked my twitter, which I haven’t been promoting since November 2022, the only thing posted there is links to my blog posts, and retrospring posts — which is also generated by that same system. This is an API – an Application Program Interface. APIs are complicated if you want to understand them but if you just want to be generally aware of what they are, APIs are ways that two programs can directly communicate with one another – the software running my blog and the software running twitter are both bumping into one another directly.
What this meant is that any time I made a post, I didn’t have to think about how to advertise and promote it, it just gets posted to twitter and tumblr (and it gets posted to tumblr in full, which is pretty sweet).
Tomorrow, at least assuming everything is going the way it’s going, that stops.Continue Reading →
Chances are you don’t look at my Patreon (because most people don’t, not because I’m judging you). It gives me a little bit of anxiety, because it keeps telling me ‘hey, this person stopped paying you money’ (which makes me afraid I did something wrong) or worse, ‘this person started paying you more money’ (which makes me wonder what I did to fool them).Continue Reading →
Hey, it’s January! That’s an odd-numbered month, which means there’s not going to be a theme here. It’s also the start of the year and there’s going to be a bunch of stuff getting cleared out from 2022 so it’s not going to have a proper theme but it’ll definitely have something… themey.
What’s coming? Well:
- February is a month of Smooches!
- April is a month of Self Indulgence!
- June is a month of Pride!
- August is a month of Tricks!
- October is a month of Dread!
- December is a month of ‘Ween!
Then, each month, look forward to
- A How To Be article talking about a character in 4th edition D&D
- A worldbuilding article talking about building my setting of Cobrin’Seil, or building settings in general
- At most one article on 3.5 D&D, one on 4e D&D
- Each month I’ll show you at least one article on Magic: The Gathering, where I’ll show you this month’s daily custom cards, and well, we have a big special project for that, which we’ll talk more about soon.
- An article talking about an OC, usually from City of Heroes, but hey, wide open world.
- One piece of graphic design for a t-shirt, mask, or sticker
- A story pile article each monday, with at least one anime a month (loose target)
- A game pile article every friday, with at least one video a fortnight (harder target)
Each month I’m going to present at the end of the month, a summary of the game dev I’ve been doing that month, which is also going to be built out of articles posted on other social media spaces.
Other social media spaces.
You know, like Twitter, where I used to do this all the time.
I’m writing this back in December, of course. I don’t know what’s going on with Twitter. But I think it’s probably bad, and I think I’m enjoying not having to be on a space that predominantly is known for everyone on it screaming about how bad it is. So what I’m going to try and do going forward is do things like dev threads over on my Mastodon, which lets me do long-form threading with graphics, and search my own history. That’s what I really liked about what twitter gave me. I’ll also be presenting things on Cohost and Patreon to see what the audiences there want to say.
Basically, what you’ll find where:
- Drafted article ideas where you can comment and give me direct suggestions where I’ll be able to meaningfully engage? Cohost.
- Threads for showing ongoing progress on projects where I’m primarily taking notes on my own work? Mastodon.
- Places for answering polls and questions about the game development I’m doing where you get to provide meaningful input into things I’m doing? Patreon.
- Just the video articles? Youtube!
Each of these platforms is going to do a different job, and that’s important. I need to stop treating you as if you’re going to different sources for content firehoses. What I want you to do is come to my blog to look at the best of my material, and look at those other platforms as places you can go if you want more. This blog hosts articles. Those places are for social interaction, in different ways.
Particularly, this plays into the new way I’m approaching Brainstorm posts. Instead of having each month open with a post explaining that month’s game project, which can feel a bit like an open space, my intention is to present a link to the month’s brainstorming thread on Mastodon. Mastodon serves a purpose that the blog doesn’t necessarily, where it allows for lots of small additions, maintained in reverse chronological order, threaded on one another. At the start of each month, there’s going to be now, a post summarising that thread. This also stops cutting off a bit of extra time, where scheduling meant sometimes a month was more like three weeks of working on something rather than 31 days.
Below the fold, though, there’s some reflection on the history of this blog, why we have ten years of Press, and how I feel about realising this is now one of the longest ongoing projects I’ve ever had.Continue Reading →
In January, I wrote out a plan for the year. In that plan, I described types of articles I was going to make, and kind of like ‘caps’ on the types of subjects I would write about. I also promised to watch more anime, which was like a threat, I guess. I also mentioned the eventual Avatar update, that would serve to bring presentation on a lot of platforms in line.
Knowing that, then, how’d I go? What were the good bits, the pieces of 2022 that I think, now, you should go back and check out (and I will go back and check out myself when I’m browsing the blog looking for ideas I want to further expand on).
Big, long-term projects included a daily Magic: The Gathering card, released at first on a twitter account every day, and now being posted on Mastodon and Cohost. Those got a set of summarising posts. I also did a podcast with Fox about watching all the Disney Animated Canon movies, which we called the Disney Animated Canonball.
It was also at the start of the year that I stopped using an add-on for the blog called Jetpack. Jetpack let me do things like find out how many hits each individual page was getting, and that formed the basis of what I then, at the end of the year, would list as the ‘most popular’ stuff. It was useful to see what you thought was good here, rather than just what I liked, in hindsight. It sped things up. But I’m not using Jetpack any more, and that means that instead… I had to go through all the articles I wrote, and ask myself ‘hey, is this good?’ and ‘why would someone wanna read this again?’
Which means we’re going to look at a lot of links here.Continue Reading →
It’s been a year. It’s been a full year. There’s been a lot of losses and there’s been a lot of gains and there’s been some really, really good memes. It’s been a complex year of navigating a new example of normal; I’ve seen a lot of people mourning for the ways that a world momentarily made more understanding of disability whipped back into its hateful norm. And you may be coming to this blog for a day this week thinking ‘it’s time for my daily dose of semi-intellectual academic complaining about how tube tops are racist’ or something, but no!
No, it’s Decemberween!
Named after the holiday represented in Strong Bad Emails, as a sort of generic season-of-Christmas-and-adjacent stuff, Decemberween is the term I use for the entire month of december when I change the kind of content I make here. Instead of my usual content, where I want to do researched posts into histories and contexts, or talk about specific ideas I can use in games or you know, just a few posts about screaming about my feelings into a void, every post this month is going to be about promoting or sharing something I like, usually someone I like, and just posts about my friends, about content channels I engage with, and most importantly, I aim to make sure it’s stuff you can partake in for free.
See, right now a lot of people are going to be advertising their thing because Christmas sales are super important. But those Christmas sales are about getting things in time for Christmas. It’s about ‘order this and we’ll get it to your door in n time’ and all that. Also, odds are good it’s time when your work is either super busy, or your work is super relaxed and everyone’s kinda chill, so you need stuff to fill in time.
What I want to use December to do is to talk to you about things that you can enjoy that make no demands of you. Things that are interesting and things that are sweet and things that are big and time consuming but also, importantly, things that are present. It’s a time where I can point you to a friend and their work, and just talk about how much I like them and like the things they do, and put them on your radar, try to make you aware of them. It’s a kind of gratitude journaling I guess, where I want to make sure you understand that there are people in my life who I am grateful to know and connect to.
Game Pile and Story Pile posts are going to try and focus on things you can have for free or cheap. There will also be some end-of-year posts about ‘articles of the year you might want to check out,’ in the Game and Story Piles, and a summary of stuff that you might have missed, because – I mean I don’t know if you noticed, but I make a lot of free content!
Intro paragraph! Probably too short! I have had a hard time writing this month!Continue Reading →
This post marks the point at which press.exe has had a daily post every day for 2,000 days.Continue Reading →
Tonight, I sat down to make, in the organiser I use to track the things I post on this blog, a google sheets function to pick a random topic I’d like to write more about and share it.
That function by the way is:
=INDEX(A:A, RANDBETWEEN(1, COUNTA(A:A)))
Fill up column A with ideas, and then this field will just go ‘hey, picked one at random.’ Really handy. I use it for randomising things like who to call on in a subject, for example. Set it up, put it down, then immediately couldn’t think of anything to put in that column.
This is annoying. I also have to accept that this tool – which by now I may have been using all year – may get made at one day, but populated another day.Continue Reading →
You know the weirdness with time?
This was written back at the end of October. At that point I was looking at the schedule for the blog and seeing that I had posts lined up and set up to fire on schedule for the next four days. Four!
For the first two thirds of this year, my schedule of posts was somewhere between thirty to forty days ahead of me. I had holes in it — videos get made a lot closer to time, for example — but I was working with effectively, a long corridor in front of me of safety. Now this means that sometimes things aren’t timely and there can be weird coincidences. Back in October, I had a pair of articles set up about Alex Jones that dropped the day of his billion-dollar judgment. Kinda weird.
Right now I am sitting in bed, with the dog next to me. It’s 9pm. I woke up this morning, on a saturday, and did work, to make sure I was ahead of work for the coming week. I have a meeting on Monday. I need to make sure I’m prepared for it. I need to make sure that this work, which is very important to me, is done, so if I can get it done before it’s due to be done then I can use that time for other things.
The overall effect however is screwing me up like a rag and wringing me out. I have four days ahead of me and yet I am feeling an anxiety about not having done something today to extend that bridge. I’m only writing this now because I know getting it done will give me a feeling of reassurance, give me some comfort despite my tiredness, and maybe in the morning I’ll trash this and restart the idea.
I feel that one of the most boring things I can post about on this blog is posting about posting on this blog. I try to limit myself to one a month, like it’s a monthly subject along with Transformers or Magic: The Gathering. They’re here to serve a useful purpose; to demonstrate engagement and to explicate process. I want you seeing that I’m trying and I want you to know that there are going to be days when it’s hard. It’s not all just the easy mode, I don’t just drop a thousand really good words out of nowhere.
Tonight, I brushed my teeth early and retired to bed to sit and type on my laptop and know that when I’m done, I’m going to put the computer down and hug the dog and go to sleep.
I am thinking about this as No Effort November, which is a month to celebrate minimal effort. To look for things that seem easy, things that I would normally forget about or ignore because they’re too simple, or because surely everyone knows that. To accept that there are areas I’m weaker and times of year when it’s harder to write interesting things every day.
Oh it’s a wrapup article, those are fast and easy to belt out. WoooOOOOoo~Continue Reading →