Updates!

This blog is mostly about updates, updates to the website and Twitch, but also have a bit about my writing. A lot of this has to do with the concept of the Brand. Over the last 5-7 years I have been trying to do several different kinds of content creation. Each avenue I tried to brand as something different. Over the past year or so I’ve tried to incorporate the various aspects of my content creation into one Brand. That brand being the Baelnorn brand.

Most of the updates I’m going to talk about has to do with consolidating the multiple brands into one brand; namely the gaming into the LARP. The aspect that took the most work is deciding to merge my Apathetic Gamer brand into the Baelnorn brand. This will be most evident on the website, which is what I’d like to talk about next

The Website

The most obvious change will be the introduction of a “landing page”. I put it quotations as it’s not what people traditionally think of in a landing page. It’s more of a home page that is emulating a landing page.

The main concept is that it is the first page people find and it needs to let people easily see what I’m all about. It’s about promoting my brand and search engine optimization. Make it concise, fill it full of keywords that describe who I am and what I do and bam, done.

The next thing you might notice is the addition of a Gaming section. It took some time for me to decide how I was going to take my Apathetic Gamer website and combine it with this one. In the end, I decided I’m taking little actual content from the old website. What I did end up doing is taking the category organization from the old one and reworked it into the Baelnorn website. Categories will be more heavily used going forward.

The actual gaming section is very bare at the moment. I have an old review, the rating system and a page about Synth Dad and that’s it. It won’t always be so bare. Which brings my to my next topic, gaming updates.

Gaming

The newest addition to the Baelnorn brand is gaming. You’ve seen it in my weekly gaming streams, but that’s not the full extent of gaming. I’ll be adding reviews, full reviews and what I call runty reviews. Reviews which are short concise and gets to the heart of the matter as fast as possible.

The reviews will not come with any regularity but I do plan on writing some as I play games. I’m not regulating myself to just electronic games either, I mean all games (LARP being a separate category under my branding) such as pen and pencil RPGS like Dungeons and Dragons, board games and maybe even card games.

For right now this aspect of my brand will be growing slowly. I won’t be playing many social games due to the whole pandemic and my attention span for video games is low. Depression has always been a drain on my ability to have a game or TV show hold my attention for long. This makes it difficult at times deeper depressive episodes, to really get into new games. Don’t worry though, my depression comes in waves so I’ll eventually be able to pump out some reviews.

For now I transferred at Runty Review from the Apathetic Gamer website to this website. Not only is it an example of my review style, it’s a review of an Indie game that I really, really enjoyed.

Twitch

Emoji’s! Thanks to Uriel I now have three unique emoji’s people can unlock.

T1 Subscriber Emoji
1,000 Bit Unlock
5,000 Bit Unlock

There they are! You can see how to unlock them within their caption. They just came out of review today!

Writing

I’ve started to write a short story using the main character from my novel, Philip Clowes. In the story we find a young human male pitted between two vampires, both who want to turn the young man.

I’m writing the story so I can put it in my publication, Failed Schemes Magazine. The big update there is that I’m gearing up to publish my third issue. This time I hope to have writing from people other than myself. I hope to have it out this year.

Discord

This update you might have already noticed if you go to the Discord, it’s been live for a week now. I’ve paid to boost the server to level 1. This mostly means better audio quality when we use the voice/video chat feature. I also turned it into one of the community servers. You won’t noticed to much difference there, it’s mostly a back end thing. Additionally I’ve also rearranged some channels.

I’ve started posting an Amtgard topic every week, there has been some wonderful engagement. I’ve also started posting my weekly streaming schedule in the streaming channel.

If you haven’t joined the Baelnorn Discord server yet here is an INVITE. Come join the conversation.

Ring Runner: Flight of the Sages


Ring Runner: Flight of the Sages 

Genre: Action, Space Shooter, RPG

Developer: Triple.B.Titles

Released: June 2013

Small preamble: This was originally published on my Apathetic Gamer Website in 2015.

Description: The game is a Newtonian space shooter. It features customization, multiplayer, and a strong single player campaign with a deep and rich universe.

Key Concepts

Dialogue: The game has some well written dialogue. It ranges from humors to downright philosophical and they don’t hold back from making fun of themselves. They also reference so many pop culture references, usually in a fun and entertaining way, that I wouldn’t be able to list them here. They also released a companion novel that ties in with the game. Based off the quality of the dialogue I will be buying the book.

Customization: One of the most prominent features is the ability to design your own ship. There are 6 ship types and each type has several different hulls and each hull has slightly different equipment slots. Needless to say there are at least hundreds of different configurations you could make.

Single Player: Before writing this review I played the game for around 27 hours. According to the game description they estimate a 30 hour single player campaign, which seems to be a bit of an overestimation.  If you play at the lowest difficulty and don’t fail any missions and you push yourself, you could probably finish the game in 10-15 hours. It starts out linear but then you are able to hop around the galaxy in any order you’d like. They do a good job at creating a unique universe.

Mini-Games: There are a handful of mini games that are weaved into the campaign, most of them are enjoyable. I patricianly liked the asteroids game but that’s because, well, I grew up loving that old arcade classic.  You can also play the mini games independent of the story line to earn more money. However some of them feel a bit clunky compared to the games they are based on.

Multi-Player: I will admit I haven’t played the multi-player but it does exist. I played all of the game types that you can play in multi-player but I played bots. The game features both online match making and local co-op. So I can’t guarantee that the random match making will go well, but the different modes they have are fun and would be a blast to play with friends and yes, pun intended.

Small Install: Not normally something I’d point out in a review but when I was installing the game I noticed the whole install was less than 300mbs. I’ve seen simpler and less engaging games take over a 1gb. This makes me think the programmers did a good job at optimizing their code, something that is harder to find than it should. The game performed flawlessly.

This game got a 9 out of 10!

Summary

I’m happy to say that I rate this game as a 9 and that’s no small feat, I feel I’m pretty harsh when it comes to rating games. Anyone who enjoys a top down space shooter will love this game. The game has been out since 2013 and I have no idea how it managed fly under the radar for as long as it has. I managed to buy the game during a sale for $0.99, which is a great deal considering it’s normally priced at $9.99 but I assure you, the game is well worth the full price.

We’ve Made it

We did it! We managed to make the first Patreon goal of $50 or more a month. This means the ads on the website have been removed. No more ads! I hope they weren’t to annoying, I tried to make them low impact, but none of that matters anymore, they are all gone!

Secondly I’ve made Affiliate on Twitch. It’s a huge mile stone for me. You might be asking, what does this mean and you’d be right to ask. It means that we now have another avenue in which you can financially support my content. I’m able to take twitch subscriptions and bits.

By subscribing you get a special badge next to your name when you are chatting. Additionally I’m working with Heldris to get custom emotes for the channel, emotes you get when you subscribe. They are going to be gnome themed!

To celebrate obtaining Affiliate Status I did a special drinking and video chat stream with Darius, Guin, Oromis and Unum. I think it went pretty well. We streamed for about four and a half hours. I was chugging beers for subscribers and taking gulps of warm malt liquor when people spent bits. My stomach did not like me very much.

I got four subscribers so I had to chug three beers. I have to say, I’m not used to doing that anymore and the carbonation really got to me. I don’t think I’ll be doing that specific promotion again. I’ll have to think of something else to do.

The warm malt liquor on the other hand wasn’t as bad, but it does taste terrible when warm. With the carbonation from chugging beers the taste of the malt liquor really soured my stomach. I think I’ll still do the malt liquor for bits angle, but I’ll probably keep it chilled from now on.

Despite some stomach issues I had a blast. I will be adding a Twitch hangout session once a month. I’m aiming to have the next one on October 3rd but that date isn’t set in stone yet. I’m still waiting to hear back from a few people about their preferred date. I’m aiming to have the same people come back. I might add two more, I’m not sure.

Goals

Now that I’ve reached my first Patreon goal I think it’s time to revisit my other goals and add a goal to replace the $50 goal. The current goals were centered around me traveling to other parks and events, which really isn’t possible right now and we have no idea when that will change.

  • $100 a Month: This goal will allow me to drive outside my immediate area more often, broadening my weekly blog.
  • $300 a Month: This the big goal. This will let me go to one or two of the biggest national Amtgard events a year, allowing me to blog about my experiences and broadening my content.

I’m considering retooling them, but I don’t know what goals I’d really like to set. What other goals sound like a good plan for my platform? I don’t just do Amtgard anymore, I stream games, I write stories and I’d like to do photography again. Goals along those lines would be great. What would you like to see me do that I haven’t been doing?

Are the current goals still fine? If they are reached I can set aside the money I earn to make sure I’m able to travel more once that is a possibility. If that is the case, I still would like to come up with a new third goal. What does everyone think?