Alcohol and Resolutions

The two are inescapably linked.

I’m not particularly fond of New Year’s Resolutions, though. The concept is entirely fine but I’m of the opinion that if something should be changed then there’s no reason to wait. For that very reason I’m usually between several different things as I seem to have an endless desire to seek improvements, which is a problem and I recognise that. I might not do anything about it- but I recognise it. I like to think that it’s mostly a good thing. Except when I immediately realise that things could be better and completely invalidate my achievements as a result.

Maybe we should talk about video games instead.

I’ve been greatly enjoying my time with Okami HD in the last week or so. It’s an interesting combination of everything I’ve ever loved about the Legend of Zelda series and drawing to solve every problem ever. It’s also got an interesting yet somewhat exploitable upgrade system that’s akin to grinding experience, items, and currency in JRPGs. It’s pretty fantastic, though.

It reminds me a lot of the Legend of Zelda series mostly because the progression is so fluid. You can easily unlock a lot of different brush techniques, find unique items, and utilise varied upgrade materials from the start of the story. That said, each new technique you learn opens up new possibilities. Some of which are less evident than others. The boss fights are pretty interesting, too. They usually utilise the particular brush technique specific to that location but they’re presented like puzzles instead of button mashing contests. It also features a large and evolving open world that you’re free to explore, return to, and even fast travel around as and when you want to. I’ve found it refreshing to have that amount of freedom in progression throughout.

There are some mechanics prevalent in older video games that I miss. For that reason (and a few others) I’m rather fond of Chronicon, which I’ve also spent a day with over the last week to experience the new content and balance changes. I’m continually surprised as to how much I still enjoy playing that Warlock. He’s been around a while, he’s pretty strong, and probably could do with being on a higher difficulty level. But it’s still fun to develop his Masteries to build on his strengths and (more importantly) his weaknesses.

I’m looking forward to the day it releases in full.

I’ve even spent some time with my newly acquired Wacom Intuos Pro over the last couple of weeks. I’ve been working on a new digital painting that’s going much better than expected, which is due to both the upgraded hardware and an adjusted approach. Hopefully I’ll be able to share more about that later in January. It’s not quite finished yet so I can’t promise anything.

I’m rather hopeful for 2018 as a whole. Things have changed so dramatically in the last few months that it’s almost staggering to think how different things were, but they’re better (for the most part) and that’s what’s important. I can’t really anticipate and therefore can’t promise anything about the coming year but I hope I’ll be happier. At the very least. I’ve realised now that how I feel about things has a greater impact on everything than I could’ve imagined. It seems simple to say, but you get used to living in one way for so long that you forget there are other ways. Perhaps I’ll find one of those other ways and everything will be better as a result. Or maybe things will stay the same. But that’s what makes it exciting, right? Not knowing all the answers.

Have a nice week, all!



September to December 2017

The last summary for the year.

That said, I’m not entirely sure that these summary posts will return next year. I’m planning to make numerous changes over the next few weeks and after those these may not be necessary. I might continue with them as I quite enjoy writing them and looking back over the last few months, but I may not need to rely on them. I’m hoping that the innumerable presentation changes have helped with that, too. In that content is now easier to find and we won’t need to use a post to summarise things. But we’ll see how things look in the New Year.

I may even have new art to share in January.

I would agree that the content has been entirely underwhelming in the last three months. There are many different reasons for that, but primarily that was because I didn’t want to force content out when there was no content to share. I’ve done that before and it doesn’t work. I’d rather have nothing than have a stream of useless filler content that doesn’t add to anything.

I was also committed to letting this year come to an end with whatever content I had available or could make available, and then letting the New Year dictate the new schedules and whatnot. The last couple of years have been interesting in that there have been many changes to things. Many changes which I wasn’t intending to make but that happened regardless. These have meant that things will be different as the collection of sites continues to evolve. I’m hoping that these changes will influence more creative content and less gaming content, but I can’t always be sure I’ll have time to work on different creative projects. I’m rather hoping that digital painting will help to bridge that gap. But, again, I won’t know until I try to do that.

The first of the few posts we did have looked at the brutally punishing yet oddly enjoyable Dark Souls III as a Purloiner of Cinders, which was followed by the excellent Ashes of Malmouth expansion for Grim Dawn in From the Ashes, which was ultimately concluded by Return of the Wang that looks at the ridiculous and indescribable Shadow Warrior 2. I had hoped to squeeze in the deliciously dark Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus before the year ended, but I’ve yet to finish it. Which is a shame as it is a really great sequel.

Just need to keep exploring those districts!

Aside from those there was Momentary Disappearance (Pt. 1) and Momentary Disappearance (Pt. 2) which hoped to explain where I’d gone, what I’d been doing, and when I’d be back. I hope they make a little more sense than my nonsensical rambling above. It’s hard to focus on where I want things to go when I don’t know where that is. As I really don’t these days.

All I can really say about the next few months is that I’m hopeful. I’m hopeful that things will change for the better. But I don’t really know. It could end up being the case that I stop doing these things entirely, as I don’t really have any immediate plans on where these things will ultimately end up. They’re just moving along. Slowly but surely. It’s likely that I’d keep the blog regardless and at least keep posting about my creative efforts. It might just mean that there will be literal months between posts and the content comes as and when it comes. But, again, I’m hopeful that it won’t come to that and that things will continue to a similar schedule as they have had previously. I guess we’ll see what happens in the New Year, huh?

Have a nice Christmas, all!


Momentary Disappearance (Pt. 2)

Giblets! Glorious giblets!

If there’s one thing I can always find time to do it’s hack, slash, and smash various once living organisms into glorious now deceased giblets. That’s a sentence that could be taken out of context by future employers- so I sure hope that none of them ever find this blog. I could probably explain the original context articulately enough, though. Not that admitting you play video games is any better or worse than explaining you’re a psychopath when it comes to most employers. It’s not like I spend the majority of my free time at the moment playing video games.

Not at all. I’m… uh, being productive…?

It’s been an oddly good year for all things video games. I’ve finally finished Dark Souls II which has been looming over me for quite some time, I had great fun with Dark Souls III, and as a result I’ve been really excited for the recently released (for PC via Steam) Nioh. I can’t wait to see what brutal visceral combat combined with an ARPG loot system is like.

SteamWorld Dig and SteamWorld Heist have also provided hours of good ol’ fashioned fun. You know that warm, fuzzy, content feeling you get when playing video games? That. Which is prevalent in Shadow Warrior 2 as well. Something that I’ve been playing recently and will be writing about shortly. My absolute favourite experience this year would have to go to NieR: Automata, which was an exhilarating and exceptionally enjoyable adventure. I’ve not had this much fun with gaming for quite some time. I really didn’t think I’d enjoy Dark Souls III as much as I did but I really do want to go back through it. Maybe without a greatshield this time. Those are useful for most enemies but some bosses are much harder if you rely on a shield.

I’ve also finally replaced my 1tb HDD that held my game libraries with a 4tb HDD that now holds even more gaming goodness. It’s mostly an upgrade for convenience, as I could shuffle my existing HDD around and install things when I want to play them. But have you seen the size of video games these days? They’re huge! They’re getting even bigger, too! I don’t really envisage sitting there waiting for things to download before I can play them as enjoyable. What is this? The early 2000s where downloading MMORPGs cost you subscription time?

Now there’s a funny story for another time.

I’ve greatly enjoyed much of what I’ve played this year, which is good for a number of reasons but mostly because that’s why you play video games. To have fun. To enjoy them. To create ridiculously stupidly underpowered character builds and try to clear the toughest content. Or at least those are the reasons I play them. So it’s nice to be enjoying things again.

This is much more of an update than an explanation like the previous post, but it’s still relevant information. Especially if you enjoy my gaming content. There will likely be less of it in the future, as I’m playing less new things, but what content there is should be of higher quality, so I feel it’s a worthwhile trade. If you’re interested in any recommendations I might have you can always follow my Steam Curator store page. I may also be creating content about things I’ve played before (the blog was created) such as Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, and the like. But I’m going to be focused on clearing things I’ve not played before returning to those I have. So if that sounds like something you’d enjoy then you’re in luck.

Have a nice weekend, all!


Momentary Disappearance (Pt. 1)

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

I wasn’t expecting to have a break in content but it’s been a busy few weeks. I decided earlier in the year that I wouldn’t force new content through if it wasn’t forthcoming- and it really wasn’t- so that’s why I took a break. But if all things go according to plan (which they never do) things should be more consistent soon. I’m hoping that this consistency will also reintroduce creative content as a more regular inclusion, as that has been practically non-existent for some time. There are reasons for that, though.

Most of which are related to the acquisition of materials.

There’s definitely been a continued trend of running into issues with various materials for numerous reasons this year. But (hopefully) those issues should be sorted with recent acquisitions. I wouldn’t count on every issue being sorted, though. Just that things are easier to do now because I’ve got materials that I’m confident won’t repeatedly stop working properly.

I’ve managed to get the full set of Faber Castell Polychromos, which is a pretty important acquisition as I can now illustrate so many more things than I ever could before as I had such a limited selection of colours with the old set. I also decided to try a 0.05 Copic Multiliner as I’ve run into more problems replacing the 0.03 nib. I’m starting to think that it’s just too small (and therefore too fragile) to replace properly. It’ll either work or it won’t, which, if it doesn’t, I’ve pretty much wasted my money. As I’ll just need to get new nibs again. So (hopefully) the 0.05 nib will be thicker and sturdier. The 0.05 is also a more appropriate nib for the things I like to do. It’s a nice compromise between the 0.1 nib and something thinner.

I’ve also spent a while sorting through my various materials and old sketchbooks recently. I’ve mostly worked out a way to store things that works for both long term storage and short term usage, which is nice, as I’ve been trying to do that for a while, which should hopefully make me more productive. Especially when I’m now able to select a set of materials easily. I’ve even got a box of painting supplies which has my recently acquired Winsor & Newton Galeria tubes in it. I’ll be testing those to see if they’re any better than the Daler Rowney System 3 tubes.

I really hope you’re enjoying the use of acquired and/or acquisition.

I’ve even invested in digital painting and illustrating by replacing my Wacom Bamboo with a Wacom Intuos Pro. It’s a fairly standard upgrade, which is ridiculously noticeable as I’m now somewhat capable of sketching digitally. So I’m fairly certain I’ll be able to do something good with that. I’ve still got much to learn about digital approaches, though.

In many ways it has been an interesting period of time that has opened up many new opportunities, but, due to being busy with innumerable things, I’ve yet to capitalise on any of them. But the good news is that they aren’t going anywhere. So it’s not like I’ve got a specified time limit within which I need to use these materials. As I said above, I’m hoping that I’ll be able to do something with them soon but I’ll undoubtedly be rusty at this point. Which only really means it might take a few attempts to get a passable result. But I thank everyone for sticking around and listening to my ramblings (and overuse of acquired and/or acquisition). It is very much appreciated and I hope you enjoy the content I’ve got in mind for the next few months.

Have a nice week, all!


June to September 2017

Prepare for an unexpectedly creative period of time.

We started with Mushroom Fluidity which looked at a recent material study, which was soon followed by Comparison in Blood, and then by Comparison in Iron. Both of which continued the trend of approaching materials I’ve used for a long time in new ways. These were followed by Greatly Textured Horns which not only looked at ink and how I’m currently using it, but also reintroduced some of my oldest (and most reliable) ink pens. These material studies have definitely helped me understand more about my creative processes.

Jovial July contributed to the creativity as well.

Through which I added new categories to both the Art and Gaming pages and made minor changes to my personal site. There have been and there will continue to be many changes to the collection of sites, with most of the changes being related to the accessibility of content and ease of using the sites. Hopefully making it easier to find what you’re looking for.

We’ve had a rather mixed bag of gaming content recently. Starting with Priests of Rathma, which looked at the somewhat recent release of the Rise of the Necromancer pack for Diablo III that (amongst other things) added the Necromancer as a playable class. This was followed by The Sunshine Estate which looked at a long awaited return to Darkest Dungeon via a Radiant Mode campaign. We then experienced The Realisation of a Dream which looked at the adventures of Neptune and friends in Megadimension Neptunia VII. Last but not least we also saw the conclusion of a Sorceries with no shield build in Dark Souls II through Shieldless in Drangleic. As you can probably tell- we’ve had our fair share of adventures recently.

Rather surprisingly we’ve looked at a relatively new Early Access title, too. It’s been a while since we’ve done that, but First Impressions of… Low Magic Age looks at a promising RPG with a d20 System ruleset derived from the Wizards of the Coast Open Game Licence. If you’re confused by that sentence, don’t worry- I was, too. There are more features that have yet to be added, but for what is there, and certainly for the ridiculously low price it is available for, it’s definitely worth looking at if you’re a fan of tabletop RPGs.

We’ve even spent some time in Azeroth recently.

Firstly in an attempt to conclude preparations to access Legion content, but, rather spontaneously, to experience Legion content after an impromptu decision to buy the newest expansion. You can read about this return via either Garrison Architects (which mostly looks at Warlords of Draenor) or through the dedicated category for the series. You’re a Highlord, Moggie.

While I am still making numerous changes to the collection of sites, we’ve already seen a great deal of them and one that I think is more noticeable with this post is that there is slightly less content in recent months. However, what content there has been is generally of higher quality. That said, there were meant to be more posts than there have been but I’ve been busy with personal things recently which have knocked a post or two off the list. I’m still enjoying what I do, but I am looking to change some things around and some of those changes may be more drastic than others. In any case, I hope you- the reader- are still enjoying the content I’m writing about. It’s an awful lot of fun to write in most cases.

Have a nice weekend, all!


Jovial July

Let’s make this month a good one.

I’ve been thinking about writing a post like this for a while. I’ve made numerous minor changes to all sorts of things recently and I felt like highlighting them, but previous iterations of this post never felt particularly coherent. So, if you’re reading this, this iteration made it. Good job, iteration! The first and most extensive change was to update both the Art and Gaming pages here on Moggie @ WordPress, which should (hopefully) make it easier to find what you’re looking for. Regardless of what it is or when it was originally posted.

This includes new sections for both of the pages, too.

These were the last few changes I wanted to make to the structure of the blog. Now that they’re implemented I’m free to update older content so that it can fit into the new structure, which mostly involves either new categorisation or presentation adjustments for those posts. It’s a background process in many ways. I’m actively working on it, but it doesn’t take priority.

The second change was to slightly adjust the presentation on my personal site by adding new thumbnails. These are slightly larger, lack the text, and I can only fit nine (instead of ten) per page. However, the loss of one thumbnail per page isn’t particularly notable. I’ve wanted to adopt a stronger visual presentation for my personal site for a while, which these thumbnails do and they’re incredibly easy to change back if I become dissatisfied with them. I can quite literally grab the old folder and throw it onto my server. I actually made that change a while ago (or a work in progress version of it) and liked it enough to finalise it. So, if nothing else, that gives me hope that this was a good idea. I couldn’t be wrong twice, right? Right?!

With the aforementioned changes now in place I’m feeling particularly good about how things are going. There are still improvements to be made- and there always will be- but I’m happy with the state of things as they are. I’m looking at YouTube and Twitch fairly closely, too. There are opportunities for both creative and gaming content on either of those channels. It’s definitely easier to put together videos as and when I have the time rather than set streaming schedules, but both are viable and I should keep both in mind.

It’d be neat to do some creative videos.

One thing that was painfully evident while updating my personal site is that I need to do more finished pieces. I’m definitely not seeing the correct representation of recent attempts. Mostly because many of those recent attempts have been material studies, which don’t make it to my personal site. So I’ve been wondering whether they should in the future.

I can only apologise for the erratic posting schedule of late. I’m still somewhat happy with it just because I’m only really posting when I have things to talk about, but I’d like to be more consistent. In so many ways. That said, I’m hoping that once I’ve worked through the infuriating indecision that I discussed in Mushroom Fluidity things will improve. At least creatively. So that’s something for both of us to look forward to. In any case, I do like to talk about the things I’m currently doing or will be doing in the future even if it’s not the most riveting content. That and now you can click on all of the above links and be astounded by the exceptional changes. Should keep you busy for a little while.

Have a nice weekend, all!


March to June 2017

Changes abound!

The most significant of those changes would definitely be the new personal website I put together earlier in the year. I looked at the new design (and reasoning for) extensively in Season of Change, which also resulted in newly updated pages here on Moggie @ WordPress. I’ve not talked about those yet. But, for the most part, I’m reorganising the pages (and updating their layout) so that everything has a level of consistency. Wherein things are now easier to find and are where you would expect them to be. Which is good for everyone!

I’ve also changed over to the new section titles on the Art page.

We’ve had some interesting creative content in the last three months, too. Corruption Collection started them off by bringing together several pieces that I’d been working on recently, followed not long after by To Ink a Deathclaw which showed digital art some love. I also talked about the joys (and woes) of spending money on art materials in Expensive Mistakes.

Mushroom Inspired did the best it could to help us appreciate mushrooms, watercolour paintings, and the alien landscapes of Morrowind. It’s a pretty mixed bag. Ambitious Acrylic celebrated the purchase of new brushes, but lamented my inability to use them towards the results I’ve been hoping for. While Melty Black Goo looked at a recurring subject matter for my work. That of weirdly deformed human anatomy combined with strange black tentacles. Surprisingly, that’s safe to read if you’re at work. I’ll happily admit that I had been hoping for slightly more creative content in this time, but I’ve answered some of the questions I’ve been asking. Which is all one can really hope for in the wake of a disappointment.

A considerable portion of the gaming content in the last three months has been looking at The Elder Scrolls Online. An MMORPG that promised quite a lot and delivered a decent amount of it, which is both enjoyable to play and interesting to get lost in when you’ve got several hours to spare. Or even if you don’t have several hours to spare. That’s what MMORPGs do- they get you when you least expect it! You can read that entire series of events either via the Gaming page or through its dedicated category.

We also spent some time in the SteamWorld universe.

Steam Assimilation looked at SteamWorld Dig, which followed the events of Rusty as he dug ever deeper into the mines below and the secrets hidden therein. While Space Cowbots looked at SteamWorld Heist, which took a surprising turn with mechanics but continued the story of that universe as you adventured with Piper Faraday and her crew.

We got to see what happened next in the Hyperdimension Neptunia series, too. A Neptune to the Past follows the events of the third instalment of that series (Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth3 V Generation), which was, as always, a pleasure to experience and shows great evolution from earlier instalments. First Impressions of… Salt and Sanctuary exhausts the gaming content from the last three months, which (unsurprisingly) looks at the brutal ARPG Salt and Sanctuary that takes several cues but delivers something all its own. It’s not been a period of time focused on any one topic, but it’s definitely one that has delivered a range of different kinds of content be it gaming or creative.

Have a nice weekend, all!