Archive of Experiences

It’s a novel concept, really.

Have you been enjoying the recent introduction of new and different creative posts? I hope you have. I was thinking about Moggie @ WordPress the other day and realised that, while there are two major focuses here, gaming has always had more diverse and interesting posts. Sometimes this is simply a case of it being easier to produce those kind of posts for gaming topics. For instance, it’s pretty easy and non-intrusive to just flick the switch on my recording software and capture some footage.

However, there are a number of times where I’ll talk about something I’m playing at the moment, or something I’m looking forward to, and even if it doesn’t connect to anything else I’ll still post it. Like a passing thought of sorts. Across Auriga is a good example of a post like that. It’s an isolated thought relating to something that I may or may not do a review post about later.

I haven’t done too many creative posts like that before.

Things like the recent Bleeding Ink or the not so recent Painting Pencil. Where I’ll be looking at a particular idea, style, or a new way to approach something with a different material (or an unusual combination of materials). These are the kinds of posts I’d like to do more often for creative topics. Focusing solely on finished pieces or things that will be included on my personal site is a very narrow content creation pattern. That said, as I’ve said before, I don’t want to flood the blog with pointless fluff posts to pad out the times where I have less content than others. If there are any specific kinds of posts you’d like to see- leave me a comment! I’ll do my best to accommodate where possible.

I’m also trying to be more open about the kind of content I’d like to produce in the future. I know that’s something I haven’t done much prior to the last twelve months, but I feel it’s a necessary evolution for me to continue to enjoy what I do here. I’m not really focusing too much on changing layouts, or adding new social media sites, or introducing major new features at the moment. I’m focusing on updating content, making it consistent, producing more, and hopefully producing things which are new and exciting for the readers.

I don’t think either of the two major focuses could exist without the other, though. I don’t feel that I could write about various video games consistently enough, nor that there would be enough content to form creative posts to fill the time available. Therefore, it’s unlikely we’ll see a shift from both at once to one or the other singularly. Doesn’t seem feasible.

While this can be considered a personal blog- it isn’t.

It is about my personal experiences, interests, and hobbies but not so much about me as a person. It’s more like an archive of experiences. In any case, I wanted to see how everyone was enjoying the recent creative posts and to give some insight into where things are going. This in and of itself is a pretty unconventional post for Moggie @ WordPress, but times have changed and I want to give the readers a little more information on what to expect in the future. As always, I’ll be adjusting older content here and there to make sure it remains consistent to the overall theme here. But hopefully we’ll start to see some really interesting new content, too!

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

Moggies & Dragons

Little did I know that Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic was going to ignite Moggie with a passion.

A passion for fine RPGs of the past. Fine RPGs of the past like Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale and others along the same lines. The kind of games where you get to choose who you take with you, what they do, and how they do it. Where inventory management is the most important part of combat as otherwise you would never know where your poultices, bombs, throwing weapons, arrows, or what have you are. Where you spend fifteen minutes fighting one ogre as that son of a basket weaver keeps smashing your Cleric and you know you can’t rest here.

It’s night time. That’s like opening the door to an ambush where everyone will be murdered.

Sure, these games are old and they smell like your grandfather’s cologne but that doesn’t mean they’re not awesome. Or manly. You’ve just got to give them time. Which is (shamefully) not what I did when I downloaded that PC demo for Baldur’s Gate II all those years ago. But, with age, like fine wine, I have come to appreciate the many aromas and flavours of adventuring.

I don’t know if I’ll enjoy these fine RPGs of the past but I am pretty excited about them as I get the feeling they’re going to be good. Any game where I can spend a full hour on the character creation screen trying to create a balanced party that will probably be eaten by wolves ten minutes in is my kind of game. I have this thing about managing inventories and sorting my characters and having symmetry in everything. I’m starting to think I have a problem. Then again, maybe that’s what they want me to think!

Who are they? You know- they. Them. Those nondescript people who get blamed for everything.

One thing I can say about this year is that it’s a year of experimentation. I got into an MMO for the first time in a long time, I’ve played some great old titles like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, I’ve played some new titles that look like old titles like Legend of Grimrock, and I’ve played a few good indie games like The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing. I’ve also done a little modding. I’m now discovering many fine RPGs of the past. I don’t even want to speculate what’s coming next.

All I do know is that it’s going to be an interesting few months of gaming ahead. I think that I’ll enjoy the Icewind Dale series much more than the Baldur’s Gate series, however, Baldur’s Gate II does look pretty good, so I might be surprised. If someone had told me I’d be playing Legend of Grimrock I’d have raised an eyebrow or two. Or three.

But therein lies some of the joy about having such eclectic tastes as a gamer. I haven’t had many games in the last few years that have actually hit the heights of the time I spent playing Fallout 3, which The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Fallout: New Vegas come the closest to, but that may be about to change. I do fully intend to play Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic again and probably realise I did everything wrong the first time around. I do that sometimes. I feel legitimately bad about the time I realised how easy it is to get the house in Megaton and how my first character in Fallout 3 didn’t have a house. At all.

Not even like a box somewhere.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie.

Autumn Cleaning

We’re no longer in summer, people! It’s over- it’s all over!

This is just a quick update to say that the WordPress and various other changes are now complete. Everything is where it should be, everything is in line, I’m happy with my work, and all is well in the realms of Moggie. As if there were such a thing. That would be pretty cool, actually. In any case I was going to slip this onto the end of another post I’d done to explain it very quickly but I suck and completely forgot in both cases. So I’ll just do it as an individual post with a little more explanation than I was going to use before.

WordPress is split into three major categories: Art, Blog, and Gaming (which are all pretty self-explanatory). These are the ones where you’ll find the most content and are the most general of the mix as they’re broad categories, while, in varying numbers, I also have a number of categories that break them down. Pencil, Sketch, Update, Marker, Ink etc. Gaming doesn’t have a category system as I don’t really know how much I’ll be doing and how much of a particular thing I’ll be posting. So they’ll either be really small or really broad categories.

Like, for instance, First Person. Applies to most of the games I play. Or Open World. Also applies to most games I play.

If, in the future, I find the need for a category system I’ll add one. For the time being I’m doing the other side of all of this which is bolstering the content on the sites and here on WordPress. The first six months of 2014 wasn’t really good for anything- but the last six months is certainly shaping up to be something. It’s quite interesting actually.

Given that I was about to write off this year and everything in it- it has surprised me. Then again, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Who knows for how much longer it will last? I don’t. I do know there are going to be a few more pieces but other than that I can’t make any promises. I might also disappear some time in November and reappear in February as is my usual tactic in the festive season. Not sure why I’ve done that for the last two years but I’m kind of hoping I don’t do it this year…

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie.

Composition of a Moggie

Sometimes in the early hours of the day I do things that I’m not quite sure why I did them…

I’m sure of the reasons I done this- ’cause if I didn’t who would? I mean, who would even care enough to make an image with my face plastered to the left of it? Me! That’s who! That and it’s a pretty good way to get to know my interests without the need to explain each one and tell you all my childhood memories associated with them. That really would be boring as I remember when I got my first cardigan and it was the time when I shunned the roll neck jumper for the zip up cardigan.

It was Christmas, I was young, I was cold, and my roll neck jumper started to fall apart from overuse.

Exceptional quality and service with a smile.

Exceptional quality and service with a smile.

It’s nostalgic, sure- but is it really worth a whole series of explanations of the composition of each woollen garment? Though, I have to say that cardigans are quite useful as they often have pockets and they can fit over everything while you can take them off when you get them warm. Much easier than trying to fumble out of a jumper you’ve just squeezed yourself into. That and when people see you wearing a cardigan and you’re not in your thirties they automatically assume you’ve got old before your time. Which allows me to explain that without having to open my mouth and utter a single word.

You see!? That is what I’m talking about! Would you really want to read a dozen more paragraphs explaining each of those different categories? …You would? Well, if you say so. Take a seat by the fire and I’ll tell you of the time I got my first suit. It was grey and it was a really nice cut, I’d bought a deep red tie to go with, and when I wore my white shirt I looked the part…

(I’m not really going to explain them. Sorry.)

This could also be a useful tool if I ever have to explain myself and what I do at another one of these corporate functions. “If you’d like to direct your attention to the .png on the overhead projector you can see that these are the things I enjoy, that I wear, that I like, and that I do. Now that I have alienated myself from the rest of the group I shall go upstairs and get a coffee and then return to the corner when I can not participate in team activities as none of you want anything to do with me. Thanks for your time and have a nice day, all.”

I joke around with it but I practically did that when I went to university for the first few days. Well, no, it was my first actual day in university and my entire year was in the auditorium and we were all doing the self-explanation and get to know each other thing. The night before we had bought our second cat and she was so small that we kept her in my room as she would likely get hurt somewhere when roaming the rest of the house. Whereas my room was relatively safe. Unless you’re a pot of coffee or a cardigan.

She kept me awake until something ridiculous like 6am and even though I’d only got an hour or so of sleep I still went to university. When my turn came around to talk about myself I stood up and proudly announced “Hi, I’m David. I like cats.” then sat down. It confused the rest of the room as mine was the shortest and most cryptic and, well, let’s just say I didn’t have friends that year. Still, it was fun.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie.

Art, design, and the like found herein (unless otherwise specified) is drawn and owned by David Wilkshire (also credited as Moggie) from 2006 to present date.

May Madness!

I admit, I haven’t been doing much art- but I have been gaming! So I thought I’d do something different, be a little personal, and so today is all about gaming!

Since I bought this rather nice gaming machine I’ve been playing games by the score. I think I’m up to eight completed this year and I’ve got a couple that I’m running with at the moment.

One of my absolute favourites was BioShock Infinite. I was late to the BioShock party. I only actually finished the first two in March this year and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed them, and wish that I had played them before I played Skyrim as they were bought at the same time. There’s something about how the plots are dark but steeped in morals, where choices have far reaching consequences, and often change the ending- one thing BioShock Infinite was criticised for not doing- but I feel the different approach is fairly refreshing. Not to say there aren’t any choices, but they are less conclusive, and have less of an overall impact.

BioShock Infinite

Otherwise the visual style is incredible. It’s like watching a painting unfold before you, but despite what the opening may suggest about the bright and colourful world of Columbia- there’s a dark heart at the core of it.

Not to mention most film makers could learn something from the developers in terms of plot introduction and execution. The iconic bathysphere opening in Rapture is something that was unique back then, it set the scene perfectly, and the introduction to the wonderland of Columbia is no different.

The next I’ve really enjoyed was Dishonored. I avoided playing this for a while as I could never get a clear indication of what you actually had to do in the game. Having finished Batman: Arkham Asylum recently and playing a more stealthy approach than a combat-orientated one I felt it was worth a try. One thing I really love about it is how there are far reaching choices that don’t necessarily make you good or bad. Or massively change the world you’re in. But they change how you are represented and whether or not you’re feared.

Dishonored

In that, throughout the story, you can choose to be a relatively decent or murderous person and as you choose to be either the other characters will start to either respect or fear you. The far end of fear means they will go to extremes and use a lot more defensive and offensive countermeasures, while the far end of respect is more like you ghost through the world without leaving a trail. It’s not so black and white, though. So there’s elements of each mixed based on who you intend to be and why you choose to be that person. Some side objectives or some of the more respectful ends can only be unlocked by doing something for someone else, so it’s not even like you have options and you can choose. You need to explore and craft the story to see the full extent of it.

Anyway, that’s all from me- hope you all have a lovely evening and a great night.

See you later!

Moggie.

“This way, that way, every other way there is to go.”

I’ve never been too conventional and, as art is a projection of ourselves, that would bleed over into my art, and display through my varied and broad range of subject matter that I cover. It’s a long term engagement but it pays dividends in spades when everything comes together.

This is, of course, a post about my art and where I am going/gone with it.

You may have noticed (depending on how long you have been following me) that I have put out a string of animal portraits recently. Some of them are pretty good, some are progressive, and others I’ve called back because they were just plain awful. But it may surprise you to know that this isn’t my main focus. It isn’t even one of my main focuses.

But it is a building block. A singular subject matter which can teach you so much about the tools you use, and how to use them better, and what sort of things you’ve yet to learn.
It’s the whole reason why I bounce around from media to media and piece to piece. I want to eventually have a complete mastery of all subjects. Though, I fear, I don’t have enough hours in the day, or years left in my life to do that. But that doesn’t mean I can’t try and achieve everything that I realistically can.

I was once (for lack of a better word) known for portraits. At the time it was people and this time it’s animals- so I guess you could say I still known for portraits- but over the years I’ve had brief periods of other things. Watercolour painting, fantasy art, landscape art, realism, and more.

I haven’t forgotten how to do any of that (quite the contrary) and with my new found tools gained from the animal portraits I have pushed those further, once I translate it into that media, which is why I’m always encouraging artists I know to do newer things.

You’d never think painting an apple would help you paint a bird- but it does!

You see that shine on the beak? Try to apply the same layering, colour, and lighting principles to how you painted the apple to the beak and you’ll be surprised how easy it becomes.

So I haven’t really got a direction, nor do I want one, and that’s why it’s so hard to classify myself as an artist as on the one hand I don’t believe I should have to and on the other wouldn’t know what to choose. I just do whatever I’m most challenged or intrigued by. Sometimes I find whole new pursuits in the process that take me on wonderful journeys.
Pretty much what happened with Wisdom- that was a pretty amazing journey for me on a personal and emotional level, and in my growth as an artist, and it isn’t over yet.

Just thought I’d let you know that.

Have a lovely weekend, all!

Moggie.

Sometimes I Wish I Were a Priest

Or a paladin or any class that is aligned lawfully good and cleanses disease. It really would’ve helped with those few bouts of illness I’ve had recently- the good news is that I’ve seen a priest and I’m back to full health. Though my magic points are slightly depleted as I cooked a killer casserole earlier.

Reality? The only Reality I know is the last album David Bowie released before he decided his recording career was at an end.

So how is everyone? Hopefully the answer to that falls into the category of “good”, “great”, “wonderful”, “splendid” etc. As I am feeling pretty good and have been for this entire week, my sister has a theory I’ve been infected by some sort of mutant spores and am being transformed into some sort of super human creature (really, she does), but I’m thinking it’s just a good week.

My weekends have been occupied with travels in and around Skyrim. Funny fact coming up- I bought my first house, Breezehome, the other day, mostly as I had a lot of stuff to carry around and having full heavy armour on is weighty without the reduction perks, so later I told a friend and she thought I meant a real house. Like I had a mortgage or some form of property.
If only that were so. Alas, it is all digital, which is probably for the best as I wouldn’t want to be out there facing off against dragons and travelling snowcapped mountains and luscious forests…

…Oh who am I kidding? I would dig that. Wholeheartedly.

Work is, well, work, it’s a long hours and team orientated kind of commitment. It’s a bit like marriage but there’s no divorce and you get paid for doing it.
It also requires you to wear a suit (not a dress (which is a shame as I look great in a dress)) and you have to spend time with people you don’t like sometimes, in the case of marriage that would be your mother in law, in the case of this job that would be customers who can’t be helped.

You wouldn’t believe some of the crazy stories we get. I don’t even believe them.

In any case, you may wonder where this post is going to which I must admit- I have no idea. I just wanted to throw an update out as it’s about a week and a half since my last actual post, mostly due to the lack of art, though I don’t consider myself some kind of artist machine (I do a good impersonation of a printer, though) and wouldn’t be pushing to put things out every week.

But new things are always good, right?

(If you want a Christmas card this year you’re going to nod.)

I am thoroughly enjoying my time playing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (I love full names too) and have been kicking myself for not buying it some time ago. In terms of roleplaying game excellence Skyrim takes the cake, the icing, the little edible figures, and all the fancy doilies you can shake a stick at. It’s a beautiful game with a really engaging combat system.
Or at least I think so. Some would say I’m too involved but I prefer the term “passionate”. It means you’re both a romantic lover and deeply committed to what you do.

Well, that’s all for now!

Have a nice end of the week, all- don’t forget there’s only one more day ’til the weekend!

Moggie.