One of the joys of running the much loved GeekOut Bristol Meet, is meeting people who are truly passionate about something, be it a franchise, a type of game, an anime or otherwise. Over the past thirty years, Final Fantasy has been in our homes, in video games, anime, animated films, manga and so much more. It’s a hugely influential series which has touched many of us in some way or another. As such, it’s great seeing such a strong fan community out there.
I made a big thing out of my attempt to join in with National Novel Writing Month in 2015, I’ll include links down below. By pass/fail standards then I didn’t make it, but 41,000 out of 50,000 isn’t bad going, and I’d reached a nice bridge into my third act, and I learned a lot in the process. More to the point it has triggered a series of learning experiences I wasn’t expecting, and while I may not be joining in fully this year I’ll still be working on a little side project to while the month away.
In short, this is why you too should attempt NaNoWriMo…
It’s amazing how much you learn about your own habits after trying something like this. I touched upon them before in my summary of NaNo 2015, my painful habit of using my own voice for characters, the challenges of description vs story, and exactly how much more planning I should be doing for these things. You all helped me pursue something that offered a real challenge, I rose to the challenge and I failed, there’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s what you take away from the experience afterward.
I’ve attempted a few other little writing challenges this last year, and had feedback from them. After three years (well, two and a half) of writing for GeekOut it appears I’ve developed something of a style that limits my audience; great audience, and I’m not going to change, but I’d be curious to attempt something different, alter my tone, break out of the comfortable niche I have settled into, the one full of lovely people who like things that I like and don’t judge me harshly when our opinions differ but will fight me to the bloody end over which Pokemon Go team is best*.
I feel compelled to pursue new projects, ones that I might actually finish. There are game designs left unfinished, a new writing endeavour to pursue that promises new experience and new opportunities, and other GeekOut related things for you to look forward to in the year to come. GeekOut got me to do NaNoWriMo in the first place, only right to feed that new drive back into the project.
This year I said I’d play more games, and I did, I committed time that I frankly didn’t have because it was something worthwhile. Next year I’ll be attending to another hobby I’ve let fall by the wayside, another that will help my next sprint at NaNo, reading, I haven’t read a good book in too long. Reading is good for you, and it makes you a better writer to read and understand the skills, habits, and failings of other authors.
Perhaps this isn’t the project for you, maybe you should get out there and run 80% of a marathon, or volunteer to help out at an event but have to duck out for the last hour or two. Or do the whole thing if that’s what you want to do. Doing something time sensitive, with a definite start and finish will help drive you toward achieving other goals, or help you aim for something new and unexpected. This month I simply do not have the time for another National Novel Writing Month, but in the spirit of the occasion I’ll be writing a little something every day, maybe no more than a couple of hundred words, perhaps not even that, but something.
Really that’s the point of pursuing a challenge like NaNoWriMo, it encourages you to do something new, and to work hard at it. It doesn’t matter if an old NaNo novel gets dumped into the endless limbo of the “To Finish” folder, because you tried something different and learned from it. The fact that a month of effort now fades into distant memory does not alter the fact that it has changed you for the better. The same can be said of anything new you try…
Every week, I’m going to scour Kickstarter for cool projects which I think we should all be aware of. Even if we cannot back these projects ourselves, we should at least be aware of them. But before we start this first Kickstarter Highlight, let’s quickly talk about what Kickstarter is and what sort of impact it’s had on us.
Launched April 2009, Kickstarter is a site, or a platform if you want to call it that, which allows crowd-funding in a major way. Crowd-funding has always been around to support great projects, but visibility is key to this. As such, Kickstarter came about to let people know: “All you cool people, fund us so we can make this.”
Here’s a fantastic list taken directly from Wikipedia showing the amounts that was pledged, the project name, creator, etc. As you can see, games are very popular on Kickstarter, however it did help to kickstart the Smartwatch craze!
|Rank||Total USD||Project name||Creator||Category||% funded||Backers||Closing date|
|1||10,266,845||Pebble: E-Paper Watch for iPhone and Android||Pebble Technology||Design||10,266||68,928||2012-05-18|
|2||8,596,474||Ouya: A New Kind of Video Game Console||Ouya Inc.||Video Games||905||63,416||2012-08-09|
|3||5,702,153||Veronica Mars movie||Rob Thomas||Film & Video||285||91,585||2013-04-12|
|4||4,188,927||Torment: Tides of Numenera||InXile Entertainment||Video Games||465||74,405||2013-04-05|
|5||3,986,929||Project Eternity||Obsidian Entertainment||Video Games||362||73,986||2012-10-16|
|6||3,845,170||Mighty No. 9||Comcept and Inti Creates||Video Games||450||67,226||2013-10-01|
|7||3,429,235||Reaper Miniatures Bones: An Evolution Of Gaming Miniatures||Reaper Miniatures||Board Games||11,430||17,744||2012-08-25|
|8||3,336,371||Double Fine Adventure||Double Fine and 2 Player Productions||Video Games||834||87,142||2012-03-13|
|9||3,169,610||Reaper Miniatures Bones II: The Return Of Mr Bones!||Reaper Miniatures||Board Games||10,560||14,964||2013-10-26|
|10||3,105,473||Wish I Was Here||Zach Braff||Narrative Film||155||46,520||2013-05-24|
Personally, even though I’ve heard of all of the bad things that happened with response to the release of the Ouya, I believe it’ll be a great console! If nothing else, £99.99 for a console which can act as a media centre, emulator and also to play some casual games with friends – How can you complain? I’m certainly going to be picking one up in the next few months and I’ll be doing some Ouya review! Ooh yah! Stay tuned for that!
Kickstarter Highlight of the Week
Yes, I will be showing off things that I consider great. As such, if you think you know of something that’s going to be worth a watch, let us know in the comments! We can’t know about it unless we can see it!
This weeks Kickstarter Highlight is for the Savlonic album, which is something many a fan of Mr Weebl of Weebl and Bob fame has been looking forward to.
Savlonic is a 3 piece pop band, of which Mr Weebl does the animations for.
There’s a lot of speculation that MrWeebl is actually part of the band. There’s no speculation that MrWeebl is part of the band.
From their debut with Electro Gypsy, which discusses a travelling gypsy trying to pedal off his Yamaha’s, Moog’s and Cassio’s, all the way to some of their more recent songs, such as Computer Guy, which might be about big computers… Savlonic are a great electro-pop listen.
“Yaaaaaaaaaaah.” – Savlonic lyrics.
You can find out more about the Savlonic kickstarter campaign here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/weebl/the-savlonic-album
Note: It has already met its funding criteria, so if you back it early enough (I.E now) you’ll get the discounted prices as described on there or other perks.
Know of any more great Kickstarter projects? Let us know in the comments!