I miss my games… Pt. 1

Before someone becomes a parent for the first time, you never truly appreciate your free time. For realsies. Before our kiddo came, I didn’t understand the amount of time that I had at my disposal. I mean, there were times were I used the free time well but most of the time it was a missed opportunity.

There was one constant though. Board games were a frequent occurrence in my free time. Didn’t have plans after dinner? Let’s play Smash Up! Got a free afternoon? How about Big Trouble in Little China Legendary? Got a whole day free? D&D Temple of Elemental Evil! Our free time always consisted of either a movie (on Bluray or at the theater) or a board game.

That all changed when the kiddo came. And yes, family/friends and every parenting blog/newsletter I read said your free time would disappear, but like many parents it isn’t until that kid is born that the truth of that statement hits you. Don’t get me wrong, this is not me complaining about my kid being a time suck (not true in the slightest), because every second I spend with the kiddo I cherish. But this is me acknowledging that time spent on my hobbies is much harder to come by. It wouldn’t be so hard to find time to do my hobbies with just the kid; throw in jobs that require us to drive 35-40 minutes one way, demanding ungodly hours, and a lot of physical/mental demands, it makes getting home and having a game hit the table the last thing I want to do because A) I just want to sit on the couch and cuddle my kid, B) the kid’s bedtime routine needs to start shortly after we get home, and C) Other home responsibilities usually demand our attention as well.

The wife and I have discussed this at length. We both miss the thrill of a new game or an old favorite hitting the table. We made a promise while we were expecting the kiddo that we would make boardgaming part of our routine so that the little one grows up with table top just being part of everyday life. The community aspect, the critical thinking, the imagination needed to play games…all will be a benefit down the road. So, we are taking steps to put games back in to our daily lives. It’ll require a couple of steps to make it happen. We’ll plan/meal prep more, so we can just grab our dinner and not have to spend most of our evenings cooking. We’ll have the little one at the table with us, taking it all in. My sis will join our many tabletop adventures, as that gives her time to spend with our little one and she can also scratch her boardgame itch. One day out of the week will be a day focused entirely on working on the home so we can have more free time throughout the week.

These changes will allow us to finally hit the table with some of our games we have yet to play since we got them (Star Wars: Rebellion I’m looking at you!) But something even more exciting, it’ll allow us to finally play several games that we’ve been craving to play. What are they? Well, I’m glad you asked….

To Be Continued

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TABLE TIME! (Teach Me Something Thursday)

Ok, so I mentioned that for Thursday’s I will be focusing on topics that will be about certain skills or projects I’m learning (or interested in learning) for the current week. For the final week before the Holidays, I want to learn something very simple in concept…

A table. Just a simple four person table.

But…it’s not just any table. It is a gaming table that can be made for less than $150 and looks just like all of the $5k+ tables that you can buy online. This guy put together a how to video (it is almost an hour long but it’s worth the watch, trust me) on the steps he took and how you can save money from trimming some fat from the project. I want to aim for something closer to his so the final cost will end up around $250, but I think it would be worth it.

So I have linked the video below; take some time over the next week or so and take a watch. If you just want to see it in action, skip to the about the last eight minutes.

It’s time to build a table!

Keepin’ it Geeky,

The Oey

Sometimes you just need a little structure…

Have you ever ran in to the struggle where it seems everyday you start off with a lot of motivation to get a lot of stuff done and then all of a sudden you get caught in a time suck? That’s been my day to day over the last month. Silly things that shouldn’t be distracting keep pulling me to them like a mosquito to a bug light. I gotta stop that. So to do that, I am adding some more structure to this bloggie thingie. If I stay consistent with this, I should have content, using both the written word and the visual medium of “vlogs”, every day.

So below are the seven themes for each day that I will be using to add structure and some explanation for each.

Mrs. H Monday’s –

This day, in my opinion, is the wild card. Mrs. H, my beautiful wife, will be posting on this day. More than likely it will be just a bunch of random thoughts thrown together and plopped in to a blog (that is kind of how she is with most things.) I’m thinking that by challenging her and getting her to consistently write will free up her creative muscles some more for her future zombie/buddy cop movie she’s gonna make (and I’m being completely serious about that.)

TableTop Tuesday –

I think this one is fairly obvious. This will be full on tabletop/boardgames discussion. Maybe it will be about a new game I want to play (or did), any fun things from my gaming sessions, thoughts on a relevant topic, or even discussions about a current campaign I am putting together. Trust me when I say there is never a reason to run out of things to stay about tabletop games.

Walk Down Memory Lane Wednesday –

Here I will do my reflection and storytelling of tales past. Experiences I’ve gone through growing up, lessons learned, funny stories, painful failures, and uplifting successes. This will be the day most of my family and friends will tune in.

Teach Me Something Thursday –

Here I will be focusing on the various things I am trying to improve my skills at. Things I am trying to learn or master in some way, for example it could be a tutorial on a certain VFX in After Effects, a recipe I tried, or even a gaming table how-to-video I’m obsessed with…I’m not saying that happened or anything…zip it.

Film Fridays –

Probably the day I am looking forward to the most. It will be my weekly vlog post that will be discussing my chosen film for Friday night viewing. It could be a classic (think Citizen Kane, Star Wars Ep. V, Apocalypse Now, etc.), films that are hugely popular and have impacted popular culture in countless ways. Others will be more of the cult fair (Rocky Horror Picture Show, Repo Man, newer ones like Turbo Kid, etc.) to provide a wide taste range. A good chunk of these I will have already seen, but I’m going to throw some new ones in there. As well as some bad movies every once in a while because what the hell right? Each post I’ll discuss some background about the film, a synopsis, and a recap of my thoughts at the end. Each posting I do will be in the 3-6 min range.

Substitute Saturdays –

On Saturdays it is pretty much anything goes. This day can have anything I am feeling like that particular day. It could be a topic of the other six days, it could be something completely unrelated to everything else. This day will probably be the most challenging as there will be times where I can’t think of anything to talk about. But if there’s no challenge then it is not worth trying.

Something Fun to Read (or Check This Out!) Sunday –

Finally, Sunday will be day where I give shout outs (and links) to anything interesting I’ve read throughout the week (as well as anything that tickled my fancy.) So maybe I read a really cool essay on Tuesday and found an awesome new podcast on Thursday. Both of them would get some appreciation on this day. I’m hoping this will encourage me to keep trying to find new, exciting content wherever it may be.

So that’s it. My weekly posting structure/schedule. As this is the first time I am posting about this, we won’t be starting with Mrs. H Monday mainly because she is still trying to figure out her first post. But I am hard at work for TableTop Tuesday. I am aiming to have all posts up and ready by 5 p.m. CST daily so it would be ready for most people as they get off work and start browsing the inter highway. While this may be an exercise in futility, I say it’s worth the try. When you start working out to lose weight you may never make you goal weight, but you may add months or years to your life so it is still worth it. I’m looking at this idea in the same way. So here goes.

Keepin’ it Geeky,

The Oey

 

Careful, your idea pile is overflowing…

So on Black Friday (which shall now be referred to as “BF” going forward) I can gladly say two things: All of my shopping avoided the BF crowds and were extremely awesome buys. The only store I actually went wasn’t until the afternoon and it was at TableTop Hobby, an amazing boardgames/hobby store that I frequent as often as possible. I picked up Android: Netrunner 2.0 and an expansion pack, which I’ve had my eye on for quite awhile. (Side note: My sis and I spent most of the afternoon and early evening playing Dice Masters and Netrunner at TableTop…was an awesome time.)

The other purchases were, well, less “tangible” I guess. They can’t be physically touched but will have (and already had) a tremendous impact on my filmmaking/creative endeavors. I picked up the complete filmmaker bundle from Triune Films (the guys behind Film Riot, my fav show on YouTube) as well as their “Writing 101 by Seth Worley” lessons. To top it all off, CreativeLive was having a BF sale on Ryan Connolly’s (owner of Triune Films) Guerrilla Filmmaking class that I’ve been interested in for awhile. I am loving all of these digital goodies. Right now I’m diving into the Worley stuff. He talked about one basic idea forming method that I jumped on right away; the Idea Pile.

While I am not going to go too in depth on it (mainly because it is from a paid for product that I am sure Mr. Worley would like to see others pay for), I will see the Idea Pile is genius. It is really how to group all of those random ideas one gets for a film (for example: a random scene, a line of dialogue, a cool moment, a particular camera shot, etc.) By building up this pile until it is overflowing, you can then start placing all of these things on the skeleton of the Three Act Structure. I did this tonight for a cool scene and an interesting character I came up with last night. Several pages later, I have a pretty big idea pile. Time for the next stop, which is when the ideas stop coming. If your ideas stopped coming hard and fast like when you started the Idea Pile, this is the part that will let put some structure to everything you thought of, and then ask questions.

Questions like “what if…” and “why” and “how did this happen” could all then lead to more meat for the skeleton you’ve created. Before you know it you have a full story laid out and now you just need to take that baby and make it in to your screenplay. While I know it is a pretty simple concept, I really dig the idea of turning unbridled imagination chaos into something more concrete ya know?

Keepin’ it Geeky,

The Oey

 

Tabletop Fun FTW

So this will be a  quick update, again with the rapid fire approach. I’m getting ready to hit the gym so I gotta keep it quick.

  • I feel most updates will follow this rapid fire format. I, like most people, have about a million random thoughts bouncing around my head. At least a couple of them I want to put down in some form of documentation. Doing it this way allows me to get some of them down while giving myself time to develop ideas I want to write about further at a point in time down the line.
  • Yesterday was the kickoff of Midwest Gamefest. Now, I didn’t get to go even though I have a four day pass; had family obligations. However, today I will be joining the many other tabletop fans in the KC area for some dungeon crawling, card throwing, and random scenario beating fun! Along with my sis, who has gotten the tabletop bug as well.
  • I’m testing a new workout tracker app for my gym workouts called Strong. Sort of simplistic but I like it. So far my only bone to pick with it is that when I was trying to input my workout for today (so I know what I gots to do at the gym) it crashed a couple times when I was making edits. Don’t know if that is an app or a phone issue. We shall see.
  • Next week I shall have about four days without the wifey. She’s hopping on to a plan to Florida to visit an old friend for a few days; I’m pretty sure the dogs will be sick of me by the time the trip is done. I like to carry on full conversations with them, very animated like, and it drives them bonkers.
  • Last thought for now (hopefully I will sit down and do a Midwest Gamefest recap tonight): I am going to start a daily “Try this out” or “I Recommend…” thing. I want it to be wide ranging in its variety. Some days I recommend a game, others a youtube video. Maybe a song from the radio or a book I finished. Heck, maybe even a recipe (which would have an accompanying post showing my efforts in making said recipe.) Today I think I’ll start with that is taking the internet by storm.
  • Today I recommend: WTF (Where They From) by Missy Elliot ft. Harrell Williams, the music video. Missy has been out of the music game for some time and then recently dropped the single and music video for her new song. Much like most of her music, it is not for everyone. She has a unique approach to the idea of using “ear worms” in her music, which I respect her for. There have been times I couldn’t stand one of her songs and other times I can’t get enough of it. However, one thing I have always loved about her is her approach to music videos; they are a filmmakers dream. Often utilizing insane (in a good way) ideas, gorgeous cinematography, and the editing…probably some of the best editing you will ever see in music videos. Her new effort is no different. So, enjoy!