Xorian Wars has Finished!

My 8 year long campaign has finished and the conclusion is now uploaded to YouTube!

 

It’s pretty long. Thirteen hours of me jabbing with my friends about Dungeons and Dragons. I’ve noticed that people who do this professionally make recap episodes that are about 10 minutes long with summaries and only the best bits of the action. That’s something I might do if a lot of viewers request them.

I’m proud of the visual setup I created for this. The globe picture seems like it would work for any genre of RPG and I have other camera borders ready to go for other genres.

I had some issues with the audio, but they were easy to fix. I’m aware of them for the future.

Skype was also annoying in how the video locations kept changing when people left the call or turned off their cameras. I’ve started looking at alternatives that might have a better interface for capturing the images with OBS. Current list includes: Discord, Hangouts, Jitsi, VSee, and Viber.

Streaming was definitely popular with the members of the D&D group. We’ll keep doing it, if only for ourselves to rewatch.

GVG Latest Cards

After playing with the new Goblins Vs. Gnomes cards in Arena I’ve determined some of the better ones.

First up! Bomb Lobber!

Bomb Lobber

While the Bomb Lobber has absurdly low stats for its cost, the battlecry is just insane. In Arena the 4 damage is basically guaranteed to kill a minion.

And after the battlecry the Bomb Lobber can still trade with most 2 or 3 cost minions.

So let’s say you play the Bomb Lobber. His battlecry destroys something. Then next turn you attack and he takes out a 2/3 minion of your opponent’s. THEN you hit him with the Recombobulator!

Recombobulator

This one’s kind of complicated, but the Recombobulator changes a Bomb Lobber into any other 5 mana cost minion card. Could be a Spectral Knight. Could be a Stranglethorn Tiger. It can even be class minions such as a the towering colossus that is the Shaman’s EARTH ELEMENTAL! Now the Bomb Lobber that already created a card advantage of two for you is a 7/8 with taunt.

Recombobulator is insane in decks with strong battlecries. I suspect a nerf incoming on the Recombobulator so that his target is random like Tinkmaster Overspark. If he’s kept as is… People might start playing Nerub’ar Weblord to counter the battlecries.

And the final card I’d like to talk about isn’t necessarily good in Arena, but it is hilarious. I present to you, Fel Reaver!

Fel Reaver

So 5 mana for an 8/8 puts it in competition with the other giant cards. Fel Reaver is different because it’s ALWAYS discounted.

But it comes with a penalty. A pretty significant one at that. Usually within two or three turns of playing him you will be out of cards.

Fortunately, Fel Reaver does not actually draw you cards, so the activation of its effect by itself will not deal you fatigue damage, but it does put you on a timer with just the cards in your hand to beat your opponent with.

The card has mixed performances. I put together a deck to try it out and uploaded the games to Youtube with the title Fel Reaver Concept. You can check it out for yourself and tell me what you think. I like the card a lot, but is it competitive? We’ll have to wait and see.

-Mister Ed

Warband Streaming

Steam had their usual Halloween sale and I snatched up a game I’d been watching for when it went on sale, Mount and Blade: Warband.

I wrote a review of the original Mount and Blade game back in March 2014. While my review was positive, I felt like after two playthroughs that I was done with the game and probably finished with any sequels as well.

To be fair those two playthroughs were massive in length and I didn’t want to get any sequels because I felt the gameplay wouldn’t be any different. Kind of like how I’ve only played the first two generations of the Pokemon games. I caught all 250 already, dammit! I don’t need anymore!

But eventually the call of a game I loved so much becomes too strong… My mind says, “You know you want it. And its on sale. Its only $10. You can get it.” And my mind forgets to mention that the real cost of a game for me isn’t the money, but the time I spend playing it instead of doing other things.

I usually play Mount and Blade when I’m by myself, so what other things could I do by myself that I’d be missing out on by not playing? I could read, watch something on Youtube or Netflix, draw, write something, stream a video game on Twitch-

Wait! What was that last one? I could stream a video game on Twitch you say?

Well, why not stream Mount and Blade?

I’ve been doing that and it’s tons of fun!

I’m exploring more of the mods for Warband. I’ve been learning more about tech trees and trading within the game. I’ve found other people who play it (Finally!). All around I’ve been having a blast replaying it. I even got my wife to play it for a minute which is a rare thing indeed.

I’ve been streaming in the morning on weekends and I plan to do a little more during the week as well. You can catch me at http://www.twitch.tv/gocorral

-Mister Ed

Editing for Youtube

Making a new video called Blood Knight Adventures.
Making a new video called Blood Knight Adventures.

I started up my own Youtube channel to have another place for my Twitch videos to be watched.

I’ve uploaded my highlights from Twitch to Youtube and I’ve been posting some edited highlights as well.

Twitch is rather limited in how you can edit a highlight. The highlighted video has to be a specific section of the video and that’s it. No other modifications allowed.

So if you wanted to create a highlight that combined a section from the first minute and the last minute of your broadcast, but nothing in between… Twitch’s in browser editing application doesn’t let you do that.

Fortunately, as I’m streaming I also set my streaming software to store the broadcasts to my hard drive. From there I can edit the videos and produce a better finished product.

The two videos I’ve made so far are called “Holy Alchemy” and “Why Mind Control is Amazing in Arena too.”

They’re pretty basic. I highlighted a specific card in each video from my early Arena runs on my Twitch stream. I edited all the shots of those cards together and slapped some music on it.

Playing with my new editing software was fun. I started using Movie Maker which is a freeware editing program put out by Microsoft.

I took a video production course in high school that helped me learn the basics of video editing. The program I learned on was called Final Cut Pro.

I’d like to use Final Cut again. It has a lot of things that Movie Maker doesn’t. But it also costs $300. 😦

The first hurdle I had to jump over with Movie Maker was the file type for the recorded videos from my stream.

Almost every internet video site, Twitch included, broadcasts their videos using the Flash file type (.flv). My broadcasting software saves the recorded videos to my hard drive as Flash videos as well.

Movie Maker can’t understand Flash videos. Kind of dumb considering that Flash is the most popular video type now, but whatever.

I had to download a converter to change the recordings into something that Movie Maker could understand.

After that it was simple enough, throw the video in, pick which sections I want, delete the other sections, etc.

I remember Final Cut being easier to work with and having more options than Movie Maker.

Movie Maker hides transitions under the Animations tab. Adding titles is also hidden under the home tab.

I’m still unsure if Movie Maker allows custom title movements, cropping a frame, moving a frame, or even multiple audio tracks.

It might that I just can’t find these things yet within Movie Maker’s interface or maybe there’s nothing there for me to find.

I’ll stick with Movie Maker f it does have those options and I find them. Final Cut’s software is better because I know how to use it. Once I’ve mastered Movie Maker there won’t be any reason to switch.

Go check out the videos if you like Hearthstone! I added in some public domain music from Youtube’s audio library. Enjoy!

-Mister Ed

Twitch and Audible Magic

The first part of an email that Twitch sent out to all their users.
The first part of an email that Twitch sent out to all their users.

Twitch answered my questions about whether copyrighted music is allowed on live streams in a recent email/blog post.

Unless I get permission from the artist/label, the answer is “NO!”

Twitch recently did a restructuring of their website. This included Twitch’s precursor website Justin.tv.

Justin.tv has been removed and Twitch is now focusing on their more profitable product, Twitch.tv.

They’re also attempting to make Twitch more profitable by reducing the amount of storage space they’re using for the website.

Previously, a streamer like me could store ALL their past broadcasts on Twitch.

Not many people watch those and it requires Twitch to have a lot of hard drive space to store them.

With the benefit of this infinite storage being next to nothing for Twitch, they’re removing that service.

Past broadcasts are now saved for about a week. That week allows a streamer to cut out the best portions as highlights to save forever.

The removal of Justin.tv and the extra storage space both sound like smart ideas to me. Twitch saves money and the majority of their users don’t care.

The audio protection also makes sense, but a lot of people are upset about it.

Audible Magic is a service that identifies copyrighted music and flags it for Twitch.

Flagged videos then have the 30 minute section around that copyrighted portion muted. That seems excessive to me for what could’ve been a 30 second clip of music, but whatever.

But that’s only for videos, the past broadcasts that Twitch is removing and highlights that might contain copyrighted material.

Audible Magic will not be screening live streams on Twitch for copyrighted material, so thousands of streamers can still get away with playing copyrighted music in live streams.

I’d prefer not to do that. If I really want my Twitch channel to succeed in a big way I cannot break the law to do so. Twitch has made it clear, playing copyrighted music without permission to do so is not okay.

A lot of high profile streamers use public domain music, so that’s where I’ll be going next.

There’s a lot of places to look for music I can use. If anybody has any suggestions, feel free to let me know!

-Mister Ed

Privacy vs. Public Life

Who is this man?!?
Who is this man?!?

When I started GoCorral I intended to reveal almost no information about myself.

My plan was that if the site took off and people were trying to hunt me down in person for autographs or something I’d have the option of retreating into anonymity.

I’ve slowly revealed more and more about myself.

My initial posts talked about “the town I went to college” and now its just Davis, California.

I still haven’t identified myself or anybody within my life by name, but I’m sure a dedicated detective could put the pieces together and figure out who I am.

I’ve started posting videos of myself on my Twitch and Youtube channels. Realistically, I don’t think I care much about privacy at this point.

I don’t know many professional bloggers that maintain anonymity either. Notable blogs like the Happiness Project, Perez Hilton, and 538 all use the author’s real names (Perez Hilton is a pseudonym, but the author has revealed his real name as well).

Even the smaller blogs that I read like Squidi and Twenty Sided have the authors’ real names attached to the work.

Another worry I have is that if I revel my own personal information, inevitably some information about my family and friends will leak out too.

While I might be comfortable with a public persona, I shouldn’t be making that decision for them as well.

This is all conditional on the blog or video channels taking off though. There’s no reason to be concerned about privacy if no one is listening!

My current plan is to contact a few established bloggers and see how they juggle the invasive personal commitment that a blog requires with their private lives.

I can make a decision after that.

Until then I will remain The Talking Horse.

-Mister Ed

Streaming and Stress

I’ve been thinking about all the things I’m doing with my website and how to balance that with the upcoming responsibility of graduate school.

Last year I was employed while my wife went to graduate school for her elementary school teaching credential.

At the beginning of September we’ll switch and I’ll  be going to graduate school for molecular biology while my wife teaches 5th grade at the neighborhood public school.

While I’m not stressed now with work, my day-to-day responsibilities, and all the other things I do for fun, that might change.

I saw what my wife went through for her graduate program. Her typical weekday was waking up at 6, leaving at 7:30, and not being done with her classes or her homework until 8PM.

If I have to do the same thing… I might not have time to do blog posts every day, stream every week, or improve the website and attached video channels as often.

I have to add descriptions to half these videos... So much work!!! #sarcasm
I have to add descriptions to half these videos… So much work!!! #sarcasm

Updates won’t stop, but I expect they will reduce in frequency.

I don’t want to make a commitment I can’t keep. I’ve already slipped a little bit on doing updates every weekday.

I usually miss a post because I’ve had a long day and don’t have the mental energy to write something worth reading.

Typically I make up a missed post on the weekend, but I’m still behind by two posts.

I’ll try to make those both up by September, but after that I think I’ll be switching to weekly updates.

I hope my schedule will allow me to write posts more often, but I can’t guarantee that until I’ve started my classes and know for sure what my workload will be.

-Mister Ed