Monday, September 11, 2017

I woke screaming.

At 5AM, on the nose.

I have insomnia issues, and manage it by just brute-forcing my way through my work day.  Slowly, over the course of a week, the exhaustion will build up until I finally collapse and fall asleep at a reasonable time and perhaps score a luxurious seven hours of rest (this is usually Thursday, sometimes Wednesday if it's really bad or Friday if it's not).  I usually wake still feeling emotionally exhausted, but physically refreshed at least.

Last night I was really worried about it - falling asleep at a reasonable time, I mean.  I was in bed by 9:30, and very conscious of the fact that I had to be up extra early today in order to be at work extra early for this thing (which will occur again tomorrow).

I did not get to sleep by 9:30.  Or 10:00.  Or 11:00.  I tossed and turned 'till at least midnight or 12:30, but finally my mind stopped buzzing and I was able to slip away.

There was a great, smashing crash and a booming, room-filling roar.  I bolted upright with this (deep, manly) scream right from the bottom of me - like that dude in The Professional - and was met with silence.  I heard it well before I realized I was making it.  My throat was raw - bruised by it.

I glanced, still half-asleep, at the clock.  05:00.  What the fuck was that.  Just as quickly as I'd been terrified to my very core, I instantly became bored and irritated. Of. Fucking. Course some bullshit would interrupt what little sleep I was able to score.

I grabbed my cell phone, turned on the screen and pointed it at my closet.  Something had fallen, in there.  Or maybe a lot.

My head smacked back into the pillow, but I was vibrating with adrenaline.  I wouldn't fall asleep again until just before my alarm went off at 6.

It was my old consoles and PVC figures.  We've recently done some rewiring in the house to facilitate some new, state-of-the-art smoke/carbon monoxide detectors, and everything had been taken out of the closet as work was done, and then replaced.

I guess it wasn't replaced properly.  Thousands of dollars in artfully-formed plastic.  The crash was the metal shelving coming down.  The roar was a booming torrent of boxes.  I hope my Dragon's Crown figs are safe, and unbent (they've remained in their boxes for nearly two years), but honestly I haven't found myself caring enough to check.

Point being, I'm exhausted.  Life has enjoyed kicking me in the balls, lately (last night was merely the latest in a series of unfortunate events), so I dragged myself in to work where I found myself involved in an email chain with Chamberlain and Alex - first about IT (I saw IT yesterday - it's good!), but it was soon revealed that Chamberlain had purchased a headset for himself and was prepared to play Overwatch with me tonight, and Alex is also prepared to play Overwatch with me tonight and we three - the three of us - are going to play Overwatch together.

And I was beside myself with glee.

Then my negativity kicks in - of course I finally get to play my current favoritest game in the world with my gaming buds on a day when I maybe have four and a half hours of real sleep under my belt! I'm going to be useless!

But I'm so hyped for it.  I'm so hyped for it.  Dis gon' be gud.  I don't care if we have shitty team comps, I don't care if we lose every round - dis gon' be guuuud I am gonna' heal the fuck outta' them unless Alex goes Lucio in which case I'll go Tracer if she's available.

[update] It was super fun! [/update] 

Also - about the last Overwatch vid - Match Highlights 11.  The reason I love doing Match Highlights are because they permit the creation of a real narrative - to me, at least.  Because these are my vids and I'd rather not display my missteps to the world, that narrative tends to be "things are looking down, but with a canny hero pick, some technical skill and a bit of swagger, the underdog can triumph."  That's a story I can enjoy ad infinitum.

With Match Highlights 11, I tried something a little new - fucking a bit with the structure of the narrative.  Instead of showing the establishment of the threat (an excellent enemy Widow) and what happens after in chronological order, I establish the threat and then show three separate approaches to the Widow, but not the actual kills.  This (in my mind) builds tension along with the increasing energy of the song, until the Widowmaker ults just past the second checkpoint, and I take advantage of her ability to see me through walls by treating her to a saucy Charleston.  Then, as the song hits its peak "'Cause I'm the Big Bad Wolf," we zip backwards in time to see the payoff of each of those approaches.

When I posted it here and on YouTube, I wrote "The deferred-payoff-to-all-the-approaches thing I do in the video here, with all the kills coming in swift succession later, is something I've been toying with, in my head, for a while. Does it work? Please let me know if it works (and if it doesn't, of course!)"

No one got back to me on that.  Which isn't... unexpected, but I was genuinely curious if it worked for anyone else or if it was just me.

Today, some kind soul on NeoGAF brought it up.
"This is a terrific video. Deferring the payoffs builds a nice narrative - well done."
Which is... exactly what I was hoping for.  And someone gets it.  Someone out there gets it and likes it!

I'm aware that compared to... well, people who play on PC (and indeed everyone at higher ranks on PS4), I'm not actually very good at Overwatch.  I'm aware that my videos and my editing are amateurish and probably more than a bit boring to others, but I also feel like I don't give a shit about any of that.

My Overwatch vids are simply a creative enterprise that I enjoy, lately.  It's like I'm... self-teaching myself pottery.  Each video is a little bowl, a little ash tray, a little wonky, lopsided and uneven mug I molded with my bare hands and painted with ratty old brushes and set out in front of the world with a weak, tight smile and wide eyes and a hopeful "I made this."

I'll never make a dime off them, they don't even begin to compare to the performances of pro players or the excellently-edited vids of professional YouTubers, but they are mine.  I made this.

And when you set a crude, lopsided and uneven mug in front of the world and out of that deafening silence comes... "nice job!"

It... goes a long way.

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