Lament of the Highborne

July 26, 2013 at 6:16 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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Hi everyone, long time no see ^_^/

I’ve been sitting on some big news for quite a while now… A friend and I have been working on a special little game-related side project (it’s not Melolune, however it is set in the same universe). I’m hoping to be able to talk about it soon, once all the major details are set in stone. Because I’ve been spending the majority of my free time devoted to this (in addition to tackling random things that have come up in life), I’ve been a bit less frequent with my youtube uploads (and by “a bit less” I mean I haven’t posted anything in 5 months ~_~)… So I must apologize for this and say thank-you for all of the kind messages you folks have sent me via youtube and twitter asking if I was okay ^__^

Happily, I was able to complete a new video this week! It is a vocal-only cover of “Lament of the Highborne,” a hauntingly beautiful song composed by Russell Brower for World of Warcraft. I was a bit hesitant to arrange this song because the original is already so perfect (and there are so many other lovely covers out there). I thought, “what could I possibly contribute to this?” But I had fun experimenting with harmonies, and revisiting a classical singing style that I haven’t done in years. I really hope you’ll enjoy^^

Tea, Dailies, and Inspiration

January 14, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments
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Happy New Year Everyone! Being that we’re now 2 weeks into 2013 I thought it’d be a good idea to honor one of my new year’s resolutions: updating my blog more frequently. But being that it’s been quite a while since I’ve done this whole writing thing, I wasn’t really sure what to write about. So I figured I’d write about something that has been affecting me a lot lately as a creative type: getting inspired. Sometimes I don’t like to work until inspiration strikes, but unfortunately this can be quite problematic because let’s face it — sometimes inspiration just doesn’t strike. And when your whole career revolves around being inspired, that pretty much sucks. So over the years, I’ve tried to come up with ways to work around this little problem, and I thought I’d share my most important one:

Baby steps help you reach a state of flow.

Being able to work is all about being in that state of flow where your ability to do a particular activity (and having the confidence to do so) is at the appropriate level for engaging in said activity. The reason we often feel overwhelmed by tasks (despite the fact that we’ve succesfully completed similar tasks in the past), is because we aren’t warmed up yet. So when I am not in the correct state of mind to delve into a creative project, I often take baby steps in order to warm up my brain. Each time you complete a task, you feel a burst of confidence in your ability to be productive. The more of these “bursts” you have, the bigger tasks you can take on.

One of my favorite things about World of Warcraft, is that it is the perfect forum for taking baby steps of productivity and accomplishment. I think this is why MMOs in general are so appealing — They are built to tap into that part of human nature that desires to be productive, in a very consistent and quantifiable way. And while there are a lot of people who get addicted to this type of virtual accomplishment (or the aspect of escapism that an MMO provides), when used in moderation, it’s been a very helpful start to a productive day. I have adopted the ritual of making tea, and doing my WoW dailies while drinking tea and having a light breakfast. Often, preparing the tea takes a bit of time (especially when I follow the Samovar Masala Chai recipe), which I enjoy because it helps me relax. When I finish this ritual, I feel more confident to move onto other tasks. But it’s still a gradual progression. I move from WoW dailies, to household chores (making the bed, washing dishes, etc.), to running errands, to actually getting work done. Sometimes I can skip straight to working, but when I’ve gone for a while without touching a project, the progression really helps a lot.

Especially when you’re in a rut, making a list and tackling even the tiniest of duties is so incredibly helpful when it comes to breaking out of an uninspired state of mind. If you are wandering around in your pajamas and you don’t feel motivated to do anything, just try to pick up one thing and put it back in its place. Then force yourself to go wash a dish. Keep forcing the mundane little tasks until your brain decides to release some endorphines once it realizes you’ve just accomplished something. I’m not even kidding. I’ve had days when I feel like there is no point to finishing projects that once brought me so much joy and inspiration; I’ve felt apathetic and unmotivated. It’s at those times that you have to remind yourself that your projects have not actually lost their merit, you’re just not in the right state of mind. It’s all very chemical — Give your brain that feeling of accomplishment little by little, and it can help tremendously with getting back on track.

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Oh, one of my other new year’s resolutions was to make a new video each week. I’m not sure how realistic this is, but I’m going to try my best! I kicked this off with “Kingyo Hanabi”… hope you enjoy ^___^

How to get the Singing Sunflower Pet

December 28, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Posted in Video Games | 11 Comments
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I thought I’d do a quick post on this because I noticed that I’m still getting tons of visitors via search terms like “how to get singing sunflower pet.” For those who are still looking: to get this pet you have to complete a series of quests offered by Brazie the Botanist, a Goblin NPC located just under the Sludgeguard Tower in the Hillsbrad Foothills. You’ll find him around the red X in the screenshot below:

If you’re interested in more comprehensive walkthrough, Robin Torres from Joystiq.com did a great live stream on this topic a while back, which you can find here. Or feel free to check out TotalHalibut’s video from the Cata beta where he plays through the entire Peacebloom vs. Ghouls mini-game.

She seems so sunny, even in Undercity 😛

What happened to Mitsuwa?

December 28, 2010 at 12:39 am | Posted in Video Games | 11 Comments
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Hi everyone! This post is gonna be super random, but I figure, gotta jump back into posting somehow! Based on the title I’m either going to talk about Japanese supermarkets or a Troll NPC in World of Warcraft… if you guessed the latter you are correct! I should start by saying, I’m really enjoying Cataclysm. Anyone else out there playing? And if so… what do you think of the new content? George, Tod, Lindsey, my mom and I all made new characters and we’ve been slowly leveling them and enjoying the new content. Overall, the quests are pretty interesting and I think they’ve really improved the flow of the game. There’s a plethora of fun little additions all over the place; the new water is gorgeous, there are now realistic looking sea turtles swimming around Thousand Needles, the Spiny Lizard critters are adorable, and of course the Peacebloom vs. Ghouls quest is pretty rad ^_^

But one thing made me sad… my favorite place in the whole game was this beautiful little black sand beach in Ashenvale called Zoram’gar Outpost. It felt like a Troll fishing village, and the beach had the best view of the moon over the ocean. Also, fun fact: There were these two Trolls who gave you quests that were named after Japanese supermarkets (Mitsuwa and Marukai). I always thought they were a couple or something. So I go to Zoram’gar… and it’s TOTALLY DIFFERENT! There are burning ships everywhere, they erected all these big ugly towers and there’s half-built scaffolding all over the place blocking the beautiful moon and black sand. I actually felt kind of sad… it was like my go-to-place, and now it’s gone.

I couldn’t find any trolls at first either, but then I found Marukai ALONE in a building still offering the Naga BFD quest… but Mitsuwa was gone! Where did he go? Did stupid Garrosh come and kill him, too? *sigh* At least I have a lot of random screenshots of Zoram’gar when it was still a simple and serene black sand beach. And who knows… maybe someday after Death Wing is defeated and Thrall comes back they can tear all that down and Zoram will go back to being how it was before (one can hope right?)…

(Told you it was gonna be random :P)

Blood Elf Druids Music Video

October 25, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Posted in Video Games | 25 Comments
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Hi everyone! I hope your week is off to a good start! As promised, here is the music video I’ve been talking about (this is my 2nd time posting… the first time around, youtube’s video processing crashed so the link was broken). For those who didn’t get a chance to watch the preview video (which explains why I wrote this song), you can find it here. I really hope you like it… it’s my first attempt at machinima, so it might be a little goofy (as if getting all dressed up like a Blood Elf Druid with a fake ivy skirt and wooden staff isn’t goofy enough).

Thank-you to everyone who used their WoW characters to help me get Fraps footage for the video: George made a Gnome character for the purpose of having a bunch of Yetis beat him up, he and my Mom did a ton of dancing, Joe helped run us through Botanica so I could get the High Botanist Freywinn shot, and Wyatt hooked me up with a beta invite so that I could get a shot of the “singing sunflower pet”… so thank-you to all of you guys, you are awesome ^_^

Also, I uploaded the song to my bandcamp page if anyone is interested in downloading it!

PEACE OUT MOTHER NATURE!

Blood Elf Druid video preview

October 18, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments
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Doo bee doo bee

October 4, 2010 at 1:48 am | Posted in Video Games | 26 Comments
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Thank-you Pokute for pointing me towards TotalHalibut’s recent video! I had heard from the folks at PopCap that the “singing sunflower” pet would have new art at some point, but I had no idea it had already been implemented until I saw the video this evening… I have to admit, it’s pretty hilarious:

Several years ago George told me I reminded him of Gir from Invader Zim… after watching this video now I know exactly what he’s talking about, haha 😛

Jim Raynor in the House!!

September 21, 2010 at 1:32 am | Posted in Video Games | 23 Comments
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As promised, here is a video showcasing the giant 3D Jim Raynor cardboard standee that the awesome folks at Best Buy were kind enough to gift us on the night of the Starcraft 2 release ^_^ I also talk a tiny bit about the “singing sunflower pet” in World of Warcraft.

Singing Sunflower Pet

September 20, 2010 at 1:45 am | Posted in Video Games | 40 Comments
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This post is for the World of Warcraft players out there: TotalHalibut (a youtube member who has been keeping the public up-to-date with the Cataclysm beta) just posted a video previewing the Plants vs. Zombies quest that you’ll be able to play once the expansion comes out. Besides being fun and kind of novel if you’re into PvZ, you get a pretty cool reward for finishing the quest: a “singing sunflower” pet! I actually had no idea this information was public until Hashimoto linked me to TotalHalibut’s video earlier tonight… incidentally, I was right in the middle of recording the sunflower’s voice when I watched it ^_^ I am so excited about voicing a WoW-pet because what can I say… I’m a big nerd 😛

Blood Elf Druids

May 14, 2010 at 6:22 am | Posted in Video Games | 20 Comments
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I wish Blizzard would hook us up with some Blood Elf Druids. I would really love to play as one. I don’t care if it doesn’t match the lore… it’s not like it makes sense to have Gnome Warriors. I mean, let’s be real here: the fact that a 2 foot tall Gnome-dude is able to tank is far more incongruent than a Blood Elf who happens to be in tune with nature, yeah? And from what I’ve read, there actually are some Blood Elf Druids out there… like this dude for example.

I can thoroughly attest to the fact that my character is not addicted to magic. She gave up that Bloodthistle stuff long ago, and she’s friends with many animals now… She really just wants to swim in the ocean and fly like a bird. See how Druid-like she is!

She’s friends with this pack of turtles!

And even trees!

And see how she’s communing with this giant flower?

And my characters never, NEVER kill Kresh.

Definitely Druid-material if you ask me.

So yeah, go Blood Elf Druids!

\geeky rant

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