Experienced Points - 9/14/2021

D. Paul Harrison, 14 September 2021

Hello!

Long time no blog, I’m going to try to get back into the habit at least once a day. This is mainly to keep me honest, and I’ll share them online after writing (after this one).

I’ve had a pretty bad run of depression and anxiety, and this has caused a pretty significant writing block. If I can keep myself to writing this every day, I’ll at least have something done. Practically, at least half an hour (200-400 words) of fiction writing, in addition to this, will put me in the habit I want to be in. I think.

What I’m writing

Nothing

Well, not nothing, did another flash fiction contest. First story got 7th place in the first round, will see if my second one gets me over the line to the next round.

Otherwise, as mentioned, my brain is fighting me intensely. I’m attempting to take better notes so something good can come of this depressive period, but nothing makes me feel good about it.

Keeping to a habit and a schedule will probably help, I hope, forcing myself to write something, anything, seems more important than finishing right now.

What I’m Reading

The Expanse (series) by James S.A. Corey

It’s always been weird to me when a writing duo shares a single pen name, but this holds up so far. I think I had previously read the first 5 books so this is so far a re-read.

When I first read it, I thought of it as a Dune-alike, but it’s really not. The politics and maneuvering within it are similar, but it’s not the whole thing. It’s a pretty good combination of that and straightforward space opera adventure, which is probably why it succeeded so much as a TV show.

What I’m playing

Sea of Thieves

Still playing regularly, solo and with a group, and it’s still a good experience. The diversity of activity really helps the game - I can go fishing, fight other people, try to do quests until I’m forced to fight other people - and this keeps me going in it. There isn’t, really, any end goal, beyond getting some access to further quests, but that doesn’t matter. It’s more about a sense of adventure.

DEATHLOOP

Just started, and so far really enjoying it. It shares some DNA with Prey, some DNA with Deus Ex, and a lot of DNA with Dishonored (sneaky stabby), but with fantastic design and characters. Also, supports AMD FSR right out of the box, so even my computer with an older video card, it runs happily. I look forward to someday getting a new video card when the crisis is over, and seeing this at full spec, but it is a joy to play.

Grounded

I started playing this on Game Pass as part of my occasional thought, “Are there any other games like Subnautica?”

This one is closer than nearly any other survival game, and I think the main point is this: Sure, one of the differences is narrative, but more than narrative, do I feel motivated to sit here and build things? Can I really make my house a home?

To put more succinctly, if a survival game gives you the ability to make tables and chairs early into basebuilding, I am likely to enjoy it. No Man’s Sky pushes you towards building a base just to… have a base, really, adn because it’s procedural, you do not feel a need to create little exploration staging areas. Subnautica and Grounded motivate you to do this - you start knowing the places where you’ll get in a fight, the areas a giant monster might be sleeping - and get comfortable. You start getting comfortable in your explorations, and your waystation can be a good home for you to return to.

Goodbye

That’s it for me for today, going to turn out the twitter bot to tweet these starting next post, but if you are somehow reading this before, thanks for doing so. This is still an experiment to own some writing outside of social media, and I have gaps the same time I have gaps on social media, which are very dark moments that seem to happen more often while uh, crises are ongoing.