Halloween streams and streamer spotlights

I was thinking of ideas for blog posts and I thought that there is one thing I have an abundance of and that is streamer friends and I really love to support them and great streamers in general so I thought it would be cool to do streamer spotlight posts, highlighting people I’ve come across that are really awesome and deserve tons of recognition.  I will be starting my spotlight posts with a streamer who I have been friends with now from the start and am so proud of because he really does give it his everything and puts in so much time and effort – noodle3000.  I’m hoping to post one of those every week, so will be aiming to post noodle’s spotlight by the end of the week, so watch this space.

It’s been such a busy week for me.  I finally got some finance so have bought a new car.  Well, you know, not new new but newer than the one I had and it’s safe and sturdy.  I spent most of Tuesday sorting that out, spent some time with one of my friends last night, have streamed tonight, pick my car up on Saturday, help my dad set up his new Amazon Echo (funny story for another time) and then on Sunday pop over to see my mum.  So basically I have tomorrow night free and I decided to do a Halloween stream.

We had a Halloween party last year that we pretty much went all out on it and it was fancy dress.  I got a last minute skeleton dress and Dave painted my face, so I’ll ask him to do that again for me tomorrow and I’m gonna get a group of people together and play some Dead by Daylight.  I’m always cannon fodder/bait/decoy so we’ll see how it pans out.

It’s safe to say I’m pretty shit at it.

When streamers get together…

I’ve not long got back home from spending the day in Whitby.  Me and my boyfriend met up with a couple of our streamer friends who happened to be spending the weekend there and since it’s not far from us at all and we couldn’t pass up the opportunity, we ventured out this morning and met them there.

Oh my goodness I haven’t laughed so hard for ages.  It’s been many, many years since I’ve had real life friends to spend any time with so this was a big deal for me and it was the magic medicine I’ve needed for a long time.  It was so much fun that my smile muscles hurt by the end of the day and as soon as we left them to go to the car, I actually felt really sad cos I missed them already.

It’s weird how you just instantly feel at ease around some people, like you’ve known them for years, and this is exactly how I felt around godsendss and 50cal so I can’t wait to hang out with them again.  I realise there’s still a stigma about meeting people you’ve met on the Internet but I can safely say after today that this is a great thing to do and streamer meet ups, for anyone who hasn’t arranged one, should definitely be a thing.  These two people, who I basically met when I streamed randomly one day back in March when I was giving Twitch a go for the first time and gods showed up in my chat that day and every stream after.  These two people who could quite easily become very close friends in real life.  Anyway, before I go all gooey and lose my credibility with gods, here are a few snaps of our outing today!

Kate’s Diary – September 28th – I’m having a party and you’re all invited

Today is the Macmillan Coffee morning at work.  Except I had tea instead.  Five cups of it to be precise.  And that was before 10am.  I started work at 8am.  So to say I’m now on a caffeine rush is a bit of an understatement.
Usually we all bring cakes in, but none of us are really cake people and we thought this year that we’d stop being morons and eat something we all like.  So we got toast and crumpets (so British right?) and we ate them and drank tea (VERY British right?).
I started this morning feeling really, really, inescapably down in the dumps.  I recently lost a friend and it’s hit me almost unbearably hard for weeks.  I fought and fought but it wasn’t enough and this morning I have had to finally walk away and say goodbye forever.  Everyone must have noticed I was bummed because people have gone out of their way to cheer me up and make me smile.  It’s worked.  I feel better.
I decided to stream tonight because I’m really enjoying Stardew Valley and I really enjoyed the company I received when I streamed it last.  It was good fun and I laughed and smiled.  They say laughter is the best medicine and by God they are right.  I feel better when I am in front of my computer, and in the company of like-minded people, joking around and talking about nothing and everything.  So I’ll be streaming over on my Twitch channel at 6pm GMT tonight.  If anyone wants to stop by and keep me company on this Friday evening after a long week, I would very much appreciate that.  I’ve carefully chosen an upbeat playlist just for the occasion so you can all come, drink alcohol and sing with me.  Let’s have some fun 😉
Hopefully see you all there 😛
Keep being spiffy everyone!

Game Review: A Hat In Time (spoilers)

So, last month, I bought the Humble Bundle August bundle and it came with Conan: Exiles (which you can find Kate’s review of here), The Escapists 2 (which I have yet to play) and A Hat in Time.

A Hat in Time is on the surface an adorable, kid friendly game starring a cute little Hat girl that has a squeaky little voice and runs around with a top hate beating up Mafia Men and Spoopy Fire Foxes that want to die.

Our archnemesis is the Mustache Girl. Yes, you read that right. Mustache. Girl. She wants to strangle Mafia men and squish them into mush and bottle them up to kill them.

Wait….is this sounding less cute to you? Less…childish?

Yup. This game is fantastic. It has the look and feel of a cute, innocent game, with sarcasm (like the lever who’s only purpose is to control the brightness of the glowing panel) to morbid humor of how the Mustache Girl wants to destroy the world.

You go to Mafia town where you get to fight Mafia men that play pat-a-cake-punch-your-face and try to blow you up. And then you move to Dead Bird Studios, where you conduct a death-defying parade (literally. Don’t fall off the highwire or you will die) and then fight the boss who is more than willing to stab you with a kitchen knife and then try to blow you up.

Oh, and then there’s Subcon Village where you sign your soul over to some Spoopy black ghost thing and you can MAYBE get it back if you run some errands for him that involves helping a group of glowing foxes to commit mass suicide to fulfill their life purpose.

The game play is very simple and overall, the levels are very chill until they surprise you with CHAOS and you find yourself panicking and stressing out over everything and mashing the keyboard like crazy in the hopes that you won’t die.

But for real, this game is fantastic. I have yet to finish it, and I think there is a lot left to it, but these are my initial thoughts and I would highly recommend this game to anyone and everyone that enjoys fun, entertaining platformers.

 

Coffee and Thoughts – July 26th

Well, I’m back fully online after half a week of living in a Fireworks tent. Literally, sleeping, eating, and just being there 24/7, minus running home to shower every night. It was painful. But, several bruised knees and sore muscles later, everything is packed up and I am DONE!

So, for the first time this week, I’ve been able to wake up in a comfortable bed, and spend the morning drinking coffee and relaxing and catching up with my online community. It has been fantastic. It’s funny how much more you appreciate things when you haven’t had them in a while. I mean, Starbucks coffee is great (and by great I mean tastes like super burnt gross shit, but it’s convenient so I drink it) but I am SO glad to be back to mugs of my “brewed at home with my favorite coffee creamer” coffee.

(Delayed warning: There’s not too much of a point to this post, so I apologize if it gets a bit rambly)

I’ve hit a patch in my streaming ‘career’ where I’ve just been a bit dissatisfied with my stream. I’m not sure what exactly, but something’s been bugging me about it. Maybe it’s because I’ve had a lot of negative personal issues going on that have brought me down into a bit of a depressed state and that just leaked into my streaming, but regardless, I’ve been a bit frustrated.

So I put some feelers out asking for feedback from the communities I’m in as well as in my Discord, because I didn’t want to just sit there and feel bad about things. I wanted to actually see what I could improve on. The feedback I received was wonderful. My regular viewers that have kept coming back told me that they stay and watch for my personality and because I’m real. And I appreciated hearing that so much. When I started streaming, I didn’t have a huge understanding of what Twitch was, so one friend that I’d talked about streaming with told me that to get “big” on Twitch you had to be a (and I quote) “Titty Streamer”.

I did NOT want to be that. So I went into this doubting that I would actually be successful. And yet, I’m now affiliated, just hit 200 followers, and I’m proud of what I’ve done. So hearing from my viewers that they love my channel for who I am was the best feedback I could possibly ask for.

I always try to be real. It’s taken me an extremely long time to come to terms with my personality and not feel like I have to adjust and change for people I meet. I did that for a very long time and kept a lot of things bottled up and it had a very negative effect on me, to say the least. Now, I can say that my personality and who I am is genuine. I’m a dork, I’m obsessed with Star Wars, I game, I quote movies and tv shows incessantly, and I enjoy it all.

I feel like a lot of people on Twitch resort to being overly sexual in their speech or comments, or they drink/get drunk on every single stream and that’s kind of part of who they are as a streamer. And I’m not sure why, but it tends to bother me, and eventually I just get tired of watching the same thing. It’s the people that are real, without trying to overcompensate in some way that I appreciate and I will continue watching. And I try to be one of those people too. I dunno, where I’m going with this. I think this has been something that’s been on my mind so I guess I’m getting it out here.

I’ve worked hard for my channel. I’ve met amazing people like Kate and Purple as well as some awesome communities like Prepare for the Mediocre and Asylum. All of these people have become like family to me, and my day isn’t complete unless I’ve had some sort of contact with them.

This is the one thing I didn’t expect from Twitch. I didn’t envision myself making friends with people and finding a family that spreads across the world. But I did. And now I’m . not sure what I’d do without them.

Anyway, I really feel like I’m being very scattered in my thoughts right now, so I’m gonna call it a day. But I will see you all here later, with hopefully something a bit more organized 😉 Love you all!

 

The Sims 4 is Scarily Accurate

I’ve been playing The Sims since its release in 2000. I’ve been addicted. I’ve spent hours trawling the net for furniture mods, celebrity Sims, skins, outfits, hairstyles, etc. I’ve raised generations of families of Kate-Sims, built thousands of houses and demolished them (regularly) and killed my Sims in every way possible when I got bored of them.

The Sims has progressed massively since it’s first instalment. I remember very robotic movement, no facial expressions and basically robots moving around my carefully created house. I now find that The Sims 4 is scarily accurate if you make Sims of real-life people.

There are a variety of choices with regards to different aspects of your Sims’ personality. Whilst varied, it’s not excessive. I generally make Sims of myself and people I know.

Sims1For my own Sim, I always choose traits of bookworm, geek and tidy. My Sim gets a hell of a kick from cleaning the house and gets massively annoyed when things are untidy or dirty. Anyone who knows me will realise that this is also true about myself. My boyfriend has said on numerous occasions that he can see my “fun bar” going up whenever I’m scrubbing the kitchen. My Sim also gets really sad and gets withdrawal when she doesn’t play video games for a while. Again, also true.

Now this is where it gets odd. We all know that our phones listen to our conversation so they can tailor news feeds and adverts to us. But is it possible that our computer games are also tuning in on our conversations?

My boyfriend likes to lounge around and do as little as possible, spending a good deal of time in his PJs, eating bowls of sugar-loaded cereals, in front of his PlayStation. His PJs are so well worn that they’ve seen better days and are usually covered in food stains. He also hates showering so I like to think when I look at him in real life, sat there in his food stained PJs, eating his cereal with his mouth open whilst watching the TV screen, that I can actually see green mist emanating from him in a miasma of stink. When it comes to his Sim, I can’t for love nor money train him to get dressed himself. He leaves the bed unmade and the house a mess, leaving my Sim entirely stressed out. Every aspect of his Sim is true to life.

Sims2I thought this was about as close to life as the game got, but then I made Sims of my two best friends. One of them is very serious and gets angry very quickly, loves to nap, is obsessed with noodles and gets bored extremely quickly, whilst the other is so laid back he is horizontal and spends every second he’s not at work, on his PC. I have a lot of disagreements with the first and we do a good deal of fighting. So imagine my surprise when I move their Sims into my neighbourhood and send my Sim round to introduce herself and my laid back friend comes to his door with a massive smile, cheerfully introduces himself to her, shakes her hand and then invites her in, before quickly disappearing back upstairs to plonk himself down on his PC and get back to his games. I suspect he was playing Dawn of the Dragons.

In a strange house with no one to talk to, I get my Sim to say hello to Serious Friend. She begins conversation and he immediately yawns and outright walks away from her, leaving her mid-conversation and feeling a little more than awkward. He ventures to the kitchen and prepares himself some quick food, which looks suspiciously like noodles, which he eats in silence before disappearing upstairs to lie on the bed for a nap.

Irked at being so rudely treated, my Sim follows Serious Friend upstairs, wakes him up from his nap and begins to Discuss her Interests. He flat out interrupts her by saying “blah blah blah”, pulls a disgusted face, dramatically fake yawns and goes to walk away again. By this time, I, as the player am furious at him and hurt for my Sim’s feelings and ask her to walk up to him again and Insult him. She does. She jabs and pokes at his chest for good measure. He doesn’t take it well. He doesn’t even answer, he just dives on her in a cloud of smoke and exclamation/question marks. Happy Friend is blissfully unaware of the WWE sized fight going on at his feet, still sat at his PC, still happily playing his game.Sims3

When the fight is over, both my Sim and Serious Friend can’t even bear to be in the same room and she storms home. He goes back to bed for another nap.

Now I’m fairly sure I didn’t choose “likes noodles, enjoys naps, hates Kate-Sim” as traits for Serious Friend. That is mostly because those traits don’t exist.

It was scarily accurate and I’m confused.

Why you should be listening to the Zelda OST at work

IMG_20180721_184016-02Fortune cookies are generally supposed to “predict” a “fortune” or give you some motivational / inspirational statement.  Something to pep you up.  The ones I had today were rubbish.  So when you’re lacking in motivation (particularly at work), studies have shown that listening to music can increase your productivity at work by 79%.

Personally, I find that listening to a lot of music distracts me, particularly music with lyrics.  Studies have shown that this is indeed the case because the human brain is programmed to tune in specifically to speech.  Listening to music without lyrics however can keep your productivity up without distracting you or stressing you out.  I like to put a bit of classical music on when I’m writing.  Depending on the piece however, this can also be distracting if the tune suddenly bursts into life without warning.  Despite the fact that I find most classical music calming and soothing, studies show that this particular type of music is at the bottom of the list for increasing productivity.

Video game music however is different.  It is specifically composed to focus the brain without distracting.  There are no bursts of music, crescendos are slowly built.  You will also notice that game music generally as a rule of thumb does not have any words, so as not to take the focus away from your task at hand, whether this be feeding cows in Harvest Moon or beating people to a pulp a Tekken.

If productivity can be increased in the workplace by listening to music in general, imagine what our workplaces could be capable of if video game soundtracks were blaring through our radios all day.  Again, this is something that I feel is a bit hit or miss.  If you’ve ever played ‘Kingdom Hearts’, I’m sure you’ll have discovered that whilst the music in the Beast’s Castle starts off quite upbeat, after you’ve spent a good couple of hours beating Heartless back into oblivion, the repetitive nature of the background music makes you want to kill yourself instead of the Heartless.

All that being said, we do love our video game soundtracks and some of our fondest memories and most memorable times have everything to do with the music of the game we played.  Some of my happiest memories are from FF7 and it only takes me to hear a fraction of a piece of music from the game for all that happiness and all those memories to come flooding back in a hurry.

According to research, some of the best soundtracks to listen to while your working to boost your productivity are:

  1. Halo
  2. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
  3. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  4. Assassin’s Creed 2
  5. Animal Crossing (I would definitely agree with this one)

It’s not listed but I also really find the music from the Sims helps me to keep going, although eventually you learn the words (which are all in Simlish) so it then becomes distracting, but not all of us are sad enough to learn Simlish, right? 😉