Vacation is Over. So What’s Next?

It’s finally over.

After two and a half years of working on my Master’s degree, it is finally over! For those of you who don’t know the origins of this blog, I created it as an escape from writing research papers while still improving on my writing skills. I needed an escape from the pressure of writing for a grade and just for fun on topics I actually wanted to talk about. That escape lead to this fun journey where I have meet new people and found an online community that I’m happy to be a part of. Thank you all for allowing me to be a part of the community and reading the random content that I write.

But enough of the mussy stuff. Now that I have more freedom and less stress to worry about (laughing at myself), what am I going to do with the extra time and energy that I will (pretend to) have? I have many ideas on how I want to expand myself a bit more and really concentrate on things here on the blog. So let’s start with one project that I’m excited to get started on!

My 50/50 Challenge!

While I’m happy that I was able to finish grad school, there were two negative effects that happened during the course of it. The first one is my health. Besides increasing my anxiety levels to a whole new plateau, I really let myself go in the weight department. I would definitely consider myself overweight to my standards and have been trying to diet and exercise when I could. Now is the time for me to fully commit myself to getting healthier and reduce a lot of this body fat. So for my first challenge, I want to lose 50 pounds (22.68 kg) by this time next year. Sounds simple enough since I was able to lose a lot of weight in one summer (but that was due to walking everywhere in the Summer heat and only eating one meal a day. I do NOT recommend). I’ve already started a routine and made changes to my diet to avoid overwhelming myself to get started. So far the routine is fun and manageable minus the soreness I feel everywhere. The gym that I go to is fairly empty during the summer months, but once students return to campus in a few weeks I may have to invest in some home gym equipment (I don’t like crowded gyms…).

That’s one half of the challenge. So what is the other half? My waist wasn’t the only thing that expanded these past two years. My backlog has expanded to a level that I was not anticipating when I started collecting. There are many games on my shelf that I picked up during a sale or found a good offer on that I could not refuse. I originally had the hope of playing them sooner than later, but I have games that I got five years ago that I have yet to play. It is time to make amends with this betrayal by finally reducing my backlog a bit. So for my second challenge, I want to finish 50 games on my backlog by this time next year. It would be simple if they were shorter games, but I’m a RPG fan and I like to take my time while playing; so this part of challenge may be the hardest. The good thing for you is that I will write about every game that I finish, so expect lots of new content for each game I finish*.

*The posts on SaGa: Scarlet Grace – Ambitions and Mario Golf: Super Rush do not count as part of my challenge since I finished them before the challenge began.

So that is my new challenge from me to me. I don’t want to flood the blog with updates with my challenge since most of it would be small updates. I will instead use my old almost-abandoned Instagram account to post updates there (and hopefully start using it more). I’m really looking forward to see if I can beat this challenge.

Reorganize Content

For a while, my content has kinda been all over the place with the types of post I upload to the format of them. After much consideration, I have decided to go with these formats to help structure my posts a bit more:

  • Backlog Tales – Posts about games that I have recently finished for the first time.
  • Collection Tales – Posts about games that I’ve already finished, but want to talk about.
  • Opinions Are Just That – My opinion pieces on various topics that I feel like talking about
  • One-off Posts – These would be things like holidays, events, collaborations, the January Awards Ceremony, etc.
  • EXP Share Posts* – Community engagement posts
  • Monthly Reports – My monthly blog report at the end of each month.
  • Updates – Ye ole updates.

I have decided to alter the EXP Share posts a bit. To me it felt like I was heading into generic territory when coming up with prompts each month. I like to be creative when coming up with questions, and I feel like I have been for the most part. So from here on, EXP Share posts will no longer be a monthly thing, but instead pop-up only when I can think of a really good topic that most people will enjoy writing about and/or reading about. I think this will make the posts feel more special rather than a monthly obligation for you and I.

Recording Gameplay

One thing that I really want to get into the habit of doing is recording most of my gameplay. Eventually (and with practice), I want to start creating videos with highlights of my gameplay. Just a fun idea I’ve been playing around with that would also serve as extra content. This also goes in hand with my return to streaming throughout the week.

“BuT Danames,” someone might be saying. “Didn’t you try streaming before and found it weird and stressful?”

Yes. But I realize that that was entirely my fault for making it weird. I was still in the mindset that I needed to be “entertaining” at all times. This resulted in me stepping outside my comfort zone of forcing myself to talk when I have nothing meaningful to really say. I have learned that I am more entertaining to myself when I tell little jokes to myself that turns into a running gag later on. So that will be my strategy going into streaming; and if that doesn’t work for me then I will give up on the streaming idea. This is what my tentative schedule would look like:

Sunday – TBD (most likely in the afternoon)

Friday – 7PM EST – 10PM EST

I will be streaming over at ye olé twitch.tv/danamesx. Come watch me struggle with control inputs and talk to myself as I start to get tired and loss my mind (I talk to myself a lot when I’m tired).

That’s all I got. I’m excited to get back to writing for fun and sharing more gaming related posts in the future!

DanamesX

First Update Post of 2021

Hello Hello.

Normally, I would post a monthly update on what I’ve been playing this month, but I wanted to use this time as an update post to let you know what my current and future plans are.

Personal Garbage

At the time of this writing, I am two tasks away from finishing up my Masters program. I have a test at the beginning of June to take and a one month web development class in July; and then I will be done. Finish. Over with. Never again. Stick a fork in me, I’m done. I am a tired man and wish to rest. My free time will be restored and hopefully my anxiety levels will start to fall.

On another quick personal note, hi! I feel like in the past months I have become less social than I was before. Its to no one’s fault as I tend to go into hyper introvert mode and recharge my social energy when needed. Almost all of my Discord and Twitch notifications have been turned off for a while since I felt like I wasn’t contributing anything and I wanted to focus more on what I needed to do at the time. I do still lurk, so if you see an extra eye looking at you it could be me who knows (chanting my name three times at your screen will not summon me). My shell will start to crack again soon and my efforts to be more social will surface again…once I get enough sleep which doesn’t happen a lot. I do plan on going on vacation late June, so hopefully the time away from my normal walls will help with the healing process.

Plans For the Blog

Between now and August, post from me will be all over the place for the most part. I have new material for post that I want to write about and slowly getting my butt into gear writing them. The one thing that I am focusing on right now are post for the month of June. June is normally my month to write multiple post about a specific series/topics with a little more “polish” to the post. I will be talking about Monster Hunter again, but more of a retrospective of each game that I’ve played. Shouldn’t be bad since I only have to cover Tri, 3 Ultimate, Freedom Unite, 4 Ultimate, Generations, Generations Ultimate (XX), World, Rise, Stories, and soon; the original. That’s…going to be a lot to write and talk about. They will mostly be in the style of my Backlog Tales with maybe a little less humor but still have that charm I like to put into my post. So if you are a Monster Hunter fan, I hope you enjoy these posts because it will probably be the last time I talk about it….until the next game comes out.

After that, it will be full on post about the other games in my backlog and anything interesting that comes along. Collaborations posts are always a good time and I’m happy to contribute if I have something to contribute. Whatever comes after that will come after that then.

Streaming Attempt Number Who Knows At This Point

I promise nothing, but since my calendar suddenly just opened up, I have time to do other things. I have attempted streaming in the past, but I couldn’t keep it consistent and only did it on a whim. I want to start utilizing the technology I have to start capturing my own photos and videos for projects, and streaming would kill two birds with one stone. I think the other motivator is that Kat has gotten a sudden interest in streaming. So for now, I will say that I will be streaming more here and there at twitch.tv/danamesx. Also please consider checking out Kat’s streams when she does. I do play games with her there and make cameos as her tech support.

Games I Have Played, Finished and Acquired in April

Since this post is replacing my normal end of the month recap, I thought I would still share the games that I’ve played, finished, and bought this month. I am a little upset with myself this month since I had the opportunity to finish more games than I did. There would have been three more games on my finish list if other things and Monster Hunter Rise didn’t get in my way.

I started Astral Chain on a whim and found myself enjoying it. I definitely have hit the point of repetitiveness with chapter structure, but things move fast and the chapters don’t last that long, so I would say that I am enjoying myself. Looking forward to talking about this one.

On to a frustrating topic, I finally bought Katamari Damacy REROLL on sale and gave it a try. I don’t know if I’m just trying to hard or what, but the controls make me so mad. There are days where the controls make sense and I have no problem playing the game, and then there are times where I barely beat the clock. I know you can change the controls to make it a little easier, but I’ve been practicing with the default too long just to abandon ship and change now. Minus the controls, I enjoy all the other aspects of the game including the not-so-intimidating-whatsoever King of All Cosmos.

There were two games that I finished this month and one of them was obviously Monster Hunter Rise. I will save my thoughts about the game for the post in June. I thought I was done after doing the village quests since that is normally the “story” mode in these games, but nope. The games decides that you need to do the multiplayer hub quest in order to get the “true ending” and regular Monster Hunter experience (some mechanics are like decorations, layered armor, and monsters are locked behind the hub quest and can’t be unlocked through the village quest). Again, I will tackle more of this in June.

The other game that I finished this month was It Takes Two with Kat. We streamed the entire thing on her Twitch channel and I can honestly say I enjoyed 95% percent of it. The game has a lot more going for it than simple cooperative platforming that made it hard to stop playing at times. I wrote a post on it already, so if you want to read my full thoughts on it you can do so there.

As far as games that I got this month, it wasn’t a whole lot. I did find a copy of Super Monkey Ball 2 for a not so bad price and I remember having fun with this game with a friend from college. Didn’t expect my GameCube collection to still be expanding, but here we are. The only other thing that I got was New Pokémon Snap. I originally did not care about this game since I found the N64 game fun, but boring after going through each level. I never understood the hype around it then, and I kinda don’t get the hype around the new game. Kat convinced me to get it for us, and after watching her play and finish it in one day, I can see the “long lasting” appeal to this title. There is definitely more to do in this one and different things can happen depending on when you visit the stage. So I will say New Pokémon Snap surprised me with its content, and I hope those who were counting down the days for this are happy.

Ok that’s enough out of me for the time being. One of these days I will figure out how to end something properly, but until then….go play some games?

Thanks for reading,

DanamesX

Blog Anniversary Refresher

Break time is over.

One year ago, I started this little blog site to talk and share my stories about gaming. I created it on a whim, and didn’t put much thought into what I really wanted to do with it. Over time, the blog started to take shape, and  A year later and I noticed a problem, I really haven’t been doing that.

When it comes to making unique content, you have to make it fun to write. I enjoy writing stories about gaming, but the last proper story from my past was back in May (I kinda wish I could rewrite that post). Early on I tried reviewing games that I recently finished, but I quickly learned that I hated writing them. My experiences are and will be different from others, so why should I try and convince someone that a game is bad or good? I want to focus on just my experiences and share with others, and in return learn about their experiences.

Then, an idea came to mind. I would like to present something new I want to try.

EXP(erience) Share Post

(Real creative name)

Similar to weekly tags that have been floating around, I want to try something similar, but on a once a month basis. The idea of this came from my wife Kat wanting to write about some of her gaming stories on my blog, but felt it was inappropriate (even though I told her I had no problem with it). My idea with this is that anyone regardless of being a blogger of games can participate and share their stories. Kinda going to the old tagline of my blog, “everyone has a story to tell.” Some might just need the right space and motivation in order to share it.

The idea is each month I will announce the topic for the month. There is no pressure in trying to come up with something for the prompt if you cannot think of anything. If you would like to suggest a topic, please please please let me know! At the end of each month, I will try and compile them all into one post. Just please tag me and the prompt so that I can easily find them!

With that, I would like to go ahead and announce the first prompt for this series! Since we are currently in the middle of October, this prompt will go on until the end of November. So you have until then to share your story! The first prompt is:

The video game that got you into gaming.

I think this is a very interesting topic. It could be the first game you played, a game that you played later in life, or an event that triggered the spark. Whatever your reason for getting into gaming, share it with us! I will make another post at the beginning of November to remind everyone of the topic again, and then on the first of each month I will post the next topic and so one. I’m really excited to give this a try and read everyone’s story!

Along with that announcement, there are a few others that I would like to make.


Monthly Activity Reports

If you noticed, I didn’t post my normal gaming report for September. The reason for this, I am redoing my entire game spreadsheet. It…is not a fun task, but an important one. What started as a hobby back in 2015 turned into a passion project that needed countless updates. What really made me want to redo my spreadsheet was that a lot of information was inaccurate and I was missing some titles here and there. Plus, all of the colors were starting to get confusing and on my nerves. My word of advice to anyone who wants to catalog their collection, do it while your collection is small. I enjoyed doing this, because I am a crazy person who likes to create and work with spreadsheets. If you know anyone looking for a cataloger of sorts, I’m crazy enough to do it. I will write a separate post at the end of the month to go over changes and a new grand total of my collection.


Streaming

(Geez, this is like the fourth time that I’ve had to rewrite this part.)

I have been going back and forth on this one for a long time now. For 5 years, I have been toying with the idea of streaming my gameplay and maybe entertaining people along the way. The problem in the past was that I didn’t have the minimum requirements to do it. Jump forward to this year and free time due to a certain worldwide phenomenon, I took the time to upgrade my computer and played around with my settings. I have done a few streams here and there just to test the waters, but I never really announced that I was going to start streaming or become a streamer.

So here is where the confusing part comes in. I am interested in streaming, but I don’t want to be considered a streamer. I mostly want to do it for fun and motivation. I want to share my gameplay experiences with people who want to watch, but I have no intention of becoming a full-time streamer or earn money from it. Streaming would also give me a chance to start and finish a game since if I start it on stream, I should finish it on stream. So, those are my reasons for wanting to stream. I do have some other ideas to do special streams that Kat helped me come up with like Co-ople (Co-op + couple (it is a dumb, ridiculous name and I love it)) streams, multiplayer with friends, and if we can work it out, a stream with the legend himself, my older brother Super CJ.

I want to avoid sharing a schedule yet until I get comfortable and in the groove of everything. I will always stream on Sunday as that has been a constant so far (didn’t stream last Sunday so record already broken). I normally post on Twitter when the mood is right and the brain is working.


I promise that I’m almost done.

I think that is about it for this super long (update?) post. I want to thank everyone who has enjoyed my silly blog space over the past year. I have met a lot of people during this time, and I’m glad that we are all able to talk and share our passions with others in this format. There are too many people that I want to thank for making my first year doing this a fun experience, and I will never stop being humble and saying thank you all the time. I would still be doing this even if no one was reading, but all the support makes it fun to do so.

Enough rambling. Back to playing more video games and sharing those experiences!

DanamesX

It’s Quiet…..Too Quiet

Hello! Your friendly neighborhood DanamesX here. This is a quick post to let you know that things may be quiet on the blog for a little while. I work at a university and classes just started this Monday. I haven’t had to wake and be somewhere in about 5 months, so I’m slowly adjusting to my normal work flow (for how long we stay open). On top of that, I resumed my online classes Monday, so I am trying to create a schedule for when I need to fulfill my student obligations.

It has only been three days since things took off and I have been coming home exhausted each day. On top of that, I am trying to get a handle of my over worried brain so I can sleep peacefully at night. I’m enjoying the fact that my lazy days are coming to an end, but I was not prepared for the sudden burst of activities.

I have zero plans to abandon or let the blog fall to the side line. On contrary, I have several drafts that I have been working on, but I haven’t published for one reason or the other. I am slow when it comes to writing, and I like to polish things before publishing them. There is one post that I am writing that I wanted to put out this week, but again life dictates where I have to put my focus in. Once I get back into the swing of work and find a schedule for school work, everything should fall into place (unless a certain game coming out on Aug 28th doesn’t destroy everything).

If you are still reading up until this point, thank you for sticking around! I’m coming up close to the one year anniversary of the blog, and I want to start doing more things with the blog and within the community. To give you a sneak peak on what I have been working on in the background, I am possibly doing one of the stupidest things only I would have the patience to work on. I have been working on this all summer now, and I want to get it done before my one year. Along with that, I hope to have another announcement if I think I can get it to all work out.

So that is my mini life update I guess. I am very active on my Twitter if you need to reach me there, and I drop/ghost in the Support Role discord regularly. Again, thank you for enjoying my random thoughts and opinions and I hope to get back writing soon!

DanamesX

Update #3: Getting Back Into The Swing of Things

Things have been rough. My home has been turned into my office and there is no real feeling of “freedom” after I clock out for the day. Being home meant that I could breath and kick back with either playing video games or writing for this blog. It took me way longer than others to finally adjust to this new norm, but I think I am finally at a comfortable place to get back blogging. Writing used to be an escape from school and work when I wanted to write something different than procedures or essays. Now that I am out of school for the summer and not many task at work, I am left with this unknown time that I need to start using. With that, I am going to start focusing on this blog more to provide more content for all of you. My first real goal that I am establishing for my blog is to post at least one post per week. I’ve listed below some of the content that I have planned out.

Gaming Post (Duh)


I have finished more games this year than I did the previous. This is a giant accomplishment since we are not even halfway done with the year (for better or worse). There is a lot to talk about the games I’ve played, but I struggle on where to start. I want to talk about the pros and cons of the rich storytelling in the Legend of Heroes Kiseki trilogy and how you need to commit 200+ hours to get the most of it. Final Fantasy VII Remake was a game I was not excited for, but I enjoyed the hell out of it. I don’t want to talk about Sonic Forces, but I do want to talk about Bloodstained and how it compares to Castlevania: Symphony of the Night to me. I have all of these ideas, but it is getting the pen to that paper that I need to connect.

My Older Brother Co-op Tales

This was supposed to be a monthly series. Obviously, I missed last months post. I had two post done, but after rereading them it didn’t feel special. These tales are suppose to talk about gaming with my brother and how he influenced me to be the person I am today. Nothing in those old post told that story and I had to start over. Before the end of this month, I will have two chapters in this series done and then continue the trend until the end of ther series.

The Month of June

June is a special month for me since it is my birth month. I don’t normally do anything special for my birthday, but lately I have been more open to celebrate the occasion. For the month of June, I want to create content around a specific game franchise or topic. I have decided that this year it will be about the world of Monster Hunter. Monster Hunter is one of my favorite series of all time and I generally like talking about it. Six is the magic number and that is the minimal number of post that I have to do. I might even through in some streams if I can convince my friends to join me.

And that’s about it. I wish my writing habits were on point as my gaming right now. I am always on my Twitter and I need to remember that I have an Instagram. I don’t know how to end this post, so keep doing you and drink plenty of water.

Thanks for reading,

DanamesX