First steps into a bigger world

3d Printer arrived, assembled, tested.  A little bit of adjustments (the z-axis wasn’t aligned properly), and another print.  And after several hours of watching the machine run, I have my first completed and solid model.  Was a bit of a surprise that it turned out the be an elephant (the sample models were unlabeled), but cute either way.  The next morning, the printer was installed in its long term home, and after a bit of additional fine tuning, I have started on the first real project – creating an addon that adds leveling feet to the metal case and a support beam for the z-axis, to avoid it going out of alignment in the future.

This requires several different printing jobs, so will likely end up taking a few days to print the parts, but I hope by the end of the week to have all the pieces necessary.  From there, I can start in on the rapidly growing list of desired projects and fun builds.

Rise of the Runelords, Chapter 4, Part 8

It has been many months, but I have finally managed to publish another of our gaming sessions.  Assuming YouTube scheduler works, the video should be live by the time this post is published, and the Podcast version should be online as well.  It has been many months since I finished a session, and this one had its set of challenges.  Not the least of which is that I am now using Adobe Premier Pro, which is a significant change from Davinci Recode, although the basic process is the same.  As part of this transition, I also re-organized all my sources files, which in turn caused me to recreate a number of the basic assets I use – all of which added a bit of time that hopefully will no longer be necessary.

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3d Printing – a new frontier

I have decided it is about time that I dive into the 3d printing arena, and finally pick a printer up.  Since Christmas, I have been hording my amazon gift certificates, originally with the plan of purchasing a widescreen high-end computer monitor, for about $600.  However, that goal is rather far away, and the money is burning a huge hole in my pocket.  Plus, my wife legitimately pointed out that I don’t really need a monitor that costs more than our TVs (or the computer itself).  Would be very pretty, but as soon as I buy it, I am sure the next big thing would come out making it obsolete.

Instead, I have now turned my attention to 3d printers, specifically the Monoprice Maker Select Plus 3d Printer.  Its not a top end (and expensive) option, I had originally been eying the Maker Ultimate at $700.  But it has a lot more options and features than the low end models at $200-300.  Although a low end model would work, my concern would be that I would honestly out grow the “beginner” model rather rapidly – this choice gives me a middle ground to start with.  And the price is right around the level of my current budget and comfort level.

Sadly, that means the monitor is that much further away and out of reach – but I will hopefully be able to distract myself with lots of manufactured plastic little bits and bobs.  My plans include the odd trinket, plus tools for a variety of games, and terrain/dungeon tiles for roleplaying.

Video editing

Finally digging into my backlog of gaming videos and podcasts, in an effort to get back into the process.  Managed to get thru about a third of the latest Runelords sessions, which sadly isn’t very much actual content (though a lot of raw footage).  Trying a different approach this time, with zooming in on the section of the video with the actual action, rather than showing a lot of empty space.  Given how the camera is much better in quality overall, this hopefully will still be reasonable in detail, and help to focus in on the relevant pieces.  Still need to experiment a bit with multi-camera configurations, but that will likely have to wait for our next boardgame or wargame session.  Assuming I can stick to my intended schedule, I hope to have this video uploaded by the end of the weekend or early next week, though I honestly am not going to hold my breath.

ARK server changes

A popular game with my family has been Ark: Survival Evolved, a multi-player dinosaur themed survival game that we have played since well before its official release.  Over the last couple of years, we have switched back and forth between a few different server options, sometimes trying to host the custom server ourselves, and sometimes subscribing to various “professional” services.  However, each solution has had its problems, and I can’t say that we have an ideal combination.

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Pathfinder update – Rise of the Runelords “crawl”

We continue to progress on the Rise of the Runelords campaign, though I am many sessions behind on the videos and podcasts.  The biggest challenge at this though seems to be the slow crawl of progression – between a complex high-level game (the characters are level 11 now), and a very large group of 10 players, our 5 hour gaming sessions seem to make very little progress.  This last round, we conducted a single combat, and barely started a second.  Admittedly the second combat was finished, but more due to group creativity removing the foe from any interaction than any real combat.  With 10 players, and having to continue to go over the mechanics and rules repeatedly over the session, our progress seems to be slower than a snail.  I guess the good news is that would make the video editing faster, since there is very little content, but it is still a multi-hour process, which is part of why I am so far behind.