IntPiPoMo 2019 Results

IntPiPoMo 2019 Results

IntPiPoMo 2019

First, I want to give a big thank you to everyone who participated this year! It was a rough month personally, and seeing everyone’s posts made things a little bit brighter. (Alphabetical by blog name.)

Statistics

I’m a sucker for data, so I like providing little tidbits of information every wrap-up.

  • Fifteen (15) total blogs participated in the challenge this year (including my own participation). This was approximately the same number of blogs as last year (13)!
  • All fifteen (15) blogs posted at least 5 images!
  • Twelve (12) blogs posted at least 25 images.
  • Eleven (11) blogs posted at least 50 images.
  • Ten (10) blogs went above and beyond the 50 images, which is a new record!
  • The highest number of posted images was 133, followed by 67, and 65.

Congratulations!

Let’s review what our prizes are and see who wins them!

  • Grand Prize – Of all participants who complete 50 images, I will be using a RNG (random.org) to draw a winner for a game up to $15 on Steam (game time for an MMO can be worked out if preferred)!
  • Three Other Prizes – Of all participants who complete 25+ images (up to and including those who make it to 50), I will be using a RNG (random.org) to draw three winners for a game up to $10 on Steam!
My Little Indrik

My Little Indrik

IntPiPoMo Update

IntPiPoMo is almost at an end, but I wanted to give a quick shout out to those that signed up to participate this year. I’ve been lurking on posts, and it’s been fun to see how everyone interprets their participation in IntPiPoMo. It’s been a light in a pretty dark month to read everyone’s posts. (Blogs are listed in alphabetical order.)

My Little Indrik

I’ve been grinding my way through the events in ESO as much as possible, mainly because I enjoy collecting mounts, and think the Indriks are interesting creatures. I finally got enough berries and feathers to unlock my first ever Indrik, and I’m in love! The Onyx Indrik is delightfully glamour goth, and it makes me happy the way it appears when you mount it. While I enjoy collecting mounts, this one is going to be my main for a long while.

Witches Festival

I was surprised that the Witches Festival wasn’t as involved as other holiday events I’m used to in other MMOs. The quest for the reward item was simple, and over sooner than I expected. But the hovel the witch lived in was fun for screenshots.

This post is a part of IntPiPoMo! You can find out more about IntPiPoMo and find the sign up form at this post. IntPiPoMo Count: 17/50
November ’19 Gaming Goals

November ’19 Gaming Goals

September/October Recap

September and October ended up being a bit of a… rough few months this year, much like it was last year. So I haven’t done much gaming for a plethora of reasons, including but not limited to depression, emergency pet health, and my own physical health. As such, I didn’t particularly meet many of my September goals between the two months.

  • Hit CP 150 on Warden (ESO) – As of the end of October, I’m at 190 CP. Which is probably much slower going than many other folks I know, but I’m surprised I’ve gotten this far with as casually as I’ve been playing.
  • Ding level 50 on Conjurer (FFXIV) – For now I’ve cancelled my FFXIV subscription. I logged in twice over the course of September, and not at all during October. I very much want to get back to it, but do not have the mental capacity to handle more than one game right now.
  • Finish Auridon (ESO) – I surprisingly managed to complete this at the start of October. Grahtwood is another story, however.
  • Finish Grahtwood (ESO) – I am nowhere near finishing this. I have barely started it due to not having the capacity to do so. Depression is a bitch.
  • Finish City of the Sun God (SWL) – Once again, I am nowhere near finishing this. I haven’t logged into the game in almost two months.
  • Finish side missions in Blue Mountains (SWL) – I think I’ve finished this one? I’d have to log in to check, so we’ll leave it as unfinished for now.
  • Finish next route in Sweet Fuse (Otome) – I didn’t even open my Vita case the past two months.
  • Figure out a game for #SportSeptember and play it (Community Game-Along) – Again, with a lack of energy to be able to handle even the games I want to play, I did not make it to the Community Game-Along.

November Goals

  • Hit CP 215 on Warden (ESO)
  • Finish Grahtwood (ESO)
  • Finish Witches Festival quest (ESO)
  • Finish next two routes in Sweet Fuse (Otome/Community Game-Along)
This post is a part of IntPiPoMo! You can find out more about IntPiPoMo and find the sign up form at this post. IntPiPoMo Count: 1/50
Time for IntPiPoMo 2019!

Time for IntPiPoMo 2019!

What is IntPiPoMo?

IntPiPoMo, or International Picture Posting Month is the image equivalent of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). NaNoWriMo focuses on writing 50,000 words over the course of the month of November. So, if a picture is a thousand words, that means that IntPiPoMo requires fifty pictures. Makes perfect sense.

These can be anything from screenshots from any game, to photographs you take in real life and want to share on your blog, to some artwork you’ve recently completed. Seriously, they can be anything—character selfies, shots of combat, sharing your game UI, showing off all those pretty new scenery shots with the new graphics card you got… you get the idea.

IntPiPoMo was started back in 2011 by Angelya of Revive & Rejuventate. In 2013, Jojo of Admiring Azeroth picked up the initiative. In 2015, Jojo passed it along to me, as she was out of the country and unable to run it. I changed it up a bit when I took over, offering some prizes for those that completed the challenge, and I plan to do so again like years past. I’m hoping to continue to do the initiative justice, and I’m excited to see what kinds of screenshots and pictures folks are going to share!

How to Participate

  • Fill out this form to let me know you are participating! You can join at any time throughout the month of November!
  • Link back to this post so folks know where to go and what to do.
  • Aim to post fifty (50) images of your own creation/taking throughout the month of November.
    • There is no strict posting schedule or theme to adhere to, but feel free to bounce ideas off of fellow participants!
    • Feel free to post these images as a once-a-week batch, or throughout the week in small doses.
    • The images you post in regular blog posts count for this. You do not need to go out of your way to post picture-specific posts.
    • Remember, the photos/screenshots you include have to be yours!
  • Use the #IntPiPoMo hastag when you share your blog posts via social media.

Wait, Prizes?

First, your overall prize is the satisfaction that you completed the challenge! However, I am offering a few prizes (as has become the norm) this year.
  • Grand Prize – Of all participants who complete 50 images, I will be using a RNG (random.org) to draw a winner for a game up to $15 on Steam (game time for an MMO can be worked out if preferred)!
  • Three Other Prizes – Of all participants who complete 25+ images (up to and including those who make it to 50), I will be using a RNG (random.org) to draw three winners for a game up to $10 on Steam!
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Participant List

Updated 20 November 2019. Alphabetical by blog name.

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FAQ

Updated 31 October 2019

I’ve received some great questions during my time running this, and I’d like to provide them as a starting point. Don’t hesitate to reach out if your question isn’t answered here!

Q: Can I sign up during the event itself? I don’t know if I can/want to participate.
A: Of course! You could sign up the final day, though I don’t suggest it.

Q: I don’t want to put these on my main blog. Can I use my SFW Tumblr?
A: Yep! Tumblr is a form of blogging called micro-blogging. Some people also have micro-blogs on other platforms, too. All these micro-blogs are welcome as a part of the event!

Q: You mentioned photography being allowed, but what if I wanted to share some artwork throughout the month. Can I use it as a part of my submissions?
A: Yes! Whether it’s digital artwork, sculpting, knitting, etc., any form of creativity can tell just as much of a story as words can. Who am I to tell you that you can’t use these as well?

Q: I really don’t want to fill up my blog with photos. Can I participate and utilize photos as a part of my regular posts to count?
A: Indeed! Images don’t always convey everything you want to write, and sometimes you don’t want to make images the focus of a post. You are more than welcome to count images that you include as a part of a written post, so long as they are your own screenshots/photos.

Q: Can I create an animated GIF of images to get my point across?
A: So long as the images/screenshots are your own, feel free to create a GIF! However, at this point, it will only be counted as one image towards the total.

Q: Do I have to take all new shots? Or can I utilize shots I’ve already taken?
A: There is no need to take new shots, but I ask that you utilize shots that have not yet been posted in any other blog post, please!

Blaugust 2019 Postmortem

Blaugust 2019 Postmortem

Blaugust is over, which always brings me bittersweet feelings. August 2019 was a much better month for me than August 2018 was, which I am grateful for. As difficult as it became to write 31 posts, I somehow managed it. Though that’s thanks to finally checking off a to-do list item and moving all of my old articles from QueueTimes and MMO Games to my blog.

Last year’s insights after Blaugust concluded:

  • Blogging every day is a valiant goal, but is not something I can manage full-time.
  • On the days I journaled in my bujo (bullet journal), I was less likely to post a blog post.
  • I have good intentions of mini-events, but can have a difficult time implementing them.
  • When life gets overwhelming, my content creation endeavors take a nose-dive.

I don’t know that I learned much more about myself that is different than what I learned last year, so this year’s insights are similar.

  • Blogging every day is a valiant goal, but is not something I can manage full-time. Once again, I already knew this, but it’s nice to have a reminder that blogging/writing is not something I can commit to full-time, especially when I’m working what boils down to three jobs (actual full-time day job that pays the bills, NSFW job which is starting to help pay the bills, and streaming on Twitch). I am planning to try to go back to my goal of posting once a week (or more if inspiration strikes, but at least once a week).
  • On the days I blogged, I was less likely to journal in my bujo (bullet journal). Which I’m not trying to put a value statement on. I use journaling in my bujo as a way to prepare myself for difficult conversations, or work out my feelings, or discuss thoughts for/about therapy sessions. In a way, I feel that I somehow stunted my personal growth for the sake of hitting a thirty one day goal.
  • When life gets overwhelming, my content creation endeavors take a nose-dive. This more came out in my streaming endeavors this past month rather than my blogging (albeit only because of all the posts I copied over), but it still holds true. Day job stress makes it extremely difficult to complete things I actually want to do. (And triggers some intense negative feelings, but that’s why I’m working on coming up with some alternatives to the day job.)
  • I miss creating content that is more in-depth rather than more personalized. Copying over all of my longer form writings from working freelance has made me realize that I miss writing like that. While I enjoy having my blog as a more personalized endeavor, I also miss writing in a slightly more removed and analytical style (as many of the bloggers in Blaugust also seem to do, whether on occasion or consistently). Maybe I’ll look at doing a more in-depth or thought-out post once a month on top of my weekly personalized posts.
  • Numbers seem to be more of a distraction than a help. Throughout the month in the Blaugust Discord, some folks mentioned their blog follower counts, clicks, and views. While I understand that the numbers and the resulting milestones can be important to continuing blogging, I’ve come to the conclusion that for me, they do more harm than good. While I appreciate each and every person who spends time on my blog, clicks through, and follows, focusing on those numbers makes me compare myself to others more frequently. “Why am I not getting the same numbers?” is a common thought. And in the end, it really comes down to, (1) am I enjoying what I’m doing for myself, and (2) do I reach people who are invested. And if that happens to be only 3 people compared to someone else’s 30, in the end I suppose that’s good enough for me.

Okay, so maybe I learned a bit more than I initially thought I did. I loved seeing a bunch of new folks start blogging, and others pick up blogging again. I’m looking forward to continuing with catching up on blog posts, and getting to a point where I spend a little time every day reading everyone’s blogs (hopefully not every one of us is going to continue at a pace of a post a day or else I’ll never catch up!). I’m excited to have a backlog of post ideas, again. Though some of them might need to be posted sooner than later so I’m not referencing a six-month old post by another blogger by the time I get to my own post.

I also, like last year, want to give a huge shout out to Bel for all the time and energy he’s put into this endeavor. You are an amazing person who works wonders. Thank you for being you, and doing all that you do.

Lastly, I want to give a (somewhat shameless) plug to another blogging event in the hopes that folks stay blogging through then, and decide to participate. Since 2015, I’ve been running an event called IntPiPoMo. IntPiPoMo, or International Picture Posting Month is the image equivalent of National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo). NaNoWriMo focuses on writing 50,000 words over the course of the month of November. So, if a picture is a thousand words, that means that IntPiPoMo requires fifty pictures.

I’m looking forward to keeping up with everyone, and hopefully being a little bit more active in Discord over time. Thank you for all the fun ideas, all! Keep up the writing and the fun!

September ’19 Gaming Goals

September ’19 Gaming Goals

This post is (31/31) of the Blaugust 2019 event! You can find out more about Blaugust over at Belghast’s blog. I (Chestnut) created a Twitter list of all participants. UltrViolet created an OPML file of all the bloggers to import into your feed reader.

August Recap

Setting up goals as a more focused month-based list rather than, “here’s what I wanna do soon!” has definintely made a difference in how I use my playtime, or how I decide not to game at all. And I think it helped a lot with the way work has been, and looks to be continuing for the remainder of 2019.

  • Complete Vvardenfell Master Angler (ESO) – I had intentions to finish this, but then dinged 50 and got caught up in quests and CP.
  • Ding 42 on Warden (ESO) – I surpassed this! I hit 50! Once I hit 40, I got into the “OMG I’M SO CLOSE MUST DING” mindset, which helped.
  • Hit Revered with The Unshackled (WoW) – About freaking time. UGH. I hate Nazjatar with a passion.
  • Hit Revered with Rustbolt Resistance (WoW) – I’m super close. I should hopefully have it in another day (possibly two if things don’t go my way after daily reset).
  • Ding level 30 on Conjurer (FFXIV) – I didn’t even think I’d hit 30, but I ended up dinging 35!
  • Start re-watching MSQ cutscenes (FFXIV) – I didn’t do any of this, because I mainly logged in for roulettes. I figure once I hit 50, I’ll re-watch them to continue where I’d left off before quitting.
  • Finish a play though of Detroit: Become Human (PS4) – I honestly didn’t touch my PS4 at all for the month, except to watch Detective Pikachu.

September Goals

  • Hit CP 150 on Warden (ESO)
  • Ding level 50 on Conjurer (FFXIV)
  • Finish Auridon (ESO)
  • Finish Grahtwood (ESO)
  • Finish City of the Sun God (SWL)
  • Finish side missions in Blue Mountains (SWL)
  • Finish next route in Sweet Fuse (Otome)
  • Figure out a game for #SportSeptember and play it (Community Game-Along)
Long Term FFXIV Goals, Updated

Long Term FFXIV Goals, Updated

This post is (30/31) of the Blaugust 2019 event! You can find out more about Blaugust over at Belghast’s blog. I (Chestnut) created a Twitter list of all participants. UltrViolet created an OPML file of all the bloggers to import into your feed reader.

I originally put together a list in 2015 of what I wanted to pursue in FFXIV, but the game has changed so much (no more cross-classing, new jobs) that I wanted to do an update to streamline the list for what I hope to get done in the next six months. That, and plan out what I wanted to do as I dive back into the game since life circumstances have changed a bunch since last playing, too.

I’ve decided to change from maining a Warrior to maining White Mage (though I’m still a Conjurer), especially for the instant queues, but I plan to switch between White Mage and Dancer when I’m able to pick it up. I’m thinking I can do questing as a Dancer, and queues as White Mage.

I’m not sure I’ll get to everything on the list in six months, but it doesn’t hurt to set up an idea of a progression path.

I’m a determined Roe!

Disciples of War/Magic

  • White Mage 60
  • Pick up Dancer
  • White Mage 80 (simultaneously with Dancer)
  • Dancer 80 (simultaneously with White Mage)
  • Paladin 50
  • Bard 50
  • Dark Knight 50
  • Scholar 50
  • Summoner 50

Disciples of Land/Hand

  • Fisher 80
  • Botanist 80
  • Miner 80
  • Culinarian 50
  • Alchemist 25
  • Weaver 25
  • Leatherworker 25
  • Goldsmith 25
  • Armorer 25
  • Blacksmith 25
  • Carpenter 25
VTM OC: Donna Moss

VTM OC: Donna Moss

This post is (29/31) of the Blaugust 2019 event! You can find out more about Blaugust over at Belghast’s blog. I (Chestnut) created a Twitter list of all participants. UltrViolet created an OPML file of all the bloggers to import into your feed reader.

Vampire LARP

I’ve been playing a local Vampire LARP for a solid two and half years (I played a bunch during college, too), and even though it is sometimes draining (I just stepped down as a storyteller), I mostly enjoy it. After stepping down, I put together a new character based off of West Wing that worked with a character that Manthing created based off of West Wing as well. We’re surprised that nobody has mentioned the characters being based on West Wing.

Anyway, when I play a character, whether it be for online RP, live action RP, or tabletop RP I usually don’t put together a detailed backstory. I typically put together a few details, and then the backstory comes to me as I get deeper into the character and develop the missing pieces based on how the character acts. This time, however, it was different. There were events that Manthing and I had to sync up for our characters to relate and work together, so I wrote out a pretty detailed backstory.

I’m assuming if anybody from my LARP group stumbles on this, they won’t metagame (*stares and points at game rules*), so I wanted to share what I put together for her backstory. “But why, Chestnut?” Well, because I’m proud of what I put together. This is a different way for me to approach characters (and a clan I’ve never played, to boot). And it’s some of the only real creative writing I’ve done in a long time. So without further ado, here’s Donnatella Moss as a Ventrue.

Donnatella Moss

Donnatella Moss was born in Connecticut in 1865 to parents Paul and Margaret Moss. At a young age, Donna found herself to be a natural leader amongst her peers, which unlocked a desire early in life to dive into the world of powerful men in some way.

Donna found this more difficult to come by than she imagined. While she excelled in her academic studies as a child and young teenager, she was denied any form of higher education. Donna took it upon herself to spend time making connections using her “feminine wiles” with the gentlemen around town to learn all she could about various subjects, and obtain books about any topic she could find.

Somehow, despite Donna’s constant flirtations, she was never ostracized around town. Rather, folks found it endearing, and many of the older gentlemen in town took an interest in providing her with educational materials.

In 1885, Donna found herself enamored with a local politician in Hartford, Samuel Miller. Against his better judgement, and warnings from his peers about including a woman he was courting in politics, he invited Donna into his life as both his fiancé and his personal secretary. Soon after, Miller had moved into a new position within Washington, D.C.

The couple was enjoying their new home in Washington D.C., and looking forward to their upcoming nuptials. Tragically, however, three weeks before Donna and Samuel were to be married, he drowned in James Creek on his way home from drinking with friends.

Donna threw herself into her work to push away her grief, and in 1890 she was transferred to be a secretary in the office of Joshua Lyman, specifically to work as Malcolm Henry’s personal secretary and aide. Donna worked harder than she ever had before to prove herself to Mr. Henry—working long hours into the night, and proved to be very talented and competent when given the opportunity to work on her own.

It was during this time she realized that while she mourned Samuel, she had more political acumen than he’d had, and that being able to make decisions on her own for the benefit of Mr. Henry gave her a newfound confidence. This confidence helped her to move past her former fiancé’s death, and she soon found herself enamored with Malcolm, working even harder than she thought possible to prove herself to be a valuable asset to him.

Not long after, Malcolm pulled her aside and shared secrets with her that she’d never, in her wildest imagination, thought to be true. Stories of creatures in the night, like him, that manipulated and ran human politics and other aspects of society to their own ends and benefits. Puppet masters. Kings and Queens of the night. It was then that Malcolm offered Donna a place in his world. Without hesitation she accepted and became his ghoul.

In 1910, when it became necessary to explain her proper lack of aging, Malcolm arranged a series of favors to the then-Prince of Washington, D.C., and immediately cashed in his boons to receive permission to grant Donna the Embrace.

Again, Donna readily accepted, knowing that she was to spend her Unlife with Malcolm, and see to it that she helped him to rule as Kings and Queens of the night. It was at this time that Donna started pushing beyond her typical secretarial duties. She found that she depended upon a few handfuls of dirt from the park in which she was Embraced to ensure she was in peak condition.

With more access to academia, as Kindred society was much more accepting of women in powerful positions than Kine, she began studying beyond her duties, and working to gain allies within the community. Donna began learning Latin so that she could converse more privately with Malcolm, and also took up an unusual hobby in swordsmanship. The sounds and the sensations of the way blades felt against various materials was of specific interest to her, and she worked hard to master using blades to their best ability, along with learning anything she could about the history and art of swordsmanship itself.

When Malcolm shifted positions and moved to the Justice department, Donna moved with him, continuing as his assistant and lover. She found that while she was readily remembered by those she interacted with often, she was often forgotten by those she only briefly interacted with. While it was occasionally aggravating, it came with more benefits than detriments, and allowed Donna to move through circles she may not have otherwise prior to her Embrace.

One night, after many years (and aliases) at the Justice department, Malcolm pulled Donna aside and let her know he’d found out about a plan the humans had to hit the Camarilla hard, and where it hurt. She went with Malcolm to Mr. Lyman, but Mr. Lyman refused to believe the both of them, assuming they were both lying to him. Malcolm, and by extension Donna, were ordered from Lyman’s presence, and most likely soon to be the city as well.

It was then that Malcolm and Donna went underground, and were spared the worst of what happened, though they both knew that things were not going well for the Kindred in the city. Malcolm spent countless hours using human agents to gather intelligence, and he realized that the Camarilla of Washington, D.C. had been destroyed.

Malcolm decided to take his Sire’s name to claim his dignitas and resources, confiding in Donna that Malcolm Henry needed to appear “dead” and that she was to refer to him from now on as Joshua Lyman, her “adopted” Sire. This ruse needed to be kept up at all times due to “Josh’s” new retainer, Ryan Pierce, not knowing anything about Malcolm, and knowing Malcolm only as Josh.

The three relocated to Atlanta in order to hide from anyone who may have remembered Malcolm or Donna. Donna knows it is coming time for when she will be released from Josh (Malcolm), but longs to remain at his side through her Unlife to do what she can to help him rebuild and become the puppet behind the King’s throne.

Educational Benefits of Pirate 101

Educational Benefits of Pirate 101

This was originally posted on MMO Games on 17 January 2016. It is being re-posted here to archive the work I have done in case the original website ever shuts down.

Exploring Pirate 101

I’ve been enjoying exploring various children’s games this month for a multitude of reasons, namely, to scope out what is currently available that I can utilize with my own children in the future. I’ve heard many a good thing about Pirate 101 and thought it would be a fun game to try, and I definitely wasn’t wrong.

Pirate 101 is a game by KingsIsle Entertainment, the creators of Wizard 101. The game itself is geared toward children approximately aged 10 but could definitely be played by children both younger, and older. It’s a wonderful game for parents to play with (or without) their children as well.

The voice over is charming, and my first time through had me giggling at the French-accented monkey. The combat was engaging, as it required some forethought, and was completely different from any other MMO combat I’ve ever encountered. Overall, it’s definitely a game to check out reviews for, and a game that I want to keep on the radar for when I have children old enough to play with.

However, while shared entertainment abounds, at first glance it doesn’t seem to cover anything educational for children, or ways for parents to engage learning with their offspring. So what are the educational benefits of Pirate 101?

Educational Benefits of Pirate 101

There are more skills children can learn while playing Pirate 101 than first meets the eye. While the game itself is not a game designed around education, there are many subject areas the game pulls from to create teachable moments for children.

Language Arts

Children can learn multiple different subsets of the language arts. For one, their reading, spelling, and grammar skills will improve. All of the dialogue in the game has voice over, but dialogue boxes also appear on the screen while the characters are speaking. These boxes can be used for children to practice their reading and comprehension skills, as well as identifying new vocabulary. Seeing words as they’re spoken also helps to improve spelling skills for when youngsters begin to write. Speaking of writing, many children utilize the environments in Pirate 101 to create fan fiction that they submit to KingsIsle Entertainment. This is creative thought and creation, which are important things for anyone to learn.

Art

The graphics in Pirate 101 are unique with a cartoony style that is unmistakable. Children not only create fan fiction around the game, but also fan art. This teaches them various skills depending on how the art is created. If done as digital art, it teaches children important items within art programs that they can utilize later on in life to great benefit. Even traditional art and sculpture is something that children can take advantage of. Physically manipulating to create art helps children gain spatial awareness.

Mathematics

Players receive rewards and treasure throughout the game. There are also a plethora of items to purchase throughout the game, from gear to mounts and pets, and more. Children must learn how to save their gold in order to buy the items they want from the shops. This teaches them a multitude of money skills including budgeting, saving, and simple arithmetic from spending and earning gold. Youngsters will also learn inventory management. Even though it is not specifically a mathematics skill, it is an important one to learn that ties into budgeting and spending.

Computer Science

While Pirate 101 doesn’t specifically teach skills such as computer programming, digital art, and engineering, one cannot criticize the passion that young players obtain from experiencing amazing virtual worlds. Many future employees in computer science will have gained their passion from gaming at a young age.

Geography

Kids can learn about geography and land areas by utilizing the maps in game. Knowing the cardinal directions and how to navigate is important to sailing your ship around the world, and even just finding quest givers and objectives. Children will also gain skills in situational and locational awareness, as well as planning the best route to obtain an objective.

History

One can’t argue that there is a large amount of history associated with pirates. Ranging from the romanticization of pirates, to exploring pirates from different regions, there is a plethora of knowledge available for parents and children alike. This history brings up many questions to delve into with youngsters, such as why pirates are so popular in the media, or if pirates are really bad guys or good guys. Parents and children can also do research on pirates from around the world to learn more about their stories and discuss if any of the pirates in game remind them of the pirates from long ago.

Socialization

Even though socialization isn’t a “hard skill” that is taught in classrooms, it is an extremely important thing to learn for everyday interactions in today’s busy world. Despite the limitations on chat functions, children can learn about being polite, helping others, listening, and other skills that will benefit them far into the future and throughout their adult life.

Safety

There is combat in Pirate 101, and as such can lead to easy conversation starters for addressing violence, both fantasy and real-life. Being an online game, it also provides many opportunities to discuss online safety and bullying with children. These are not skills that are innately learned, and parents need to spend the time addressing these topics with their youngsters.

Miscellaneous

There are many educational benefits of Pirate 101 that don’t fall within a specific category, such as focus, concentration, and strategy. The game offers players multiple quests, and it is important for children to remember which items are necessary for which quests, and where to go to be successful. During battles with enemies, players choose weapons and spells needed to defeat their opponents, as well as the placement for their characters based on the number of squares they are able to move. In some instances, players will need to strategize on how to complete objectives while avoiding as much combat as possible. Moves need to be planned in stages, which requires forethought and thinking ahead.

While I’ve touched on many skills that children can learn by playing Pirate 101, there are so many others for them and their parents to discover as they explore the world together.

August 2019 Note: This post is (28/31) of the Blaugust 2019 event! You can find out more about Blaugust over at Belghast’s blog. I (Chestnut) created a Twitter list of all participants. UltrViolet created an OPML file of all the bloggers to import into your feed reader.
Developer Appreciation: NCSoft and Carbine Studios

Developer Appreciation: NCSoft and Carbine Studios

This was originally posted on MMO Games on 27 April 2016. It is being re-posted here to archive the work I have done in case the original website ever shuts down.

This week is Developer Appreciation Week—a blogging event that began in 2010 with the intention to simply shed positive light on the gaming industry, and appreciate the game development teams that have done so much for the MMO genre. You can read more in detail about this years’ event at Tales of the Aggronaut.

Belghast puts it succinctly in the introductory blog post.

“The good folks in the games industry enter it because they love video games, and often times have a life long goal of ending up there. The industry itself is a really rough one, and we can all see how caustic the communities can be when they turn against a game or an individual.”

Today, I want to share some appreciation for NCSoft and the Carbine Studios team.

Carbine Studios Developer Appreciation

Carbine Studios was founded in 2005 by seventeen former members of the World of Warcraft team. Carbine Studios was acquired by NCSOFT in 2007, and now functions as a subsidiary of them focusing on their own game, WildStar, as well as providing a great outlet for community interaction.

I want to give a shout-out and a big “developer appreciation hug” to all of the developers that reside at Carbine Studios, both currently and formerly. While I will be focusing on some more current members to thank, specifically for their work and dedication, it should be noted that overall neither of these games would be around if it wasn’t for everyone involved throughout their time at NCSoft. So, to the development and community team working at NCSoft, whether it be on Blade & Soul, WildStar, or any titles that comes our way, thank you for all your hard work and dedication!

Blade & Soul Developer Appreciation

Akli “Youmukon” Amichi – Youmukon is one of the Community Managers for Blade & Soul, focusing on the French community for the game. His main role is to be the link between the Community of Blade & Souland NCSOFT’s different teams scattered around the world. Prior to working on Blade & Soul, Youmukon was the French Community Manager for WildStar. Outside of Blade & Soul, Youmukon enjoys various interests, and is always interacting with the community—in both English and French. That’s dedication, folks. Thank you, Youmukon, for all your hard work on both titles and being front-and-center for the games you love.

Jonathan Lien – Jonathan is the Assistant Producer for Blade & Soul, and does a little bit of everything—gathering and analyzing feedback, building test plans, and planning strategies. He has worked hard to adapt Blade & Soul to a Western audience while preserving the integrity and core experience of the original game. He goes out of his way to listen carefully to feedback of the fans and takes care to make the game the best experience for the players. He is extremely active on Twitter, engaging with fans and listening to them. Thank you, Jonathan, for your hard work and dedication to keeping Blade & Soul’s heart.

Julianne Harty – Julianne is the Brand Manager for Blade & Soul. She is one of the experts on the team, and the hub from which the information comes through, including trailers, art assets, and even obscure lore. She believes that the community is the most valuable asset to the game and tries to engage them as much as possible. She works hard to incorporate feedback and suggestions, and she pays attention to the community voice in order to make Blade & Soul the best it can be. Thank you, Julianne, for always taking the time to value the community.

Nicolas Coutant – Nicolas is the Producer (NCSOFT West) for Blade & Soul and also serves as a communication hub for the game. He helps coordinate the team internally and has worked hard to help remove the stigma associated with Korean MMOs. He has helped to provide an experience to players that helps to shatter their prejudices and initial conceptions of Eastern MMOs. He hopes to always provide the best to the community. Thank you, Nicolas, for your constant dedication to the genre and the game.

WildStar Developer Appreciation

Chad “Pappy” Moore – Pappy is the Creative Director for WildStar, but he is best known as one of “the lore guys” for the game. His dedication to the game is second to none, and his passion for making the game better always shines through. He has recently implemented “DevConnects,” a series to engage the community to better understand what the players want from the game, and he has been following through on these suggestions to the best of his ability. Thank you, Pappy, for your constant consideration and interaction with the playerbase of  the game.

Kristen “Caydiem” DeMeza – Caydiem is the Senior Content Designer for WildStar, and has dabbled in almost everything the game offers players. She is one of the developers who goes out of her way to encourage community interactions, and is always available to answer questions and concerns, even if she has to answer with, “I don’t know, but I’ll pass the information along.” Thank you, Caydiem, for always being one to interact with the community and address their concerns as soon as possible.

Deirdre “DD” Hollis – DD is the Community Manager for WildStar. She started as a part of the community team and has worked her way into the role of Community Manager. As her handle (Sunshine) suggests, she is a ray of sunshine to players by always being the most positive she can be on both social media and live streams. She is always available to answer questions, or shoot the breeze, and makes it a point to be as knowledgeable on player concerns as she is able. Thank you, DD, for always being there when players need a pick-me-up and an ear to listen to with concerns for the game.

Gary Astleford – Gary is the Senior Story Designer for WildStar, who goes out of his way to interact with the community for any of their lore and story related questions or concerns. He spends time weekly carving out hours in which he answers questions and thoughts related to obscure WildStar lore via long Twitter threads with players, and he is always excited to share new tidbits of lore that are coming. Thank you, Gary, for being “the story guy” we get excited to converse with.

As I mentioned before, there are so many Developers and Community Relations members that deserve recognition at Carbine Studios for their work, dedication, passion, and love they’ve put into these games and their fan communities. Show your developer appreciation today by thanking your favorite Carbine developers for all the hard work they put in day-to-day to make our lives a little more fun.

August 2019 Note: This post is (27/31) of the Blaugust 2019 event! You can find out more about Blaugust over at Belghast’s blog. I (Chestnut) created a Twitter list of all participants. UltrViolet created an OPML file of all the bloggers to import into your feed reader.