Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder…

Taking over 3 weeks off from my stream was initially very easy for me to do. Coming off of a stretch of Trials grinds and grueling learning processes, I certainly needed a chance to reset the mechanism and get myself excited for both streaming and learning new games. As I realized the need for a website, a merchandise store, and an overhaul of some things in my stream, I noticed that the two situations could easily intertwine for a cohesive break that I certainly needed. What I didn’t think would happen, was that not only would I not get the break I thought I would, but that I would be working harder than I had in a long time. But it was all worth it.

The new site is a smashing success so far! Folks have sung its praises and complimented its improvements over using a simple spreadsheet to track process in the Trials. The site has brought new folks into the hype, allowing them to catch up on the progress so far, whilst also allowing veteran fans of the Trials to recapitulate and relive some of my achievements thus far. Although this site has been much more work to keep up, with more maintenance and updating needed daily, as well as much more work to update than the old Google docs sheet was, it has presented my work in a way that makes it much more rewarding for the effort I have put in to get to this point.

The merch store has been a pleasant thing thus far, as well. Many folks are snagging up items, even some that I was surprised to see go. Teespring has been pretty easy to work with overall, despite some issues in getting things to work right the first time. Thusly, I can finally provide fans of my stream with the merchandise that they’ve been asking for years for me to create (as well as allowing me to feel more confident that people would actually buy it!)

The time off to create this site also allowed me to focus on Tomb Raider, which has been a strange, unique Trial so far. A game I absolutely hated at first, I am now past the 110-hour mark in this game, and there’s a decent chance it might catch Earthbound as the most hours invested in a single game so far in the Trials. That being said, I don’t mind; the time off allowed me to clean up and master my execution of this game’s clunky, unique control mechanics and gameplay design. As I play more and more of the game, my skill is improving by leaps and bounds, and I feel as if another huge hurdle in my speedrunning abilities has been leapt by determination and hard work!

I’m now on day 4 of my “return” and I’m excited as I’ve ever been to stream again! Despite rolling on less than 4 hours’ sleep today, I am hoping to stream for the fourth day in a row; before my break, 4 days in a row would’ve been an awful proposition for me. Streaming is a very taxing activity for me, both physically and mentally, as well as socially. That in itself could be an entire blog post… perhaps for another day. But this can be said: my willingness to play games live is stronger than ever, and even if Tomb Raider ends tonight… or lasts another month… this can be said: I’m having a blast, and I’m so glad to be back!

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