Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Final 2013 Post

Here we are. The last blog post of 2013! I don't believe in New Year's Resolutions because they tend to fall flat quickly. If one wants to change, they will make the effort to change no matter what day or month it is.

Here's to awesome progress in 2014!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Good King Moggle Mog - ARR Version Strategy (Patch 2.1)

I typed this up for Viva Eorzea Linkshell/Company, here you go.


Moogles: Good King Moggle Mog (Top)
(L to R):Furryfoot (WHM), Woolywort (ARC) , Ruffletuft (WAR), Whiskerwall (GLA), Tailturner (THF), Pomburner (BLM), Shaggysong (BRD)

What you want:

2x Tanks (Both can be WAR or PLD)
2x Healers (Preferably WHM and SCH, but 2x WHMs work too. Need at least one WHM)
4x DD. Any works but spread the variety out so LB builds faster. One DD should be in charge of marking the moogles kill order for phase 2 during phase 1.

Phase 1:
 

Moogles spawn one at a time starting with Whiskerwall (GLA). Kill them as quickly as possible. If you remember Version 1.0, it's like that only they spawn much quicker. one DD should be /assist point to lead the charge on what dies in what order. While they spawn, they should be marking the numbers for Phase 2.

It does not matter which one you kill in what order, as long as Whiskerwall dies first and Ruffletuft (WAR) dies last. (If he even dies... with a 6 relic party we were still unable to kill all moogles.) The off-tank should get Ruffletuft WAR moogle as soon as it spawns and start building hate on it for phase 2.

Memento Moogle (Super Move) #1:
After 4-5 minutes of Phase 1, all dead moogles will respawn and head to the center of the battlefield to prepare Memento Moogle. That's its super move that does more damage proportional to the amount of moogles you didn't kill. The more moogles you fail the kill, the worse damage it is. That's why ignoring Ruffletuft helps because of the high defense value he has.

The main tank will start doing single-target hate moves on Good King Moggle Mog during their little dance/performance. Use your buffs and top everyone off as accordingly (as you do with Hellfire on Ifrit or Aerial Blast on Garuda)

Phase 2 -- Part 1:
 

Main Tank will bring Good King Moggle Mog to the North Wall and hold it there and look pretty. Unlike Titan, the MT will actually have to dodge quite a few things, so it's not that simple.

Off-Tank will get Ruffletuft (WAR) and Whiskerwall (PLD) and as many side moogles as possible and take it to the opposite side of the Arena. Hold these until the party gets to kill them.

The Mark DD will then kill in the order I specify below - These four need to be zerged down fairly quickly and this is the most chaotic part of the fight.
Furryfoot (WHM)
Pomburner (BLM)
Shaggysong (BRD)
Whiskerwall (PLD) <--- Use your Damage Dealer LB here

Memento Moogle (Super Move) #2:
 

After 4-5 minutes of Phase 2, The Good King Moggle Mog will use Memento Moogle once more. If you haven't killed at least 4 moogles by this point, it's a wipe.

Phase 2 -- Part 2:
 

Kill off remaining moogles in whatever order you please, and then kill King last. By this point the fight should be manageable and you should be able to figure out if you're going to win or not.

Good luck! It took me 4-5 tries in a duty finder group to get it down.




.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Viva Eorzea... maybe it's time to retire?

I'm getting a little tired of leading Viva Eorzea. I love the FC and most of the people, but leading it is really getting on my nerves. I just want to progress my character and play with friends, not have to deal with people gloating all of the time.

I talked about it with my game development team, they think I should leave. It has been costing me sleep and energy, but also I have been leading the LS/FC since 2010, I feel like I'd be letting them down by retiring.

I'm not sure, I'll think about it. Who would lead Viva, though? I'm not sure anyone could fully take over the reigns and cause it to continue being what it is.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Whim Independent Studios - Development Log #22

Hey guys, back with the 22nd development log!

I want to start off by saying that I posted some footage of Selatria in the 21st development log last month, and there were some positive comments on the quality of the voice acting and some well-wishes for the project. Thank you guys for supporting us, even with the encouragement, you don't know how much motivation that gives to keep seeing the games we're working on to the end. It's much appreciated, drop us a thumbs up or comments on our game footage, positive comments, constructive criticism, we appreciate any and all support.

That being said... there's lots of special stuff to show in this post, so let's get right down to it.

ANTics:

The main focus of this development log will be on our mobile game ANTics, though we do have some updates on how Selatria is coming along as well, that will come a little later. Take a look at some development screenshots a new gameplay video, and a new SoundCloud theme of what you'll expect to see and hear!















Progress on the game is almost complete, and we're almost ready to demo the game for pre-release alpha testing, and we would like to get that sorted out before we allow players outside of the development team a chance to demo it out and give feedback. We're also working on finding someone with an iPhone to make sure the game functions on that as intended, it's very likely that we will have an Android version out ahead of the iPhone version. (Sorry, Apple fans...again!)

There's also a lot that we wish we could add to the game in terms of visuals, CG scenes, and extra bugs to the game. As I mentioned in the last post, we are expressing a desire to expand ANTics into something more, as funding will be necessary if we want to expand the game any further than the 15 levels we have planned for our first installment.

This game wouldn't have gotten anywhere without the input of fellow team members Gerren Willis, Paul Diggs, Jennifer Gilliland, Christopher Nuno, Matthew Estrada, Paul Vela, Jonathan Dishaw and Donald Brown 

A very talented team came together and we were able to see this all the way. Expect to see ANTics on Google Play for Android as well as a PC version very soon and an iPhone version to follow in the undetermined future.

---

Selatria:

I'll start off by showing some new characters that have been in the works since last development log. Art by Jennifer Gilliland








Also check out one of the cut-scenes in Chapter 3 in development! (Music and surprise monster boss is coming in the future! They've been omitted for now.)





Progress is going very well on Selatria. However, with a team of only three at the studio on a constant basis, development is going slower than what we expected. We have kind of experienced burnout in a sense of our roles, so we've shifted roles around our team of three to keep things a little fresh while developing the game, and we'll probably rotate roles later when the time feels right. 

For Chapter 3 and on, I'm supervising development between the different teams (Art, Music, and Gameplay) making sure we have a cohesive game going. I've also contributed lines here and there for scripts and working on scenario design (Taking the script we've written and implementing it into the game.) I'm also working on designing the cutscenes and planning out the events in each area. The movie above shows an example of a cutscene I've been working on for the past couple of weeks or so.

Jon Dishaw is now handling programming new scripts into the game and fixing a lot of long-standing bugs from the previous builds. He's also taken the reigns of the battle system and came up with some interesting tweaks to abilities of the characters. He's also working on a Journal Log for the game that the player will be able to fill by learning about the world of Selatria and filling in the pages themselves.

Matt Estrada is now working on the scripting of the lines for the characters from Chapter 4 and on, while Jon and I offer lines and suggestions here and there. He's also working on making the boss challenges in the game interesting and fresh to complement the Team Attack system we've designed. (Though, we've had to ask him to tone down the difficulty. Some of the encounters he's designed are a bit harsh! Though, we might keep the original difficulty in as bonus content available later in the game.)

We will have an announcement for the date of Selatria's Kickstarter in the next development log. More info to come then. 

That about does it for now. Until next post!








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Grover Eyeveen - Hyperion Server




Tuesday, November 19, 2013

No reason for jealousy

I don't get jealous of anyone. If someone I like/adore and appreciate is happy, then I would like them to remain happy as they are. It makes me happy to see them happy, and that's all I'll ever need.

Why ruin a good thing? There's no reason to.

Some things are better left unsaid.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Bringing you a better Viva Eorzea tank


Valor Surcoat obtained today! Lots helped me out with this, too many to name. Bringing you a better cartoon show Viva Eorzea tank.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Remember remember the 5th of November

Heading to GDC Next today! Going to take notes on how to improve the studio and networking. Lots of networking!

Speaking of our studio, we'll be launching two Kickstarters later this month for our debut games Selatria and ANTics.

Oh! And we'll be sending out the preorder items from those who participated in the Selatria Indiegogo a few months back. Those will be sent out before the launch of said Kickstarter campaigns.

More info to come later

Monday, October 21, 2013

I had to take a small break from FFXIV

I got physically and mentally tired of playing FFXIV. I love the game, but the player base is really getting to me.

Viva Eorzea has gotten quite large and it's hard for me to deal with every complaint that comes on the table. I left the rule up to the Tiamats for a few days while I get some rest and relaxation, I didn't want to melt down leading the group we worked hard for three years to build up.

Not to mention Titan, while he's easy to do as Paladin, on Black Mage it's an entirely different beast. A stressful one at that. I am getting better at dodging stuff, but not good at nuking. Just need to study my abilities and go from there.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Whim Independent Studios - Development Log #21

Hey guys, back with the 21st development log!



Selatria: 

We have finished the main portions of Chapter 2 and released the Alpha version of said chapter for testing since the last development log. There were some critical bugs that were found in the game and we got quite a bit of feedback, so we took the game down from the public for a little while. We are currently planning on fixing a good portion of these bugs and then put the chapter up for testing as soon as possible.

Among some of the major feedback we've received is that status effects aren't explained too well, and the pacing between the puzzles and boss battles becomes too challenging at once. We'll be performing some buffs and adjustments in certain areas to make the progression in the game more smoothly.

At the same time we're putting fixes to Chapter 2 content, we've moved forward to Chapter 3. Check out some of the new music and cutscenes for Chapter 3! Music in SoundCloud by Christopher Nuño. Last theme for the minigame in the video is provided by Luke Simpson. Character art by Jennifer Gilliland






I do want to remind that given that this is an alpha version, some of the graphics are placeholder until the art team gets to it, this version of the alpha is meant to test game breaking bugs and and gameplay concerns. We will have testing of graphics in meticulous detail come when the game hits the beta version.

Regarding Upcoming Kickstarter:

We will be launching a Kickstarter for Selatria in late November given the current pace. Just in time for the holidays! First, we plan on making sure our backers from the Indiegogo campaign get all of the promised tier rewards and kept in the loop on the progress of the game.

Indiegogo backers will also be grandfathered into the reward tiers from that phase. Thanks for being early adopters of the project!

ANTics:

It's almost complete!!!

Check out some new gameplay footage of ANTics! The game is about 85% finished, and you'll probably see some aspects of the game that aren't final/currently placeholder, but we have a really fun game on our hands!





Purchase ANTics when it drops on Google Play in the near future for 99 cents. We will also be working on a Kickstarter for ANTics: Exterminator Edition coming this winter with added monsters, levels, and music. We may give a special reward for Exterminator Edition players for those who have beaten the first version of the game as well! So stay tuned.



That's about it for this development log. Until next time!



Sunday, October 6, 2013

Codecademy Quick Update

I've really gotten back into Codecademy lately. I felt like I've been slacking on my progress a bit too much. I'm currently working on the Python language.

My goal is to do five exercises a day to keep me relevant, but I always end up doing way more, because I get into it.

Feel free to track my progress.

Friday, October 4, 2013

First month back in Eorzea

Warning: This post contains spoilers!


Setting off on another adventure with my chocobo "Wonder".

About a month has passed since my arrival in New Eorzea. In that time, I was able to save the world (again!), obtain a relic weapon, finally down Garuda Hard Mode, get my Arcanist almost to level 30 and my Miner almost to level 50.



Hyperion Server:

Wandering through the new Southern Thanalan

So far, my experiences on Hyperion server have been relatively positive. However, I have had a problem with people in the Duty Finder. I find most people in there to be so rude to the point that I will not run with random people unless I absolutely have to. I'm very happy to say I was able to get my relic quest complete with the company of at least 80% Free Company members in the party.




Storyline Completed!

*Again, beware. Spoilers*

FFXIV had a really great story. Being a Legacy player, I was treated to a lot of different cutscenes than new players did. A different opening where I woke up in the middle of nowhere and wandered to Gridania somehow, Minfilia remembering me from the 1.0 Scenario but telling me others forgot who I was. Cid losing his memory and then regaining it and telling me he remembered the first time I tried to save the world and the whole Nael Van Darnus conflict. And then the three city-state leaders all being shocked that I was a Warrior of Light all along who returned to save the world twice!

I hope they continue a lot of these legacy nods, but it was a nice touch to not forget us at the end. Very nice closure, and the ending scene with the crystal, Ascians, and their worship of Zodiark. I can't wait for the new storyline to hit!

Garuda Hard Mode finally downed!:

Us fighting Garuda Hard Mode in a Free Company event, picture by Zell Drakkengaard

My revenge against Garuda Hard Mode has finally been fulfilled. In version 1.0, we suffered against her due to the latency problems with her attacks and being hit by her abilities when she was "clearly" out of the way on most of our screens. It really caused me to be upset to the point where I would go on what my friends would call "Depression IHOP runs" in the middle of the night after logging off in frustration. (FC/LS still has fun with that to this day.)

In the current battle, her mechanics are mostly the same from Version 1.0, but there were some tweaks in order to make it more attractive to all jobs to participate in the fight.

-Her teleportations are no longer random. She teleports to the North, the middle, and then the east. However, if the rocks are destroyed before her teleportations, she will change her strategy.

-The phase 2 which spawned adds and her random teleporting and the phase 3 which spawned the sisters on a random wind were replaced by an overall phase 2 which consists of.
---Go slightly NW of original tanking spot and wait for her to Summon Sisters (One heals Garuda, one does more damage to the person holding it)
---Kite clockwise to avoid tornadoes and kill a special Purple Plume
---Run to Center of battlefield and kill sisters again. (As Main Tank, I hold her at 12:00)
---Run South and kite Clockwise back to original Phase 2 positions.

The fight as a whole is a DPS and positioning check, rather than a check over your lag. Much more fair in my opinion.

And then there's Titan... Way more difficult than anything I've done in any MMO so far. And I was tanking, I was the easy job. I just sat there and ate damage, but mind you I needed some of the best gear to be able to do that, the party members have to be epic on dodging his rotation of abilities.

Relic Weapon Obtained: 

Relic weapon also obtained! I touched on this back in my last post a bit. Now that I have the Paladin, the next one will be the Black Mage relic. I will be working on that later this month.


What's happening for October?



My goals in Eorzea for October will not be as large as they were this last month because though I will still be playing, I'm going to be focusing on Pokemon X and Y for a little bit as well.

-Working Scholar and Summoner past level 30.
-Working on Black Mage relic weapon.
-Get Miner to level 50.
-Help FC members get past Titan Hard Mode. He's ugly.
-Complete at least turn 1 of Bahamut's Coil





Monday, September 30, 2013

Curtana Obtained!

Obtained a Curtana late Saturday! It was no small task, for sure.


Thanks to Kitana Masters, Icepenguin Frost, Augusta Musgrave, Sages Solomon, Zell Drakkengaard, Clayers Evermore and the now retired Elieris Zaelen for the help along the way!

As always, I will be putting the favor forward and do my best to tank for Viva Eorzea.





Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Whim Independent Studios - Development Log #20

Hey guys, back with the 20th development log. I have linked to this for our Indiegogo backers to be kept in the loop about the progress on Selatria as well. We've been very busy in the studio, and I've wanted to keep everyone posted about the projects we're working on and how close or far we are to completion.


Selatria:

Chapter 2 is now available for testing. Above are the five characters you'll get to play in the chapter. Mage, Melanie, Luis, Number 016, and Gobby. I've provided the link to play below. Take a look at some screenshots and a listen to some new themes you'll hear in Chapter 2!












Take a look at Chapter 2 Game Development Philosophy below for more information!



July round of casting calls:

Yesterday, we sent out our cast list emails for those who have gotten chosen for the new casting roles for Selatria. There were a ton of auditions, but we carefully cut down to who we thought would be a best fit for the role of the game.

As a Producer, I don't like to turn people down for a role, and we had a lot of very good auditions, I really hope that the auditionees that we didn't choose for the role come back and audition for our last casting call before the launch of the game. Our final casting call will be hopefully before the end of the year and the game is planned to be released sometime early next year.


Here is our casting call for the roles from July's audition casting call.

Calculon000 - Announcer
Shegorath19 - Captain Whatshisface
Miguel Moran - Dakk'rian Emperor
Alex Beckham - Faylien Capitol Guard
Katrice349 - Gobriella
A Theatrical Song Bird - Kitty Girl
xXSil3ntMavenXx - Resident
Holly Lindin - Susie
Alex Melius - Waltear


Regarding the roles for Gongoren, Roussell, Saewo, and Montegue, we feel that we didn't do an accurate job in explaining who the character is, and we intend to revise the lines and description of the character and have auditions for that before the end of the year in the final casting call I mentioned earlier.

 
Chapter 2 Game Development Philosophy:

We have recently wrapped up the base development for Chapter 2 of Selatria. It took about 3-4 hours to play through the chapter when we tested it in the studio. However, we'd like an objective analysis from testers to determine whether or not the content we've built for the chapter is too difficult or not. 

For Chapter 1, our philosophy in designing the game was to reel in people who are new to role-playing games, and holding their hand through the game and battle mechanics. We introduce them to the team attack system and reserved points and let them start the adventure. We end it with a boss that's somewhat moderate in difficulty.

For Chapter 2, however, we expect that the player has learned how to play at this point and understands the basic rules of how the game is played. The difficulty is ramped up greatly and the puzzles for getting through the dungeons test your memory and problem solving skills. However, some of us in the team are unsure of whether or not we made the puzzles and game too challenging. For this reason, we've made an alpha version of Chapter 2 available to play.

One other thing I'd probably like to mention. We're currently working on writing a new introduction to the game introducing new characters that took part in the initial conflict. As this was not mentioned in the original opening lines, it might seem a bit... off? I suppose. The new opening battle sequence is in, but we have new dialogue planned out to introduce the new characters in the opening better than what we have now.

Saved data accumulated in this build can not be carried over to the final version, and elements such as the art, music and voices are incomplete in this phase. Our primary focus is to determine whether or not the content is playable, a challenge ---yet doable, and not buggy.

You can download the build here. Please read the disclaimer!


ANTics:

Game Development Progress:

ANTics is nearing completion! We will be releasing soon for Google Play for 99 cents and then launching a Kickstarter to expand development of the game for an expansion. (See: Below)

 
 Here is an animation of our first boss of ANTics, the mischievous ant queen! By: Paul Diggs











Here are some in-development screenshots of the game. Gerren did an incredible job handling the programming of the game, we will have another development video to show as well as a PR media package for the game ready when the game is ready to be released.




Upcoming Kickstarter Campaign:

We're going to take a new direction in the philosophy of a kickstarter campaign for ANTics. Instead of doing a Kickstarter campaign to fund the development of a project, we would like to try a Kickstarter to expand the game to our original vision.

ANTics is almost complete and ready to distribute, but in order to release the game, we had to omit things we would have liked to appear in the game. These include

-More Boss Ideas/Models
-More CG sequences and more fluid animations
-Voice Acting for the Bosses
-More Powerups
-Survival Mode/Endless Mode
-More awesome orchestrated tunes for the game

However, the time to develop these elements would delay the game further and we would like to see if players would like the game we have set to develop. If we can get the support and players like what we have to bring to the table, we would love to introduce these elements into our game.

When we release ANTics in the next few weeks, we're hoping to release a free demo as well, which we will include when you check out the page. We will also put the demo for free on our upcoming Kickstarter page. Backers for the expansion of ANTics will also get our current version of the game that we have included with their backing.

I have noticed that game creation Kickstarter campaigns are far more successful when they actually have a demo or playable section ready when the campaign is launched. It's not so much about "What we want to do", but to build confidence, those interested in backing the project want to see what they have already.

---


Anyhow, expect to see a retail version of Selatria to hit in early 2014, and ANTics to go live for download on your mobile phones in October.

I think that's about it for this development log. Until next time!







.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Viva Eorzea Linkshell/Company Group Picture 9/2013

Picture of the Viva Eorzea Free Company.


I'm in the center with my Paladin AF. Hopefully going to work on getting relic gear and Darklight now. More to come in the future!

Logo is courtesy of Sages Solomon.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Viva Eorzea Linkshell/Company FC/LS Leading Philosophy [ARR Edition]

Terms you might want to care about before reading:
Legacy Server - Players that transferred from the first version of Final Fantasy XIV. The server we're on (Hyperion) is a mix of Legacy players and new players who are trying the game for the first time.
Linkshell/Free Company - Our "guild", so to say. We formed in 2010 and we're called Viva Eorzea.
[Version] 1.0 - The original version of Final Fantasy XIV.
---
So it's just been a little over two weeks since "A Realm Reborn" was released, and it happened that the server we transferred to (Hyperion) became one of the most crowded servers in all of FFXIV. No one in our original group nor myself foresaw this coming. At least, I assumed that because it was a Legacy server (server filled with characters carried over with the original 2010 release), that we would kind of be sequestered away from new players with all of the "ugly Version 1.0 players". However, that was not the case. Hyperion got a lot of new players who either joined to play with their friends who played 1.0 or joined Hyperion because they didn't care whether or not they joined an old server or not as long as they got to play the game at all.

My philosophy for leading Viva Eorzea kind of mirrored this. As we started as a giant group in Version 1.0, a vast majority of the linkshell quit due to the dissatisfaction of Version 1.0. What started as a large 120+ LS with four leaders quickly shrank to a 30-40 man linkshell with just me. The remaining members and myself kind of had a small group going to which we did events like hard primal battles and the storyline. I had a feeling that the launch of "A Realm Reborn" that the current members had a few friends each that would join the game and we would keep the team fairly small.

Those plans went upside-down fairly quickly.

The free company/linkshell exploded almost back to its original 120+ member size with friends wanting to invite friends wanting to invite friends and it got way out of hand to the point to where a lot of the officers and myself didn't know who a lot of these new people were.

Now, don't get me wrong, I don't mind new people in the linkshell/free company, but it was getting to the point where no rules were set in motion to who could be invited and everyone was just asking the fellow Officers for invites to the free company to be a part of Viva Eorzea. It became essentially shout recruiting without actually shout recruiting. 
Shout recruiting is when someone [typically a recruiter or leader of the free company/linkshell] will shout in town looking for prospective members to join. Typically used while finding new members for your group. I despise it. Though I am guilty of doing it for my linkshell in Final Fantasy XI years ago, I feel that in XIV, I have enough friends that we formed our own without having to rely on that to keep Viva Eorzea with a healthy guild population. 
However, since our roster has grown to the size that it has, and as of this post we have 109 members. I feel like I have a responsibility to get 108 others to the point where we can do content, and it's admittedly a bit unrealistic. Most of the new content is either 4 or 8 man. Even  with our most dedicated members, we simply can't fill the demand of the FC's needs. Though, I also don't believe in booting people out just for the sake of booting people out. It's definitely a complicated conundrum, especially if I aim to also improve my own character and not spend all of my time on game helping people. (But don't get me wrong, I love helping people.)
So for those who are sticking around in the free company/linkshell and to the new people who I haven't really been acquainted with just yet, I set a road-map to those who would want to consider Viva Eorzea their full home.
You can read it below or at this link.
This was the message posted for the linkshell/free company posted in its entirety. 
---
Hey all, I'd like to give a brief rundown for the future of the linkshell/free company. Please read over if you plan on sticking around with Viva Eorzea for the long term. I apologize for the long read, but I want to make sure this is "crystal clear"? (Get it? Because it's a Final Fantasy game... never mind.)

---Viva Eorzea's Purpose:---

We're a free company/linkshell that is focused on having a core team of friends from real life, other MMOs, work etc, that come together and clear content at our own pace. My ideal vision for the FC is to be able to do dungeons one moment with relics, and another moment help out a friend of an FC member who is just starting out the game and is doing Satasha for the very first time.

We're not a world-first rush fest, and we're not an endgame group, we're a group of awesome people that goes at our own pace and welcomes friends of any level.

---Event Scheduling:---

Long Term Goal: Getting together a good team to be able to accomplish anything in the game.

At least until the first patch, there are steps in how I'm scheduling events.

Goal 1: Getting to the end of the story. Most of the first couple of weeks are meant to help people get to the end boss and help people clear the story. I am not one to rush people, as an avid player of single-player RPGs, I believe you can't rush through the story, and I gave a large window for people to be able to level up and get 50 without being left out of our events.

Goal 2: Getting members geared up to be able to tackle the events. Starting Sept 16. and going until October 1st: We are going to get Vivaers geared up with the jobs of their choosing. The hard mode primal fights and relic fights unlocked by completing the main scenario require good gear and coordination in order to complete content. AF gear is a nice start to level 50, but it's not going to cut it. That's simply how the game is designed. That means I am going to be scheduling events meant to get people geared up and get those Allagan tomestones to be able to get Darklight and level 50+ raiding gear ready for the new content. Our events during this period will be centered around getting people Amadyor Keep access, Amadyor Keep, Wanderer's Palace, and hard mode primals.

Goal 3: (Kinda overlaps with Goal 2, but this will be starting on October 1st): We will begin scheduling relic quest tasks into our Linkshell after this point. If you need Chimera or anything, FC members will be happy to help you out, but after Oct 1st is when I will be leading the charge and getting a lot of members up in their relic quests.

Goal 4: (Fall - To be determined) - The final goal will be to have our established group of players to be able to work towards completing the Grand Coil of Bahamut and the slightly easier Crystal Tower that comes out next month. I personally don't like Duty Finder pickups and I'd like to be able to use the FC to complete this content, but by this time we should be able to learn the playstyles of our new folks who joined us in ARR and have a mesh team of old and new Eorzeans alike.

---

So, that's our Viva Eorzea goals. My personal philosophy for this MMO is to be able to complete everything the game has to offer at least once without having to join a dedicated hardcore FC. The attitude of hardcore people goes against my personal philosophies, and I believe we're here to play a game and have fun. Yes, sometimes I do get frustrated, but it takes a lot more than that for me to give up completely, just takes time to cool off and try again the next day.
 
-Grover Eyeveen, Viva Eorzea Linkshell/Company Leader, Hyperion Server
 
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Monday, September 9, 2013

FFXIV: Looking for better gear than PLD AF?

I did Wanderer's Palace with the FC/LS yesterday. Went up against the final boss, took us two tries but we were able to down it. Fun times!


As you can see, our gear is getting up there. Correction: Their gear is getting up there! I did get two pieces of gear which is known as Vermillion Gear. Way better than the PLD AF I was wearing. However, the pieces I got went to the feet and legs, so they aren't seen too clearly in the picture.

Until next time!

Grover Eyeveen
Viva Eorzea Linkshell/Company Leader, Hyperion Server



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Saturday, September 7, 2013

My stance on the expression "[I/they] have no life".

I don't like it when someone says to another person or referring to themselves as "having no life" when referring their passions/interests. To me, that's the equivalent of saying that being dead is better than doing something you love, and I think that's a nasty thing to say about someone/yourself.

You're reading this, you're a living, breathing human being (unless you're a program that's parsing this blog entry to send to marketing) so spend it doing things you love doing and not waste time throwing it away on people who don't respect what you do and disregard it.

Friday, September 6, 2013

FFXIV Main Scenario Complete!


Completed the main story of Final Fantasy XIV! Thanks in particular to Augusta Musgrave and Ois Zalure who are my FC friends and were willing to assist/help along to get me there. I went comparatively slow in order to go at my own pace and really smell the roses.

Now for postgame content! In a future post I will talk about what I think of some of the storyline, but that will be full of spoilers and I'd rather not ruin the fun for anyone currently playing through.



And, of course, this awesome mount. Developers are showing the FFVI love!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Our dog passed on today. I was glad to be there with the family in her last moments. There were many memories to be had, and 16 years of stories to tell and filled with love and happiness.

I'm going to go offline for a while and cope with said emotions the way I know best, writing them down the old-fashioned way.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Whim Independent Studios - Development Log #19

Hey guys, back with a new development log! Lots of new stuff to show so I'll get right down to it.


Selatria:

We've been putting in a lot of hours into development of Selatria. While we have the main scenario of the game planned out, Tuesday we were able to split up the second-to-last chapter and put it into sub-sections. From there, we will make dialogue out of it for the voice actors and then implement into the game.

Starting off with some brand new art of upcoming main scenario characters, designed by Jennifer Gilliland




New Selatria Characters designed by Jennifer Gilliland


If you played the Version 1.3 demo on our website, you'll notice a new surprise in the opening of the upcoming version of the game with some new sequences that I hope you'll enjoy!


Matt has been working on mapping out one of the upcoming regions of the game, and adding a lot of battle content. Including taking feedback from some players to adjust boss battles in chapter 1, as well as come up with a lot of new exciting battles against Selactite foes. Many of them throw curveballs and might be too difficult during a normal playthrough. As they're optional, they will bring a lot of added challenge to the game for those who are fellow completionists in RPGs!

Jon has been adjusting a lot of battle content, and came up with a heck ton of abilities. We put together a small video last week that shows some of the abilities that are in development.


Selatria - Battle System in Development Video: Check out the Battle theme variations!

I have been working on some of the needed game functions. I have been designing a party management system in order to swap out party members at any save gate. Rather than have it be a window where you hotswap party members, I'm thinking of integrating the features straight into the gameplay. For example, you can see what your party members are thinking at the current point in the storyline before you ask them to join or swap out. They will also make snide remarks at you if you decide to "bench" them, so to say. I want to have every aspect of the game to be as fun as possible, even when doing things like managing your party or exploring.

An example of Luis being belligerent if you decide to keep him out of the party. Placeholder room.

Also what I've been working on is Chapter 3-1. You have to have a meeting with the council in order to warn them about the upcoming attacks from the Empire. However, the council isn't willing to talk to ordinary townsfolk, so Mage uses the celebrity pop star named Harmony in order to ride her fame to request an audience with the people of the Council Chamber. However, Harmony is only willing to do it if Mage uses his magic to power the visual effects for her concert.

Harmony's Concert - Still in progress. (Yay, debugging scores!) The concert music is a placeholder for now.

Last but not least, voice auditions! We've gotten a lot of them in the last month, and us as a development team were able to limit it down to a few choices for each character. I'm going to email them for call backs on lines in order to determine who will be the final picks for each role. Once we have the finished cast for the new roles for each character, I will post it publicly.


ANTics: 


For the first time we have a public demo for the game to show! ANTics will be a mobile/casual game that will require you to protect your hordes of candy from incoming bugs that try and attack it.

Lead programmer of the game Gerren Willis really took the helm on this game and made it run very nicely. There is still art needed to be worked on for the user interface, namely with buying powerups and icons, and that will be completed in the very near future. Paul Diggs worked on the art style for this game and the small CG scenes and animations, it came out looking great, as you'll see in the video below! The music was composed by Christopher Nuno who also did compositions for Selatria as well. As always, it's just magic coming to the ears!

We will be reworking a new user interface design into the game in the near future with icons and a unique window design in the near future!

The build you're seeing below is showing off levels 1-4, level 5 hasn't been implemented yet, but there's a special surprise coming soon that will show that off!



First public build of ANTics. Take a look at the credits for the dev team!

Look for ANTics to appear for PC/Mac/and your handy Android device or iPhone very soon.



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And that's about it for this development log.  Until next time!



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Thursday, August 22, 2013

The eve of a new adventure!





I'm really excited about getting to adventure around in Eorzea again! There are so many things I want to do and the two videos I posted above barely scratch the surface.

Paladin is definitely getting the forefront this time around, I would love to main tank for my group. Something I didn't really get to do much in the first version of FFXIV that I'd love to do a lot more. Of course we'll have runs where I will not be a superior tank just by not having the best gear in the group, and for that I have my back up roles as Black Mage and Warrior. Though, I've played the beta test and I liked how Arcanist played too.

Things I really put off from Version 1.0 is going for a relic weapon, I took a very casual approach to obtaining that due to thinking we wouldn't complete the content due to the latency and lag of the game client and servers. I wanted to focus on getting goals done when we could play at our best.

We've moved to the North American/European legacy server of Hyperion (we used to be on Aegis which has become a Japanese server), and I'm absolutely stoked about finally getting to take Garuda down. Fight Titan! Obtaining a Mog Sword. Get relic weapons for the group. Explore ALL the dungeons! Discover Eorzea's most hidden of secrets.

 

Oh, oh, and most importantly, save the world with a band of awesome friends of new and old.

I'll be around on Hyperion after 2AM Pacific Time Saturday morning. Say hi! I'm always down for a new adventure.



-Grover Eyeveen leader of Viva Eorzea Linkshell/Company of Hyperion











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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Computer Science graduate job-hunting

While I'm working on the small indie game studio, I've been eyeing more entry-level full-time positions that will pay a salary while I focus on getting Whim Independent Studios up and running.

I'm starting to see a catch-22 on a lot of open entry-level positions. They want 2-3 years of experience in multiple languages for an entry-level position.

I don't understand. The university I came from primarily taught just C++ for its courses, and I had a one-quarter course in Java and a one-quarter course in Python. How or where do they expect us to get the experience for the entry-level position?

I get it, technology is continually evolving and the standards for what languages are in and out are constantly changing, but how does one expect to constantly stay on top of everything? If I pick up a new language to learn in my spare time, I am not going to magically get awesome at it enough to get an entry level job.

So, Computer Science graduates, when you got your job, how exactly did you become good at programming? Any guides or books that you recommend I read in order to pick up or get efficient at languages a little better or faster than my current rate?





Thursday, August 15, 2013

I'm getting better at handling rejection!

Today I had a talk with a girl that I went to college with that we've been casually flirting back and forth online over the past couple of months.

After some back and forth conversation about some other topics, she outright brought up that she thinks that I was attracted to her. After admitting to her that I was, she calmly said that she wasn't ready for a relationship at this time and flirting was really as far as it was going to go.

I don't know whether or not she was just saying she wasn't ready, or if it was a nice way to say that she wasn't interested in me, and maybe I don't want to know. But I'm glad that she brought some closure to the subject.

And you know what? I'm not bitter or angry, or even upset. In all reality, I'm really happy that she was honest and told me up front that she had no intention of taking things further. Some people would be very malicious and lead them on thinking that they have a chance when in reality there's no way in hell things would work out.

I just wasn't the type of guy she's interested in, and that's OK! Just gotta keep moving on until I find someone I can click with and they can click back? (Click back? How cheesy!)

I do really enjoy the fact that both of us were able to handle it in a very mature up-front honest fashion.

And I feel fine!


Until next post.



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Monday, August 12, 2013

Whim Independent Studios - Development Log #18


Hey all, back with the 18th development log! Today's development log is going to focus mostly on Selatria! Some of the team were invited to a Game Audio meetup last Saturday down in San Juan Capistrano, and lots of networking opportunities were had. It was a lot of fun and I got to learn a ton of others' experience doing audio technical work in the game industry.

I've been pretty ill the past couple of days since that event, so a lot of game development on my end has been from the comfort (or lack of) of my own bed. I've been clipping together a lot of voices and doing the scenario planning for a lot of chapters in order to reduce the workload and get it planned out while we have a finished script.

Anyhow, I've gone off on a tangent. Let's get right down to it.


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New Selatria Characters:

I revealed a couple of new characters on our Selatria page the last week or two. I will elaborate on their personalities, at least a rough draft of their descriptions that will be on the Kickstarter pitch and virtual instruction booklet -

Waltear: 


Waltear - Art by Jennifer Gilliland

The original leader of a resistance faction against the imperial Dakk'rian Empire, Waltear was captured in a surprise attack, and taken prisoner to the remote city of Verwin, a remote Dakk'rian city that prides itself on being a desert resort for gambling and betting via its world-famous Arena, where prisoners are taken to fight for their lives against brutal monsters.

Doomed to a fate in the Verwin arena, fighting endlessly as a Gladiator to the amusement of the crowd, Waltear uses his Samurai skills in order to excel out of his situation, but time is running out before a monster will come that he can't defeat...

The main party is sent to retrieve Waltear from his doomed fate by the Resistance. But will they make it to him in time?

Abilities: 

Waltear focuses on physical team attack triggers. He can start attack chains where other party members can join in on. Here are some sample abilities (All abilities are subject to change!)

Whirling Dervish - Spins rapidly, attacking multiple times. May cause a Team Attack.
Rising Sun - Delivers an intense slash that inflicts two stacks of Burn. May cause a Team Attack.
Instant Incision - Waltear makes a series of incredibly fast cuts, attacking first.



Gobby:

Gobby - Art by Jennifer Gilliland

Growing up in the Goblin Village in the Southern Isle, Gobby had a peaceful life until recent attacks saw him and his companions conscripted to the Dakk'rian imperial forces. Gobby is sent on his initial mission under Commander Llona to attack the Faylien port metropolis of Heiveir.

Unlike his goblin companions who continue to follow orders of the Commander, Gobby realizes a basic sense of right and wrong and helps Melanie, who is trying to defend the harbor. After the Dakk'rian forces disregard him as a wretched beast and a traitor, the displaced Gobby begins to follow Melanie as a mother figure.


Abilities: 

Gobby makes use of archery and tools in order to create attacks. A lot of  Gobby's abilities are contraptions that require the use of items in order to execute. Here are some sample abilities (All abilities are subject to change!)

Aim - Delivers a precisely timed shot that never misses.
Overdraw - Fires with an extended draw for increased damage.
Poison Arrow - Strikes a Poison Arrow right to the heart. Has a chance of inflicting Poison.
Barrage - Fires multiple arrows at random targets.


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Music:

Composer Christopher Nuño stopped by the studio a few weeks ago to compose some themes for Selatria. He brought a small board to compose MIDIs and started to hammer out a couple of themes while we worked on the game. I recorded two of the themes when he was fine tuning them.

The first theme in development is going to be used for a beach resort. A sample of the finished theme is down below on the SoundCloud links.



This is a movie of a special boss battle theme in the works. I won't spoil it (though I really want to), but I hope the challenge that comes with this song will be justified! I only recorded part of the song, you'll have to hear the rest of it in the game itself!



Here are also two themes on the SoundCloud page. One is a completely new theme that hasn't been shown in the public yet. It's going to be the new theme of the Gatehouse composed by Luke Simpson. For those who have played the Chapter 1 demo, you'll see this in Chapter 1-3A when the next version of the Chapter 1 demo is released!



The second theme is one you've seen on the YouTube page, and one I've shared on Facebook and this blog already. It's going to be the theme for a Resort House and town. Check it out and listen! Chris wanted to go with a theme that is cohesive with the main theme of the game as well.




Looking for Voice Talent:

We have a lot of auditions coming in for voice talent for Selatria. Lots of roles for Chapter 2-4 are open. We originally had even more roles open than what we have listed, but in order to keep costs down, we voiced some of the characters that only have 1-2 lines in-house. So yes, I will have some voices as some very minor roles, as well as some of the other developers. Apparently I can pull off a "naive" person. Who knew?

Auditions end in just under two weeks, so take a look at the thread if you want to audition!


Other:

We will have a new PR person taking charge for public posts on Facebook, and our new Twitter and YouTube accounts. So posts will becoming more frequently for the games in development as we lead up to the Kickstarter pitch. His name is Louis Shepherd and he'll be managing several pages such as our upcoming YouTube page, our Tumblr, and our Facebook and Twitter.

I will still be doing big development log entries here as well, that way, especially for our backers in future projects can see the continued development of the project they help support.

At the rate we're going, ANTics is heading for a late August or September release and Selatria is aiming for December, but we're still not quite sure of a definitive release date for our games.

As the biggest feedback was the inconsistent art style for Selatria in the Indiegogo feedback, art-wise we're developing the game in three phases: Leading development on this is Jennifer Gilliland:


Phase 1
: Coming up with an art style we're happy with and morphing the faces to that style.
Phase 2: Redoing the monsters to fit the consistent style
Phase 3: Making unique terrain that sets Selatria apart from the RTP-style.

We're likely going to try for Kickstarter once Phase 2 is completed in order to get Phase 3 done since, personally, I think that will be the hardest section to do since environmental art is harder to accomplish.


Oh, I'll finish this off with a new screenshot of the Southern Isle, which is a group of towns on a group of islands that will be some of the focus for Chapter 3.

The mountain designs are unique assets and are by Jennifer Gilliland. The Southern Isles were mapped by Matt Estrada and Jon Dishaw mostly. We originally planned on having one small town in the center of the group of islands, but we figured it would be more fun if it was a group of towns that are interconnected by ferries and tunnels.





That's about it for this development log entry. I thought this would be a bit longer, but I'm not feeling very well so I'll let the medicine do the talking.

Until next time!






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Monday, August 5, 2013

Anime Vegas 2013

They pushed Anime Vegas convention back to November 1-3 instead of Labor Day weekend-

Good News: That makes me happy because there's time to plan a new costume and provides for more time to get our studio's games finished up to advertise at said convention!

Bad News: They still don't have a picked out venue and the delay explains on why they didn't answer my attempts to contact them for said advertisements in their program guides in the first place! >.<;;

But to reschedule so close to the original date, I hope there's no internal politics/cancellations brewing...

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Things I'd like to say that won't fit in a status update - August 2013


I haven't updated the blog in a while, and I probably should have, but I've been busy with a heck of a ton of stuff in the 'real world' and sleep has been iffy. So here I am. I think I'll call this segment "Things I'd like to say that won't fit in a status update" (TILTSTWFIASU, if you will) due to just being all around ranty and "paragraphy" (is paragraphy even a word?) of things I'd like to say but it would end up being an ugly giant wall of text.

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TILTSTWFIASU, why?


My friend inspired me to start TILTSTWFIASU, my close group of friends and I used to have a gaming get-together every third Saturday of the month to meet and play video games, catch up, and have a traditional eat at Red Robin - Unfortunately real life took charge and we stopped doing that as often as friends got busy with jobs, me and one of my friends got busy with longer hours trying to finish our game, and the whole lot.

So last week (or was it two weeks ago? probably two weeks ago), I suggest to a close friend to start a blog after his family and some of us suggested that his public status updates on Facebook were getting a little too... I don't know, ranty, if you will. And I told him a blog would be a great way to express his creativity and what he really feels, without being judged too much by his peers (just only those who care to see it). He made his private and invited those who were interested to see his blog, where he posts things and questions that people would answer and so forth. 

Everyone has a different definition of blogging, some is doing what said friend is doing, some's definition of blogging is using Tumblr to find and 'reblog'  funny pictures and gifs they find funny (I don't really consider Tumblr blogging in a sense - it's more of a Facebook where sharing is more important than posting original material - but that's a different story), and mine is more of the traditional sense to really just write down what I'm working on and how I'm feeling to get my thoughts on paper somewhere. Alright, without further ado...

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MySpace and Online History:

MySpace recently revamped their whole website some time ago. I don't know when they did it, but recently I went to check some old entries in my old blog I had on there before I moved here to Blogger. I guess looking back, it was for the better because everything I had on MySpace was completely wiped except for A/ Who I was friends with (now it's called "connected to") at the time, and B/ your current profile picture (which was a drawing by someone of me and my FFXI character).

In a way it was kind of depressing because it feels like everything I did online in those years were now erased from memory, but in a different way it does feel nice for some other people who posted pictures of them doing inappropriate stuff and never really scrubbed it from their online histories. I have a friend who applied for a probation officer and their HR department made him look up all of his online profiles to make sure he was a good fit for their institution. If you don't have appealing stuff on those sites, it will come back to haunt you.

I recently found out that Xanga (the blogging site I used before MySpace and this) was also having some trouble and they needed funding to stay afloat. If that were to go, then all of the blogs I've ever had except for this one would be scrubbed from existence.

It really does say something. If Google ever gets replaced by something better in the future, will all of these posts be scrubbed from memory as well? Who knows, it would be kind of cool to have descendants be able to find my rantings hundreds of years from now to see what I did in my normal spare time, but YouTube videos and the like will be around in some archived format on future technology, so people will get laughs. Heck, people still watch TV and that's been around for over half a decade. I wonder how long the internet will be around before it gets replaced by future technology we can't even fathom.

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Final Fantasy XIV:

Words can't really describe how psyched I am for the game to come back. Our progress officially stopped counting on Halloween of last year with the epic finale of 1.0 on November 11, 2012. I was out in Vegas at the time without a stable internet connection and I worried that I wasn't going to be able to be there in the final moments, but in the end I was able to make it and zones were crashing due to the end-of-the-world events going on. We managed to make it to Ul'dah and were greeted with the End of an Era video as soon as the servers went down. I still remember it and we took a final shot of our 1.0 characters together right before impact.



As for my "A Realm Reborn" look, after much deliberation, I am going to stick with my Version 1.0 character with some modifications. I am too attached with my character itself to warrant a change in identity. Hell, we almost saved Old Eorzea from certain doom. I don't want to throw that away (and I feel like I would) for a drastically different look on my character.


 I like the look, though I wish there were more hair options, but I'm pretty pleased with my appearance. Added some additional scars too to show the meteor/1.0 damage!

Grover Eyeveen's coming back in full force on Hyperion. I can't wait! I'd like to get some real life friends into the game, and that leads me into my next point.

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Free-to-Play/Micro-transaction Model VS Pay-To-Play Subscription:
 
Most of my real life friends like the free-to-play/microtransaction model. Most of them have PS3s and play free-online gaming and/or are fans of the online RTS "League of Legends". I played LoL for a short while, but the attitudes of the players are very off-setting and rude. I think that's why I really like pay-to-play models of games, it really weeds out (or at least sets a high-barrier of entry) against immature people who just log in to insult others.

FFXIV is going to be 12.99/14.99 ish subscription. (If you want 1 character or 8 respectively) - Some people think that price is too steep for a month. But think of it this way.

12.99 divided by 30 is 43 ish cents a day. That's less than the price of playing two arcade games a day. You can use Amazon Mechanical Turk in order to fulfill a couple of online jobs and easily make that money in 10 minutes tops. It's a very inexpensive form of entertainment as compared to, I don't know. Going out to a bar or watching a movie.

Not to mention it comes with updates for the game, new boss encounters, new classes, all the fun content.

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Studio Progress:

I think I've been becoming slowly more and more of a Producer/Director by keeping people on track. We are working on getting our games out to the public. I really know what type of people I'm looking for to get things done. People with a drive to actually work on a project, even if the rewards aren't immediate.

For Selatria we have a pretty close-knit team of people (one artist, three game designers, two musicians, and one sound editor/recording engineer) who are working on the game about 24 hours a week ish, almost as much as a part-time job. It's hard to stay motivated sometimes when the results of the work aren't immediately shown, but we still hack away at the game getting as much of it done a week as we can.

It's kind of funny that the highlight of our week was programming a "Game Saved!" window into our game once it writes data to a file. I will show more of Selatria in the next proper game development log along with some music and art. At least check out this song, I love the peacefulness to it. Chris did a really good job on composing this, and Jennifer did a great job with the art.



Selatria will likely be our only game traditional RPG format. (Maybe demand will change that in the future, but it's uncertain. We are here to make money after all.) As a studio, though, we do not want to be stuck in a niche and eventually try one of each genre. With Selatria we're out to prove quality games can be made with an RPG Maker engine and we're proving just that.

We're in the process of really learning the ins and outs of Unity to prepare development for our next game project. We're using about half of the development days each day to learn the engine. It's a lot of fun so far, and it's easier to learn when we develop in a very patient, take-your-time atmosphere as opposed to college where I felt like I was being rushed the entire time.

My personal philosophy is to get farther today than you were yesterday. Never be stagnant, because that's when you really lost. Heh, that kind of brought me to my next point.

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Trying new things and experiences:

Not sure if I posted it before or not, but I'm known as someone who has a very wide comfort zone, and doesn't really like to escape it as often. I've also notoriously been known for swearing things off after one bad experience. Bad time at a restaurant? I never go to it again. Friend tries to play a joke, never trust them again. I also had a great fear of talking to people on the phone and intercom, and that includes talking to people in drive-thrus, not to mention being too passive and not taking charge when needed. It's kind of bad for someone in several leadership position like I am, so I've been making steps to change it.

I'm really trying to break that habit by trying new things and giving people second chances. I tried some new items at existing restaurants I already go to, and I've been using notecards and small scripts in order to go through things like a drive-thru or talking on a phone so I don't stutter as much. It's a good step forward!

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That's about it for my first TILTSTWFIASU. Maybe I'll post more, but this was a really good place to get things off my chest. Until next post!