Depression lies part 2: manic depression/ why sharing is everything

I recently put up a new vlog where I talked about my battles with manic depression and how I hope that it would help anyone who feels anything like I do get the help they need and some comfort that that someone also feels like they do. heres the link!

I have been feeling  over the last few weeks very lonely and finding life in general difficult so many ask me why go through the struggle of doing something like this. the honest answer is I want to make a difference, and as I have been saying in twitter conversations there is people in this world that I love that do not understand what i go through and the only way we can get better at this is through being open, so it gives people the chance to understand more and help.

So i hope this helps you, or someone you know, and tell me if it does as some already have and it means the world to me just to tell someone that we do not have to fight this alone anymore, i certainly am sick of it!

your friend

Steven

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orange county gaming group kickstarter interview!

we talked to our tabletop friends from orange county gaming group recently about their kickstarter project!

1) Hello guys thanks for agreeing to talk to us its a real pleasure! now contextually few of our fans emailed in to ask us to interview you guys and we think you have a great idea! but before we get to that, can you introduce yourself and tell us how did you guys get started as a group?

We’re absolutely thrilled to have an opportunity to speak with you guys.

Well, we didn’t start as OCGG, but through a series of media, happenstance, friends, and luck we met each other and found that we all shared the same level of dedication to table top gaming. Beyond enjoying the game together, it didn’t take long to realize that our commitment to this genre of gaming extended far beyond mere participation. More than a passion for playing the game, we found we had a passion for innovating the game. OCGG was born shortly after.

2) so in regards to your kickstarter idea, could you tell our fans in a nutshell about your project ?

Essentially, we are trying to bring about custom audio versatile enough to be used across multiple genres of table top RPGS that gives the players that 3rd dimension feel. Try watching the final battle scene of Lord of the Rings Return of the King without sound, when the Fellowship finally defeats Sauron and his eye goes nova. We bet dollars to donuts that scene will fall pretty flat since the music and dramatic sound effects plays such a powerful role in driving home the currents of emotions the audience was meant to feel by Peter Jackson. We can do this with table top games, we know it because we feel it every Saturday around the table when our DM’s weave amazing audio in our amazing games.

3) so in regards to your project, would you say your influence is playing tabletop games to begin with?

Alex, our lead DM, has used musical backdrops for gaming sessions since 1995 starting from seeing the movie Braveheart. That was the first ‘click’. He saw scenes similar to the ones unfolding in his own game and realized that the dramatic music was key to influencing the emotions of the audience (and thus his players). It wasn’t until he received an iPad as a gift did another ‘click’ occur. Laptops, tablets, iPods, these are all ubiquities now a days, there’s no reason why we can’t immerse our gaming table with audio by both players and DM; the technology to play and share audio is everywhere.

4) question for fun, we are members of a tabletop gaming club, so what games do you guys
enjoy and what would you say made you decide to do your project?

D&D 3.5 is our first and foremost main game. We enjoy Shadow Run, Star Wars, Call of Cthulhu, Cyberpunk, Dragonlance, Ravenloft, Spell Jammer. We could do this all day, but we’re just going to stop there. (And that’s not including card games)

5) so would you say as players there was a gap in the market in regards to audio? or was it more lets try and make tabletop gaming better?

By far, we want to improve table top gaming. The audio to repurpose was there and it’ll always be there, it’s just, after playing for 20 years, hearing the same tracks gets old. We also noticed that there wasn’t an easily accessible and usable platform for current audio. You have to put up with ads and buffering and different media player plugins. Although there is a market for gaming music and soundscapes, there isn’t a whole lot of it. Moreover, we never found really cool, what we call, ‘Actual’ audio. That is, tailor made audio that DM’s can play and tell their players “Yup, you hear the elves actually perform this funeral service”. We’re going to change that.

6) You are using Kickstarter to fund your project, as fans we are always interested to ask why kickstarter and whats your thoughts about it?

Kickstarter has the most exposure. It is the biggest crowdsourcing forum available right now. It was easy to use and helpful as far as keeping in contact with those who support our project.


7) Geek Apocalypse loves creative thinkers/makers, so what would you say is the biggest challenge people like yourself have when you make something like this?

Advertising! Getting our name out there and getting people to understand what it is that we are doing and recognize that we are trying to enhance table-top gaming by bringing an innovation that sorely overdue.

8) we are assuming you guys have heard of tabletop and other platforms that are making board games/tabletop games popular? as experienced gamers what effect do you think this has had on the industry?

Mainstream media has boosted interest and acceptance of tabletop gaming. Generally, the popularity of movies like The Lord of the Rings, and series like Game of Thrones have rekindled public interest in fantasy. Specifically, Tabletop, The Gamers: Dorkness Rising, Community’s D&D Session episode, various thinly-veiled Futurama D&D references and even Stephen Colbert have helped to bring D&D and games like it out of the obscure nerd underbelly of society.

On the flip side, you have video games. From their inception, RPG video games from Might and Magic to World of Warcraft owe their success to table top games, having heavily borrowed its vernacular, statistical modeling, presentation, and thematic references. However, what we are now seeing is a change of roles where now video games, not table top gaming platforms, are leading the development of fantasy content. A lack of innovation, ancient business models, and short-sighted run to digital platforms, has eroded investment in this genre of gaming, which can still be as profitable as ever – because of new technology, not despite it. Combine this with the fact that fantasy gaming business leaders have yet to truly understand how to bring tabletop gaming out of the 1970’s and we have this relative table top innovation dry spell. Virtual tabletops, E-Tools, and E-Sheets have helped but it’s high time this incredible pass time gets a serious industry facelift.

9) if people are interested in pledging or finding out more information about your project, where would they need to go?

They can go to our website, OCGaminggroup.com, our kickstarter page, our facebook, or they can follow us on twitter.

10) and finally if your project does get made, any plans for the future?

Lots! We envision an ever growing list of custom made gaming audio which will in large part be decided by the gaming community as we pick up steam. Along with the soundboard, we’d like to introduce additional audio and visual immersion tools which are still in the drawing board stage. As long as we are funded, we will keep improving table top gaming.

Well we wish you all the Success in your project, as gamers ourselves we hope you get the funds to make it happen! thank you for talking to us and to quote Wil Wheaton, Play more games!

We can’t thank you enough. Alright everyone, we have innovation to bring to gamers, roll initiative.

you can find there kickstarter at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/105982873/realmsound-project-20

also here is my first vlog post where I recommend them!