Categories
Activism Improv Personal Video Video Games

What I have been up to (Julybruary 4tst edition)

Hello, from the hyper-time sphere, where time is both accelerating and standing still.

Last time I posted (besides the boring nerd server post) was in April, and let’s say things have still been happening. Lots of things are still happening.

So let’s get this train wreck-a-rollin’

Improv

But all the venues are closed (or were, and still should be), how can anyone be doing the righteous work of improv comedy? Well, go to the online, like everything else in your world. “But, Matt, wouldn’t it be worse?” Oh, sweet summer child, of course it’s worse, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it. And do it we have. We’ve has a few online shows, and they have been alright given the circumstances. It has, at the very least, allowed me to multitask on new levels. Managing downloading pictures to show, a live chat, music, sound effects, audio and visual cues, and also Im the occational prov. Well, it’s a lot.

Activism

You are not going to believe this, but activism stuff is still happening. I know, you’re like “Get right out of town, Matt.” First, no, I will not, and second, it’s true. Given the *gestures around to everything* there is still work that very needs to be done.

It seems like forever ago now, but I did host another candidate stream, found here:

That took a lot to put together, but I think it went smoother than the first. I’m the stream boy. I’m the one who streams. I should probably work on the naming a little.

We also got an opportunity to put together a short video to be played during the all digital Taste of Tippecanoe. I had four day to put it together, but I like how it turned out. I tried some editing techniques I’ve not done before. Editing video is so relaxing. Getting lost in the edit is like one of my favorite things ever. Pure zen.

Check that out here:

Tim and Matt Play

We are still going! A little more sporadic than we have been, and I’ve been dealing with just monumental tech issues for a solid month since updating to Windows 10 2004 (Beware!), but I’m hoping to get that figured out soon. It is only extremely frustrating. Come hang out with us Thursdays at 8:30-ish. We love interacting with friends in the chat.

Fighting Games

I don’t know exactly what sparked it, but I have been so into fighting games lately. Way more than I have in any other recent time. I haven’t had nearly enough time to play and practice them, but Street Fighter V, Killer Instinct, and Smash are pretty much all I play when I get a moment. Just caught the bug. I’m hoping to maybe get an actual solo game stream where I rotate stuff eventually, and they will definitely play a key role. If you ever want to play any of those, let me know.

Running

I can’t get enough of it, and I want to do more. The NYC marathon got cancelled (this is a good thing!), but the initial email said I was guaranteed next year as a resolution. The follow-up turned out that that is not the case. You are guaranteed an entry next year or one of the next two following years. That sucks ass. Here’s to hoping. Since I think all major marathons will be cancelled this year, if they already haven’t, and I wouldn’t do one anyway all things considered, I am thinking of planning my own personal one to run sometime when the weather is far from rightful. Is it fall yet?

Honestly, I’ve been up to so much and without much of, if any, a break. I am kind of fraying at the edges, but I am going to try to keep it together as best as I can. I hope you are all healthy and keeping it together the best you can, too.

Categories
Activism Politics Technology Video

Virtual Town Hall

In news of things I’ve been up to. I organized the Virtual Town Hall GLI put on for the IN-4 candidates.

This was me trying to further extend my video and live streaming skills to produce something I thought looked professional for no additional dollars.

This was my first foray into using After Effects to create motion graphics, and I did like how those turned out. I used Zoom as the video call platform and captured the display to put into OBS. I routed the audio all internally using software, and had volunteers timekeeping and gathering questions from Facebook to put into a live Google Doc. I also had fun with my green screen, though I am patiently waiting for my new lights to come in so I can get better contrast between me and the background so I can get the chroma key to work better.

I think it went pretty smoothly! There is of course things I’d like to improve upon. One, the creating of everything was extremely time intensive. All the OBS layouts and motion graphics take a lot of time to render out and assemble. I’d like to automate some of this if possible so I’m looking into setting up with NodeCG. It is going to be a lot of work up front, but should allow for much greater flexibility and automation in the long run. Long term goals here.

Categories
Activism Projects Technology

What I’ve been up to.

Hiya.

So, things are a little different now.

What I’m saying is there have been some changes.

What with the state of everything and danger around every corner, I’m here to answer the question that has been on everyone’s mind:

What have I been up to?

Well, let me tell you. Quite a lot.

It turns out my specific skill-set is in high demand at the moment. With everyone now living in the computer as I have *bane voice. born into it. blah blah.* people are now wanting to do a whole lot more, and I’m endeavoring to make that work.

I know I’ve said this to many, but I’m busier now than I was before the Covid-19 non-sense. Part of it is people want/need me to do stuff, part of it is because I want to help people in the ways that I can in this socially isolating time.

Enough with the preamble, the U.S. constitution (got ’em)! What have you been doing?

Thing the first:

Because being physically in a place is hard, and people have questions myself representing Indivisible, and the others from the Working Hoosiers Vote Coalition worked to put on an online workshop. It is now online, and I think it worked well. How to organize people, answer questions, and generally keep people invested and informed. This is a model I’ll be using for other events I am helping to shape and plan. I also played around with how to use a real green screen, background replacement, and different audio feeds to pipe into Zoom.This was a huge effort by those involved and I want to thank everyone who contributed to making this happen.

Thing the second:

Tim and Matt play is often a testing ground for me, as it’s fairly low-stakes if things go awry. This particular set up I’m pretty proud of though. When Tim and I stream we usually are in the same place (my house) so making this work would be a change. In this particular game, it is not made to be played online, meaning to play two player you are usually required to play on the same device, with two controllers. I found out Steam has this really neat feature called Steam Remote Play Together, and basically it takes the host computer (mine) and streams the video to another person as a video feed, then takes their controller inputs and pipes them to my computer. The game thinks there is just another person physically there, and not across town. In addition to doing that, I was chatting with Tim over Discord, and routing the audio specifically to get all the levels correct using a third party program. This on top of streaming at 1080p60 at the highest available bit-rate to Twitch. In a totally cool, and nonchalant way, THIS IS REALLY NEAT. I hope to expand some of this to even more cool things, like net playing old games via emulator over the internet. Sega tapes, online, when they were never meant to be. FUTURE.

Thing the third:

I’ve meant to do this for a while, but I finally started doing some solo-streaming. I love Tim and Matt play, but I also want to play some games outside there, and streaming is a good way to connect to people. It’s more social and interactive than people (who don’t watch streams) think in my opinion. This is me trying my hand at it, and if you look, I’m changing my setup from stream to stream. I think I will continue to play with it as I go. I like having a camera there, too, which won’t ever happen in Tim and Matt Play, so that’s a new touch. Come hang out live sometime. My twitch username is goo3r, like everything else.

Thing the fourth:

In addition, I’ve been trying to bring friends together. We’ve done a couple virtual game nights, and I’ve hosted some virtual cocktail hours for Indivisible. It’s just nice to talk to talk to people sometime, commiserate, and let off some steam. Since I’m figuring out ways to pipe games through webcam settings and stuff, we’ve tried Jackbox, and we’ve done some online board games with some success. Still working out the kinks, but I think it’s been fun and good, and I’m always thinking of fun ways to combine all this tech.

I am getting more ridiculous with my stream setups, and I see no way this is going to slow down, so I am excited for what kind of crazy nonsense I come up with next on a budget of effectively zero.

I hope everyone is staying safe and staying home if they are able. I hope this helps everyone realize how vital all those “low-skill” workers are to our everyday existence and starts to treat them with the respect they all deserve. Sincerely, thanks to everyone out there helping out. Find a mutual aid network, call a friend, tip a food service worker or bartender’s Venmo even if they can’t give you your normal white claw or cold brew.