Where is Crafty B Gamer???
I assure you, gentle readers, I am here. Truthfully, it has been a strange year for me overall and my focus has not been on my original brand and channel. I did not realize how much energy I was pouring into other projects and where I was neglecting my central concept. Oddities Observed has been a bigger focus for me, as I am seeing more results from those efforts, and it is all a mixed bag of randomness that can be very satisfying to experiment with. Crafty B projects take more time in production and double the time in editing, so I might move on to things that take much less time to fill the spaces, forgetting to get back to my core brand.
Part of what was driving Crafty B, as a process was having certain projects and just working through those deadlines. I am not running an active RPG right now, so I do not NEED to build a lot of terrain, or paint a lot of miniatures like I did 6-12 months ago. When I knew I had an upcoming game session and I wanted a fully fleshed out environment, I could use that timeline to make the terrain and film it. Then after the game, I could edit everything and make a video out of that. Currently, if I wanted to make a piece of terrain, it would be made simply for the videos. To make a video in this fashion, I feel as if I would either need a crazy cool idea in mind, or I would need a unique perspective or building technique to make the video matter.
Also, Crafty B is a little behind the curve of innovation when compared to the rising starts within the crafting community on YouTube. There are many synchronistic ideas that I have had that other crafters have thought of as well, but their videos came out before I produced mine. I do not want to look as if I were copying their intellectual property and try to claim it as my own. This means I have to dig deeper into what I think makes ME who I am, and infuse more of that into what I produce. So, thats what I intend to do.
What's new behind the scenes?
At the moment, I am cleaning up a lot of my work station, getting rid of unnecessary clutter, overhauling my organizational system. I am a bit of a collector, so I have to break myself from time to time and just take it all apart. I am also still finessing my recording set up, having a big connection issue between where I would do the work from where I would record audio and edit. There is not an elegant solution at the moment, so it is taking me some time. As space is limited and time is limited, I have to make my efforts even more efficient, and I am close to making that all a reality.
The FoundryCast itself has been changing on the exterior, although our fundamentals are in tact. Zach and I were both based out of Asheville, only about 4 miles apart, so we could get together frequently. Now as he has moved 4 hours away to Raleigh, there is not the same frequency of coordination, nor ease of collaboration. It tests what we are capable of accomplishing, either pushing us to be better or to eliminate what we aren't most passionate about. Its been an interesting opportunity to have to distill our brand into what works, reducing what does not.
Because of this challenge, both Zach (9 to 5 Gamer) and myself (Crafty B) have been looking at streaming options for a portion of our content. This is a simple ease-of-use decision, and we are wanting to see what works, what can be sustained, and how that presentation works within the FoundryCast network as a whole. We are not streamers by trade, but it is still a popular medium and we would love to bring more eyes to the channel. We would never want to go exclusively streaming, however, as we prefer the polish we can achieve when we have the time to clean things up in the editing room.
Although I have owned it for almost a year now, I am still loving my Proxxon hot wire cutter. This is a very popular tool in the terrain crafting community, making super clean cuts in extruded polystyrene foam. You can buy 3rd party rigs and jigs to help create different patterns, round cuts, etc, but the machine itself is really all you need. I am trying some of Black Magic Craft's tutorials, as he is a big XPS foam guy, to see how much of his style aligns with my own.
I have also recently acquired a 3D Printer, which I finished assembling this past weekend and I am testing this week. It is a Creality Ender 3 Pro, nothing too fancy, but it is one of the most popular home 3D printers on the market right now. I am trying to dial it in so it prints properly, but I am a true novice at this so I am doing everything I can not to be completely discouraged by all of the issues along the way.
I have also been experimenting with a few new paints, some textured rolling pins, and other small tools that may be more multi-functional than originally intended. It is fun to play with new tools and in new mediums so I am trying to see if there is any applicability with different kinds of clay or putty, texturize them, and then have them adhered to foam or cardboard for super fast floors and walls that are still highly detailed. So far, it is way too much trouble to pull off and doesn't look as good as the other approaches. For the moment, it is not a viable technique but I will continue to play with it and share my methods with the world if they ever start to pan out.
Upcoming goals for Crafty B !
I would like to refresh the Crafty B pages, update my video intro, and find the best look for my videos. In some ways, my videos feel more honest and hands-on than other channels I have seen which may have higher production values. But I would like to give everything a fresh coat of paint, so to speak, just to refresh. The same goes for my Uncle Minecraft series, which I was doing for fun for my niece and nephew. This should take me about 2 more weeks to implement.
I believe a weekly stream, akin to a Let's Relax, is going to be a near immediate thing. I have done it with painting miniatures before, not exactly a tutorial because I am no expert, but it will likely be something like that. These could be streamed live then saved, lightly edited, and re-posted on the site... but I don't know if anyone would ever go back to watch that so it might just be better live.
I would also like to get several personal projects off the ground that I have been stewing over for the last couple of years. I do not know if they require me to spearhead them all on my own, or if they require more sophisticated collaboration with Zach, but GM's Round Table is an idea I feel strongly about. I will be relying on my friends to really come through for me here, and I may be asking a lot of them, but I think they will be pleased with the results.
I am already preparing for Raleigh Supercon.... I mean..... Raleigh GalaxyCon! I am looking forward to this event, as it will be the big highlight of my summer. I am play-testing a few costume ideas right now, but my health has been poor as of late due to my job, and I am woefully out of shape so a few ideas I had simply will not work. I haven't really been a big costumer before, but I can certainly see the appeal and I would enjoy being more involved in the community somehow.
So in the end, I am still here and I am still working behind the scenes on lots of projects. I am learning more and more every week and it will only be a matter of time at this point before Crafty B is rolling strong once more, with at least 2-3 videos per month. I will have new crafty projects, more tutorials, more gaming, and maybe even some free downloadables! Please continue to stick with me, follow and like and subscribe and all that happy nonsense to help my channel continue to grow!!!