Aaron Dembski-Bowden

Don't worry. None of this blood is mine.

November – Busy as Balls

A quick update, in this busiest of times.

I’m comfortably installed in my new office, which was “one of the spare rooms”, then “Steve’s room”, then “the Admiral’s Chamber” and is now just “My Office”. Katie’s family are helping with (by which I mean: doing all of) the repainting in the rooms and halls we’re redecorating. I feel these ululating waves of guilt-pulse spasms as I hear the roll of paint thingies smearing over walls, but I’m currently churning out more word count per day than I’ve ever done since, oh, roundabout the time Blood Reaver was equally late last year.

In short, the house is ascending from its pre-Fuchsia form to its post-Fuchsia incarnation, and apart from the fact I’ve still got a wardrobe to build, it’s really starting to feel more like Home, rather than A Nice House In The Countryside That We Rent From Katie’s Parents.

On the downside, Skyrim was out last week. That should be an upside, but I’m not getting to play it all that much. I keep getting screenies from my friends of their characters at godly levels of competence, while I’m stealing a few hours here and there and sacrificing sleep to thieve a few more.

Several people have asked me what I think of it so far. Well, considering I was hugely disappointed with Oblivion (I’m being polite; I almost loathed it), I’ve tried not to be psyched since I first saw the FUS-ROH-DAH trailer back at the start of 2011.

My opinion on Skyrim runs thusly: it’s the best game I’ve ever played. At least, it’s everything I want in a game, and I love it.

But bear in mind I like some really dubious games that a lot of people think are shit (one of my fave games is Star Wars: Republic Commando, f’rex), so take that however you will. I found Space Marine an amusing distraction for a few hours, but felt no drive to even finish the campaign, and the multiplayer holds zero appeal. Not that it’s bad, it’s just not my sort of game. Conversely, Skyrim – a game I’d been too scared to admit I was feverishly looking forward to – is almost life-changingly, ball-achingly awesome. It eclipses the previous Top Spot holder, Placescape: Torment, only because PS:T is so bloody old now that I’m starting to look like an asshole for still championing it.

Here’s Tyrgarde, a Nord whose domineering overlord is spending all his points in Magicka (hence the robes):

When not freezing, burning, or burnfreezing his foes, our protagonist enjoys staring pensively off into the middle distance.

But no time, no time. All systems go.

My friend John had his baby (Henry David French) a few days ago, with all hands on deck and no problems to report, el capitan. He and his wife Liz are kind of our trailblazers, as they’re almost dead-on 1 trimester ahead of us. As for Fuchsia herself, less than an hour ago I was stood in the midwife’s room, listening to the baby’s heartbeat at our own 25-Week checkup. I’d thought this one was going to be boring (well, a talky one, compared to the awesome scanny ones), as Katie’s weight, iron levels, baby size, etc. were all recorded by this smiley Irish lady.

Incidentally, I think this is the same smiley Irish lady that delivered Katie’s little brother Nathan, almost two decades ago. Close-knit communities are weird but sweet things.

We finally heard her heartbeat (after seeing it twice before getting to hear it, funnily enough) and in a raw slice of 2011 Aaron-style parenting, my first thought was “That totally sounds like my horse running in Skyrim.”

My forum cold turkey is going… okay, actually. I’ve cut it down by about 90% of my previous levels, and just zipping in, reading cool stuff, posting a bit, then zipping back out. I’m managing it much better than I’d feared. For those of you interested in a little “how canon works” debate (if this article didn’t entirely settle it for you) then here’s a link to a tiny bit more. Just a little bit, for clarity – starts at the top of page two, where the link leads, and goes on for a bit below.

I’ll finally finish Void Stalker next week. That deserves a pleased sigh in and of itself, but I have to bolt out some word count, take Katie to work, and start building this fucking wardrobe.

It’s not that my life is hard. It’s not. It’s really not. It’s just that so much of it makes such little sense to me.

Some people say this is the Human Condition. But some of those people like Lee Evans and think he’s funny, so their opinions are therefore meaningless to me.

November 16, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | ,


  1. You’re not alone in thinking Republic Commando was a good game. I always loved having a laser clean the alien blood from my visor. I’ve been so deep into Skyrim that I keep wanting to put pots on my co-workers heads so I can steal their desk candy. Word of advise, check out online how to exploit Blacksmithing so that you can max it out and make dragon armor(!). Congratulations on completing Void Stalker. The excerpt I read made my balls tingle, and I wasn’t even standing near the microwave. Congrats on the heartbeat too. Beating hearts are always good, even ones that sound like hoof-beats.

    Comment by dethmunky | November 16, 2011 | Reply

  2. I found SM multiplayer not too bad, it caught me but then again I like multiplayer parts of games that doesnt takes too much of mu brain to think through. The campaign was decent as well, a bit short and as many said not many characters you felt for.

    Comment by Forkmaster | November 16, 2011 | Reply

  3. It eclipses the previous Top Spot holder, Placescape: Torment

    High praise indeed, as Planescape is probably old enough to go from ‘old’ to ‘classic’ these days.

    Comment by edfortune | November 16, 2011 | Reply

  4. I chuffing hate Lee Evans!

    That is all.

    Comment by Oli | November 16, 2011 | Reply

  5. There is no shame in keeping Planescape: Torment at the number 1 spot.

    It still has the best question ever asked in a game. “What can change the nature of a man?”

    Comment by Nathan Reyes | November 16, 2011 | Reply

  6. I have to say that Skyrim has caused my painting/modelling progress to come to a screeching halt. It is, quite possibly, the best single player game I have ever purchased. I get a tremendous sense of nostalgia playing it. It hearkens back to the early days of Dungeons & Dragons for me, and makes me yearn for the days when we didn’t worry about rules and just did whatever we wanted. Complete freedom!

    Comment by cvtuttle | November 16, 2011 | Reply

  7. yeah space marine captured nothing of what makes 40K so addicting to read , ultras r foolish assholes but thats it

    Comment by matt weston | November 16, 2011 | Reply

  8. Glad you lurv Skyrim. Like your character. Well done good sir. I’m a Nord on Berserker track named Alaric Khan 🙂 too bad there’s no online multiplayer, I’d TOTALLY team up with you. . .not only because I die every time something bigger than me comes along, though >_>

    Glad to hear the baby is doing well. And from the sounds of it you will be a fine father 🙂
    Just remember Yoda wisdom and you’ll be fine 😀

    Comment by Christopher L. Meyer | November 16, 2011 | Reply

  9. Don’t be ashamed of liking Republic Commando ADB, its one of my favourites too. The day I found out we’ll never know what happened to Sev was a truly horrible day for me and all fans of Delta Squad.

    And Skyrim is indeed the best game i’ve played in a long time. It tops Dark Souls in awesomeness, which is still a fantastic game in itself, though I do think Dark Souls is more of a challenge than Skyrim and the darker feel of DS is cool as well. If you think you aren’t getting enough sleep with Skyrim, try Dark Souls. You’ll die over and over again, and you’ll just keep on going despite sanity telling you to give in.

    I’ve taken the warrior path in Skyrim though, and I’m staunchly with the Stormcloaks. I’m also a werewolf which is pretty damn awesome, if I’d named my character Leman Russ rather than Konrad Curze it’d be beyond ironic.

    That is some good pre-parenting there ADB, do you ever intend to tell Fuchsia that you thought that when she’s old enough to understand?


    Comment by Lord of the Night | November 17, 2011 | Reply

  10. Who the hell doesn’t like Republic Commando?!

    I must have played the campaign about a hundred times through.

    Comment by Phillip | November 20, 2011 | Reply

  11. Congrats on nearly getting void stalker done just keep on …………keep on focusing (hand moves mouse over skyrim luancher) damm that game is good
    Also i found republic commando awsome the feel of being a soldier in a galactic conflict was awsome

    Comment by J.Sibley | November 23, 2011 | Reply

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