So You Want To Be a Mind Scanner

Imagine a world where your family member is being kept from you and the only way to see them again is to work for Their captors. You only get one shot, if you fail to do the job well, you’ll be thrown from the city and lose the only chance you have of seeing them.. How long until you abandon your morals? Would you “treat” seemingly healthy patients to pay the rent? Would you risk your patient’s mind to get the job done?

This is the setup for Mind Scanners. A dystopian, sci-fi, techno-therapist simulator from The Outer Zone.

In Mind Scanners, you take on the role of a Mind Scanner, whose job it is to scan minds and treat whatever insanity you discover. Or, more accurately, what your corporate overlords see fit to treat. Every day, you’ll receive new cases, travel to patients, assess them, and treat them if deemed necessary. There’s also the small matter of paying your new employer a maintenance fee to continue working for them.

A typical day for a Mind Scanner looks like this. Wake up, get a pep talk from a large, talking, tube and/or receive a passive aggressive fax from The Structure. Receive your new list of patients the system has identified as needing treatment and head out into the city. Determine which patient to travel to and eat up anywhere from 15-30% of your time per day commuting.

Arrive at the patients home and place the scanning device over their head. To the best of your abilities interpret the meaning of what they say they’re seeing in the machine from the predetermined answers the machine spits out. Better get your interpretation right or you’ll be losing time asking another question.

Once interpretation is complete, decide if your patient is Sane or Insane. No, there’s no merely a little stressed, or might have a bit of anxiety, it’s either Sane or Insane. Choose one. If Sane: close the case. If Insane: start Treatment.

Treatment consists of using devices that match the “insanity types” the mind scan has discovered. You’ll be using cutting edge technology such as:

  • The Lunasucker: Suck out the Strange and negative energy from your patient.
  • The Stroboschocker: Keep patients in balance with amplified light drawn from luminescent zycnoka crystals.
  • The Throatarizer: Transforms the insanity into frequencies and forces them out using the vocal chords of the patient.

As you can see, all very technical, sciencey devices.

Each device has it’s own, unique mini game that require a bit of practice to master. If the device isn’t used correctly you will start to stress out the patient. Treatment is over when all insanity types have been cleared or the patient is too stressed out to continue.

If you’re not careful, your patient might become a functioning husk without a personality. Sadly, many of my patients have ended up this way because I focused too much attention on clearing their insanity and not enough of their personality bar. Don’t worry, you’ll still get paid as long as you finish treatment.

The it’s off to your next patient until you run out of time for the day. Crawl back to your corporate hovel, sleep, have terrible dreams about your daughter, wake up and do it all over again.

Sounds fun, right?

Don’t forget about your maintenance fee! Just 7 kapok a day to keep your job. You make 15 kapok from “curing patients” and 3 kapok for declaring them sane…I think you can see which one The Structure prefers you do.

Oh, and if you can’t make the rent? You’re getting tossed into the Outer Zone. You can be certain you’ll never see your daughter again once you’re out there.

Mind Scanners does something very interesting with it’s gameplay mechanics. I don’t know about you but trying to learn a new mini game or think about the right sequence of insanity types to remove while a timer is ever ticking down kinda makes me a little stressed.

If you think about it, you’re playing as someone so desperate to see their daughter that their working for her captors for a chance to see them again. They’ve just become a certified Mind Scanner, they barely know how to use their tools, and their constantly having to worry about how to make enough money so they aren’t kicked out of the city.

That kind of situation would stress me out too. That’s some immersion right there.

I probably wouldn’t have played this game if I wasn’t participating in UnwiseOwl’s Blaugust Reviews: Humble Choice. I thought it would be fun to pick a game I had never heard of before to play and review. I’m glad I did. My short time with Mind Scanners proved to be quite the experience. I’m going to finish my play through and see what ending I get (there are many).

Would I pick up August’s Humble Choice just for this game? Probably not. However, if there’s another game or two in the bundle that you’re excited for give this one a whirl too!

How I Got Started in Content Creation

Well that sounds like a click-baity title….

Today, I’m writing from one of the Blaugust Prompts that related to this week’s Introduce Yourself theme. Taking a look at this list, most of these would fit the theme for this week so if you’re struggling to come up with something but want to write about yourself head over to the prompt list!

I’m working off of prompt #1: How did you get started in content creation?

I started writing on the Internet in 2014 after replying to someone on Reddit looking for people to review comic books for their site. At the time, I was just getting in to comics and thought it would be a fun way to spend my time.

There wasn’t any pay, of course, but I did get a whole slew of free comics from multiple publishers every week. It allowed me to stretch out my writing muscles that I hadn’t used since college and learn a thing or two about WordPress. It was also really cool to see something I wrote appear on a website. A novelty then and a regular occurrence now.

That project lasted for about a year. The site owners moved on to creating a Sports site which I had no interest in contributing to. The comic site shutdown a few months later just in time for me to lose my interest in comics.

A little while later I stumbled upon book bloggers. As a lifelong reader, I toyed with the idea of creating my own. Ultimately, I didn’t feel like I read fast enough or prioritized reading over gaming enough to produce a steady stream of content for a book blog. I shelved that idea but the research for it taught me how to go about setting up a blog.

It wasn’t until 2016 that I would start this blog under the name I’m Not Squishy. The Newbie Blogger Initiative was the catalyst that got me to start my own gaming blog. I heard about it through Massively OP and saw an opportunity to try something new. Up until NBI 2016 I didn’t even know game blogs existed nor the amazing community that wrote them. I had such a good time writing, reading, and meeting bloggers that year. I’ve been here ever since.

In 2017, my group of friends and I decided to start a Twitch channel. We had been playing games together for about a year at that point and collectively decided it would be a fun group project. Thus, Welpsquadtv was born.

We found some small success early on. We had anywhere from 10-20 viewers every stream. Twitch was easier in 2017.

I was really in to learning the ins and outs of OBS, tweaking my audio, and finding new technologies to incorporate into our streams. The whole affiliate program rolled out and we were affiliated within a few days. I was so excited but there didn’t seem to be anywhere to go from their. I wasn’t looking to make a living off of Twitch, we already had a small community and I had already accomplished all of the goals I set out to accomplish

That was probably about the time that my interest started waning. Streaming showed me just how much time one needs to put in to be a “content creator” on the platform. I also realized I didn’t really like the whole solo-streaming thing. Unless I was playing with a friend, I get very little enjoyment trying to entertain people and talking to a live chat.

We’re still streaming, albeit, to a much smaller audience these days. It’s mostly my friend Greg who streams these days.. I still like playing with the tech and finding fun ways to use our 4 man group streams as a shtick. My favorite implementation has been using Discord screen sharing to see all of our view points at once. But my focus and individual contributions to the channel have wound down significantly over the years.

Oh look another Blaugchevemnet!

Welcome to Blaugust!

I’m going to be that guy who welcomes everyone five days in to the event. But you know what? It’s within the first week so, technically, it still counts.

If you’ve been posting everyday so far, congrats you’ve almost made it to the end of week one. If you haven’t signed up yet, no worries! There’s still plenty of August and blogging to go so sign up!

Bel posted early this week that, this year, there have been more first time Blaugust participants signing up than years past. Twenty-two in total at the time of the post. That’s twenty-two whole new-to-me blogs to add to my RSS Reader.

Over the years, I’ve really appreciated how Blaugust has morphed from a posting challenge into a replacement for the Newbie Blogger Initiative. I started my blog during the last NBI and was pretty bummed when it didn’t come back the following year. I look forward to this event every year (this is my fourth time participating!) for the new bloggers it brings out, the new-to-me bloggers I’m introduced to, and the return of some bloggers who haven’t posted in a while.

So whether you just started your blog or have blogged for years: Welcome all of you event newbies!

My plans for this years Blaugust are a very much not plans. I am striving for the whole 31 posts but at this point I’m pretty happy with my 5 post streak. I managed to schedule out the first four at the end of July so now the real fun (and challenge) begins.

One feature I’m looking to bring back this month is Audio Drama Sunday. I used to be a huge audio drama fan per-pandemic but once I didn’t have a commute I struggled to find time to listen to them. Lately, I’ve been finding a bit more time and some new activities that pair well with podcast listening. Bringing this back will be good way to fill up those pesky weekend slots and get my thoughts down about what I’ve been listening to.

Other than that, it will be business as usual around here. I might even shoot for some of those new, fancy, Blaugchievements.

Oh look, here’s one now!

The Tables Have Turned Larry

I don’t have a particular attachment to the Alien franchise. I’ve seen some of the main line movies once or twice but couldn’t tell you what happened in them. Well, except for face huggers and xenonorphs of course. Alien vs Predator, now that I’ve seen several more times than I probably should . My middle school self just thought they were so cool. I was always more of a Predator fan though.

My main exposure to the Alien universe has been through Alien: Isolation. It was the first game I used the PS4’s Shareplay feature to play with a friend who had it. The game was dripping with atmosphere and tension. I have fond memories of hiding in lockers, fearing the sight of vents, and feeling general unease every time I heard the Alien, who we affectionately named “Larry”, walking around in the walls. Every time we thought we had finished Larry off he came back even meaner than before.We never did finish it but it’s still one of my favorite co-op experiences.

Aliens: Fireteam Elite lets me enact my revenge. No longer will I cower in fear. No longer will I run frantically to find a locker to hide in. We have guns now Larry and this time and we’re here to mow down your entire family!

Blaugust 2022 Draws Near

We’re more than halfway through July which can only mean one thing: Blaugust is right around the corner! In fact, Bel put the Blaugust 2022 introduction post up last week.

If you’ve never heard or Blaugust it’s a month long, community event where bloggers strive to post, on average, one post a day through the month of August. There’s more to it and some extras this time as well. For all those additional details I encourage you to read the introduction post. And if you haven’t already, sign up and join the Blaugust Discord.

If you’re a new blogger or thinking about starting a blog this is an amazing event to jump start your blog. The community is quite active during the event and it’s fun to see so much content flying around. Especially from new bloggers! There are always a number of wonderful mentors who are always willing to help and answer questions.

If you’re an old blogger who hasn’t posted in a while Blaugust is also a great time to jump back in. I find myself coming back year after year for the community and extra helping of motivation.

As always, I’m looking to post all 31 days but from past years I know this isn’t always possible. It’s a fun challenge either way.

I can’t believe this will be my fifth Blaugust!

It’s Blaugust!

It’s August 1st which means Blaugust is officially under way!

August has become my favorite month over the past few years. It’s great to see this side of the blogosphere so active, seeing new faces to add to my feed, and seeing some old faces I haven’t read in a while.

Every year I shamelessly use Blaugust as a way to motivate myself to write more. It also motivates me to comment more and try to be more active in the community. I’m a blog/discord lurker by nature. This year I’m using it to get back in to blogging as my writing has fallen off pretty hard this year.

I already know I won’t be hitting the post a day challenge. I’m leaving for vacation tomorrow and did not prepare any posts in advance. But no worries there, my goal this year is to consistently write 3 posts a week and get my mind back on blogging and writing in general.

Let the writing and reading spree begin!

That’s a Wrap!


Well, my friends, we’ve made it to the end of Blaugust. Today, this post right here marks the completion of 31 posts in 31 days. I actually can’t believe I’m writing that. If you asked me in the beginning if we’d be here right now I would have said: “maybe but probably not”. I’m going to be honest here, I’m proud of myself.

My goal this month for the event was to post more than last year which was 17 posts. I checked that off the list and kept on going hitting my ideal goal of all 31 days. I also wanted to comment on more blogs. I’ve also done that this month setting aside time to engage with other bloggers.

Here are some of my noteworthy stats for Blaugust. Currently, there are 163, including this one, posts on my blog over a 4 year period. This month accounts for 19% of my lifetime posts. 65% of my posts this year were published this month. August accounts for 50% of my views this year as well.

But you know what I got most out of Blaugust? Is that I have time to blog. One of my many hurdles with this blog over the years is that I’ve felt like I had too much going on to write. It turns out, if I actually make time to write, I can come up with something to post.

This month a majority of my writing has taken place an hour before bed or the hour before I have to leave for work. There have been days where I’ve spent two or three hours writing multiple posts because I had to get all of my ideas out. Other days I’ve cobbled a post together in 20 minutes before heading out the door. I can feel writing becoming a habit. I feel that tug to write around 10pm before bed and I feel a little guilty, not in a bad way if I put it off. I feel like I’ve become a better writer just in these 31 days.

Moving forward, I don’t see the need to stop posting everyday. I acknowledge that this might not last forever, it might be a Blaugust high, but right now I’m feeling good about writing. I may need to scale back as time goes on, and that’s ok.

I want to thank Belghast for putting this event together again this year. I’ve had a lot of fun challenging myself and seeing all of this activity in the community. I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s blog posts this month and it’s been great seeing some new writers joining our ranks. I hope all you newbies keep writing well after the event ends.

It’s been one hell of a month!


A Little Advice From a Lazy Blogger

Me heading towards the end of Blaugust.

This week’s topic is staying motivated. Seeing as we are nearing the end of the week I figured I’d write something on the subject. First of all, I have a confession, I am a lazy blogger. I’m the prime example of what happens when you only write when you’re motivated to do so. If you look through my archives on the sidebar over there you’ll see I’ve been posting since 2016. You’ll also see that for a while there was at least one post a month until February 2017. Then there’s a gap, a few more months in a row, and another large gap, and so on and so forth. So my first bit of advice, which I have been trying to follow myself this month, is to write even when you’re not motivated.

Motivation is fleeting, and it’s easy to rely on because it requires no concentrated effort to get. Motivation comes to you, you don’t even have to chase after it.

Discipline is reliable; motivation is momentary. The real question isn’t how to keep yourself motivated, it’s how to train yourself to work without it.

This quote gets to the heart of the problem I’ve had for years when it comes to blogging. Now you might ask if you’re not motivated to blog most of the time, Kluwes, then why do you keep blogging? And my answer to that is because it’s fun and I  enjoy it. I have found if I don’t put in the effort and only write when it’s easy that I don’t end up writing anywhere near as often as I’d like.  if you’re having trouble writing sometimes you just have to bite the bullet, sit down, and write something anyway. Yes, blogging is a hobby for a lot of us and not a job, but at least for myself, I’ve found that a little concentrated effort goes a long way in achieving my personal blogging goals.

My other bit of advice is about blogging after Blaugust. These events are great because it brings the community together and talking. Ideas get bounced around, there are too many posts to keep up with, and there are so many new voices out there to read. After the event, things start to go back to normal. All of a sudden there isn’t all this hype around blogging anymore and things go back to business as usual. That can be a real drain on your motivation to blog. But I encourage you to keep reading, commenting, and writing even after Blaugust is over.

Trove Team Letter 2019


Trove press.jpgTrove, as of the time of this writing, has been down for 50 hours. On August 27th, the team announced there would be a 12-hour downtime as they moved the server to a new location. They must have dropped it somewhere along the line, maybe down a flight of very large stairs. As usual, players are calling for fair compensation for not being able to play for 2 days. I’m more than content to play something else, maybe a certain MMO with a new classic server.

But there is good news on the Trove front. Out of the downtime came a Team Letter about the future of the game. They’ve now moved beyond what the team at Trion had planned when they released Gardening 2.0. Now it’s time to see what Gamigo has in store.

Moving forward, the plan is to release two major updates, two minor updates, two quality of life each year while continuing the hotfixes every other Tuesday. Consoles will also get these but rolled into 2 ultimate updates a year. There will continue to be 2-week events throughout the year, the team says they’re trying to get these events out at least every 2 months.

Four types of content updates for new gameplay, features, and bug fixing:

  • Major Content Update – Focused around a major feature like Crystal Combat or Gardening
  • Minor Content Update – A gameplay enhancement, like Bomber Royale Season 2
  • Quality of Life Update – Improvements to the gameplay experience, focusing on bug fixes.
  • Hotfixes – Small updates, as required, targeting new or critical issues.

So it looks like there are plans to keep producing content for Trove. Which is a relief, I was a bit worried after Gamigo bought Trion that the game would slowly fall into maintenance mode. There is an upcoming patch titled ” From the Deep!” that will focus on fixing the Club leveling system as well as add big, bad, bosses to the Geode Topside Worlds. These new types of bosses will have a higher rate of dropping crystal level 3 gear as well as some unique rewards. More new things to kill is technically new content.

There are some patch notes for From the Deep! currently on the PTS. This patch goes into a little more detail about the new Leviathan  World Bosses. They live underneath the surface of Geode Topside and will despawn if not defeated within 15 minutes of spawning. They’ll drop an ego potion for those who defeat them which makes your head bigger, this is something I very much want. They’ll also drop Torches which are temporary equipment that adds light. Presumably, to make it easier to get into higher-level Geode Topside Worlds.

At least there’s a bit of a plan laid out going forward. After the gardening update, it felt like there wasn’t much discussion on what comes next. I will definitely take a few new world bosses over no content at all. And with the Club leveling balances, maybe my small little Club could actually get some guild buffs. Now they just have to put that pesky server back together.

The latest update, at 2: 43 am EST, stated they’re looking to finish the server move today. No ETA on when the game will be back online.



A Brief Moment with WoW Classic


WoWScrnShot_082619_181511.jpgWhile waiting for Jay to log into Trove, I wanted to see if I could get into WoW Classic. I’d been reading queue times were horrendus so I didn’t have much hope at 6:30pm EST, a half hour after launch. The queue for my server, Myzrael, was 2 minutes. Much, much, MUCH, shorter than I was anticipating.


When I got in I was greeted by dozens of dwarves. Dwarves and gnomes everywhere. Around the first quest giver, around the first spawn point, and there were plenty bludgeoning wolves just down the hill.

I don’t know what I was expecting but it certainly wasn’t to burst our laughing. There was something just so funny about the sheer amount of characters running around. I joined the crowds for wolf slaying. Fighting for each spawn to collect a meager 8 meat. After 20 minutes I returned with my hard-won prize and settled in to do some more. Except that’s exactly when I was called away.


I tried to get back in and play a bit more before bed. I wasn’t sure if this was going to be possible. I was greeted with a 76 minute wait.

Ah, that’s more like it.