The rise, fall, and resurrection of my channel on Mixer.

So, I had a channel on the game streaming platform Mixer. It was called Noob School, and the idea was for my community to embrace the “easy” mode in games. I can be competitive, but I wanted my channel to be a place where people could relax, and hang out. It grew pretty consistently, and I think it still has somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 followers.

But then I stopped streaming. I gave myself (and my friends) plenty of reasons why I stopped. Now that I have time to sit and reflect on it, I realized that I subconsciously fell into the trap that most people fall into when they start a stream, or a YouTube channel, or anything of that sort: I wanted it to grow faster than it was ready for. I told myself early on, and during, that *that* wasn’t the reason, but I had to be realistic with myself… that was the reason.

We always want our projects to grow and succeed. Sometimes, we want it to grow at a pace that we aren’t ready for. Deep down, that was my approach to Noob School. It’s an approach I shouldn’t allow myself to wrap my emotions around.

I say all of that to say I’m going to resume Noob School streaming, sometime in the Spring. However, I’m taking the approach to that stream the way I’m taking the approach to this blog.

I tell people that Project Downtime is a blog that I write for myself, and other people just happen to have a chance to read it to.

Noob School will be a stream primarily for me, because I genuinely enjoy broadcasting, but it’ll just so happen that other people are invited to come in, watch, and share in that emotional ride with me. For me, I need to see this as a stream for Marques, that invites Marques’ friends along.

I know that sounds odd, because why would a person want to ‘stream for themselves’? If I see this just as broadcasting because broadcasting is fun (and I really do enjoy the type of broadcaster I become) my only expectation is that the internet works, and I don’t lose my voice. If I go in wanting it to be this instant classic, parts of me change, parts of me gets modified just to amp entertainment value.

I can’t do that. I can only be me. I can only be the person that I am. If people find that entertaining (as 100+ people seem to have) then I need to count that blessing and move forward. If I never reach 1000 followers or 5 subscriptions or Mixer partner, that’s all ok. If my channel helps one person feel entertained, and gives them something to do in the evening, I’ve done my part.

So, yeah, Noob School (I’m keeping that name; it won’t change to Project Downtime) will be coming back in the next few months. I need to figure out a schedule that I can stick with, and what games I want to play (I’m not about playing the latest games, I mean my first game streamed was NBA Jam). So keep to this blog, or follow the channel on Mixer to know when school will be back in session.

Dolby Atmos for Music? Yes, please!

I’m a huge fan of Dolby Atmos. I enjoy having it as part of my experience playing games on Xbox. So, when I saw this video about bringing that technology to music, I was all ears (no pun intended). I would love to hear what artists can do when they’re unshackled from being only in left/right channels, and can now take their vision and, literally, surround you with it.

This is awesome.

I had this idea for Disney Infinity, once…

Does anyone out there remember Disney Infinity? It was this toys to life game series (see: Skylanders) that Disney had going for a while. I really liked the game, collecting the characters, and what not, but I guess Disney felt it wasn’t fitting into their overall gaming plans, and discontinued it a few years ago.

In short, the idea I had was called InfinityLink. Essentially, it was this technology that would allow you to use Disney Infinity characters in other Disney Interactive games.

The example I always used was imagine putting Disney brand characters into games like Split Second, or if Disney Infinity had a Smash Bros type game. It would’ve been great, and expanded the universe of Disney Infinity.

The outside of the box example was SSX. I would’ve loved to have been able to insert Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars characters into a game like SSX. Imagine being Yoda and using your lightsaber to tear down trees, in your way. Imagine being Bruce Banner, and when you turned into the Hulk, you couldn’t even see the snowboard anymore because he was so huge.

That idea never escapes my head. Of course, it can’t go anywhere because Disney Infinity is no longer a thing, but it’s always nice to rethink that idea.

Ok, that’s all. Thanks.

Of HDMI ports, and entertainment, on Xbox One…

The Xbox One can be ideal, when you want to use it for media, as well as games.

From the outset, the Xbox One was designed to be a great media device, as well as a gaming console. If you remember the Xbox 360, it was a sea of media apps for music, video, and more. The Xbox One was ready to dial that up to 11, and make it the one place to be completely entertained, when you turned on the TV set.

Of course, backlash ensued, as Xbox seemed to make too much of the media capabilities. A lot of the entertainment ideas were scaled back, and now the Xbox One is a gaming device, with media tendencies. If the ports on the Xbox Series X are to be believed, you may not even get an HDMI-In port.

Ah, yes, let’s discuss that HDMI-In port, for a second. To me, this was a key port of the Xbox One. The way Xbox tells it, you use that port to plug in a cable box. Then, coupled with the OneGuide and media settings, you’d be able to easily get into television shows, when you want to take a break from Halo or Gears of War.

Naturally, people realized that if you plugged in anything, with an HDMI plug, that port would work. You can plug in an Apple TV, Roku Stick, Amazon Fire TV, cable box. Hell, you can plug in an Xbox 360, Playstation 4, or NIntendo Switch. That little port made it all possible.

Fast forward to 2020. That port, frankly, is now an afterthought, and as I noted, it may not even be on the next Xbox One console. I, personally, think it should remain, but if Xbox really wants to lean into gaming, then having their users focus squarely on gaming seems to be where they plan to go.

Of course, there’s actually another way Xbox could be a viable entertainment device: apps. Right now Xbox One has a good selection media apps: Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, ESPN, etc.

If Xbox One, and Windows in general, can boost the number of entertainment apps available (making sure all of the major streaming TV services, and TV everywhere apps are there) then there may not be a need for the HDMI port. And, in the case of the Xbox Series X, if that console can perform with the speed of light, as being advertised, getting out of a game, and into the next episode of “The Mandalorian” should be a breeze, and fulfill that instant gratification.

But let us have a discussion about entertainment on Xbox. Specifically:

  • Of all the time you spend on Xbox, how much of that is used for media?
  • What’s your most used media app(s) on Xbox?
  • Do you use the HDMI-In port on the console? What do you have plugged in back there?
  • Are there some entertainment apps you’d love to see on the Xbox platform?

Let’s have that discussion: Leave a comment, or continue the conversation on Twitter.

I, for one, am looking forward to Disney’s “Magic Happens” parade…

This will sound like a first-world problem, but I’m ready for a fresh new Disneyland parade. I love the music, and the production value of the parades, I’ve seen so far, but I’m ready for some new floats, new music, and new characters.

Set to start February 28th, the “Magic Happens” parade is the newest parade entry, to take place at the Disneyland resort. Of course, I’m going to try to get there as close to first day, as possible (and I’ll share whatever pictures I get).

The parade will feature standard (and beloved) characters, such as Cinderella, but include some of the more current characters like “Moana” and “Coco.” Um, when did Moana’s movie come out? I don’t know if I qualify her as recent, but hey better late than in 2022, am I right? Personally, I wish Disney parades could keep up with the rising popularity of the characters it puts out.

What has been your favorite Disney park parade. Let me know in the comments below, or continue the conversation on Twitter.