It’s that time again!

Last year I did a thing to help raise money for ExtraLife, and I introduced the world to Brunhilda Battlehammer, AKA Trailblazer, AKA my dwarf ranger character for DnDF16.

tblzr

THIS dwarf ranger

I have news for you all…

SHE IS BACK WITH A VENGEANCE! And by vengeance, I simply mean that I will be reprising this role for DnDF17!

Shame on me, late to the party and such, but if you’re curious/interested/want to watch me and some of my Salesforce friends do this thing…it starts TONIGHT at 9pm EST!

Details here: https://cloudforcecollective.com/dndf17/

And, perhaps most importantly, why are we doing this? Yes, it’s fun. Yes, it’s an excuse to hang out virtually with some of my favorite people. But it’s also a really important thing we’re doing. This is part of the ExtraLife fundraising initiative, a nonprofit that allows gamers (like me) to give back to something that matters.

Here’s why we’re participating: https://cloudforcecollective.com/2017/10/16/ddf17-why/

Ready Admin One

Or what video games have taught me as a Salesforce admin (and consultant).

I realize that this will come as a shock to almost 0% of my audience, but I like to play video games. Mostly long (100 hour plus) RPGs with rich stories, well-developed characters, or at least enough of one to mask the lack of the other.

Growing up I didn’t have a game console. It wasn’t until I was an adult, free to make my own choices and eschew responsibilities as I saw fit, that I really started getting into them. As an avid reader and someone who revels in the feeling of accomplishing a task, they’re kind of perfect. There’s a story, and there are clear steps and tasks presented that have clear success or fail requirements. You know…not at all like real life.

All the same, I’ve been able to apply a lot of things from my hobby to my job. If you’re a fellow gamer, you might recognize some these things, too.

Leveling up can be a grind

I am a trophy hunter. If there is an achievement to be unlocked in a game, I’ll probably go after it. Enter: Skyrim.

One of the last trophies I earned before getting platinum was the silver Master trophy, for reaching Level 50. I had completed the main game with two different characters. I had finished all of the side faction storylines, but I still wasn’t quite there. So I did what any other Skyrim fan has done – I started grinding through low-level abilities to get that sweet XP. I made so many daggers; I cleared so many dungeons. It was boring.

platinum700

But I got the trophy. And I got the platinum.

Twice. (Thank you, Bethesda, for re-releasing it on the PS4.)

If you think that only applies to games, you’ve obviously never gone after multiple Salesforce certifications. Reading and re-reading release notes, help articles, the study guide, blog posts, Trailhead, etc. It takes some serious heads-down time to study for some of the certifications out there, and yeah, it can be really boring. But at then end, you have a brand new certification.

Side quests

It’s Monday morning for the solo admin, and they have their week planned out. Got some Trailhead badges to earn, a new dashboard to build, and a meeting with the steering committee. They have one goal this week: deploy a new custom object and flow, to support a functional group that is adopting Salesforce.

preston

Except….

A user needs a password reset.

Another user deleted a record but they can’t remember which one, and they need it back.

An executive needs a report of all sales in 2012, for some reason they have deemed unimportant to share.

And on and on and on. Each random task may only take a handful of minutes, but those minutes start to add up, and soon your inbox is full of minor requests that may have a time limit attached to them. At least all experience is good experience, right?

It’s good to recruit companions

dangerousEven non-gamers know this one.

It’s not impossible to finish quests and storylines alone, of course. But misery and joy and struggle…pretty much everything loves company. So why wouldn’t you recruit companions? Especially if they can fill in gaps in your abilities or knowledge.

Most of us already know the importance of the community, so I can pretty much just…leave this here, right? Ohana, my peeps.

Once a completionist…

This is actually a thing (read about the Zeigarnik Effect here). Once a gamer (or an admin) starts on a quest, we have to finish it. Luckily many of these tasks have definitive end-games.

Slay the dragon.

Deploy the change set.

Find the pan.

Build the report.

We obsess over the things we haven’t completed. How many of us have gone to sleep, thinking about data schema, only to wake up with the answer and excitedly go about building what we imagined?

How many of us have to get all the Trailhead badges? (BTW, if you think Trailhead hasn’t taken into account some of what I’m writing about here, you aren’t paying attention.)

And it’s not just video games

Ultimately it comes down to liking the feeling of solving a puzzle. Admins are problem-solvers. We are people that like to get our hands dirty, play with something, and make it work. For me it’s like video games. For some people it’s like puzzles or building things.

We are the people who stay up into the wee hours, searching the community, building and rebuilding our flows, until it is done.

And bonus! Now I can check this particular task off my list.

Skeleton-King-Quest-Complete

Miniature Magic: Nurgle Chaos Warrior

A little back story: Eric and I were up North last weekend visiting some of his friends, and we spent Sunday morning/afternoon in a game store playing Warhammer 40K. While there, we picked up some Valejo paints for historical miniatures, specifically some German WWII colors. We’ve been slowly switching from Citadel paints (made by Games Workshop) to Valejo because the Citadel paints dry out too quickly.

With these new paints in hand, a new unit of Chaos Warriors to paint for my Warhammer army, I decided to try some of the drab green colors and paint the unit devoted to Nurgle.

Here’s what I came up with:

For the armor, I did a base coat with the Olive Drab

The Valejo paints dry a lot flatter than the Citadel paints, so the color is subtle. I actually preferred that for what I was doing.

A little dry brush with German Green

I dry brushed and highlighted the armor (and shield) with German Green, which is obviously much lighter. I didn’t like how light it was when I first tried this, but the solution was easy, and this two-tone under coat makes the final color a little more realistic.

Now paint over them with Catachan Green

Catachan is a Citadel paint, but that’s alright. It’s hard to see in the picture, but with the lighter green against the olive, there are natural highlights now.

Some details getting done, now

Here’s his backside

For the cape and leather bits, I used Valejo’s chocolate brown, another flat color. Then I highlighted.

Sword done and horns fully painted

Finished!

The final touches were some white tips on the fur of his cape, the highlights on the sword, shield, and leather bits. And then I painted the puss coming out of his helmet. It’s sufficiently gross.

All together, the two that I finished yesterday were some of the best I’ve painted. As it turns out, having the right kind of paint is a real help. They took a combined 2.5 – 3 hours. Only 10 more to go, too. Oh boy.

Went to see The Amazing Spiderman today, which was fantastic. I have to be honest; we were planning on going to see that this weekend anyway, then waiting for the crowds to thin for Batman, but after what happened in Aurora, I don’t know…it’s all very surreal.

I also gathered all of the supplies for birthday gifts! I will post those as I finish them (blanket, pillow, curtains).