20May '15
Filed under Gaming 2 comments

Screenshot Safari: Landscape #NBI2015Safari

It’s time for another Screenshot Safari post! This time I picked the landscape theme and immediately ran across a problem. Namely, I love taking screenshots of beautiful landscapes. So the majority of my screenshots are of landscapes and boy do I have a lot that I love. So first I had to whittle it down to one game. After much debate, I decided to go with The Old City: Leviathan for a couple of reasons. One is that the landscape is so flawlessly and lovingly created that you can tell that the design team put a lot of effort into it. They did this because of the second reason: The Old City is what some people would call a “walking simulator”. There’s no combat, no NPCs, and very minimal interaction with the environment. It reveals its story to you using only the voice of the narrator and the landscape that you walk through, so both had to be superbly done, and they were.

Of course, I then ran into another problem. I took 85 screenshots in the 5 hours I played the game from start to finish and almost all of them are beautiful. It was really hard to pick just one to feature, so I had to enlist Lord Crumb’s help once I narrowed it down. Here’s the final choice, taken in a place I like to call the Minotaur Village.

Minotaur village

And because I can’t resist including more, here were the other two that almost made the cut, also taken in the Minotaur Village.

Minotaur Village

Minotaur Village at night

16May '15
Filed under Gaming 7 comments

Talkback Challenge #2: Early Access and Kickstarter

Four posts this week. The Newbie Blogger Initiative has sure gotten me on a roll when it comes to blogging. I’m going to finish off this week with the latest Talkback Challenge: Early Access and Kickstarter – Do you support unfinished games?

The short answer would be “sometimes”.  I will say that I’ve never backed a game on Kickstarter, not for lack of wanting but because I usually don’t learn about the game until after the Kickstarter has ended. (I’ve mentioned before that I’m often out of the loop.) As a result, the majority of the games I have backed were Early Access games on Steam that were already in the alpha or beta phase.

Making your own helicopter is fun!

Making your own helicopter is fun!

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15May '15
Filed under Gaming 2 comments

Screenshot Safari: Selfie #NBI2015Safari

I am once again behind on the latest news and only found out recently that Murf Versus posted a Screenshot Safari challenge for NBI 2015. The idea is to post one screenshot for a theme a week for a little contest. I already missed last week but I’m determined not to miss the rest. So without further ado, here is my screenshot for the Selfie theme.

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Featured is Aveline de Grandpré in Assassin’s Creed: Liberation HD, just after she saved a slave named Thérèse who had been kidnapped. I’ve been playing AC: Liberation on and off for the past few weeks and Aveline is quickly becoming one of my favorite characters. I like this screenshot in particular because it shows of her kindness and her fighting spirit to right any wrongs she comes across, and she’s dressed simply in her slave outfit. There are also so few non-white female protagonists in games (and not that many women in general really) that I feel she deserves some recognition. I haven’t finished the game yet but I’m very much looking forward to play her more in the future.

13May '15

Blog backups: some more ideas

Newbie Blogger InitiativeRoger of Contains Moderate Peril posted some great tips for backing up your blog (and why you should do it even if you’re just starting) as part of this year’s Newbie Blogger Initiative. As someone who has gone through the pain of losing blog posts and websites, this is something that’s important to me. So I’d like to expand on some of the suggestions Roger posted.

Automate your backups

There’s nothing wrong with manually backing up your site from time to time. But if you have a memory like mine where it’s akin to a sieve, you’re likely going to forget to do it over long periods of time. And then if something happens to your site, you’re going to be kicking yourself for not making those backups. So if at all possible, find some way to automate the process so you’ll never have to worry about forgetting it. I’d suggest dailies if possible, otherwise at least once a week.

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For free online hosts (WordPress.com, Blogspot/Blogger)

Unfortunately, there is no way (that I know of) to automatically backup WordPress.com and Blogger blogs. Though the good news is that WordPress and Google likely have backups of their backups so if something happens to their servers, they should still be able to resurrect your blog. I would still recommend exporting your posts at an XML file like Roger suggested on a regular basis. Set up a reminder in your calendar if you have to. Here are some brief instructions on how to do just that. Read more →

12May '15
Filed under Gaming, Music 2 comments

Tune Den: Dying Light and Woodkid

Lord Crumb and I are still making our way through the campaign of Divinity: Original Sin, but since we both got our new video cards delivered last week, we decided they should be tested out on a much graphics-heavy game. Something like Dying Light.

The graphics are indeed glorious. I was running about 40-60 FPS on the highest settings and he was running a solid 60 FPS, although he did upgrade his motherboard and CPU at the same time. Unfortunately, we were having so much fun exploring and bashing heads in that I forgot to take screenshots except for one where I was tormenting a zombie stuck on the other side of a fence. Then Lord Crumb asked me, “you’re going to blog ‘Today I taunted a zombie’, aren’t you?”

Zombie Taunting

The answer is yes, yes I am.

But there will be more on Dying Light in the future. What I really wanted to post about was one of the things that got me interested in Dying Light. Particularly, this cinematic video they showed at E3 2013. Read more →

08May '15
Filed under Gaming 4 comments

Talkback Challenge #1: GamerGate

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As I mentioned yesterday when I joined the Newbie Blogger Initiative, I already had an idea for a new post I could write. More specifically, I noticed that the first Talkback Challenge had been posted on Sunday, featuring the question How did GamerGate affect you?

Well, I didn’t expect this to begin on such a heavy topic for me.

To be honest, I’ve been thinking about posting something about this for several months but the jerk part of my brain has always talked me out of it by the time I get to a keyboard. Let it be, it hisses, just forget it happened. It wasn’t even that bad. And no one will care about your little story anyways. Well jerkbrain, I’m telling it now and you can’t stop me.

I have to start back before GamerGate actually occurred. At the beginning of summer, I joined an in-person Dungeons & Dragons group filled with relative strangers. The one who invited me had only known me from a few weeks of online chatting but that didn’t seem to faze him much. For me, it was huge. I can be somewhat social and friendly enough online, but in person with a group of people I had never met? That sort of thing was terrifying for me. But I managed to gather up the courage to do it anyways, on the off chance it might be fun. The guy warned me that this group made a lot of sexual jokes and was I okay with that? I had no issue with it, having spent years in my old WoW guild where R-rated jokes were thrown around on an daily basis. Surely I could handle whatever they would throw at me.

If only it were that simple. Slowly, over many gaming sessions, I began to realize that this wasn’t just giggling immaturely at Marrowgar yelling “BONESTORM!” These were jokes about rape. Jokes about gay people. Jokes about non-white people. Somehow they even managed to make jokes about all of those things combined. And it was all the time; every time I was in that apartment, I was assaulted with these horrible jokes. Read more →

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