nawkcire

Games, Tech and Blogging…I can't guarantee in that order.

The Dark Hole

With all the news and headlines running amok, it really feels like we are living on the brink of chaos. I usually avoid the news to stay in a positive mood, but it seems more recently these articles are popping out more often.

The animosity of peoples unable to feuds and differences and a people’s indifference to care but to care for the superficial; I’m starting to think tomorrow is the tomorrow of an uncertain future. As we see ourselves as decent, noble, compassionate people; I can hardly describe what I see as just. I’m including myself in this. We are vile and terrible creatures compared to our ancestors who made a difference in the hardest times. Yet here we are squabbling over sensational headlines and preaching toward social justice for our selfish gains. As I sat at city hall recently looking at all the happy faces about in the seat of municipal power while the news reports about hatred for civil authority; I had to ask, “what do we want?” What exactly do we want as a people? Do ask for peace? For unity? It’s scary how it looks like we’re grasping at straws rather than having a defined movement in our generation. With technology gifted to us, we are underutilizing it to push on with the gift our ancestors alwys wanted and given to us. A gift of everlasting peace and harmony to our people and the people in need.

I feel I can just do is sit here and watch for us to dig a dark hole to bury us all.

Need Input: Photo Sharing?

As of you guys might know, I decided to get into photography. After a good month getting use to snapping photos, I have a lot of photos which have edited and uploaded. The problem with photo sharing is I am adept at where in the cloud I should put my photos. I do have a Google account as well as a private Facebook, no where I really want to showcase my work. Even with either of those, I feel like I’m working with a hard file size limit since my Canon spits out 2-5 MB JPEG files and it does take a lot of downsizing to get it to upload.

So consider this post a bit of reaching out for suggestions of where I can upload my stuff. I would like somewhere I can public post stuff and able to have the community comment. Much like WordPress or YouTube, but for photos. A few preference I would like would be to have a service which doesn’t restrict much on file size and account capacity such as a maximum amount of storage or a weekly upload capacity as a free user. I want no pop-up and a website which looks to focus on the content than to the ads to support the site. Might be a tall order for the latter but I would like to hope for something worth using out there.

I do like my friends commenting on my photos but I would like a more unbiased reviewer. Who’s more unbiased than the unforgiving place that is the Internet?

Rush.

This is definitely based on my feelings on people taking public transit; especially during rush hour. I’ve been working a bit more recently and for it, I too have become one of those people who wake up early morning to go to work. In my city, we do have train and bus service. On most days nothing really happens, people get on and people get off; no fussing considering how cramped the subways get. However a few incidents have occurred where I don’t really understand people sometimes.

During rush out here, the trains run on a tighter schedule. We’re talking about a 5 minute delay between trains. On off peak hours, it’s really a bit loose on what really defines 5 minutes. As a gamer timing matters no matter what the case will be (Except casual games; filthy casuals). In RTS and FPS we have rushes, run in and do the dirty work regardless of the cost. In reality, rushing could really mean injury and delays when it comes to public transit. I’ve seen people get squished by doors on trains, a few times some people do get halfway in and just get smashed by the door. Of course the doors don’t split you in half but it does hurt to get smacked edge on by a pneumatic piece metal and rubber. As much as people are looking out for themselves, they don’t consider their behavior to generally be malicious. If money talks, then money is making people things to get on time. I’ve seen old people, young people, in suits, in casual wear, pretty much everyone during rush hour get hit with the door because they ran for it Indiana Jones styles. Best story is yet to come. I’ve once had a one minute delay where people seemed to want to squeeze in more and more as the train was stuck in station because people wanted to race through the doors. One guy runs up, smack. Next guy in a suit, smack. Two more before we had the train moving again. As cool as it to dodge the doors, you as the person rushing, are a selfish person. Considering each train is carry about 100 passengers or more, you are jeopardizing everyone’s word schedule just so you can conform to yours. Next time, get an alarm clock so you can at least get to work early.

Not as often, I get to observe the best in people. Most often than that, I see a lot of worst in people. Sure you hear some good news about people doing good deeds, but I want to acknowledge those unnamed folks who has always given up their seat for someone who is in need of one. Whether it was for a pregnant woman, an elderly person or someone with a handicap (like a broken leg from running towards the train doors). Those few in my city, are really outnumbered during the many in rush hour. On the buses and trains, there are designated seats; 6 in the front of the bus or 3 closest to the doors. As nice as it is to have a seat during a long commute, some people would outright refuse seating. A few days ago, I was coming home from work. Old lady steps up on the bus, the bus is packed end to end. I step aside so the lady can pass me, she stops at the designated seats at looks at the three people sitting there. For a brief moment of time, those three made eye contact at each other wondering who is giving up their seat. The guy in the suit looks both left and right of him while the woman looks to her left and another man looks right. I don’t want to be ageist, in the situation of “giving up your seat for an old lady”, regardless whether she was a man or woman and she was either old, crippled, or pregnant, I would say socially the youngest looking one of the bunch should stand and logically the closest to the door. So it was either the woman or the guy in the business suit. Luckily, he grew a pair without not before long.

Definitely the past few months, I’ve seen the best out of people and I’ve seen the worst while travelling by transit. It’s always the same stuff too. We lived as a society for millennia and yet we have not held on for dignity and respect for one another.  Be thankful we live in the age of buses and trains. Not long ago, we had horses and long before domestication, we have our own two feet. In all respect all human progress has led us to a very prosperous moment where we have all this to our disposal. Be humble for the fact you can travel a great distance to get to work because you wouldn’t want the alternative.

 

The Other Side.

Recently at work, I have been on the opposite of where I was over a year ago. Rather than being the trainee, I was supporting the staff in training.

I had a year of learning my job and now looking back, it feels like a lifetime has passed since then; sitting in a remote field, I can’t help but think. It’s been almost a decade since I got out of school, almost two years into the second steady job I’ve had since I started working; this nostalgic feeling under the bough of this lone tree, I can’t help but crack a smile.

Sometimes, it does feel there isn’t enough time to really sit back and watch it all go by; life in it’s minute workings, then seeing a bit of yourself without your ego. You were once there and now here you are on the other side of the machine, the painting, the tableau. It’s beautiful knowing all he hardships have brought you have right back around, yet there is nothing you want more to keep going not matter how tiring it can be.

There may be days when it can be slow, mindless and monotonous. The know there are others around you coming from different backgrounds coming together for similar things, it’s something…zen about it. Even on a hot day where I want to do nothing but drink water and watch the clouds go by, just a bit of work in the mix made it something worthwhile.

Perhaps the most worthwhile things are those we don’t necessarily see but it is when we see it.

Fallen Plans

As the summer starts, I’m starting to think all the plans I’ve set a couple months are starting to fall through. Right now I’m sort of scrambling with finding something to keep myself occupied with for the next a few months. Unlike last year, I think the internet will benefit from this scrambling.

I was hoping I was going to work for the entire summer. I’ve been in contact with my employer and it seems they don’t know what to do with me or I got it easy (or difficult, depending how you look at it). Now a week into June, I’m making some expensive plans for my YouTube channel and perhaps my new camera. I had everything planned; I was going to end my Life is Strange playthrough and start a summer hiatus, then I would spend the remaining days before I was slated to work to take up a hobby and go to the gym a bit more. At the moment, it seems the hobby and gym might be the largest component in my entire life until I have something to do. I might even seek employment all summer; if there is an employer who will hire me in short notice.

Short term futures right now, I have purchased a new game on Steam. It was on sale called Call To Arms, it appears to be a modern warfare RTS game I might be recording . Along with recording a new game, I’m jumping back into Insurgency and Borderlands 2. For Borderlands 2, I purchased the Collector’s Edition so I have a few DLC packs I can record. Insurgency received an achievement and map update so I’ve decided to record a bunch of compilation of some of these achievements as well as maps I’ve may or may not have played in the past. That should cover a month or so of content online. As for personal content, I will have to really coerce myself to the gym and spend the soon-to-be sunny summer days outside snapping photos and hopefully get into a bit of trouble. I promise I won’t end up in jail or on the evening news, haha!

This is all I have for now for updates and progress. Hopefully I have something to show next week.

Trust.

I’m going to say this right now, since the last time I posted on my blog I am thankful for every game developer out there. Without their games, I would’ve ended up at home curled up in a ball and lost faith in humanity.

Trust to me in important, the way society works. To garner security and resources, trust has to be placed somewhere. You wouldn’t realize it but at this very moment, you put your trust in hundreds of people, mostly faceless, to protect you and make sure you have food and water for the next day. You rely a chain of people who ensure your money is worth something to buy the necessities within your society like clothes. Trust is a very delicate thing but it could create the strongest social bonds.

The scariest thing is when the trust is compromised. The momentary vulnerability can destroy the safety of yourself and those you care about it. Something said in confidence now for the world to hear. It definitely can destroy a person’s reputation and their perceptive character. For me, I can’t trust the person after it. It could be a long time to trust them again; could be years, could be never. Most of the time I hold trust as high as respect, fairness, honesty, loyalty, duty and service; this is the base I gauge my trust in others. Whether they are a group or an individual, these what I hold as above all. A person can have the same interests as I do; if they don’t hold or display these values, it’s unlikely I could ever trust them.

Trust is a risk no matter what anyone tells you. Trust is a culmination of what you know based on instinct. It’s not a guide but what you can build on top of the trust. Until next time, and I hope I can trust you, I’ll see you next time.

Life is…Strange. Ohhhhhhhh!

I thought it would merit a blog post in itself since I’ve played the entire episodic narrative, Life is Strange. After a long 6 months since I bought episodes 1-5 on Steam, recently I finally put aside some time from work to play. All this time avoiding spoilers I can put in a review down without ruining any plot lines and there are a bunch of plot lines.

Developed by DONTNOD and published by Square Enix, you play as Maxine Caulfield who has travelled to Oregon to attend Blackwell Academy in hopes of being a photographer. Within the first month of settling in, you have premonitions of a tornado. You have 5 days to prevent it happening. Along the way of trying to save the seaside town of Arcadia Bay, you make friends both old and new.

You play in the third person in a narrative where each episode is a day until the end. As you play choices from the previous episodes can effect the story and how it will culminate. The art for the game does exude something resembling of water colours which exemplifies focus on the story while delivering a detailed (but not too detailed) atmosphere. The entire game is littered with story devices which opens the player to character development outside of Max’s journal. If you are an empathic gamer, you will find yourself thinking about these little bits of information as you interact with other characters and help make decisions throughout the game. The voice acting in itself is very professional and does feel very natural and fluid with each choice. The character animation is nothing impressive, there are parts where characters would just talk and wouldn’t necessarily interact with each other. Felt more like talking heads on the news than a theatrical performance. Definitely something work improving is the motion capture to let these characters interact with the space around than standing there and have it be consistent. Max’s time travelling provides a good plot device to allow the player to change their answer if they think their choice is undesirable considering most choices aren’t described fully. Usually the game will give your an explicit choice of actions or a vague noun like “Nathan” or “Joyce” and hope that choice is what you are thinking it would be what is summed in a few words. It makes a logical choice to have the choices concise but a bit more description would be helpful. Then again the time travelling ability really solves all that.

Thematically, the game is about choices. Choices everywhere and if you aren’t tainted by spoilers, these choices are interesting because they carry weight through the game and changes up what you can say and do. The developers seemed to explore the idea of choice in terms of a social sense with moral implications. Choices which challenge vices and virtues, needs and wants, truth and the perception of truth; the does give some good examples of philosophical dilemmas which defines our humanity. Who said video games can’t teach your anything?

If you haven’t decided to get Life is Strange yet and you want to play it, I would recommend getting all the episodes in one package. For the value of a movie ticket and popcorn (like 25 dollars-ish),  you get about 22 hours of content (That’s on my count, experience may vary). As much as the first episode is thorough in giving you a preview of things to come, the main attraction is a story which a game can only deliver. There are some faults in quality such as some bugs and some dialogue which fell flat because of the animation. It’s a good play with achievements which can be completed (for you perfectionists out there). In the end after I made all the choices and comparing similarities with my personal life, the title is indeed exclaims a truth. Life is strange, so very strange.

I Bought A Camera

A couple weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about buying a new camera. After looking over at both my computer and my wallet, I freaking did it!

It’s a logical buy considering I want to stretch out my creative side. In high school, I had a few avenues to express it. I took creative writing, strings (I joined the junior orchestra, too), and I even tried a digital media course while I was young. Now I don’t feel like that person but I itch to do something creative. I want to write poetry and take photos, maybe play an instrument in the future if I could ever multi-task singing and strumming. Just something recently has really encouraged me to go after new hobbies. Ever since my workplace gave me camera to work with, not because I am playing Life Is Strange in it’s entirety on my YouTube channel. Though I think ever since I got my camera, Life is Strange definitely became a catalyst to really observe the world to find those opportunities.

Some of you have been reading patiently, asking “Which camera did you get?” I did a bit of research and to not break the bank, I went for the cheapest and what was on sale. I traded in the next 5- 6 months of my new gaming PC for a Canon EOS Rebel T5 kit which included a lens (“EF-S 18-55 IS II”, just reading it off the box. If anyone knows what that means, leave a comment for internet points). I’ve spent the past weekend taking it out to the park and around my neighbourhood to take a few shots and started to play around with some manual settings. As much as I would like to use the automatic settings, it’s not the true purpose I got a DSLR. I want to learn to really get technical with taking pictures, I want to control everything that comes with taking the right picture. It’s a big step from point and click cameras like my phone, but I am willing to jump. In a couple days, I’ve gotten use to taking pictures but I want to control more than light sensitivity, aperture and focus. I want to full control, I’ve been slowly working up to using my Rebel on just manual. In my room, I’ve been tinkering with settings on manual. Just have to test it out there where I can take a photo in different lighting and distances.

The take away from this weekend, I can do good. Just need some time and hopefully I can blossom into the late blooming adult I’ve always wanted to be, haha! Before I go, here’s the first shot I took.

1st_Pic.JPG

See you guys next time!

 

Specifics

I recently had the privilege of going out with a bunch of coworkers. It’s something I do quite often to know the people I work with on a weekly basis. However recently one of them posed a question to me about what I want in life; starting from the woman I would  like in my life down to where I want to be. I realized I something about my life I have so forgotten; I could never describe everything to this person next to me on the steps about what I want, how could I ever find someone if I don’t what I am looking for in terms of looks and personality.

My entire existence up to now has been just a happenstance and good faith. I grew up understanding my own personal needs are irrelevant and even if I wanted something, I would get somewhere close to my intended result. The earliest was my first console, as much as the Super Nintendo was an amazing system, I wanted an N64.

They finally convinced me I should really start to put an effort in finding something to keep me grounded. I don’t necessarily have a steady job but I really want to find someone out there to share a life with even though I and we haven’t figured something out yet. The problem is who exactly I want to be with in that relationship.

Not only who I want to date, but where I want to live and work in the future. I don’t have all the answers but I should really seek them. Then maybe finally I will get what I want.

I Should Buy A Camera

Strange urge happened to me earlier this week. While I was at work, my supervisor wanted to snap some photos. Since I didn’t have much to do, I volunteered to complete the task. They handed off a DSLR camera to me and off I went, taking pictures of everything.

I didn’t know how much time elapsed until I was done. As I reviewed all the pictures I have taken, I felt pretty happy that I took pictures. Though most of them were trashed fore being too blurry, the ones I needed came out pretty nice. It’s been a few days now, I can’t help feeling I should do something to witness stuff happening around me. I wish I had a better camera to capture. Why not make that wish come true?

The financial situation isn’t that good at the moment considering I began to slowly buy parts for my next computer. From what I have projected, I might be losing about 700 on this project. Paying a visit to the local camera stores around me, I found out a few things about this hobby I’m picking up. It’s definitely going to set me back regardless if I buy used or new. Seems like all the fun stuff is behind real pay walls; airsoft, my new gaming rig, now a DSLR.

If I learned anything from this, I’m going to have to put this one on hold until October unless I somehow pull a new camera out of my butt. For now, I’m sticking to building this PC.

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