November 5, 2016
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This week, I’m going to get back into recording gameplay for my YouTube Channel. It has been a very long time since I recorded anything, I figured out why. Stardew Valley was the last game I played on the channel and as I watched, it was getting fairly monotonous. I’m going to break away from Stardew Valley for awhile and focus on a new game. “New” does not mean recent; in this case, I’m taking a game I’ve had in my library that I haven’t played and I bought many moons ago in a Steam sale far far away.
Awhile ago I had bought myself a few games; Stranded Deep, Call To Arms, and Prison Architect. As per the title of this blog post, I’m going to start working on these sandbox games since I’ve had them in my library for the longest time. I’ve already recorded and edited a few episodes and it feels much more fun than the last few episodes of Stardew Valley I’ve put together. Reason behind going with Prison Architect was because the developer recently announced they were done with this game and any upcoming patches would just address major bugs. That was probably a couple months ago, which by now should be fairly stable and playable.
I think after I get a good chunk of Prison Architect completed, I’ll start on the next one and then maybe consider revisiting Stardew Valley. For the time being I think I’ll stop and enjoy what I have accomplished. Much like I did with Defiance, the MMORPG, I’m going to leave this one as is until I feel I can play it in it’s entirety.
October 21, 2016
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A couple weeks ago while I was writing the last blog post, I kept getting calls throughout the week. At first I understand these people are being paid to call me to sell me the company I subscribe to for my telecom service. However after the third phone call in a week, I’m starting to get fed up.
Of course it makes sense companies call you by their means to be friendly to let you know you’re due up to renew your service after a contract (if you have one). As important is to keep repeat business going to make money off their customers. However I’ve been called a few more times than usual within the week. Prior to this, I would receive the occasional text about local discounts on entertainment and venues. Those customers similar to me might know this company.
It sounds to me this company is desperate. Their constant calls in the evening seem to be more hostile than informative. It’s really getting on my nerves that around 8:10 in the evening, a lady calls me to tell me about their “new fast internet service” they would like to offer to me as a “loyal customer”. There are a bunch of problems.
Starting with the speed of about 25 mbps, it’s great speed – incredible speed, even. However at $50 a month, I am still paying for my internet. No matter how affordable it may be, my current living arrangement has given me access to the Internet. My income isn’t enough to pay more bills considering I would pay double for communications. So if my phone company is reading this, know this – please stop calling me. I’m set for the time being.
Thanks for “considering”.
October 14, 2016
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Don’t know about you guys out there, but I feel a bit off every time Steam tells me I’ve completed an achievement. I always open up the in-game overlay to see what I did to deserve a pop-up like that. Usually achievements fall under after completing part of a the game or the whole, then there are achievements which are very mundane. Some games are sensible with the achievements but there are are some that can be sinning against the purpose of achievements.
To me, a sensible achievements is story completions. It makes sense especially if you created a game that’s hours long. Another sensible one is when you collect an amount of objects. Makes sense to put a good achievement on a tedious task. If the game has some complex stuff in it, it’s even cooler if there is an achievement for it like saving someone from explosion damage or being able to react to a certain way. However there are a few achievements I don’t want to see even though I might have achieved these on my own account and accord.
I like a good achievements for a repetitive task. However a repetitive achievement for a repetitive task is overboard. As much as I can kill 100 bots, I don’t want to kill a million bots for an achievement. At that point, you’re just playing to kill and not necessarily enjoying the killing bots. This goes the same with FPS games which does the same thing but with a different weapon. I’ve played games which want the player to kill a thousand with one weapon and a thousand with another. It’s a nice way to push players to try these guns and grenades, but there is no point aside from forcing players to play with weapons the developer is lazy to balance or the player does not which to play with for the duration.
Mystery achievements, as much as they are surprising they sometimes don’t provide any contextual information for their completions. Whether in the icon or description, they can be fairly vague. Most games I’ve encountered have been mysterious but able to convey a point where they want us to do. For most of the time, some of you developers have to give the player some sort of clue.
Then there are games I’m not even sure they’re really games anymore with over a hundred achievements. I have a game in my library which has over 500 achievements. Most of the are hidden since Steam has the courtesy to hide the massive list. I don’t think I have the patience for 500 achievements! Early on I had Team Fortress 2 as the only game with achievements. Looking at it now, it has a lot of achievements that look intense. I did achieve the “Pyromancer” achievements but it was an undertaking. To spent years on a game to complete the list of achievements is as agonizing as spending years in an institution. Which gets me into downloadable content achievements!
This generation of gamers seem to support DLC to games. Nothing wrong with that since some of them are like expansion packs of the past. Most of them would hardly count as an expansion pack, but I digress. I don’t like achievements related to DLC’s, especially on Steam since the service clumps all the game’s achievements. Which means you can’t “perfect” a game on Steam without buying their DLC content. Which sort of supports the argument of games are incomplete until all the DLC’s are released which sounds a cash grab.
Achievements should be an enhancement and not the objective for enjoying the game. I honestly hope more games can do less in achievements.
October 4, 2016
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It’s my birthday month. After a long ass time working on my blog, it’s hasn’t change much compared to everything else in my life.
From what I can comfortably tell, this blog has gone through a few changes and I’ve tried to do one thing and another. I tried reviewing stuff here, I’ve ranted and still ranting, I’ve tried to reach out to the community a bit for some inspiration. The problem for me is I was never much a reader. It’s an unfortunate situation because reading is a great thing to do. Ever since I started this blog, I do want to read more. Recently I’ve even bought a few graphic novels and books. I’m actually reading through Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by Dr. David D. Burns, MD, kind of want to but at the same kind of have to; it’s what my doctor says, so I feel I should find the answers to my own problems. Still reading for the sake of reading is beyond my grasp. I think awhile ago, I did mention this blog is more about to document changes; just a bit of something to share and look back on one day (assuming WordPress will still be around before and after I die).
I think I’ve made a lot of progress within the one or two years. Within the two years, I’ve gotten a part time job and still planning to work more often. Within a year I think I can recollect a bunch of new things I’ve tried and retried. I’ve taken up photography through buying a new camera. As you’ve seen in previous posts, there has been a few photos which turned out well. I’ve connected to the paint.net program through this, I’ve never found photo editing to be a fun task. Though my medium is digital, I admire some work still done with film. Those film photographers out there, you folks do have a remarkable skill. I’ve also made some small purchases as well from the book store aside from Feeling Good. Most of graphic novels and perhaps I might read more through graphic novels. After I’m done with this self-help, I’m ready for a light or fictional piece.
What I expect going on for the next year, I hope I gain and never lose. I’ve had a long slump in the past with only scarce small victories. Now I’m hoping more small victories with little losses, more gains and a flourishing lifestyle.
And cake, more cake!
September 23, 2016
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Going around the internet at the moment (and a few of you already seen on Facebook or other medias) is some a bit odd. Not as odd as the ALS ice bucket challenge a few years back, but it’s a bit practical. It’s gotten popular to the point where my coworkers have drafted me into this charity drive.
In the past I’ve tried things to change up my regimen in hopes something sticks. Definitively I’ve tried to go video game free for a few weeks and a few days on my blog a long time ago. Now my friends have challenged me to complete 22 push ups per day for 22 days. Between my readers and I, I’m starting to hit a point where I’m not very frequent.
Here’s how I would describe the challenge for those who haven’t heard about it. Upon nominated in a video in someone’s push ups, you have a day to complete your first set of 22 push ups. After that, the intent is to complete 22 push ups every day for 22 days. Every single day, you are to nominate a person to do the push up challenge.
Aside from my inconsistency, my work has been disrupting the push ups. Last week I’ve been out of town and away from an internet connection. Being away means I have to pre-record or post-record another day. I feel pre-recording is a bit cheating the system but at the same time I know I’ll be a day or two behind. At the moment of this blog post, I have a few days behind my push ups because I’ve been sleeping through the days. It’s not a good thing since I have a few things to do during the day. Still have to visit the dry cleaners and get ready for another Saturday work day.
In the end, I just hope I still can finish my push ups. I’m just reaching my first week into this and I’m definitely going to need the entire month to finish.
September 16, 2016
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The past week has been filled with some ongoing things happening. Aside from the sleep and the much relaxation, I’ve been trying to get back into recording more Stardew Valley on my channel. I’ve recently upgraded my 8 year old PC. Nothing too in depth, installed a new GeForce 950 GTX to replace the 430 I had and a 2 TB hard drive. After a week running the new GPU through her paces, I’m starting to think my entire PC is under powered for the new GPU. Power is running great but I think the CPU might be having a tough time catching up with processing some games. I don’t know exactly is the problem, let me know in the comments what you think stuttering and “lag” might be. The new hard drive is working fine, I’ve managed to transfer my game files from Steam to the new drive without hiccups. All save files are functional thankfully so I don’t have to restart a new Stardew playthrough.
The original intent was to buy a new PC, but an old buddy of mine convinced me to upgrade the GPU and save the $600 of new PC parts. But the cheap guy I am, I decided to upgrade this PC; hopefully one last time. When I started up Insurgency to play, I had a few problems with servers that were located out west. Then I realized I was lagging from local servers too. Of course I had to pull off something stupid to expend the $600 I saved. Luckily at the time, a local airsoft store had a P90 in stock. I’ve been looking into buying a P90 since I started playing airsoft and now here it is with only an hour ride out and a few days of waiting for the shop to open. Of course the day came and I bought it under budget, still pricey for a airsoft replica. Nonetheless, it was less than 600 with a spare magazine. Along with the Cyclone impact BB grenade and spring shotgun, I have a few things to try out. Of course I’m giving my pistol another go even though I’m shearing the feeding lips every time I’m using it. If I get a chance at the end of the month to play, I’ll definitely give it a go.
Other than that, happy with my new purchases for fall. Maybe enjoy it as much as I can until I can find something to complain about or something to talk about.
September 9, 2016
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I’m getting pretty good with my camera. I’ve managed to take some good photos of scenes and portraits recently. Summer’s almost over and I think I’ve shot over 1000 and uploaded only under 50. I personally learned a few things just by shooting. More importantly I learned to shoot the same scene about three times using different settings. I usually find a better shot through the three photos; better in a way of how it looks and the colours I’ve captured.
Ever since I got my computer (almost a decade ago now), I downloaded a nifty image editor called paint.net to replace Microsoft Paint. Out of the box, the program is an improvement on MS Paint and feels has more control familiar to Photoshop. Recently I’ve jumped into the forums to find plugins for the open-source application, trying to find stuff I can use for editing photos. The community did deliver, I managed to find a package of plugins which focused on photography. After installing the files, I’ve been experimenting with a few of the effects. On some photos I used more effects than some I tweaked the white balance and the histogram.
While tweaking and playing around with the photos, I’ve noticed a few things about my photos. The problem I have is I can’t take pictures of the sky without having shaded objects look dark and vice versa. So for me to take pictures of sunsets, the foreground would appear dark while I get white out if I focus on a subject that is darker than the sky. Even with this, I’ve managed to snap a few photos. In the future I might try and take pictures using Canon’s .cr2 format which is a RAW format. Hopefully my system with an upgraded GPU can handle it.
Oh yeah, I bought a 950 GTX. But that’s a post for another time.
August 26, 2016
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The best part about being young is you have a fresh view of the world. You can always change and make it to what you want rather than following in someone’s footsteps.
I’m growing out of the youthful age but I still feel inside me as youthful but in a different way. As a kid, I couldn’t self express the way I wanted to and it seems now I’m catching up with listening to music and taking up photography. Even if you go back 5 years, I went creating a YouTube channel and this blog which is still an evolving piece of my life! I am still finding the self I am comfortable with and not the self people want to see.
We’re all still young, whether you are at the start or to the very end; there is something to find new and different. A part of living is to live in the shell you grew in, but as I’ve learned through this year discovering something for yourself is something beyond the shell.
Always find something new and discover it for yourself, you might find something what will transform you.
August 19, 2016
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As I grew up I felt less and less at home in the house as I grew up. Even if it was inherited, I would still feel I don’t belong here. After decades of being in this house and the neighbourhood, it’s familiar but it’s not what I would call “home”.
Something aches inside me to want a place I can my own. A place I can call own, a place I belong. There is just a place I want to be; I don’t know where, whether it’s metaphysical or realistic but it’s there gnawing inside and I want to find it. This is what salmon feel when they swim upstream, you just know you have to go but you don’t know where. Even if it kills me, I want to know where this place is and if it’s even there.
I’ve laid in fields with fields above. In the empty void, in the silence, there has been that urge; the urge to go home or find it. Even when I’m the place I sleep and work, the calling is way too strong to ignore.
What exactly am I looking for, what is this urge? Will I even find it?
August 12, 2016
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It’s tough, I have to admit, it’s tough to seek happiness and peace in life when everything antagonize negative thoughts. Much recently, it has been occurring a lot. There would be moments I feel so good and myself, then I would just feel tired and wanting to give up.
Ever since I got this job in the big wide world, I’ve learned a few things to help resist those thoughts. It’s a rough go at first to push myself to go back to the positive space in my mind. With a bit of help from my workplace, I’ve been able to do it. It might not help for you, but give some of these a shot. First, I do a breathing exercise. A slow inhale, about 4 seconds; I try to focus myself until I have no thoughts in my head or until I feel calmer. Sometimes it takes over a minute to feel the calm I need to move on. The whole point is to have focus for the next part. Next I try to think about neutral and happy things. These can be petting animals, good moments I felt in my life, sleeping well after a long days work; stuff like these however limit it to one thing at time. I try to not push myself to spend more than a a few seconds because the moment would disappear. I keep doing this until I have collected myself to self affirm and validate myself as a person. Who I am, what I want in life, what I achieved, what will I want get done in this moment; positive “I can”, “I will”, “I shall” statements, out loud (I usually whisper it to myself) or in my head space to fill the neutral or positive void I’ve created. If it doesn’t work out, I focus on the breathing exercises; four seconds inhale and four seconds exhale.
It’s a slow progress to find the peace I need but from the couple years I’ve been at my job, I’ve had added one more thing on top. And here it is, whether you say it out loud is up to you:
There is no giving up, only surrender.
To surrender is to stop fighting.
To fight to find a meaning, a purpose, a cause.
There is more to in fighting than surrender.
DO NOT SURRENDER.