nawkcire

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

Tag Archives: video games

Pretty Beat

Recently I’ve been struggling keeping up with the hobbies. I’ve been partially working or been on my feet. It’s summer or what it feel like it here, but it’s a good time for photography. This year I’m hoping the summer will be more productive for photos. At the same time I’m excited to finish Fallout 4, however another game is slowly taking over my life.

Yes, after a couple years…I finally downloaded Pokemon Go. Just this past Friday and since then, I realize how dangerous this ago because I almost got hit by two cars and bumping right into a wall. Luckily I’m not so mindless that I would run full steam. However walking distracted is dangerous, especially in a large city involving many sharp objects. It’s like being a child again and your parents forgot to make the entire house child safe. Anyways, I’ll be trying to stay away from playing while moving. Though I kind of understand most of the good stuff in the game is found on avenues. So if anyone is still curious, please look and bee aware of your surroundings; this is not a drill.

With photography, I would like to push out and use my tripod more often. However at the same time, I want to travel and shoot something different. Seeing my city kind of loses it’s appeal. I like landscapes here and I think this year I’m blooming into street photography. I usually stayed from taking pictures of people in this shots. So shyness from snapping people, it’s diminishing and I’m getting comfortable with finding the shot with people in the scene.

Anyways, that’s where I am now. After the crazy stuff happening in the world and restraining to spout all the problems around me, I’ll try and write down the topic and hopefully I will remember it later.

Advertisements

Love Is Strange

On the week of Valentine’s Day, I started to play the new prequel to Life Is Strange. I was completely blown away at what they’ve done with the old characters while introducing new characters.

As someone who played the first game, there are a bunch of references. While I know what happens in the first game, I did my best to think about this as the “first” game in the series. I’m not completely done but it is so far really entertaining. There are a lot twists and lots of moments where it’s fun and sad. Life Is Strange played with my heart but Before The Storm really feels like a heartbreaking game.

Chloe and Max are probably the two characters in any video game yet that reflects how I perceive the concept of love. It’s a difficult subject to grasp and no one would every get it right, but we all understand it in out own way. What it means to us and what it matters to be with and without.

The game feels so much shorter than the first but I can’t wait to finish the 3rd episode and wait for the bonus episode.

Last Post 2017

Next week’s going to be a new year; a year older, another year.

I’m just here watching the rest of the Jingle Jam. I’ve been a fan of the Yogscast but these charity streams I do find to be the best part of my year. After the year I’ve had, this is likely the best part right up to the end. However it’s been difficult to really watch these archived streams on YouTube. Not much to view but at the same time has given me an opportunity to see new indie games. At least I get to see the old and usual stuff, like a live podcast and some “live” games.

Last night I couldn’t get away from a 6 hour stream from Zoey from the Yogscast playing both The Sims 4 and a discussion on mental health. I was surprised when we began to talk about her struggle with mental health and how I’ve been over the past decade. From a person I don’t know to hear the same words, this oddly familiar connection based on an illness. After hearing from her and then playing this new game I’ve never heard about, it was like watching a simulacra of what I’ve been through for most of my adult life.

After seeing her play through it for almost an hour, I might want to pick up “Please Knock On My Door”. The hardest part was fighting my own thoughts while she and the game narrates the similar dialogue.

There is nothing easy about battling a mental illness without a cure. There is no phrase nor pill can cure it. Just keep holding on…

…even when things look bleak.

I think next year I’ll just keep fighting myself. I have to hope and keep telling myself things will get better. I just have to whether I should believe it or not.

Long Imaginings

Recently I had the opportunity to take part of brainstorming an alternate universe, a universe which could someday be. I always want to think about a different place and time, something beyond the here and now.

Fantasy is something I enjoy a lot when I can’t reach out and obtain it. It’s kind of odd to imagine a world without the USA, but a conversation directed to it gave it an interesting thought. I’m not much into political science but I couldn’t help to wonder how the states of union would go their own ways.

I guess it’s why I like tactical games, getting the control and to play the person in control. At the same time, which is why I like the loss of control in a survival game. In survival it’s all about thinking to regain some control. Always out of reach in a survival, a good survival game would keep me seeking control.

The appeal of video games, it can take me away yet keep me rooted to reality.

Settling Into The Holidays.

I’m almost done with work. Just a couple more weeks, then I’m going on a month long gaming binge. Recently I’ve been spending a couple hours a day at a time recording and editing. It’s been kind of bit slow since I haven’t hit the gym in a couple month, I should return to the gym but video games are so much fun. I would like to push hard to record all those games I bought so many moons ago, all 4 games. I doubt I would complete them within the month since most of them are sandbox games; I would like to at least finish Prison Architect, Call To Arms  and one more (Skyrim if I can binge the entire game). Speaking of which, I’m about $30 away from owning the entire Skyrim collection; just two more DLC’s!

Speaking of games, I’ve been looking around to all the people I’ve met who would like to play more cooperative stuff. The last coop recording I did was in Insurgency which was fun, but I think I should do something different and interesting. Trying to see if there is a game I have and someone wants to spend a few months or more on it. Space Engineers does take forever to get somewhere interesting. I have Star Trek Online, I could do the story campaigns with someone in odd ships.  I might return to The Long Dark, not co-op but I would like to at least die in the game. However The Long Dark suffered more like Stardew Valley where I lost interest. Ryan, the guy who I use to play a lot of Pulsar:Lost Colony, had Empyrion: Galactic Survival but I would like to go the survival stuff with a partner or a group. Especially starting from scratch and ending with a large ship or completing the massive project.

As I’m editing my gameplay, I’ve been watching a lot of livestreams. Not sure if I ever mentioned or tried to look up what I need to stream, but I recently looked up how much I really need to stream in HD. Safe to say, I’m no way close to a bandwidth to stream; maybe a 480p stream, could be less. So I can hardly play a game with a live audience, maybe some day when Canadian ISP’s were cheaper. For now and until next time, I’ll keep recording and playing.

Busy Busy

Really, two weeks have gone by without a post?! Wow, I thought I had something ready last week. Anyways, here I am!

Recently I’ve been bogging down my internet with uploads of Prison Architect. Actually quite different since the last time I read anything from the developers. I didn’t realize there was a campaign and more items to build. As I’m writing this post, I’ve uploaded the first part of the sandbox gameplay and a bit of chapter 5 has been published.I still have a lot to upload. I do miss playing long sessions and editing it down. I’m still shying away from adding effects in Lightworks. I’ve said many of times, I upload to share and not to profit; well, that’s the case for now anyways.

In December, I think I’m going to push this new hard drive and play and upload like crazy since work is going to ease up closer to Christmas. However recently I’ve gotten into watching some live streams on YouTube Gaming. Like Twitch and Hitbox.tv, I have a major problem with people playing a lot of games from the mainstream. Mainstream games like Grand Theft Auto, Minecraft, the new Call of Duty and Battlefield, it seems there is just a lot of streamers who just wants to play these games and nothing else. Maybe I want to see smaller niche games make it to the front. Any web developers from these companies, there’s an idea for you; make me a stream search filter for small games and streamers with a certain amount of viewers. Back to topic though, I’ve seen a lot of Life is Strange and Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture. Kind of tough to find games to watch since the games worth watching don’t have streamers.

There’s my weekly update to my blog; more like a bi-weekly, but I almost made it through an entire year with a post a week.

New Game – Prison Architect

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.

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.