Monday, July 4, 2016

Independance Day

It’s the fourth of July here in the states, and fun fact, it’s the same day across the globe too for anyone on the Gregorian calendar. Learn something new every day >.>

For those who aren’t horologists (yeah, it’s a real thing), the point I’m getting at is that it’s our Independance Day celebration in the states. That calls for good ol’ American values of shooting bottle rockets out of your drunk friends buttcrack. Lucky for drunk friends out there celebrating, I had none to trick, but I still had fun shooting some fireworks.

During this holiday, I had to sneak away from the family gathering to get some blogging in. Really missed doing this since my new job is eating up a lot of my hours. Speaking of which, the Steam Summer Sale, or Sssssssss if you want to sound like a snake, I was able to get by relatively unscathed. I did have a second go at it from my last post and picked up Shadows of Mordor. I was originally skipping over this game because I was being a bit of a lore snob, but a local friend of mine had convinced me to explore the mechanics of it. I love me some interesting mechanics, so I’ll give it a go.

Currently it’s waiting in line right now, as adventure games go, because I’m already playing through the Witcher series, which has been good so far, and finally playing Zelda: Twilight Princess with my brother. Witcher is a pretty interesting take on monster hunting where you take your time and build up to the main monster, learning about your environment and “helping” others while making some coin doing it. It’s a nice slower pace than what I’m used to.

Zelda on the other hand doesn’t feel very much like a Zelda game. I think we are getting close to a third to half of the game and haven’t seen anything about the main bad dude yet. Just a vague name. There’s also these kids, but I’m not connecting with them at all. It’s still full of Zelda like fun, but it feels more like Hyrule Warriors than a Zelda game.

Lastly, I was very pleasantly surprised when I got a gift from Faeldray on Steam, Planet Explorers. She said it’s a really awesome game so I can’t wait to start playing it. I wanted to do more than just thank her, so I made a doodle instead. Bask in the glory that is my awesome artwork. She said it made her Summer, which was great, because she made mine. Thanks again, Fael.


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Times Are Changing

The wind’s blowing, temperatures are rising, and summer is here. Most of all, times are changing and I’m struggling to keep up. Recently I’ve announced on Twitter that I’ve started a new job and now find myself struggling to find time to do anything else. Ironic enough, my last post was all about finding time to blog. As I said, it’s a work in progress.

The new job pays way better than my last gig, but I’m a newbie again and now trying to immerse myself in the new work environment. The good thing is, I’m finally getting some kind of rhythm in my second week and seeing opportunities now to peek my head in the blogging community door once more.

Speaking of newbies, the Newbie Blogger Initiative is still going, which is good. I even see a couple new faces joined.

Most recently, I saw a couple add-ons in the NBI Discord channel (find a link to the channel on the right).

Aunion (Eyestrain warning)

If I’ve missed any newbies and returning blogs, be sure to tar and feather me, but also let me know so I can link them to (and add them to my feedly).

So what have I been up to lately? Getting into some indie games. I’m a fan of the Endless series by Amplitude Studios and had their Endless Legend sitting on my Steam list for a long while now. Seeing as I was tight on budget, I thought I’d go ahead and boot it up. I’m glad I did because it’s a fun take on the 4X strategy genre. If you aren’t sure what 4X is, it means explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate. Civilization tends to be the most popular.

Quick fact, the old Civ 2 game had the best advisers. They had video responses, would change depending on the age, and the domestic adviser was an Elvis impersonator. You could say he had the most influence in my reign.

Next up to bat, thanks to my friend Rakuno, I was able to snag the Witcher series on Gog for a good price. I started up the first game and currently enjoying the story and lore through the white wolf’s eyes, Geralt (yes, that’s a take on Through Wolfy’s Eyes blog name). The game’s mechanics take some getting used to, but I think I’m understanding them a bit more as I progress.

Since I’m packing a lot of blog into one post right now, I’ll also throw in a writing prompt I found on the Discord Channel (remember, link to it on the right). This prompt was made by my friend, Faeldrey. “Describe your ideal game and all its features.” My ideal game would be a MMO, but since I don’t have the time, nor do I want to scare any of you away with a 5 million word post, I’ll stick to the 4X strategy genre.

I would like a Fantasy 4X strategy game that lead into ages like the age of men, magic, alchemy, steam, technology, and finally space. Each age has their own tech trees and the later ones build on top of the previous ages instead of making them obsolete.

There would be multiple Human, Beast, and Fantasy races to choose from. Humans include Dwarves, Gnomes, Halflings, Barbarians, and themselves. Beast includes Lizardmen, Avians, Canines, Felines, and Rodent. Fantasy includes Elves, Orcs, Fae, Spirits, and Ents.

You would choose a race as your base and a government as your “class”. Obviously there will be other races that help make up your government in the later game, but your base is what gives you your racial stats and other perks.

You would conquer the planet you’re on like a traditional 4X game, but would be able to build your city like Sim City.

Once you hit the Space age, then it would open up like Spore and you can conquer other planets in your system while still competing with the other governments.

I’d expect a game like this to take me a couple months for a single play through. Any developers out there that take inspiration from this, it’s all yours. Don’t even need to give me any credit, I’d just want to give you money and play this game.

Any suggestions on improving this idea?

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Finding The Time To Blog


It’s still June, so it’s still time for the Newbie Blogger Initiative, and that means it’s time to part with some more wisdom. Blogging takes time, but sometimes you have other stuff you want to do (or have to do) and finding time can be difficult. Maybe my experience can help out.

Being a blogger is hard. If you have a schedule you want to keep, you have to think of writing prompts for yourself, or finding time to sit down and write out the post. Then you have to find time to edit it and finally post it. If you’re like me, you’ll also want to promote it out to Twitter, and if it’s game related, Anook. Some also share on Facebook, but who uses that? Am I right? >.>

Now being a blogger and YouTuber is even harder, because now you need to find time to record video and edit that. Do you add commentary? That’s more editing. Like to create stories? Now you have to write for that and the blog.

Even further, being a blogger, YouTuber, and gamer is far harder. Now I have to find time to actually play the games that interest me.

Adding to this already long intro, being a blogger, YouTuber, gamer, and pet owner. Oh, also spending time with my family (parents and siblings that is, not married or have kids as of yet). But some day I may brand the father and husband badge. Some already do and that splits time up further. And then some also have their faith to consider.

The thing is, we all wear hundreds of badges and hats during our lives and they all require time and attention. Many can handle their time better than me… err, I mean others. :p

But what I found for myself helps me make time for (almost) everything I like to do. From gaming, to blogging, and watching movies to hanging out with others. So how do I handle all the madness? I use a cycle system to put attention to a few things at a time.

What I mean by a cycle system is that I’ll concentrate on a few things at a time. When I feel I’ve put enough time behind it, I’ll start focusing on the next few things. Eventually I’ll go through all of them and cycle back around to the first group.

For example I’ll spend today going through blogs, hitting likes and giving comments. I’ll also make time to write a blog post of my own. The next day, I may just play a game to gain my mental energy back up.

On top of individual day planning, I may assign this week to blogging and next week to YouTubing.

The system is still being developed, but it uses  my mild OCD and inability to let little things go. They help me remind myself to revisit certain blogs I’ve been meaning to read, or I need to work on an idea that’s been in my head for a month now. I currently have a comic idea I wanted to do for a year now and been coming up with mechanics for a game I wanted to do for many years.

Very important things I don’t leave to my memory only, I’ll write it down on a notepad I have on my desk. That pad is a godsend when it comes to helping me remember fleeting thoughts.

Some things tend to stay high on my priority list and shows up many times in a cycle, like playing games, while other things comes up a couple times a cycle, like making YouTube videos. My mom keeps asking when I’ll have another video up. It’s like when I told you about the trash, I can’t take it out yet until I find a safe spot to save the game, mom. I can’t just pause in the middle of a cutscene!

Sorry, an old memory was surfacing… Where’s my notepad? I need to make another video.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Bringing in the new


The 2016 Newbie Blogger Initiative is kicking in gear and my first contribution is a silly screenshot post. Hey, sometimes a silly post is all you have time for, and the world can use some more light hearted things to read.

Eri over at Healing the masses posed a screenshot challenge and it looks right up my ally. Recently, MJ of Massively OP boosted her Ark server to increase mating and breeding times of tamed dinosaurs, that way people have a chance to play with those mechanics. It was only for the weekend, but I used that time to bring up a new t-rex.


Welcome baby Scar to the Ark. Looks almost like his mother. Normally, I would be looking at day's worth (nonconsecutively) of hatch time, and then some days worth of constant feeding until he grew up to an adult. A quetzal would take 4 times as long, but the boosted time meant I had a new rex hatched in about half an hour.


Momma keeps close guard of her new born, making sure he grows up strong and healthy.

I love this game, and constantly amazed at all the work still going into it. Rabid at Queue Times made a post of some recent updates. There’s now neat stuff you can do with the new born like pet it and play. I’ll have to try that out next time.


They grow up so fast. Momma still doesn’t want to let him go, though. I’m sure she’s very proud of him.

As fun as this post is, it’s also a parable for NBI. We have some new and returning blood, that needs help to grow up big and strong, and eventually may help new bloggers as well. The cycle continues and the community stays strong for it. Welcome to the family and enjoy yourselves.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Me and my broseph

Sorry, I believe it’s suppose to be “my broseph and I.” Either way, I tamed a mesopithecus recently, and man this little monkey is awesome. I mean, who hasn’t wanted a monkey pet since seeing it on Friends? It holds stuff at half the weight on your back, it flings poop at your enemies, and it opens locked doors (if you can get it behind the door somehow). But the best thing I found out about my monkey friend is that it can wear helmets like me. Behold the glory!


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Story Blueprints: Secret Society


Secret societies are romantic to think about. That feeling that something is just behind a curtain, never known to us. It lets us believe that there’s something more to this world, something special that if we look hard enough, we can be part of this special group that knows more than what this world lets on.

Many popular stories make use of secret societies so they can set their world in a familiar setting while allowing for the mythical, legendary, and unbelievable to be real.

Vampire: The Masquerade makes use of secret societies by using rumors and misdirection (or even supernatural powers) to make the mass majority of people believe that vampires aren’t real. A small handful of mortals are in on the secret, but they are mostly pawns to be used.

Men in Black does this with a branch of the government that does not exist to enforce earth law and to keep visiting aliens from walking around in public without disguises. Many aliens make a life for themselves on earth, but some come with world wide destruction that the MiB stops and then uses technology to keep the public blissfully ignorant.

The Chronicles of Narnia isn’t a secret society, but it’s on par with a hidden world and has one of the more interesting ways of hiding their secret. Narnia is connected to earth through hidden gateways, with a wardrobe being one such gateway. Some other examples of hidden worlds are the Matrix, Harry Potter (a hybrid of sorts), and Alice in Wonderland.

I can list more, but one of the most famous examples of secret societies are the works of H.P. Lovecraft and his Cthulhu series. An ancient world that was mostly long lost and forgotten, except to small sects of people or monsters and unlucky individuals in search of truth. Unfortunately, finding the truth in this world leaves you twisted and insane by the end, or dead.

The protagonist of these stories, by and large, are outsiders. They tend to stumble upon the secret society, either by curiosity or by accident. Being revealed the truth is usually a tough shift in perspective for them and mostly they try to reject this new truth in favor of the truth they knew before. Unfortunately, once they become privy of this new world, they don’t really get a chance to go back to their old life. Many of these stories takes us on the journey of how the protagonist deals with knowing this new world and how they interact with it.

There’s still plenty of ways to tell interesting or compelling stories, such as the hero's journey (like in Star Wars), but sometimes you want to add a little mystery. Secret societies, when done well, will help the audience believing the world they live in may have something a little more magical or wonderous just outside of reach, until they start looking for it.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Newbie Blogger Initiative 2016


The 2016 Newbie Blogger Initiative was about to take a break this year. Seeing as it’s a big event that I didn’t want to see pass us by, I’ve tried doing a weekly prompt. You’ll notice there was none last week because Doone has taken the lead (kicking and screaming I bet) and announced the NBI will happen in June this year. What does this mean? Any reader that wants to start a blog themselves, or has friends or family looking to start a blog can climb aboard this initiative train and join along with veterans (and myself) for guidance and a boost of readership.

What is a blog?

Why it’s basically a personal place you can post opinions, advice, thoughts, reviews, comics, stories, rants, or just about anything you want to share with other people.

What subject should I blog about?

Well that’s up to you. I personally use it to talk about games and some fandoms I’m interested in. It can be whatever you want though; games, art, books, television, home improvements, anything.

How can I get started?

To join, you just need to start a blog, either with Wordpress or Blogger, or even make your own if you have the web skills. If you need help, contact us through the following means.

Don’t fret if they look kind of bare at the moment. The event is still building up. Once you have a site setup, please share it on Discord in the “Announce Your Blog” channel, and also the NBI forum board in the “Newbie Blogger Check-in” section.

If you need any help along the way, please get in touch with us. Twitter is the best to get our attention. If you’d like to contact me directly, you can find me on Twitter at Tyrannodorkus. I’m also getting more settled in Discord, so you can find me there as well and you can find plenty of others there too. If you’re comfortable with Discord, you can also look into joining the Game Bloggers Anonymous channel that Jaedia setup.