Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Analogue Comparison

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I sure hope it’s not far…



Back with another quick comic. Two days late of my own self-given deadline isn’t too bad. I suppose I should dock my own pay. What’s 10% taken off of 0? Ah, nevermind, I’ll calculate it later.

So I just want to talk about a couple of games I’ve been playing recently. Dungeons and Dragons, and X-Wing Starfighter. Let’s start off with the classics.

Dungeons and Dragons

This is a game as old as time itself (or it would like you to believe.) I’ve enjoyed this game since I’ve first played it back in my highschool days. Afterwards, I haven’t had the chance to play for a long while, until about a year ago when I joined Ysharro’s group. Well, not too many months ago, Ysh stepped down and I took reigns and directed the group to do some D&D (more like “Hey guys, you wanna play” and they are like “Sure, we’d give it a shot.”)

The game itself is both simple and crazy complicated. I mean there are small intricate details I have to remember as the dungeon master that carries from campaign to campaign, like recurring characters, cities, and story the characters create.

I could probably make long stories of what goes on in our adventurer, and I just might, but time doesn’t allow me just yet. Just recently, our Paladin, Tamidar (played by Faeldray), just went through a trial to unlock her Oath and Paladin spells. Our Sorcerer, Malexis (played by Psychochild) had a tough time understanding Paladin traditions and thought the trial was a criminal trial.  xD

X-Wing Starfighter

Now this is more like a game of collectible Star Wars ships that you use to fight other people with. It’s a competitive game that I’ve been spending a ton of time looking into. The ship pieces look realistic and nice, but where I spend most of my time are building squads and coming up with builds that work well with each other.

The basic game has each side spend 100 points to spend on ships and modifications. On average, you’ll end up with 3 ships and a decent setup of mods on each one. So far, I’ve put together over 70 builds, and I haven’t gotten to really test any of them because I only play once every two weeks maybe. My group of friends only come together to play every two weeks, and we live about an hour away from them so my brother and I can’t exactly join in on more games. Alas, I’m finding fun putting together ships with great synergy. Reminds me of building Guild Wars 2 characters.

Offline Games

I wanted to bring these up because I’ve been seeing a resurgence of offline games. Perhaps it was always a big thing and I didn’t see it until recently, but I’m liking that board / pen and paper games are still a thriving community in an age where digital games are king. It’s nice to feel and move physical objects, to write down, erase, and write again. It’s nice to get away from the keyboard, phone, and controller once in awhile too. All in all, it’s just a nice break.

-Tyrannodorkus

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Coming out of hibernation

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I’ve been out for a while…


Well, after long work hours, taking over the GM role of my online pen & paper game night, and now looking for a house, this blog was put way on the back burner, like the third or fourth row if stoves come with that many.

To add to my long list of time sinks, I’ve always wanted to make comics, so I’m giving it a try now. What I lack in artistic detail, I make up for in quick completion and less worrying of it being perfect.

I’ve also been very light in the gaming world, but I’m finding time to get into an MMO again. Elder Scrolls Online I’ve felt needed another chance (not to mention my darn Skyrim game is crashing on me.) I’ve claimed to Faeldray that I had 150 mods running. Upon further inspection, I’m actually around 112 mods. Now I did my due diligence, unfortunately there’s still some incompatibility with the mods I’m running, hence my game crashing. So ESO it is.

ESO now has the One Tamriel patch going, meaning I can run anywhere and do any quest at any level. My brother and I had thought of a similar system a while ago for MMOs, a sort of level-less system, which One Tamriel seems to follow the spirit of. Now that I’ve been able to try the system in practice, I think it is a solid addition to MMOs.

One thing I had issues with ESO before was the on-rails nature it thought it needed to be an MMO. Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim was a pretty open game to explore, so it was upsetting that I had to watch how far down the road I went. Now I’m doing quests in the order I find them if I feel like doing them. It’s a lot of fun running around now.

Going back to Faeldray, I have her to thank her for kicking me in the butt getting me to make another post. She’s been my “muse of nagging” (her words, not mine D: )

I’ll try to go back onto a weekly or bi-weekly post rate. Something is better than nothing, and I have to let the handful of people who actually like what I post know I’m still alive. :)

Hope you had a good weekend, everyone. It’s been a bit of a rough wakeup call in the states.

-Tyrannodorkus

Monday, August 15, 2016

No Man's Sky, Elite: Dangerous, and Planet Explorers

What do all these games have in common?

Well, besides being in my steam library… They are sci-fi exploration games. Some more so than others, but I enjoyed exploring the settings in these games. Since No Man’s Sky is the newest and the big hotness, I’ll get it out of the way first.

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No Man’s Sky

Here’s a game just built for exploring. And you get a very unique view of a galaxy. I say a galaxy becauses it’s not our galaxy. The heart of this game is that it’s mostly computer generated. Very little was hand created, so that plays with some very interesting mechanics. Since it’s computer generated, you see some stuff that’s a little strange, but sometimes you see stuff that works.

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Since most of the game is computer generated, once you explore a couple planets, you kind of explored most planets. Even though it’s different by numbers on paper, a person’s ability to discern patterns quickly finds the sameness. I liked scrounging every inch of my first planet, and walking around my second planet, but I already found myself running from place to place later on.

The story is interesting, but I find it very cyclical for the three races. You can find monoliths that tell you about that race, but it’s usually the same thing. They are great and powerful, yada yada yada. I’m confused about Atlas and those sentinels are just plain no fun. I have to harvest and run so I don’t grab the ire of those annoying little fellas.

If I had to guess, the three main races you find were top dogs of the galaxy, until the sentinels swarmed them and toppled their power through a battle of attrition, and then Atlas is trying to do something… Maybe good, maybe selfish, but I’m curious enough to find out.

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I may sound like I’m being hard on the game, well if they had multiplayer co-op I’d sure be a lot nicer, but I do like the game in the end. If not for what they are, but what they can become. No Man’s Sky computer generated an entire freaken galaxy, with humungo planets and semi unique creatures for each planet. It’s a damn good start and can only get better the more they add to it. More planet types, more buildings, more races, more creatures, more ship parts, more anything will add to what can be discovered.

If you found yourself wondering if you should or shouldn’t get No Man’s Sky, my suggestion is to stay on the fence if that is where you are planted and wait a bit for a deal to come by, because the longer you wait, hopefully the more will be in this game. It worked great for me and Ark.

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Elite: Dangerous

Some may be all like, “how is Elite: Dangerous an exploration game?” All I can say is, I have tons of screenshots of awesome locations I’ve found. I haven’t traveled outside of civilised space yet and I still find wonderful shots.

Why I included Elite: Dangerous in this post is because I feel like they can learn from each other.

Elite does great for craft control. I can hover, move, look, and see the status of my ship with ease (and some practice) unlike No Man’s Sky which is setup to kind of put that experience on rails a bit. It’s nice not crashing into the planet, but let me stop and look around once in awhile in my space craft. I also feel combat is better in Elite, but I like No Man’s Sky simplified version so I can get in and out quickly.

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No Man’s Sky let’s you get out of your craft, which lets me feel more connected to a character, vs a ship. As silly as that sounds, I don’t feel connected to anything in Elite. I am quick to change ships if I think it works for the style I want to play, but in No Man’s Sky, I have a character I can hear breath when they run.

Comparing the two games, I say they are their own games, definitely. They both bring great stuff to the table of space exploration.

Planet Explorers

Now, if Elite was great for space exploration, Planet Explorers is great for planet exploring. Heck, it’s in the name.

This is a game that was overlooked by me. I had it on my wishlist for a while, but I was distracted by other games. I finally got it only because Faeldray thought this dork was in need of a good game, but even then it just sat on my steam account until she was all like “nuh-uh! You gonna sit down and play this game” and I was all like “but work and time and stuff” and she all like “all work and no play makes Tyr a terrible blogger” and then I was like “aww, why you bring that up” and she all like “pfft, I didn’t, this is all in your head”... >.>

I think that’s how it went down.

Anyways, this game has everything I could have wanted for the planet exploring part of the game. A procedurally generated world with a population, some jobs for me to do, equipment, a Star Wars Galaxies-esq resource gathering mechanic, tons of crafting, the works. I love this game.

But it’s not without its faults. There are bugs and optimization issues because it’s still being developed, though I can easily look past all that. The best part is it has co-op!
>.> - - - - No Name’s Sky

Space Engineers

Computer generated planets, space, fully customizable ships, characters you play, co-op, crafting, resource gathering, moddable. Nuff’ said.

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Sunday, August 7, 2016

Charles, my fallen buddy

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This is a personal post, mostly for me to remember. It will be sad, so I would skip it if you don’t want to feel that way.

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I’ve lost my buddy this past Monday. Not very long when we got to work, my brother received the most terrible call, our buddy was struck in traffic and he didn’t make it. We hurried back home, a angry and heartbroken trip, and awaited to hear back from animal services to pick up his remains. It’s a hard time for us, including our dad. We only had Charles for over three months, but he was already part of the family.

We love our buddy, and the house is very empty feeling without him. I’ve personally retreated from checking Twitter and doing my small routine there at the beginning of the week. I didn’t want to feel happy, and I didn’t want to bring you my sadness. I couldn’t even make this post until the end of the week.

I'm sad that Charles is gone, and angry that he was taken from me. At the same time, I also don't want to give up, I have a lot of love to give and want another dog. My brother isn't in the mood or the right place to get another, and I agree, but I don't know how long I can continue with seeing his empty bed. I'm not replacing him, because he can not be replaced.

It's strange to love your pet. They aren't family you're born into, or are married in, but a companion you let in and they become family.

I love you my buddy. I wasn’t there to protect you from the mistake you made in escaping the yard, and you didn’t deserve the ultimate punishment for something many dogs do. So I’ll end on a poem I’ve wrote for you over the week.

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Struck down by a motorist that was distracted or speeding, or couldn't be bothered to slow down, rolling the dice that their paths wouldn't have a chance meeting.

So I took in hand the land that I'm a fan, the internet. A place for me to make my escape from the daily race and to self medicate. But not to where it made me happy, just forget my ache.

I love you, buddy, and I did everything I knew to keep you safe, but all it takes is one mistake.

We only had you for a few months, and you're now gone a couple of days. You were family day one and I already miss when we played.

I don't know why you left the yard. Bored? Hungry? Saw something?

Whatever it was, it was a simple mistake. You didn't deserve this.

You're now laid to rest to next to another buddy we'd lost a year and a half ago, so neither of you are alone. Rest up now, you're home.

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Sunday, July 31, 2016

OOM

If you’re confused by the title, it’s an old term from my Everquest 1 days. It’s not a misspelled word like boom, loom, or doom… although oom seems to be attached to pretty negative words. It’s an acronym for ‘out of mana’, or ‘out of magic’. That means your group better be careful lest their cleric can’t heal, or their illusionist can’t control a crowd of monsters.

So, to the point of why I used it; I feel like I hit my oom moment. I had a level up this month, so I’m a little older, a little wiser… I’m starting to get hair in really weird places man, I feel like I’m turning into sasquatch. D:> (I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist the Wayne’s World 2 reference)

I had fun, and enjoyed my birthday, but I could only enjoy half. The other half went to my brother. Unfortunately when you have a twin, you have to share the birthday. Ugh, why couldn’t our parent’s give us each our own birthday. They thought they could get away with making us share everything, well we showed them by going through twice the diaper stock. MWAHAHAHA >:D

Why do I feel out of juice though? My job has basically went into a highly suggested overtime period from the day I started. It didn’t really effect me so much, but my brother works the say area and we car pool, so I sort of am doing overtime anyways. And my brother is a work-o-holic, and he likes to make plans, and he drags takes me to the gym. I don’t even get to touch a game except for the weekends, if those days don’t have stuff planned for them. I’m at least financially independent again, so I get the good with the bad. It’s not his fault or anything, it’s just that’s how our situation happens to be at the moment.

I’m also living back with my dad again since the job is closer here, but then I don’t have a personal space anymore, making game time even more difficult. Bleh (x_x)

Because of all this, I don’t get time to recharge my batteries. If you took the MBTI personality test, you may understand what an intj, and intp might be, specifically the ‘i’ part. Of all the letters, I stayed close to the center so I could kind of go one way or the other, except for ‘i’. The ‘i’ stands for introvert, which many of my fellow bloggers and video game enthusiasts typically are. I tested pretty extreme for introvert both times taking the test and what that means is I need a lot of personal time and quiet to help keep my mental and physical energy up. Conversely, extroverts gain energy from lots of socializing and having the spotlight. So my energy reserves are pretty much empty.

One of the best ways I’ve heard how introverts work is from Pyschochild explaining what he heard from NPR. People may see us like we are removed from the world, but what really happens is that we can’t shut off the world. It’s hard for us to be in highly energetic environments with lots of input to our senses, we can’t filter it very well. That is why we like quiet, and getting out of the spotlight.

Much of my personal time was putting time into playing games, making videos, and creating fun stuff for this blog. Now, I’m barely getting energized by vicariously watching games on youtube and checking twitter for what others are up to. I’ve done a poor job keeping up with the blogosphere, so I hope to make some changes soon in my activities to open up more personal time. For instance I pushed myself to throw my headphones on and write another post. It doesn’t have the standards I want for my blog posts, but it feels pretty darn energizing just writing this up. I was already pretty close to the edge to writing a post anyways, but Faeldray gave me the nudge to push me into finally doing it. Thank you :D

If you made it this far, then I can only assume you like me and what I write (hey I like you too) or may be in the same, or similar situation and can’t find time to energize. I truly sympathize with you if you do, but have this silly image below. I don’t know what it is yet since I haven’t made it, but it’ll be the best thing ever going through a long post like this. Enjoy.

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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.

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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).

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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?