Friday 31 August 2018

Lessons Learned: Post your Opinion

This gem from the Prep Week is one of the major lessons I'm taking away from Blaugust and worth repeating:

Don’t worry that somebody else has already posted about a topic if you want to write about it.

That has always held me back. Hopefully not anymore.

And so this years Blaugust has come to an end. Thank you to all the participants and organizers, it definitely kept me busy!

Wednesday 29 August 2018

Lessons Learned: Discord is Ok

With Blaugust wrapping up it's now the Lessons Learned week!

I've always been wary of Discord and the like, even for game use, but from this Blaugust experience I'm more on board with it now. I guess with familiarity comes acceptance. That's worth a Lessons Learned post in my book. It's still annoying how it asks me to verify via email each time I log in though.

Tuesday 28 August 2018

Pitch Black

"Remember that moment."

This film follows a group of people who survive crashing into a seemingly barren alien planet. Despite the name, almost the first half of it is in broad daylight as the party realizes the planet has more than one sun, and never has night. When people start dying they suspect the dangerous convict Riddick (Vin Diesel) of the crime but soon learn that he's not the one they have to be afraid of.

Rocking the shotgun in handcuffs look.

Solid story telling, great ideas, decent acting and passable CGI make this survival film enjoyable. I'm sure most of you would have seen it by now but I still don't want to give spoilers on the off chance there are those who haven't. Yes, it's quite dated but I still highly recommend it, especially if you are a Vin Diesel fan. I give it four personal grooming appliances out of five.

Blaugust Staying Motivated: Much of this week I've simply not been in the mood to write. This is where being prepared pays off as you can just cash it in.

Monday 27 August 2018

Eador: Everything is Broken

[Part of the Masters of Eador story.]

Commander Nesturs awoke in space. His previously black hair now burned with flame and his eyes glowed with godly power as he looked across the vast reaches to see the various shards of Eador, the broken planet, drifting through space and hopelessly trying to flee from the swirling entity in glacial pursuit known as "the chaos".

Beneath him he saw the small land he had previously conquered in life and found himself tethered to it somehow. "Greetings new born," came a voice from the ether. Across the emptiness on a larger island was an old wizard. "I am Oinor, a master of Eador just like yourself."

Space wizards, the very best or the very worst type of wizard.

"What the hell is going on?" asked Nesturs. Oinor laughed and explained the situation to him: how Eador was broken in the first place to jettison "the chaos", and now all the masters are trying to rebuild the world, except each is building it in their own image which is slowing down the process entirely.

Sensing an opportunity to gain an ally, Oinor decided to bring Nesturs to a smaller shard, unowned by any master, to teach him the karmic laws of conquering. Nesturs was very confused.

Blaugust Staying Motivated: Another staple of my blog are game stories. Much like reviews, they are easy to prep ahead of time. This one will continue after Blaugust. 

Masters of Eador

Eador: Masters of the Broken world is a territory control game with army combat that reminds me a lot of King's Bounty... in space? Perhaps it's better if I just tell the story...

Chapter 01 - Everything is Broken
Chapter 02 - Too Good a Teacher
Chapter 03 - Wizard Power
Chapter 04 - Exploding Units are the Worst
Chapter 05 - Annoying Invaders
Chapter 06 - In Space, Size Matters
Chapter 07 - World of War
Chapter 08 - Orongull's Rampage
Chapter 09 - Warriors are Terrible
Chapter 10 - Pendrainne and the Lich
Chapter 11 - Out with the Old
Chapter 12 - Fairy Dust
Interlude - Misjudgement
Chapter 13 - The King and the Vampires
Chapter 14 - A Voiceless Scream 
Chapter 15 - Light and Dark
Chapter 16 - Untethered
Chapter 17 - Masters of the Universe
Chapter 18 - True Colors
Chapter 19 - Overlord of Worlds

This story has now come to a close. Thank you for reading! 

Sunday 26 August 2018

Sniper Elite 4 - Five Easy Tips

Killing people in the huge and beautiful maps of Sniper Elite 4 is quite entertaining, but for those who are having a tough go at it - here are five easy tips to make your life in Italy better!

#1 - Displace

Unless you are standing straight up, most enemies seem to have very poor vision even on "Authentic" difficulty. This means what they rely most on to find you is the sound of your gunfire. Regardless if you are sniping from far or hosing people down with a machine gun, as soon as you are done - change position. Preferably to a spot where you can see where you just fired from. Some maps have loud sounds that can disguise your gunfire which lowers the need to displace but eventually people will come looking for you, and the AI here is quite good at flanking.

#2 - Crouch

Crouch walk should be your favored position when moving. Enemies are hopeless at seeing you, especially if unalerted. Crouch run is riskier and should be used when you don't really care about stealth anymore. Meanwhile prone crawl is a bit slow for mobility and terrible for aiming at heads that are very close, but it is handy for hiding behind low walls and especially bushes. Enemy soldiers can literally be within arms reach before they know you are there.

#3 - Welrod instead of Melee

If you get up to an enemy soldier (or vice versa), pressing your melee button will instantly kill him. From behind this is silent, from in front less so. If enemies aren't in active combat then you can actually bull rush loners if you so choose, but this should be your last resort. Your Welrod silenced firearm is a much better choice since it lets you better control your position. Just aim for the exposed head (not helmet). Also remember you can throw stones to lure people into better shots.

#4 - Traps

All those lovely toys you pick up aren't just for show. While they are a nice surprise for people pursuing you, they are better used when you find a nice vantage point that you want to hold. Stealthily set up traps on the flanking approaches. Stairs, ladders, doorways and other choke points are the best spots for these. Keep track if they get tripped as they serve as a good indication of when to displace. If they don't get tripped, you can always just pick them up again.

#5 - Binoculars

For some reason you get more experience for scouting ahead with binoculars and tagging everything - people, vehicles, barrels, etc. before shooting at them. More importantly the binoculars actually tell you how far something is so that you can better gauge bullet drop on anything higher than Cadet level. It also pays to look before you engage as things like pill boxes, turrets and idling vehicles might escape your initial notice.

Blaugust Staying Motivated: Been awhile since I posted a guide. What better time to do it than Blaugust eh? :P

Saturday 25 August 2018

Staying Motivated: Status Update

A quick way to fill a post sometimes is with a simple status update. I've started doing monthly ones of these this year, and thought a short one for today wouldn't hurt. While I could write about our guild hall in Neverwinter Online, which is 2 days away from finally reaching level 11, I'm just going to post a more real life one today.

It seems circumstances at my work place are changing and I'm getting tremendously stressed about it. Combined with big project deadlines next week that involve interstate flying, my morale is currently down in the dumps. Hopefully everyone else is having a better month!

Friday 24 August 2018

Ori and the Blind Forest

Decent game, great story.

Made by Microsoft (in Unity) you'd expect big things from this platformer, and it does deliver. The story, music and art are all fantastic. It's in the gameplay where the flaws lie. You play as the titular Ori, a cute little rabbit of light who becomes a soul eating speedster at the conclusion of the prologue.

Combat is a mouse clicky affair in the first half of the game, and while you can out run all the enemies present you probably won't want to as eating their souls gives you XP. Enough XP lets you upgrade Ori to become a more lethal and more agile ninja, and in this game agility is key as you learn when you find the spirit trees (grave markers) of your other bunny kin so that you can eat their souls too.

Run little rabbit, run!

Unlike Hyperlight Drifter, the secrets here can all be found easily once Ori is upgraded fully. Also unlike Hyperlight Drifter, as you upgrade Ori the game gets significantly easier, which is good because by then you'll be tired of the instadeath traps and all that mouse clicking combat.

I quite like that in the later areas you actually need to keep the enemies alive to progress and that making a save point requires mana, otherwise you are stuck to using the few shrines that dot the impressively large map. All up it is a game I can recommend to those who enjoy platforming. As in really enjoy, as there are some jump puzzles here that are quite tricky (not Super Meat Boy bad though). I give Ori three and a half talking trees out of five.

Blaugust Staying Motivated Week: Reviews are a staple of my blog and for good reason - here's one I prepared earlier! :P

Thursday 23 August 2018

Staying Motivated: Asking Questions

Gaining knowledge is always a good motivator, and every so often I simply ask a question as a blog post. For today my question is:

How do you pick which blogs to read everyday, especially now that it's supercharged by Blaugust?

Wednesday 22 August 2018

Staying Motivated: Oddities of Life

It's now the Blaugust "Staying Motivated" week, and one of the things that always help me against writer's block is to take inspiration, or in this case knowledge, from real life and share it.

Somewhat black hat info today: Only recently did I find out that all it takes to prevent someone from making or taking calls and/or all internet use on their device is to know their number (in the case of a mobile) and their provider. The second part can probably be guessed or brute forced since there aren't that many, at least where I live.

Then the process is simple. Call up the provider and say the device was stolen and you want to put a block on the number. That's it. No more details are required. They insta-lock down that account and that's the end of that. No other details required. It made it really easy, but perhaps it was too easy? Very strange.

Tuesday 21 August 2018

Developer Appreciation: Blogger

Short, non-gaming Dev Appreciation for Blogger today since it's been hosting this blog for free since 2011. Easy to setup, easy to use, and it takes most of the coding part out of my worries as a blogger. Sure, there are times when things go belly up, but those are few and far between (literally years apart). Looking forward to the next seven+ years of blogging with you. :)

Monday 20 August 2018

Developer Appreciation: Wizardy Online Permadeath

Death is a slap on the wrist in many MMOs these days with even "corpse runs" becoming extinct as far as I can tell. Even Dark Souls "punishment" is only a mild inconvenience when you think about it. Well, one MMO decided to go the opposite way and for that reason alone I really liked it. Wizardry Online was a tough SOB. It had unfriendly instructions, controls and difficulty spikes which really made it less than appealing for casual players to get into.

Yep, this party is boned.

On top of all that, there was a permadeath system in place that really put you on edge when exploring a new zone or even traversing an old one. The idea that your next death could be your last really pushed you to ask yourself if you -really- wanted to try fight those three monsters for a treasure chest, or if you should keep delving deeper despite already being wounded. All that, and it wasn't even guaranteed perma death - just the threat of it is effective enough.

This is because when you die there you respawn as a ghost and have to run back to a shrine / safe spot to resurrect. Reviving is simply a dice roll, with a base success of 90%+. You can even guarantee your revive by sacrificing items to whatever force is reviving you. The kicker is, when you run back to the shrine as a ghost all you can see are other ghosts, and reapers: apparitions of death that patrol the halls who can outrun you (hope you practiced dodging). 

Should they reap your soul, you get put back to the spot your body is at and can try run back to the shrine again. You also get a -10% chance to revive !each! time they do this. Fortunately, other players can pick up your body and move it somewhere closer to a shrine or even take you back to the safety of town (you still need to roll though). I thought it was a great system.

Alas, the rest of the game wasn't quite up to scratch and Wizardry Online ended up suffering its own permadeath. Still, if there's one system I would hijack from this game it is that one. RIP Wizardy Online. RIP. For those who want to see what it was like, I suggest watching Dremlock's short video on youtube.

Sunday 19 August 2018

Developer Appreciation: Dark Souls

I previously talked about how I enjoyed Stalker's oppressive and challenging environment. Switch it up to medieval times, plug in a haunting sound track, up the graphics and add a whole cluster of WTF lore and you get Dark Souls, a game series known to be punishing and brutal. While that is somewhat true, especially at the beginning while you learn the timing for parry/counter and possibly at each boss fight after, it is also amazingly beautiful and rewarding.

Not everything is an enemy, but they can be if you play it that way.

It offers what seems to be near impossible situations, but through perseverance, skill and a bit of luck you can and will overcome them - and that feeling when you do is just amazing. Despite the grim surroundings, there are many moments of beauty as well - and the maps are so well designed to loop on itself as you open shortcut after shortcut giving you that feeling of progression.

Then there are the choices, those terrible - terrible choices. Do you use a limited resource to restore your humanity which increases your life and combat abilities but then leaves you open to other players invading your game? Most of them have murderous intent. On the flip side, while "human" you can summon other "human" players to join your game in a cooperative fashion which often helps with bosses. Dark Souls is a work of art.

Saturday 18 August 2018

Developer Appreciation: Stalker

In mother Russia, your first quest is to kill yourself!

The Stalker series is easily one of my favorite to date. In it, you wander the irradiated zone around Chernobyl while solving mysteries, fighting men and mutants alike, and generally try to survive the oppressive and grim environment which tends to shuffle and respawn random encounters and anomalies every so often just to keep you on your toes.

Metro 2033 which has a similar vein loses out here since it squarely fits into the "shooter" category and gives you structured missions with often claustrophobic maps. Stalker is an open world. There are story missions, but you are free to just go hiking and spelunking to find those random powerful artifacts at your own peril.

Just don't be outdoors when the skies randomly go red.

Having the pack space and weight limit also forces you to decide if you really want to bring that second rifle instead of other supplies like food, anti-rad, bandages, or simply more ammo. Of course, your primary weapon might break at any moment so... perhaps a light pistol is a better alternative? Good luck taking down an army partrol or multiple blood suckers with that though. Sneaking by is always an option, as is getting factions to kill each other.

Challenging, fun and most definitely immersive

Friday 17 August 2018

Developer Appreciation: Mabinogi Combat System

Today's Dev Appreciation is focused on the cutesy MMO Mabinogi, which still has the best basic combat system of any MMO I've played so far. Unlike everything else which is basically trying to maximize your DPS rotations, fighting here is at a much slower pace using a rock paper scissors type format. A regular attack can be blocked or countered, a smash attack defeats defending stances but can be interrupted by a regular attack, and a counter stance makes you immobile and drains stamina for as long as you take it.

More skills, like this jump smash, came in later.

It's simple and effective, and given most of the NPC enemies have the same skill set also meant a talented player with a newbie character could still beat harder boss-type foes, while an advanced character with a less skilled player could still be losing quickly to lowly wolves. That's the way it should be.

I also quite liked the upgrade options of gear. Usually any piece can only be upgraded 3 times out with around 5 options on each occasion. The options add and subtract various stats, and the measurement of "balance" for weapons played a significant role. For example making a sword heavier gave it a wider damage range but throttled the balance of the weapon meaning an untrained character would always be on the lower numbers, but a character with high enough dexterity to make up for the terrible damage would thrive using such a weapon.

Thursday 16 August 2018

Developer Appreciation: To the Moon / Fear not this Night

This elegant RPG Maker game is fantastically crafted and is my answer to last weeks prompts from Belghast of "a game that made you cry" and End Game Viables "favourite or most engrossing story delivered through a game". It helps that the music for it is also amazing, and I've actually semi-learned "Everything's Alright" by Laura Shigihara on piano with voice. Can't replicate her talent or tone though.

On the topic of pieces from games, "Fear not this Night" from Guildwars 2 is also amazing, especially since you get to listen to the whole thing in game after beating Zhaitan. It's another one I've semi-learned though there's no way I can reach the key change near the end (after already octaving it down), so I just skip it. As a friend once said, you know I really like something when I start learning the music for it!

It plays soon after this part. :P

Wednesday 15 August 2018

Developer Appreciation: Neverwinter Online Barovia

It's the start of the Blaugust Developer Appreciation Week and I thought I'd start with the content I've most recently been playing, Neverwinter Online's Barovia zone and Ravenloft campaign in general. This is the best module in the game to date as it captures the horror setting quite well, aided by the day and night cycle currently only found in this zone. It also hands out some decent gear during the intro for those who have lowly alts who get little time to quest for their own equipment.

Great place for screenshots too!

There is no escape from some currency grind but at least here you will unlock all of the story campaign quickly, in fact - the quickest of all the modules. As a bonus, the story actually has a fun, semi conclusion for those like Shintar and myself who don't actually go into the end dungeons. Even so, you will want to hang around as it is an easy place to get riches, especially from the tailored hunt mechanic which sees your party sent to a private instance of Barovia to take down nasty hunt marks who are much more accessible than their Omu counterparts. The optional risk vs reward system there is inspired.

All up, Barovia is fantastic and here's hoping Cryptic continues building on the good parts and culling the bad with whatever adventure comes next.

Tuesday 14 August 2018

About Me: Half Truths

I've made a little game for today, the last day of the Blaugust Reborn "get to know you week". Much like Bhagpuss said, I'm in the boat of trying to be anonymously famous so I've made a list of things about me, but only half of them are true. Can you work it out?

I am proficient in archery.
I got a firearms permit before I got my drivers licence.
I was ranked as Grade A in 10m Junior Air Pistol.
The clarinet and flute are my instruments of choice.
I love swimming, especially at the beach.
Dishes of fish and seafood are my favorite.
Cooking one of my many hobbies.
Outside of pictures and videos, I've never seen snow.
I've done ballroom lessons, but prefer dancing salsa.
I've been a game master on multiple Ultima Online free shards.
I was interested in joining the one way mission to Mars.
Photos of me can be found in an insert of a particular Jazz CD.
Most of my own photographs are of birds.
My grandfather is a National Artist.
One of my nick names translates to Felix the Cat.
My real name is Joseph Skyrim.

Monday 13 August 2018

About Me: More Viable Opinions

A continuation of prompts from End Game Viable - imagine if I only answered one of these a day! :P

What makes a game a “survival” game?

I'd say death mitigation, and not the type where you have to dodge out of "red circles" though that's possible too. More along the lines of, if your character stands still in a safe spot, with no hostiles of any kind around, they are still constantly dying. Something has to force the players to take action to survive, and idleness equals death.

How many different games can you comfortably play on a daily or weekly basis? What happens if you play too many?

Usually two at most. That way I still remember the story / controls / what I was doing or planning to do without requiring a "retraining" session. If I try for more, one just naturally gets pushed to the "play it later" section of my brain.

Do you prefer a silent protagonist or a voiced protagonist in your games?

I don't mind a silent protagonist but I always prefer a well voiced one. The key word is "well". If the protagonist is going to sound like a douche bag or woodenly reading lines, then it's better if they were silent to begin with. :P

I have a theory that most bloggers play healers or tanks in their groups, and a significant number of them are or were guild leaders.

While I was one of the founding members of my guild, I'm not the guild leader. We are both and have always been DPS classes though he's experimenting with tanking now (8 years in, lol).

Sunday 12 August 2018

Blaugust About Me: Viable Opinions

End Game Viable has a huge list of blogging prompts, so I thought I'd go answer a few today.

What are your thoughts on lock boxes?

Lock boxes are gambling, and are only in games to make the devs more money. I don't mind that people blow their cash on this, especially as it hopefully keeps the game alive, but I'm never going to buy them / or whatever is needed to open them. Ever.

In your mind, what’s the difference between an MMO and an MMORPG? Or is there any? Are you careful about which term you use?

No difference to me. The role playing aspect in most of the ones I have played are often broken by min maxers who are more interested in math than role play, or the people who like acting as sparkly space vampire fairy miniature giant hamsters in settings that clearly shouldn't allow for them.

Why don't you play Overwatch or Destiny 2? How many console-exclusive titles do you have to be interested in before you buy a console?

I guess they aren't free? I don't buy games (for myself). As such there's no way I'll buy a console to play said games that I'm not going to buy. :P

How much do you watch streams during the week?

I don't watch streams unless a friend shows them to me. Unlike sports, the barrier for entry to games is often just money. If I want to see how a game goes then I'll just play it to experience it myself. Also, if the cost is more than free, I won't play it anyway so... why would I bother?

Besides, reading a summary about said game is way faster than watching a video.

Are game reviews valuable anymore? Or are they just entertainment?

I find them valuable and I hope others do too since I actually write some of those on this blog. It does help if they're also entertaining though! :P Lastly, as I said, its much faster to read about something than watch something.

Saturday 11 August 2018

Blaugust About Me: I Play Games

Today I'll be answering cherry picked topics from Gracie's Moonshine Mansion and Armagon Live. It's so easy to generate blog content during Blaugust. Thank you to Atherne for collating a whole bunch of ideas! :P

Talk about the first game system you remember playing, or a favorite game from childhood.

Battle City on the Nintendo Family computer was definitely a favorite of my cousin and I specifically because it was cooperative (one of the first I had), and had a map editor. It's funny thinking back to that, because now my MMO of choice is Neverwinter Online - which is mostly cooperative and had an editor, which was one of the main reasons my guild moved there. Pity the Foundry doesn't get much dev-love these days.

Single-player or multiplayer games? Why? What are the exceptions?

Single player wins by a tiny margin. Basically in single player games it feels you have more agency compared to an MMO where there are literally hundreds of other people doing what you are doing. Also, I hate waiting which is something that happens ofter in multiplayer. Doesn't stop me from MMOing, just means I'm usually more of a lone wolf when I game.

How do you choose what games to buy?

I don't buy computer games for myself which restricts all my gaming to free to play titles and gifted stuff. Buying others I simply use their wish list, or what I think they'll enjoy / be tormented by - depending on my mood. I never pre-order, and never buy humble bundles.

I do buy board games though, and I try to research as much as possible before purchasing them especially as they are generally a lot more expensive than software.

Friday 10 August 2018

Blaugust About Me: My Favourite Things

I'm continuing with a few more of Belghast's writing prompts today, namely - write about three favorite items from any video game ever, and about any goal I achieved in the past and what it was like to work towards it and eventually get it.

My first favorite item are consumables: Health Potions or Medkits (things that keep you alive) - specifically the type you can carry and use at will rather than the auto-use on pick up. I guess this habit goes back to my Ultima Online days where there was no delay or limit on potion use and has carried on since, despite the Potion Poison mechanic in Mabinogi (debuff from overuse) and cool downs in Neverwinter.

Second favourite item is the Berserk Sphere in Doom. I am a fan of unarmed combat, and while I was ok with the regular brass knuckles in this game getting the power up that let you smash demons into pieces with your fist was amazing, especially when coupled with an Invulnerability Sphere. :P

Last item for this list also contains a previously achieved goal. This is the decorative trophy pet: Mini-Liadri from Guildwars 2, which you can only get by succeeding in the fight against full-sized Liadri, the original final enemy of the Queen's Gauntlet. It took me many, many attempts over 6 days and learning from others both through exterior sources (like Jeromai's guide) and through watching other players attempt the fight.

Because it was so difficult for me, that victory tastes all the sweeter.

Thursday 9 August 2018

Blaugust About Me: First Online

Today's writing prompts are courtesy of the Belghast himself. I'll just be cherry picking topics that go well together: mainly describing my first online gaming experience, how I got involved with my first guild, gaming friend transcendence and times when real life clashes with gaming life.

My first game experience was in June 2000 in a game called Ultima Online. Despite my first interaction with others being ganked by a wandering mob of PKs, my brothers and I were instantly hooked into this addictive sandbox and within a week saved up the gold to start up our own small guild ("Dragonarm") and this is the same guild I am still in today.

I was still in school at the time and boy did my grades suffer due to this new addiction. It would be years before I could get a handle on "real life is more important", and even today sometimes that struggle still occurs.

The guild has moved games a few times now, losing members in the process (around 142 losses to date according to the records) but there are always some who just stick with us no matter what. Canadian Wrothak is a great example, he was with us early on Ultima Online and now 18 years later is still with us on Neverwinter Online. His twin sister and ex-guildmember has also visited and stayed with us while visiting Australia.

It helps that my guild leader brother screens people that seek membership but loyalty like that is rare to find these days. 

Wednesday 8 August 2018

Blaugust About Me: Writing Origins

We're now in the "Get to Know Each Other" week of Blaugust, and there's a lot more of that going on in the discord channel! If you haven't joined in yet, now is as good a time as any. :)

Today I'll be answering some prompts from Me vs Myself and I, namely exploring my origins as a writer and why I enjoy blogging.

I always felt I was good with writing stories at school and always had the "I should write a book one day" idea in the back of my mind but the more I looked at writing novels, the more I stepped away from it due to the generally negative vibe I get from that whole scene.

This is especially true since I personally know people who try to get published and still haven't been, opting for the self-publish option instead. The idea of being "edited" also didn't sit well with me, the types of edits that change entire stories.

No such restraint sits in the blogging world, and the idea that I can just put my thoughts and stories up for anyone to read is a bit addictive. I guess that's why I like the creative outlet that is blogging so much.

Tuesday 7 August 2018

Blaugust Topic Idea: Reviews (and a Daylight Review)

An updated map would have solved everything.

Due to terrible luck, a bunch of people get stuck in a tunnel as it collapses on both ends and begins to fill with water. Their only hope is an ex-rescue specialist (Sylvester Stallone), who does everything he can to defy authority and put himself in there to buy those civilians more time.

It works well as an action disaster movie though other than Stallone, you will probably not care for any of the rest in the party despite their individual five minute intros prior to the tunnel event. There's a lot of dead weight too, with at least a third of the group being removable and it wouldn't change the story much - though obviously it looks better if Stallone saves more people.

Make that 1/2 the group could have been removed.

It's hilarious to think that with an updated map of the tunnel system, the majority of the movie wouldn't have needed to happen. Stallone didn't even have to go in at all, or at least - not the way he did. Ah well, the benefit of hindsight right? This one gets two bracelets out of five.

Blaugust Note: Reviews are another main stay on my blog and are also good "ammo" to load up on for future posts! They also have the benefit of being pretty fast to write given most of them would be one and done. :)

Monday 6 August 2018

Blaugust Topic Idea: Stories and Guides

Stories are a good method of writing practice and lend to being perfect "ammo" to store up in your "prepared posts" list. There are two major downsides to them though and the first is the prep time, especially if this is going to be a multi-post story which is exactly the type I like.

I tend to get creative on game play through stories in particular. This saves some time as you are already given a setting, main plot, and artwork (screenshots) to go with your tale. You just have to make everything cohesive, make some sense and ideally be as interesting as possible. I'm still working on that last part!

The second problem is this is the least read type of post. If you want the high numbers, write guides (as I suggested in the Specialized Skills post).

These also require prep time, not really in the writing because that should be succinct and concise, but in gathering the knowledge for said guide, be it a boss run battle, a cooking recipe, or a how to.

I don't do many of these because of that "someone else has posted it already" syndrome and it doesn't really lend to creative writing, but thanks to Blaugust I'm going to try break that trend.

Sunday 5 August 2018

Blaugust Topic Idea: Pretty Pictures

When you are struggling to find words remember that a picture paints a thousand of them! This is a technique Bhagpuss admits to using himself, and is one I'm going to use right now because I wanted to show off these two nifty posters I bought from the last Supanova Convention I attended.

Lothric, Lorian and Solaire.

There's always room in my house for Dark Souls. :)

Saturday 4 August 2018

Blaugust Topic Idea: Future Tech

I am always interested in learning about new technologies and devices, hard ware in particular. So while you can talk about the new OS of your phone, I'd be much more interested in hearing about exoskeleton power armor advancements and electromagnetic levitation.

Yep, that last one came to light for me during the Masterchef Australia 2018 finale when Heston Blumenthal had food on a floating pillow. I know he used a floating plate in a previous season but it wasn't as visually stunning as this.

No strings, just the magic of magnets.

Turns out you too can get your own levitating items from Levitating X: Levitate Everything. Their "how to" video is particularly good, you should go check them out. :)

Friday 3 August 2018

Blaugust Topic Idea: Pet Peeves

Sometimes a rant makes for a good post, but be careful not to go over the top in weight or in frequency as it will foster general negativity. Griping about unskippable cutscenes in a single player game is around the safe mark. Wishing death on others, which I still do from time to time, is probably a little extreme and is a good example of what not to do. :P

But really, people that cross the road without using a proper pedestrian crossing, without looking, and often looking at their phone while listening to music deserve what's coming to them. It's the modern method of natural selection.

Thursday 2 August 2018

August 2018 Status: Blaugust Reborn!

Not really a Blaugust related post today but I just wanted to keep this status thing going to see how I'm progressing with my task list. Apparently I'm not. That's what happens when you prioritize gaming over other things! Eek!

Expect more Blaugust stuff for the rest of this month, and given my increasing work schedule it's going to be challenging to clear stuff off this list.

    End the year with less weight (-1 kg from last month, running total: -2.9 kg)
    Draw 12 drawings of anything (7/12 - no progress)
    Make board game prototype (no progress)
    Complete web comic chapter 1 (no progress)
    Clean out wardrobe (no progress)
    Complete NWO: Ravenloft (0/2, only boons to go!)
    Prep Eador Story (done)
    Board game re-review (done)
    Witcher board game redemption trial  
    Update Facebook pictures (no progress)
    +Destroy Black Mold invading the house

Backlog Update:

FROM GIFTS (or freebies)
Sims 3
Hand of Fate 2 (in progress)
Sniper Elite 4 (haven't installed)
Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition (Done)
Hyper Light Drifter (Done)
Battletech (in progress)
Shadowrun Chronicles: Boston Lockdown (in progress)

COMPY CAN'T RUN (but I want to play)
Batman: Arkham Knight
Dying Light
Alien Isolation
Shadow of War
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
Satellite Reign
Assassins Creed Unity
+Astroneer (Alpha)

Wednesday 1 August 2018

Blaugust Topic Idea: Specialized Skills

Blaugust Reborn has now officially started, (you can still click the link to join though!) and according to the structured format this week should be one of Topic Brainstorming and suggestion so I'm going to start off with:

Teach a beginner one of your specialized skills!

It doesn't have to be blogging related. It doesn't even have to be an "advanced" tutorial. Heck, I made a post about folding plastic bags once.

The real reason of why I thought of this is because Chestnut gave an open invite for Blaugust participants to be part of her mini-cast which has a voice recording requirement. It turns out I'm terrible at it and don't know what programs to use, why there's so much static noise, and why my mic recording volume keeps going up the longer I record. Eek!

Might be something an experienced pod caster wants to shed some light on in a "This is my method" post? :P