31 May 2011

Mums old knitting machine.

This happens when your mothers house of 40 years is up ended. Now to deal with the dust fallout.

25 May 2011

Respawning in the Platform Wars

There is a Time and Place for Video Games. But occasionally there's a Video Game that is simply timeless. Games that are just so fun that you would play through them again years down the track.

Take the “ID Super Pack” deal on Steam for example. It has several different games, including respective expansions, which range to about 20 years ago. That's longer than some of my workmates have been alive.

But I found a problem before I clicked on the super-freakin-awesome deal. I don't want to play them on my PC. No, I want to play them on my Console. So that put me in an awkward situation because I really like these games, and some I haven't had the chance to play yet.

I know what it's like to play some of these games on a Console. I already own Doom and Doom II on my Xbox360, and I've had loads of fun playing them. But I always wanted to finish playing Hexen and Heretic, and I adore the first two Quake games.

So would it be too much to ask for a Console port of these games? Probably. I wouldn't imagine it to be easy Porting a game to console, regardless of how similar a Console is to a PC. And the time spent would have to turn a profit in the end. So my optimism of these ports coming to reality isn't very high.

But hey I got my other wish of PSP games playable on the PS3, so why not throw it out there?

23 May 2011

Playstation HD Remastering

Playstation have been on a binge of Remastering games for the PS3, so that when played on a HDTV they don't look extremely pixellated. Which is fair enough. I know some people get irked if they happen to see an awkward pixel on their Helvetica

Personally it doesn't matter to me. I couldn't care if it's the same quality as a Gameboy* on a 60inch TV, if it's still a good game. It's why I still play certain PSOne games. It's also why I still own Gran Turismo 2. I love that game and I will get back to it when I can find time.

* - B&W, 160 × 144 Pixel Resolution

So even though I don't care about the resolution of a game, I still care about the games themselves. There are some games I just can't get access to, or if I can I don't want to grab it because it's for the wrong system.

Last year they released HD Remasters of selected games as compilation discs, which I find to convenient. I picked up the God of War compilation and got stuck on the Atlus Puzzle and haven't picked it up since, but I still had lots of fun getting through it. And I never had the games before, so it was fun to have a new game to play.

Same goes with other upcoming releases, such as the Splinter Cell Trilogy and the Team ICO set. I adore Splinter Cell. It's the coolest stealth game I've played, though I haven't touched Assassins Creed yet. And the Team Ico games, “ICO” and “Shadows of the Colossus”, while I own the latter of the two it would be nice to see it in better view. It's a very artistic game (though that's apparently up to debate) and I'm more than willing to trade in my PS2 copy for the PS3 version coupled with “ICO”.

I hope for other PS2 compilation games such as Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2, and maybe even the Final Fantasy Games (X, X-2 and XII), heck a remastering of Killzone 1 would be cool. But I don't hold any high hopes.

But just the other day, they announced they're re-releasing selected PSP games for HDTV. As in to have PSP games for the PS3. [Link]

This is cool, but not exactly what I always wished for. I thought about something similar at one stage, of converting the PSP games into PSP Minis, which the PS3 can play, and I would've been pretty happy with that. But this is a bit better because those people who just can't stand a large pixel can be happy.

All well. Made do with what you've got. Now to see what they plan on bringing out.

20 May 2011

Digital Librarian

One thing I can really appreciate about walking through Aisles of Books of varying subjects and ages is the Custodian of these hallowed halls. A professional woman, with luscious hair braided and wrapped into a bun pierced with chopsticks (possibly actual chopsticks), a white blouse and grey skirt to cover her sensual body and long elegant legs, which approach you with elegance in every stride.

Sadly I don't think there's anything like that for Digital Libraries. Yet. These computer programs don't have a simple feature such as this, possibly out of fear of Clippy Syndrome. Or worse.

Granted, you can have your own personal Librarian from your partner. Dress them up appropriately and then ask them the subject matter of what you want to read. They'll scan the shelves, starting from the top and making their way down each shelf to find a matching title, then reach for the cover slowly and run their fingers down the spine, before sliding it out and reaching it over to you.

Then you probably attempt to have sex instead of reading the book, because you feel like a teenager with a crush on the hot Librarian, and you're both in the Staff only back room of the Library.

I like to doubt that this would ever happen, but I've heard of people getting off using Car Exhausts so anything is possible with the number of ports a computer tower has.

This is what bugs me, though. You have access to these books and games, but there's no guide to walk you through them all before you get distracted. Sure you could have your partner scroll through, and seeing those crossed legs always gives me a thrill, but obviously it isn't the same.

There's no scene of wrinkled spines and plastic cases, no scent of aging pages to waft up as you open a book, or clatter as you open the box of your game of choice. It's all a scrolling list of beautiful box art, with the same atmosphere you conceived when last a game was played.

The selection of activity is a sacred ritual that should be taken with a hardy respect, and enthusiastically exercised for long hours to leave one in a sweaty satisfaction.

The convenience of having a Digital Library is that of having dozens, maybe even hundreds, of games not cluttering up your home. It's there, in your system and you don't have to worry about damaging a disc, or tearing apart the pages of the book.

And this will be the world in time to come. Future Generation of devices, and even devices today, will be part of the Digital Distribution. Physical copies will start the decline into becoming collectable memorabilia.

So what will happen to this sacred ritual? Will it evolve with the coming times? What will be the Avatar of this ritual, the Librarian to the your Search Engine? Or will the entire idea simply dissolve into time?

18 May 2011

Gears of War Board game


I like Gears of War. The game is fun, and the story is fantastic. And to have a Board Game based on it is just too cool.

There's about 30 figures in the set, so that's a bunch of Locust and a handful of player characters. I hope there's a Carmine in there. Then again, he'll die so quickly.

If I got Aaron into playing it, then he'll run up to every enemy and try to chainsaw them in half.

Judging from the setup, I'm imagining that the game plays much like the D&D Board Games. You have a set of square tiles with various designs on them which the players pull out and place at random to create your ever growing map. With each tile placed, place down Locust determined by a deck of monster cards. As you kill each locust you gain a reward based on the rewards deck of cards.

Then depending on the scenario, particularly designed tiles are set within the randomly organised pile. So you will reach your destination, but at a randomly determined time. With each character having their own special abilities, it can either extend or reduce the time it takes, or change how easily they kill something, or how the enemy can retaliate.

It looks fun and I'm pretty excited about it. Though I still need to play the D&D board games with the fellas...

So don't go there?

I'm getting sick of some people whinging about the local restaurant here. I keep hearing “Oh they're so expensive, they're so ridiculous, you would've thought that because we're regulars that they'd give us cheap shit.”

Okay, so they're not cheap. However, the point of a business is to make money. To make money, you have to develop a profit. To develop a profit, you have to raise costs. They're a small business who also like to have something new and interesting in every so often to get customers in. A Gimmick, if you will.

But when you ask for 1 slice of toast, nothing else, don't complain about the price when you could bloody well go to the bakery, get an entire loaf for $3, maybe less, and use the friggin toaster in the kitchen.

“Oh but I like it thick like they have there.” So do what they do: get a bread knife and cut it.

“Oh but I only wanted one slice.” So put the rest in the freezer so you can use it next time you're needing some fibre.

And just because “Oh Matts a Regular there” doesn't mean I know what the friggin price is of a single slice of toast.

If you don't like it, pack up and go elsewhere.

11 May 2011

For someone's sake

I just witnessed a waste of time. A lady was crossing through thick traffic lined up from the lights. The only clear lane of this three lane road is the turn off into the shopping complex. She was running along me a lady driving down the empty lane more than 50 metres away slowed down to let the lady pass, of whom went to a jog to give more room to let the driver continue without having to slow down much.

You would think that, in the role of the driver, you would just keep going as if nothing had happened.

No, this lady felt obligated to stop her car, toot the horn of her small car, and start yelling at this poor pedestrian from the drivers seat. She didn't wind down her windows mind you, so the only comprehensible of this lady was that she liked waving her arms above her head.

Then she drove on, the pedestrian ignoring her while i viewed the ordeal from the cold shade of the bus stop, where i came to the conclusion that some people fight for the sake of fighting.

09 May 2011

Large Scale Warmachine

Privateer Press are introducing an alternate system for their Warmachine/Hordes games called Unbound. As far as I know, the system changes to instead of having “My turn, your turn”, it goes to an alternating group activation.

Reminiscing back to when I played a 2000 point MK1 game with Scotty, it was long and tedious. It took the better part of an hour just to get my own turn done. And Scott decimated my entire Army in one turn which was a little depressing.

So the alternating activations sounds like a good change. Rather than sitting down for the better part of and hour doing nothing but bookkeeping, you're shortening that to only a few minutes between turns. And by the end of the round, the game has changed significantly for both armies, rather than leaning towards one side who had a rather good turn, though that may still happen in Unbound, but the other side at least has a moment to change the game before they're completely overrun.

I've not had much experience with this style of turn taking, which is limited to Dystopian Wars. I'm having fun with that, but it's only got a small number of models. The points costs may reach up to 2000, but the model count isn't as significant. You'll always want units in your Warmachine list, so you'll want to cater to that which will bring your model count up significantly.

But the point is it gives me an idea of what the system is like. Turn after turn, taking out units before they even activate. It just seems like a good way to change a high point game, making it more involved than a waiting game.

Cheapening the Re-experience

So when playing games, you want to keep it entertaining. And entertainment comes in difficulty, challenges, awkward positions. When given options to play slightly, or significantly, differently, you don't want to be able to run around like a God, practically invulnerable to any challenges that lay ahead. That's what the Easy Difficulty is for.

While playing Crysis 2, I found things a little... too easy.

With your Nanosuit, you can activate modules which change or improve upon your style of play. There's features for all three modes, Armour, Infiltration and Power, and your Nano Visor. And you buy them as you collect nano-catalyst from killing aliens called Ceph (Short for Cephalopod – AKA: Squids).

The Modules are varied and the best ones are really expensive, and require a couple of runs through to collect enough catalyst, but the question is: Can an expensive item be worth more than you pay for it?

One of the expensive modules is Enhanced Stealth, which lowers energy consumption rate.

I ran through the game using stealth as much as possible. I mastered the art of shifting between cover under the guise of stealth without being noticed. I was slowly becoming Stealth Kill incarnate. I could shoot any target with a sniper rifle without leaving a trace of my presence. Infiltration is for the weak.

And then I collected enough nano-catalyst to buy the Enhanced Stealth module. Now while it doesn't give abilities like silent footfalls or revealing your enemies path, it simply extends the period of time you're in Infiltration mode. So instead of jumping between cover, I can move across the map if I don't have to jump or fall, before I have to consider hiding.

Fair enough, I can choose not use the module and just stick with what I have been using, but should this option be in the game? So much time spent getting exhilarated at the chance of getting spotted getting tossed away just because you “worked hard for it”.

It feels a bit of a rip having too an calming experience going through the same game again.

06 May 2011


So I had a long hard thought about what to do about a Promobike. I couldn't figure it out. Though I got the idea from it, I didn't like the idea of a Motorbike with a trolley on the back. Not even a pushbike looked cool.

I thought about using the standard 40k Ork bikes, but didn't see much room to 'advertise'. If I covered up the sides, or put something over the top, it would look pretty weird. More like a float than anything else. Or a boat. That could float...

I thought about Sand Surfer, you know the surf boards with sails but given a set of wheels so they can just go across sand? Yeah, but it just didn't make... sense.

What about a Buggy? Okay, probably a bit better, but where do I advertise? Maybe make him like a Sprint Car, and give him room to advertise there.

Then today, I thought about these fan factor models and said to myself “These guys could be honorary members of the team. Especially the Squiggoth. He'd be #17.”

Somehow my mind rolled over to the thought of a team member actually Dying, and subbing in the player with an honorary member. Such as the Squiggoth.

“What about the bike?” I said to myself. “How would we play him?”
“Well,” I responded “We'd just play him as if he had a Deathroller.”

Then it struck me. A deathroller bike? That'd be AWESOME! Make it a giant Blood Ball with extra spikes, put a sweet engine on the back and maybe the Sprint Car roof on top and Bob's your uncle.

It'd be pretty hard to put on a 25mm base, but I'll give it a go. I'd probably have to make it like a Monocycle in that case.

05 May 2011

"WAAAGH IF YA HORNY" or How to build Fan Factor

First thing I thought of when I got home was “How will I mount a Scoreboard onto this Sucker?” Naturally it'll be on a Howdah just behind the drivers seat. And I'd make it a scorecard sort and have Orks behind it changing the cards to keep track.

Next is where will I put the Promokopta? I'd have to give it somewhere to park while it's not being used. How about on the Squiggoth? The main howdah is for people to travel in, so why not build a landing pad on top of it? Instead of having a H in a circle, do the Ork Blood Bowl team logo.

Otherwise, paint the side of the Howdah with the Blood Bowl Logo and “SKARBOYZ BIGGIST FAN” on the other. Up the back, an Ork Yelling out behind and holding a banner saying “WAAAGH IF YA HORNY!”

The Promokopta is going to be mostly custom made. I have a Garlic and Horseradish tablet bottle. Turn it on it's side, add Helicopter Rotors and skis, use the open top as a Jet engine, add a cockpit to the front (bottom of bottle) and if I want twinlink Rokkit Launchers, I have a pair of PS2-USB adaptors.

If I were talented enough, I'd open up the sides of the bottle to make extended platforms for Orks to sit/shoot from. The Rokkit launchers would have to be filled with actual rockets, so I'm thinking having one filled to the brim with rockets, and the other firing a piglet. Kel gave me that idea when we saw the Farrow Razorback, a rocket launcher held by pig men. I reckon it'd be awesome for the commentators.
“The crowd goes into a frenzy and pours into the pitch! What's this? The Kopta is getting into it too and... He's porked some poor sod in the head with a flying piglet!”

03 May 2011

"Skarboyz Biggest Fan"

So I've wanted to make Ork Vehicles for ages. Nothing too significant, something small and entertaining. I already have an old Space Marine or Imperial Guard Tank sitting about waiting to get Looted.

But it came to me in a flash of lightning. How the hell do teams get across the country? By Tour Bus. What's better than a Tour Bus? A Tour Squiggoth. And what do I have? A Squiggoth!
Success!  Squiggoth fully assembled with detachable Howdah! on Twitpic

To boot, when the thought hit me, the image in my head had a little helicopter in the background with one of those streaming banners with “Blood Bowl” trailing behind. So Why not make a mobile of a Deffkotpa with a trailing banner?

I also keep seeing those scooters with trailers on the back with advertisements on them. So an Orc bike with a Blood Bowl Trailer? Game on!

Yes I know that they're both the wrong time period, but you know what? It's cool! I could scrounge up a few bits and bobs from Aarons old Orks bits, like his Trukks and whatnot and maybe buy a box or two of Deffkoptas from the GW shop and convert one of the Deffkoptas into a bike! Or just buy an Ork Bike, but that wouldn't be as cool.

That'd give me an excuse to make a Squiggoth Side Car with a Bike Slingshot, and a landing pad on top of the howdah.

And it's all Justified as Fan Factor.

Shock Horror! Its not a Game Warning

Tonight i post from my new phone, the Samsung Galaxy 5. Its my first smart phone and my first annoyance which i suspected from before getting the phone was the keypad is really annoying to use. Its because i have there large thumbs and the best way to type is by pressing very gently with the edge of my skin. Its harder than it seems. Because i have a lot of skin compared to these buttons with little surface. Either way, the phone is great use for contacting Jenny because it has skype. And the cheaper i can contact her, the better. I may even make it a regular thing.

But yes. With the demise of my previous phone which involved dropping it on a tiled dinosaurs and the screen shattering inside itself, it was nigh unusable except to accept calls and be notified when Jenny has sent me an email which id check through my laptop.

I hope you enjoyed the typo that predictive text has provided. I am sure the tiled dinosaurs will enjoy your company, not my tiled floors

Model Delivery

So I received my Bloodbowl team in the mail. The poor bag got wet and the packaging was falling apart in Adams hands as he handed it to me, but luckily the pewter was fine in their own plastic sealed bags.
The poor remnants of the delivery package. on Twitpic

Twelve models, with the only two doubles being my linemen, sit in front of me wanting to be cleared of flash. And they're not little bits of flash either, they're actually kinda chunky.

But they're here and they're ready. I've figured out a few names for them too. Few'shor O'brikk'hows is going to be my Fat Ork Blocker, Galgutz Eat'ch'ya is going to be the mucleclad Black Orc Runner. I call him a Black Orc Runner because the name comes from the Video game which Automatically generates names. And Galgutz, through his Career, has scored about 7 touchdowns before I upgraded to the Legendary Edition (And pretty much lost that team).
WOO!  #bloodbowl team have arrived! on Twitpic

I also had Dubb'lin and Glaz'gow Eddbutz, the Blitzer brothers, and I figured the easiest way to tell them apart was to paint their faces in their respective countries flags (Green, white, Gold vertical stripes; blue with white cross). The two figures I've picked both look similar, and the other two don't look like them at all. One is raising his arm as if to catch something, and the other has a pair of sharp implements on.

All in all, it's a good day for Bloodbowl and in celebration I think I'm going to try and play that Dwarf Team again.

Fkn Deathroller with a ST of 7.

New York, New York

Over the course of about 6 days of sporadic play I finished Crysis 2. It seemed to go on forever, which I was somewhat excited about but aggravated too, because it would come to a point where your character would finally get evacuated out of New York City, but you'd have to stay and finish a job since you're the only one who has got the Utilities to do the job, because of your nanosuit.

Your Nanosuit is a utilitarian masterpiece with only one drawback of a low power source, which is regenerative when nothing is draining it. Otherwise, you can plan out your tactics before you run through an enemy camp, including tagging your enemies so that you know if someone is going to sneak up on you, or track where they are if you want to sneak up on them, or even get the pounce on them when you're armoured up and holding a Heavy Machine Gun which you've torn off its mount.

Personally, the majority of the game was spent Stealthed between various forms of cover, and attempting stealth kills on the majority of enemies, exceptions being the Ceph Heavies and areas I simply couldn't pass without having to kill someone. To which I used a Silenced Sniper Rifle and cracked a few headshots for mostly good results.

But this made the game tedious. While I wanted to just waltz into the fray with a light machine gun, or an assault rifle, or even the Microwave Gun you can pick up, I was tempted to lean towards sneaking up behind people and snapping their necks. There were moments where I had to run about in armour mode, but that was pretty much refined to taking out the Ceph heavies and shooting them with a Light or Heavy machine gun until they exploded.

Or the microwave gun, where they popped inside their armour. Jeez it's funny watching them do that, because the easiest way to describe the Ceph are that they're semi-transparent balloons with tentacles filled with alien bits and bobs, and armour pieces stuck over the top. It's pretty gross, but popping those suckers was just like the feeling of popping pimples in my teenhood.

Now the story has a lot of revolutions around a character called Prophet, who was pretty much a sceptical character in the first Crysis, and for good reason which is explained more and more in Crysis 2. Though in Crysis 2 you don't get to see any of the previous characters except for Prophet. Nomad and Psycho make no significant appearance which is disappointing since they were two of the main characters of C1. I hope an expansion will tell tale of their adventures, but since this is a new game I'll just wait a few months for that to happen.

In the mean time, I'll go through on a harder difficulty and see how much difference it makes to the gameplay.