Thursday, May 25, 2017

What I've Been Up to So Far in 2017.

Noticed an ad on the sidebar just now... a picture of someone's nasty fingernails... reminded me of the extra on one of Weird Al's CDs (way back, like when I was in college). If you put the CD in a computer you could watch a funny sketch of Al and his family. Anyhoo... in that an oldmun asks Al "Does this look infected to you?" and shows him a fingernail.

In January my fathers home burned to the ground. My father has to this day not been located. However, my brother was found in the burned house. I don't know how to describe it, but we'll go with "Horrendous, catastrophic tragedy". We still do not know exactly what transpired.

My brother was cremated and we had our Viking sendoff. He is super-super-missed. Many people have been very supportive and kind. I am attending grief counseling. It has helped, and there are good things to look forward to.

Since my brother and I had so much in common, particularly gaming-wise, getting on Steam was hard on me, because his avatar is always there on my friends list, and showing up on games he owned and games he wished for. I think you can understand why that made me sad.

Since getting a PS4 I switched to console gaming for a while. Ha! Gaming CONSOLEd me... never mind. I binged (bin-ghed... not Bing-ed) on Horizon Zero Dawn and Watch Dogs 2, played quite alot of Kingdom Hearts 2.8, and have barely touched Final Fantasy XV. I have not finished any of them. I just kinda stopped playing.

Lately, I've been able to get on Steam and mostly play some Fallout. Most recently I have evidently been transported back to 2004, as I've been playing The Bards Tale (the one with Cary Elwes... Westley from the Princess Bride!) and Fable. My bro let me start a game of Fable when I was over once. So...

For the same reason, though to a lesser extent, the tragedy has affected my viewing lately. We caught up on our superhero movies as of January, then the incident happened. We plan on seeing the new Wolverine movie, since we discussed it with my brother. We re-watched most of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (skipped most of season 4). Since then I haven't watched much on TV.

In the realm of streaming, I was into it for a while, interested in the culture, and then I fell off. It's all about audio cues... repeated sounds and phrases. After a while, it gets old. Also, turns out many gamers and immature and generally unsupportive, cliquish types. Sigh.

On YouTube I mostly watch things like Superbunnyhop and The Gaming Historian. I follow the Co-optional Podcast because my brother talked about it. YongYea seems to be on a roll lately with news about Cyberpunk 2077 and some other things that interest me.

I've been somewhat active on Twitter lately. Never thought that'd happen. Been learning its culture as well. Seems like alot of subversive sub-back expectations going on. I've learned not to follow musicians who randomly follow you. They're insincere... using you as a means to an end. Though, I feel a bit bad about it when they're actually talented, I don't want to validate that type of behavior.

Be kind to people. You never know what they're going through.

Take care!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Axpack V+

Yes, once again I am tinkering with my modpack. The mods I'm adding are mostly for variety, which the original pack was a bit lacking in, for all its trimness.

The Essentials

Damage Indicators
NEI + CodechickenCore
Treecapitator + BspkrsCore
Voxel Map
Greenthumb + D3core


BspkrsCore (Treecap)
CodechickenCore (NEI, Enderstorage)
CTMLib (Chisel)
Mantle (Natura)
OpenModsLib (OpenBlocks)
RadixCore (MCA)
COFHcore (???)
D3core (Greenthumb)

Original Selections for Axpack V

[x] Mekanism
[x] Extra Utilities
[x] Openblocks + OpenModsLib
[x] Minecraft Comes Alive + RadixCore
[x] Pam’s Harvestcraft
[x] Cooking for Blockheads
[x] Bibliocraft
[x] Ruins
[x] Roguelike Dungeons
[x] Oceancraft 
[x] Biomes O Plenty
[x] Twilight Forest

New Selections for Axpack V+
[x] Chisel + CTM Lib
[x] ExtrabiomesXL
[x] Dense Ores
[x] Tinkers Construct + Mantle & TiC Tooltips
[x] Enderstorage + CodechickenCore
[x] Big Reactors
[x] Mystcraft
[x] Natura + Mantle (mostly for the sake of the Nether)
[x] Hardcore Ender Expansion (Perhaps to add after the fact, and not in Technic pack)
[x] Ancient Warfare
[x] Immersive Engineering
[x] Growthcraft
[x] DefenceTech (runs off Mekanism Core) 

[ ] Open Modular Turrets


Under Consideration

Ars Magica
Dragon Mounts
Draconic Evolution + BrandonCore
Extreme Reactors - BigReactors ported for 1.10/.11
Thermal Expansion/etc./Minefactory Reloaded + COFH (Disable Ore in Configs)
Actually Additions
Camping Mod
Blood Magic

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Flipping of the Dinner Table

Just on a lark, I checked to see if that horrendously cringe-worthy KoDT live-action series got released...

There is... count it... ONE episode (which I will not link here). It was published in June of 2015 on the d20 Entertainment YouTube channel. Then nothing for over a year. The most recent upload is titled something for a TV pilot, which is of the quality we've come to expect from the people who were involved with The Gamers movies. Apparently two other episodes were produced but only available to backers, which, judging from there being 795 backers and only two people liked the update posts that announced those... were not well received.

Wouldn't you know it... it's another Kickstarter that went completely off the rails. The backers and Jolly Blackburn are pissed. Yes, Jolly himself commented regularly on the situation. The level of vitriol in the kickstarter comments isn't nearly the toxicity level of Spoony's Patreon, but the passion folks are displaying over being cheated is comparable. Apparently the Director of this and other notorious Kickstarters, Ken Whitman, is now known as "a thief and a conman" says Disgruntled Customer on d20's YouTube channel (Edit: Since this posting, his discussion section has been scrubbed). This sentiment is reflected in the YouTube comments for the video as well... but that's to be expected.

As for the episode itself... my commentary.

Of course, that assumes that you're expected to actually watch it. Fine.

0:03 I see they're ripping off the guy who did the animated shorts. Not a good sign.
0:05 Are they trying to do a Psych style intro using the series catch phrases? Cringe.
0:19 Christian Doyle of Gamers 2... and 3 I suppose playing B.A. A familiar face. ...
0:45 Nathan Rice was also in Gamers 2 as Lodge (the GM) is Bob here. Good fit.
0:55 What is with the sound? Did they not have people on staff that know sound design? It sounds like something my kids would record and then delete later.
1:00 I just realized this thing is 17 minutes long. Lord help me!
1:10 Nice enthusiasm on that Hoodyhoo. Granted, I know no one actually says that, so I guess no one knows how it should be inflected... but I count that a miss.
2:42 Ok... Brian's actor is really selling it. Kudos where they're due.
3:40 After a long spiel of flavor text... I am remembering just how boring role-playing is to watch. I've tried to watch game sessions on twitch before and it is every bit as soul killing. I want to knaw off my own leg to escape. Role-playing is not a spectator sport... this is why in The Gamers movies you were shown the perspective of the PCs.
3:42 Vectra!? That's a name I recognize (based on the infamous Vecna from "real" D&D). If this story is what I think it is, it's a good one. Jolly was the writer on this... so.... actors: don't screw this up!
3:44 ...and he killed it. Thanks alot.
4:54 Did Christian Doyle get energy drained between the Gamers 2 and this, lose a level, and thus acting skill? No take backs indeed.
5:10 Really? Are they really going to keep this up with only having the perspective of them at the table, I know that's how the comics were, but.... I stopped reading those! I really read them for how many years!? AUUUUUUGH! *Break for technical difficulties*
5:49 You said it, Sara.
6:21 I'm right there with you at this point.
7:40-7:45 ... Ok... That got a snicker out of me. Properly portrayed how much of an idiot Dave is.
9:28 *PSSST* It worked fine for the comics.... but the dialogue sounds really unnatural coming out of real people. What this called for was adaptation... not CTRL+C, CTRL+V onto the script.
10:48 I never figured Sara as a southern belle... go figure.
12:50-13:16 Ha! Funny image... too bad this is film. Show don't tell, you know.... THIS IS ALL TELLING!
13:47 Again... well said Sara, and delivered with the enthusiasm of "would you like biscuits with that." Get used to saying that. It'll serve you well at your next job at Kentucky Fried Chicken.
13:55 D: ... This was dedicated in memory of Jolly's daughter. ... D: x1000
14:52-16:42 All the people not getting promised rewards.... or refunds.
16:50 Holy crap! This really was filmed in Kentucky. I was just trolling... didn't expect that.
16:55 PORT RAIDED... ??? Portrayed!? Did the credits get auto-corrected?
17:24 Nice placement of that light for the film.

I wonder if the actors were forced to film this at gunpoint. They weren't exactly pulling out their A-game. It was more like... let's get this over with. I suspect the actors knew they were getting screwed and put forth effort to reflect that. Well, except Brian's actor... but I suspect he decided to just have fun with it, like they way the actors in the Super Mario Bros. film did.

The whole affair just worsens the already icky feeling of the whole sub-genre of movies "by gamers, for gamers". I'd say they're losing ground, but that assumes that they had any to begin with. At least the so-bad, but unintentionally funny Dungeons and Dragons movie was sincere. This and other films made on the coat tails of Gamers 2: Dorkness Rising just feel like a cash in taking advantage of people's beloved niche hobby, and dragging its reputation through the mud.

Gamers! We deserve better!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Remember to Buy These Ganes Sometime

It's 8 days 'til the release of FFXV and I still have no clue when I'll be able to get a PS4. I was hoping for a good Cyber Monday sale, but it does not appear that will be happening. Nuts! Most likely it will be around March. Tax refund time.

Here's a reminder to myself of games to get eventually:
  • Watch Dogs 2 (Check. It's good.)
  • Kingdom Hearts 2.8 (Check. It's great!)
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 (Delayed til 2018. Sad face.)
  • Quantum Break
  • Just Cause 3
  • Witcher 3
  • Nioh? (These souls type games... I dunno.)

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Putting the Game Before the System

Today I pre-ordered Final Fantasy XV Deluxe Edition from Amazon. Apparently connecting my Twitch account to Amazon gave me a discount on games, or perhaps it just made me aware of a discount I already had. In any case, come November 29, I should be getting the game, the Kingsglaive movie, and such in a bulletproof (maybe) case for around $80. Now I just need to get the PS4 to play it on, but I can burn that bridge when it becomes more feasible. (Perhaps I'll slow cook the bridge so it turns into charcoal first. Hmmm.)

There were a few ways to go about this. Gamestop offers a limited edition PS4 slim with FFXVdx for $450, but when I saw the price of the Uncharted 4 PS4 slim bundle on Amazon for $300, the course became clear. I liked what I played of the first Uncharted. It's one I should get back to, but I've been playing Watchdogs lately instead.

Updates: I played some of Soma, and like it. The robots are not frightening in the least. They try to unsettle you though with screen filters and noises, but it only annoyed me slightly. I gave the killer robot a hug once... that wasn't a good idea. Had yet to figure out that the robo-sphincters around were for restoring health. I didn't know health was an issue at that point.

The Minecraft "Axpack-V" LAN game I've been playing with my youngest son has been working as well as I hoped. Got a digital miner going on three wind generators and basic factories running on lava generators churching out steel. Built him a robit and us both atomic destabilizers. He's been working at getting enough draconium to make some kind of weapon, but it's pretty rare, you know.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Axpack V

I took a long refreshing break from Minecraft, finally decided to formally announce my disinclination to continue map development, and now find myself getting back into playing the game. When I tried to boot up my latest attempt at the Axpack, I found that it was a bloated mess that crashed, even when I disabled most of the mods. So Bolz'tuit.... I'm making another one. Something far more compact, focused, and stable. It will be centered around Mekanism because I love it so and it worked this morning as the sole mods in the pack. So, here's the outline:

The Essentials

Damage Indicators
Voxel Map


CodechickenCore (NEI, Enderstorage)
BspkrsCore (Treecap)
Mantle (Natura)
RadixCore (MCA)
OpenModsLib (OpenBlocks)
BrandonCore (Draconic Evolution)

Selections from the Best

Extra Utilities
Open Blocks
Minecraft Comes Alive + RadixCore
Pam’s Harvestcraft
Cooking for Blockheads
Oceancraft - This I added on a whim and was pleasantly surprised.


Intermediate Game

Twilight Forest
Natura + Mantle (mostly for the sake of the Nether)


End Game

Hardcore Ender Expansion (Perhaps to add after the fact, and not in Technic pack)
Draconic Evolution

Ores/metals will be one set for the major portion of the game, then new ones introduced via the new dimensions at reasonable intervals. There's a clear beginning, middle, and end. There is enough variety to create interest, but not a bunch of distractions or ugly, obtrusive, or out of place things (like Botania, Thaumcraft, or Roguelike Dungeons). Ruins will do the trick nicely.

This should be fairly easy to maintain, and hopefully might actually get up on technic launcher if I get my crap together. I'll let you know, phantom reader, how it goes.