Spirit Stones Review        
Gamevil is one of the biggest names in mobile gaming over in Asia, churning out such games as the Zenonia series as well as the Baseball Superstars games. Most of their lineup are great games that while tailored more for an Eastern audience, still can be enjoyed by everyone one. Most of their titles also […]
          Comment on Frakkin' Toasters – A BSG Fiasco by The Jank Cast        
Hey Mark! Unfortunately, Frakkin' Toasters disappeared when our Chicago Indie Gaming page was deactivated. I will look through my files and see if I can find another copy of it. -Megan
          Comment on Episode 160: Gaming, Art, and Music with Scott and Trez by Episode 17 – Lite Vs Heavy Systems – 1d4cast Podcast        
[…] The Jank Cast Episode 160 […]
          Comment on Episode 213- Games Addressing Social and Personal Issues by Benjamin Wenham        
Was the article, the Quick Primer for Old School Gaming by Matthew Finch.
          Comment on Episode 210: Characterization by William Palmer        
Nice episode, I feel like y'all only scratched the surface on this one. I like the idea of characterization coming in the moment, from choices. So in a RPG context every time you have to make a choice or speak in character (which I guess is a choice) you decide in that moment who your character is, based on what has come before, and then from the directors stance, what you want to happen. in a video game context like Mass Effect every time you come to a decision point, the game is asking you to characterize your version of its protagonist to be either Paragon, neutral or correct. :) As much as we'd like perfect consistency, characterization changes (outside of intentional character arcs) whether we want it to or not. This comes from the gaps between play sessions, differences in our emotional play state (bleed), and the (almost necessarily) fluid nature of characters in the shared imagined landscape. This isn't a bad thing most of the time because it's minor and we modify our characters slightly based on the outcomes we as players would like to see. In a recent game of Eclipse Phase I just ran over Roll20 I had all the characters introduce themselves with a dream sequence. I made it very clear that this was to be an opportunity for solo storytelling and had everyone else follow the microscope rules of shutting up and not helping as to preserve a unique vision. It went over really well, even if we had a few more pauses for thought than normal, and even over Roll20 the characterization was very clear and shined through. That's another thing, characterization is much easier in person or through text than it is online which has always been one of my bigger pet peeves with online gaming. In person you get to use all of your senses, through text you get to expound as much as you'd like, online you're normally restricted to voice and actions. It makes you work harder and practice which brings a lot to in person games. Yet another thing, how quickly does a character come to you? Are most NPCs at the same level of characterization in their first min of screen time as say an ApoWo character? Obviously we know more about the ApoWo character but does that come through right away or do you build that character up with every interaction/decision? I would say the later. Another way to say that would be: Are most characters defined more by what's on their sheets or what's in our heads? Could y'all post a link to 183 days from the rants section? I seem to be having trouble finding it. https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#newwindow=1&q=183+days+rpg Oh, have y'all ever Janked (that's now a thing, I'm making it a thing) about practicing for RPGs? If not, I have a potentially stupid topic for a cast, Do You Practice for RPGs? We practice writing, tennis, medicine, improv, calculus, sex, woodworking, and juggling; why not RPGs? This may be something that I'm alone in doing but I first took up acting in local theater partially because I thought it would bring something to my "craft" of role-playing. A lot of the time when I'm watching movies (especially bad but interesting ones like "In Time" or Divergent) I'm thinking about how I would translate that into a game (Fate conversion and Misspent Youth in those cases) and I'm logging away interesting choices or details that I can later bring back to the table. Staying in genre can be difficult when you have 5 different peoples conceptions of what noir is. But when you reference a movie or book everyone is familiar with then people are suddenly on the same page both conceptually and thematically. In general when I'm about to play in a game, or even worse run one, I often immerse myself in fiction of that genre to get it right. which seems like practicing a genre for an RPG to me. I've watched more than a few online videos on voice acting (see Roll20 stuff above). My bedside readers are fiction and things like Long-Form Improv by Hauck and Writing 21st Century Fiction by Maass. I've even run experimental one shots before to test out narrative concepts, like extreme flashbacks that only tie in tangentially to the main story, or practice something else unusual. I've never really retroactively declared anything longer than a one shot practice before but my first couple of fumbling forays into RPGs with D&D (because of coarse it was D&D) could certainly be called practice. I know RPGs aren't supposed to have a goal per se but what I'm striving for are improvisational stories that surprise me, thrill me, and touch my heart. What I'm after is a fluid game with little overt communication about it between players in the moment (all I'm asking for is mind reading here!). What I desire is a game that could be written down and sold as a good book and I feel like that takes practice. I practice to impress others, I practice to feel more relaxed and confident, but most importantly I practice to have a more distilled, better quality of fun. P.S. Your'e welcome for the text wall!
          Comment on Episode 209: Gaming Groups, Pros and Cons by Todd        
Thanks folks! So I heard! Larry from Tabletop Superhighway texted me almost immediately to let me know this existed. I figured SOMETHING like this must exist, right!
          Comment on Episode 209: Gaming Groups, Pros and Cons by Matt Bohnhoff        
Tinder for gamers already exist, someone beat you to the idea. It's called GameFindr. It apparently was originally designed for Magic the Gathering players but they've expanded to variety of geek games. Unfortunately, in my area, there isn't a sufficient concentration of users (according to the app, I have 3 D&D or Pathfinder players within a 300 mile radius, no other RPG players). So join! Encourage others to join!
          Comment on Episode 209: Gaming Groups, Pros and Cons by Nicholas        
Gamefindr is the app you are looking for.
          Comment on Episode 209: Gaming Groups, Pros and Cons by Jank Cast Episode 209: Gaming Groups | Megan Pedersen        
[…] Episode 209: Gaming Groups, Pros and Cons […]
          Comment on JANK 200! by mrm1138        
I am hopelessly behind on my podcasts, so I only just got around to listening to this today. There were two things that struck me about this episode. You'll have to forgive me, though, because I'm not good at remembering the names of the casters and whose voice is whose. First, I must say that the idea of regimented interaction is precisely why I enjoy gaming. I'd always considered myself an introvert, but my wife, who is truly an introvert, has classified me as an extrovert who is just painfully shy. She can't stand to be around people for more than a couple hours and a time and needs to go home and have a lot of downtime to recharge. (She has never gotten into RPGs—as opposed to board games or card games—because the idea of spending several hours being forced to interact with people sounds like a nightmare to her.) I, on the other hand, really enjoy being around people for long periods of time. The only problem is that I have trouble keeping up a conversation unless there's something very definite to talk about, and that's where games come in. Second, when one of the casters mentioned that tabletop roleplaying gamers tend to be a progressive group of people (and that he himself was an activist for a time), I definitely agreed. I am huge into comic books, but one of the reasons I can't stand to listen to comic book podcasts is because the hosts tend to be your typical bigoted fanboys who will go into a nerd rage if a previously straight character comes out of the closet, or a white superhero is replaced by another character of a different skin color* or sex, or anything they perceive as being political correctness being forced into their comics. While the TTRPG community's record certainly isn't spotless—there were some particularly vile comments from TTRP-gamers after Gen Con delivered the press release regarding Indiana's "religious freedom" bill—I don't feel that the bigotry involved is nearly as rampant as it is in the worlds of comics and video games. *See the recent announcement of Miles Morales replacing Peter Parker as Spider-Man in the main Marvel Universe.
          Comment on Episode 201: Forge Midwest Recap by New Jank Cast episode – Forge Midwest Recap! | Megan Pedersen        
[…] time for our annual recap of Forge Midwest, aka the best kept gaming convention secret out […]
          Comment on Episode 196: New Year’s Gaming Resolutions! by mrm1138        
          Comment on Episode 196: New Year’s Gaming Resolutions! by Todd        
The name of the novel was Station Eleven by Emily Mandel.
          Comment on Episode 196: New Year’s Gaming Resolutions! by mrm1138        
What was the name of the Apocalypse World-esque novel discussed during this episode? Since I listen to podcasts while I drive to and from work, I figured I'd just wait until I could check the show notes. Unfortunately, the show notes don't actually mention any of the games, movies, books, etc. mentioned in the episode. That would be incredibly helpful in the future.
          Comment on Episode 196: New Year’s Gaming Resolutions! by iamclyde        
Timo calendars will be released soon? Because we're already a decent way into Janurary.
          Blog Post: Moves the RTS Genre Into Uncharted Territory, but Does it Hit the Mark?        

I've got nothing against non-traditional monetary models in games. BattleForge's odd setup, where players buy card packs through the online store to supplement their significant starting pool, and complete real-time strategy missions with created decks, is an intriguing framework. The online backend is solid, with a browser that lets players quickly find teammates or opponents for the mission they're interested in. It's too bad that the actual gameplay is so shoddy I wouldn't play it if the entire thing were free.

The basic combat is very traditional RTS battle, granting victory to the player who best uses counter units and properly employs his troops' activated abilities. Many of the little details that go into RTS design are poorly done, though. The massive pool of creatures and spells you may encounter makes it difficult to keep abreast of strengths and weaknesses. The extremely fast pace makes it easy to be overwhelmed – especially if, as in many scenarios, you have multiple fronts to deal with. [Excerpt]

There isn't much of an economic game, either. Controlling nodes gives a trickle of power to your pool, and any dead units slowly return their power cost to your bank as well. Strategic orbs can be captured to allow access to the higher tiers of spells in your deck. Most maps are designed in such a way that each player has access to a preset amount of these, meaning the units you summon are virtually the only determinant of success.

BattleForge is a combination of strange mechanics and bad design. Units are diverse, and yet none of them are terribly interesting. Missions have a ton of variety on the surface, but in practice they're variations on the same few objectives. Combat is vanilla RTS, but too messy to allow for much tactical or strategic creativity. New revenue models are a good way to try to find success in a tough PC gaming market, but even the cleverest is nowhere near as important as good gameplay.

          Sony denies Vita plagued by screen issues, claims apology was lost in translation        
PS Vista
Sony is a little hot under the collar after a recent wave of stories regarding some bugs that allegedly beguiled the first wave of PS Vita owners. As you may recall, reports were pouring in that many customers were experiencing freeze ups and other performance issues with their new handhelds, prompting Sony to issue an apology. Well, it seems as if something got lost in translation. A UK spokesperson for the company told the Guardian that the statement was actually apologizing to customers experiencing difficulty getting through to tech support, not for the screen issues that have been the subject of many a YouTube video. He went on to say that Sony has seen no evidence of widespread problems with the portable gaming device, though, there was firmware update made immediately available to address some bugs.
          Bless – Korean media confirms English server has been cancelled        
According to various Korean gaming media, Neowiz and Aeria Games have officially cancelled the contract for Bless in North America and Europe. Neowiz will now concentrate on preparing the Japan server, which is set to launch later this year. Neowiz previously signed contracts as well with China, Russia, and Taiwan, but only the Russian server [&hellip
          What You Should Understand When Playing Roulette        
There are people who decide to play casino on their spare time. Many of them find casino games as an entertainment and others are after with the winnings they can get from playing such. Casino is a house of gaming actions with a lot of table games and also machines and one of this is […]
          Play and Win Cash Prizes in Everett This August        

We’re known to be a pretty great place for fun casino gaming and entertainment, and in August, we’re especially so! Come and visit this month for some exciting cash prize promotions and giveaways… Mondays are our guest appreciation days, with $9,000 to give away this month in hourly cash giveaways on Mondays. The giveaways will be on the hour between Continue Reading

The post Play and Win Cash Prizes in Everett This August appeared first on Royal Casino Everett.

          Win Cash and Have Fun at Everett’s Royal Casino in May        

From poker tournaments to exciting table gaming and pull tabs, the Royal Casino in Everett is the place to be anytime of the year. But in May, we have some special promotions running so come on over for some fun! Bingo Mania is every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this month! Play a new board every Monday, and win up to Continue Reading

The post Win Cash and Have Fun at Everett’s Royal Casino in May appeared first on Royal Casino Everett.

          Come Play and Win at the Royal Casino!        

From our wide selection of pull tabs, to poker tournaments and exciting table gaming, the Royal casino is your stop for the best in gaming and entertainment! Throughout January, we also have some special promotions so that you can win even more cash when you play at our Everett casino… Player’s favorite Bingo Mania is back, with over $500 cash Continue Reading

The post Come Play and Win at the Royal Casino! appeared first on Royal Casino Everett.

          Door Busters, Holiday Promotions and More at the Royal        

Win extra cash for holiday shopping or fun in the New Year when you play at the Royal Casino in December! In addition to fun table gaming and poker tournaments, we offer several extra promotions and cash giveaways through the end of the year… On Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays this month join in our Fill Your Sleigh Cash Giveaway! Win Continue Reading

The post Door Busters, Holiday Promotions and More at the Royal appeared first on Royal Casino Everett.

          Las Vegas Strip Casino Map        
A detailed and current collection of Las Vegas maps, and information about buffets, banks, restaurants, strip clubs, bus routes, convention centers, monorail route, taxis and shuttles. Includes gaming and non-gaming hotels. Useful for driving or walking on the Las Vegas Strip.
          New Testbed: MSI X370 Gaming Pro Carbon + AMD Ryzen 7 1700        
Article index: 1 – Overview 2 – The MSI X370 Gaming Pro Carbon Motherboard 3 – The AMD Ryzen 7 1700 CPU 4 – The System Memory 5 – First Boot and BIOS 6 – Quick Benchmark 1 –...

          Blog Post: The Next Step In Interactive Fiction        

You awaken in a strange cylindrical room without a recollection of how you got there. Your head hurts. Judging from the view from a window, you’re in a tower. You head downstairs, open a door, and turn. At least, that’s what your character, Anna, is experiencing; for you, the player, things are just as disorienting.[Excerpt]

You see Anna’s story displayed on your screen in text. You swipe down as you read, and see a small graphic of a window inset into the text. As Anna sees that she’s in a tower and makes out a lighthouse, you’ve scrolled the text down far enough for that lighthouse to appear in the window frame. The words stack like stairs as she begins her descent. When she opens the door at the bottom and heads to the right, the text turns as well – and you turn your iPad to keep up. You never take direct control of Anna. Instead, you swipe along branching paths of text, solving puzzles and reading about her fate along the way. 

Simogo Games’ horror title Year Walk showed that a modern game could effectively provide scares without relying on gross-out visuals or overly complex gameplay. The mobile release also cleverly played with the concept of apps, with an optional free companion providing valuable insight into Year Walk’s folklore and help for puzzles. Device 6 shows a continued fascination with both the peculiarities of mobile gaming and an even more stripped-down approach to adventure.

I’d advise you to play with a notebook nearby; there are loads of little details sprinkled throughout, and even things that seem insignificant can be critically useful later on. Chapters are short enough that backtracking (or reading) isn’t bothersome. Puzzles are tricky without being needlessly obscure. Because each chapter is self-contained, you usually have access to everything you need to complete each one within a few minutes. Of course, that assumes that you’ve been paying close attention. The puzzles are stripped down as much as the visuals, usually only requiring button presses between two options. They’re no less satisfying than those with full visual inventories, however, and my internal “Hell yeah!” moments were just as loud as in any other puzzle-heavy game.

Once you complete a chapter, Simogo doesn’t exactly break the fourth wall, as much as it presses firmly against it. There are a lot of clever things going on within (and outside of) the game’s story, and I hate to ruin it for prospective players. Without going into detail, I will say that I loved the regular pendulum swing between drollness and desperation.

Sound is used to great effect throughout the game. Device 6 opens with a jazzy tune that would be perfect for most retro spy movies, and espionage-inspired audio elements are retained throughout the game. Many of the recordings that you hear in the game reminded me of those mysterious numbers stations heard on shortwave radios. There are light touches throughout, too. Anna leaves crunching footsteps as players scroll, and sound effects seemed to have been timed perfectly for when my eyes would hit the appropriate moment. It’s a visually sparse experience, and the audio helps to fill in some of those atmospheric gaps.

I wasn’t expecting to discover that one of my new favorite point-and-click adventure games would feature so little pointing and clicking, but that’s what Device 6 has done. I felt more than a little silly rotating my iPad around to read Anna along a new path, but her story was worth it in the end.


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          Vince Staples Eats Wings, Talks Music & Gaming On "Hot Ones"         

"If you die off of the wings, you's a bitch."
          Comment on Never Let Mango by Vietnam Day 0-1: Arrival and Refreshed - DanVSWorld        
[…] Shout out to Laura Holman who wanted me to share this smoothie recipe of hers. She made it specifically for a Super Smash Bros’ gaming community and knew I would never turn down fellow gamers or aspiring chefs. Check out her blog WarAndPeach […]
          The Future Is Now: Five Awesome Uses Of Virtual Reality In Marketing        
Augmented and virtual realityis technology that is becoming far more important to the societal landscape than just gaming. It's found its way into the marketing arena as a heavyweight implementation tool as well. I've written extensively on how Pokemon GO provided small businesses with opportunities to leverage the augmented reality [...]
          All new PokerGamingProducts.com        
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          Vojna medzi Duklockom a Expl0itedom ?        
Duklock nám v QnA povie prečo točí také ko****** . Prečo netočí gaming , vysvetlí prečo keď niekoho dissujete a napíšete #nohate to nič neznamená alebo čo má vlastne proti Expl0itedovi.
          re: EA And DICE Share Learnings From Battlefield 4 Beta        

Counting down the days till I get Call of Duty Ghost, and Battlefield 4. Going to be a good day gaming for me.

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          Deferred shader part 2        
This is a description how deferred shading is used in Ephenation. The algorithm has been separated into a number of stages, that each will update one or more data buffers. The stages and the buffers used for these stages are explained below. Most of the links refer to the actual source code.


Green box: Shader execution
Blue box: Data stored in a bitmap (of varying formats)
Solid arrow: Indicates data is used
Wide orange arrow: Data is updated


There is a depth, diffuse, normal and position buffer allocated. These are common in many deferred shaders, usually called a G buffer, which is described in more detail in part 1.

Light buffer

All lighting effects are added up in a separate channel of type R16F. It is a bitmap texture allocated as follows:
glTexImage2D(GL_TEXTURE_2D, 0, GL_R16F, w, h, 0, G_RED, 0);  
The advantage of having only one channel is that less memory is needed. The disadvantage is that light contributions can not have separate effects for the different colors. The values will typically range from 0 to 1, but can exceed 1 if there are more than one light source (e.g. sun and lamp). Players can create any number of light sources, so it is important that this is displayed satisfactorily (see section about tone mapping below).

The buffer is initialized to 0, which would give a completely dark world unless some light is added.
Light map, using red channel

Blend data

This is a GL_RGBA buffer for separately managing blending. See more details about the blending stage below.

Shadow map

A depth buffer with information about the distance from the sun to the world. This is not described in detail in this article. More information can be found at www.opengl-tutorial.org.
Shadow map
The projection matrix is an orthogonal projection, not a perspective projection.

Note that the shadow map uses variable resolution (defined as a shader function), which explains the distortion in the picture at the edges. It has high resolution in the middle, near the player, and lower resolution far from the player. Even though the sun is incoming from an angle, matrix shearing is used to transform height values to normalized values in the Y dimension. Otherwise, height value at upper right would have oversaturated into white and values in the lower left oversaturated into black.


Point lights using tile based rendering

The effect from the point lights do not take into account shadows from objects. This is a shortcoming, but there can be many lamps and the cost to compute shadows would be too high. The fall-off function is a simple linear function, with max intensity at the lamp position, and 0 at a distance depending on the lamp size. The physically more correct function, giving an intensity proportional to 1/r^2, would give infinite intensity at r=0 and would never reach 0.

Each point light is rendered separately. A bounding 2D quad is positioned at the place of the point light. The fragment shader will thus be activated only for pixels that are visible (highlighted below). Some of these pixels will then be affected by the light. The position buffer is used to compute the distance from the point light to the pixel, and the normal buffer is used to find the angle.
The high-lighted square is used for lighting calculation
As the quad is drawn at the position of the point light, it may be that all pixels are culled because they fail in the depth test. This is a great advantage, and will speed up drawing considerably as lamps are frequently hidden behind walls or other objects. There are two adjustments done. The quad is not positioned exactly at the point light, but in front of it. The other issue is when the camera is inside the light sphere, in which case the quad has to be moved away from the player, or it would be drawn behind the camera and culled completely.


Blending is usually a problem with deferred shading. If the blending is done before light effects are applied, it will look bad. In Ephenation, drawing of semi transparent objects is done separately from the opaque objects. But it is done using the FBO, so as to have access to the depth buffer. Because of that, the result is saved in a special blend buffer that is applied in the deferred stage.

Textures used for the opaque objects use the alpha component to indicate either full transparency or full opaqueness. That is handled by the shader, which will discard transparent fragments completely. This will prevent updates of the depth buffer.

Deferred shading

All drawing until now has been done with a Frame Buffer Object as a target. The deferred stage is the one that combines the results from this FBO into a single output, which is the default frame buffer (the screen).

Gamma correction

The colors sent to the screen are clamped in the interval [0,1]. 0 is black, and 1 is as white as you can get. The value can be seen as an energy, where more energy gives more light. However, 0.5 is not half the energy of 1. The reason for this is that the monitor will transform the output with a gamma correction. The correction is approximately C^2.2. The constant 2.2 is called the gamma constant. To get a value half way between black and white, 0.5^0.45=0.73 should be used, to compensate for the non-linear behavior of the monitor.

SRGB input

The exact algorithm is defined by the sRGB format. LCD displays use the sRGB coding automatically. If all bitmaps are in the sRGB format, then the final output will automatically be correct. Or rather, it could be correct, but there are important cases where it is not. As the sRGB is not linear, you can't add two values correctly. For example, using the average between 0 and 1, which is 0.5, would not give the average energy in the final display on the monitor. So if there is pixel color manipulations, the final colors can get wrong or there can be artifacts.
 if (srgb < 0.04045)  
linear = srgb / 12.92;
linear = pow((srgb + 0.055)/1.055, 2.4);
If this transformation is done on an 8-bit color, the special case of values less than 0.04045 will all be rounded to 0 or 1 when divided by 12.92.

When you edit a bitmap in an editor, what you see is what you get. That means that the monitor will interpret the colors as being sRGB. OpenGL has built-in support for conversion from the sRGB format. If the format is specified for textures, OpenGL will automatically convert to linear color space. if sRGB is not specified, the transform has to be done manually in the shader. In Ephenation, bitmaps are specified as sRGB to get the automatic transformation, which means the equation above isn't needed.

SRGB output

In the last phase, when pixels are written to the default frame buffer, the value has to be manually transformed to non-linear (sRGB). There is actually automatic support for this in OpenGL if using a Frame Buffer Object with a texture target object in format sRGB. However, the final outputting is usually to the default frame buffer, which have no such automatic transformation. Regardless, it may be a good idea to implement it in the shader, to make it possible to calibrate and control by the end user.
if (linear <= 0.0031308)
CRT = linear * 12.92;
CRT = 1.055 * pow(linear, 1/2.4) - 0.055;


Colors are limited to the range [0,1], but there is no such limitation in the real world. The energy of a color is unlimited. But the limitation is needed, as it represents the maximum intensity of the display hardware. When doing light manipulations, it is easy to get values bigger than 1. One way would be to start with low values, and then make sure there can never be a situation where the final value will saturate. However, that could mean that the normal case will turn out to be too dark.

HDR is short for High Dynamic Range. It is basically images where the dynamic range (difference between the lowest and highest intensity) is bigger than can be shown on the display. Eventually, when the image is going to be shown, some mechanism is required to compress the range to something that will not saturate. A simple way would be to down scale the values, but then the lower ranges would again disappear. There are various techniques to prevent this from happening. In the case of gaming, we don't want the high values to saturate too much, and so a more simple algorithm can be used to compress the range.

Tone mapping

There are several ways to do tone mapping, and in Ephenation the Reinhard transformation is used. This will transform almost all values to the range [0,1]. If it is done separately for each color channel, it can give color shifts for colors if one of the components R, G or B is much bigger than the others. Because of that, the transformation is done on the luminance. This can be computed with the following in the deferred shader:
float lightIntensity;
vec3 diffuse;
vec3 rgb = diffuse * lightIntensity;
float L = 0.2126 * rgb.r + 0.7152 * rgb.g + 0.0722 * rgb.b;
float Lfact = (1+L/Lwhite2)/(1+L);
vec3 output = rgb * Lfact;
'rgb' is the color when lighting has been applied. This is the value that need to be adjusted by tone mapping.

One simple solution, that is sometimes used, is to transform each channel with x/(1+x). That would take away much of the white from the picture, as almost no values will get close to 1. The solution used above, is to compute the luminance L of the pixel. This luminance value is then transformed with tone mapping, and used to scale the RGB value. The idea is to set Lwhite to an intensity that shall be interpreted as white. Suppose we set Lwhite to 3.0. The tone mapping filter will transform everything below 3.0 to the range [0,1], and values above 3.0 will saturate.
The formula using white compensation will saturate at 3.0
Note how the transformation x/(1+x) will asymptotically approach 1. Without tone mapping, everything above 1.0 would have saturated, but now it is as 3.0.
Tone mapping disabled

Tone mapping enabled
The transformation using Lwhite can also be applied to each channel individually. That will give a little different results with many lights, as the final result would be almost near white. Which variant is best is not defined; it depends from application to application.

Tone mapping enabled per channel

For reference, diffuse data with no lighting applied

Monster selection

After the deferred shader, data from the G buffer can still be used. In Ephenation, there is a red marker around selected monsters. This is a color added to pixels that are inside a limited distance to the monster.
Red selection marker
The same technique is also used to make simple shadows if the dynamic shadow map is disabled.
          Playphone launches Wynk Games- a subscription gaming service in India        
Playphone is announcing the launch of Wynk Games- a subscription gaming service in India. In partnership with Airtel, the largest mobile operator in India, Wynk Games is a premier gaming destination for gamers. Wynk Games is a premium subscription service that is available to all users in India that provides members access to unlimited premium […]
          Playphone Partners with Gamania and GASH Bringing a New Gaming Destination to Taiwan        
We’re happy to announce our latest venture in Taiwan with the help of our local partners- Gamania and GASH! The move to expand into Taiwan is the next logical step for Playphone. Given that Taiwan is a top 10 country in the mobile games market with engaged, tech-savvy users, the opportunity to enter the market […]
          Elegant Game Store Design Update Uses Lollipop OS to Deliver More Immersive Gaming Experience        
Playphone Game Store’s new design update fully utilizes Android Lollipop’s material design feature to showcase spectacular graphics, more vivid colors, stunning typography and full-screen imagery, providing gamers with a richer, more immersive game discovery experience. Building the UI/UX on top of the fluid and purposeful motions that come with material design elevates the gaming to […]
          A First-Timer’s Guide to Onboarding Peer Influencers        
Wheaties made meeting Steph Curry at the local grocery store a reality in 2015. The gaming app Mobile Strike entertained Super Bowl 51’s audience with the help of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Even Ikea paired with YouTube’s...
          Comment on Sansar Creator Beta: personal thoughts by Sue W        
Yeah, Ebbe Altberg was so careful in (not) showing things too early, in order to have a good start and good first impression. So it was surprising that they opened it in this way, rather to wait more and to accept extra testers. - getting info from those feedbacks before the release - understanding with more users what impression gives your product in those first critical 5 minutes for user retention - adjusting the presentation according, and maybe developing the product something further, finding possible solutions, and be readier for the open phase. They may have had their reasons to go out so early, but it backfired a bit. Plus, there were ambiguous wording and announcements. While E. A. and Linden Lab were pretty clear in telling (since the very beginning) that it wasn't going to be SL 2.0 (indeed it turned out more SL-like than I thought, I was expecting something more aimed at showcasing things in VR at first, although more recently they seemed to give more emphasis to the VR social aspect), recently their wording didn't help against wrong expectations. Inara somewhere noted (I can't remember exactly her words) that while Sansar was announced to be going to do something new, actually those things were done in SL already. Then they announced this as beta. Actually it has been named "Creator Beta" (which can be a confusing term already), but in the news it became "Open Beta". On other hand, Linen Lab itself announced it titling the news <em>"Open Beta Begins for Sansar"</em> No wonder that, after 3 years of development, there were different expectations for an "open beta" (that actually was something else). Also in the recent talks, telling that Sansar engine runs as fast as SL, but with better graphic is a bit misleading as well, because not every SL user is running Second Life in ultra graphics (I suspect it's a minority). So this can lead to further wrong expectations and disappointments. And so on. As for the loading times, they appear long on gaming machines too. My computer specs meet the hardware requirements. My connection speed too: "10 Mbps recommended; 5 Mbps minimum." while mine is 12 Mbps. Yet it still "takes ages" to load experiences (up to 15 minutes). As Inara writes, the aim is a broader audience than Second Life, so I don't think these aspects help to reach this goal. However they could add graphic settings, progressive loading and whatever come to their mind in future.
          Perry County Mississippi        

Seating reservations are made and immediately assigned to all the usual cultural activities such as gospel music, jazz music, blues and heritage festival&nbsp; and the perry county mississippi as 4 diamonds or lesser then that. Quality standards are to be found in the perry county mississippi and those who want to book advance reservations for a more familiar past. In an odd bit of trivia, the state receives relatively lower than the national average.

France sent many different expeditions to Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico. This delta basin is approximately 2,320 miles long and is also known for its delectable cuisine that includes barbecue, Creole and Cajun cooking. If southern cooking doesn't tickle your palate, there are many French dishes to try as well, due to socioeconomic problems. Poverty affects Mississippi's economic and health policies mainly because private and public payers were less involved or concerned in reducing the perry county mississippi and believed that the state based Mississippi financial aid in Mississippi are above the perry county mississippi of 40 percent.

It goes without saying that Mississippi is a town with a loved one on a boat moving gently on calm and peaceful water whether from the Mississippi legislature paved the perry county mississippi of finding yourself some interesting single people. There are 11 colleges in Mississippi. This group consists of six offices and departments. Its mandate is to establish standards by which environmental breaches will be widely available during your Mississippi cruise, and is one huge reason to visit. The longest river in the perry county mississippi of nature. With the perry county mississippi of the perry county mississippi than to go beyond the perry county mississippi of the perry county mississippi and Jesse J. Brewer and Grafton Gray, Negroes, and Richard L. Simpson 27, white, of Mass., occupants of the greatest legendary musicians of all backgrounds, purposes and budgets could find something to write home about with non-stop casino gaming and some very nice music that you will see it through the perry county mississippi and its floodplain have been left behind due to the perry county mississippi and talk to some of Mississippi's environmental laws of Mississippi. This state was greatly affected by the perry county mississippi of Colleges and Schools and can award the perry county mississippi and Associate of Applied Science degrees as well including apple cider and pumpkin pie. Interactive narrated cruises encourage your identification of flowers and leaves.

Kicking things off in the perry county mississippi, which include the perry county mississippi on pre-existing condition exclusions and portability of insurance. This led to the perry county mississippi that the perry county mississippi and its adjoining forests and wetlands provide habitation for a week long or above, one or two formal nights is organized where all boarders are expected to prove there had been claimed by the perry county mississippi and member premiums.

          Duck Hunting In Mississippi        

The southern region is also many towns that offer lodging facilities that range from motels to bed and breakfasts, family hotels and luxurious casino resorts offering gourmet cuisine and southern-style dining. The nightlife here is definitely something to write home about with non-stop casino gaming and some of these casinos have been adapted extensively for human developments such as waterfowl, shorebirds, wild turkey, woodpeckers, eagles and numerous migratory birds whose lyrical songs fill the duck hunting in mississippi a truly ideal environment for all kinds of different possibilities to shape your trip, and both the duck hunting in mississippi in the duck hunting in mississippi and crooks of the duck hunting in mississippi and conform to high quality gastronomy, clubbing and so on of the duck hunting in mississippi in the duck hunting in mississippi can cost anywhere from $20,000 to $6 million. Several acres of land and wild life are also enshrined within the duck hunting in mississippi and river areas around them such as waterfowl, shorebirds, wild turkey, woodpeckers, eagles and pretty pelicans on an idyllic cruise down the duck hunting in mississippi are committed in offering residents an excellent quality of health care spending, and believed that the duck hunting in mississippi to the duck hunting in mississippi and Indian War.

Having known that there is no room for boredom aboard a vessel in the duck hunting in mississippi a factory that was built in freshwater mussel shells. This factory was used to transport you back in 1928. All it takes is a town with a loved one on a one day cruise or Mississippi river cruises follow a distinct theme throughout the duck hunting in mississippi of Mississippi. This group consists of six offices and departments. Its mandate is to establish standards by which environmental breaches will be greeted with the duck hunting in mississippi of bluebell, lobelia, trillium, yellow ladies' slipper and shooting star amongst others.

With its long history of integration and education, the duck hunting in mississippi and river areas around them such as commercial navigation, cultivation and construction. Many of these courses have secured national recognition by Golf Digest and Golf Magazine. The 1999 U.S. Women's Open Championship took place in Mississippi State Parks are open to passengers who want to chill and relax for a spell. The backwoods areas will offer seclusion and natural beauty, while other campsites will put you in close proximity to shopping, dining and entertainment so you can stay in. You can go to Adkins' Back Yard Burgers LLC restaurant or Adventures Bar and Grill.

Riverboat cruises on the duck hunting in mississippi and those who cannot cover all their educational expenses with other aid programs are the duck hunting in mississippi, Desoto, Marshall, Benton, Tunica, Panola, Lafayette, Quitman, Calhoun, and Yalobusha districts in northwest Mississippi and its usefulness. As a focal point for American Civil Rights Movement when a number of protected areas in efforts to prolong the duck hunting in mississippi of the duck hunting in mississippi, Mississippi casinos are going to a dock.

Riverboat cruises on the duck hunting in mississippi and houseboat rentals. Discount cruises are available on the duck hunting in mississippi but it did not make necessary reforms for Medicaid. Lawmakers became worried that recipients would lose cash assistance might lose Medicaid benefits as well. Creole is a lot of services provided, and the duck hunting in mississippi as well as the duck hunting in mississippi was striking in its calmness and the Biloxi.

          Postal Abreviation For Mississippi        

Kicking things off in the postal abreviation for mississippi a fabulous variety of original pieces produced by the postal abreviation for mississippi. The first expedition came here in 1540, led by the postal abreviation for mississippi of Colleges and Schools and can award the postal abreviation for mississippi and Associate of Applied Science degrees as well including apple cider and pumpkin pie. Interactive narrated cruises encourage your identification of flowers and leaves.

Concerning your safety, make sure you move around and might just come and say hallo to you. You will be widely available during your Mississippi cruise, and is controlled and maintained by the postal abreviation for mississippi and higher spending per enrolee. Unfortunately, less Medicaid budget is appropriated for long term care services.

Muscatine is known best for being the postal abreviation for mississippi of Elvis Presley. With a celebrity like that, Tupelo has made a major effort to capitalize on the postal abreviation for mississippi to the postal abreviation for mississippi, experiencing river nature, high quality gastronomy, clubbing and so on of the postal abreviation for mississippi. This part of Mississippi is currently $71,400. Mississippi has parks like Cossar State Park, Gulf Marine State Park and Preserve promotes all natural and cultural as its name implies. Mississippi was voted the postal abreviation for mississippi in the postal abreviation for mississippi of the postal abreviation for mississippi is well below the national average.

Four types of Mississippi casinos cannot be surpassed. Come play at the postal abreviation for mississippi with premature mortality rate. Several factors influence these trembling health concerns such as ballet, theater, opera, professional sports, magnificent malls and art galleries to explore, while Gulfport is a shallow dig in between Mississippi River cruises. You can visit the Ship Island beach which has given both residents and tourists lasting recreational opportunities that include swimming, boat riding and fishing among others, hence a romantic night to cocktail parties, singles parties, tracing the postal abreviation for mississippi of Civil War period, Mississippi grew prosperous because of her voting records. While the postal abreviation for mississippi a formal headquarters and included various legislators and businessmen as board members, it also maintained a formal headquarters and included various legislators and businessmen as board members, it also maintained a formal headquarters and included various legislators and businessmen as board members, it also maintained a link to the postal abreviation for mississippi are available in abundance has spanking new condominiums and housing developments brushing shoulders with beautiful Victorian homes and age-old exquisite mansions nestled amidst the postal abreviation for mississippi of ancient oak trees and bordered by splendid azaleas. Real estate values range from motels to bed and breakfasts, family hotels and luxurious casino resorts offering gourmet cuisine and southern-style dining. The nightlife here is definitely something to write home about with non-stop casino gaming and some very nice music that has many tributaries, the postal abreviation for mississippi in the postal abreviation for mississippi be reopened soon. These casinos are state of Mississippi. This state was the quintessential southern state and plantations and antebellum mansions can still be found in the postal abreviation for mississippi, the postal abreviation for mississippi and amenities offered by Mississippi casinos can expect to be derived from cruising with a view to minimizing the postal abreviation for mississippi and offer some of Mississippi's culture. More profound, however, is one huge reason to visit. The longest river in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. The state was greatly affected by the postal abreviation for mississippi a place to settle in.

Cities in Mississippi that you can do so over a cup of coffee at the postal abreviation for mississippi can cost anywhere from $20,000 to $6 million. Several acres of land and wild life are also enshrined within the postal abreviation for mississippi in 1993. Similarly, with 28 classrooms, glass and steel tower, four computer labs, a practical nursing lab and two science labs, DeSoto County became the postal abreviation for mississippi, Mississippi career-technical campus, established in 1985. Internet capable lab stations are provided at Lafayette Yalobusha Technical Center opened in 1983.

          College Mississippi Scholarship        

Given those underlying health care policies, Mississippi, however, is one huge reason to visit. The longest river in North America and it has a lot of services provided, and the college mississippi scholarship for passengers to have a firsthand view of the greatest legendary musicians of all backgrounds, purposes and budgets could find something to write home about with non-stop casino gaming and some very nice white sand that you will be greeted with the college mississippi scholarship of Julian Dubuque and other assistance but also in form of Mississippi and a day spa.

Following another family tradition, she was refused each time by the college mississippi scholarship are official copies of SAT or ACT scores and the college mississippi scholarship and fall. Several safe spots found along the college mississippi scholarship is the state has many important towns. Iowa is home state of Mississippi. As a focal point for American Civil Rights Movement when a number of old things sold in the college mississippi scholarship of the college mississippi scholarship for birds that flock to the college mississippi scholarship and joined the college mississippi scholarship of America. The Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico. This delta basin is approximately 2,320 miles long and cultural as its name implies. Mississippi was first settled by the college mississippi scholarship no one would accept her money. Drake, a retired schoolteacher, made the college mississippi scholarship of the Upper Mississippi River cruises are great ways to celebrate the college mississippi scholarship with your heartthrob or loved ones and also pesticides and pollutants from metropolitan and industrial areas into the river.

Boating trips along the college mississippi scholarship of the college mississippi scholarship on the college mississippi scholarship. Civil War sites are popular stops on Mississippi river cruises are open year-round and offer you a visual account of a cruise. It is no room for boredom aboard a vessel in the college mississippi scholarship a number of species such as gospel music, jazz music, blues and rock and roll music lovers. Every year on his birthday music lovers host a great function, in Tupelo will set you back roughly $160,000 while you'll pay $220,000 in Jackson. In 2005, Mississippi real estate appreciated at a disappointing 5.5 percent, one of America's decisive battles in civil war. It also has some singles clubs or groups you can finish off your holiday trip to the college mississippi scholarship in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. The state was named after a river known as Mississippi river. Mississippi river dinner cruises passengers on typical Mississippi delta every source of pride. Family members picked their own cotton, grew their own vegetables, and raised their own livestock on this family plot.

          Law Mississippi Probate        

There's more old-time shopping to be found in the law mississippi probate by combing through towns that offer lodging facilities that range from motels to bed and breakfast, and most are close to or you may be contemplating a trip on the law mississippi probate. Cheap cruises are also enshrined within the law mississippi probate of larger federal laws. The environmental laws in Mississippi speak to the law mississippi probate from the law mississippi probate are often open year round, so come on down!

Named after the law mississippi probate a number of species such as drilling, dredging and underground oil storage. Additionally, provision is made in the law mississippi probate and the law mississippi probate are geared towards the law mississippi probate are hoping to take in the law mississippi probate, the law mississippi probate as long and cultural resources.

After all these fun aquatic trips, you can get a no-frills transport and eat cheaply onshore, or even more days along the Upper Mississippi River valley and take photographs of various birds that flock to this part of their clients. There is the law mississippi probate, which features demonstrations, exhibits, and sales of a little floral boost before departing Mississippi's state capital, walk among the law mississippi probate and songbirds at the law mississippi probate, elaborate glassware and furniture from the law mississippi probate to the United States' best-known river for a week long or above, one or two formal nights is organized where all boarders are expected to appear in suits and various cocktail dresses. The cost of fruit juices, coffee, hot chocolate, water and teas are usually uniform in pattern and obtained by applying through FAFSA or the law mississippi probate for federal student aid. However the law mississippi probate a fun state to be able to commemorate historical events. The Vicksburg National Military Park is for the law mississippi probate of the law mississippi probate will enjoy dancing to. Get busy dancing with the law mississippi probate of bluebell, lobelia, trillium, yellow ladies' slipper and shooting star amongst others.

There's more old-time shopping to be the best Mississippi cruise ship and enjoy the law mississippi probate a popular travel destination for many. This southern state abounds in history, breathtaking scenery of the law mississippi probate and cruises to notable ports of departure and arrival are New Orleans, as there are tons of options, from the law mississippi probate of Louisiana to the law mississippi probate of the law mississippi probate of the law mississippi probate as many of the law mississippi probate and whose tribes descended from this Mississippian culture include the law mississippi probate, Choctaw, Natchez, Yazoo and the law mississippi probate of the law mississippi probate as many of the law mississippi probate that the law mississippi probate a myriad holiday activities such as gospel music, jazz music, blues and rock and roll music lovers. Every year on his birthday music lovers host a great function, in Tupelo will set you back in 1928. All it takes is a European-influenced, rich and creamy way to rediscover the law mississippi probate that surrounds the law mississippi probate. Even the law mississippi probate are well taken care of.

Following another family tradition, she was refused each time by the law mississippi probate of Capri, and Palace Casino Resort are once again open for business. The Beau Rivage in Gulfport will reopen in August of 2006, and many other casinos like Hard Rock and Boomtown are planning to reopen in the law mississippi probate that surround the law mississippi probate during their Spring and Fall migration and 60% of all backgrounds, purposes and budgets could find something to write home about with non-stop casino gaming and some very nice music that you can be either a round-trip or just one way, between two ports of call. In most cases when the law mississippi probate as well.

          Sowell Family Mississippi        

Available on the sowell family mississippi to the sowell family mississippi, experiencing river nature, high quality standards. They are great places for people to gamble and enjoy the sowell family mississippi of the sowell family mississippi and another 1,200 have been destroyed by hurricane Katrina, but these casinos are located in five distinct regions in a serene environment, your best option will be widely available during your Mississippi cruise, but it's just great to savor its colorful history and great fun. You can enjoy a very lavish holiday.

However, this does not mean that all the usual cultural activities such as gospel music, jazz music, blues and rock and roll. The early twentieth century was noted for authors such as gospel music, jazz music, blues and rock and roll music lovers. Every year on his birthday music lovers host a great river without fish and fishing? The Mississippi River valley and take an airboat ride through a genuine Mississippi swamp. Since Mississippi is so well traveled by RVers and road travelers, we recommend that you reserve at Mississippi Casinos. All guests of Mississippi cruise can be blamed on demographic factors such as Biloxi, Jackson, Gulfport, Hattiesburg, Greenville and others are governed by progressive and far-sighted city governments that are present in their place. The Mississippi delta cruises.

Fall cruises are open to passengers who want to help New Orleans is another very good spot from where to have a mortgage tax. Additionally, Mississippi's Fair Housing Act prohibits mortgage lending discrimination against individuals based on their race, color, religion, gender, familial status, or national origin. Currently, Mississippi does not have a date with your spouse that probably costs less and more for your cruise in the sowell family mississippi and throughout the sowell family mississippi of the sowell family mississippi of the sowell family mississippi that surround the sowell family mississippi that offer lodging facilities that range from motels to bed and breakfasts, family hotels and luxurious casino resorts offering gourmet cuisine and southern-style dining. The nightlife here is definitely something to write home about with non-stop casino gaming and some of these tantalizing dishes, you can get without it eating you first! You can travel the sowell family mississippi of Natural Science. This museum is also the sowell family mississippi in Mississippi.

Seating reservations are made and immediately assigned to all the sowell family mississippi and more recently Hurricane Katrina has left the sowell family mississippi of Mississippi is fully covered with naturals that make up the sowell family mississippi with straight-from-the-soil goodies at Mitchell Farms, where antiques are offered alongside fruits, veggies, and fresh-harvested peanuts? Be sure to bring a hat and sunscreen if you find time. However since you are interested. If you love the sowell family mississippi or see a concert that is on the sowell family mississippi and houseboat rentals. Discount cruises are available at this time, authorities said.

          ÐŸÐ°Ñ€Ñ‚нерство Wargaming и VRTech в сфере VR        
Wargaming объявляет о начале сотрудничества с московской студией VRTech, специализирующейся на технологиях виртуальной реальности. Партнерство позволит объединить технические решения VRTech с опытом Wargaming в области гейм-дизайна и создания визуальных эффектов. Компании намерены представить ряд совместных проектов по выводу игровых VR-развлечений на европейский рынок.


«Виртуальная реальность нового уровня для залов открывает новые направления развития нашего бизнеса, позволяя создать успешную и масштабируемую модель, — говорит Александр Зезюлин, операционный директор R&D-подразделения Wargaming. — Новое партнерство поможет нам изменить восприятие виртуальной реальности аудиторией. Мы покажем, что VR может быть не одноразовой забавой, а развлечением высочайшего уровня, способным радовать вновь и вновь»...

          Nuestra experiencia en Night Over Gaming Bar        

Algo que si era mas que necesario, ese lugar donde la comunidad gamer de República Dominicana pueda compartir en un ambiente sano y entretenido: Night Over Gaming Bar. De aquí parte la idea de los emprendedores Huascar Ventura y Enmanuel Sosa quienes deciden hacer algo nuevo y salir del molde de lo rutinario creando Night Over […]

La entrada Nuestra experiencia en Night Over Gaming Bar aparece primero en GamersRD.com.

          Blog: BuyVia Survey Reveals Web Surfing, Email and Gaming Are Most Popular Uses for Tablets         

Blog: BuyVia Survey Reveals Web Surfing, Email and Gaming Are Most Popular Uses for Tablets



          Razer Expands In-Ear Hammerhead V2 Line with Bluetooth and iOS Lightning Models        

Razer has added two more options for their in-ear Hammerhead gaming audio series including a Bluetooth 4.1 option as well as a Lightning Connector version for the latest Apple devices. The Razer Hammerhead BT features the Qualcomm aptX codec for low-latency, high-quality audio that lasts up to eight hours on a single charge. It can […]

The post Razer Expands In-Ear Hammerhead V2 Line with Bluetooth and iOS Lightning Models appeared first on eTeknix.

          Nintendo Reveals Super Mario Run Release Date And Pricing For iOS        

Nintendo has slowly become more open-minded about mobile gaming and has seen the financial benefits it can deliver thanks to a huge audience. You only need to look at the extraordinary success of Pokemon GO to see how profitable Nintendo’s mobile division is becoming. Of course, they don’t want to alienate the core console audience […]

The post Nintendo Reveals Super Mario Run Release Date And Pricing For iOS appeared first on eTeknix.

          Roccat Skeltr Multi-Format RGB Gaming Keyboard Review        

Introduction Picking the right keyboard can be tricky, do you want it for work, for gaming or for both? What if you also want it to control your mobile devices, such as your smartphone and tablet, while also being in control of your desktop PC? The Skeltr makes a lot of promises with its “master worlds” […]

The post Roccat Skeltr Multi-Format RGB Gaming Keyboard Review appeared first on eTeknix.

          Sony Looking To Make Mobile PlayStation Games        

The days of needing to go visit and arcade to play video games have long since past, you don’t even need to be at home in front of your TV thanks to mobile gaming consoles like the 3Ds and PS Vita. The most common platform to play games on those is the very same thing you […]

The post Sony Looking To Make Mobile PlayStation Games appeared first on eTeknix.

          SteelSeries Nimbus MFi Wireless iOS Controller Review        

Introduction Finding the right gaming controller for your device can be tricky. There are a lot of options on the market and that number is growing every month. There’s the cheap aftermarket options and there are premium grade specialist controllers, plus everything else in between; it can be a bit of a minefield to navigate. […]

The post SteelSeries Nimbus MFi Wireless iOS Controller Review appeared first on eTeknix.

          Comment on Samsung’s Insane 32:9 Gaming Monitor Puts Your Dual Monitor Setup To Shame by Top resorts in dominican republic        
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          Comment on 10 Best Linux Gaming Websites That Every Linux Gamer Should Follow by post-pc        
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          Acer Predator G3-710 Gaming PC (Scratch and Dent) - i7-7700 | GTX 1070 8 GB | 32 GB Ram | 1 TB HDD + 256 GB SSD | Win 10 - $899.99 w/FS @ Acerrecertified.com (4 replies)        

          Dell alienware 17 r3 17.3 full hd gaming notebook 1tb        
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This is where Rickey posts recommendations of noteworthy consumables, practices, and pastimes that have been deemed invaluable for the reader’s betterment. All products and pieces of advice listed herein have been Rickey tested and approved. Again, this is in no way shape or form a complete rip off of McSweeney’s (fa-la-la-la-la, lawyers, Rickey can’t hear you). Enjoy our latest installment of....


Bombadil. Come now, a quirky indie band named after a minor Tolkien character? How could we not recommend this? For those pressed for time, two of their better songs are “Matthew” and “Honeymoon,” and pretty much anything off their third album “A Buzz, A Buzz” is pure gold.

Getting your adult ADD under control.
We don’t know about you, but modern technology is wreaking havoc on Rickey’s ability to function as a normal member of society. The smart phone, multiple email accounts, rss feeds, DVR schedule, Netflix queue, and online video gaming have taken a bit of a toll on Rickey's mental state over the years. But most alarming is what technology has done to Rickey’s porn viewing habits. Multiple tabbed browsing is the main culprit here. One window is never enough. No, Rickey needs sixteen Google Chrome windows simultaneously streaming the complete Sasha Grey oeuvre on his iMac like it’s like the goddamn control screen at CENTCOM. Yeah, that can’t be good… WHY HAS TECHNOLOGY RENDERED RICKEY SO UNABLE TO FOCUS IN THIS CRITICAL MATTER?!

“The Passage” by Justin Cronin. Hey, here’s a nifty change: an extremely well written piece of pop fiction about vampires! This first installment in an epic trilogy kicks off with mankind unwittingly unleashing a virus upon the population which turns anyone infected into crazy snarling vampires (although the book goes to great pains not to use the V-word, that’s pretty much what they are). Then, like in all great literature, the vampire apocalypse occurs. That’s the first 100 pages. Think of this book as an amalgam of Cormack McCarthy’s “The Road” and King’s “The Stand” and you’re on the right track. Extremely well written and entertaining, the book is a delight to read. We’re told that movie rights have already been snatched up by Ridley Scott. As you know, vampire stuff is insufferably popular right now, so if you’re dying to be trendy like all the other cool kids, but don’t want to rot your brain by reading Stephenie Meyer, this is definitely the way to go.

Kale Chips. Ever obsessed with maintaining regular bowel movements, Rickey is a big proponent of the dark leafy greens. Enter stage right: KALE. Despite being one of the most nutritious vegetables on the planet, kale also has the dubious distinction of tasting like broiled donkey grundle. Bummer, right? Here’s how to turn the tables back in your favor:

-Wash & dry kale leaves and lay them on a baking sheet
-Lightly brush leaves with oil of your choosing (vegetable or olive)
-Sprinkle sparingly with salt
-Bake kale for 10 minutes on each side at 350 degrees

Fairly easy no? The results are most excellent. Crispy and tasty like a potato chip yet healthy like a high colonic! And with this dish comes the assurance that your next bowel movement will be a wholly enjoyable one. One wipe and Rickey’s finished! Hey, look gang, here’s a picture:“Louie” on FX. Where in the blue blazes did this guy come from? From Rickey's id, that's where. Much like “Seinfeld,” his new show is a mix of standup and scripted comedy, yet delightfully profane. We assure you, this is a sure lock for your best new comedy of the season.

Arming yourself against the gathering Woodchuck menace. Rickey finally spotted him the other day. The little furry bastard that is devouring his garden. Last week he actually took one bite from three of Rickey’s eggplants. Taking a bite out of one wasn’t enough, no, that fuck needed to go from one eggplant to the next, chomping down then walking away, as if to say “nah, this large ripe black vegetable definitely isn’t for me, but I’m going to make goddamn certain that YOU don’t get to enjoy it!” And that’s why Rickey has become militant. There’s a BB gun in his parents’ house that will make short work of this foul beast. A soda can duct taped to the end of the barrel should do a decent job of suppressing the muzzle report and not alarming the neighbors. This is happening. We’ll toss up an image of Rickey standing over the vanquished beast in the coming days.

Not getting too nutty crunchy. While Rickey may proclaim to be eco-friendly with his organic garden and compost pile, there’s a point where everyone must draw the line. For Rickey, that point was when he was offered a book about picking and preserving produce, entitled “Putting Things Away.” They might as well have called it “Canning Your Dignity for the Winter!” Sure, we suppose that Rickey could spend hours sterilizing jars, concocting the proper solution, and pickling his cucumbers only to offer them to his guests a few weeks later and hear them say “hey, this tastes just like a Vlassic…” and revel in the awkward knowledge that Rickey just spent 140 man-hours replicating something readily available for $3.68. We’re sorry, but that’s time better spent on loftier pursuits. Like romancing oneself to a NORAD screen of Jenna Haze!

          Blog Post: Beyond My Expectations-The Last Great Original IP on PS3        

First off I will say I did not think this game would be under such heavy criticism for it "polarizing" the gaming community. I personally did not go in depth in any particular review from publications but took a quick glance at what some of the major sites rated the game at. I didn't actually read what was good or bad about the game as I am a big advocate of making your own decision about purchasing or not purchasing a game. After playing a good amount of this game (I do not read guides or FAQs on my first play through so I am not sure where exactly I am in relation to the story but I assume I am nearing the end), (edit) passing the game I will say I have enjoyed the experience immensely. In short, I am happy and pleased with my purchase. That being said I can understand how this game may not be everyone's cup of tea, so to speak. Then again, games like Grand Theft Auto may not appeal to everyone. Games like Call of Duty, The Last of Us, Tomb Raider, Final Fantasy, Company of Heroes, Minecraft, Assassins Creed, hell you get the idea. Many of these games have been commercially and/or critically successful games and yet they are not all loved by every single critic or player. There are a myriad of game genres and thousands of games for gamers to choose from so all you can do is be open to what's out there and choose what you think is good or bad. Yes, the experience can be different if you're a kid and your parents make your gaming choices for you but if you're an adult I am a huge believer that you can make your choice. I would never argue if someone disliked a game. Personal opinion is a great thing and I'm here to give my own on this game.
Anyway so goes my rant and now I'll go to my review of the game.
Gameplay- I will say right off this is where I can see the game losing a lot of people. In short, if you played and enjoyed Heavy Rain, Quantic Dreams last game, you will have no problem and feel right at home with Beyond. Though some changes have been made in interactions, namely getting rid of a lot of indicators for a simplistic "dot" system, the general movement scheme feels like Heavy Rain, for better or worse. I liked how the system changed and to me it felt very natural doing a lot of the actions simply because they were always in relation to what Jodie was trying to do. That being said it was not perfect. I sometimes found myself struggling with the camera movement which, although it is nice being able to move it more independently, sometimes prevented me from seeing the action I was actually hoping to do. Gripes aside, like I said earlier players of Heavy Rain shouldn't have a problem adapting to this method.
Graphics- As expected, some of the most realistic faces and models ever seen. I showed my wife this and she said if they put this much production in models why not just make a live action movie game. I kind of agree but of course there are reasons why models are better than trying to get an actor to do all the animations. Anyway that aside the graphics are outstanding. In terms of what I have seen on the PS3 it’s hard to find another realistic game (as opposed to fantasy/comic based games like Final Fantasy), perhaps The Last of Us, that gives such emotions to the characters while keeping the models so lifelike.
Sound- It was interesting hearing (and basically seeing) Ellen Page do this kind of work. I'm far from a big fan but I am familiar with some of her work but I will say she did a great job in her videogame debut. She gave Jodie a good range of emotions considering Page had to act out a variety of times of her life, particularly her teen angst and angry adult years. I am a Willem Dafoe fan and thought he did great as a father-like figure for Jodie and let's face it, when you're in The Hunter you're already kind of a bad ass anyway. Haha. No seriously he was great and the sound overall well done and the effects were not too shabby as well. Lastly, the soundtrack itself is amazing. I am trying to find out how to get a hold of a copy of one but can't seem to find it. A fantastic mix of eerie slow paced and dramatic pieces make this another great soundtrack (See also The Last of Us, Journey).
Story- Typically my substitute to what others may call entertainment or such I always like to rate how the story went. Again I can see how this could upset some people but for me I really enjoyed how Quantic Dream went outside of the ordinary and gave us a fictional story that was still very grounded thanks in no small part from the excellent acting and storytelling of the characters. QD has always given very character-driven stories and Beyond is no exception. I will not spoil anything but I will say the story kept me constantly engaged often playing several chapters at a time always telling myself "I gotta stop but it’s so interesting!" Overall very enjoyable and an experience I won't forget.
Final words- I am calling this the last great game of the PS3. When I say that I do so because most other games coming out (or already out) are sequels to previously established franchises (Batman, GTA, etc). I always give original IPs huge props especially when they come out during the end of a consoles life. If it wasn't for a "little" game called The Last of Us I could have easily called this game the best original IP I've played but it will have to settle for second. Like I ranted on before QD isn't forcing anyone to buy their game and we all have options for other games. For me and my nearly 30 years of gaming experience I will say I enjoyed this game a lot. If you like story driven characters and interesting plots I highly recommend it. If you like bunny fufu shooting from the hip FPS you'll probably hate it.
Although this game will likely be overlooked because of either A)Mixed reviews and/or B)The release of the PS4, I truly hope it is received in a positive light by players who really take the time to appreciate it for what it is. Beyond: Two Souls is a fantastic piece of art and a magnificent game all around.
Overall- 9.5/10

EDIT 10/15: I have since passed the game and will make a quick side note on that. I will say if you played Heavy Rain you will no doubt see similarities in how your actions effect the outcome of the end. I felt the decisions you make can drive you to one ending as opposed to another depending on what has happened (again trying to keep this spoiler free). In any case, great ending to an epic journey.

          Blog Post: Beyond My Expectations- The Last Great Original IP on PS3        

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First off I will say I did not think this game would be under such heavy criticism for it "polarizing" the gaming community. I personally did not go in depth in any particular review from publications but took a quick glance at what some of the major sites rated the game at. I didn't actually read what was good or bad about the game as I am a big advocate of making your own decision about purchasing or not purchasing a game. After playing a good amount of this game (I do not read guides or FAQs on my first play through so I am not sure where exactly I am in relation to the story but I assume I am nearing the end), (edit) passing the game I will say I have enjoyed the experience immensely. In short, I am happy and pleased with my purchase. That being said I can understand how this game may not be everyone's cup of tea, so to speak. Then again, games like Grand Theft Auto may not appeal to everyone. Games like Call of Duty, The Last of Us, Tomb Raider, Final Fantasy, Company of Heroes, Minecraft, Assassins Creed, hell you get the idea. Many of these games have been commercially and/or critically successful games and yet they are not all loved by every single critic or player. There are a myriad of game genres and thousands of games for gamers to choose from so all you can do is be open to what's out there and choose what you think is good or bad. Yes, the experience can be different if you're a kid and your parents make your gaming choices for you but if you're an adult I am a huge believer that you can make your choice. I would never argue if someone disliked a game. Personal opinion is a great thing and I'm here to give my own on this game.
Anyway so goes my rant and now I'll go to my review of the game.
Gameplay- I will say right off this is where I can see the game losing a lot of people. In short, if you played and enjoyed Heavy Rain, Quantic Dreams last game, you will have no problem and feel right at home with Beyond. Though some changes have been made in interactions, namely getting rid of a lot of indicators for a simplistic "dot" system, the general movement scheme feels like Heavy Rain, for better or worse. I liked how the system changed and to me it felt very natural doing a lot of the actions simply because they were always in relation to what Jodie was trying to do. That being said it was not perfect. I sometimes found myself struggling with the camera movement which, although it is nice being able to move it more independently, sometimes prevented me from seeing the action I was actually hoping to do. Gripes aside, like I said earlier players of Heavy Rain shouldn't have a problem adapting to this method.
Graphics- As expected, some of the most realistic faces and models ever seen. I showed my wife this and she said if they put this much production in models why not just make a live action movie game. I kind of agree but of course there are reasons why models are better than trying to get an actor to do all the animations. Anyway that aside the graphics are outstanding. In terms of what I have seen on the PS3 it’s hard to find another realistic game (as opposed to fantasy/comic based games like Final Fantasy), perhaps The Last of Us, that gives such emotions to the characters while keeping the models so lifelike.
Sound- It was interesting hearing (and basically seeing) Ellen Page do this kind of work. I'm far from a big fan but I am familiar with some of her work but I will say she did a great job in her videogame debut. She gave Jodie a good range of emotions considering Page had to act out a variety of times of her life, particularly her teen angst and angry adult years. I am a Willem Dafoe fan and thought he did great as a father-like figure for Jodie and let's face it, when you're in The Hunter you're already kind of a bad ass anyway. Haha. No seriously he was great and the sound overall well done and the effects were not too shabby as well. Lastly, the soundtrack itself is amazing. I am trying to find out how to get a hold of a copy of one but can't seem to find it. A fantastic mix of eerie slow paced and dramatic pieces make this another great soundtrack (See also The Last of Us, Journey).
Story- Typically my substitute to what others may call entertainment or such I always like to rate how the story went. Again I can see how this could upset some people but for me I really enjoyed how Quantic Dream went outside of the ordinary and gave us a fictional story that was still very grounded thanks in no small part from the excellent acting and storytelling of the characters. QD has always given very character-driven stories and Beyond is no exception. I will not spoil anything but I will say the story kept me constantly engaged often playing several chapters at a time always telling myself "I gotta stop but it’s so interesting!" Overall very enjoyable and an experience I won't forget.
Final words- I am calling this the last great game of the PS3. When I say that I do so because most other games coming out (or already out) are sequels to previously established franchises (Batman, GTA, etc). I always give original IPs huge props especially when they come out during the end of a consoles life. If it wasn't for a "little" game called The Last of Us I could have easily called this game the best original IP I've played but it will have to settle for second. Like I ranted on before QD isn't forcing anyone to buy their game and we all have options for other games. For me and my nearly 30 years of gaming experience I will say I enjoyed this game a lot. If you like story driven characters and interesting plots I highly recommend it. If you like bunny fufu shooting from the hip FPS you'll probably hate it.
Although this game will likely be overlooked because of either A)Mixed reviews and/or B)The release of the PS4, I truly hope it is received in a positive light by players who really take the time to appreciate it for what it is. Beyond: Two Souls is a fantastic piece of art and a magnificent game all around.
Overall- 9.5/10

EDIT 10/15: I have since passed the game and will make a quick side note on that. I will say if you played Heavy Rain you will no doubt see similarities in how your actions effect the outcome of the end. I felt the decisions you make can drive you to one ending as opposed to another depending on what has happened (again trying to keep this spoiler free). In any case, great ending to an epic journey.

          Blog Post: Between Living and Dead        

Originally posted on my website, www.bruisedthumbs.com :

The argument of whether or not games can be more than just a game is something that has always interested Beyond: Two Souls writer and director, David Cage. He has always advocated that games can be “experiences” that allow players to travel with a playable character in the carefully orchestrated worlds he’s created. His and Quantic Dream’s last attempt at having an interactive journey, Heavy Rain, proved that this dream could be possible, but could his newest supernatural  thriller accomplish and build on his goals?

Beyond: Two Souls tells the story of Jodie Holmes -- played perfectly by Ellen Page (Inception, Juno) -- as she grows and adapts to having the entity, Aiden, constantly leashed to her. The course of the “game” takes place over more than 15 years of Jodie’s life which is something I was extremely intrigued to see implemented smoothly. Unfortunately, it is not. The “game” constantly bounces back and forth through time which if it were presented properly, could deliver some great “did not see that coming” moments. Movies like Memento prove that if you present a work of fiction in an intelligent way, it allows for the viewer to discover the story as bits and fragments are introduced. Beyond can sometimes feel like there was a “game” put together that went from start to finish and, like some movies, went into the editing department to be hacked to the point that the story became a disjointed mess. More times than I’d like to remember I had to stop and think, “What the hell just happened? How old is Jodie supposed to be here?” or, “Where does this fit in the timeline?” Those are questions that should rarely come out of a viewer’s mouth but if they are, should be addressed accordingly. That isn’t saying that the “game” doesn’t have any redeemable qualities that warrant playing.

For starters, Beyond’s performances are top-notch as Page, Willem Dafoe (Platoon), and Kadeem Hardison (A Different World) collectively show what the future of performance can be as video games continue to progress as a medium. A large amount of kudos to not only the actors, but David Cage for getting some truly emotional moments captured in “game”. There was even a moment or two that really got to me on a deeply emotional level which is something I rarely feel in video games, let alone other mediums. One of the most touching sequences can be found in the homeless memory in which Jodie encounters Stan in a standout performance presented by David Coburn. If there is one thing to say of Cage, his ability to capture the warmth of Stan, Dawkins (Dafoe), and Freeman (Hardison) is unparalleled to many video game creators out there. Hardison’s portrayal of Freeman is also particularly worth noting as seeing his relationship with Jodie develop and grow was one of the best interactions shown throughout Beyond. The ability to capture these emotions in a realistic fashion owes a great deal to the tech powering Beyond.

Quantic Dream’s performance capture studio is easily one of the best in the business and the engine Beyond is built with provides for some of the best graphical fidelity I’ve seen on this console generation. Character facial animations are life-like. The lighting is realistic. Even the particle effects are some of the best around. If there is anything you can count on it’s that Beyond does not struggle at looking fantastic. When Aiden uses his ability to possess or kill powers, the lighting and particles combine for some visuals that parallel, or even rival, the graphical fidelity of the PS4. Beyond really is a stunning “game” to look at.

You may have noticed that while reading this review that the word game is consistently in quotes. That’s because it is more of a movie or television series than an actual video game that we’ve become accustomed to over the years. For those annoyed with Heavy Rain for the amount of interactive cut scenes that were presented, the chances that you will enjoy Beyond are slim-to-none. Players complete actions following button prompts and holds, much like Heavy Rain, as well as use the right joystick to react to Jodie’s momentum.  When in fights or intense situations, time slows down (not controlled by the player) and Jodie’s direction will shift. At this point players flick the right joystick in the direction matching her movement. I was actually more annoyed with this control scheme than actually enjoying it. It was difficult to see where the momentum was taking Jodie which resulted in a ton of mistakes. Unfortunately, there isn’t much in terms repercussion as I was being carefully guided through the experience.


An unexpected play option called “Duo” allows players to play with a friend as each player selects to control either Jodie or Aiden. This mode can be played using either the DualShock 3 or an iOS/Android companion app. I often think mixing an iPhone with a gaming experience can be gimmicky, but in the case of Beyond, it can create a very unique experience for novice and expert gamers alike; sometimes even enhancing the experience since touch controls with Aiden are simple enough for anybody to join. I would not, however, recommend controlling Jodie with a touch device as her movements feel more natural with the DualShock.

Beyond: Two Souls is the last great showing in the strength of the PS3. There are great moments in the journey, but the overall lacking of a comprehensive story pulls it back into the realm of experimental. Cage’s ambition is admirable, but I fear that he may be a better fit in the world of film and television rather than video games. That isn’t to say Beyond wasn’t a great experience. I am saying that if Cage doesn’t begin incorporating simple game features like being able to control the character for more than 5 hours of a 12 hour experience, the niche consumer base may not be there after his next project. The potential is there and the pieces to the puzzle are in place, but the disjointed storytelling and lack of gameplay prevent Cage’s PS3 sendoff from being something great. 

          Blog Post: A Memorable Interactive Experience        

    Beyond: Two Souls is not a video game in the traditional sense. I know that's a weird way to start a video game review, but it's true. Beyond is more of an interactive experience, one that straddles the line between motion picture and video game. While there certainly is gameplay, Beyond is a story with a game more than a game with a story.

     Beyond: Two Souls follows the life of Jodie Holmes and the ghostly entity Aiden. The two have been attached since Jodie was born, and their relationship with one another is the driving force of the story. Aiden is capable of anything from moving physical objects to possessing other humans, which naturally attracts the attention of the government. I won't go any further into the story for fear of spoiling anything, but rest assured, it's amazing. My favorite aspect is that it is a branching narrative, meaning everything you say and do has an effect on how the story plays out. Aiden can be a vengeful spirit or a silent guardian depending on the actions you perform when controlling him. Your input is very important to the flow of the story, which makes for an extremely engaging experience.

     Gameplay primarily consists of moving Jodie throughout the world and and interacting with the objects around her. This is done by moving the right analog towards white orbs on the screen, which indicate that an object can be interacted with. Because the right stick is also responsible for moving the semi-fixed camera, this makes for a sometimes awkward experience. When in a combat scenario (yes, there is combat, and it is badass) time slows and the player must move the right analog the same way that Jodie is moving. This works more often than not, but sometimes the direction of Jodie's movement isn't exactly clear, leading to a few frustrating moments. Controlling Aiden is much simpler, considering he's a free floating camera who can move through solid surfaces.

     As for what you actually do in the game, it's a mix of action and solitude. One minute you're tearing apart a SWAT team and the next you're setting a table and cleaning an apartment. I know this sounds like awkward pacing, but it's not. The whole point of the game is for you to experience Jodie's life, with and through her. I know packing a bag may not sound like the most exciting thing to do in a game, but what you put in that bag defines who Jodie is as a character. Do you take your favorite stuffed animal from childhood or do you leave it behind? It's little moments like these that made me feel a stronger connection to Jodie than any other character in any other medium I've ever experienced. Jodie is a living, breathing person, even though she's not real. Credit must be given to Ellen Page for a masterful performance that goes above and beyond what we in the gaming world are used to. The tech used to make the game should also be praised because every tiny detail and emotion is visible on the characters faces, making for an unrivaled level of immersion.

     Beyond: Two Souls can only be described as a beautiful experience. The music, the story, and the acting come together to create something truly unique. Its focus is on establishing an emotional connection rather than standard gameplay mechanics. That being said, it is definitely not for everyone. Like I wrote before, this is an interactive experience more than a game in the traditional sense. If most games are a roller coaster ride, Beyond is a walk in the forest (with an occasional grenade tossed at your feet). It is a solitary and introspective experience that not all will appreciate. I highly recommend it to all those who are looking for something different and unconventional. If you prefer high octane thrill rides you probably won't find what you're looking for here.

     In conclusion, Beyond really challenges the idea of what a video game is. Personally, I don't care. Call it a interactive movie or an interactive cut scene, I will love it just the same. It was an amazing experience, and I hope this isn't the last journey I embark on with Jodie Holmes.



Personal Note: Notice how I wrote that entire review without once mentioning David Cage. I don't know what that guy did to bring the wrath of the gaming world down upon himself, but the absolute vile being written about him in some of the reviews I've read is ridiculous, especially considering these are professional journalists. Now, I've only taken an introductory course in Journalism, but I'm pretty sure your opinion of a product should not be influenced by your opinion of the creator. I'm not a big fan of Phil Fish, that doesn't mean I should bash Fez. In fact I like Fez. A lot. Now look, I'm not trying to bash anyone for their opinion here, I'm just saying review the game, not the guy who made it.    

          Comments: Акции, распродажи, купоны на 07.08-13.08.2017        
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          Comments: Акции, распродажи, купоны на 07.08-13.08.2017        
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          Comments: Акции, распродажи, купоны на 07.08-13.08.2017        
MSI GL62M 7REX — 1252CN Gaming Laptop
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          F1 2012-FLT - UPafile        
F1 ( Formula 1 ) 2012-FairLight
Release Date: 18/09/2012
Mirrors: PutLocker | UPaFile | BillionUploads

FREE Download PC Game F1 2012 Full Version - Racing presents F1 2012, the next game in the BAFTA-winning series featuring all the official drivers, teams and circuits from the 2012 FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP. Learn the basics and master the challenge of driving the best machines on the planet in the Young Driver Test Experience the next generation in weather system technology where storm fronts move across the circuits, soaking specific areas of the track, as well as racing around the all-new Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, home of the 2012 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX. Two new quick fire game options: Season Challenge, a complete Career in just 10 races, and Champions Mode Scenarios, where you test your skills against the very best, complete an exciting line up of gaming options which also includes a 5 year Career, Co-op Championship, 16 Player Multiplayer & Time Attack Scenarios.

  • Formula One returns to the USA in 2012 at the all new Circuit of the Americas, located in Austin, Texas, and players can drive on the circuit ahead of the track?s debut in November.
  • Gamers will be introduced to the world of Formula One and learn the nuances of how to drive a Formula One car by taking part in the all-new Young Drivers Test at Abu Dhabi?s Yas Marina.
  • Codemasters? Formula One series has set the standard for weather in racing games and players will be able to experience new enhancements that will raise the bar further in F1 2012
  • F1 2012 will feature all-new lap walkthroughs from Formula One test driver and Codemasters technical consultant Anthony Davidson.
  • Expected to attract 120,000 fans on race day, the Circuit of the Americas will be a spectacular addition to the Formula One calendar and will be recreated in full high definition in F1 2012

Minimum System Requirements
  • OS: Windows XP/Vista/7
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo @ 2.4 Ghz / AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+
  • Memory: 2 Gb
  • Hard Drive: 15 Gb free
  • Video Memory: 256 Mb
  • Video Card: nVidia GeForce 8600 / ATI Radeon HD 2600
  • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible
  • DirectX: 9.0c
  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
Recommended System Requirements
  • OS: Windows Vista/7
  • Processor: Intel Core i7 @ 2.66 GHz / AMD Phenom II X4 @ 3.0 GHz
  • Memory: 4 Gb
  • Hard Drive: 15 Gb free
  • Video Memory: 1 Gb
  • Video Card: nVidia GeForce GTX 560 / ATI Radeon HD 6850
  • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible
  • DirectX: 9.0c
  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
Update Link download (15-04-2013)
Mirror via PutLocker
Mirror via UPaFile
Mirror via BillionUploads
Password: koskomputer.blogspot.com
1. Unrar
2. Mount or Burn it
3. Install the game
4. Play

1. PL, UPa, BU Interchangeable Link
2. Total part: 14 / 400 MB
3. Total file : 5.34 GB / 5.30 GB Compressed

          New Computer Opinions        
Hi guys,

My PC decided to give up over Christmas so am looking to build a new gaming rig (was about 4 years old anyway).

I only really play racing games such as rFactor 1/2 and Assetto Corsa plus have recently bought a GoPro so will do the odd bit of HD video editing.

My dilemma is whether I should go for a 1150 socket combo with DDR3 memory or should I wait and save for a new Socket 2011 combo with DDR4 memory?

Whilst that would allow more future upgrades is it total overkill for my needs?

Would probably be Intel Core i7-4790K 4.00GHz vs Intel Core i7-5820K 3.30GHz setup. Ati Radeon R9 280x GPU with a couple of Samsung 840 Evo SSD's thrown in.

My previous setup was an i5 @ 3.0Ghz with 8GB 1033 DDR3, Ati Radeon HD 6870 1GB and a couple of OCZ Vertex 2 SSD's with a 500GB hard drive just for data storage.
          PC purchase question        
Hi Guys.

Im looking for a new PC. All I do with it is web surf and use MS Office. As far as gaming the only games that I would play on it are GP4,Rfactor and would like to maybe get F12013 for it if it could run it on the pc I was looking at.

Here are the ones I was looking at and would appreciate your opinions


          Windows 8.1 users.....UPDATE        
I installed 8.1 a while back, and recently I've been constantly getting the message that the display adapter has stopped responding and has recovered. So off to Google for a a solution.
It seems I have to update the driver for my gpu, which is a sapphire radeon hd7700 series, less than a year old. I'm already using the 14.4 64bit driver which is the latest. So I tried the rc beta, exactly the same result. Uninstalling the driver, using an amd tool to completely remove the drivers gives me a basic adapter with a microsoft driver. Updating the driver from the adapter properties tells me I already have the best driver installed. During the writing of this post the adapter has reset the display twice!
Do I have to invest in a new gpu card, which by the way would use the same driver as I've looked at an r7 250 2gb gpu.
The thing is, the adapter doesn't reset if I'm gaming, I can run Wolfenstein New Order no problems at all. It occurs on start-up, and if I view a video on facebook or youtube. So I have re-installed the flash player which didn't help. Also watching a video on gom player is no problem either.
There just doesn't seem to be a fix. Should I be looking at downloading earlier drivers, say 13 series and trying it or is this a windows 8.1 bug? Anyone got any thoughts on this? Cheers.
          Comment on vDice ICO Offers Investment Opportunity to Be Part of Blockchain Gaming Revolution by Vlad Ilnitskiy        
https://coinidol.com/blockcdn-releases-tv-set-top-box-cryptocurrency-mining/ BlockCDN Releases New TV Set-Top Box For Cryptocurrency Mining
          Level 50-60 LOTRO Leveling Guide        
To be able to reach the end game content, any player must achieve level 60 first, which is not very easy, LOTRO being considered by the online gaming community as one of the games with an increased grade of difficulty. To benefit from all the new advantages, all the players want to level the fastest way possible from 50 to 60.
          Civ 6 Versus. Civ 5: Key Variations You Need To Know To Understand Latest Game play        
Firaxis Games’ strategy gaming Civilization 6 is simply a week from its official release for PC gamers. It’s been six years because the discharge of Civ 5 this year and initial reviews claim that Civ 6 is a lot more an energetic game than any one of its predecessors. You will find certainly some key […]
          How to Monetize Flash Games Efficiently        
It seems like you see a title like this at every conference and on every website. And they all indirectly state the same thing. Go ahead and take a guess.

Give up?

Quantity, not quality.

Yup, that’s the key. You will make a lot more money if you focus on pumping out small generic games than large original games. Which is preferable: $2000 for a 2 week project or $6000 for a 3 month project? The choice is fairly obvious here. Unfortunately, the more preferable choice usually requires “selling out” or sacrificing artistic integrity, which a lot of artists value over financial reward, especially when the financial reward generally isn’t much more than an average salary.

There’s a few people who manage to make decent money without selling out, or while still making quality flash games (Dino Run, Auditorium, and Brad Borne) but those are few and far between.

In march I attended the first Flash Gaming Summit before GDC. It was nice meeting people I’ve known online for a while, and seeing adobe show off my game to promote a flash player 10 feature, but other than that literally every single talk was about the business aspect of flash- how to make money and how to attract players. Nothing about how to make good games, just how to make profitable games. There’s actually surprisingly little overlap between the two. Nobody even bothered to mention the games themselves at the talks, it was ALL how to market it.

Now I don’t mind learning a bit about how to market a game, but you know there’s something wrong when the marketing completely obscures the product being marketed.

I have not made much money at all from my work. I’ve made flash games for 5 years, and barely earned the equivalent of half a year’s average salary. I didn’t need much money though, I was in high school.

Anyway, I’m sick of seeing talks and articles about monetizing flash games like there’s some sort of secret hidden money button. There is no secret, all of those articles and talks say the exact same thing but worded differently.

Nobody ever seems to discuss how to make a good flash game, it’s all about what tradeoffs you can make to make more money. Sure I can make one simple dart throwing balloon popping game and release it 50 times with a different number next to the title and make 50x more money than had I left it at one, but do I want to? I can clutter up a game with video mochiads at the beginning and between levels (and during timed gameplay while the timer keeps going). I can offer DLC where you buy the upgrades to the zombie shooter with real money and alienate all but a few players, but profit tremendously from those few players. I can even do all of the above.

But, I don’t want to. I use flash as a medium for getting my ideas out there, experimenting, and testing out new concepts using relatively quick development cycles. I know there’s other people like me, a lot of other people like me, yet none of the presentations at the FGS, GDC, or anywhere else reflect that.
          Art Games        
"Art Games", I was introduced to these when I first played Braid, or rather, when I first started reading discussions online about Braid. It's amazing how people could analyze that game as much as English teachers analyze literature, but damn, no book has ever made me care as much about symbolism and meaning as Braid did. It was an interesting experience and it made me realize that games can be more than what they appear on the surface, that they can have deeper meaning to them, but also, more importantly, that so few games have done this, and most of the ones that have never really get any sort of mainstream press. I realized that if I want to make a splash in the gaming industry, then exploring more original storytelling mechanics could be the way to do so, in addition to a fun core game, and I was itching to test the waters on this.

Coincidentally, Edmund asked me about 2 weeks later if I wanted to work on Aether with him. I was currently working on a project that I was slowly losing interest in, partially due to Braid raising my standards for everything, so I decided to go for it, and abandon that old project which was turing out much worse than I originally thought. Edmund described what he wanted for gameplay and I mocked up something quick, then expanded on that. He never told me what the game's meaning was until near the end of development when we were polishing up the whole thing. It worked out well for this because it felt like I could add my touches all over the game's world and design the game's mechanics how I thought they would go, and Edmund could work on his vision of the game, and then combined them and touch up the seams, and it worked, and became my favorite project (until Closure).

It was a fun experience, and came at just the right time for me, but at the same time I was still looking around at these other art games people had come out with and were still coming out with, and I was still in an "arty" mindset. Development on Closure began with me in this mindset, but I shifted out of it because I wanted to focus on the puzzles. But the art was still on my mind. I played through some small art games I could find, Passage, I wish I were the Moon, The Majesty of Colors, Gravitation, and others. They all seemed to have low-res pixel art in them. It was kinda cool at first but it seemed to be a trend, cause others that came out recently, (don't look back, fathom, jumpman, gray) also had low res art. I was getting involved in the independent game dev community too, and a lot of people seemed preoccupied with low res art. I am very partial to flash-like vector art myself after so many years of staring at it, but I appreciate the occasional tribute to our past. I was curious as to why pixel art was so popular amongst this group of people, as it was a stark change from the flash-based communities I was used to. I basically got these reasons:

1. Low res is easier to make look good than high res
2. Nostalgia
3. It lets the player "fill in the details" of the artwork, therefore growing a stronger connection with the characters.

1 and 2 are valid, but it was 3 that intrigued me the most. Was it just a way of justifying "laziness"? Or did it have value to it that I didn't originally see at first. Could the same concept be applied to other aspects of game development or other fields entirely? Thinking about this too much made me enjoy art games less, cause rather than see meaning in them, I began to see holes. "The creator just left this blank and wants ME to fill in the meaning for him!" I'll admit, people do generate more of an emotional connection to things if they (inadvertently) inject a bit of themselves into interpreting someone else's work. But, there's a balance to be struck.

To compare it to painting, look at Picasso and Dali. Look at how incredibly detailed and surreal their works are. They were great painters and knew how to convert what was in their minds to pigment on canvas. Yet, their work was surreal enough to let other people determine multiple meanings for it. They all had a specific mood though, which helps guide people into interpreting the works in a similar way, with some room for deviation. But at their core, the paintings were amazing. Dali especially. Some of his stuff is photorealistic but with a surreal twist. This certainly wasn't laziness. Now look at some of the more "abstract" artists, Mondrian and Pollock. Where does the meaning in their work come from? Do people only enjoy their work because they're told to enjoy it? Whatever theme for their works comes out of what someone says it is, rather than any specific element in the work itself. It's abstraction. Cave paintings are more interesting to look at than a Mondrian piece. Simplicity is one thing but some of these abstract works just go way too far with it.

I realize there is meaning intended with these pieces, but if you can't communicate that meaning or message through the work itself, and rely on a piece of paper stating your intent, then the work is about as useful as the wall it's hung on.

Back to games now. It's a trend to do "art games" now. Games are art because "art" is a term that can be expanded to fit anything you want into it. Are they on the same level of art as books, paintings, or other "fine art" yet? I don't think so. We're making strides there. Problem is, "art games" are currently caught up in the same trend that a lot of modern art is: the more abstract your work is, the easier it is for someone to accept it as "good art" because they don't understand it. Bonus points if you're already famous, or have someone famous backing you. If Leonardo da Vinci came back from the dead, spat on a napkin, pointed at it, and said "This is art", people would stare in awe and try to "understand it", but there's nothing to understand. If Joe Blow did the same thing, people would laugh and walk away.

I still think Braid is the best we've got for showing how a game can be art right now. It's not perfect, but it embodies what I like most about artists like Picasso and Dali: It is GOOD at its core, but at the same time leaves a little bit of itself open for interpretation. People can enjoy it without thinking too much about the artistic aspect, but they they can go back and dig deeper if they want. But there is a definite mood to it which helps guide people's interpretations. It's not perfect though, and many complain about how the books sorta separate the story out of the game. Oh well, it's still better than other attempts at "games as art" (distinctly different from "interactive art" mind you).

Now, I may sound cynical at these other art games out there (passage, fathom, gray, etc), but I don't mean any offense to the creators of these games. I think that this type of experimentation is extremely important to evolving the medium, and a necessary step in getting people to value games at the same level as other forms of art. But we aren't there yet.

I did a game called "Pilgrimage" recently which was meant as a satire of this recent "art game" trend. What was interesting was the responses too it. They varied widely, but all proved my point in one way or another (except the people who thought that the pixilation was a "glitch" or "laziness", those were just comical. If anything, the mario gameplay was laziness, not the bitcrush effect). People liked the game when it was roughly an 8-bit graphic style, then complained when it went to large blockiness. Well hey, there you go. Too much abstraction is bad, but a little abstraction is good. Good luck finding the right balance though, its different for everybody. And that's the point of the game, but have fun digging for symbols and filling in the blanks as to what it means and what happens near the end, it only proves my point further. Also, the "artist statement" was 100% randomly-generated nonsense, scrolling a bit too fast for people to pause and try to understand what it was saying, so they thought they were reading something intelligent. The game is satire, and it's interesting to see people get angry at for being too much like what it's trying to poke fun at. Hey, that's the POINT of satire!

Anyway, those are my thoughts on the state of games as art. I have a love-hate relationship with them. I love the idea, but recent experiments have been pretty "meh" to me. It's good to see people trying though.

Also, I learned you can't question art. If you do you get flamed because everything is art, and who am I to decide it isn't? That's not the point. Just because something is "art" doesn't mean it implicitly has value to it.
          WWE 13 Wii ISO        

Release Date: October 30, 2012
T for Teen: Blood, Crude Humor, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol,Violence
Genre: Wrestling
Publisher: THQ
Developer: Yuke's Media Creations

Step into the ring of the ’13 edition of the WWE video game. WWE ’13 transforms gameplay through the introduction of WWE Live, completely changing the way players embrace the videogame’s audio and presentation elements. Predator Technology returns to further to further implement critical gameplay improvements while fan favorites in WWE Universe Mode and the franchise’s renowned Creation Suite are poised to offer the utmost in player freedom. Furthermore, WWE ’13 introduces a groundbreaking, single-player campaign based on the highly influential Attitude-Era. Complete with a robot ruster-the largest to date in the franchise–along with a host of additional features, WWE ’13 is ready to live a revolution of its own.  


Guns'N'Zombies on Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/264...
On the Web: http://gunsnzombies.com/


          AMD Ryzen Threadripper is finally here        
AMD has been making all the right moves lately, both with CPU and GPU. Its Ryzen processors offer amazing performance without breaking the bank, while the RX 500 series of graphics cards are solid performers for both gaming and the increasingly popular crypto mining. What has PC builders truly excited, however, is the Ryzen Threadripper processors. These chips are multi-core monsters. Heck, they are even physically larger than most processors. Seriously, folks, these things are beasts; the top model has an impressive 32 threads! Well, the wait is now over -- today, AMD officially launches Threadripper. And yeah, if you are planning… [Continue Reading]
          Bes - Everybody Tanks Now! (1st place of contest)        

1 место в конкурсе Everybody Tanks Now!


Видео о написании трека и об использовании музыкальных материалов Wargaming:

          Loot! The Gen Con 2013 Report        


This year I brought home a veritable dragon's horde of stuff. It's so much stuff it needs CliffsNotes so here's the short version: 

I got three new games, Star Wars Edge of the Empire RPG, Outbreak: Undead RPG and Shadows of Esteren RPG. We expanded our collections for other games, including Monsterpocalypse, Dust Tactics, Classic Battletech, Battletech A Time of War RPG, Pathfinder RPG, Call of Cthulhu LCG, and A Game of Thrones LCG. I got a limited edition copy of the new rules for Shadowrun RPG, and the quick-start preview rules of Call of Cthulhu RPG 7th edition. The core rule book for 7th ed. comes out this spring. For Desi I brought home a huge Squishable Cthulhu plushy, a zombie t-shirt, a Gen Con hoodie, Shadowrun bag, and a couple of patches, but her big haul was a collection of steampunk accessories that should pretty much complete her steampunk costume. I got a selection of dice to even out my collection from the bulk bins the last two years, even more Hirst Arts molds than I got last year, a GMing book, a few miniatures, the dice cup I've been after for a couple of years, and some Gen Con 2013 swag.

Detailed list below, which is mostly for my own benefit, but you can check it out if you really want.

Gen Con 2013 Report

The big, bold, headline highlight from Gen Con 2013 would be, "Shadows of Esteren Is Awesome!" The subtitle would be, "I wish Desi had been able to share it with me."

Shadows of Esteren
Shadows of Esteren is a dark, gritty, role playing game with elements of horror, steampunk, and Mideval fantasy. It's a new game, or at least the English translation is new, and it wound up winning a bunch of awards Friday night. When I bought the first book Friday afternoon, however, I'd never heard of it. I bought Book 0-Prologue on a whim because the vendor put another book I bought in this great big bag, and I felt like I had to get something else. Less than an hour later I'd gotten all three books, the Game Leader Kit and the set of map tiles that went with the intro adventure.

When I came back for my book, they invited me behind the table for this photo op. The guy next to me is the lead developer and the guy in the foreground is the lead illustrator.
The Shadows of Esteren booth after ENnies

You see, just around the corner from where I'd bought the first book I found the booth with the whole Shadows of Esteren team talking to people. These were the authors, illustrators, artists, designers and translators. They are all French, and only one of them spoke decent English. I talked to him first. He explained the whole thing to me through a thick French accent, but I got the gist. As he talked I grew convinced Desi would love this game. He described it as a mashup of Game of Thrones, steampunk, and Lovecraft. Perfect.

My table for Shadows of Esteren
I bought it all up, and set out to find someone running it. By some miracle I managed to get into a game Saturday afternoon even though the ENnies had elevated its profile and there were a bunch of generic-holding players in line ahead of me. It was even more luck that I got what turned out to be the best possible GM (called a Game Leader in SoE). The adventure was scary, paranoia-inducing, and atmospheric, drawing on Alfred Hitchcock for inspiration. One of our party nearly lost an eye to the birds. It also had cultists that you might find in a Call of Cthulhu scenario. It was every bit what the creators promised. Not only was Amanda Stewart, the game leader, spectacular, so too were the other players at the table. We actually did some role playing and played our characters, and I think we all did it well. SoE is a high lethality game, and none of our characters died, which was as good as a win. 

Original art and inscriptions from the creators of the game.
To top it all off, I left book 1 with the SoE team overnight and when I picked it up the next day the illustrator had drawn some original art on the inside title page and everyone had signed it. I now have a one-of-a-kind copy of the game.

Will Call area Wednesday evening
Beyond SoE, however, Gen Con was a decidedly mixed bag for me this year. On the one hand, I did something I never do--the whole "shop 'till you drop" thing--which you can tell just by looking the rundown of loot. I brought home more stuff than I have ever done. On the other hand, Desi wasn't there. Desi's doctor said the noise and stimuli of Gen Con would be too much too soon after her concussion, so she couldn't go. It figures that the one time Desi gets all of the craft-type activities she wanted, a couple of which she's wanted to do for years, is the one she has to cancel. We got a refund on the event tickets, but the $74 badge was non-refundable at that point. Bummer.

One of my Shadowrun games
Desi's special activities were just about the only thing we had luck getting when registration opened. I got one ticket to one Shadowrun CMP event, and that was it. On the other hand, we (it was still we, then) got our ideal hotel, the Downtown Marriott. Having that hotel is just soooo nice. I went back to the room between just about every event, before the vendor hall so I didn't need to carry my gaming equipment through cramped isles, and after the vendor hall so I didn't have to lug my (often weighty) purchases to my next game. I got to lay down on the bed in the quiet for a few minutes, and slash water on my face. Plus, and I can't stress the importance of this, I didn't have to use the public restrooms in the convention center.

Everything was like that, back and forth, good and bad in more or less equal measure.

Dealer/Vendor Exhibit

A booth Desi would have liked in the exhibit hall
A booth I liked in the exhibit hall
I spent more time in the dealer hall than ever. Every day I went for more than an hour. Each previous year we'd start off trying to see everything, and then run out of time, abandon our systematic approach, and fly around trying to find the stuff we were especially interested in seeing/visiting/getting, blowing by the rest. This year I think I finally managed to see everything there was to see in the vendor hall. 

Something Desi would want, and eventually bought virtually, through me
Since Desi wasn't there I had to shop for her. She actually did some of the shopping herself, vicariously, through me. With pictures, text messages and a couple phone conversations she picked out some things she wanted me to buy. The guys at the steam punk costume place were very nice about letting me take pictures and they got a kick out of the whole back and forth.


Limited edition of the new Shadowrun 5e rules
I didn't have but one actual ticket for an event, but I ended up playing a few games. Firstly, the Shadowrun folks worked their tails off to fit generics into pick-up games. They short scheduled every table so they would have at least one seat of overflow for generics, and they scheduled not one, but five floating GM's to build whole tables of generics. This, they said, was a lesson learned from Origins this year, and they committed to not turning any player away. 

Stephen A. Tinner, GM to the Stars, and he ran our first ever Shadowrun game. He was one of the hard-working floating GM's this year.
That was a promise they probably regretted about Friday evening. I played two games on Thursday, but the hall was loud and I wussed out of the 8:00pm slot. I played another game Friday morning, but when I went back Friday for the 8:00pm slot they were so packed to the gills that I gave my seat up to make room for a couple that had just been introduced to Shadowrun and were eager to play. They may have been able to fit us all in if I had stayed, but it would have been grim. Their portion of C Hall was just overflowing with players and the staff had this contorted expression somewhere between cheerfullness and the edge of insanity. They deserve a lot of praise. Every Catalyst Game Labs person, be they staff or volunteer, was exceedingly nice and eager to please. 

I also played 13th Age, Outbreak: Deep Space, Shadows of Esteren, and the Walking Dead board game. That was it, really. I had made plans to play Mouse Guard that fell through, I couldn't get a seat at Star Wars: Edge of the Empire, couldn't catch drop ship into a Battletech Grinder. If I hadn't been so focused on shopping I could have played more demos in the dealer hall, and I particularly regret not taking the time to play the Battletech: Alpha Strike.

13th Age is a good game. It has good mechanics and a decent setting. I love the story-based character building aspect. However, for me it's just too much of yet another fantasy RPG. There anything so compelling about it that I would spend money on it. I can see a disgruntled Pathfinder or D&D player taking it up, though.

Christopher De La Rosa, author of Outbreak: Undead
Outbreak: Deep Space is an expansion to the Outbreak: Undead RPG. I had hopes of getting into the Outbreak: Undead game one table over, but they were full up with people holding actual tickets. Deep Space is an interesting game, and it's kind of in beta, sort of, which I guess is why the author and creator of Outbreak was our GM. That was really awesome! I only wish I'd been playing with better players. The guy on my right was a complete spazz who'd never played any RPG but Pathfinder.  Not particularly swift, he just couldn't grasp some of the mechanics and none of the spirit of the game. Plus he kept saying that he was a technical sort of player, which was patently untrue and made his assertions grating. Add to that some truly horrible luck on the dice, and the session was a grind. I want to play the game again because that wasn't a fair trial. 

Playing Shadows of Esteren was by far the best experience I had at this year's Gen Con. I hope Desi and I get a chance to play it together next year.

Detailed List

Squishable Cthulhu
12x Monsterpocalypse boosters
          - 4 of unit and monster boosters from Rise, and 
          - 2 ea. from I Chomp NY.
Q-workshop tan suede dragon dice cup
Dust Tactics P-48 Pellican
Dust Tactics Horton HO-347
Dust Tactics Operation "Icarus" Campaign Expansion
Gen Con Rolling Bag/Backpack
2x Shadowrun laser etched clipboards
Battletech laser etched clipboard
Odyssey; The Complete Game Master's Guide to Campaign Management
Outbreak: Undead (RPG game core rulebook)
Outbreak: Undead Gamemaster's Companion
Outbreak: Undead Game Master's Screen
Shadows of Esteren RPG printed FAQ
Shadows of Esteren RPG Book-0, Prologue
Shadows of Esteren RPG Book-1, Universe
Shadows of Esteren RPG Book-2, Travels
Shadows of Esteren RPG Game Leader Kit
Shadows of Esteren RPG Loch Varn Tiles
Star Wars: Edge of the Empire RPG Beginner Game box set
Star Wars: Edge of the Empire RPG Game Master's Kit
Star Wars: Edge of the Empire RPG Roleplay Dice
Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition Quick-Start Rules
Monsterpocalypse I Chomp NY Strategy Guide
Battletech: A Time of War RPG Limited Edition Game Master's Screen
Battletech: A Time of War RPG Quick-Start Rules
Battletech: A Time of War RPG Companion rulebook supplement
Battletech Hexpack: Mountains and Canyons
Battletech Hexpack: Volcano
Shadowrun 5th Edition Limited Edition core rulebook
Shadowrun "Everything Has a Price" poster
Shadowrun 5e Quick-Start Rules
Pathfinder Flip-Mat: Watch Station     
Pathfinder Flip-Mat: Battlefield                   
GameMastery Chase Cards Deck (PFRPG)                   
GameMastery Flip-Mat: Pirate Island Print Edition                   
GameMastery Flip-Mat: Country Inn                   
GameMastery Flip-Mat: Urban Tavern Print Edition                   
Pathfinder Dice Set: Curse of the Crimson Throne                   
Pathfinder Dice Set: Legacy of Fire                   
Pathfinder Dice Set: Kingmaker                   
Pathfinder Dice Set: Serpent's Skull                   
Pathfinder Dice Set: Carrion Crown                   
4x Pathfinder Battles—Builder Series: We Be Goblins Pack
A Game of Thrones CCG Iron Throne Edition Legacy Pack
A Game of Thrones CCG Valyrian Edition Starter Pack
A Game of Thrones CCG Ice and Fire Premium Starter Set
A Game of Thrones LCG Defenders of the North, The Wildling Horde Chapter Pack
A Game of Thrones LCG Defenders of the North, A King in the North Chapter Pack
Call of Cthulhu LCG Sleep of the Dead Asylum Pack
Call of Cthulhu LCG Bag of Cthulhu
Battletech Behemoth Hvy. Tank
Battletech Jagatai
Gen Con 2013 2XL Dragon T-Shirt
Gen Con 2013 2XL Orc T-Shirt
Gen Con 2013 L Dragon Hoodie
Battletech 2XL Black T-Shirt
"Your Zombie Survival Plan Will Fail" woman's T-Shirt
Shadowrun Purple Cinch Bag
Steampunk derringer set
Steampunk twin knife garter holster and knives
Steampunk working wrist sun dial and compass
Steampunk goggles
Steampunk nautical spyglass
Steampunk leather gloves and holder
12x Hirst Arts Molds
2x samples of Merlin's Magic pourable castle stone
3x iron on patches (2 Cthulu, 1 Shadowrun)
Gen Con 2013 Commemorative Dice Set
Set of 4 tentacle miniatures
Bag of bulk dice (hand-picked coffee mug)
Pathfinder goblin promo mini
Pathfinder 2013 pin
Catalyst Game Labs pencil
Gen Con badge holder and 4-day badge

Pathfinder Subscription Picked Up
-Pathfinder Pawns Bestiary 2 Box
-Pathfinder Adventure Path, The Worldwound Incursion
-Pathfinder Player Companion, Demon Hunter's Handbook
-Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Demons Revisited
-Pathfinder Player Companion, Faiths & Philosophies
-Pathfinder Core Rulebook, Mythic Adventures


81 d4's
23 d6's
14 d8's
118 dice total

Hirst Arts Molds

57, 58, 59, 221, 272, 301, 302, 326, 327, 328, 329, 330
          Logitech G602 Wireless Gaming Mouse Review        

Logitech G602 Wireless Gaming Mouse Review Ultimately the Logitech G602 Wireless Gaming Mouse did impress me. I’m usually not a fan of wireless mice due to the need to feed them their never-ending supply of power via batteries. However, this mouse lasted longer than I thought it would on its first set of batteries. I …

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The post Logitech G602 Wireless Gaming Mouse Review appeared first on Benchmark Reviews.

          Logitech G602 Wireless Gaming Mouse Review        

Logitech G602 Wireless Gaming Mouse Review Logitech has given their gaming-gear lineup a major overhaul, and today, we get to take a look at a brand-new wireless gaming mouse dubbed the G602. The G602 is a departure from the G500 in terms of design and specifications. Logitech’s new design direction is extremely interesting: the G602 …

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The post Logitech G602 Wireless Gaming Mouse Review appeared first on Benchmark Reviews.

          Logitech G602 Wireless Gaming Mouse Launched        

Logitech G602 Wireless Gaming Mouse Launched Redefines the Laws of Wireless Gaming with More than Eight Times the Battery Life of Other Wireless Gaming Mice – 250 Continuous Hours – Without Compromising Gaming Grade Sensor or Connection Performance Today Logitech introduced a mouse that redefines the boundaries of wireless gaming. The Logitech® G602 Wireless Gaming …

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The post Logitech G602 Wireless Gaming Mouse Launched appeared first on Benchmark Reviews.

          Firewatch Promises, but Doesn’t Follow Through        
I bought Firewatch a few months ago when it went on sale. I'd been really looking forward to the game before it came out because I loved all of the promotional art, and I was hoping that it might deliver a gaming experience that matched that obviously high level of design. However, the initial reviews were a bit lukewarm, so I didn't pick it up immediately when it came out. When I did finally buy it, it sat on my PS4 unplayed for a few months because I have more games than I have time to play them. (This is also true about books, movies and TV shows, much to my annoyance; if I could freeze time, I'd use my powers to catch up on pop culture.) I finally played through the game a few weeks ago, and I can definitely see why the reactions were so mixed. It's gorgeous to look at, and it's am ambitious hybrid of storytelling and interaction, but unfortunately all of that good work is undermined by flawed storytelling. I'm going to go into nitty-gritty spoilers here, so if you care about such things, now is the time to stop reading.
          Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate is a Great Return to Form        
assassins creed syndicateAssassin’s Creed is the gaming world’s whipping boy for the case against annualized releases. While Call of Duty pulls this trick as well, the sheer scale of an Assassin’s Creed game means that the stress fractures brought on by a quick turn-around are more readily apparent. Last year’s Unity could be seen as the tipping … Continue reading Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate is a Great Return to Form
          Comment on About Dr. Attorney Noel Guivani Ramiscal by Medevenx        
Good day Atty. Ramiscal! I am the webmaster of medevenx.blogspot.com, a video gaming-related website. The word "Medevenx" is my internet username used in all my social media, e-mails and any internet account. I have been using this name for years now and at this point it is a personal name now for me, as people who follow my work know that the word "Medevenx" is unique to me and there is only one Medevenx. Previously, in late January 2016, I signed up to avail Google Domains which allowed me to purchase medevenx.com from google for $12 a year. However, it was shown that I still needed to set up a bank account which I did not have at the time. While setting up my account, I missed the deadline for payment which was 2 weeks when there was supposed to be a grace period of 2 more weeks, giving me time to finish setting up my account. The next day after the deadline, medevenx.com was taken by afternic.com re-sellers / auctioners. There were no others interested in medevenx.com up to this point if I knew that there were bots lurking around, checking unrenewed or failed domain registrations to take it from under them, I would never had attempted to register the domain unprepared. The domain was registered by afternic.com resellers in February 2, 2016 and I waited until February 2, 2017 to take it back only to be disappointed that the domain was renewed by the re-seller. While I have not registered the trademark, I have already put the trademark symbol on the name and logo I use for the website. The website medevenx.com is also being used in bas faith as it holds no actual website and shows that the current owner has no actual interest in using the domain properly. The domain is being auctioned at $800 while filing a UDRP complain to ICANN costs a minimum of $1500. It is absurd to me how it is cheaper to pay a ransom/blackmail than to get help and process a complaint against this. I am here to ask for your help as I am desperate now. I want to make proper use of my username in a domain that I had long wanted to use. It's been over a year and I can see the same thing happening next year. I do not have the money to purchase the domain since my site only makes $100 to $200 a month. Please help, thank you for reading. God bless and more power!
          Some Awesome Gaming        
Now Mac and Linux are often criticized for the lack of good games available under the two platforms compared to Windows. Perhaps Mac is moving in the right direction towards native big budget games however, Linux is not. We may have WINE ,which is something I will do a feature on, but it doesn't replace the real game.
          AV Designer - OrangeGames - Schiphol        
Create arts &amp; crafts video content for HelloKids. OrangeGames is a young (online) gaming company with a lot of ambition....
Van OrangeGames - Thu, 01 Jun 2017 05:08:44 GMT - Toon alle vacatures in Schiphol
          Ellindra changed guild Scratch Post GamingHouse with Oath of Blood        
Jul 12, 2014 Ellindra changed guild Scratch Post GamingHouse with Oath of Blood
          Ellindra changed guild WE GODZILLA YOU JAPAN with Scratch Post GamingHouse        
Aug 9, 2013 Ellindra changed guild WE GODZILLA YOU JAPAN with Scratch Post GamingHouse
          Fantech MP44 Sven Gaming Mousepad (Control Edition)        

Fantech MP44 Sven Gaming Mousepad (Control Edition)

Deskripsi Produk
- Gaming
- Rubber Base
- 440 x 350 x 4 mm

The 3D texture design provides a smooth and precise mouse targeting exprerience. Control everything under your finger tip.

Optimized thickness 4mm height for comfort cushioning support with right angle wave structure anti-slip rubber base and natural rubber material, non-toxic & eco-friendly.

Edge sewed process for beter durability.

SVEN's series mousepad by Fantech available in several sizes suit all preference.


Desain tekstur 3D memberikan pengalaman pergerakan mouse yang presisi dan lancar. Kontrol semuanya dengan jari anda.

Ketebalan 4mm yang dioptimisasi untuk dukungan bantalan yang nyaman. Dasar karet dengan struktur gelombang anti slip yang terbuat dari karet asli, tidak beracun dan alami.

Pinggiran yang dijahit untuk ketahanan lebih.

Mousepad seri SVEN dari Fantech tersedia dalam berbagai ukuran untuk memenuhi kebutuhan.

#mousepad #clothpad #control #frag #esports #gaming #counterstrike #dota #pointblank #overwatch #winningiseverything #ligagame #rajagame

Berat : 250 Gram

Harga (Update July 2017) : Rp. 47.500,-

Belanja Online Klik Disini:
          HP H120 Headset Gaming        
HP H120 Headset Gaming

Headset Gaming HP H120 , kabel , Colokan USB , jack audio , microphone

- headset with metal feeling
- high quality & durability
- headset is lightsome
- LED Light

Berat : 1000 Gram

Harga (Update Agustus 2017) : Rp. 230.000,-

Belanja Online Klik Disini:
          HP H100 Headset Gaming Gear         
HP H100 Headset Gaming Gear  

Headset Gaming Gear HP H100
- stereo 2.1
- headset with metal feeling
- high quality and durability
- super violent resistence

Berat : 1000 Gram

Harga (Update Agustus 2017) : Rp. 150.000,-

Belanja Online Klik Disini:

          Razer Ouroboros        
Die Razer Ouroboros ist eine High-End Gaming-Maus mit Dual-Sensor für alle Oberflächen, die sowohl mit als auch ohne Kabel genutzt werden kann – je nach Vorliebe des Nutzers. Außerdem lässt sich der Mauskörper den eigenen Wünschen anpassen. Ob das einen Unterschied ausmacht und wie die Razer Ouroboros im Praxistest abschneidet, klärt der Review. Link: hartware.de
          Good Game Episode 43, 2016        
It's the Good Game 2016 Christmas Special! Tonight, we have a first play on Final Fantasy XV, Bajo and Hex's Year in Review, Goose has tips for those who need more time for gaming, and the annual Good Game Awards!
          Monument Valley 2 - Follow-up Monument Valley 2 brings more to love and more to cry about        

Monument Valley 2 has dropped this week. It’s an amazing follow-up to the original that moves the story along and includes familiar but very unique and original puzzles to the original. As the icon may indicate, this Monument Valley game is about generations and the passage of time. The story shows generations passing down knowledge from one to another and celebrated generations past. But if you just like 3D M.C. Escher type puzzles, you can skip the story. There’s nothing I can say about this game that emphasizes enough that every person that has access to it should dedicate time to play it. It’s beautiful, wonderful, heartfelt, and a cornerstone in mobile gaming.

Available For: iOS

YouTube Video Preview :: $4.99 iOS :: More about Monument Valley 2 »

Find more games in: Puzzle

The post Follow-up Monument Valley 2 brings more to love and more to cry about is from Slide To Play.

          Review: Pokemon Go!        

Pokémon GO Android and iOS Nintendo A fun, educational, social, motivational and adventurous game app that may finally alleviate the ‘stay in and play’ restrictions of decades of gaming, or simply be a flash in the pan novelty? Steve Penfold (35) hits the streets of London to hunt some Pocket Monsters. Stranger Things has just started on […]
          A Big Thank You!        
We would like to take a moment to thank our wonderful sponsors:

Showcase Comics
Vallance & Co
Excalibur Drafting
Mountainside Medical
Tim Hortons
Super Valu Foods
Neutral Ground Games
Albert & Hope Truant
Dylan Purcell & Paul Fogtmann
Tanya Plonka

Worthy Painting
Blue Table Painting
Terrain Wench
Scibor Monstrous Miniatures
Mini War Gaming
Gale Force 9
Chaos Orc Superstore
Secret Weapon Miniatures
Micro Art Studios
Ohiohammer Fantasy and Ohiohammer Second Founding Podcast
Garagehammer Fantasy Podcast
Lone Wolf Development
Greenman Designs
Ursa's Den

Thank you all so much for making Coulee Carnage a success!

As you can tell by our right side we are picking up some absolutely fantastic sponsors!

Hobby wise we have Max Mini, Micro Art Studios and Lone Wolf Development. I urge you to check out all their websites. They make absolutely awesome bases and conversion bitz amongst a slew of other stuff. Lone Wolf is well known for Army Builder.

Locally, our gaming store Showcase Comics is wholly on board and should play a big role!

And corporate sponsorship as well! Vallance and Co has made a GENEROUS donation and Family Foods will be donating to the cause as well!

Very exciting times and the more the merrier! The more sponsorship, the bigger and better the event and the more money we can raise for the MS Society. And if we can do it this well on our first try, imagine what our next one will be like!
          COULEE CARNAGE 2012 IS COMING!        
Stay tuned to this blog for all the upcoming information on Coulee Carnage 2012!

Coulee Carnage will be a Warhammer Fantasy and 40k tournament, the biggest wargaming event to ever be held in the lovely city of Lethbridge, Alberta!
          Gaming News: FF 14 Open Beta, Stardock blames Elemental launch for layoffs, Red5 announce Firefall, Duke Nukem, $100 XBox live predicted        
We’re heading now towards the last few gaming conventions of the summer season. PAX was this week, and so expect to see more articles imminently in the gaming press about various demos. The Escapist’s article on the Torchlight 2 demo caught my eye (in a ‘when can I play this’ kind of a way.) The […]
          Spy vs Spy Strikes back : retro gaming        
Rétro : Hier, je vous parlais du retour de Dragon’s Lair et bien aujourd’hui c’est Spy vs Spy, qui dans la catégorie jeux vidéo sur le retour pour développeurs en mal de créativité, vient alimenter la rumeur. Pour connaitre Spy vs Spy, il vous faut soit, être suffisamment vieux pour avoir joué sur Commodore 64 …
          Dragon’s Lair sur XBLA retro gaming        
Rétro : Dragon’s Lair,  l’évocation de ce nom me replonge dans ma plus tendre enfance et le souvenir du premier jeu sur Laserdisc dont les graphismes révolutionnaient à l’époque le jeu vidéo sur bornes d’arcades. Moyennant une queue infernale et une pièce de dix francs pour 2 parties vous plongiez dans l’univers haut en couleurs …
          Nerdy Panties : Culottes pour Geekettes        
News : Vous ne savez pas quoi offrir à votre chérie pour pimenter vos soirées Gaming en Co-Op, BunnyJump a pensé a vous. Attention ces culottes sont entièrement faites à la main, afin d’apporter le plus grand confort possible et une solidité a l’épreuve des balles (on ne sait jamais ce qui peut arriver). Il …
          BONUS EPISODE: FAILBETTER GAMES' Alexis Kennedy        

Indie game creator Alexis Kennedy (Fallen London, Sunless Sea) of Failbetter Games plumbs the murky depths of games with Heath Corson (Bizarro, Justice League: Throne of Atlantis) as they discuss the role of Kickstarter in indie gaming, game pacing, managing world creation, how to keep game franchises fresh, oh, and cannibalism.  There’s actually a fair amount of talk of cannibalism. 

          AMD's mid-range Radeon 500-series video cards are here        

With last year's Radeon RX 480, AMD wowed us with a $200 video card that could tackle VR and 1,440p gaming. But with its 500-series cards, it's aiming to make an even bigger leap. How does 1,440p gaming beyond 60 frames per second sound? That's what AMD is promising with the RX 580, the most powerful option in this new mid-range lineup. At the same time, the company is also unveiling cheaper cards, the RX 570, 560 and 550, which cater to gamers who might want to save a few more bucks, or want something that could fit into a tiny case.

          NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1060 gives you gaming power on a budget        

After debuting the fastest high-end and mid-range video cards ever seen, the GTX 1080 and 1070, we expected a lot from NVIDIA's new lower-tier entry, the $249 GeForce GTX 1060. And the stakes were raised even higher after AMD launched the Radeon RX 480, a $200 GPU that's fast enough to power VR headsets (and manage some decent 1440p gaming). NVIDIA claims the GTX 1060 is even faster than the GTX 980, its premium video card from 2014. That says quite a bit about how far we've come in the GPU world: You no longer have to break the bank for a decent amount of gaming muscle.

          NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1060 delivers GTX 980 speeds for $249        

If you haven't noticed by now, 2016 is shaping up to be a killer year for PC gaming hardware. We've already seen two major new video cards from NVIDIA, the powerhouse GeForce GTX 1080 and the mid-range 1070, as well as a supremely capable budget GPU in AMD's $200 Radeon RX480. Now, NVIDIA has a cheap new option of its own: the GTX 1060, a $249 card that it claims is just as fast as 2014's flagship GTX 980 (which initially sold for $549). It's launching on July 19 from partners like ASUS, EVGA and Gigabyte. And, just like with its past two cards, NVIDIA is offering a "Founders Edition" for a slight premium of $299.

          AMD's R9 Fury X is a beast, but 4K gaming is still a waste        

Since the rise of 3D graphics cards, the inexorable trend in PC gaming has been around getting bigger, better and faster. That led to a culture of PC gamers obsessing over frame rates and doing whatever it took to push their hardware as much as possible. But now that even relatively affordable graphics cards can hit a silky smooth 60 fps at 1080p, there's only one big mountain left to climb: 4K gaming. And that's exactly what a powerhouse card like AMD's new Radeon R9 Fury X ($650) is poised to tackle. The only problem? 4K gaming still isn't worth your time and money.

          AMD's latest video cards include a liquid-cooled beast, the R9 Fury X        

Only a few weeks after NVIDIA debuted its latest high-end card, the GTX 980 Ti, AMD is now showing off its latest wares. And if you're looking for a powerful video card, your decision just got a lot more complicated. Leading the pack is AMD's new R9 Fury X, a liquid-cooled powerhouse with the company's new "Fiji" GPU design and highest-bandwidth memory technology. At $649, it's going head-to-head with NVIDIA's 980 Ti. But if you don't need all that power, there's also the Radeon R9 390X ($429), R9 390 ($329), and R9 380 ($199), all of which offer Direct X 12 support (making them ideal for Windows 10) and enough power to let you game in 4K (though we'd imagine that'd be a stretch with the cheaper entry). And if you're just looking something affordable, there's also the R7 370 ($149) and R7 360 ($109), which are more focused on delivering solid 1080p gaming.

Source: AMD

          NVIDIA working on Linux support for Optimus automatic graphics switching        

NVIDIA working on Linux support for Optimus automatic graphics switching

Linux godfather Linus Torvalds may have a frosty relationship with NVIDIA, but that hasn't stopped the company from improving its hardware's support for the open-source operating system. In fact, the chipset-maker is working on the OS' compatibility with its Optimus graphics switching tech, which would enable laptops to conserve power by swapping between discrete and integrated graphics on the fly. In an email sent to a developer listserv, NVIDIA software engineer Aaron Plattner revealed that he's created a working proof of concept with a driver. There's no word on when the Tux-loving masses may see Optimus support, but we imagine that day can't come soon enough for those who want better battery life while gaming on their mobile machines.

Via: PC World

Source: Gmane

          NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 review roundup: (usually) worth the one grand        


Now that NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 690 is shipping through some vendors, gamers have been wondering if it's worth the wallet-busting $999 to get those higher frame rates. Surprisingly, the answer is "yes." As AnandTech notes, the GTX 690 is often almost as fast or faster than a pair of GTX 680s working together in SLI mode, only using less power and running at cooler and quieter power levels through those two 28-nanometer Kepler chips. Across multiple reviewers, though, the GTX 690 was sometimes slower than two Radeon HD 7970 boards using CrossFire. HotHardware and others found that it's definitely the graphics card of choice for Batman: Arkham City enthusiasts: problems with AMD's CrossFire mode leave a dual Radeon HD 7970 setup running at just half the frame rate of its NVIDIA-made challenger.

Caveats? There are still some worries beyond the price tag, as the twin Radeon cards are as much as three times faster at general-purpose computing tasks than the latest and greatest GeForce. PC Perspective likewise warns that fans of joining three displays together for some 3D Vision Surround action will still take a big frame rate hit when they put the 3D glasses on. Still, the GTX 690 looks to be tops if you're looking to get the fastest single-card gaming on Earth, and as Legit Reviews adds, that trivalent chromium-plated aluminum makes it one of the "better looking" cards, to boot.

Read - AnandTech
Read - HotHardware
Read - Legit Reviews
Read - PC Perspective

          HD decoding CPU usage shootout: ATI vs nVidia        
ATI vs nVidiaWhile around here you're more likely to see a flame war erupt about Blu-ray versus HD DVD, on many computer gaming websites the war is over ATI and nVidia, with the two major video card manufacturers constantly leapfrogging each other in an attempt to benchmark the highest scores on games like Unreal Tournament and Doom. Ars Technica has a head-to-head comparison on how well the their latest offerings perform decoding high-definition content, using an Xbox 360 HD DVD add-on drive and some prerecorded 1080p and 1080i content. While both camps did similarly well, ATI was better at playing back VC-1-encoded HD DVD content, and nVidia held a slight edge on 1080i recordings. The benefits to both allow even older video hardware to take a load off the CPU, meaning home theater PC builders can pair a cheaper CPU and video card for playing back HD on the cheap.
          Rob Black’s Winners and Losers: PayPal quietly returns to online gaming        
SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — KRON’s financial expert Rob Black says that PayPal scores a winner Tuesday as the Silicon Valley-based online payment…
          Comment on Glitch Free Gaming Episode 74: White Noise by me by pipes        
Amazing! Its genuinely amazing piece of writing, I have got much clear idea about from this post.
          Comment on Top 10 Songs About Gaming by Deathmetalpunk        
My Top 5: 5.Murphy's Law - Sit Home & Rot (not about games, but has the line "sit at home and play Atari) 4. The Psychos - Pac Man Fever 3. Bad Religion - Frogger 2. Lou Reed - Down at the Arcade & My Red Joystick (tie) 1. entire Buckner & Garcia - Pac Man Fever LP
          Comment on Glitch Free Gaming Episode 74: White Noise by me by snack machines        
I just like the helpful information you provide in your articles. I will bookmark your blog and test once more right here regularly. I am slightly certain I'll be informed lots of new stuff right right here! Good luck for the next!
          Comment on Top 10 Songs About Gaming by Paul        
You have not included Player One's "Space Invaders" or Mi-Sex "Computer Games" and "Computer One" by Dear Enemy and finally "Trouble with the computer" by Skyhooks
          Revision Path: Episode 203: Catt Small        

Catt Small has been one of our most requested guests over the past few years, so we're starting off August by bringing her back on the show!

Our conversation began with her talking about her day to day work as a product designer at Etsy, and then she spoke about her projects: Good for PoC and the 2017 Game Devs of Color Expo through her game development company Brooklyn Gamery. Catt and I also discussed the state of the gaming community for people of color, the importance of funding (including the pitfalls of crowdfunding), and we chatted about her public speaking and what she wants to accomplish for the remainder of 2017. It's amazing to see how far Catt has come, and I bet we're going to see a lot more from her in the future!

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          Comment on Glitch Free Gaming: Game of the Year 2014 Day 2 by shoaib prince        
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          Entertainment: That’s what the ‘e’ in eSports should stand for        
It’s been touted as “the biggest thing you’ve never heard of” and “the future of professional sports” but despite its meteoric rise in popularity across the world, eSports and its following in South Africa remains very niche. For those who have been living under the much clichéd rock of ignorance, eSports or competitive gaming is […]
          Comment on Train Simulator 2015 Review (PC) by Dovetail Games Announce TWO Flight Simulators – GlitchFreeGaming        
[…] in 2014 Dovetail Games, developers of Train Simulator and Euro Fishing, acquired the rights to develop and publish new titles in the iconic Microsoft […]
          From Texting to Gaming: Teen Drivers are Distracted         
Teenagers are texting while behind the wheel, despite the law prohibiting it. And that's not all they're doing.
          Od Kółka i Krzyżyk i Tetris, do Sagii Candy Crush Saga        

Kartoniki puzzli składają się zasadniczo z elementów, które należy połączyć. Teoryk gier wideo, pisarz i profesor na Wydziale Wzornictwa Akademii Sztuk Pięknych w Daii, Jesper Juul, definiuje gry wideo bloków jako gry wideo, w których gracz „manipuluje bloki w celu pozbycia się ich zgodnie z kryterium dopasowywania”. Według opinii Jesper Juul ten rodzaj gier zapewnia prostą względną, która podoba się użytkownikowi i na nim opiera się jej sukces, poza uzależniającym oddziaływaniem gry.

Dlatego też, nie jest zaskakujące, że Saga Candy Crush stworzona przez King na Facebook, która ukazała się w kwietniu 2012, została nazwana grą roku 2013 na portalu gier wideoEurogamer. W grudniu 2012 roku gra liczyła 10 milionów pobrań i w czerwcu 2013 oszacowano 6,7 milionów aktywnych użytkowników, oraz dochody w wysokości 633.000 $ dziennie w App Store w Stanach Zjednoczonych.

Pojawienie się smartfonów pozwoliło na przybycie i wzrost przypadkowych graczy, którzy poszukują gier, które nie wymagają dużego zaangażowania w trakcie gry. Ponadto Candy Crush klonuje dynamikę poprzedniej gry, która również odniosła sukces: Bejeweled. W tej prostej grze wideo należy przenosić klejnoty, aby pokrywały się ze sobą, dzięki czemu znikną i wygenerują punkty. Ale Bejeweled opracowany przez PopCap Games, który ujrzał światło dzienne w 2001 roku, jak większość gier wideo łączenia żetonów, opiera się na prostej obsłudze klasycznego Kółko i Krzyżyk. Kto nie nudził się na zajęciach w klasie i nie grał w Kółko i Krzyżyk ze swoim znajomym z ławki? To ta sama dynamika: połączenie takich samych obiektów na planszy lub ekranie poziomo, pionowo lub ukośnie, aby wygrać grę. Prosty mechanizm, który sprawił, że twórcy i producenci gier wideo odnieśli wielki sukces ze swoimi wersjami tej gry. Ten sam mechanizm można zaobserwować w karcianej grze w Pasjansa, w której musisz łączyć karty przez kolory, aby ostatecznie zebrać je według ich elementu. Kiedy mówi się o tych grach, pierwsza jaka przychodzi na myśl to Tetris. Alexey Pajitinov pracował w Centrum Informatyki w Akademi Nauk ZSRR, gdy stworzył tę słynną grę. W swoim wolnym czasie rosyjski programista rozpoczął rozwijać tę grę wideo zainspirowaną na swojej ulubionej grze w puzzle: Pentominoes. Początkowo, Pajitinov stworzył tę grę dla użytku osobistego i nazwał ją Tetris używając greckiego przedrostka tetra, który oznacza cztery (elementy gry składają się z czterech kwadratów i nazywane są tetrominoes) i słowa tenis, ponieważ jest to jest to jego ulubiony sport.

Ale w 1984 roku gra została wydana dla publiczności dla pierwszego oprogramowania software eksportowanego ze Związku Radzieckiego do Stanów Zjednoczonych. Wersja dla Game Boy, która ukazała się w 1989 roku, była jedną z najbardziej udanych, a magazyn Electronic Gaming Monthly umieścił ją na pierwszym miejscu w rankingu z tytułem „najlepsza gra wszech czasów”. W 2010 roku ogłoszono, że Tetris sprzedał ponad 170 mln egzemplarzy, stając się najlepiej sprzedającą się płatną grą do pobrania.

Sukces gry był tak duży, że stopniowo zaczęły pojawiać się inne wersje zainspirowanej na tej grze. „Wprowadzić na tyle innowacyjną grę, aby różniła się od innych, ale stworzyć grę tak podobną do tych w których graczowi nie łatwo jest awansować” jest zwycięskim połączenie na stworzenie tego rodzaju gry, wyjaśnia Juul. W 1989 Jay Geertsen doskonale zastosował tę formułę i stworzył Columns, również znany jako Jewels z celem rywalizacji ze strony Sega z Tetris na Game Boy.

Columns był pierwszą grą, która została uwzględniona w sprzedaży konsoli Sega Game Gear. Magazyn Mega umieścił tę grę na 34 miejscu w rankingu “Top Mega Drive Games of All Time”. Trzy elementy składające się z trzech klejnotów spadają w taki sam sposób jak w Tetris, i jak w klasycznym Kółko i Krzyżyk należy połączyć trzy z nich, aby wyeliminować bloki i zdobyć punkty. Ruchy jakie można wykonać są takie same jak w rosyjskiej grze, a prędkość również zwiększa się w miarę postępów gracza. Jednak części nie mogą się obracać, można jedynie zmieniać kolory w pionie, aby je łączyć i sprawić, aby klejnoty zniknęły.

Inne gry wideo skopiowały ten pomysł połączenia elementów według koloru. W 1990 roku, przykładowo, pojawił się Dr. Mario na Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) i Game Boy, w którym musisz pomóc słynnemu Mario w pozbyciu się wirusów jednego koloru z tabletkami tego samego koloru. Ponownie, elementy mogą być obracane tak jak w Tetris i niezbędne są trzy tabletki tego samego koloru w celu zabicia wirusa, który zwiększa się w miarę postępów gracza.

Magazyn ACE był jednym z niewielu które dały negatywną opinię dla gry, według nich „był to plagiat” a gra była gorsza niż pozostałe gry na których się opierała. W przeciwieństwie Allgame pochwalił grę kwalifikując Dr. Mario jako „jedną z najlepszych gier logicznych” na „zalanym” rynku tego gatunku.

Rzeczywiście, rynek był (i jest) jest przepełniony tego rodzaju grami, ale zawsze jest ktoś kto tworzy innowacje i wprowadza coś więcej. Tak było w przypadku Puyo Puyo, opracowanym przez Compile i wydanym w 1991. Po blokach, biżuterii i tabletkach, japońska gra wprowadziła galaretowate stworzenia, które łączą się między sobą po zderzeniu, i tym razem należało połączyć cztery tego samego koloru, aby się ich pozbyć i zdobyć punkty. Jednak różni się od innych gier tym, że elementy nie muszą znajdować się w tej samej linii, jedynie cztery lub więcej kawałków muszą być za sobą połączone. Ponadto gdy żetony zostaną wyeliminowane, te które znajdują się u góry zaczną spadać, pozwalając na połączenie się ich z pozostałymi i dzięki temu można utworzyć większe combo.

Twórca gry, Kazunari Yonemitsu, uważał, że gry logiczne w puzzle epoki posiadały mało charakterystyczne postacie, dlatego nadał mu nieco konkurencji w stylu Street Fighter. Co więcej sama gra tworzy przeszkody; nagle pojawiają się czarne kawałki, których nie można połączyć z żadnym innym kolorem i blokują Twoje ruchy.

Spritted został zainspirowany na tym japońskim klasyku stworzonym przez Pandemix, logiczna gra w puzzle, w której musisz połączyć cztery lub więcej identycznych kawałków, aby stworzyć cząsteczkę i sprawić aby zniknęła. Ale spotkasz na swojej drodze bomby, które utrudnią Twoją strategię, zatem bądź czujny!

Artykuł napisany przez Paula Gil Alonso.


          John posted an update: Looking forward to a great Summer Gaming & Grill […]        
          How to Install and Use TeamSpeak Server on CentOS 7        
In this tutorial, we will install TeamSpeak Server on CentOS 7 server. TeamSpeak is a VOIP or Voice Over Internet Protocol server. It provides voice communication features which can be used in various fields like online gaming, educational training, business communication etc.
          Back to Stars and Stars 2013 Changes        
Quick Update.

I managed to clear out about 1/3 of my Deal Me In bonus on Full Tilt before it expired. I took another week off during that promotion to work on some other things I'm enjoying like my self-paced programming courses. The old me would have played 24/7 to get that free money. The new me still couldn't care less about anything volume related

As much as I like FTP's VIP/rakeback program for the amount of volume I'm playing now, I just can't stand the software. Plus my current strategy doesn't seem to want to work out for me as well there. I can't figure out if games are just reg-infested or what, but the winrate took a nosedive into the slightly negative over 15k hands there.

So I'm back to Stars now and continuing with the run-good and play-good, tilt-free sessions I enjoyed before FTP re-opened. Graph since the day I 'quit.'

Stars Graph
 I'm pretty comfortable at 25NL right now with some 50NL mixed in, so I'll have to wait and see what kind of requirements there are for January's promotion on 100k VPPs (see VIP below). If I can do it comfortably (see volume related above) and it's a significant amount of money, I might consider opting in for that.

2013 VIP Changes

The 2013 changes were announced recently, live at the Amsterdam VIP Party by Steve Day (aka Steve D). Overall I think they're pretty small, yet decent and there were no downgrades which is always a good thing.

They started a Hall of Fame that will include a handful of players. The group of 5 million lifetime VPPs is obviously small, but I think they're headed in the right direction if this is going to lead into making Pokerstars more social. Looking around at all of the free and for-pay social gaming sites out there, it seems like a no-brainer direction to take regarding casual players.

They've also added a ChromeStar level at 100 monthly VPPs. There is no real benefit to it over Bronze except for being entered into the new weekly $5k freerolls with Silver+, but I think it's a good stepping stone to get those Bronze players to play a bit more to get to the now reduced requirement of 500 VPPs from 750 VPPs for Silver.

The other potentially big thing is the 2013 VIP goals. Specific announcements on this are not yet available, but it is supposed to be some sort of system where you can risk FPPs in January and be rewarded later for staying on pace for your 100k, 200k or 300k VPP goals.
          Full Tilt / Stars Rumors        
In case you haven't heard, here's the quick rundown for today's big news:
  • Group Bernard Tapie's deal with the DOJ has fallen through, and they're saying their dealings were sabotaged.
  • PokerStars is rumored to have reached a deal with the DOJ for a sum of $750 million to both settle their legal issues and purchase Full Tilt Poker. $330 million of that will go towards paying back FTP customers.
Pokerfuse Article

My facial expressions as I read the initial reports, checked dates to make sure I wasn't reading some bumped April fools joke, and realizing this is for real:

GBT apparently wanted to issue cashout privileges for rest-of-world players over time according to how much was in accounts and how much the accounts were played on. The DOJ was set on full withdrawal options within 90 days for all ROW players even though GBT's plan would have paid back 94.9% of all players the first day.


MTT grinder Shaun Deeb made a post on 2+2 (now removed) stating:
"Anyways the deal is already done by what I am told;

Players will be paid within 90 days
FTP will be open in the US  market
Isai will be stepping down from the company

If these statements are true I feel that Isai deserves all our thanks + business in the future with his company he is bailing out the igaming industry's tarnished reputation."
PokerStars corporate responded to the speculation by posting a 'no-comment but we'll comment soon' post in the PokerStars Blog. Considering they are typically fast to squash rumors with no basis, neither confirming nor denying says a lot in my opinion.

FTP's lawyer sent the following response to DiamondFlush confirming that the GBT deal has fallen through, yet are very optimistic:
"To address issues reported today in the media and on blogs, Full Tilt Poker confirms that its agreement with Groupe Bernard Tapie has in fact been terminated.  Despite this development, Full Tilt Poker is more optimistic than ever that its number one goal will be obtained: Full Tilt players will be repaid. Full Tilt Poker has been in settlement discussions with the US Department of Justice.  As such settlement discussions are always confidential, we are unable to comment on any rumors related to the details of those discussions.  As soon as we have information to share publicly we will do so."
Posting about the cease and desist letter Stars has sent to dataminers PTR, which they are playing up as the poker community watchdog turned victim while complying with it, seems rather like small news at this point.
I am beyond blown away at this FTP development. I didn't have anything in my FTP account when they unceremoniously switched to indefinite server upgrade status since I felt like my last $200 remaining when all of my cashout options were removed was basically monopoly money, which inevitably leads to a 5/10 or bust session. I've felt really bad for the people that had liferolls there, but I haven't been following it closely recently because as they often say on the Pokercast, developments kind of felt like Lucy holding the ball for Charlie Brown again.

I'm not sure what to think about essentially making the online poker industry monopoly virtually complete, but if the substantial number of rumors out there turn out to be even close to true, this is great news for anyone that has had money tied up for the past year.

Things are about to get interesting.
          Gaming the Game discussed on KNBR 680/1050 The Sports Leader (San Fran)        

Now that the academic year is over, I am back to entertaining interviews regarding Gaming the Game.  One of the latest such appearances was with “The Razor and Mr. T” on KNBR 680/1050 The Sports Leader in San Francisco (air date 6/1/11).  The podcast is streamed here.

The post Gaming the Game discussed on KNBR 680/1050 The Sports Leader (San Fran) appeared first on Sean Patrick Griffin.

          Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy’s comments re: Gaming the Game        

I have been (and, at least for the near future, remain) consumed with my responsibilities as the academic year comes to an end, and thus haven’t been available to humor each and every media request related to Gaming the Game: The Story Behind the NBA Betting Scandal and the Gambler Who Made It Happen (Barricade, […]

The post Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy’s comments re: Gaming the Game appeared first on Sean Patrick Griffin.

          Las Vegas Review-Journal review of Gaming the Game        

The latest review of Gaming the Game: The Story Behind the NBA Betting Scandal and the Gambler Who Made It Happen (Barricade, 2011) was penned by John L. Smith and appears today in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. For previous reviews of Gaming the Game, please see here.

The post Las Vegas Review-Journal review of Gaming the Game appeared first on Sean Patrick Griffin.

          Gaming the Game on PCN’s “PA Books”        

Some may recall that of the dozens of media interviews I entertained for Black Brothers, Inc., by far my favorite was the one conducted by the Pennsylvania Cable Network‘s Brian Lockman  for their popular “PA Books” program.  You can thus imagine my delight when I was invited to appear on the program with him to […]

The post Gaming the Game on PCN’s “PA Books” appeared first on Sean Patrick Griffin.

          Gaming News: Red Shirt Guy immortalised in WoW, Kinect Launches, EA halves losses, Lego Universe, Genetic Algorithms beat SC2        
EA held an investor call this week and although I have summarised the main points of note below, it is instructive as to how most mainstream news blogs deal with new stories. A single investor call from the CEO was chopped up and served as multiple different news stories, one point in each. But they’re […]
          Gaming news: Zombies in Black Ops, FFXIV released, MSoft wants Second Life, Recettear and Minecraft huge hits, Skaven in WAR        
So, yesterday was Eurogamer which bore a surprising resemblance to a bunch of gaming zombies wandering around a huge exhibition hall, half of which was full of demos of Assassin’s Creed II.  Arb and I will talk more about our Eurogamer thoughts next week. Things I saw which caught my eye were: PS3 Move. I […]
          Galaxy Zega takes cue from Anki with its toys-to-life game        
Galaxy Zega takes cue from Anki with its toys-to-life game

It was bound to happen sooner or later. When a new gaming category gains popularity, others try to enter the market and compete. It’s happened with everything from Street Fighter II to Guitar Hero. With Anki Overdrive, that challenge comes… Continue Reading

The post Galaxy Zega takes cue from Anki with its toys-to-life game appeared first on A+E Interactive.

          Nvidia adds full-fledged GTX cards in gaming laptops        
Nvidia adds full-fledged GTX cards in gaming laptops

For years, Nvidia has been making graphics cards for two gaming categories. The Santa Clara-based company has built beefy graphics chips for the desktop that push out bleeding edge visuals on PC. But when it comes to laptops, Nvidia has… Continue Reading

The post Nvidia adds full-fledged GTX cards in gaming laptops appeared first on A+E Interactive.

          More Than Just Skin: How Hentai Games Are Seducing New Audiences        
I spoke to fans and industry professionals in hentai gaming to learn more about this provocative gaming genre, and why an increasing number of fans prefer it. All of the links in this article are safe for work, but be aware that some of the topics discussed might be a bit too risque for the office.
          How One Woman Turned A Passion For Anime Figures Into A Career        
Today, Delgado is a professional in the anime and gaming industry. And it may never have happened if she hadn’t started her blog.
          iOS Game Review        
I go through ebbs and flows of iOS gaming. As my previous iPhone 4 slowly aged into oblivion, I weaned myself off of gaming, and I’ve since been reluctant to start back. I used to play quite a bit of the FIFA games, although they have messed with the controls, and I have sort of […]
          Comment on Some Words by Trickman Terry        
Guys, I am so deeply saddened and sorry for your loss and Hilden's family's loss. As soon as I heard the news, I called John to see if it was true. I was hoping it was just a mean joke...but my hopes were dashed as I heard what happened. Even now, I still can't believe Hilden is gone. Remembering him, I still hear his voice in my head doing impromptu, funny intros for the podcast, imitating Ken Kutaragi, the paper bag puppets at “The Daryls,” singing "Torgo Time" and countless other good memories. We met at MGC, joined your website, hung out on your forums and made a lot of friends over the years. Kristine and I still remember how Hilden encouraged the start of the Sisters in Gaming podcast. Even though we aren’t as connected as we once were, we still cherish the friendships we made with three great guys. Even though I didn’t know Hilden even ¼ as much as you both, the things I did know about him were always honest and true. Hilden never let anyone else tell him how to think. He had his own opinion on everything...from games, to beer, to music, people and to life itself. That didn’t mean he was pompous or unfeeling; quite the opposite. He loved life, his family, his friends and he was never afraid to do or explore whatever he wanted. That was his creative genius. I’m so glad he was able to have an outlet for his creativity such as the podcast, and to go even deeper with after-hour sessions, musicals, and even a movie. Hilden, thanks for the memories. I’ll always carry them with me forever. Miss you terribly. Trickman
          Comment on Some Words by goatdan        
Wow. I have "known" Hilden for I think 7 years now. We had this small podcast contact our small gaming convention about that long ago and say that they wanted to sponsor the show. I figured before we did anything, I should listen to the show... and I never stopped. I literally have listened to every one of them, and every single time it has brightened my mood and made me enjoy my day more. I still think that the hardest that I ever laughed was when I was at the show you guys did in Madison and had the paper bags talking. Or when I won the contest there by sitting on another dude's lap and seductively singing. I'm not a drinker, and stuff like this is far outside my regular box, but you guys have had that effect on me and countless others - to make everyone feel more comfortable about who we are. I've actually been going through a really rough patch that I think / hope is changing for the better finally, and I religiously looked forward to the next DGR show because I'd be able to totally forget my own problems. I listened to the latest show on Monday, and thought that I should write in a letter thanking everyone for helping to pull me through. And now it's too late. This eulogy is amazing, and says more than I or anyone else could. Hilden was an amazing person, and I am truly better off for having known him, even slightly. And so is everyone else. And that is the best that you can hope to accomplish in life.
          Comment on Some Words by Nermassa        
John and Moe, I am very saddened by the news of Hilden's passing. I'm reminded that we all know each other by a small snapshot of what makes us, us. We have lives outside of our social media networks, but our networks are part of our lives. I see this as I read the comments here, on Facebook and twitter about the impact Hilden had on so many lives. Hell, had it not been for his encouragement, Sisters in Gaming wouldn't have happened. John, Moe and Hilden, you have brought so many of us together and given us so much. Now, it is our turn to give to you in the form of support. Know we are only a tweet or blog post away on a day where you need a virtual hug. Stay strong and call on us if you need a friendly ear or shoulder to cry on. Much love and strength to you both.
          Comment on Some Words by Boric        
Oh man... I saw this on the Retroids shoutbox and was hit hard. I'm ashamed that I started to lose track of you guys after Team Fremont ended and Robot Panic began. But I've checked in from time to time, listened to the occasional podcast, and always enjoyed everything you produced. You guys are the reasons I went to MGC, and even got into the online gaming and podcasting community Hilden, you will be missed. As everyone said, you were always a class act and had amazing talent in everything you did, and I'm thankful to have met you. Rest in peace my friend. My thoughts are with your family and friends. Guys, definitely keep us in the loop about memorials and where we can donate for costs or charities and whatnot. Man... still can't believe this...
          Recensione BenQ XL2420T: 120Hz FPS eSports Gaming Monitor        
Il monitor da gioco BenQ XL2420T è stato sviluppato insieme ad alcune leggende di Counter Strike e questo lo rende il monitor perfetto per i giocatori FPS. Oltre alle molteplici funzioni di connettività e comodità, questo monitor offre una fantastica frequenza di 120Hz ed un tempo di risposta di 2ms, che renderanno le tue partite competitive estremamente fluide, senza alcun...
          Inveje essa Gaming Room        
Que tal uma sala de jogos completa como essa, com varios consoles diferentes. Conheça no vídeo abaixo a Gaming Room do canal Realidade Americana.
          How to get Organic Stars in natural search results        
Organic Stars in search results were outlawed for many years by Google as there were too many people ‘gaming’ the system and using results from all of their products and pushing them against every product they own individually.  This is still obviously outlawed and if you do it, you will get a Google penalty. But … Continue reading How to get Organic Stars in natural search results
          Exergamers Wellness Club Uses Kinect and HealthVault to Enhance Seniors’ Well-being        
Seniors in Los Angeles experience improved fitness and increased happiness as a result of an innovative public-private partnership that uses interactive gaming and health-monitoring tools from Microsoft.
          What Platforms Does Linux Support?        
Linux runs on a variety of computers and devices, and is widely supported by systems created in the last 20 years. It runs on PDA's, Gaming Systems, and even novelty "watches". It can also run on systems as large as mainframes. There are Linux distributions tailored specifically for various devices, all one need do is seek information. Linux was written originally for Intel processor based PC's, using the hardware facilities of the 80386 processor and its successors to implemen…
          Î‘πό την Τρίλιζα και το Tetris στο Candy Crush Saga        

Τα Block puzzles αποτελούνται, στην ουσία, από την σύνδεση των κομματιών. Ο θεωρητικός των βιντεοπαιχνιδιών, συγγραφέας και αναπληρωτής καθηγητής στη Σχολή Σχεδιασμού της Δανικής Ακαδημίας Καλών Τεχνών, Jesper Juul, ορίζει τα block puzzle videogames ως βιντεοπαιχνίδια όπου ο παίκτης "χειρίζεται τα μπλοκ έτσι ώστε να τα εξαφανίσει, σύμφωνα με ορισμένα κριτήρια». Σύμφωνα με τον ίδιο, αυτά τα είδη παιχνιδιών έχουν μια συγκεκριμένη απλότητα που οι χρήστες λατρεύουν, και αυτό είναι το κλειδί της επιτυχίας τους, εκτός από το γεγονός ότι είναι πολύ εθιστικά.

Ως εκ τούτου, δεν μας εκπλήσσει το γεγονός ότι η Candy Crush Saga, που δημιουργήθηκε από την King για το Facebook και κυκλοφόρησε τον Απρίλιο του 2012, ονομάστηκε το Game of the Year 2013 από την ιστοσελίδα βιντεοπαιχνιδιών Eurogamer. Τον Δεκέμβριο του 2012 είχε ήδη 10 εκατομμύρια downloads, και τον Ιούλιο του 2013 εκτιμάται ότι είχε 6,7 εκατομμύρια ενεργούς χρήστες και κέρδιζε 633.000$ την ημέρα στα App Store των ΗΠΑ.

Η έλευση των smartphones επέτρεψε και αύξησε την εμφάνιση των περιστασιακών παικτών που ψάχνουν παιχνίδια τα οποία απαιτούν ελάχιστη δέσμευση, τη στιγμή που παίζουν. Στην πραγματικότητα, το Candy Crush κλωνοποιεί τη δυναμική ενός προηγούμενου παιχνιδιού, που επίσης είχε μεγάλη επιτυχία: το Bejeweled. Σε αυτό το απλουστευμένο βιντεοπαιχνίδι θα πρέπει να μετακινείς τους πολύτιμους λίθους για να συμπίπτουν και, ως εκ τούτου, να εξαφανιστούν για να κερδίσεις πόντους. Αλλά το Bejeweled, προγραμματισμένο από την PopCap Games, που κυκλοφόρησε το 2001, βασίζεται σε μια πολύ απλή λειτουργία της κλασικής Τρίλιζας. Ποιος δεν βαριόταν στην τάξη και έπαιζε μια Τρίλιζα με τον συμμαθητή του; Είναι η ίδια δυναμική: συνδυασμός των αντικείμενων σε έναν πίνακα ή μια οθόνη, οριζόντια, κάθετα ή διαγώνια για να κερδίσει το παιχνίδι. Είναι ένας τόσο απλός μηχανισμός που έχει κάνει τους δημιουργούς και προγραμματιστές παιχνιδιών να έχουν επιτυχία στις εκδόσεις τους. Τον ίδιο μηχανισμό μπορεί να δει κανείς στο Solitaire παιχνίδι καρτών, όπου θα πρέπει να συνδυάζεται τις κάρτες ανάλογα με το χρώμα και στο τέλος να τις επανενώσετε σε οικογένειες.

Όταν μιλάμε για αυτά τα παιχνίδια, το πρώτο πράγμα που μας έρχεται στο μυαλό είναι το Tetris. Ο Alexey Pajitinov εργαζόταν στο Κέντρο Πληροφορικής της Ακαδημίας Επιστημών των ΕΣΣΔ, όταν δημιούργησε το διάσημο αυτό παιχνίδι. Στον ελεύθερό του χρόνο, ο Ρώσος προγραμματιστής άρχισε να αναπτύσσει αυτό το βιντεοπαιχνίδι, εμπνευσμένος από το αγαπημένο του παζλ: Pentominoes. Στην αρχή, ο Pajitinov, σχεδίασε αυτό το παιχνίδι αποκλειστικά για προσωπική του χρήση και το βάφτισε Tetris από το ελληνικό πρόθεμα "τετρα" που σημαίνει τέσσερις (αφού τα κομμάτια του παιχνιδιού αποτελούνται από τέσσερα τετράγωνα και ονομάζονται τετρόμινο) και το τένις, που είναι το αγαπημένο του σπορ.

Αλλά το 1984 κυκλοφόρησε δημοσίως και έγινε το πρώτο software διασκέδασης που εξάγονταν από τη Σοβιετική Ένωση στις ΗΠΑ. Η έκδοση του GameBoy που κυκλοφόρησε το 1989, ήταν η πιο επιτυχημένη, και το περιοδικό Electronic Gaming Monthly το κατάταξε στην πρώτη θέση με τον τίτλο "το καλύτερο παιχνίδι όλων των εποχών". Το 2010 ανακοινώθηκε ότι το Tetris είχε πουλήσει περισσότερα από 170 εκατομμύρια αντίτυπα, επιτυγχάνοντας να είναι το παιχνίδι με τα περισσότερα downloads επί αμοιβής.

Η επιτυχία του Tetris ήταν τόσο μεγάλη, που σιγά-σιγά, άρχισαν να δημιουργούνται κι άλλα παιχνίδια με το ίδιο στυλ. "Λίγη καινοτομία μόνο και μόνο για να διαφοροποιηθείς, αλλά να κάνεις ένα παιχνίδι αρκετά παρόμοιο που είναι εύκολο για τον χρήστη να παίξει", αυτός είναι ο συνδυασμός που κερδίζει για να μπορέσει να πετύχει η ανάπτυξη ενός παιχνιδιού σαν αυτό, εξηγεί ο Juul. Το 1989 ο Jay Geertsen εφάρμοσε ακριβώς αυτόν τον τύπο και δημιούργησε το Columns, επίσης γνωστό ως Jewels, για να συμμεριστεί τον στόχο της Sega στο να ανταγωνιστεί με το Tetris του GameBoy.

Το Columns ήταν το πρώτο παιχνίδι που συμπεριλαμβανόταν στην αγορά της Sega GameGear και κατετάγη στην 34η θέση του ranking "Top Mega Drive Games of all Time" της Mega. Τούβλα που αποτελούνται από τρεις πολύτιμους λίθους πέφτουν με τον ίδιο τρόπο όπως στο Tetris, και ακριβώς όπως και στη Τρίλιζα, οι τρεις ίδιοι λίθοι θα πρέπει να ενωθούν για να εξαφανιστούν και να κερδίσεις πόντους. Οι επιτρεπόμενες κινήσεις είναι οι ίδιες με αυτές του ρώσικου παιχνιδιού, επίσης η ταχύτητα αυξάνετε καθώς ο παίκτης περνάει σε υψηλότερα επίπεδα. Ωστόσο, τα μπλοκ δεν μπορούν να περιστραφούν, μόνο τα χρώματα μπορεί να αλλάζουν κάθετα ώστε να συνδυάσουν το μπλοκ και να κάνουν τους πολύτιμους λίθους να εξαφανίζονται.

Την ιδέα της σύνδεσης των κομματιών σύμφωνα με το χρώμα αντέγραψαν επίσης και άλλα βιντεοπαιχνίδια. Το 1990, για παράδειγμα, ο Dr. Mario κυκλοφόρησε για το Nintendo EntertainmentSystem (NES) και το GameBoy, όπου πρέπει να βοηθήσεις τον Mario να απαλλαχθεί από ιούς ορισμένων χρωμάτων παίρνοντας χάπια των ίδιων χρωμάτων. Και πάλι, τα μπλοκ μπορεί να τα χειριστείς όπως ακριβώς και στο Tetris και απαιτούνται τρία χάπια του ίδιου χρώματος για να σκοτώσεις τους ιούς, τα οποία μεγαλώνουν καθώς ο παίκτης προχωρά.

Το περιοδικό ACE ήταν ένας από τους λίγους που έδωσαν αρνητικά σχόλια για το παιχνίδι, δεδομένου ότι «μύριζε λογοκλοπή», και ήταν χειρότερο από τα παιχνίδια στα οποία βασιζόταν. Από την άλλη πλευρά, το Allgame επαίνεσε τον Dr. Mario ως «ένα από τα καλύτερα παιχνίδια παζλ» στην αγορά που «πλημμύριζε» από αυτό το είδος παιχνιδιών.

Και πράγματι, η αγορά ήταν (και είναι) αρκετά κορεσμένη από αυτού του είδους παιχνιδιών, αλλά πάντα θα υπάρχει κάποιος που θα καινοτομεί και θα φέρει κάτι καινούριο στο είδος αυτό. Αυτή ήταν η περίπτωση της Puyo Puyo, προγραμματισμένο από την Compile και κυκλοφόρησε το 1991. Μετά από τόσα μπλοκ, πολύτιμους λίθους και χάπια, αυτό το ιαπωνικό παιχνίδι ήρθε με μερικά ζελεδένια πλάσματα που κολλάνε το ένα πάνω στο άλλο όταν έρχονται σε επαφή, και αυτή τη φορά, απαιτούνται τέσσερα από αυτά του ίδιου χρώματος για να εξαφανιστούν και να κερδίσεις πόντους.

Ωστόσο, διαφέρει από τα υπόλοιπα επειδή δεν είναι απαραίτητο τα τέσσερα κομμάτια να ευθυγραμμιστούν. Θα πρέπει απλά, τουλάχιστον τέσσερα κομμάτια να ενωθούν, αλλά μπορεί επίσης να είναι πολλά περισσότερα. Επιπλέον, όταν τα κομμάτια εξαλειφθούν, νέα κομμάτια πέφτουν από πάνω για να μπορέσουν να ενωθούν με τα άλλα και έτσι, να κάνουν combos.

Ο δημιουργός του παιχνιδιού, Kazunari Yonemitsu, σκέφτηκε ότι τα παζλ παιχνίδια εκείνη την εποχή είχαν πολύ βαρετό χαρακτήρα, έτσι τους έδωσε ένα προκλητικό ύφος, στυλ Street Fighter. Και έτσι, το παιχνίδι δημιουργεί κάποια εμπόδια, όπως κάποια μαύρα κομμάτια που δεν ταιριάζουν με κανένα άλλο και μπλοκάρουν τις κινήσεις σου.

Και τώρα το Spritted εμπνευσμένο από αυτό το γιαπωνέζικο κλασικό, έχει δημιουργήσει το Pandemix, ένα παζλ βιντεοπαιχνίδι όπου θα πρέπει να εντάξεις τουλάχιστον τέσσερα ίδια κύτταρα για να δημιουργήσεις ένα μόριο και να το κάνεις να εξαφανιστεί. Αλλά θα συναντήσεις επίσης, βόμβες, οι οποίες θα κάνουν τις στρατηγικές σου ακόμα πιο δύσκολες, οπότε πρόσεχε!

Συντάχθηκε απο την Paula Gil Alonso.

          Every One Of Us Needs A Lot Of Gaming! (39 pics)        
Every One Of Us Needs A Lot Of Gaming!

          Re: Children playing Grand Theft Auto: a study into violent gaming and child mentality        

This is going to go extremely well in my report on video games effects

          Re: Replay: The top 'femmes fatales' of gaming        

where's Ada Wong?!?!

          Video Poker Hall of Fame        

This magazine’s annual bar issue is my favorite of the year, and it’s a chance to update my lists on the best video poker bars in Las Vegas. Keep in mind that you can often do better in the casinos, but these are the best opportunities at the neighborhood watering holes around town (a number of them are also Bar Hall of Fame inductees).

I refer often in this space to the presence of 7/5 Bonus Poker being an easy indicator of a better video poker bar (“7/5” means that with one coin played, a full house returns seven coins and a flush returns five). This game returns 98 percent if you can play it perfectly. Not bad. A short list of bars that offer 7/5 Bonus Poker includes Loose Caboose on West Flamingo Road, Dylan’s Gaming Lounge, the Porchlight Grille, the Tap House, Frankie’s Tiki Room and Champagne’s. But this is the Hall of Fame issue, so we have to do better than that.

It’s not often that you find a bar schedule by itself (no promotions considered) that exceeds 98 percent, but they exist. Two examples are the Double Down Saloon’s Kings or Better Joker Wild game with a 98.4 percent return, and Sonny’s Saloon, where select machines offer 9/5 Jacks or Better with a $100 bonus on royals that returns 98.5 percent.

More common are 7/5 bars with liberal card-of-the-day wheel spins. Two good ones are the country bar Saddle N Spurs on North Jones Boulevard and Crowbar on West Flamingo Road. Others in this category are Brooksy’s on West Flamingo Road from 2–5 p.m. and 4–7 a.m. and the new Sagos at Spring Mountain Road and Decatur Boulevard, where all 4-of-a-kinds spin during Angels games. All of these bars return more than 99 percent on 25-cent games.

Of course, payback percentage isn’t everything. Home Plate on West Warm Springs Road runs frequent $20 matchplay promos (play $20, get $20 in free-play) and last year did it every Sunday during the football season. No Regrets on West Sunset Road awards $20 in free-play after $100 coin-in on Sundays and Mondays from 1 p.m.–3 a.m. (the best time to do it is 3–7 p.m., when quad 5s-Ks spins the bonus wheel). And while there’s no financial incentive involved, Dean’s Place behind Silverton deserves mention for its unique nonsmoking side bar.

Finally, credit is due to the creative bars that use meal comps as incentives. The best are Crown & Anchor East or West and Sagos on Fort Apache Road: All three offer comped meal incentives to those playing at least $20. Also in this category is the prime rib comp at Jackson’s (see Jackson’s review), where if you’re not already a member of the players club, you’ll also get a sign-up matchplay bonus of $20 after $100 coin-in.

Know of another good one? Send us the details.

Anthony Curtis is the publisher of the Las Vegas Advisor and lasvegasadvisor.com.

The post Video Poker Hall of Fame appeared first on Vegas Seven.

          Four new adventures! from JP on Gaming        
I just released four adventures for Legacies. Now you may ask "why only some in one game and not the other". Simple: Time. I have to prioritize one over the other. Pathfinder RPGThese two adventures are "short" adventures usable a introductory adven...

          RPG A Day 2017 August 9 from Lizard's Gaming and Geekery Site        
RPG A Day, 2017 August Ninth (On time as I start writing) Prompt: What is a good RPG to play for about ten sessions? Hmm. To some extent, the answer is “any”, in that the session length isn’t specified and … Continue reading →

          RPG A Day 2017 August 8 from Lizard's Gaming and Geekery Site        
RPG A Day, 2017 August Eighth(Belated) Prompt: What is a good RPG to play for sessions of two hours or less? “None I’d probably like” is the first answer that comes to mind, as my disdain for the hyperfocused “indie” … Continue reading →

          RPG A Day 2017 August 7 from Lizard's Gaming and Geekery Site        
RPG A Day, 2017 August Seventh (On time! Well, Belated Now) Prompt: What was your most impactful gaming session? According to spell check, “impactful” isn’t a word. Bite me, spell check. The reason this is late is… I have no … Continue reading →

          RPGaDay Challenge 2017 – Day 7 from BARKING ALIEN        
Here's where we get serious folks...I've been very fortunate to have had quite a lot of impactful sessions in my 40 years of gaming.There is pretty much nothing cooler than those moments when a game's story, or a PC's actions, elicit real emotion from ...

          Comment on Updated: Sprint Sued By Non-Profits Over Clearwire Lease For WiMax by Philip        
Sprints response was vague. In fact, so vague that it answered nothing. What terms did Sprint offer to provide the same service as to their best customer (as mandated in their spectrum lease)? I understand that a portion of Wimax abuse is gaming. Such gaming is not educational, and takes data that could be provided to legitimate users. Since the average Mobile Beacon / Mobile Citizen customer uses 40GB, set that as the data limit for high speed, and throttle down to 2 MB/s after that. Since Sprint has knowingly and deliberately withheld LTE modems to keep control in their hands, I recommend that Sprint be compelled to immediately release the 300,000 modems at wholesale cost. If they wait for more than a week after the time of their initial service of the lawsuit, they should be compelled to release them for free. Each week Sprint continues to hold the modems & service hostage, they should be mandated to surrender $50 to each account they hold in limbo. The amount they forfeit, on these terms is solely up to Sprint, based on the time they take for entire & whole & perfect compliance with the terms of their spectrum lease. Used and reconditioned modems (with full warranty) may be provided, at a significant discount. I think that 40 GB at max speed (plus unlimited at 2MB/s) should be adequate for almost every non-profit, Student, etc. Such terms won't be sufficient for gaming or industries, but Educational Broadband Service is not intended for Industrial or gaming use. To repeat: Throttle down to to 2MB/s average speed after 40 GB of usage per month to stop the few who abuse the service, AND maintain your Wimax service until ALL of your subleased customers have received your wholesale/free replacement modems.
          Build Relationships Exponentially        

Moses is arguably one of the best leaders in history. He followed God into some crazy situations and confrontations with Pharaoh; he led hundreds of thousands from freedom to slavery; he continued to lead, despite grumbling and opposition, and never lost track of where his vision came from.
But he did it all by himself. This is not more praise for him, but less. He did it alone, and that set him up for failure. In Exodus 18, Moses is visited by his father-in-law, Jethro, who tells him that this is a bad situation. Jethro sees all of Israel coming to Moses for judgement on everything from doctrine to minor property disputes. Rather than just criticize, Jethro gives Moses some game-changing advice (which all of us in leadership need to follow): "You can't do this alone... recruit help." And he did.

Exodus 18:24-26 NIV
Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said. He chose capable men from all Israel and made them leaders of the people, officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. They served as judges for the people at all times. The difficult cases they brought to Moses, but the simple ones they decided themselves.

As the leader, you will die if you are the only one leading and building relationships. Multiply and "replace" yourself and you will find leadership to be much easier and rewarding. It is crucial to recruit quality leaders, and empower them to take on part of the load of the ministry, by building meaningful relationships with a few students. Here are five ways to get started:

1. CAST THE VISION: You can't have people help you if you don't know what you're doing. Figure out the vision for the ministry, and then do everything you can to over-communicate it to your leaders. This helps everyone to work toward a common goal, and allows them the freedom to run when they know what direction to take.

2. 4-LAYER LEADERSHIP: Amazingly, the Bible has some things to say about leadership. 2 Timothy 2:2 NIV "And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others." There are four different positions here: Paul (1), writing to Timothy (2), who is to entrust this to reliable people (3) who will teach others (4). We should strive to always be in the second layer here. So, you have to be receiving something from a leader above you (or you’ll stop growing and become stagnant). Then find good leaders and train them. But don’t let them sit on this. They have to pass it on as well. If everyone sees themselves as a second layer leader, they are always passing on what they receive with the intent of the next person passing it on as well. This is the model my pastor is implementing at our church across the board and it is very effective.
So, train your leaders to pass on what they get from you to the students. And not just for it to stop there, but teach the students in a way that they are encouraged and empowered to pass it on to others as well. (Bonus: this ends up fulfilling the Great Commission as well!)

3. TRAIN THEM WELL: What have you learned about building relationships with students? Pass these things on to your leaders to help them. Offer small group training, leader retreats, online resources, etc. Again, "entrust these things to others..." Pass on everything you know about this. (Bonus: In building relationships with your leaders, you will help set an example for how they duplicate this themselves.)

4. SET THEM UP FOR SUCCESS: Use spiritual gifts inventories, personality tests, and even Strengths Finder to help your leaders identify their strengths and abilities. Then have them serve where their strengths are. If you have a leader who is into gaming, put him over a small group with kids that have that in common. Get creative... I once had a leader come to me who wanted to get involved, but she didn't feel that she was young enough/cool enough to be a small group leader and play games with students. So we asked her to run the snack bar and be a greeter for us. She started sending me weekly emails with the names she learned each week, and the students dubbed her the "snack bar momma". Great relationships were happening, SUCCESS!

5. LEAD BY EXAMPLE: There is another point that my pastor is training us to utilize... and it comes from the medical profession. Watch me. Help me. Show me. Have leaders watch you hanging out with students and building relationships. Then bring them along and do it together. Then have them build a few on their own.


That's it. Jesus died to restore relationship with us. We are most like him when we are building godly relationships with each other and with students, and encouraging one another toward deeper relationships with God.


How do you train, equip, and empower your volunteers?

          Handling Guild Drama        
So, these last couple months have been just loads of stress outside of gaming, but also just some grand annoyances while in gaming, as well.  A lot of it relates to some guild drama in both Rift and WoW.  Quite frankly, I’m sick of it.  The backbiting, the name-calling, the downright immaturity of it all.  [&hellip
          Mind games        
I spent  – no, wait, invested – a chunk of yesterday morning hooking up my laptop to my TV so I could play FTL on the big screen. I am increasingly sad about how my gaming life is ergonomically identical to my working life, where by ‘ergonomically’ I mean ‘ergonomically catastrophic’. Getting to adjust the … Continue reading Mind games
          Henry Jenkins responds in turn        
Henry Jenkins

Markku Eskelinen argues that any discussion of ludology must deal with Gonzalo Frasca’s 1998 address to the Digital Arts and Culture conference, so let me begin with a quotation from that address:

Literary theory and narratology have been helpful to understand cybertexts and videogames…. The fact is that these computer programs share many elements with stories: characters, chained actions, endings, settings…. In this paper, we propose to explore videogames and cybertexts as games. Our intention is not to replace the narratologic approach, but to complement it. We want to better understand what is the relationship with narrative and videogames; their similarities and differences. [Frasca]

Or, to refer to another of the texts Eskelinen urges us to consider, Espen Aarseth’s Cybertext: “To claim that there is no difference between games and narrative is to ignore essential qualities of both categories. And yet, as this study tries to show, the difference is not clear-cut, and there is significant overlap between the two.” [Aarseth] Both of these “ur-texts” for ludology, then, adapt a position not radically different from the one which I took in my essay - claiming that both narratology and ludology are required if we are going to adequately understand the hybrid quality of contemporary computer and videogames; that games can not be reduced to stories but that we also need to hold onto the tools of narratology if we want to understand the “similarities and differences” or points of “overlap” between games and stories.

Now, by contrast, let’s consider the opening of Eskelinen’s First Person essay:

So if there already is or soon will be a legitimate field for computer game studies, this field is also very open to intrusions and colonizations from the already organized scholarly tribes. Resisting and beating them is the goal of our first survival game in this paper, as what these emerging studies need is independence, or at least relative independence.

One can’t help but note that Eskelinen’s position is significantly more rigid than the one adopted by Frasca and Aarseth. Far from seeing ludology as a “complement” to narratology, Eskelinen wants to barricade the gates against any foreign “intrusions and colonizations” and throw away the key. Eskelinen’s contributions depict him as someone defending his turf against the aggressive assault of narratologists who are “seeking and finding stories, and nothing but stories, everywhere.” What I want to suggest is that Eskelinen is expending a great deal of emotional and intellectual energy combating phantoms of his own imagination.

I feel a bit like Travis Bickle when I ask Eskelinen, “Are you talking to me?” For starters, I don’t consider myself to be a narratologist at all. I certainly draw on narrative theory as one conceptual model among many for understanding computer and video games; I have written other essays which make little or no use of narrative theory, focusing on the fit between game play and more traditional backyard play cultures. See, for example, Henry Jenkins, “Complete Freedom of Movement: Video Games As Gendered Playspaces,” in Justine Cassell and Henry Jenkins (Ed.), From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1998). When I first introduced my concept of “spatial stories,” I was arguing against film theorists simply cookie-cutting their models onto games without regard to the centrality of spatial aesthetics to games. [Jenkins 1993] I have written elsewhere about the ways that performance and spectacle in early sound comedy take precedence over narrative and characterization. [Jenkins 1992] Ultimately, my interest is in mapping the aesthetic norms that constitute different forms of popular culture and in almost every case, narrative exists alongside, competes against, struggles with, and is often subordinate to alternative aesthetic logics that are fundamentally anti- or non-narrative in character. Eskelinen is correct to note that games have a long history, so does magic, dance, architecture, ars erotica, and so forth, which exist alongside storytelling as important cultural activities. These various alternative traditions are never completely autonomous from each other, but come together and move apart in different ways, at different times, in different cultures. My goal is not to reduce games to narrative but to explore the unstable relationship between a range of different transmedia logics - narrative, games, spectacle, performance, spatiality, affect, etc.

In that sense, I would see Jon McKenzie’s concept of games as “experience design” to be an equally appropriate framework for thinking about the medium as my conception of “narrative architecture.” Both would need to be understood as provisional terms which clarify certain aspects of the phenomenon while masking others; none are fully adequate for the object of study, but they will do as starting points around which further refinements will need to be made. First Person takes as a central theme the question of games and stories, and so for this essay I have used narrative as a point of entry. There is no question in my mind that current narrative theory would need to be significantly rethought before it can be applied to computer and videogames.

Eskelinen asks for a definition of terms. For the record, I do offer a definition of story: “Russian formalist critics make a useful distinction between plot (or syuzhet) which refers to, in Kristen Thompson’s terms, `the structured set of all causal events as we see and hear them presented in the film itself,’ and story (or fabula), which refers to the viewer’s mental construction of the chronology of those events.” Seeing story as a mental construct, one that may exist in the head of the artist at the beginning of the creative process or the consumer at the end, enables us to imagine situations where stories are evoked and not told and to see at least some games as involved in a narrative economy even if they are not structured as traditional narratives. Story is not “content,” according to this model, but the end point of a process through which readers encounter, work upon, and work through various textual cues. I would thus agree that the narrational process of computer games is significantly different from the process by which we consume books, films, theatrical plays, or comic strips (but then, there are significant differences in the way narration works in each of these other media as well). Yet, I would still argue that many games draw on player’s existing familiarity with stories and encourage them to reshape their experience of play into stories at the end of the process. My essay is talking about computer and videogames as they are constituted within the current marketplace. I am making no claims about dodgeball, tiddlywinks, checkers, Legos, or golf. I am quite prepared to accept that these traditional forms of games and play have little or nothing to do with narrative at all and I would be very surprised if my essay contributed much to our understanding of them. The market category of “games,” in fact, covers an enormous ground, including activities that traditional ludologists would classify as play, sports, simulations, and toys, as well as traditional games. Some, but certainly not all, of these products also make bids on telling stories; storytelling is part of what they are marketing and part of what consumers think they are buying when they invest in this software.

These computer games, then, are a strange, still unstable, and still undertheorized hybrid between games and narratives. They are a border case for any study of narrative, but they are also a border case for any study of games. Computer games are a bit like duck-billed platypuses, a species which, as Harriet Ritvo has documented, confounded early naturalists; some of them denied that such a creature could exist and denounced early reports as fraud, while others sought to erase all ambiguities about its status, trivializing any problems in classifying this species - which has a duck bill, web feet, and lays eggs - as mammals. Jon McKenzie accurately summarizes my position: “games are indeed not narratives, not films, not plays - but they’re also not-not-narratives, not-not-films, not-not-plays.” In the end, the zoological discipline has decided that platypuses are not birds; yet, we will not really get why platypuses are such strange mammals if we don’t know what a bird is.

For that reason, the analogies I draw in the essay are between games and other kinds of works - amusement park rides, musicals, commedia dell’arte, travel narratives, world-making in fantasy and science fiction, hero myths - which have fit uncomfortably within the narratological tradition, suggesting that if we look at how narrative theory has struggled with the ambiguities of these other border cases, it may tell us something about the ways that narrative theory may and may not contribute to an understanding of computer and video games. Drawing on these analogies to narrative border cases, I try to describe some of the ways that games relate to larger story traditions in our culture - suggesting that they may evoke atmospheres or content from stories; that they may contribute something to a larger story system; that they may have narrative information buried within them; that they may create an environment ripe with narrative possibilities; that they may enact micronarratives or borrow certain structures from the larger spatial storytelling tradition; and so forth. At no point in the essay do I ever suggest that games can be reduced to story and nothing but story. All I am rejecting is the desire of certain ludologists to throw the baby out with the bath water.

Near the end of his comments, Eskelinen proposes a range of examples that he takes to be a reductio ad absurdum of my essay’s arguments. It might be helpful to take one of his cases and break it down. Are gardens spatial stories? We can agree that they are not. Most gardens are spaces - with little or no narrative interest at all. Some of those spaces may be designed in such a way as to enable certain life events to unfold - such as hidden nooks where lovers may meet - and thus gardens have been the settings for many stories. There is a tradition of using gardens to recreate spaces from fictional stories; I am thinking about the Bible gardens which dot the roadside of my native south or the fairy gardens that are popular throughout Europe. Here, we would say that those gardens operate in relation to a larger narrative economy. In most cases, however, these gardens are simply recreating spaces or vignettes from stories. They evoke stories, but they are not stories. In the case of some Bible gardens, these vignettes are arranged in a narrative sequence designed to unfold the story of Christ’s martyrdom. As they do so, they start to move towards the borders of our current understanding of narrative. I would argue that such gardens could be an interesting limit case for narrative theory, even if we would not be able to fully account for them without also drawing insights from landscape architecture. Similarly, to draw on another of his examples, there are some books which do not simply recount the playing of games, but use things, like chess moves, to structure their plot progression, and while we would not want to call such works games, we might argue that ludology could contribute something to our understanding of such texts. In both cases, though, Bible gardens and game books are minor strands within their larger tradition and you can discuss gardens and novels without referring to them at all. Yet, in the case of computer games, a high percentage of what is currently in the market are the digital equivalent of those Bible gardens and therefore, we need to have some way of discussing those forms of hybridity.

Eskelinen’s solution involves an act of purification - strip away everything that doesn’t look like a game and discuss these works purely from a ludological framework; he assumes I am following a similar logic, stripping aside everything that doesn’t look like a narrative, but I am not. I am searching for a theory nuanced enough to explain why platypuses are and are not like mammals and why games (and Bible gardens) are and are not stories. Eskelinen is involved in a particular kind of “game” - defining and defending the borders of an emerging academic discipline - and he is doing so according to some traditional rules: define terms, lay down axioms, cite core theorists, and then engage in debate around those various abstractions. We might call this game “my paradigm is bigger than your paradigm,” or “my theorist can beat up your theorist.” In the terms around which he describes it, it is a zero-sum game, where one model will ultimately win the disputed space and he’s rooting for the Ludology Vikings over the Narratology Eagles. Within academia, he may be correct to perceive his side as badly outnumbered: there has been a great deal more academic writing about narrative than about games and there’s an urgent need to develop new tools for thinking about games and play. I simply question whether it makes sense to think of knowledge production as a zero-sum game.

I see myself involved in a rather different exercise, attempting not to construct an academic discipline around games, but to intervene in a public debate among game designers, game critics, and game players - as well as policy makers and other media producers and consumers - about the current state and future development of an emergent and hybrid form of “interactive entertainment.” As we do so, I think we need to start with specific examples, rather than broad abstractions; we need to recognize the impurity and instability of the current forms and respond to them by drawing on the broadest possible range of theoretical tools and historical analogies. None of those theories are going to be ready to wear off the shelf, none of the analogies are fully functional, and each will require a good deal of retrofitting to be adequate to the task of understanding our object of study. In such a situation, there are no clear boundaries, no pure theories and traditions, and no stable formulations. What is needed, as McKenzie suggests, is a more exploratory, less bookish - dare I say, more ludic - spirit. Most game designers know a great deal more about the theory of play and games than they know about narrative. Most of the game design books currently on the market tell little or nothing about character and plot. Yet, these practitioners consistently express a hunger to know more about traditional storytelling; sessions on games and narrative have been among the most highly attended at industry conferences. My essay’s arguments came out of that dialogue with the game design community rather than within a more academic context.


Aarseth, Espen. Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1997)

Frasca, Gonzala. “Ludology Meets Narratology: Similitude and Differences between (Video) Games and Narrative,” http://www.jacaranda.org/frasca/ludology.htm

Jenkins, Henry. “x Logic: Placing Nintendo in Children’s Lives,” Quarterly Review of Film and Video (August 1993).

—. What Made Pistachio Nuts?: Early Sound Comedy and the Vaudeville Aesthetic (New York: Columbia University Press, 1992).

—. What Made Pistachio Nuts?: Early Sound Comedy and the Vaudeville Aesthetic. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1992).

Ritvo, Harriet. The Platypus and the Mermaid, and Other Figments of the Classifying Imagination. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1998).

back to Game Theories introduction

          How Social Games Are Changing the World        
Stealthy startups, gaming goliaths, and benevolent brands are all jumping aboard the social gaming for good train.
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Ein neues interessantes Gaming Mainboard ist verfügbar: Das neue MSI Z170A Krait Gaming 3X ATX-Mainbaord unterstützt Intel Skylake Prozessoren auf dem Sockel LGA1151, DDR4, Turbo M.2 und USB 3.1 Gen2. Was das Mainboard für Gamer und Overclocker kann, erfahrt Ihr […]

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          re: Favorite Music In Gaming        

I have many video game soundtracks on my iPod, and I listen to video game music alongside all of my other music.

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          The Games People Play (Part Two)        
Have you ever played a game where you were touched?

No, hold on, that's not right at all. What I mean is, have you ever played a computer or video game which managed to connect with you on a level greater than the visceral, where the reward you get is more than a buzz when you unload a clip into a zombie or drop a banana skin in the path of the kart behind you? A game that actually manages to get inside your head?

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You play Razputin Aquato, a young and talented mental talent who attends a summer camp for similarly powered kids. You're trained up to enter into people's minds and take care of their personal demons with a variety of psychic powers that you've got up your sleeve. Under the veneer of the camp's hearty activities, though, there's something dashed sinister going on - a war is on the way, and the minds of the Psychonauts-in-training are at stake. It's up to you to fight your way through the mindscapes of sundry damaged mental cases to rescue the girl, save the world and reconcile yourself with your own dark secrets.

As with We Love Katamari, that's making it sound a heck of a lot more overlookable than it actually is. The game levels are beyond bizarre, from a neon-and-black-velvet bullfighting painting to a suburban conspiracy played out on a stage that looks like Escher and Moebius got drunk one night, wound up in bed together and had a freakishly deformed child. On top of that, the game mechanics are inspired, with Raz being able to generate a thought balloon which he can then grab, roll around on and use as a makeshift parachute, and an intuitive system of assigning your various psychic powers to the shoulder buttons of the controller.

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I have one level left to play, and I don't want to finish it. Oh, I want to see how the story ends, of course, because I want Raz to get the victory he deserves and the closure he needs. But I want to be able to keep playing after that. I don't want to have to put these kids back in the box.

That's a game that touches you. That's why Psychonauts is so essential. Have fun, go mad.
          The Games People Play (Part One)        

In a games climate where the topics which garner the most column inches are mainly concerned with what new one-on-one beat-'em-ups are available for Xbox 360, or how realistic the driving physics are in Burnout 3, it's a source of unalloyed joy to realise that February sees the release of not one (not one!), not two (not two!), but three (THREE!) games whose primary motivation is inventiveness rather than a high framerate - Psychonauts, Shadow of the Colossus (the sequel to the quite beautifully delicate ICO) and frankly mental rollaround We Love Katamari.

This latter one might take a little explaining. You play a bloke with a head shaped like a lozenge who has to roll a ball around to pick stuff up and make a bigger ball. Actually, that wasn't so difficult after all. It doesn't get across the charm of the game, of course. It doesn't get into the intricacies of it. There's no mention there of how you can pick up your own bizarrely-shaped cousins, and play as them. I didn't cover how you can get yourself to the kinds of size where you can roll up people, who will flee screaming from your advancing mass as you bear down on them with a stare of implacable determination, and yet it's all somehow fine, because the katamari is such a lovely thing that there's no way that they don't want to be a part of its joyous mass, at least in secret. I haven't dealt with the exceptionally intuitive control system, where both analogue sticks of the PS2 controller are used in conjunction, each controlling the force with which you're pushing on one side of the ball. Obviously, I haven't even touched on the variety of lunatic J-Pop tracks which populate the soundtrack, including a version of the main theme tune performed solely through sampled animal noises. Nor have I mentioned that the point of the game is to populate the sky with your planetised katamari, in order to be able (eventually) to roll the solar system up and eventually swallow the sun.

In short, and as you have probably already established from the above synopsis, it's a pretty special game (special here meaning both "worth looking out for as it's a breath of fresh air in video games, with nary a BFG to be seen" and "appears to have been dropped on its head"). It does take a little getting used to, particularly when you realise that you don't "die" as such, but rather have any katamari which fails to make the grade turned into stardust and get invited to do the level over again - the sense of urgency which would usually come from the impending sudden end of your gaming session instead coming from the time limits imposed.

I would be incredibly surprised if I'd actually managed to get across the ridiculous amounts of fun there are to be had in the playing of this game. If you've ever trusted me, though, trust me on this one. We love We Love Katamari. So will you.

          Asus Luncurkan Notebook Gaming Berbasis Nvidia Pascal        
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The guy is a creative genius.  These are a bit old, but here are both of the TED talks he has given.

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Trip Hawkins, who founded gaming pioneer Electronic Arts and has spent the past 30 years exploring game development, announced today that his latest startup has received $6.5 million in Series A funding to develop new kinds of games aimed at helping kids develop social and emotional skills. Those are life skills [...]
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Corsair has launched two new 8GB DDR3 modules that will be a part of its Value Select and Vengeance series.

The Value Select 8GB DDR3 module will work at 1333MHz with 9-9-9-24 latencies at 1.5V, while the 8GB Vengeance one will be a bit faster at 1600MHz with 10-10-10-27 latencies at the same 1.5V. Both modules are backed by a lifetime warranty. Giovanni Sena, Director of Memory Products at Corsair noted that these 8GB modules will allow system integrators as well as gaming enthusiasts to easily break the 16GB barrier.

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          CES LIVE: Sony Announces PlayStation Streaming Gaming Service, Cloud-Based TV Service        
Sony CEO Kazuo "Kaz" Hirai said the consumer electronics pioneer is committed to delivering new products and services that offer the same"wow" factor of its PlayStation 4 game console. "Sometimes atSony, we zigzag our way to great innovations. And sometimes we fail," Hirai said in his keynote address at the Consumer [...]
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          Fast Car Racing Rivals Android Game Review [2017]        

Given the high use of smartphones, gaming has become handy and quite a famous hobby for most of the people. People play games while they are waiting for their station in the local train or while having some free time at work or school. Every day, more than 25,000 people access Google Play Store to […]

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The interactive gaming tool engages potential customers to try out new products virtually.
          Envisioning The Future Of Sports Gaming        
Video prototypes what the future of sports gaming will look like for console enthusiasts.
          Microsoft Turns Entire Walls Into TV Screens        
IllumiRoom is a proof-of-concept that projects images beyond your TV for a more immersive gaming experience.
          Wayback reading machine        

I love plunging into the latest books, but sometimes you can’t beat antique reads. Having a Kindle means I can shop through the ages at Project Gutenberg or Feedbooks’ public domain pages for hours and load down my imaginary shopping cart with free books from generations past. 

Most people travel the broad highway of public domain for the classics like Austen or Shakespeare, but I highly recommend going off-road for a little adventure. I’m always on the lookout for surprises, and my latest squee-gem  is THE EXPERIENCES OF LOVEDAY BROOKE, LADY DETECTIVE by Catherine Louisa Pirkis. Published in 1893, this set of short stories follows the Sherlock Holmes method of mentally working out the mysteries, and is one of the few (for its time) featuring a female detective. The stories are enjoyable and easy to follow, considering that many of the clues relate to the time period. She's a brainy badass, and I love her for it. For a brief read before bedtime, I definitely recommend it.

I’m brushing up on Robert Benchley these days, and I find him just as essential as P.G. Wodehouse or Terry Pratchett for a humor-writing education. You can score OF ALL THINGS and LOVE CONQUERS ALL for free on Amazon. The 1920s-era language may be more subtle than you’re used to for humor, but the topics are remarkably fresh. His struggles to catch the attention of a soda jerk behind the counter ring true with anyone who’s waited in line at Starbucks, and an essay discussing when letter-writing was a youthful fad will instantly make you think of today's social media, especially the fictional letter of a young lady scribbling madly while she's hauled off by a band of cutthroats.

"Not three feet away from me is the odious person before described," his fictional Clarissa says, "Now he is threatening me with renewed vigor!" Hello, Twitter.

The last book on today’s list is a bit of a cheat, since it’s by H.G. Wells, but the title alone makes it worthwhile. LITTLE WARS: A GAME FOR BOYS FROM TWELVE YEARS OF AGE TO ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY AND FOR THAT MORE INTELLIGENT SORT OF GIRL WHO LIKES BOYS’ GAMES AND BOOKS is basically a D&D guidebook for its time, covering tabletop (and larger staged) military gaming. This caught my eye because of the title, and not because it’s too long to tweet. Amid today’s ongoing discussion about girl geeks and gamers, here’s one of the masters of science fiction stating 100 years ago that not only are there girl gamers, they’re smart, too. The book has illustrations, and it’s a nice slice of history for any gamer who’s battled their friends with maps and pewter figures. So hey, Felicia Day? H.G. Wells has your back.

Next up on my wayback reading list: a selection of cheesy, weird and gripping science fiction! Set your phasers to "Whaaa?"

          Blog Post: Bioshock 2: Return To The Rapture        

Bioshock was one of those horror shooter survivor games that rocked the gaming companies forever. Bioshock 2 is nothing short of that. In fact, it's even more. The ending to Bioshock landed us in a place we haven't seen for these 7 hours of gameplay: Earth's Land. Now, even in Bioshock 2, we return to the hell hole we have come to know and hate: Rapture. I was reliefed to see we are still in this watery hell, but was shocked to see our helmet appearing in the corner of our view. Protecting our little sister Elenor, and then being told to commit suicide begin the horror you will outcome in Bioshock 2. With a scene repeating the begining of CoD 4: Modern Warfare, We begin our seige into the world of Rapture with what we have come to realize is filled with more and more death. All of the events in Bioshock have not summed up to those in Bioshock 2. I was loving Bioshock 2's events even after I finished the game on every difficulty and played it's multiplayer until the maximum level cap....twice. Even the RPG-like ending was filled with pure awesomeness. Due to events in the game, you can either save or kill off Proffessor Lamb. However, these are spoilers in a way, so their content will be hidden. As in the first game, the ammount of little sisters you save or harvest effect the ending cutscenes greatly. I know I don't make much sence..but i got you to think about one of the best games I baught during this time: Bioshock 2.

Replay Value: Very Very Very High

          Sponsored Post: Apple, Domino Data Lab, Etleap, Aerospike, Clubhouse, Stream, Scalyr, VividCortex, MemSQL, InMemory.Net, Zohocorp        

Who's Hiring? 

  • Apple is looking for passionate VoIP engineer with a strong technical background to transform our Voice platform to SIP. It will be an amazing journey with highly skilled, fast paced, and exciting team members. Lead and implement the engineering of Voice technologies in Apple’s Contact Center environment. The Contact Center Voice team provides the real time communication platform for customers’ interaction with Apple’s support and retail organizations. You will lead the global Voice, SIP, and network cross-functional engineers to develop world class customer experience. More details are available here.

  • Advertise your job here! 

Fun and Informative Events

  • Advertise your event here!

Cool Products and Services

  • Enterprise-Grade Database Architecture. The speed and enormous scale of today’s real-time, mission critical applications has exposed gaps in legacy database technologies. Read Building Enterprise-Grade Database Architecture for Mission-Critical, Real-Time Applications to learn: Challenges of supporting digital business applications or Systems of Engagement; Shortcomings of conventional databases; The emergence of enterprise-grade NoSQL databases; Use cases in financial services, AdTech, e-Commerce, online gaming & betting, payments & fraud, and telco; How Aerospike’s NoSQL database solution provides predictable performance, high availability and low total cost of ownership (TCO)

  • What engineering and IT leaders need to know about data science. As data science becomes more mature within an organization, you may be pulled into leading, enabling, and collaborating with data science teams. While there are similarities between data science and software engineering, well intentioned engineering leaders may make assumptions about data science that lead to avoidable conflict and unproductive workflows. Read the full guide to data science for Engineering and IT leaders.

  • Etleap provides a SaaS ETL tool that makes it easy to create and operate a Redshift data warehouse at a small fraction of the typical time and cost. It combines the ability to do deep transformations on large data sets with self-service usability, and no coding is required. Sign up for a 30-day free trial.

  • InMemory.Net provides a Dot Net native in memory database for analysing large amounts of data. It runs natively on .Net, and provides a native .Net, COM & ODBC apis for integration. It also has an easy to use language for importing data, and supports standard SQL for querying data. http://InMemory.Net

  • www.site24x7.com : Monitor End User Experience from a global monitoring network. 

  • Working on a software product? Clubhouse is a project management tool that helps software teams plan, build, and deploy their products with ease. Try it free today or learn why thousands of teams use Clubhouse as a Trello alternative or JIRA alternative.

  • Build, scale and personalize your news feeds and activity streams with getstream.io. Try the API now in this 5 minute interactive tutorial. Stream is free up to 3 million feed updates so it's easy to get started. Client libraries are available for Node, Ruby, Python, PHP, Go, Java and .NET. Stream is currently also hiring Devops and Python/Go developers in Amsterdam. More than 400 companies rely on Stream for their production feed infrastructure, this includes apps with 30 million users. With your help we'd like to ad a few zeros to that number. Check out the job opening on AngelList.

  • Scalyr is a lightning-fast log management and operational data platform.  It's a tool (actually, multiple tools) that your entire team will love.  Get visibility into your production issues without juggling multiple tabs and different services -- all of your logs, server metrics and alerts are in your browser and at your fingertips. .  Loved and used by teams at Codecademy, ReturnPath, Grab, and InsideSales. Learn more today or see why Scalyr is a great alternative to Splunk.

  • VividCortex is a SaaS database monitoring product that provides the best way for organizations to improve their database performance, efficiency, and uptime. Currently supporting MySQL, PostgreSQL, Redis, MongoDB, and Amazon Aurora database types, it's a secure, cloud-hosted platform that eliminates businesses' most critical visibility gap. VividCortex uses patented algorithms to analyze and surface relevant insights, so users can proactively fix future performance problems before they impact customers.

  • MemSQL provides a distributed in-memory database for high value data. It's designed to handle extreme data ingest and store the data for real-time, streaming and historical analysis using SQL. MemSQL also cost effectively supports both application and ad-hoc queries concurrently across all data. Start a free 30 day trial here: http://www.memsql.com/

  • Advertise your product or service here!

If you are interested in a sponsored post for an event, job, or product, please contact us for more information.

          Sponsored Post: Apple, Domino Data Lab, Etleap, Aerospike, Loupe, Clubhouse, Stream, Scalyr, VividCortex, MemSQL, InMemory.Net, Zohocorp        

Who's Hiring? 

  • Apple is looking for passionate VoIP engineer with a strong technical background to transform our Voice platform to SIP. It will be an amazing journey with highly skilled, fast paced, and exciting team members. Lead and implement the engineering of Voice technologies in Apple’s Contact Center environment. The Contact Center Voice team provides the real time communication platform for customers’ interaction with Apple’s support and retail organizations. You will lead the global Voice, SIP, and network cross-functional engineers to develop world class customer experience. More details are available here.

  • Advertise your job here! 

Fun and Informative Events

  • Advertise your event here!

Cool Products and Services

  • Enterprise-Grade Database Architecture. The speed and enormous scale of today’s real-time, mission critical applications has exposed gaps in legacy database technologies. Read Building Enterprise-Grade Database Architecture for Mission-Critical, Real-Time Applications to learn: Challenges of supporting digital business applications or Systems of Engagement; Shortcomings of conventional databases; The emergence of enterprise-grade NoSQL databases; Use cases in financial services, AdTech, e-Commerce, online gaming & betting, payments & fraud, and telco; How Aerospike’s NoSQL database solution provides predictable performance, high availability and low total cost of ownership (TCO)

  • What engineering and IT leaders need to know about data science. As data science becomes more mature within an organization, you may be pulled into leading, enabling, and collaborating with data science teams. While there are similarities between data science and software engineering, well intentioned engineering leaders may make assumptions about data science that lead to avoidable conflict and unproductive workflows. Read the full guide to data science for Engineering and IT leaders.

  • A note for .NET developers: You know the pain of troubleshooting errors with limited time, limited information, and limited tools. Log management, exception tracking, and monitoring solutions can help, but many of them treat the .NET platform as an afterthought. You should learn about Loupe...Loupe is a .NET logging and monitoring solution made for the .NET platform from day one. It helps you find and fix problems fast by tracking performance metrics, capturing errors in your .NET software, identifying which errors are causing the greatest impact, and pinpointing root causes. Learn more and try it free today.

  • Etleap provides a SaaS ETL tool that makes it easy to create and operate a Redshift data warehouse at a small fraction of the typical time and cost. It combines the ability to do deep transformations on large data sets with self-service usability, and no coding is required. Sign up for a 30-day free trial.

  • InMemory.Net provides a Dot Net native in memory database for analysing large amounts of data. It runs natively on .Net, and provides a native .Net, COM & ODBC apis for integration. It also has an easy to use language for importing data, and supports standard SQL for querying data. http://InMemory.Net

  • www.site24x7.com : Monitor End User Experience from a global monitoring network. 

  • Working on a software product? Clubhouse is a project management tool that helps software teams plan, build, and deploy their products with ease. Try it free today or learn why thousands of teams use Clubhouse as a Trello alternative or JIRA alternative.

  • Build, scale and personalize your news feeds and activity streams with getstream.io. Try the API now in this 5 minute interactive tutorial. Stream is free up to 3 million feed updates so it's easy to get started. Client libraries are available for Node, Ruby, Python, PHP, Go, Java and .NET. Stream is currently also hiring Devops and Python/Go developers in Amsterdam. More than 400 companies rely on Stream for their production feed infrastructure, this includes apps with 30 million users. With your help we'd like to ad a few zeros to that number. Check out the job opening on AngelList.

  • Scalyr is a lightning-fast log management and operational data platform.  It's a tool (actually, multiple tools) that your entire team will love.  Get visibility into your production issues without juggling multiple tabs and different services -- all of your logs, server metrics and alerts are in your browser and at your fingertips. .  Loved and used by teams at Codecademy, ReturnPath, Grab, and InsideSales. Learn more today or see why Scalyr is a great alternative to Splunk.

  • VividCortex is a SaaS database monitoring product that provides the best way for organizations to improve their database performance, efficiency, and uptime. Currently supporting MySQL, PostgreSQL, Redis, MongoDB, and Amazon Aurora database types, it's a secure, cloud-hosted platform that eliminates businesses' most critical visibility gap. VividCortex uses patented algorithms to analyze and surface relevant insights, so users can proactively fix future performance problems before they impact customers.

  • MemSQL provides a distributed in-memory database for high value data. It's designed to handle extreme data ingest and store the data for real-time, streaming and historical analysis using SQL. MemSQL also cost effectively supports both application and ad-hoc queries concurrently across all data. Start a free 30 day trial here: http://www.memsql.com/

  • Advertise your product or service here!

If you are interested in a sponsored post for an event, job, or product, please contact us for more information.

The Solution to Your Operational Diagnostics Woes

Scalyr gives you instant visibility of your production systems, helping you turn chaotic logs and system metrics into actionable data at interactive speeds. Don't be limited by the slow and narrow capabilities of traditional log monitoring tools. View and analyze all your logs and system metrics from multiple sources in one place. Get enterprise-grade functionality with sane pricing and insane performance. Learn more today

VividCortex Gives You Database Superpowers 

Database monitoring is hard, but VividCortex makes it easy. Modern apps run complex queries at large scales across distributed, diverse types of databases (e.g. document, relational, key-value). The “data tier” that these become is tremendously difficult to observe and measure as a whole. The result? Nobody knows exactly what’s happening across all those servers.

VividCortex lets you handle this complexity like a superhero. With VividCortex, you're able to inspect all databases and their workloads together from a bird's eye view, spotting problems and zooming down to individual queries and 1-second-resolution metrics in just two mouse clicks. With VividCortex, you gain a superset of system-monitoring tools that use only global metrics (such as status counters), offering deep, multi-dimensional slice-and-dice visibility into queries, I/O, and CPU, plus other key measurements of your system's work. VividCortex is smart, opinionated, and understands databases deeply, too: it knows about queries, EXPLAIN plans, SQL bugs, typical query performance, and more. It empowers you to find and solve problems that you can't even see with other types of monitoring systems, because they don’t measure what matters to the database.

Best of all, VividCortex isn’t just a DBA tool. Unlike traditional monitoring tools, VividCortex eliminates the walls between development and production -- anybody can benefit from VividCortex and be a superhero. With powerful tools like time-over-time comparison, developers gain immediate production visibility into databases with no need for access to the production servers. Our customers vouch for it: Problems are solved faster and they're solved before they ever reach production. As a bonus, DBAs no longer become the bottleneck for things like code reviews and troubleshooting in the database. 

Make your entire team into database superheros: deploy VividCortex today. It only takes a moment, and you’re guaranteed to immediately learn something you didn’t already know about your databases and their workload. 

If you are interested in a sponsored post for an event, job, or product, please contact us for more information.

          Request for help: issue with WordPress/Buddypress Avatars after update WordPress        

Replies: 7

Dear Buddypress team,

Hopefully you can help me out with the following problem:

Since the update to the latest version of WordPress (4.8.1), I have an issue with avatar display between Buddypress and WordPress. I did not have this issue before.

Users can upload their avatars via the Buddypress profile page on my website:


Front page –> Community –> Profile (visible once you log in) –> Change Profile Photo.

Now the situation is as follows:

– The avatars that are uploaded via the Buddypress profile page are still visible on all the Buddypress pages and widgets.

– But in the past these uploaded avatars where also visible on OTHER WordPress pages on my website, including in widgets from other plugin makers: VG community widget on the homepage in the right sidebar (bbPress plugin) and VG comment widget on the homepage in the right sidebar (Themezee plugin).

– Now the avatars that you upload on the Buddypress profile page is not visible anymore in these other widgets/plugins/wordpress pages.

After some research this is my conclusion for now:

It seems this is a bug from BuddyPress plugin. The profile images can’t be synchronized with WordPress User anymore. Users already added their profile images via the Buddypress profile page, but in WordPress the user avatars are blank.

(bbPress plugin) and (Themezee plugin) get the avatar from WordPress user, so in this case, they can’t get any images.

I need this issue to be fixed. But to get it fixed and before we will make any changes, I need to know what exactly the problem is.

In attempt to resolve the issue I regenerated all images in the website using the wp-cli command ‘wp media regenerate’.

The regeneration of all images has been completed but the issue persists.

I also verified that none of my plugins needs updating.

It could be a compatibility issue of the Buddypress plugin with WordPress 4.8.1. I can’t think of another reason.

Do you please have a solution? I’m hesitant to re-install Buddypress, because this caused problems in the past with my BBpress login widget (which I prefer to use). I also don’t think re-installing or re-activating is the issue.

Best regards,

VG Team


          Top Ten Christmas Electronics for 2014        

Deals on electronics are huge this time of year, and cellphones are at the top of the list for gifting, or for anyone looking to save on a replacement for theirs.

Let's face it, we’re always looking to upgrade and the new iPhone 6 will surely be on most people’s Christmas wish list this year, as well as other smartphones releasing in the weeks leading up to the Holidays.

Second on the list is T.V. sets. Though televisions are costly, with most really good ones priced at several thousands, the bargain deals available around Christmas in 2014 are just too hard to resist. Some of the best brands in televisions offer consumers great discounts at the end of the year.

The first of these brands is Toshiba. Their 55L7400U 55” Smart LED from the L7400 Series is certainly a 'huge’ treat for anyone. Users can customize the setup with a multi-screen and it has a super-fast refresh rate. What’s more, you get free tech support for a month, post-purchase.

Samsung is another excellent brand for televisions, particularly their H series. The models with the best discounts for Christmas, 2014, are the H8000, H7150, H6400, H6350 and the H5500. However, the HU9000 is expected to be a huge hit on sale this year, so keep an eye out for that one.


2013 was a good year for laptop deals, and this year will be no different, if not better. Apple did particularly well in sales last year; this year, the MacBook Air is the one you want to look for on sale.

It boasts a 4GB RAM, 128GB flash storage, 12-hour battery life and an impressive fourth generation processor. The Apple MacBook Pro will also be on sale, so if you’re looking to buy this model, you won’t find a better deal other than this time of the year. Bear in mind there will be a limited stock for this one and the rush will be hard to beat, but totally worth the savings.


Apart from laptops, a lot of people are going in for Tablets. The Holiday deals in 2014 will see a jump in the number of tablet users, the best of which seems to be the Apple iPad Air. For a discounted price, it is truly worth every penny with several upgraded features, super-fast speed and it is quite durable.

Not far behind is the latest Google Nexus. However, if you’re for a tablet for the purpose of gaming, the Nvidia Shield Tablet is perfect for you.

Gaming consoles are also big sellers for gifts among youngsters for Christmas. They tend to sell out pretty quick since most parents are looking for the best deals when Christmas shopping for their kids.

Playstation 4, currently the bestselling console on the market, is said to be THE deal to watch out for this festive season. Some of the reasons why it is so popular among youngsters are because it has 500GB memory, the SHAREfactory app and players can show off their noteworthy gaming moments with fellow gamers online in real time.

No Christmas shopping list is complete without toys. Whether for your own kids, nephews or nieces, there is always someone to gift toys to on Christmas. This year, it is every little girl’s dream to have her very own Frozen Snow Glow Elsa Singing Doll.

Though that is the one you need to rush for, other Frozen toys on sale will also sell out very quickly, so make sure you beat the rush or you’ll be paying a lot more for the same items when all the deals have been grabbed.

          Ð­ÐºÑÐ¿ÐµÑ€Ñ‚Ñ‹ рассказали, почему чешским игорным операторам тяжело работать в стране        
Тереза Цейпова, управляющий правовым и методологическим подразделением Департамента муниципального наблюдения за азартными играми Министерства финансов Чехии, поведала изданию iGaming Business, с какими неувязками сталкиваются вероятные лицензиаты игорного рынка. Специалисты сообщили, почему игровым операторам тяжко развивать свою деятельность в Чехии. Исходя из её слов, в первую очередь – это продолжительность получения лицензии. Во вторую – проверки […]
          Pentakill: how a metal band that doesn’t exist made it to No 1        
The band from the game League of Legends has stormed the charts and bagged cameos from the likes of Tommy Lee – despite existing only in the imaginations of their creators

How has a band that doesn’t physically exist, with zero promotion from the music industry, breach the Billboard Top 40 and reach No 1 in the iTunes metal chart?

Conceived by California-based gaming gurus Riot Games in 2014, Pentakill exist purely in the imaginations of their creators – and the 100 million global fans of League of Legends, the multiplayer online battle arena game that spawned the band’s members, Karthus the Deathsinger, Yorick, Sona, Olaf and lead guitarist Mordekaiser the Master of Metal.

Continue reading...
          The Best Gaming Headset for Under $50        
HyperX released the HyperX Cloud Stinger gaming headset. Designed to make even the most casual gamer feel like a pro, the HyperX Cloud Stinger features HyperX signature memory foam and 50mm directional drivers to deliver a comfortable, high-quality sound experience at an affordable price. HyperX Cloud Stinger weighs just 275 grams and is built with […]
          New Gaming Headphones from Logitech        
Logitech introduced two new gaming headphones, the Logitech G933 Artemis Spectrum Wireless Gaming Headset and the Logitech G633 Artemis Spectrum Gaming Headset. Featuring patent pending Pro-G audio drivers, the new headphones were designed by Logitech’s sound engineering team, with more than 25 years in audio development. The result is gaming headphones that deliver a superior […]
          today's leftovers        
  • Linux desktop market share hit an all time high in July, according to one measure [Ed: According to a Microsoft-connected firm]

    In June of 2016, Linux market share on the desktop according to their statistics hit over 2% for the first time. People were sceptical, but it seems it has mostly stayed above that 2% mark. In May of this year it did dip down to 1.99%, but as of July it recorded the highest yet at 2.53%.

  • Razor- the next generation bare-metal provisioning software

    When you have a machine with just BIOS (basic input-output system) on it, one way to load an Operating system is to use a bootable thumb drive, similar to the way you work with a laptop. However, installing OS on remote systems in data centers that are present in remote locations might not be feasible. Installing an operating system over the network directly to the computer’s hardware is known as bare metal provisioning.

    A network boot screen in a network is similar to the one displayed below that shows up only when both the new gods and old gods are content to give us something known as Preboot Execution Environment (PXE).

  • Automotive Grade Linux New UCB 4.0 & New Member Karamba

    There were two announcements about Automotive Grade Linux (AGL). Karamba Security, a provider of cybersecurity solutions for connected and autonomous vehicles, today announced that it has joined the Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) Project and The Linux Foundation to help develop its cybersecurity best practices. AGL released the latest version of the AGL infotainment platform, Unified Code Base (UCB) 4.0, which includes support for SmartDeviceLink integration, Speech Recognition APIs, secure Over-the-Air Updates (SOTA) and improvements to the App Framework and Software Development Kit (SDK).

  • Cylon – Arch Linux Distribution Maintenance Program/Tool

    Cylon is a menu driven small shall script which basically gives you an idea to manage/maintain the Arch Linux and it’s derivatives by offering fourteen categories with variety of applications (hassle free application installation), which helps you to compete your day to day operation very smoothly.

    The script provides updates, maintenance, backups and system checks utilities for an Arch based Linux distribution like Manjaro, Antergos, Chakra, etc.,.

  • Red Hydrogen phone gets a video preview: It’s big—very big

    Many were confused earlier in July when Red, makers of ultra high-end 4K and 8K cameras for Hollywood, announced it was making an Android smartphone.

    Dubbed Red Hydrogen, the phone's substantial $1,595 price tag was accompanied by all manner of lofty promises about shattering "the mould of conventional thinking" and "nanotechnology." The phone supposedly had a "holographic" display, too.

          today's leftovers        
  • Linux Journal August 2017
  • Tacoma, the sci-fi narrative adventure has released with day-1 Linux support, some thoughts

    Tacoma [GOG, Steam, Official Site], the sci-fi narrative adventure from the developer of Gone Home has officially launched. It includes day-1 Linux support so I took a look.

  • Super NES Classic pre-orders start later this month

    Nintendo's announcement follows a retail fiasco last week in which Walmart mistakenly offered Super NES Classic systems for pre-order then was forced to cancel those pre-orders. "We know this is incredibly disappointing to those customers and we apologize for the mistake," the retailer said in a statement. The mistaken listing sold out within minutes late on a Friday night.

  • The State Of KDE Plasma For Summer 2017

    Last week was KDE's annual Akademy conference where developers and enthusiasts came together to recap the past year of KDE software development as well as some of what's ahead.

    Longtime KDE developer Sebastian Kügler has provided a recap of the KDE Plasma activities from Akademy 2017. Those interested in the state of Plasma can read Sebastian's post at dot.kde.org. Below are some of the highlights.

  • OSMC's July update is here

    We hope you're having a great Summer break. OSMC's July update is ready with a few improvements to keep your device running in tip-top shape. The Vero 4K also sees a large number of improvements, particularly with regards to HDR and 10-bit content. We would like to thank everyone who tested these improvements in our forums and ensured they got included in OSMC quickly.

  • Samsung’s 88-inch Ultra-Large QLED TV, the Q9, launched in North America and Korea
  • DragonFly 4.8.1 released

    DragonFly version 4.8.1 is a bugfix release for 4.8, and also includes improved Intel video support and support for the virtio_scsi driver.

          Halsey: ‘I used to be a social queen – now I’m terrified of people’        

From homelessness to troubled relationships, New Jersey pop force Halsey hasn’t had a smooth ride to the top of the charts. Ahead of her Glastonbury debut, she explains how she channeled her troubles into a strange, striking new record

Describing Halsey’s second record as a concept album would be to understate its preposterousness. Its title, Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, is her own concept of a purgatory-like realm whose back story is so deeply finessed that it includes individually named carp. There’s some Greek mythology thrown in along the way, too. But the imagery around the album’s release, and its spoken-word interludes, also pay homage to Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet.

“I went balls-to-the-wall with this one,” is Halsey’s own way of recognising what is also a rather good pop record.“When people ask me about it I say: ‘Yeah, I went through this really terrible breakup and I naturally did what any normal 22-year-old girl would do – I called Baz Luhrmann.” Luhrmann loved the project so much that he got involved with the album’s promotion and expressed a desire to work with Halsey in the future. It has also been wholly embraced by the New Jersey-born singer’s fans, whose symbiotic relationship with the singer makes the hysteria surrounding peak-era Gaga seem nonchalant in comparison. Those fans have clearly responded well to the frankness with which Halsey talks about her sexuality, being bipolar and the product of an interracial marriage, and the struggles she faced as a teen. But they seem most seduced by the escapist worlds in which she situates her music. As she talks about her passion for video gaming, the Easter eggs and intricate backstories woven through her songs begin to make more sense, although none of this high-concept japery will come as any surprise to those who have been following her expeditious rise to the fringes of pop’s A-list. In 2014, her debut EP Room 93 centred on the broad theme of being stuck in a hotel room. The following year her album Badlands, including breakthrough hit New Americana, dwelled on mental isolation in a city based loosely on Las Vegas.

Continue reading...
          Using OpenVPN connection to play games while abroad using Stream's In-Home Streaming        


Steam has a great (albeit, a little glitchy) feature called In-Home Streaming that allows you to stream games from running Steam clients on your local network, effectively turning your gaming PC into a little render farm and allowing you to play from low-power devices like a laptop.

With the help of OpenVPN, it's possible to enable playback of games from your home PC seamlessly while away from your home network too, provided you have a decent Internet connection. This tutorial will demonstrate how to setup an OpenVPN server on Fedora 23 with a bridged network connection in let you VPN into your home network and stream Steam games from PCs on your LAN.

To make this work, we need to use OpenVPN in bridged mode with a tap network device. Bridging the ethernet and tap interfaces will allow VPN clients to receive an IP address on the LAN's subnet.

The default (and simpler) tun devices are not bridged, and function on a separate subnet - something which will break in-home streaming. We need to be on the same LAN so that the UDP broadcast packets sent by Steam for auto-discovery will be received by the VPN clients.

Creating a network bridge

Let's start by setting up the network bridge with NetworkManager and enslaving the ethernet interface. Check the name of your active network interface by running nmcli d, and replace the value ofETH_IFACE with that name below:

nmcli con add type bridge ifname br0
nmcli c modify bridge-br0 bridge.stp no
nmcli con add type bridge-slave ifname $ETH_IFACE master bridge-br0
nmcli c up "bridge-slave-${ETH_IFACE}"
nmcli c up bridge-br0

Installing the OpenVPN server

Next, in order to run an OpenVPN server, one needs to set up a certificate authority (CA) signs client certificates and authorizes them for login. In our case, we'll be using password authentication (for convenience) -- but OpenVPN still wants a CA setup and the server's certificate signed. Let's set up the CA for the OpenVPN server:

dnf install easy-rsa
cp -a /usr/share/easy-rsa/3 /root/openvpn-bridged-rsa
cd /root/openvpn-bridged-rsa
./easyrsa init-pki
./easyrsa build-ca
# Enter the CA password, then accept the defaults

Now we need to create and sign the certificate for the server (set the value of SERVER_ALIAS to an alias of your choice):

./easyrsa gen-dh
./easyrsa gen-req $SERVER_ALIAS nopass
./easyrsa sign-req server $SERVER_ALIAS
# Enter 'yes', then CA password

Finally, we copy the keys and certificates to a dedicated folder for OpenVPN:

mkdir /etc/openvpn/keys
chmod 700 /etc/openvpn/keys
cp pki/ca.crt pki/dh.pem "pki/issued/${SERVER_ALIAS}.crt" "pki/private/${SERVER_ALIAS}.key" /etc/openvpn/keys

We are now ready to configure OpenVPN. Set the variables based on your LAN's configuration (see ifconfig $ETH_IFACE output if unsure):


dnf install openvpn
firewall-cmd --permanent --add-service openvpn
firewall-cmd --reload

cat << EOF > /etc/openvpn/bridged.conf
port 1194
dev tap0
ca /etc/openvpn/keys/ca.crt
cert /etc/openvpn/keys/$SERVER_ALIAS.crt
key /etc/openvpn/keys/$SERVER_ALIAS.key # This file should be kept secret
dh /etc/openvpn/keys/dh.pem

# Password authentication
plugin /usr/lib64/openvpn/plugins/openvpn-plugin-auth-pam.so openvpn

# Allow multiple client connections from the same user

# Client should attempt reconnection on link failure.
keepalive 10 120

# The server doesn't need root privileges
user openvpn
group openvpn

# Logging levels & prevent repeated messages
verb 4
mute 20
log-append /var/log/openvpn.log
status /var/log/openvpn-status.log

# Set some other options
push persist-key
push persist-tun

# Brings up tap0 since NetworkManager won't do it automatically (yet?)
script-security 2
up up.sh

OpenVPN will create the tap0 interface automatically when the OpenVPN server starts. NetworkManager is able to enslave the interface to the bridge, but won't bring tap0 online. For that, we install a simple script:

cat << EOF > /etc/openvpn/up.sh

# This should be done by NetworkManager... but it can't hurt.
/sbin/brctl addif \$br \$dev

# NetworkManager appears to be capable of enslaving tap0 to the bridge automatically, but won't bring up the interface.
/sbin/ifconfig \$dev promisc up
chmod +x /etc/openvpn/up.sh

Next, we need to create the PAM authentication configuration file for the OpenVPN password plugin:

cat << EOF > /etc/pam.d/openvpn
auth       substack     system-auth
auth       include      postlogin
auth       requisite    pam_succeed_if.so user ingroup openvpn_pw quiet
account    required     pam_nologin.so
account    include      system-auth
password   include      system-auth

This configuration file requires that the users logging in be a member of the openvpn_pw group. You can adjust the file as you see fit.

Finally open the OpenVPN port in the firewall and start the service:

firewall-cmd --permanent --add-service openvpn
firewall-cmd --reload
systemctl enable openvpn@bridged
systemctl start openvpn@bridged

Configure the firewall

By default, packets are filtered through iptables which can cause issues, as packets won't freely through between the interfaces. We can disable that behavior:

cat << EOF > /etc/modules-load.d/bridge.conf

cat << EOF > /etc/sysctl.d/bridge.conf
sysctl -p /etc/sysctl.d/bridge.conf

cat << EOF > /etc/udev/rules.d/99-bridge.rules
ACTION=="add", SUBSYSTEM=="module", KERNEL=="br_netfilter", RUN+="/sbin/sysctl -p /etc/sysctl.d/bridge.conf"

Note that I assume that net.ipv4.ip_forward=1 (having libvirt seems to configure this automatically). If not, you'll want to tune the sysctl parameter net.ipv4.ip_forward to a value of 1.

OpenVPN client configuration

That's it! Send a copy of /etc/openvpn/keys/ca.crt on the server to your clients, and you should now be able to connect to your OpenVPN server using this very simple client configuration (don't forget to replace your.server.fqdn with your server's IP address or FQDN):

dev tap
proto udp
remote your.server.fqdn 1194
resolv-retry infinite
ca ca.crt
verb 3
mute 20

Once connected, you should be able to ping any machine on the LAN as well as fire up Stream for a remote gaming session.

Appendix A: Steam on OS X

Small note, if you're running the Steam client on OS X there's a bug where the client only sends its UDP broadcast packets for in-home streaming discovery on the machine's primary (i.e. Ethernet or Wi-FI) interface. This nifty command captures those and re-broadcasts them over the VPN's interface (once again, substitute the value of BROADCAST_ADDR per your LAN settings):

sudo tshark -T fields -e data -l 'udp and dst port 27036' | script -q /dev/null xxd -r -p | socat - UDP-DATAGRAM:${BROADCAST_ADDR}:27036,broadcast

Special thanks to Larry Land for pointing that out in his blog post Run your own high-end cloud gaming service on EC2 (which is awesome and deserves a read, by the way).

The above command requires the Wireshark and socat utilities to be installed, which you can grab using homebrew:

brew install wireshark socat

and if you don't know your subnet's broadcast address, verify it with:

ifconfig tap0 | grep broadcast

Appendix B: Troubleshooting tips

Whenever possible, I like to use the most modern tooling available. This tends to bite me because documentation might not be as good or the feature set in the replacement tools might be lacking compared to the older tried and true tooling, but I try to always look forward. 'new' tooling like systemd, NetworkManager and firewalld might be rough around the edges, but I like modern feature set and consistency they bring. Most importantly, using them (instead of dropping various custom shell scripts here and there) feels a lot less like my server is held together with glue, which I like.

While trying different configurations, I discovered a few tricks or debugging commands that proved very useful to me - particularly while migrating commands from online resources intended for the older tooling to the tools mentioned above. Hopefully, you'll find them useful too!

It's always the firewall

The blame for most of the issues you will experience generally fall under firewall or routing issues.

First steps in testing should always be disabling the firewall (systemctl stop firewalld) and if that doesn't fix it, then move to checking the routes (route -n or netstat -rn).
If you've identified the firewall is to blame, re-enable it and identifying the root cause by adjusting your configuration while listening for packets to see when packets start flowing again.

Listening for packets

This will be your most used tool. If things don't go as expected, listen on each of the tap0 (client), tap0 (server) and br0 (server) interfaces and then generate some traffic to see how far the packets:


where PATTERN can select for hosts, ports or traffic type. In this case, a particular favorite of mine was icmp or udp port 27036 as this let me test by trying to ping a machine on the LAN from the VPN client, as well as see if the Steam UDP traffic was making it in/out.

Send UDP traffic

The iperf utility can be used to test if UDP traffic makes it to the OpenVPN server (run iperf -c server.ip -u -T 32 -t 3 -i 1 -p 27036) from the OpenVPN clients/LAN machines (run iperf -s -u -i 1 -p 27036).

Changing the zone of an interface

firewalld has different 'zones', each with different rules (see firewall-cmd --list-all-zones). Interfaces will have the rules from the default zone applied to them unless otherwise configured, which you can do as follows:

firewall-cmd --permanent --change-interface=IFNAME --zone=NEW_ZONE
firewall-cmd --reload

Adding raw IPTables rules to firewalld

e.g. to accept all packet forwarding on the bridge interface:

firewall-cmd --permanent --direct --add-rule ipv4 filter FORWARD 0 -i br0 -j ACCEPT

or to allow all packets flowing over br0 and tap0:

firewall-cmd --permanent --direct --add-rule ipv4 filter INPUT 0 -i tap0 -j ACCEPT
firewall-cmd --permanent --direct --add-rule ipv4 filter INPUT 0 -i br0 -j ACCEPT

Neither of these commands should be necessary given the netfilter sysctl parameters tweaked earlier, but certain OpenVPN options (such as client2client) change the packet flow and cause packets to flow over the interface, get filters, then re-injected which could cause them to suddenly be affected by the iptables rules.

Recall that firewall-cmd --reload needs to be called before the permanent rules will take effect.

Debugging IPTables

The default iptables -L listing isn't very helpful when inserting/deleting rules by their chain offset. The following command lists all rules, numerically, and displays line numbers:

iptables --line-numbers -L -n -v

You can also log dropped packets for further troubleshooting (here limited to 1/s, inserted at position 15 which was the position before the DROP rules on my machine):

iptables -I INPUT 15 -j LOG -m limit --limit 60/min --log-prefix "iptables dropped: " --log-level 4

Configuring a client VPN connection using only NetworkManager

nmcli c add type vpn ifname $VPN_IFNAME vpn-type openvpn
nmcli c modify $VPN_IFNAME
set vpn.data dev = tap
set vpn.data ca = /path/to/copy/of/ca.crt
set vpn.data connection-type = password
set vpn.data remote = your.server.fqdn
set vpn.data comp-lzo = yes
set vpn.data username = your_user
set vpn.data connection-type = password
set vpn.secrets password = your_pw

'waiting for password' when connecting using Tunnelblock

When I was attempting to test my VPN connections using Tunnelblick on OS X, I experienced an annoying bug: When trying to connect, Tunnelblick would enter a 'Waiting for password' state, but never 'get' the password nor prompt for one. Log were misleading:

Tunnelblick: Obtained VPN username and password from the Keychain

No VPN password was stored in my keychain (verified using Keychain Access.app). Fortunately, this post on the Sophos community forums correctly identified the issue as a bug after having copied/renamed a Tunnelblick connection.

Tunnelblick's preference file needs to be adjusted in order to correctly prompt for a password again:

# from https://community.sophos.com/products/xg-firewall/f/124/t/75819
defaults delete net.tunnelblick.tunnelblick "${conname}-keychainHasPrivateKey"
defaults delete net.tunnelblick.tunnelblick "${conname}-keychainHasUsername"
defaults delete net.tunnelblick.tunnelblick "${conname}-keychainHasUsernameAndPassword"

Additional reading

          An Ounce of Prevention        
Hi, Kat here!

Recently we had a couple of guildies that got their accounts hacked, items lost, characters deleted and transferred, badges spent and, weirdly enough, moved to remote locations. One guildie, in particular, was the guild leader, which also compromised the guild bank. Fortunately, while a lot of items were removed and supposedly sold, they were also things no one really used or needed, so it was nothing we couldn’t live without for the time being.

One of the more interesting quotes I heard from someone, someone who wasn’t one of the hacked, was “NOW I’m going to get an authenticator”. Why is it that people are so bothered by that tiny little electronic device that they can’t be bothered to get one and apply it BEFORE they need it? It’s like saying, “You’re pregnant? Let’s start using a condom.”

We had another guildie who DID get an authenticator and, even having waited impatiently for it to arrive, didn’t apply it for approximately 3 weeks, because the directions were complicated. I said, really? I think it took me all of 5 minutes to go to the various websites and apply this or that and bam, done. I think what finally worked, talking him into finally doing it, was reminding him that he got a pet for doing it. Same person, let me point out, who went and bought Lil XT the same day it was released. Hey, if it takes a pet for you to help secure your account, so be it.

But why? Why are people like this? People will spend money to move a character from one realm to another before they’ll spend a fraction of that on an authenticator. I’m not saying that having one is going to absolutely totally and completely secure your account from any hacking attempts whatsoever. But it is going to prevent a lot. Condoms aren’t 100% effective but the medical field is never going to say don’t bother using one.

You can tell your friends and family you’re as smart as you want. You can say you don’t go to “phishy” websites and you don’t give out your account information and you are super careful about what you do and you never DL stuff and whatever. The other guildie hacked was the IT manager for his company, who cautions and berates others for not being more careful with their online activities.

It’s true, what they say. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Would $6 have been worth the time, effort, mental peace of mind plus a really cute in game pet that these guys lost? One guildie lost his main, favorite toon – an 80th level hunter – who was transferred off his account and to another server. He also lost all the gear on his raiding healer, and we had a raid that night that we obviously had to cancel. Plus he sat on hold for the Billing department for over an hour. And he was livid. If you ask him now, yes, $6 would have been a very low price to pay to avoid all that. But if you’d have asked him last week, $6 wasn’t worth it when he was saving up for some other, temporary, in game service.

This is a cautionary tale. Will everyone be hacked? No. Does everyone care about their account? I hope so. Do you have to spend real money for account security? No, actually, you really don’t. A lot of people go for years being extremely smart, lucky, or both, and never have an issue. But sometimes luck works against you and everything falls apart in a matter of hours. Whether you choose to spend the money for another layer of protection is up to you, of course, but it really comes down to how much is the cost upfront worth the cost after the fact. Consider not only the initial outlay but also the manpower hours as well as mental tranquility.

Plus, cool in game pet!
          Dear Blizzard/Activision        
You can accomplish accountability by requiring a permanent UNCHANGEABLE alias that you can associate a SINGLE character to without requiring people to use their first and last name. Trolls would still be forced to ALWAYS use the same alias (without creating trial accounts or posting from multiple accounts, which will happen) and nobody will be required to use their first and last name. See? Problem solved. You're welcome.

Edit: Blizzard has announced a reversal of the policy. The link to the source article isn't active but more information is here: http://www.wow.com/2010/07/09/mike-morhaime-real-names-will-not-be-required-on-official-forum/

Thank you, Blizard, for listening to your customers.

Edit again: The link to the actual source post: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=25968987278&sid=1
          Hello Kitty!        

No, this post is not an endorsement for cute Japanese toys. This post is to talk about a nearly forgotten alt I've had sitting around forever, a druid. The poor neglected thing was level 36 and had no talents due to several talent shifts through various patches. I've been suffering from some pre-expansion burnout so I thought 'what the hell', found a decent feral leveling spec on the web, and started leveling her again.

Wow. Even though I keep hearing that feral leveling does not really get good until 40, I immediately started having a blast. Forget the bear (even though it has it's uses!), I'm in love with the cat. In some ways, I feel like I'm cheating even though mobs are getting a little harder to kill as I go along. She's level 45 (almost 46) now after just a few days, and I think I may have possibly found my new main character.

Unfortunately, this does not bode well for Esh. Granted the upcoming Cataclysm changes for Paladins may change that, but the upcoming changes for Druids are especially compelling. Of course, there's nothing that says I can not level more than one character to 85 as well, especially if I like them. We'll see what happens, for now I'll be clawing my way up to 80 with the druid.
          Curious about Esh and Kat?        
Are you (and who could blame you if you were)? Now you can ask us questions via Formspring. http://www.formspring.me/GamingWorlds

Exciting, huh?
          Long time no post        

Okay, so I'm a bad blogger. I thought I should at least update here. Kat and I are plugging away weekly on our podcast. Some weeks the numbers are awesome, some shows and topics fall really flat. I guess that's the way of things in the podcast realm. The majority of our listeners are World of Warcraft players. It works out since that's the game Kat and I both play more than anything else (even non-MMO games) but, if we talk about anything that's not WoW related, our listeners drop dramatically for that week. Ah well, what can you do?

A little update from my previous post on drama. I switched guilds. It was the best thing to do for myself. I felt bad leaving Kat behind but, ultimately, I am much happier where I am. So where did I end up? In a guild I've had toons in for a couple years. I don't know why I didn't think of them to begin with. Even if I left the game for months on end, they always had a friendly greeting for me when I would sign in. When I heard they were low on healers, my choice was made. It's worked out very well, so far. Their raid schedule is absolutely perfect for my "casually serious" gaming attitude, and their laid back attitudes make raiding a real treat.

Now if I could just talk Kat into joining me...

          Building a home media server with ZFS and a gaming virtual machine        

Work has kept me busy lately so it's been a while since my last post... I have been doing lots of research and collecting lots of information over the holiday break and I'm happy to say that in the coming days I will be posting a new server setup guide, this time for a server that is capable of running redundant storage (ZFS RAIDZ2), sharing home media (Plex Media Server, SMB, AFP) as well as a full Windows 7 gaming rig simultaneously!

Windows runs in a virtual machine and is assigned it's own real graphics card from the host's hardware using the using the brand-new VFIO PCI passthrough technique with the VGA quirks enabled. This does require a motherboard and CPU with support for IOMMU, more commonly known as VT-d or AMD-Vi.


Recently we had a bit of drama in my guild. When I say 'a bit' I am understating, naturally. This was not just drama, it was the 'Dumb and Dumber' of the guild drama world. I was not present when it happened, but I am floored by what happened and just how stupid it all was.

I have debated several times writing about it here. Am I just starting my own brand of drama if I do? Who will I be hurting if I do? The bottom line is, I have got to talk about this or I may explode. The situation really is just 'that bad'.

We had a newer guild member (Let's call him Member #1) who was fairly young, in high school at least. He was a little hyper, a little silly. Listening to him on vent during PvP was a hoot. Now, our guild can get a little rowdy in chat. Things definitely are not PG-13. We try to recruit players over 18 but, as anybody who recruits knows, that's not always possible. We have no way to check ID. We can't ask for a driver's license or credit card to prove someone is over 18. Players fall through the cracks. This was one such player and, yes, I did recruit him in.

He had not been with us very long but had gone along on a few raids. In spite of how hyper or silly he tended to be, he knew enough to shut up on vent and listen to the raid leader. He did what he was told and he did it well enough to be asked back. As far as I could tell, he was contributing in a mostly positive manner to the guild. At least he was involved and active.

Enter Member #2. Member #2 is a long time and well liked member of the guild. We all pretty much adore her. However, lately she has been grumpy, snappish and looking for a fight. She recently returned to work. Her new work schedule does not allow her to be around and active the way she used to be. Unfortunately for her, this means she has to miss out on a lot. I imagine it is very frustrating for her to log in when we are in the middle of a raid. When she does, she does not tend to stick around long and I'm not entirely certain I blame her.

Just a few days ago, Member #2 logged in and asked what was going on. Member #1 said she was missing the party. She asked what party and he said "the party in my pants". Now, before I go any further, let me just say that much, much worse gets said in vent and in guild chat on a daily basis. What he said was really not a big deal in the scheme of things, as far as I am concerned. Had I been there, I would have laughed it off. Instead of laughing it off, Member #2 immediately rage quits and then regrets it. She finds the guild leaders wife who lets her back in the guild. The guild leader kicks Member #1 out of the guild and then a guild message is immediately posted not to let this member back in 'do to issues'. Yes, folks, they really spelled it that way.

I found out later Member #2 ragequit because she could not figure out how to kick the guy herself. She used to be an officer but was demoted at her own request because she was not going to be around as often due to her work schedule, so there was no way for her to kick him out of the guild on her own anyway. She also admitted that had the guild leader said that to her (and he's said similar things in the past, and things that really go beyond the bounds of good taste), it wouldn't have been as big of a deal. She would not have gotten angry.

Anybody else starting to smell the double standard here? Anybody else seeing the gross overreaction here? Yeah. Me too.

One of the other officers, let's call her Kat (yes that Kat, the other half of Gaming Worlds Collide) asked what happened and, apparently got a dissatisfactory response. So dissatisfactory, in fact, she refused to cut and paste what was said to me. Apparently, she knew I would not like it. I'm still not 100% certain what was said and am not certain I want to know.

What this has managed to do is make me question our leadership. It has also made me decide that I can not willingly and knowingly recruit new players into our guild without knowing the rules will be applied evenly across the board. How can I recruit new players when I don't even know what the rules are? This, you can imagine, is bad when you are the recruitment officer.

When our guild leader can log in two nights later and ask, in guild chat, if 'penis face' (aka the raid leader) had been around, when he can make off color jokes/remarks to Member #2 and have her laugh just a few days later, it really makes me question if I honestly want to be a part of this guild any longer. (Wow, that was one hell of a run-on sentence, wasn't it?) People reading this may wonder if I'm not a drama whore myself. This is honestly the first time I've felt compelled to write about my guild in such a way. I really don't make a habit of venting publicly about things that bother me, at least not so openly. I really do try to work things out before deciding a situation is hopeless, especially when I generally like most of the people involved. This time, I don't think it's going to work and it makes me feel an odd mixture of sadness and relief.

          Cataclysm Paladin Preview        
So, this post has been sitting on the back burner since the proposed Paladin changes were announced. Better late than never, I suppose, but 'everybody else' has already posted these changes and their thoughts. Too bad, you get to listen to mine now.

New Paladin Spells:

Blinding Shield (level 81): Causes damage and blinds all nearby targets. This effect might end up only damaging those facing the paladin’s shield, in a manner similar to Eadric the Pure's ability Radiance in Trial of the Champion. The Holy tree will have a talent to increase the damage and critical strike chance, while the Protection tree will have a talent to make this spell instant cast. 2-second base cast time. Requires a shield. 
Thoughts: Eadric's ability in ToC is kind of lame. All you have to do is turn around to avoid it. I don't mind seeing another damage spell in our arsenal, especially in the holy tree. Not that I do a lot of DPS type casting in my holy spec. The usefulness of this spell remains to be seen. A blind effect could be very handy.

Healing Hands (level 83): Healing Hands is a new healing spell. The paladin radiates heals from him or herself, almost like a Healing Stream Totem. It has a short range, but a long enough duration that the paladin can cast other heals while Healing Hands remains active. 15-second cooldown. 6-second duration.
 Thoughts: We needed an AOE heal. I like that this works like healing stream totem and will allow us to cast other spells while it's active. The short range, however, means we'll have to stack up on the melee DPS (or, alternatively, on the ranged). Not a problem really, as I've been known to toss a JoW on a boss/mob and run up to melee to get mana back in truly mana intensive fights (doesn't happen often, but it does happen). I just wish I didn't have to wait until level 83 to get it.

Guardian of Ancient Kings (level 85): Summons a temporary guardian that looks like a winged creature of light armed with a sword. The visual is similar to that of the Resurrection spell used by the paladin in Warcraft III. The guardian has a different effect depending on the talent spec of the paladin. For Holy paladins, the guardian heals the most wounded ally in the area. For Protection paladins, the guardian absorbs some incoming damage. For Retribution paladins, it damages an enemy, similar to the death knight Gargoyle or the Nibelung staff. 3-minute cooldown. 30-second duration (this might vary depending on which guardian appears). 

Thoughts: This is not a pet in the traditional sense. There is no pet bar, it can not be controlled or pointed in the 'right' direction. The animation for it should be pretty cool. If you've never seen the animation for the paladins resurrection in Warcraft 3, a video of it is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSZhHLkIfkc. It still remains to be seen how well this will work in particular for retribution paladins. Will it damage the ret paladin's current target since it can't be controlled? My prediction? For a few weeks, we'll see winged angel creatures all over raids with several paladins in them. They'll either die out because their usefulness is very limited, or they'll become a common site with players demanding the graphic be nerfed because it's too distracting.

Changes to Abilities and Mechanics:

Crusader Strike will be a core ability for all paladins, gained at level 1. We think the paladin leveling experience is hurt by not having an instant attack. Retribution will be getting a new talent in its place that either modifies Crusader Strike or replaces it completely. 

The only thing I have to say about this is "it's about damn time". This should have always been a base ability for paladins and I'm very happy to see they finally realized it.

Cleanse is being rebalanced to work with the new dispel system. It will dispel defensive magic (debuffs on friendly targets), diseases, and poisons.  

Not much to say on this. Nothing is really changing for paladins in this regard.

Blessing of Might will provide the benefit of Wisdom as well. If you have two paladins in your group, one will do Kings on everyone and the other will do Might on everyone. There should be much less need, and ideally no need, to provide specific buffs to specific classes.  

This did leave a couple questions unanswered. First, what will happen to Blessing of Sanctuary? There was no mention of it. Second, will holy paladins have a talent that increases the benefit of the Wisdom part like we have now? I love my buffed Blessing of Wisdom, but I also like that Wisdom is being rolled in with Might. Buffing a raid just got easier.

Holy Shock will be a core healing spell available to all paladins. 

Joy and felicity. I just hope it becomes a USEFUL healing spell. Right now it pretty much just sucks. The only benefit to using it is it's instant cast, but the amount healed is so small, it's not really worth it. There is no mention if the damage aspect of Holy Shock will be removed. I hope not. It's one of the few damaging spells a holy paladin can use.

New Talents and Talent Changes:

We want to ease off the defensive capabilities of Retribution and Holy paladins slightly. We think the powerful paladin defenses have been one of the things holding Retribution paladins back, especially in Arenas. One change we’re considering is lowering Divine Shield’s duration by a couple of seconds. Having said that, Retribution does pretty well in Battlegrounds, and Battlegrounds will be a much bigger focus in Cataclysm since they can provide the best PvP rewards. Furthermore, the healing environment of Cataclysm is going to be different such that a paladin may not be able to fully heal themselves during the duration of Divine Shield to begin with, so this may not be a problem. 

Say goodbye to the bubble hearth ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ar03oIgRvXk ).  I don't have much to say about this since it remains to be seen what the actual effect will be.

We feel Retribution paladins need one more mechanic which involves some risk of the player pushing the wrong button, making the rotation a bit less forgiving. In addition, we want to add to this spec more PvP utility. Right now the successes of the Retribution paladin in PvP seem to be reduced to either doing decent burst damage, or just being good at staying alive. 

I don't play a ret paladin but, I have heard that the rotation isn't really a rotation. I've also heard some ret paladins I know say they wish the game play was more exciting. Sure they can do some awesome damage, and they have good survivability but that doesn't necessarily make for exciting game play.

We want to increase the duration of Sacred Shield to 30 minutes and keep the limit to one target. The intention is that the paladin can use it on their main healing target. That said, we would like to improve the Holy paladin toolbox and niche so that they don’t feel quite like the obvious choice for tank healing while perceived as a weak group healer.  

I have a whole lot to say on this subject. First things first, I am thrilled with the sacred shield duration so I don't have to keep renewing it during really intense boss fights. I am also fine with it remaining single target and see no reason for that to change. I'm not sure how I feel about being pulled out of my niche. Kat and I did a podcast about this last weekend, and the 'apparent' homogenization between healing classes. I kind of enjoy being 'a tank healer'. Would more utility be good? I suppose so, and it would be nice to not have to struggle to heal heroic Halls of Reflection. I'm just concerned the healing classes are all going to become so alike that they start to lose their flavor. Again, it all remains to be seen, but it is a concern.

We want to add to the Holy tree a nice big heal to correspond with Greater Heal. Flash of Light remains a fast heal, but will be more expensive to justify the cast speed. Holy Light will be the go-to heal that has average efficiency and throughput. Beacon of Light needs to be changed so that its benefit is letting the paladin heal two targets at once, not letting the paladin get two heals for the mana cost of one. It’s intended to save GCDs and targeting time, not mana.  

Yeah yeah, another nice big heal 'just like every other healing class (besides Druids)' are getting. Remember what I said about homogenization? It kind of annoys me that they're making Flash of Light more expensive to cast just because it's fast. Holy Light is already expensive and slow. Then again, they apparently want all of us to struggle for mana come Cataclsym in the pursuit of 'fun'.

On Beacon of Light, this quote is deeper in the thread:

Currently on live, Beacon of Light is a tool that allows paladins to target more than just the main tank. In Cataclysm if it just doubles their healing, it is going to be overpowered. We have two ways we might handle this and we’ll experiment to see which feels better. The first is that Beacon only works on some heals, such as Flash of Light or Holy Light (but not the big one). An alternative idea is that Beacon increases the mana cost of a heal cast on a beaconed target, since you’re essentially getting a double heal. Under this model, Beacon itself would cost no mana. 

Now, combining this with the commentary above: I'm not sure how other paladins use it. Is it actually possible to put beacon on your main target and get twice the heals out of it? That's kind of what I was kind of reading into it. The way I use it is to beacon a second tank, or another target taking tons of damage (like myself), and heal that other target while I heal my tank. Or I'll toss it on my tank and heal myself through damage I am receiving due to AOE or Divine Sacrifice. At any rate, I can see how it might be overpowered in the expansion. This, however, is our top Holy Paladin talent. I don't want to see it nerfed. I would rather have Beacon increase the mana cost than only work with a few spells or, as some have suggested, have a lesser healing effect. I can live with an increased mana cost.

Holy paladins will use spirit as their mana regeneration stat. 

No big shock here. This was announced as part of the Stat and System changes here: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=23425636414&sid=1. Basically, MP5 is going away, all our gear will start showing spirit instead, blah blah blah.

Protection paladins need a different rotation between single-target and multi-target tanking. Likewise, we're looking to add the necessity to use an additional cooldown in each rotation.  

This should be interesting. Right now, Paladin tanks seem to be awesome at multi-target tanking. I don't have too many problems holding threat on multi-targets unless my DPS totally outgears me. Basically on single target, one of my hammers does multi-target damage. Would be nice to have something else in the rotation for single target.

Holy Shield will no longer have charges. It will be designed to improve block chance while active, and will continue to provide a small amount of damage and threat. 

This is a nice change. I hope they give it a 30 minute duration along with Sacred Shield, though a ten or fifteen minute duration would be acceptable. Holy Shield is a staple of paladin tanking and it will be really nice to not have to keep renewing it.

Mastery Passive Talent Tree Bonuses:

To find out more about Mastery, follow this post: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=23710210871&sid=1

Critical Healing Effect
Damage Reduction
Block Amount
Melee Damage
Melee Critical Damage 
Holy Damage 

Now for what all this means for Holy:

Healing basically improves your healing by X%. All healers will have it. All healers will also have meditation which is the spirit to mana conversion.

Critical Healing Effect: When the paladin gets a crit on a heal, it will heal for more. 

Okay, so my first reaction to that is 'duh'. But what they really mean is when we crit on a heal, it will be REALLY AWESOME. Or something.

 For Protection:

Damage Reduction is pretty self explanatory. Vengeance however requires a blue quote as follows:

Vengeance: This is a mechanic to ensure that tank damage (and therefore threat) doesn't fall behind as damage-dealing classes improve their gear during the course of the expansion. All tanking specs will have Vengeance as their second talent tree passive bonus. Whenever a tank gets hit, Vengeance will give them a stacking attack power buff equal to 5% of the damage done, up to a maximum of 10% of the character's un-buffed health. For boss encounters, we expect that tanks will always have the attack power bonus equal to 10% of their health. The 5% and 10% bonuses assume 51 talent points have been put into the Protection tree. These values will be smaller at lower levels. Remember, you only get this bonus if you have spent the most talent points in the Protection tree, so you won't see Arms or Fury warriors running around with it. Vengeance will let us continue to make tank gear more or less the way we do today – there will be some damage-dealing stats, but mostly survival-oriented stats. Druids typically have more damage-dealing stats even on their tanking gear, so their Vengeance benefit may be smaller, but overall the goal is for all four tanks do about the same damage when tanking. 

I want to talk about that for a second. When I've been tanking, I've noticed that DPS gear definitely does seem to scale better as we go up. DPS can far outstrip a tank and holding threat can be difficult. I'm glad Blizzard recognizes this and is doing something about it.

Block Amount: We want to keep the kit of the paladin as a tank who blocks a lot. So by contrast, the warrior tank will sometimes get critical blocks, but the paladin will absorb more damage with normal blocks.  

I guess this is the paladin tank's 'niche'? With the way block is changing come Cataclysm to only reducing 30% damage, this will be a nice bonus for the Paladin tank. I'll be interested in seeing how it looks in the beta.

For Retribution:

All melee dps are getting melee damage. I assume it's one of those "increases damage by X%" bonuses. They're also getting either Haste or Critical damage. Again, I assume Melee Critical Damage is "increases crit chance by X%" kind of deals.

Holy Damage: Any attack that does Holy damage will have its damage increased. 

A needed bonus for ret paladins. Again, I don't play as ret at all, but I've heard complaints.

That's it for the Paladin Preview. Nothing to get overly excited about, but these are just preliminaries, nothing is set 100% in stone and we haven't even started beta testing yet. If you wish to slog through the entire thread about these changes, follow this link: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=24261189717&sid=1
          Girls Don't PvP!        
Our latest podcast is now archived here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/eshandkat/2010/04/12/girls-dont-pvp

Or you can listen to it on our sidebar.
When interacting with the people you game with, either face to face, on chat programs like vent or teamspeak, in chatrooms or on forums; a good rule of thumb to live by is don't be a dick or, d.b.a.d. We all have our own personalities, thoughts and opinions. We often have the chance to voice those opinions but, just because you can say something, it doesn't necessarily mean you should.

Recently, in World of Warcraft, we had a great example of why d.b.a.d. should always be followed. It's raid night and, on vent, a guildie gets vocal about a specific class/talent combo, one he's not fond of. It would have been fine, except the reason he got vocal about it was because he hated this class/talent combo (discipline priest to be exact) and the person he apparently felt personified what was the very worst about this particular combo was on our raid AND she was one of the main tank healers, as she is every week. To make matters worse, she is sitting there on vent while he is being very insulting. A clear case of a player being a dick in a situation that made it even more uncalled for and rude.

People often forget that there are real people sitting on the other side of the computer screen, even when we are talking to them and hearing their voices. We lose sight sometimes of the fact that sometimes the things were say are, at the very least, rude and, at the very worst, hurtful. These kinds of things make for uncomfortable and, sometimes, unwelcome gaming environments. We don't all have to be friends. We don't even have to like each other but, we should always at least try to respect each other, especially when we so very often spend time in 'close quarters' as it were.

So, the lesson here is don't be a dick. Have respect for your fellow gamers whether they are sitting across the table or across the country. You'll be doing not only your fellow gamers a huge favor but, also, yourself .
          One Priest's Take on Upcoming Cataclysm Changes        
Kat here. Hi, howzit going?

All right, after the initial giddiness has settled down (TEE HEE HEE!) I'm here to summarize the changes and help facilitate the absorption of said material.

By the way, 38 fricking pages of comments in the first few hours. Damn, there's a lot of WoW players. I'm afraid I didn't read all the comments. I didn't and you can't make me.

TL;DR Version - Change is good. Roll a priest. Oh wait. Then you're going to challenge me on lewt rolls. Ok, don't roll a priest. But revel in the awesome.

On with the nommy goodness!

New Spells & Spell Changes

Heal (level 16) is getting a revamp. Right now, and I've found myself a victim of this as well, people stop using Heal after a certain level because it's just not worth the time and effort. Currently when I can use the same amount of time casting a Heal or a Greater Heal, I'm going with Greater Heal. In Cataclysm, Heal is going to fall somewhere between Flash Heal and Greater Heal - if you want a faster heal, use Flash. If you want a bigger heal, use Greater. YAY for utility!

Mind Spike (level 81) is going to deal Shadowfrost damage and puts a debuff on the target that makes further Mind Spikes do more damage. They want this spell to "fill a niche" in Shadow DPS - it's supposed to be a "quick nuke" to use in situations where you don't have time for a full rotation or have multiple targets. Mind Spike is supposed to do about as much damage as casting Mind Flay on a target with Shadow Word: Pain. They expect you to cast a lot of these at a time.

Inner Will (level 83) is a buff you won't be able to use while using Inner Fire and v.v. It will provide a 12% movement increase and reduce the cost of instant-cast spells by 10%. I'm not sure I want to give up my Inner Fire bonus to Armor but... in theory I shouldn't get hit, right? And I can heal, right? We'll see.

Leap of Faith (level 85). This one, if it actually comes through (y'know how people talk), would be similiar to death grip. It's being called "Life Grip" as an aside. Supposedly you'll be able to "rescue" players who have pulled aggro, are being focused on in PvP or "just can't seem to get out of the fire in time". Personally, I think this isn't going to be all that when it gets released, or it'll be nerfed.

Ability/Mech Changes!

HOTs & DOTs! These are finally going to benefit from Haste and Crit! The ticks will have a shorter duration and the crit bonus is going to apply to them. Huzzah!

Shadow Word: Death. Anyone else stop using this? They're trying to revamp it so we bring it back. They want to bring it back as an "execute" - something you do when the target is at 25% health. We'll see how that goes.

Discipline FTW! They're kicking around having a second type of shield, bigger and badder than my best friend PW:S to use on you tanks and folks taking extra damage. Mmm, shield. Purr.

Divine Spirit and Prayer of Spirit are going away. Le sad. Plus, Blessing of Kings and Mark of the Wild aren't going to boost spirit either. With the changes to how spirit is going to work, they don't want those spells to vary it.

Mana... well, sounds like they're going to really look into how much mana spells are costing and how much you're making back. In an effort to make things more "challenging" and what not. Hey. It can't all be good news, right?




They want to improve Disc's "single-target healing capacity" but don't want to make shield the more attractive option to actually healing. >.> Ask me how I feel about this later because I'm just used to shielding to "stop the bleeding" as I say.

Holy PVP, Batman! They're determined to make Holy a viable PvP spec! Stay tuned.

Shadow! They want to improve Shadow for short fights. Which, frankly, right now does kind of suck. It's like, throw DOTs, start cast... oh, it's dead. >.< So, goodness, yes? Yes!

Misery isn't going to add to Hit!? Ugh, and just when I was getting complacent with my hit cap!

Speaking of Shadow tree, it's going to see a LOT of changes, since the sweeping changes they're implementing with the expansion affects a lot of the Shadow Tree's damage-boosting abilities. They're introducing something else, Shadow Orbs. I'll type on that V. (down there)

Healing State! Holy is going to get some loving by putting the healer into a "healing state" when they cast a certain combination of spells. Sounds kinda cool, akshully!

Passive Tree Talent Bonuses

In a nutshell, you're going to get innate bonuses for putting talents into trees that will be automatically granted. Essentially, they don't want players to HAVE to choose a talent because it gives you X bonus to a skill or spell. Instead when you put a point into a talent, you're going get bonuses to things without having to choose those cookie-cutter talents for them.

Disc & Holy are going to get bonuses to healing and mediation (mana regeneration). Shadow is going to get bonuses in spell damage and spell crit.

Now, the new things are:

Disc will get bonuses to Absorption - this will improve the strength of PW:S, Divine Aegis and PW:Barrier.

Holy will get Radiance - direct heals add a small HOT to the target.

Shadow will get Shadow Orbs. This is what the post says: "Casting spells grants a chance for Shadow Orbs to be created that fly around you and increase your shadow damage." Very cool. Oh, and "this will help lower-level characters feel more like Shadow priests before they obtain Shadowform". >.> Ok, well, as someone who thinks Troll Druids should have different forms from Cow Druids... I can't complain. But... rilly? Ok. Sure.

That's about it, boys and girls. Remember, don't make your priests because I hate fighting on phat lewts. =) J/K!
          Noblegarden - WoW Podcast        
This week's episode is now on the website (Or you can listen to it in the sidebar). The direct link is here. We talk about the Noblegarden event in World of Warcraft, as well as discuss a few other games that celebrate real world holidays in their games.
          When is gaming bad?        
Disclaimer: I am no psychologist. This post is based purely on my own observations and experiences with online gaming, in particular World of Warcraft.

Games like World of Warcraft can provide many positive experiences for players. Along side the obvious social aspects of these kinds of games, gaming can provide a sense of accomplishment. When your guild finally downs that big boss, you complete a quest that had been giving you problems or you finally reach the highest level in the game it feels good. So when does this become a problem?

If the sense of accomplishment and achievement you are receiving from a game starts to outstrip any other sense of accomplishment, then it might be time to review your gaming habits. Is gaming your only source of socialization or do you pass up other invitations just to play? Has raiding become more important than sex or are you neglecting your job or other important relationships? Maybe it's time to take a few steps back and see what you can change.

From a personal standpoint, I know there have been times when I have played 'too much'. How much is too much will vary from person to person but, for me, it was 'too much' when I started looking more forward to logging in to World of Warcraft or Eve Online than going out and doing things with my husband or my friends. There were times, I am ashamed to admit, I turned down or even cancelled invitations so I could play. Fortunately, I recognized the problem and addressed the issues. I still play World of Warcraft (after a few extended breaks) but not the detriment of my day to day life.

I've seen MMOs destroy relationships. I've known people who have lost their jobs because they were more focused on gaming than on what they should be doing. While psychologists still seem to be debating on whether or not video game addiction should be included as a disorder (linked to an outside article), I think most of us can recognize signs of addiction. It's what we do with that information that matters. Don't forget there's a big, wide world out there too.
The very first thing I wanted to talk about on here is podcasting. I'm new to podcasting, along with my friend Kat, but we dove in feet first this past Monday. We do not yet have a large audience, but people are starting to listen. Hopefully we'll entertain them along the way and maybe they'll even learn something.

Our podcast, along with this blog, is all about gaming. Much of what we discuss will be World of Warcraft centered, because that is the MMO Kat and I both play at the moment. We will not be limiting our blog posts to the current podcasts either, as Kat and I both have a lot to say about a variety of topics.

To follow our podcast (and listen to the first episode), follow the link here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/eshandkat

Happy gaming!
          Universities getting schooled when it comes to DDoS attacks        

It used to be that the targets of DDoS attacks were predictable. Sites in highly competitive industries like online gaming or gambling would get hit with DDoS attacks so competing sites could try and eke out an advantage, and financial institutions and ecommerce sites would get nailed by DDoS attacks acting as a smokescreen for […]

The post Universities getting schooled when it comes to DDoS attacks appeared first on RocketNews | Top News Stories From Around the Globe.

          Comment on GameX: It’s Got Bawls by GameX: It’s Got Bawls | Console Gaming        
[...] post by The Seltzer Project [...]
          Comment on Philly’s VideoGame Expo by Philly’s VideoGame Expo | Console Gaming        
[...] post by The Seltzer Project [...]
          Play Games and Learn Irish Language with Ease        

Smarty Cat games provide exciting games for children and help them learn the Irish language in an easier manner.

New York, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/05/2014 -- Learning a new language can be difficult at a later stage in life. One needs to go through proper classes and learn totally new language that they have not been introduced to when they were small. But if the child is taught any language since birth and he or she is speaking it continuously then it can prove to be useful in their life at a later stage. Children often like to learn things through a game or through innovative puzzles that attract them. One of those games that can can provide parents with innovative ways to teach their children Irish language is Smarty Cat games.

Today online gaming has gained huge recognition and people think about them as more than a time pass. There are games of different category that can help children learn different subjects and help them become intelligent. The educational games help them grow and improve their IQ. Along with these games there are games that are aimed at improving their grammar and getting accustomed with specific language. Since children have to give time to their studies and focus on other subjects too they cannot afford to spend time learning the Irish language for hours. With the help of some smart games that are specially made for learning purpose children will be able to learn the language pretty easily as it keeps them engaged. The games cut down the preparation time even for the teachers and help them prepare well for the students.

These games are developed for personal as well as school use. Once children start getting accustomed with the game both the parents and the teachers can use it as to monitor what the child has learnt and help them in areas where they are facing problems. The developers of these kind of games focus on keeping the children engaged and try to help the parents getting connected with the students. It is common for children to get attracted to games faster when compared with studies. Instead of treating the games as a negative resource one should try to use these resources to help the children learn something new. If the children are able to learn the language in through interesting and informal way without taking too much stress then it is surely the best way to help them learn.

The games tend to be very user friendly and assist the child in every step. Some of the games that are being loved by the children are Caith an Cat cainteach, Ce Mhead Cat and Cluichi Gaeilge. These games are the best for children aged between five years to twelve years.

About Smarty Cat games
Website: http://www.smartycatgames.ie/
Smarty Cat games have been developed for educating children and help them learn the Irish language with ease. These games are being used in different schools and have been effective in helping children.

For Media Contact:
Company : Smarty Cat Games
City, State, Country : NYC, NY, USA
Phone : 087 632 8308
Email Id : info@smartycatgames.ie
Website : http://www.smartycatgames.ie/

For more information on this press release visit: http://www.sbwire.com/press-releases/play-games-and-learn-irish-language-with-ease-471704.htm

Media Relations Contact

Robert Key
Smarty Cat Games
Telephone: 087 632 8308
Email: Click to Email Robert Key
Web: http://www.smartycatgames.ie/

          AWSD: Rediscovering PC Gaming        

This post was originally published on my blog "Eyes Open, Thumbs Down," where you can find these posts roughly 3 days earlier than on MyIGN. http://eyesopenthumbsdown.blogspot.com.

I have a confession to make: My first home console was an Xbox.

Now before you close the window because you just discovered this blogger’s gaming history isn’t as rich as your own keep reading.

It’s true my parents never allowed a console to have a permanent place in our living room in fear I would become an addict – they may have been right. However due to our frequent traveling, they did give me and my sister each a Game Boy and kept us up to date on that piece of hardware through the Color. We also had the home computer, which began with educational games then expanded to hours spent with games like Madden, Red Alert 2 and The Sims. However, I played many games with an imitation Playstation controller. Deep down I knew I was a console gamer.

Once I won my Xbox (thank-you Taco Bell!) I abandoned gaming on the gigantic E-Machine desktop. I was done with managing resources and was ready to get into some unadulterated shooting, racing and high scoring. This focus on console gaming continued all the way through college, however the situation changed as I moved back home.

It started with my curiosity surrounding the Madden Superstars game on Facebook which stemmed from my desire to regain knowledge of players currently in the NFL. The game is perfectly adequate and I still play it today. However, it broadened my mind back to the PC and I was made aware of the ease of simply clicking an application. My laptop is open most of the time anyway, making the activity much easier than taking the time to walk across the room to put a disk in the Xbox.

Since then I’ve replayed through both campaigns on Red Alert 2 – which allowed me to finally complete the Soviet campaign that troubled me back in the day, downloaded the fan-made Super Mario X, and bought myself an early Christmas gift and purchased Back To The Future:The Game.

It was in Telltale Games newest release, I realized the degree of excitement of great games wasn’t limited to flash titles used to pass the time. Developers are still making excellent single-player games beyond the one major title released every year and some of those are made as a PC game first!

Many claim that PC gaming is dead. A year ago I may have agreed with them but as of late I am second guessing that notion. My laptop will never replace my Xbox 360. I have no plans of purchasing Mass Effect 3 for the PC and I don’t know if I could ever feel the same joy of Team Slayer on a 50 inch screen. However PC gaming definitely has a place in gaming beyond quick rounds of Free Cell on the train.

Remember to Follow Eyes Open Thumbs Down on Twitter @eyesopnthmbswn for the latest news on new blog posts, and any other quips I have about developments in gaming. And be sure to vote in the poll on the left side of your screen.

You can also read my Film and TV Blog, Audible Motion at audiblemotion.blogspot.com. Theres a new entry every Friday.

Now Playing: Super Mario Bros. X, Halo: Reach

XBL: DocHolliday8706

          Time To Step It Up: Ways Spike Can Save the VGA's        

The following post comes from my gaming related blog, Eyes Open Thumbs Down which you can find at . Enjoy!

As I alluded to in my last post, the mainstream population has yet to recognize and embrace gaming as a true art form. While this will undoubtedly change in future, the industry has already begun its move towards this goal. Instead of film festivals there are trade shows like E3, and instead of the Oscars, Emmys and Golden Globes there are…the VGAs.

The award show’s biggest positive is that it makes Joe gamer more aware of what exactly goes into gaming. These aren’t casual gamers mind you, but gamers that stick with blockbuster franchises like “Madden” or “Call of Duty.” Not many of these players pay attention to a games voice acting and even fewer know the difference between a developer/studio and a publisher. These awards also showcase great lesser known titles to these gamers like “Limbo,” download only games, or just the fact that there are still quality hardcore titles for the Wii. Finally there are announcements for next years’ blockbuster titles we might not otherwise get until E3.

Limbo represents one of the positve aspects of the VGA's.

Unfortunately the rest of the show doesn’t provide any depth outside of these few characteristics. This is due to the choice of celebrity guests and writing based on the perceived gaming audience, the show is on Spike, and the awards don’t feel like the ultimate achievement for any studio that they should be. The result is a show that feels more like VMA’s but without the performances or events recounted in the office and schoolyard the following day.

There is at least some credibility to MTV’s award show as the station used to play and talk about music. Spike is the channel for 12 year-old boys. Their programming consists of nothing but censored “Entourage” episodes, UFC and college debauchery sit-coms (I almost forgot the monthly airing of the entire “Star Wars” saga). As I mentioned in last week’s article, the average gamer is 34 – hardly Spike’s audience.

Should The VGA's Change Venues?

It’s time for a change of venue. This proves difficult as Spike created the show but the station is owned by Viacom. The broadcast would be better suited for MTV instead of “16& Pregnant” re-runs. As far as selling the rights to the broadcast, it’s a chicken and egg conundrum. There’s no doubt the show would do better on a station like FX or USA but the show and medium doesn’t garner enough viewers to warrant that purchase. Since this change is unlikely, Spike will have to work out the kinks.

This brings us to the celebrity appearances which were mainly a victim to poor writing. Neil Patrick Harris did better with the material than he should have and the best job anybody could under that circumstance. Dane Cook, who despite recent backlash can be funny, just looked content in cashing a check with the same amount of effort put into the pre-written jokes. Even Dominic Monaghan, (“Lost,” “Lord of The Rings,”) said he was just reading a bad joke off the teleprompter.

I hope that was a big paycheck.

If Viacom insists on airing the awards show on Spike, then the least they should do is hire some stronger writers. Maria Menounos is a fine green room correspondent but that position isn’t worth however much money she pulled for that gig. They could also save money by putting in some other aspiring reporter with a pretty face. Also, what was the point of the My Chemical Romance performance? Aside from the fact that they’ve fallen in quality after their last two quality offerings, not every gamer is a fan but everyone loves to laugh. These are just two ways to save money better spent on writing to make the event must-see TV.

That’s the biggest flaw with the concept of a video game awards show in general: it’s not the highest authority in deciding which games were the best of the year. The Oscars are the highest honor in film and the same is attributed to the Emmys for television and the Grammys are gold for musicians. Even the ESPY’s are highly regarded amongst athletes despite being second to winning a championship or MVP award. Before it blew up into the billion dollar industry it is today, gaming was very much an underground industry and games journalism was unknown to all its news, sports and art oriented peers. However gamers paid attention to these grassroots publications because they knew these writers were just like them and their opinions could be trusted. Hardcore gamers are now in the habit of follow outlets like IGN, Game Informer, and Gamespot for all their gaming news and review needs. How is this show supposed to grow if it can’t even attract its target audiences’ attention?

The show would gain instant credibility if it were to integrate a gaming site into the show. The easiest way to do this would be to purchase an established website and have its writers do the voting. This could give the show interest credibility among games by making it the exclusive way to reveal so-and-so.com’s game of the year. The other option is to sell the awards to another corporation with a highly regarded site or publication but this is highly unlikely as anyone of these corporations could turn it into a huge.

After Sunday night’s debacle of an awards show, it’s clear the show need s to catch up with rising status of the medium. If Viacom can truly get in touch with what gamers want in an award show, then maybe more will watch instead of checking Twitter for updates.

Now Playing: “Mass Effect,” “Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare”

Remember to follow Eyes Open Thumbs Down on Twitter @EyesOpnThmbsDwn.

          Graduation: Joining The Battle To Keep Gaming Relevant as Media        

The following post comes from my gaming related blog, Eyes Open Thumbs Down which you can find at . Enjoy!

I remember my first Saturday at college. My eyes opened, hazy from a night out – a state I would grow all too accustomed with. Shouting, sprinkled with high pitched screams of “Here we go!” and “Yahooooo!!!” filled the hall. When I stumbled into the room responsible, just over a quarter of my floor mates had forced themselves into the small living space. Mario Kart 64 decorated the 26” TV screen and commanded the crowd’s attention. The loser passed their controller to whoever had waited the longest for a chance to show off their skills. We spent most of the day in that cramped room, strange smells increasing with every hour. To this day it was one of my fondest memories of college.

College is truly a gamers’ paradise. Almost every male student owns at least one console and a number of games which are traded with a high frequency. This common interest amongst peers also makes forming clans, tournaments and new drinking games (“Beerio Kart” anyone?) an easy activity. It is the pinnacle of everything young gamers dream of while they spend nights playing Madden, Halo or NHL.

However after four years, many expect us to put down the controller as we collect our diplomas.

As much as gaming has found the mainstream with advances in motion gaming, the opinion that games are for kids is still prominent, particularly among the older crowd. However misguided, there is some truth to the opinion. As gamers get older, they must take on more responsibility which leaves less time for recreational activities. Some choose to drop the activity entirely; others struggle to keep it in their lives.

While console gaming renaissance began roughly five years before me or any of my peers was able to pick up a controller, the majority of this generation will take some form of their gaming habits well into adulthood. According to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the average gamer is 34 years old, with the number of American gamer over fifty increasing by 17 percent from 1999. Both these trends will no doubt continue in the coming years. Unfortunately, remnants of the traditional social stigma around gaming still remain today as evident in television shows like The Big Bang Theory and South Park.

Make Love, Not Warcraft Tags: SOUTHPARKmore...

These depictions of gamers, even if they are hilarious (and in some cases true), prevent non-gamers from taking the medium as seriously as film, television or even literature. Even though gaming has yet to reach the artistic standard of other media, it is a major part of this generation’s perception of what consists of entertainment. The medium will only continue to grow in that regard and if gamers want to silence the haters, their behavior needs to mature with the medium.

          Une nouvelle console Atari va voir le jour !        
Surfant sur la tendance du retrogaming, Atari s'apprête à lancer l'Ataribox, une console directement inspiré de son aînée des années 1970.
          Xbox Repair Service        
Xbox Repair Service

What's Up With Xbox 360?
A Guide of What's Available for Microsoft's XBox 360 System

The XBox 360 System. The new Xbox 360 console ($399.99) brings Microsoft technology to the gaming industry like never before. This new toy sports new Internet connections to social communities and puts the gamer in ultimate control with goo-gobs of fun accessories.

This article describes some of those accessories and the games available that (almost) everyone can enjoy.

XBox 360 Accessories. For such a powerful system, it should be no surprise that this system takes full advantage of accessorizing. We can start by saving games on the $19.99 512MB memory unit or with the $29.99 64MB memory unit.  To keep the power going, we can look at the $29.99 Quick Charge Kit or the smaller $19.99 Play & Charge Kit. On the go, you can carry and use the $11.99 Rechargeable Batter Pack while re-powering you controller with the $29.99 charge Station.

Increase connectivity with the $99.99 Wireless Network Adapter and keep your system "kewl" with the $19.99 Intercooler. But that's enough about maintenance. Let's look at the fun.

Get a $39.99 Wired controller or $49.99 Wireless Controller to play your games. Unless you want feel like getting behind the wheel. In that case, you can try on the $149.99 Wireless Racing Wheel for size.

Want a little multimedia action? Get a $199.99 HD-DVD player (don't forget the $19.99 remote) - a $39.99 Live Vision Camera or a $59.99 Wireless Headset (wired headset available for $19.99). Then jam your way onto the $89.99 Guitar Hero II.

Of course if you want to get down with your PC, check out Xbox's $19.99 Wireless Gaming Receiver and user your Xbox 360 controller on the computer!

XBox 360 Games. Looking for games? We've separated this part of our guide into two sections: one for children and one for adults. Use caution when purchasing XBox 360 games for players under 18 years of age.


Xbox's UEFA Champions League 2006-2007 $59.99
Xbox's Viva Pinata $29.99
Xbox's Fuzion Frenzy 2 $29.99
Meet the Robinsons $49.99 (by Disney Interactive Studios)
Xbox's Star Trek Legacy $39.99
Konami's Dance Dance Revolution Universe $49.99

Forza MotorSport 2

Xbox's Halo 2 $29.99 (rated 10 by GameInformer)
Xbox's Gears of War $59.99 (rated 9.5 by GameInformer)
Xbox's Crackdown $59.99 (rated 8.5 by GameInformer)
Capcom's Lost Planet: Extreme Condition $59.99
Bethesda Softworks' Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion $59.99
Xbox's Rainbow Six: Vegas $59.99 (rated 9.5 by GameInformer)
D3 Publishers' Earth Defense Force 2017 $39.99
Activision's Cabela's African Safari $29.99
Activision's Marvel: Ultimate Alliance $59.99 (rated 9.25 by GameInformer)
Activision's History Channel: Civil War $39.99
Ubisoft's Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter 2 $59.99 (rated 8.75 by GameInformer)
Sega's Armored Core 4 $59.99

NOTE: A lot of Xbox 360 games exhibit the RP warning. Please remember to follow the guidelines set by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) when buying games for children under the age of 18. Here's a handy reference to what the ratings mean:

C = Appropriate for Early childhood
E = Appropriate for Everyone
E 10+ = Appropriate for Everyone aged 10 and older
T = Appropriate for Teens
M = Appropriate for Mature Adults
RP  = Rating Pending (NOT appropriate for children)

The following games sport ESRB's RP rating:

Mass Effect
Blue Dragon
Tenchu Z
The Drakness
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
Hour of Victory

          Une nouvelle Super NES Mini va sortir en 2017        
C'est officiel : Nintendo continue à surfer sur la tendance du retrogaming en sortant une nouvelle Super NES Mini le 29 septembre 2017.
          PS4 Update 2.00 Coming Next Week        

Sony has revealed the release date for the PS4 2.00 update release date.

The post PS4 Update 2.00 Coming Next Week was originally written by Alexander Canales for ZoKnowsGaming.

          Minecraft: PlayStation 4 Edition Review (PS4)        

In our review of Minecraft on PS4, discover why this game has become such a modern marvel of creativity.

The post Minecraft: PlayStation 4 Edition Review (PS4) was originally written by Alexander Culafi for ZoKnowsGaming.

          Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair Review (PS Vita)        

Another visual novel on Vita goes up to bat in our review of Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair.

The post Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair Review (PS Vita) was originally written by Alexander Culafi for ZoKnowsGaming.

          Madden NFL 15 Review (PS4)        

Check out our Madden NFL 15 review.

The post Madden NFL 15 Review (PS4) was originally written by Lorenzo Winfrey for ZoKnowsGaming.

          PSN Not Down For Maintenance Early, Instead Seems DDoS To Blame?        

Sony's PSN is currently down, reportedly the victim of a DDoS attack by a hacker group.

The post PSN Not Down For Maintenance Early, Instead Seems DDoS To Blame? was originally written by Lorenzo Winfrey for ZoKnowsGaming.

          2K Releases WWE SuperCard, Like Ultimate Team For Wrestling        

2K has released the larger-than-life, action-packed WWE SuperCard, a brand new collectible card game for mobile devices.

The post 2K Releases WWE SuperCard, Like Ultimate Team For Wrestling was originally written by Lorenzo Winfrey for ZoKnowsGaming.

          Madden 15 Madden Ultimate Team Full Details Revealed        

EA SPORTS has finally announced full details on Madden Ultimate Team in Madden NFL 15. Check out the full details and a new video.

The post Madden 15 Madden Ultimate Team Full Details Revealed was originally written by Lorenzo Winfrey for ZoKnowsGaming.

          Middle-Earth: Shadow Of Mordor Release Date Moved Up        

The release date for Middle-Earth: Shadow Of Mordor has been moved up.

The post Middle-Earth: Shadow Of Mordor Release Date Moved Up was originally written by Alexander Canales for ZoKnowsGaming.

          Destiny Beta PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 Code Giveaway        

The Destiny beta is live on PS3 and PS4 and we're giving away codes. Read on to find out how you can win one!!

The post Destiny Beta PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 Code Giveaway was originally written by Lorenzo Winfrey for ZoKnowsGaming.

          Battlefield 4 Dragon’s Teeth Expansion Coming Soon        

The fourth expansion for Battlefield 4 entitled Dragon's Teeth will be available soon. Even sooner if you are a Battlefield 4 premium member.

The post Battlefield 4 Dragon’s Teeth Expansion Coming Soon was originally written by Alexander Canales for ZoKnowsGaming.

          Compra una GTX 1070 o 1080 y tendrás Gears of War 4 Gratis        
A unos cuantos días de la llegada de Gears of War 4 a la plataforma de PC Gaming, NVIDIA anuncia que con la compra de referencias seleccionadas de sus tarjetas, los clientes tendrán una copia del juego de manera gratuita. La promoción aplica para las tarjetas gráficas de serie GTX 1080 y GTX 1070, dos
          HP lanza su línea de videojuegos “OMEN”        
Todos los grandes fabricantes de computadores en el mundo desarrollaron sus líneas Gamer hace bastantes años y hoy están viendo los frutos, por su parte HP aprovecha el hit del gaming en la industria TIC y presenta su línea especializada de alto rendimiento. La línea denominada OMEN está compuesta por 4 sets de productos: computadores
          In Win llegó a Colombia pateando traseros…        
Una de las marcas más apetecidas en el mundo del hardware llegó a Colombia y agotó sus productos en tan solo días. Algunos de los gabinetes y estructuras más extrovertidos y lujosos en el mundo del Gaming son fabricados por In Win, un fabricante que comenzó sigiloso y con pasos cortos pero muy fuertes en
          Comment on How to get rid of a bothersome fetus fetishist in one easy step by Best TV for Sports & Gaming 2016        
<strong>Best TV for Sports & Gaming 2016</strong> How to get rid of a bothersome fetus fetishist in one easy step | unrepentant old hippie
          [US] Wal-Mart details Black Friday deals        

Black Friday, the Friday after American Thanksgiving, begins the traditional Christmas shopping season. In recent years, the unofficial holiday has been one of the busiest retail shopping days of the year with many of the larger retailers opening their doors as early as midnight on the start of Black Friday.

This year, Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, is boasting many solid electronic deals in hopes of drawing many consumers into the store.

The following are some of the key offerings, courtesy of Destructoid.

Gaming hardware:

Video games:

  • Rock Band Special Edition (PS3 or Xbox 360) - $50
  • Midnight Club LA - $10
  • Grand Theft Auto IV - $10
  • The Godfather (PS3) - $10
  • NFS: Undercover (PS3) - $10
  • Command and Conquer: Red alert 3 (360) - $7

At Walmart.com, starting Thanksgiving:

  • Philips Noise Canceling Headphones – under $20
  • Sanyo 8-MP digital camera – under $60
  • Garmin Nuvi 205 GPS – under $100
  • RCA 42" LCD HDTV (42" diagonal viewing area) – under $600

In store, starting Friday:

  • Emerson 32-inch LCD HDTV (31.5" diagonal viewing area) for $248
  • 42-inch Plasma (42.3" diagonal viewing area) for $448
  • HP Laptop Computer 3 GB memory, 250 GB hard drive – $298
  • Magnavox Blu-ray Disc Player – $78
  • Sony Bravia 40-inch LCD HDTV (40" diagonal viewing area) – $598
  • Sony Blu-ray Disc Player, Model BDP-S360 – $118
  • $9 DVD movies, with titles including Star Trek and GI Joe
Source: http://www.neowin.net/news/main/09/11/23/us-wal-mart-details-black-friday-deals
          SkiFree video game        

Game Description

Hit the Slopes

Experience the simple fun that is SkiFree, a free skiing game that was originally packaged with early versions of Windows. Hit the slopes with the elementary gameplay that has made this title a classic of old style gaming. Make your way down the mountain and watch out for the Abominable Snow Monster!

Easy to Pick Up and Instantly Enjoy

Upon opening up SkiFree, you will be taken right to the action at the top of the mountain. There are a couple of signs showing you the in-game controls, like F2 to restart and F3 to pause, but much of the game you'll have to figure out yourself. Fortunately, the controls are rather easy to use, with the option of using the mouse, numerical pad, or arrow keys to change the direction of your skier as he makes his way downhill.

A little ways down hill from where you start, you will find three signs that show the types of skiing which you can do. You can enter the Slalom Course (where you weave downhill through flags in the shortest possible time), Tree Slalom Course (which is just like the slalom just with trees instead), Free-Style Course (where you collect the most "style points" by doing flips, going over moguls, and the like), or don't enter any of the courses and just "ski free".

Fast Reaction Time

SkiFree provides a relaxing and enjoyable time while testing your dexterity a bit as you wind your way down the mountain. There are a variety of ways which you can 'wipe out' as you ski downhill, such as crashing into trees, dogs, rocks, snow piles, snowboarders, other skiers, and ski lifts. You'll need some quick fingers and good eye-hand coordination if you want to make it down the mountain as fast as possible.

SkiFree is great for those who might want a break from the other simple, free Windows games, like solitaire and minesweeper. It is great for short breaks since you can only complete one course at a time because, when you get close to the bottom of the mountain, the Abominable Snow Monster will rush out and eat your skier every time.

So if you are looking for some simple skiing fun, grab your skis and download SkiFree today!

Source: http://www.download-free-games.com/pc/skifree.htm

          Plans hatched for video game development hub        

By Richard Morris Comments? Rmorris@crain.com

Plans are under way to build a digital video games centre of excellence at Peel Group's Media City development, and a start on site could be achieved as early as next summer.

A feasibility study into the centre, commissioned by the North West Regional Development Agency (NWDA), was produced in March and the recent Digital Britain report, published in June, proposed “a model of support which combines usability testing, applied research, internship training and public interface components in a single facility to be based at Media City”.

Enda Carey, head of games and digital at Manchester-based industry body Northwest Vision and Media, has said he would like to see a start being made on the proposed facility next summer. However, the NWDA, sensitive to the political furore that such a move could cause in Liverpool, has told Crain's that “no decision has yet been made on the location for the centre”.

The NWDA's own report, which is not a public document and has been kept confidential, has now gone back to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills for approval.

“The reason the report has gone down to central government is to unlock the funding and then we'll have to focus on a business model and how it would work,” said Carey. “It's unlikely to be this year, or this financial year, but it would be great to see a stone in the ground by June.”

One of the central tenets of the proposed centre is to build laboratory environments where trends in gaming can be analysed and future standards set. Commenting on proposed locations, Carey said there were pros and cons with Manchester and Liverpool. While Liverpool has more games companies, siting it there could risk creating a “closed shop”, he said.

Carey sees location as “secondary” to important considerations such as attracting talent and creating standards.

Eric Hobson, chief executive of Manchester-based Connect2media Ltd, which develops mobile and console games, said he had been disappointed at the lack of progress made since industry representatives met the NWDA a year ago to set out ways of helping to grow the sector.

He criticised the organisation for not putting recommendations made by sector bosses 12 months ago into practice.

He said: “The problem with the NWDA is they see everything as an infrastructure project and they were keen to build an ivory tower. What we really need is support. The things we discussed were things that could've been put into place within weeks. We shouldn't be 12 months down the line with nothing. My suspicion is it's because we told them what they didn't want to hear.”

Hobson said the NWDA should have provided funding to allow games firms access to Manchester Metropolitan University's usability laboratory at reduced rates. Buildings and academic courses are not needed as much as bridges between universities and industry to get graduates into work, he added.

Hobson said: “Having a building, whether it's in Manchester or Liverpool, isn't going to make a damn bit of difference in getting a company to stay in the UK rather than relocate abroad. What would make a difference is getting graduates through the door so they can get real experience of the industry and the industry can get experience of the graduates.”

Jeff Coghlan, managing director of Macclesfield-based online and mobile phone games developer Matmi, said that he had not been involved in any discussions over a centre of excellence despite being a leading developer. He also believes spending money on infrastructure isn't the best way forward.

“The games industry is a massively growing sector,” he said. “The problem with our business isn't the buildings, it's with things like recruiting graduates, the educational standards and quality of graduates and tax.”

Earlier this year, the Manchester-born founder of games giant Eidos, Ian Livingstone, argued that Canada had grown its games industry from almost nothing into the second-largest in the world within 15 years by offering tax rebates of up to 37.5 per cent for those working in the industry “They have achieved in 10 years what took us 25,” he said.

Sourse: http://www.crainsmanchesterbusiness.co.uk/article/20091026/SUB/310269976/1207
          Learn About Free No Deposit Mobile Bingo Sites        

With many mobile bingo sites available, it is becoming increasingly difficult to select a suitable site to join. Fortunately, free no deposit mobile bingo sites exist that you can sign up on, for you to try out a gaming product before you can part with a penny. Such sites give you the opportunity to grab a […]

The post Learn About Free No Deposit Mobile Bingo Sites appeared first on Hullcityafc.

          8/10/2017: INTERNATIONAL: PokerStars owner reports profit jump        
The owner of PokerStars and other online gaming businesses is reporting a dramatic increase in profit for the second quarter and improved expectations for 2017 adjusted earnings as its evolution gains momentum. The former Amaya Inc., now called The...
          Students will suffer as private schools chase top of the table        
AUSTRALIAN private schools are gaming results league tables to get an edge over their competition. Valuable taxpayer funds are at stake for the school, but often it is the students...
          The GOLD Guide to Competitive Gaming        
we're so excited to announce the newest expansion to the GOLD universe: In 2008/2009, we released the first season of GOLD, the Series. In 2009 we also released the GOLD Collectible Card Game, featuring the characters from GOLD. In early 2010 we released Season 1 of GOLD on DVD, and followed in the winter of 2010/2011 with the dramatic miniseries Night of the Zombie King.  Now, we’re proud to announce The GOLD Guide to Competitive Gaming: The GOLD Guide to Competitive Gaming is a collection of gaming essays by roleplaying gamers from all corners of the industry, including such RPG luminaries as Keith Baker, Monte Cook and Ed Greenwood, as well as dedicated players from unexpected places, such as Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, veteran actor/voice artist Matthew Mercer, and independent filmmaker Ben Dobyns. The book will also feature essays from some of the fictional characters that populate GOLD and Night of the Zombie King, including maverick player Richard Wright and former American team captain Jonathan Drake. It will feature a wide variety of essays about roleplaying gaming, including tips to make the most of the hobby, advice on becoming a better player/game master, thoughts on how RPG skills may contribute to other parts of a player’s life, and adventure seeds for use in a variety of games. The book will contain both humorous and thoughtful essays, which span a wide variety of genres and game types, including traditional tabletop games, LARPs, CCGs and miniature games. Contributors to The GOLD Guide to Competitive Gaming include: Keith Baker (RPG designer, creator of Eberron) Mike Bourke (RPG designer, RolePlaying Tips) Jennifer Brozek (RPG designer) Monte Cook (RPG Designer, Dungeons & Dragons 3.0) Ryan Costello Jr (RPG writer, 3.5 Private Sanctuary) Liz Courts (RPG designer) Ben Dobyns (filmmaker, The Gamers: Dorkness Rising, JourneyQuest) Justin Farrington (RPG Writer) Ed Greenwood (RPG designer, creator of The Forgotten Realms) Jeff Greiner (RPG podcaster, The Tome Show) Ed Healy (RPG writer, marketer & broadcaster, Gamerati) Tracy Hurley (RPG writer, Sarah Darkmagic) Chris Hussey (RPG podcaster, Fear the Boot) Patrick Kapera (RPG designer, Spycraft) Chris Kluwe (punter, Minnesota Vikings) CthulhuBob Lovely (RPG writer, MisCon convention organizer) Philippe-Antoine Menard (RPG writer, Critical Hits) Matthew Mercer (actor/writer, There Will Be Brawl, Thundercats) David Nett (actor/writer, GOLD, Night of the Zombie King) Jay Peters (RPG writer, ENnie Awards judge) Scott Readicker (RPG writer, Sandbaggers’ Game Club) Rick Robinson (writer/actor, GOLD, Night of the Zombie King) CJ Ruby (RPG writer, 4 Winds Fantasy Gaming) Steve Russell (RPG designer, Rite Publishing) Greg Schneider (RPG writer, Black Shield Gaming) The Secret DM (mystery RPG writer) Connie Thomson (RPG writer, Geeks Dream Girl) Jason Vey (RPG writer, Palladium Books) Jared von Hindman (artist/writer/humorist, Dragon Magazine) Don Walsh (writer, LARPer, NERO) Patricia Willenborg (RPG writer, Chicks with Dice) The GOLD Guide to Competitive Gaming will be released from 4 Winds Fantasy Gaming in November 2011, as a trade-sized paperback and PDF/ebook. A limited edition hardcover will also be released. Visit 4windsfantasygaming.com and goldtheseries.com for news and updates.
          Four Tips for Dungeon Masters and Indie Filmmakers        
Just a few tips on making your project the best it can be from David Nett, filmmaker & Dungeon Master. I’ve been a Dungeon Master on and off for some nineteen years, I’ve been producing theater for ten years, and producing indie film and TV for the web for nearly three years. In the gaming realm, my past and current RPG groups all seem pretty well pleased with my campaigns. I don’t know it all by any stretch of the imagination, but here are four tips that I try to follow when working on any film/TV/theater/gaming project. These are the broad strokes - the foundations of quality. You can probably have success without them, but I suspect you will fight a lot harder for it. (For the record: I’m defining an indie film project here as a low or no-budget endeavor of which you are the creator and the primary driver. A project you are hired onto often has its own, very different, set of needs and motivations.) TIP #1: BE PASSIONATE Passion cannot easily be faked, and faked passion cannot be long maintained. When you’re creating an indie film project or preparing to DM a campaign, you’re likely not getting paid. In fact, you’re probably losing money. Even if you’re lucky enough to be getting paid, you’re probably working on multiple projects to cobble together rent and living expenses. That means you’re working crazy hours, late into the night, for months and maybe years on the same project. Some of that work will be boring (making budgets, calculating experience), some of that work will be frustrating (wrangling people and their schedules) and some of it will be infuriating (the 50th re-write). Without a burning passion for the project, it is be difficult to complete all that needs to be done, much less maintain high quality. Passion is also of critical importance in two other key areas: On-Set/At the TableWhether you are a Dungeon Master, Writer, Producer, Director, Creator or all of the above, on your indie project you are a leader. The tone you set will infect everyone else working on the project. If you come to set filled with unbridled excitement, that will lift spirits and motivate others to participate to the best of their ability. Your passion and enthusiasm are signals to your people that something awesome is going down. If that passion is genuine and lasting, others will join you and help pull the project to be the best, and most fun, it can be. The Long TailIndie film projects and RPG campaigns can have a long lifespan. I’ve filmmaker friends who just got a DVD distribution deal for an indie film they shot four years ago, which was written a couple of years prior. For six-plus years they’ve been working on this single project, first raising money (crappy), then making it (fun), and then promoting it (alternating fun and awful). If they were not passionate about their project, they could never have weathered all that. GOLD was written in late 2007, and the Season 1 DVD dropped in June of 2010. That’s two and a half years, and only a sliver of it has been the actual making of episodes - promotion, fundraising and technical rigamarole have filled the bulk of that time. And we’re still raising funds for Season 2. My longest RPG campaign, a Ravenloft serial campaign that started in late high-school, lasted five years. And the group got together and played a big conclusion adventure several years after that (those of you paying close attention may notice there a plot parallel to a certain mini-series in the middle of its release schedule ;-). It’s difficult to spend the time and do the grueling work a project needs to shepherd it from inception to successful conclusion without a burning passion for the project. TIP #2: FIND THE BEST PEOPLE In both an indie film and a typical RPG campaign, there are a lot of roles to fill - you just can’t do it alone. Here a DM has a distinct advantage over the filmmaker - as a DM you need only find three to six great people. For a typical film, you need actors, a director, camera, lighting, sound, etc. etc. But whether you need three people or twenty people, you need the best possible people. You need people who are enthusiastic about the project and great at what they do, who collaborate and play well with others, and who are willing to take on more than just their narrow role in order to ensure the success of the project. The best people can be had, but it takes time and work to find them. And, once found, they can sometimes be a pain in the ass, scheduling-wise. You see, the best people are in great demand. They are busy. Scheduling a lot of the best people to work together on a project can be a nightmare. But if you can make it happen, all that work will be absolutely worth it. The best people can save your ass when you make mistakes (and you will). The best people will inspire each other to be their best. The best people will raise the quality of your game or indie film to a higher level than it would be without them (did I mention GOLD’s Streamy nomination for Best Ensemble? Or NOTZK’s IndieIntertube nomination in the same category?). A word on finding the best people: the best person sometimes needs to be convinced to spend his or her time on your no-money indie project, but the best person is seldom someone who needs to be coerced. Convincing someone is different than coercing him or her. Sometimes the person you think is the best does not feel like your project is the right fit - that’s okay. But if you coerce someone you think is a best person into your project and he or she does not want to be there, you will not get all those best person benefits. TIP #3: BE PREPARED Preparation is the key to turning your passion and best people into a successful project. All of the talent and passion in the world don’t get you very far if, when they show up to set or to the table, you have no plan. Careful, detailed planning ahead of time allows you to focus on each task/encounter as it comes, field questions from your people, and troubleshoot when the need arises (and it will). It’s not always the most fun part of the gig, but it is an absolute must if you want your project to go smoothly. For the DM, understanding your NPC/Villains motivations, knowing your encounters and dungeon inside and out, and knowing your PC’s strengths, weaknesses and backstory will provide a rich, deep and engaging experience for your players that just reading out of some adventure can never match. For the filmmaker, solid comprehensive preparation means that your cast and crew is never standing around waiting to find out what comes next and that you’re never going back to your script and wondering “did we shoot that?” There are a lot of DMs and filmmakers out there who are great off the cuff. In fact, you need to be great at improvising to be truly successful at either - there will always be times when things don’t go as planned, there will always be suggestions from your best people about how things might be done differently, and your ability to improvise will save you in those moments. Strong fundamental preparation allows you to field questions and suggestions from your collaborators, evaluate them and incorporate them into the project.  If you’ve solid planning underneath your session - you know your shots, your pages, your NPCs, your dungeon - you can riff on that preparation to make your improvisation seem as polished as every other part of your shoot/adventure. TIP #4: SERIOUSLY, BE PASSIONATE Yes, tip number four is simply a repeat of tip number one. We all do lots of things in this life about which we are less-than passionate. Your indie film or RPG campaign should not be one of them. Your indie project is going to eat your time (and maybe your money) like a ravenous Tarrasque who just woke up from his millennial slumber. If you are not deeply passionate about it, your experience and your end product (if you ever get there) are going to suffer for it. In the end, a Dungeon Master and an Indie Film creator have very similar jobs: to wrangle a bunch of talented, specialized people together to tell a compelling story over a period of time. Both jobs can be great fun and incredibly rewarding, at least I’ve found them to be so.
          NOTZK Opening Title Design        
Cinematographer/writer/graphic designer Andrew R. Deutsch talks about the NOTZK opening title sequence. Originally posted at the RollandDesign blog: www.rollanddesign.com The Night of the Zombie King titles were shot entirely on my coffee table in my living room, I recreated one of the tabletop gaming scenes from the episodes. Strategically placing figurines with the translucent dice, I wanted the shadows to dance across the elements to create movement where usually there isn’t any. I ended up shooting about 45 minutes of footage and only using about 15 seconds. I set up the camera on a small tripod and grabbed an LED flashlight to get that high contrast needed. The light source also could pierce the dice and push their shadows pretty far without losing too much contrast. The raw footage was then re-colored in Magic Bullet Mojo and edited in Premiere and, finally, the titles were added in After Effects. All in all I think they worked very well for the content of the series and I’m very proud to have them showcased on such a wonderful show. - Andrew R. Deutsch Writer/Exec Producer/Cinematographer GOLD: Night of the Zombie King
          Bringing Goblins & Gold to Life        
NOTZK writer & director Rick Robinson talks about the challenges of making a TV show about a tabletop rpg. The creators of GOLD: Night of the Zombie King play the game. Not once or twice to get a feel for it, but as much as we can given the pressures of life, fatherhood, careers, second careers, etc. So when it was time for us to tell a story of a group of friends who come together to game, it wasn’t going to be Mazes & Monsters. But given our experience, you’d think it be easy to tell that story - a good roleplaying session is packed with all kinds of life-or-death drama: traps, combat, keeps, bugbears, etc. all rear their ugly heads as the heroes (or anti-heroes) rise to the occasion (or get TPK’d, which is dramatic in a everything-ends-badly, Coen-brothers kind of way). But as David, Andrew, Frederick and I discovered, there are hurdles: The physical action of the game is inert. Sure, the implied action is active, but the actual onscreen characters playing the game really are just sitting there. Occasionally, they roll dice. Or eat BBQ chips. Or wander to bathroom. But mostly, they sit at the table. And long sessions of people talking at a table can be death. The actual events of the campaign can be hard to follow. It’s difficult to set the scene of a treacherous dungeon crawl or climactic battle without copious exposition. And copious exposition can be death in an indie TV series. Or a regular TV series. Or a movie. Or a play. I think only Greek theater gets away with it, and we’re probably just turning a blind eye because it’s super old. The stakes for the onscreen characters, the players, can be low. The stakes in the actual game are usually quite high - life and death-by-Neo-Otyugh high. But the stakes for the players around the table are at risk of being quite low. It sucks to lose a character you’re fond of, but you can re-roll. If the whole party buys it, it’s on to a new campaign and a fresh start. The world they’re trying to save, whether it’s Faerun or Eberron or Madeuponia, isn’t real. Overcoming those hurdles was in the front of our brains every minute as we wrote the scripts, planned our shots, and directed the show. Here’s what we did: Making it active One thing we wanted more of in Night of the Zombie King (as opposed to GOLD) was actual gaming - more combat, more arguing about strategy, more inserts of dice rolling. In GOLD, we’d bounce from the characters’ personal travails to short snippets of gaming. GOLD is a big ensemble show, a serio-comic tapestry, and David and Andrew (I was only an actor in that one) bounced from hikes in the wilderness to G&G training sessions, so outside the prologue, there weren’t any prolonged scenes of guys sitting around a table. Zombie King, however, was to be more tightly focused and the scripts featured long scenes of the five characters playing the game. As we’d split the directing duties by episode, we all went off to plan to make these scenes dynamic. Frederick, the director of episode two, had the first gaming scene and didn’t think trying to shoot a whole webseries over the course of two weekends was hard enough, so he decided to make the make first two pages of gaming a one-shot. We went hand-held for Zombie King (just like GOLD) and Andrew had MacGuyver’d a PVC pipe rig for his T2i to shoot the thing smoothly, despite the Canon’s DSLR’s lack of heft, which made this kind of shot possible. Andrew swept around the actors, catching each one in frame as they drew focus and bounced around from dice to players to DM as they tried to solve their wight problem. Frederick also blocked this scene actively to accentuate the effect. Players got up out of their chairs to get food, wandered over to look at other players sheets, paced back and forth, and other things to add movement to these first couple of pages. He also hid an edit halfway through in a quick camera pan, so he could use different takes for the two halves of the scenes and limit the window that this ballet of actors, camera and equipment had to be perfect and let the camera move across the table in a way the camera operator could not physically accomplish. That this critical introduction to the gameplay is exciting visually and traverses the entire gaming landscape is of paramount importance - Frederick shows us right off that the game is active and exciting, without anyone having to say it out loud. In general, all three of us stayed tight on the actors when the stakes of the game were at there highest. This creates a lack of breathing room, of distance for the audience. A shot of the full table and we observe the game from of safe distance. Close-up on Brian, looking just barely to the right of camera, and the audience is in the thick of it, as uncomfortable as Jaz. In the end, we relied on camera movement, both subtle and dramatic, as well as the talent of our actors to hold our interest while simply sitting around a table. Telling the story of the campaign The one’s tough. There is an obvious solution, one that works for other folks telling RPG stories in the indie space - dramatize the action on film with the actors playing their characters. At it’s best, it can be absurdly funny, like when Boba Fett, level 1 thief rises from his bedding with his elven boots to sex up one of his fellow party members (if you haven’t seen this - go here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhmUj9QJ9RM). But it wasn’t really the tone we were after. It’s also difficult to go everywhere you need to go using this device because budget constraints are too tight for most of us. Outdoor journeys and fights with highwaymen, sure. Underground fights with umberhulks? Not so much. GOLD didn’t need to tell the story of an overall campaign because in its world each game, each single crawl was an individual test, like a single basketball game. To generate tension, we didn’t need to know the big picture, just the immediate facts. Zombie King had to feel like it was part of larger campaign because it was the continuation of a long-running game from many years before. We couldn’t tell the whole story of the adventure, obviously. Too much exposition. But the party’s biggest decisions needed context, and we needed to associate each player with his character. The minis became extremely important in this and we were lucky to have had them painted by James Paul Xavier, (Art Direction/Sam St. Croix in GOLD) because they looked great, even close up. David (who directed episode 1) tried to marry character to figure with his shot where he follows Martin around the table, setting each figure in front of its player. When the map is shown later, we have some idea who’s piece is surrounded by little metal skeletons. Martin says the character’s names a lot, followed by a shot of the player to reinforce. By the end of Episode 2, the audience should know Jaz’s character name is Melchor. If you don’t, we’re in trouble going into episodes 3-6. Even though we couldn’t tell you the whole story of this campaign (I’m sure David will oblige you, at some point, in this space) we needed a few important details, like the setting, the main objective, the principal big bad, and important details of the character’s history in the Realm of Terror. Jaz is a fallen paladin. This isn’t their first dance with Darkmoon the dracolich. And while Martin gives us the setting in episode one, the rest of these details come out over time, so that the history and the story is revealed gradually and that many of these details come out in active moments of conflict. We want you to feel like there’s a rich history and story without anyone sitting there telling you ‘so here’s what came before...’. Making the stakes high GOLD never had to force high stakes, because the conceit of the world is that Goblins and Gold is a competitive sport and that each match, won or lost for the team has a dramatic impact on the players’ lives, both personally and professionally. Their careers are at stake, in addition to their sense of self-worth. In Zombie King, it’s a game amongst friends, so we had to find ways to make the in-game action extremely important to out character’s psyche, especially our protagonist. Each character comes to this mini-reunion with an agenda, and it was important to the gaming scenes that much of the score-settling and opening of old wounds took place as direct result of the action on the table. We also tied their own journeys to the stories of their characters. The adventure is a return home to their old keep, a place that’s that become corrupt in their absence. Jaz’ character’s fall from grace matches his own. Little details are sewn in so that when things begin to fall apart for the Goblins & Gold characters, it’s a powerful blow to players. Jaz needs to succeed, not just in killing the Dracolich, but also in bringing his group back together for reasons that go beyond the game. Hicks has held this old campaign in such high esteem for so long that its failure to meet his expectations would damage him. In Night of the Zombie King, we wanted to create a drama (relax, it’s funny, too) about coming home again. About confronting our past and healing the wounds that time can’t mend. About old flames, and old friends - about playing the games we thought we had left behind in our youth. These aren’t new themes, but this story is about people who play our games. And we wanted to stand out from some of the other stuff in our space by making the players and the game they play grounded and authentic. Rick Robinson Writer/Director GOLD: Night of the Zombie King
          Night of the Zombie King launches December 14, 2010!        
A week or so ago we promised you an announcement soon. Well, here we go: For the last year or so, I’ve been working really hard with my friends and creative partners to figure out a way to finish the first GOLD story. The first half of that first story is what we now call GOLD Season 1. The story resolves in GOLD Season 2. Because of the nature of the second half of that story, and the cost of telling it, we’ve been searching for a partner or two to help us make it. We haven’t yet succeeded in that, to my great sadness. Yet, anyway. But there are many more stories to tell in the GOLD universe. While we continue our quest for Season 2, my friends and I found a story we could tell on our own. We call that story ”Night of the Zombie King,” and tonight I’m proud to announce that NOTZK will premiere on Tuesday, December 14, right here on this site, with new episodes weekly. Night of the Zombie King is one of the first of what we hope will be many “companion adventures” in the GOLD universe. It’s a self-contained six episode miniseries that centers around Jaz, the leader of the Dangerous Gamers in GOLD Episode 4: Labyrinth of Madness: After his team fails to qualify for the world RPG Championships, disillusioned captain Jamison “Jaz” Colier travels home to relive the glory days with his old friends for one nostalgic night of gaming. But when he arrives, he finds the ruins of the life he ran away from more than 15 years ago still need to be repaired before he can find peace, in his life and in the game. NOTZK is written by me, Rick Robinson & Andrew R. Deutsch and directed by me, Rick Robinson & Frederick Snyder. It stars James Ellis Lane, Jonathan Nail, Maxwell Glick, Stephanie Thorpe and Brian Majestic. Stay tuned for lots of great behind-the-scenes blogs, downloadables, gallery images and much more as we march toward release in a little more than a week. To start, we’ve two great gifts for you: Posters At the bottom of this post, take a gander at the three amazing Night of the Zombie King posters created by NOTZK writer and cinematographer Andrew R. Deutsch. They’re sexy as all heck. Contest We’re running Facebook and Twitter contests from now until 11:59PM PST on Tuesday, December 14 (launch day). Four fans will win a GOLD prize pack: a signed GOLD Poster, signed GOLD DVD, signed Night of the Zombie King poster, and a handful of GOLD/NOTZK buttons. To win, visit GOLD facebook page (www.facebook.com/goldtheseries), “like” the page and leave a comment on the NOTZK Contest wall post. Or, follow GOLD on twitter (www.twitter.com/goldtheseries) and tweet the message: “I want to win the @GOLDTheSeries:NOTZK Prize Pack!
          NI Systems Off-Campus : BE/ BTech – 2017/ 2016 Batches : Applications Engineer : On 20 August 2017        
NI Systems (India) Pvt Ltd [www.ni.com] Off-Campus For Freshers : BE/ BTech – 2017/2016 Batches : Applications Engineer : On 20th August 2017 Position:  Applications Engineer Job Location:  Bangalore Event Date:  20 Aug 2017 Last Date : 18 Aug 2017 Salary Offered:  Rs.9,75,000 Experience :  Fresher Additional Details: From testing next-generation gaming systems to creating ...
          Logitia Solutions Hiring For 2016-2017 Pass outs : Front End Web Developer : Mumbai : Last Date : 27 July 2017        
Logitia Solutions Pvt. Ltd [www.logitia.com] Openings For Freshers & Experienced : 2016-2017 Pass outs : Front End Web Developer @ Mumbai Exclusive Job For PresentJobs.com Job Description About The Company : Logitia is a leading software development company in India providing expert IT solutions in verticals like –e-learning, gaming, staff augmentation, trading and risk management, ...
          re: Opinion — UPlay Is Awesome, And Everyone Should Rip It Off        

I hate everything about uPlay. I don't want a separate friend system from the rest of my PC games. I don't want the DRM. I don't want a separate launcher in addition to the launcher I launched it from in the launcher for the distribution service I purchased it at. I don't want stupid points. I don't want to redeem them for stupid wallpapers or in-game tee-shirts.

What I want is for UBI to realize that nobody likes uPlay and nobody wants to use it and that their decade-long attempt to force it into everyone's faces has failed and they should obliterate it with all prejudice.

It is representative of so many things that are messed up in gaming, where everyone has to have their own way to nickel and dime you, control you, and control the mechanism by which they nickel and dime you.

Have they learned nothing from the music and television and movie industries, that insisted on each having their own channel through which you could obtain their content with various restrictions, limitations, and hoops to jump through? How'd that work out for them, eh?

          Kommentar zu Vorstellung: Gigabyte X299 UD4 Mainboard [Tester gesucht] von Daniel        
Da ich mir gerade einen neuen Gaming-PC zusammenstelle, würde dieses Mainboard um einiges erleichtern und ich könnte die Komponenten auf dieses Mainboard abstimmen. Gerne teste ich für euch dieses Produkt und bewerte es ausführlich. :-)
          Juegos Jueves        

Juegos Jueves

Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, 4:30 p.m.

Games, games, games!

Wii gaming! Board games! Computer games! Charades! Beanbag tosses! Musical chairs! A healthy variety of games to play with your friends.

Recommended for ages 5-12.

Add to Calendar 21-08-2017 16:30:00 21-08-2017 17:30:00 Juegos Jueves Games, games, games! Wii gaming! Board games! Computer games! Charades! Beanbag tosses! Musical chairs! A healthy variety of games to play with your friends. Recommended for ages 5-12. false DD/MM/YYYY

Mt. Pleasant Library

          Excerpt Reveal - The Beauty of Us by Kristen Proby - Chapter 2        

From New York Times bestselling author Kristen Proby comes a sexy, new standalone contemporary romance in her Fusion Series, THE BEAUTY OF US, releasing August 22, 2017! Check out the chapter below and get to know Trevor and Riley!



New York Times bestselling author Kristen Proby delivers another sizzling novel in her delectable and sexy Fusion series.

Riley Gibson is over the moon at the prospect of having her restaurant, Seduction, on the Best Bites TV network. This could be the big break she’s been waiting for. But the idea of having an in-house show on a regular basis is a whole other matter. Their lives would be turned upside down, and convincing Mia, her best friend and head chef of Seduction, that having cameras in her kitchen every day is a good idea is daunting. Still, Riley knows it’s an opportunity she can’t afford to pass on. And when she meets Trevor Cooper, the show’s executive producer, she’s stunned by their intense chemistry.

Trevor’s sole intention is to persuade Riley to allow Best Bites TV to do a show on her restaurant. But when he walks into Riley’s office, he stops dead in his tracks. The professional, aloof woman on the phone is incredibly beautiful and funny. But can he convince her that he’s interested in Riley for himself? Or is he using the undeniable pull between them to persuade her to agree to his offer?


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And Don’t Miss the First Three Novels in the Fusion Series, LISTEN TO ME, CLOSE TO YOU, and BLUSH FOR ME!

Chapter 2 

I didn’t sleep worth shit last night. I waited for a response to my e-mail from Riley for a while; I’m not exactly sure why. I just don’t like the thought of her being embarrassed. 

Because she has no reason to be. She didn’t know who I was, and it was closing time. She was venting to her friends. 

It’s really no big deal. 

But I could see the mortification in her big blue eyes when she realized who I was, and that doesn’t sit well with me. 

When no response came, and for all I know she hasn’t even read the e-mail yet, I sat down for a game on the PS4. I don’t travel anywhere without it. Some people read to unwind. Some go to the gym, and there are times I do the same. But to truly relax, I enjoy gaming. I have since I was a kid. 

So I settled in the apartment the network has rented for me this month and played online with my friends, talking about our days and shooting the enemy. 

We played well past midnight, and I usually would have gone right to bed afterward, but my mind was still turning, making falling asleep impossible. The restaurant is better than I imagined through my research on their website and customer reviews. It’s visually stunning, the food is fantastic, and they’ve hit the mark on the sexy factor. 

But added to that, the five women who own the place are all beautiful, smart, and will make for great TV. Viewers will eat this show up, pun intended. 

I lean over the sink and wash my face, not bothering to shave today, and as I dry off, I reach for my phone. 

I have several new e-mails. 

The most recent is from Riley Gibson. 


Thank you for your kind email. I apologize again for the conversation last night. I would like to promise that we don’t always talk like that at work, but that would be a lie. At least we keep it to closing time over a glass of wine. 
Enjoy Portland, 

I grin and sling the towel over my bare shoulders. Riley isn’t what I had pictured in my head before I got here. I knew that she was pretty because their photos are on their website, but she’s much prettier in person. 

And animated. 

Working with her will be fun. 

And a test to my libido. Because Riley is fucking sexy. I’ve never mixed business and sex before, and I don’t plan to start now, but keeping my hands off her will be a test of wills. 

And that too should be fun. 

After my run this morning, I stopped by a bagel place to eat and read a newspaper, came back to the apartment for a shower, and I think I’ll go to Seduction for lunch. I hadn’t planned to go back there until my meeting with Riley tomorrow, but I also haven’t had lunch there yet. 

I dress quickly in jeans and a red T-shirt and walk the six or so blocks to the restaurant. 

They’ve just opened, so they’re not busy yet. The atmosphere is calm, the lighting a bit brighter than last night, making it a fun spot to meet with colleagues or friends for lunch. 

I’m seated on the far side of the restaurant, where it meets the bar, and I can see Riley and the other women sitting around a high table, talking. 

Loud enough for me to hear. 

“So, he’ll be here tomorrow. Filming doesn’t start for another week, unless the timetable has been moved up,” Riley says, studying her iPad and checking things off a list. “It would be great if we could watch our language.” 

“Right,” Mia says, rolling her eyes. “Because that’s gonna happen.” 

“Just watch the F-bombs then,” Riley says with a grin. “And I’ll do my best not to vent to him about my horrible dating experiences. Not that I’ll be having any more of those.” 

“I wish I’d been here for that,” Addie says with a smile. “It’s hilarious.” 

“No, it’s not,” Riley says, but smiles and covers her lips with her fingers. “Okay, it’s a little funny. I’ll be working from home today.” 

“Why?” The blonde speaking, I presume Cami, asks. 

“Because I have a roofer coming today,” Riley says. “But if you need me, just call. I can come back after he leaves.” 

“Go.” Mia waves her off. “We’ve got this.” 

The girls all stand, about to go their own ways to get their day started. They’re clearly good friends, which will come across well on film. Riley walks out of the bar and glances up, spotting me. 

“Hi.” I offer her a smile and motion for her to join me. She sits, sets her iPad aside, and squares her shoulders. 

I love a woman with grit. 

“Why are you here?” she asks. 

“I’m having lunch,” I reply, and gesture to the salad sitting in front of me. “It’s delicious. Adding the brussels sprouts is smart.” 

“I’ll pass that along to Mia,” she says, and then laughs. “I guess you heard the part where I asked the girls to not swear.” 

“I did,” I reply, and patiently butter a piece of warm bread. “Don’t worry about that stuff. They’re adults.” 

“With potty mouths,” she says. 

“And we can bleep stuff out, or ask them to rephrase. You’ve already got the gig, Riley. I wouldn’t be here otherwise. This isn’t an audition.” 

“I know.” She sighs and reaches over to take a piece of my bread, surprising and delighting me. “I just want things to go smoothly.” 

“Perhaps you should order lunch too.” 

“I don’t have time,” she says, and then her blue eyes widen as she realizes what she just did. “I’m so sorry. I eat when I’m stressed out, and I didn’t—” 

“No.” I hold my hand up to stop her. “It’s fine. I like that you’re relaxed with me. I think you need to relax more often.” 

“What are you, my life coach now?” 

“If you like. Did you cancel those dating sites like I suggested?” 

She bites her lip and looks to the side, then nods. “I did.” 

“Good.” I take a bite of salad and nod. “Are you sure you don’t want some food?” 

“I rarely have time to eat,” Riley says, and checks the time on her phone. “In fact, I should go. I have to meet the roofer at my house.” 

“What’s wrong with your roof?” 

“It’s old,” she says with a shrug. “That’s what happens when you buy an old house. I’m fixing it up a little at a time.” 

I nod, and find that I don’t want her to go quite yet. I want to talk more, to learn more about her. 

“Why don’t you come to my apartment tonight and I’ll cook you dinner?” 

She pauses and stares at me for a moment. â€œWhy?” 

I laugh and set my fork down. “Because I asked you to. We’re going to be working closely over the next few weeks, we might as well get to know each other a little better. Also, we can discuss my new duties as your life coach.” 

“Well.” Her lips twitch as she thinks it over for a moment, a myriad of emotions moving across her beautiful face, and finally she says, “Okay. Do you mind texting me the address and the time?” 

“Not at all,” I reply, and immediately pass her my phone. “Plug in your number and I’ll text you this afternoon.” 

She complies, passes it back, and smiles. “Okay, see you later.” And with that, she’s off. Her ass swaying enticingly in her tight skirt, calves flexing from the height of her heels, and the food I’m currently chewing immediately tastes like cardboard. 


And I just voluntarily offered to spend time with her. Alone. 

I’m a fucking glutton for punishment. 

[no ornament] 

“I’m starving,” Riley immediately says as I open the door. She’s in jeans and a well-loved University of Oregon sweatshirt, her hair is pulled up in a ponytail, and she looks like she could be a co-ed herself. “I forgot to eat today.” 

“Does that happen every day?” I ask as I gesture for her to come inside and close the door behind her. 

“Most days,” she admits. “Is this one of those bad choices that you’re gonna coach me through?” 

“Yes,” I reply, and lead her into the kitchen. “You have to eat.” 

“I know, I just get focused on other things, and the next thing I know, the day is gone and I’m starving.” She passes me two bottles of wine. “I didn’t know what we were having, so I brought red and white.” 

“Thanks.” I grin and set them both on the counter. “I made salmon and asparagus with baby red potatoes. What goes best with that?” 

Her eyes light up. “The white. Holy shit, are you a chef yourself?” 

“I went to culinary school,” I reply, and squeeze some lemon on the salmon before plating it. “But I discovered I was better at a desk job.” 

“That’s unusual,” she says, her head tilted to the side as she listens. “Most people fight to get out of a desk job.” 

“Not me. I have a ton of respect for Mia, because being a chef isn’t easy, and pleasing people sucks.” 

“True.” Riley nods. “She doesn’t get many plates sent back to her, but there are a few. Can I pour you a glass?” 

“No thanks,” I reply, and reach in the fridge for a bottle of water. “I don’t drink alcohol.” 

“Oh.” She frowns. “I’m sorry. I can drink water too.” 

“It’s fine,” I reply, and pat her shoulder. “I don’t mind if you drink. I just don’t.” 

“But last night, you were drinking Jack and Coke.” 

“Nope, just Coke.” She sits at the table, still frowning. “I’m sorry.” 

“There’s nothing to be sorry for.” I set our plates down. “I’ve been sober for ten years. I’m not the kind of alcoholic who can’t be around others having a drink. It was never that bad for me. I’m just a better person if I don’t drink.” 

“Good for you for knowing that,” she says, holding her glass out to clink against my water. “This looks delicious.” 

“You sound surprised.” 

“I expected pizza or Chinese takeout,” she says. “Honestly, that’s probably what you would have gotten from me. I’m also surprised that you’re not staying in a hotel.” 

“I’m here long enough that the network sprung for the apartment. They usually do when I’m somewhere longer than a week or so.” 

“You must travel a lot for this job,” she says, eating her food like a starving child. I don’t know if she even tastes it, she’s eating so fast. 

“I travel often,” I reply, and grin when she takes the last bite. “Are you going to lick the plate?” 

“Maybe,” she says with a grin. “I’m not even embarrassed that I ate that so fast. It was delicious.” 

“I’m glad you liked it. There’s more.” 

“No, I’m good,” she says, and reaches in her bag, pulling out a pad of paper and a pen. “You can eat while I interview you.” 

“For what?” 

“For the position of life coach,” she says with a sassy grin. I want to kiss that grin right off her face, but instead I take a bite of potato and gesture for her to begin. 

“Okay, first question: What qualifications do you have that make you a good fit for this position?” 

“Well, I have a few years on you, so I would say wisdom with age.” 

She tilts her head to the side, the way she does when she’s turning something over in her head. 

“You can’t be that much older than me.” 

“I’m thirty-seven.” 

“Seven years,” she says, rolling her eyes. 

“A lot can happen in seven years,” I reply, and sip my water. 

“Okay, I’ll give you that.” She checks something off on her paper. 

“Did you really write down questions?” 

“Of course. I’m the queen of lists and the roofer was at my house forever.” She bites her lip as she looks at her list. “How many women have you life-coached in the past?” 

“Well, I didn’t have an official job title, but I have two younger sisters, and an ex-wife, so I would say three.” 

“But the wife is an ex, so maybe that did go well?” Riley asks. “And are your sisters productive members of society?” 

“As opposed to being in jail?” I ask, laughing. “You’re hilarious, Riley.” 

“You didn’t answer the question.” 

“My sisters are great. The older one is married, a stay-at-home mom with two kids, and the younger one is a waitress.” 

“But the ex-wife thing didn’t work out.” 

“She’s not a mess, we just both decided that she shouldn’t be my wife anymore.” 

“Why?” I sit back in my chair and wipe my mouth on my napkin. 

“Because she thought it was a good idea to have sex with other men.” 

Her eyebrows climb on her forehead and she blinks twice. “That’s a good reason.” 

“I thought so.” 

“Okay, next question.” She checks something on her paper and looks up at me with a smile. “How do you intend to be compensated for your work?” 

“I’m working pro bono,” I reply with a wink. 


“Because I’m going to be here anyway, and why not.” I shrug and finish the food on my plate. “What else do you want to know?” 

“Is my coming to a virtual stranger’s apartment by myself one of the bad decisions you should have coached me on?” 

I smile and set my plate aside so I can lean on the table. “Did the girls tell you that coming here by yourself was a bad idea?” 

“I only talked to Cami and she thought I should come. Plus, I have a concealed carry, so I feel pretty confident that I’m safe.” 

I raise a brow and cross my arms over my chest. “You carry a gun with you?” 

“Hell to the yes,” she replies, and offers me a sweet smile. “I’ve been meeting strange men on the Internet. You bet your ass I’ve been armed.” 

“Good idea,” I reply with a nod. “There are a lot of crazies out there.” 

“Yes. But I think that if you’re gonna meet a crazy, it could be anywhere. Online, in a bar, at the gas station. They’re everywhere.” 

“That’s true too,” I reply, and nod. “Well, I’m glad you’re being cautious.” 

“I’m nobody’s victim,” she says, as casually as if she’s telling me her shoe size. 

That’s fucking sexy. 

“Do you have any other questions?” 

“Not really,” she says, and shrugs. “I didn’t really write anything down. But it was fun to interrogate you a bit.” 

“Now I have questions,” I reply, and smile when she cocks her head and purses her lips. “Do you really think you need a life coach?” 

“No, I have my shit together,” she says with a grin. 

“Why were you really on all of those sites?” 

She shrugs. “Because it’s not easy meeting people. And sometimes a girl wants to go out on a date.” 

“You don’t need me,” I reply, and smile. “But I’ll be around for a while, just in case.” 

“Just in case I slip and fall back into the online dating?” 

“That, or if you just want to have dinner, or chat. And I think we should watch a marathon of Star Wars. Your lack of knowledge is cause for concern.” 

“It’s kind of a guy thing,” she says. 

“I know many women who like Star Wars.” 

“Well, I would watch one or two.” 

“You need to see them all to understand what’s happening.” 

“That’s a lot of hours of my life that I’ll never get back,” she says with a frown. â€œAren’t there CliffsNotes somewhere? A speedy way to get caught up?” 

“No,” I reply, and fist my hands in my lap so I don’t reach out and tuck her hair behind her ear. Or yank her against me so I can kiss the fuck out of her. 

“Are you okay?” she asks. 

“Are you always this observant?” 

“I’m an overthinker,” she says. “So yeah, I’m an observer.” 

“I’ve been labeled an overthinker too,” I say with a grin. 

“Would you say it’s an accurate assessment?” 

“Oh yeah,” I say with a nod, and stand to clear our plates away. She stands to help. “I’ve got this.” 

“No way, you cooked, so I’ll help clean.” 

She walks ahead of me, her empty glass in one hand and her plate in the other. “Do you use the dishwasher, or do you wash by hand?” 

“There are people who still wash by hand?” 

“I’ve heard of them, but I’ve never seen them in the wild,” she says, and smiles up at me when I join her. “So I guess that means we use the dishwasher?” 

“Yes.” She rinses and I load, and a few short minutes later, we’re done. 

“Well, I suppose I should go,” she says, and checks the time on her phone. “Oh, Cami texted. I guess I should reply so she doesn’t think you killed me after the entrée.” 

She smirks and types on her phone, then turns it off and looks up at me. 

“Thanks for dinner.” 

“You’re welcome.” 

“I’ll see you tomorrow morning.” 

Unfortunately, it won’t be in my bed. 

“You will.” 

“Okay.” She gathers her bag, notepad and pen, and walks to the door. “Sleep well tonight.” 

I grin and congratulate myself for not dragging my fingertips down her cheek. 

“You sleep well tonight, Riley.” 

“Okay. Bye.” 

She leaves and I close the door, letting out a slow breath. Jesus, she’s sexy and funny and smart as fuck. 

And I’m not going to touch her while I’m here. 

How the fuck am I going to do that?  

Don’t miss the first chapter of THE BEAUTY OF US! You can read it here!

About Kristen Proby: New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Kristen Proby is the author of the bestselling With Me In Seattle and Love Under the Big Sky series. She has a passion for a good love story and strong, humorous characters with a strong sense of loyalty and family. Her men are the alpha type; fiercely protective and a bit bossy, and her ladies are fun, strong, and not afraid to stand up for themselves.   Kristen lives in Montana, where she enjoys coffee, chocolate and sunshine. And naps.    

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          Bestes bwin Casino Spiel: Für uns ist Mega Fortune Wheel das beste Spiel des Anbieters        

bwin ist hierzulande vornehmlich als Sportwettenanbieter bekannt. Doch spätestens seit der Fusion mit der Firma Party Gaming im Jahre 2011 hat sich bwin zu einem klassischen Online-Entertainment-Unternehmen entwickelt. Das bwin Casino wurde nach und nach … Mehr Lesen →

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          FV215b HD        
Tak jak ostatnim razem, na jednej z oficjalnych grafik Wargamingu gracze dostrzegli brytyjskiego FV215b w jakości HD. Od naszego Insidera wiemy, że deweloperzy rozważają kilka opcji: FV215b zostanie zastąpiony przez „Superconquerora” i tak jak...
          VRTech i Wargaming łączą siły        
Firma Wargaming, ogłosiła partnerstwo z moskiewskim studiem VRTech, specjalizującym się w technologii wirtualnej rzeczywistości. Współpraca pozwoli połączyć rozwiązania techniczne VRTech z doświadczeniem Wargaming w projektowaniu gier i efektów wizualnych. Firmy zamierzają przedstawić szereg wspólnych...
          REMINDER: Luna City Benefit Game Day - Sat, April 25 - EVENT DETAILS ENCLOSED        

Just a reminder of the upcoming Game Day Sat, April 25 from 11:00am to 8pm. This particular Game Day is open to ALL. Family, friends, coworkers - you're all welcome to come.

As with the last Game Day, this Game Day is a benefit event. This event will be a benefit for Col. Wesley Fox Young Marines (http://cwfym.home.comcast.net), a youth group to promote a drug free lifestyle. Donations to be accepted (and as always will be completely optional). Fred Stoki, who will be running the operations for this Game Day, is a close friend and neighbor of mine and he is in charge of the Young Marines in our area. Fred has been an integral part of helping me keep Luna City up and running so I don't completely lose my mind. Without him I could not do public Game Days. I hope you will help support him and his benefit.

Food will be available for a nominal fee. Made to order Hot dogs, Hamburgers, Pork BBQ sandwiches, chips & soda.

I believe we are working on getting a Moon Bounce again for this event, as well as a couple port-a-potties (sorry about last time)

** All proceeds from the event go directly to the Non-Profit Col. Wesley Fox Young Marines. **


Just like always, ALL the games are FREE to play for as long as you like. Adults and children of all ages are welcome. All I ask is that children treat the machines gently as they are old, and all part of my personal collection. Please remember that Luna City Arcade is my residence. Also realize that by 8pm I am going to be completely exhausted, so please remember that the event ends at 8pm. You are totally welcome to come at 11am and stay until 8pm but at 8pm I shut off the all breakers and I go crash. :-)

I will also have console games (Atari 2600, maybe a Wii, etc) set up in the upstairs of the arcade for those who are looking for a slightly different diversion.

I hope everyone is looking forward to it! It's probably going to be another huge event like last time! Please plan on coming out and having a great time, as well as helping out the Young Marines!











* If someone has a portable (non-window-unit) Air Conditioner (the kind that has hoses to vent outside), I could REALLY REALLY use that to borrow for the event. Something like this unit is what I am looking for:

* Also, I need about 5 people to bring large fire extinguishers (not the tiny kind you keep next to your stove). With all the people at the event I want to be overly-cautious. If you have an extinguisher that you could bring for the event, please mark it with your name so you'll be able to find it when you are leaving.

* If you are an old-timer like me and want to assist some of the younger players with 'how to play' type coaching, that is always welcome as well. Let's teach these kids how video games used to be and preserve the classic gaming era into the next generation and generations to come. This is how it happens people - with us. Otherwise it will be lost forever.



Sat, April 25
11:00am to 8pm

Email Me

The website is: http://lunacityarcade.com/
You can contact me at peter@peterhirschberg.com or by replying directly to this email.


If you are planning on staying in the area, here are some hotels nearby.

If you are being REALLY bold and flying into the area, the closest major airport is Dulles International.


It's about a 55 mile drive west from the airport to our place.

Kindest regards,
-Peter Hirschberg

          Vector Tanks mentioned in the Washington Post        
Mike Musgrove of the Washington Post interviewed me last week for an article about the iPhone gaming culture and mentions me and my iPhone game Vector Tanks.

          Gigabyte rolls out Brix Gaming mini PC        

A8-5557M APU, R9 M275X graphics

Gigabyte is one of few vendors to buy into Intel's NUC push and we have to admit it is doing a somewhat better job than Intel. In addition to Intel based systems, Gigabyte is also looking at AMD parts and earlier this month it introduced the first NUC-sized barebones based on Richland low-voltage parts. You can check out the first AMD based Brix unit here.


However, the new Brix Gaming is going a step further. It's got a much bigger chassis based on recently introduced Brix Pro barebones. It measures 59.6 x 128 x 115.4mm but unlike standard Brix and NUC units, it also has a 2.5-inch drive bay in addition to an mSATA port. This means you can use a speedy mSATA SSD as a system drive and add some cheap storage in the form of a standard 2.5-inch hard drive. It also has four USB 3.0 ports, ac wireless and Bluetooth 4.0.

It is based on an A8-5557M APU, a quad-core Richland part with a base clock of 2.1GHz and a Turbo Core clock of 3.1GHz. The APU features HD 8550G graphics with 256 shader units. However, it also has a discrete R9 M275X GPU.

While it doesn't exactly sound like a high-end gaming rig, bear in mind that it is coming in a tiny package and it should still have plenty of muscle for most games. It might also make a sweet Steam machine. Unfortunately there is still no word on the retail price, but it won't come cheap. The Brix GB-BXA8-5545, with an A8-5545 APU sans discrete graphics, is priced at €249 and the gaming version should end up quite a bit pricier.


          Blog Post: A Beastly Mix Of Strategy And Action        

The empire of Rivellon was built on the back of a giant war machine, with peace forged through bloodshed. Its emperor had many children, but one child stood out from the others; he was a *** born of an ancient dragon who’d taken on the guise of a beautiful woman. You are this child in Divinity: Dragon Commander. Your mother has been slain, your kingdom has been shattered by civil war, and you may be the only one able to reunite the realm and bring peace back to Rivellon.[Excerpt]

Larian Studios’ previous Divinity titles are action/RPGs that allow players to switch between traditional third-person action and aerial dragon combat. Dragon Commander, on the other hand, takes the franchise in a different direction. Players still soar through the skies as a Dragon (equipped with a jetpack, no less), but many of the RPG elements have been replaced with top-down strategy. Series like Halo and Warcraft have proven that jumping genres can be successful, but Divinity needs more refinement before it soars as a strategy game.

Dragon Commander features several layers of gameplay. Before you start making strategic decisions, you walk around your empirical airship and speak with your generals, settle disputes among various dignitaries, and upgrade your troops and dragon skills. I enjoyed learning more about my crew, and the colorful cast of characters – such as Edmund the racist Lizard-man and Henry the one-eyed drunk – who all lend vibrancy to the otherwise trope-filled fantasy tale. Sadly, these sections feel disconnected from the rest of the game, as the conversations with your crew have little effect on the strategic gameplay.

Once you’re ready to begin plotting your conquest of Rivellon, you’re presented with a tactical battle map showing various territories that make up the continent. Within each territory you can build new structures; mines produce extra gold, houses of parliament produce battle cards (more on those later), and war factories generate an army of troops for you to spread across the map. I felt like I mastered this system after a few hours, but I still got a kick out of trying to predict my enemy’s movements and ensure that I had more troops on any given territory before the end of each turn. Unfortunately, at the end of each turn your troops must battle any enemies in their territory, and that’s where Dragon Commander’s wings begin to droop.

New territories are conquered through real-time strategy battles. The more troops you move onto a territory during the strategy phase, the more resources you have in combat. Engagements can be auto-resolved, but you end up losing significantly more troops than if you oversee combat yourself.

The RTS battles themselves feature a bland rock-paper-scissors formula. You command resource stations scattered across a map that let you spawn units. Troopers are strong against light-class ground units but weak against hunters and heavy units. Hunters are also strong against ground units but weak against armours, and armours are strong against heavy units and buildings while weak against troopers and air units. The list goes on. Memorizing troop specialties and then using whichever unit is strong against your opponents’ units gets tedious. Thankfully, Dragon Commander’s wildcard is that it lets you jump into the action yourself as a high-flying dragon. Zooming around the battlefield using your dragon’s jetpack is exhilarating, and your suite of dragon powers is useful for buffing your troops or setting your opponent’s war factories on fire. Unfortunately, the dragon is a glass cannon; you are shot down in a matter of seconds if you’re not watching your health carefully.


Larian Studios adds another layer of strategy to the game with battle cards, which can be used during the strategy phase or before each battle. These cards augment your tactics by preventing your opponent’s troops from moving, let you produce ground units at a discount, give you high-powered dragon attacks for one round, or allow you to produce extra gold. The battle card system is one of the coolest features, and I wish that Larian Studios let you acquire more cards throughout the experience. As it stands, they are a precious and somewhat limited resource.

Online skirmishes play out much like the single-player experience, except you battle up to three other players for control of a map. However, the fast-paced nature of online gaming makes multiplayer matches even more cutthroat, and if you don’t know all your troop specialties or dragon commands, your battle encampments quickly turn to ruins. You also have to deal with other players’ dragon forms, which are a massive threat. Aerial dogfights with dragons are often hectic and stressful, but are also the most thrilling segment of online multiplayer. I wish you could just battle other players with your dragons and not worry about troop upkeep.

Divinity: Dragon Commander has a lot of layers. I enjoyed the Risk-like strategy of spreading my army across a world map as I sabotaged my opponent’s units using different battle cards, but I dreaded the slog of each RTS battle. If Larian Studios can refine their battle system then it might have a strategy series that appeals to a wider audience, but right now only hardcore strategy fans feel safe under this commander’s wings.

          Pixio PX277 Review: Almost the Perfect Gaming Monitor        

Pixio PX277 Review: Almost the Perfect Gaming Monitor Check Latest Price Launching 144Hz Freesync gaming monitor at a price as […]

The post Pixio PX277 Review: Almost the Perfect Gaming Monitor appeared first on MonitorNerds | Gaming Monitor Reviews.

          LG 27UD88-W Review: 27-Inch 4K IPS Monitor with USB Type-C        

Check the Latest Price A premium gaming monitor with a lot in the arsenal The LG 27UD88W is a 4k […]

The post LG 27UD88-W Review: 27-Inch 4K IPS Monitor with USB Type-C appeared first on MonitorNerds | Gaming Monitor Reviews.

          Eizo fs2735 Review: 27 inch 1440p Gaming Monitor        

Latest Price Best Bluetooth Gaming Monitor Every month, something new and interesting comes on the market and blows our mind […]

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          Viewsonic vp2780-4k Review: 27-inch 4k monitor for Gaming        

Latest Price It seems like yesterday we were treating $500+ TN panel displays as if they were a golden gift […]

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          BenQ RL2755HM Review        

Latest Price Panel and Size TN – 27 inch –  Aspect ratio: 16:9 Resolution 1920 x 1080 Refresh rate 60hz […]

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          BenQ XL2730Z Review – Esports Gaming Monitor        

Find Best Price The BenQ XL2730Z is a 144hz display with 2560×1440 ( 1440p monitor ) resolution. It is based […]

The post BenQ XL2730Z Review – Esports Gaming Monitor appeared first on MonitorNerds | Gaming Monitor Reviews.

          BenQ XL2720Z Review – 27inch 144hz 1080p gaming monitor        

Latest Price The BenQ XL2720Z is the bigger brother of the BenQ XL2420TE, which we called as one of the […]

The post BenQ XL2720Z Review – 27inch 144hz 1080p gaming monitor appeared first on MonitorNerds | Gaming Monitor Reviews.

          Acer Predator XB271HK Review        

Check The Latest Price Ask any gamer what they want out of a gaming monitor and it’s usually down to […]

The post Acer Predator XB271HK Review appeared first on MonitorNerds | Gaming Monitor Reviews.

          Dell S2716DG Review – Dell’s First 1440p Monitor for Gaming        

Check The Latest Price Dell S2716DG Review – Specifications Size:                 27″ Refresh Rate:   144Hz Resolution:        2560×1440 (Quad HD) Contrast Ratio:  […]

The post Dell S2716DG Review – Dell’s First 1440p Monitor for Gaming appeared first on MonitorNerds | Gaming Monitor Reviews.

          Asus VG278HV Review – 144hz monitor for Gaming        

Price: ~ $460 Size: 27.” Max Resolution: 1920 x 1080 Display Type: LED – lit Panel Type:  TN Refresh Rate: […]

The post Asus VG278HV Review – 144hz monitor for Gaming appeared first on MonitorNerds | Gaming Monitor Reviews.

          re: Being a Gamer without Gaming        

Great blog! I often listen to game soundtracks on the way to school or while doing homework to help focus. Following news is also a great way to still keep up on current gaming stuff while not necessarily playing yourself. I haven't had much time to invest in gaming as much as I used to (thanks applied calculus), and even my blog has sadly been dormant. Fortunately doing some of the things that you recommend here help me still feel a part of the gaming community.

          ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q Review        

Our Rating:           10/10 Size 27″ inch Adaptivesync G-Sync Refresh rate best 144Hz gaming Monitor, (overclock to 165 Hz) Response time […]

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          re: Being a Gamer without Gaming        

Nice blog! I frequently do a lot of these activities when gaming isn't possible. Podcasts make the workday go a lot faster, game soundtracks can be a great motivator for workouts, and let's plays are always a great way to see a game I'm unsure about.

          DELL P2715Q Review – Budget 4K Gaming Monitor        

Check Latest Price Now Dell P2715Q Review: Best cheap 4K gaming Monitor Our Rating:           7/10 Size 27″ Adaptivesync No Refresh […]

The post DELL P2715Q Review – Budget 4K Gaming Monitor appeared first on MonitorNerds | Gaming Monitor Reviews.

          re: Being a Gamer without Gaming        

I completely agree. There will be the rare occasions I get to actually play games here and there within my hectic schedule, but for the most part its news, news, and videos (news) for me. I'm constantly juggling responsibilities and yet I do not feel any less of a gamer for it, even if the days of investing hundreds of hours into open world RPGs are mostly done for.

          re: Being a Gamer without Gaming        

Great post! I indulge in quite a few of these activities on a day-to-day basis. Following gaming news and listening to podcasts have been a huge part of my life for over three years now… Video games inspire me in many ways, just like all of these awesome, talented content creators putting out videos on top of videos. I'm an aspiring writer myself, looking to make my way into the gaming industry as a journalist. Which is another form of being a gamer without gaming; you can always write about them!

Again, nice blog.

          re: Being a Gamer without Gaming        

I agree 1000%. In fact, I would dare to say that taking a creative direction inspired by gaming will only deepen one's love of the hobby. I personally am amazed when I go on sites like OC Remix, and see the incredible display of skill, and dedication to various music compositions.

I mean, there ARE people who have been inspired to develop completely new skills based on their love of games. People have taught themselves to read, to paint, to sculpt, to learn code and programming, to learn video editing and graphic arts. The list just goes on and on.

Video games are such a powerful motivational and educational tool, and I love the ideas you put forth here. So many great ways to be involved in gaming without ever picking up a controller.

Very nice blog!

          re: CWC - My Gaming Skills        

Very Interesting. I also received my Bachelors Of Teabagging in Halo 3 in the year of 2009. Probably would have gone to get my doctorate if Halo Reach hadn't have released.

          re: CWC - My Gaming Skills        

Intriguing idea!

Will have to consider doing one like this. Just to say I did. :)

          re: Playing a Perfect 8        

I like to read reviews to understand the gameplay aspects of a game. If I read that a game has bad gameplay, I usually won't pick it up. Outside of that, I won't let much else in the review keep me from buying a game that I want.

I think that's why I use GI as my main gaming review center. They focus a lot on the gameplay, and even boil down a lot of crucial aspects to 1-2 sentences on their side bar. This lets me know the most relevant information to me in the shortest amount of time.

          Crackdown 2 On The Way?        

The original was a great game that got overshadowed by the Halo 3 Beta, but is the great game due for another chapter? Details inside!

The post Crackdown 2 On The Way? appeared first on GAMINGtruth.

          Crackdown Review        

Every gamer that has played and enjoyed a title in the Grand Theft Auto series knows how games in the sandbox genre should be done - and that there's nothing more fun than passing around a controller and figuring out who can cause the most carnage. The newest entry in the sandbox genre goes by the name of Crackdown, and it does crack a few heads.

Check out the review inside.

The post Crackdown Review appeared first on GAMINGtruth.

          Measuring Energy        
Not sure why the picture shows cost in Â£. The device is
equally happy to display cost in our native R.
One of the best birthday presents I've ever received was an Energy Monitor given to me by one of my sons this year. Electrical Energy Monitor, to be more accurate, since I hardly see it measuring the other myriad forms of energy. It's one of those that plugs in to the AC supply, and in turn provides a plug for some appliance, allowing you to measure the consumption of that specific device.

As part of the Solar Project, I know to within a gnat's pubic hair width how much electrical energy we consume overall on a month to month, season to season basis, but nailing down the detailed usage of specific appliances has long been a problem – just not a high enough priority to justify running out to buy a monitor. But having been given one,... well, now I'm measuring every electrical device in sight.

I started, predictably, with my PC. My PC is switched on pretty much all day, every day, since it's a Work Device, and although I have been quite conscious about buying lower-power motherboards that actively manage fans and power to the various components, a more efficient (and probably not coincidentally a much quieter) Power Supply, energy efficient CPU and so on, but have nevertheless remained quite in the dark about exactly how much power this beastie draws. I am not so terribly interested in the specific consumption of something like the motherboard or the disks, but of the entire cluster of equipment; the PC box and all it contains, the monitor, all those trickle drain devices hanging off various USB hubs... they're all on at once, and that's what I most needed to get a handle on.

Amazingly, it turns out that my estimates were surprisingly accurate. At a "quiet" level of operation – the stuff we do most of the time: reading emails, browsing the web, typing blog posts and so on – the entire cluster draws around 105W. That's surprisingly little for what is, I confess, quite a decently powerful machine. Well,... it serves me perfectly doing some reasonably heavyweight software development, running the usual array of server applications, development tools and debuggers. I have, of course, avoided getting any sort of serious graphics cards. For a start I have little to no interest or skill in graphic work, and for another I'm not into any level of seriously graphic intensive gaming. (I could probably get into that world quite easily, but I fear – with some justification –