As you might have noticed from some of my comments before, I might have a bit of an issue when it comes to buying things that I really have no need to be buying.  If the steam sales aren’t enough proof, I got some news for you today.  I got a new Nintendo Wii U last night so that I could play the new Super Smash Bros.

Let us go back to the beginning for a second on how this came to happen.  I was watching a stream one day of the new Smash and realized that it looked pretty cool.  I was somewhat sad that I didn’t have a Wii U to be able to play the game, but wasn’t interested enough to be bothered going and picking one up.  I had also heard they were much more expensive then the last few Nintendo systems.  Then we come to last night when I get home from work and realize that I have a giant wad of cash in my pocket.  Having cash on hand is probably the worst thing that can happen since it just sits there mocking you daring you to spend it on something you will never need.  Then I was at Wal-Mart with my roommate buying some food and we walked past the electronics section.  He stops in since he just bought a DS2 the day before to check them out.  At this point the money was practically screaming at me to spend it on something and really the only thing on my mind that day was Smash.  So we try to get a Wii-U at that point to appease the money gods.

Of course Wal-Mart doesn’t have it, which normally would be a good thing since that means I didn’t spend the money.  I think the money had somehow absorbed into my body at this point because the only thing we could think of was how the decision was already made to get a Wii-U.  So we drive down to GameStop just to buy this stupid console and spend this useless paper that was somehow still in my pocket.

The cash might have been gone, but the inner gamer in me took over at this point.  As I was sitting around today trying to finish up a bunch of stuff I had to do at work, I was thinking how dumb it was looking that my Wii had exactly one ipad shaped controller and one game.  What kind of self respecting gamer would I be if I let that stand.  A quick trip to Amazon fixed that issue with some additional controllers and useless games that will probably never get played arriving tomorrow…just in time for when my family comes down for Thanksgiving.

Hopefully the system will look much less lonely once those things arrive, and who knows maybe I’ll break the trend and actually play a fighting games more then once this time.  I mean it has to happen eventually, right?  I wonder if this is what women go through when they start looking at clothes.

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Well, I can no longer say that I’ve never had a hard drive fail on my before.  It’s kind of a shame really since this was still drive wasn’t even a year old, and I’ve trashed many hard drives for much longer then that and never had a problem, but I guess that’s technology for you.  The good news is that I still had the hard drive from my old computer laying around, and it wasn’t dead.  The bad news is that I lost a lot of cool stuff because I’m a lazy dumbass who doesn’t backup shit nearly as much as one should, and it took me most of the weekend to get the hard drive and clean it up from all the dumb shit I had on it before.

If you haven’t made the connection yet, that is the long way of saying I didn’t have a working computer this weekend to do anything I wanted.  I’ve probably said it because how much I live on a computer now, but I died a little inside when I tried to turn my computer one one morning and it didn’t boot up.  Similarly to when the power goes out, I kind of curled up into a ball for a few hours and tried to adjust to life without a computer for a few days.  I wasn’t sure if I would make it but with the help of some close friends to get me through these tough times, I can safely say that all is well again and I can hopefully find some time to play games.

On the plus side with this hard drive is I recovered all my old programming ports I was doing to help a friend learn some C# and SlimDX.  I also remembered that I had Osu! on this computer.  On the bad side, I lost the cool prototype for a project I was working on to be used with ArcheAge.  I also remembered that I am really bad as Osu!.

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If only I was going to college now instead of way back in the day.  I could have been one of the cool kids that everyone looked up to and been the super preppy jocks that you always see in the movies who date the head cheerleader. Well maybe not all of that would be true, but I with colleges like Illinois university offering partial scholorships now to people to play on their school gaming teams, I could have at least not had to pay so much for college.  And that it would be a much better reason to go back after class and sit in front of a computer all night instead of the lack of reasons that I had.

Really though I think this just goes to show how far competitive gaming has come over the years.  I still remember the times back when you almost couldn’t tell people about the stuff you did because nobody would understand.  Now not only do people understand, but you can make a pretty good living doing it.  I actually wonder if this is working out better for the students then all of those football players who wont make it into the pros.  Sure they get to be on tv and become more well known, but if the gamers get to keep their winnings, then at least the gamers will be making some decent money.  And if they don’t get their winnings, then I don’t understand why they would even go and do it for the school when you could just as easily do it on your own and be sure to keep all the money.

Getting a little off track there so lets bring it back with the one thing that always seems to happen in gaming stories, the person who thinks games are bad for people.  Yes, you can never have a story without it so let’s be glad that Kimberly Young was around in the ABC article to make her comments heard.  Of course she says games are addicting and that schools shouldn’t be offering scholarships for something oh so very addicting.  I’m sure she knows a lot about psychology and maybe I’m slightly biased since I play quite a few games myself but really anything can be addicting.  You just have to do it in moderation.  Even if this was addicting it has to be better that they are doing it with school supervision and with other people around to help monitor it, then how it was back in my day when you sat in your room doing it for god knows how long anyway.

It sounds like things are going well, and they university it going to continue to the for at least another year.  That’s always great to hear and of course we will always hope that more people will find the joy of competitive fps gaming and stop focusing so much on the Leage of Legends bandwagon.

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Pop Quiz. When’s the last time Blizzard released a new franchise? If you said 17 years then you either know way to much about Blizzard or have obviously been reading all about the new game they announced today, Overwatch. It doesn’t seem like that long but I guess if you don’t consider Starcraft Ghost a new franchise then it makes sense. Blizzard does after all make a company like Nintendo look like it has tons of different franchises.

The game does look interesting though and since it’s going to be a new genre for a company like Blizzard as a first person shooter, I am interested to see what they do with it. The little bit of game play that I’ve been able to check out reminds me loosely of Team Fortress 2. Which if it turns out to be true would make me pretty happy. The game takes a pretty original turn to start things off by taking place in the future.  Not like that’s been done before.

Ok maybe not a completely fair comparison, and future settings do lend themselves pretty well since you get more freedoms in your gun designs and levels.  The rest of the small bit I’ve managed to find looks decent so far.  Small 6v6 battles, different classes to choose from including a big slow gorilla and a fast blinking around woman.  If you squint they might even look like a Heavy and a Scout.  Not really to much else I can say about this for now since I don’t really know anything about the game but we can always hope that it turns out better then Ghost did.  They’re planning for a beta in early 2015 so maybe we’ll get lucky and get a chance to try it then.


Oh and before I forget.  To any news sites that want to write about game announcements, please make sure your writers know something about games when they write about them.  Trying to say that Overwatch is “similar in some respects to multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games including League of Legends and DOTA” just makes you look silly.  Unless there are npc minions that roam around the map in lanes, each team has a base they need to defend, and there are levels and item upgrades to purchase; there is no way you could possibly say the game is like those.  I guess that’s what I get for clicking the link to a normal news site.


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Thanks to the Internet Archive everyone now has a place to go to play all of their favorite old school arcade and console games, the Internet Arcade.  With over 900 old arcade games, there is something for everyone.  There are plenty of games that I had no idea what I was looking at, but also snuck in there are classics like Street Fighter, Defender, and my personal favorite BurgerTime.  It’s been said that some of the games have issues, but in my extremely limited testing, they all seemed to work fine.  Just make sure you aren’t in an active mumble channel and have your alt key bound to talk when you try to play.  There is a good chance you will be messaged asking wtf you are doing.

Just the internet arcade was enough for me to become excited and decide that’s what I was going to write about today.  Granted as you can probably see, it might have been a stretch to turn this into a full post without spending a lot more time trying the games.  But as I was casually looking around trying to find more cool things to add to the story, I found something else that just made the deal so much better.  Not only does the Internet Archive have over 900 arcade games to play through emulation now, but it also apparently has tons of old school console games from some of the old greats and not so heard of beginnings on the Console Living Room.

Not it doesn’t have any Nintendo consoles, but it’s easy enough to find those on any rom site out there.  Instead it has games from some of the classics like the Sega Genesis, and Atari 2600.  But it also has some lesser known systems like the Bandai Super Vision 8000 and the Mega Duck WG-108.  I still hope that someday they get a Virtual Boy emulator so I can tape a box to my monitor to look into and play it just like the real thing.  Nothing is better then ruining your eyes looking at bad red vector graphics for too long and getting horrible headaches.

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I never quite understood the fad with taking selfies. I’ve always though that they looked stupid the majority of the time and the people doing it were dumb. Then again I never really understood the whole thing with Facebook or any of these other social media things that are all the rage these days so many I’m just a grumpy old man. Anyway, in what can only be described as the best use of technology ever, pretty soon we will be giving our babies the ability to take their own selfies and post them to the internet.

I wish I was making this up, but some things you just can’t make up. The designer of this new toy got the idea after realizing that all the dumb baby pictures she would get on Facebook were posted on there by the parents who thought their babies were cute. Then she realized that the babies never had any say in whether their pictures were going on the internet and that we should make a toy so that they can decide what to put online. Ignoring for a second the fact that babies are dumb and still wont realize that pulling on the little stuffed F will upload a picture of them to Facebook, at least the pictures the parents would upload would be decent quality. Now the internet will be full of nothing but closeups of a babies mouth as it is about to eat the little F.


I guess it is all fair in the end though. After all, your baby will now be able to not only annoy you with its constant crying and wanting everything it can’t have, but now it can also tug on a toy and annoy all of the internet with constant twitter status updates and facebook pictures. I don’t know about everyone else but if there was one thing I wanted to see online, it was the combination of dumb selfie pictures with stupid baby pictures.

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It’s possible you’ve heard but I’ll be getting a new roommate in a few weeks.  If we’re lucky, it will turn into one of the greatest things to ever happen to me.  In the perfect world he will end up giving me lots of money to buy new games, while we play lots of games, drink lots of alcohol, and I end up streaming all that shit for everyone to laugh at together.  In the worst case, he drinks all my alcohol, blows up my internet, and crashes into my car when driving home from the bar.  Either way it should provide lots of fun times and plenty of new stories to tell.

He is actually a pretty good friend of mine so it all should work out pretty well.  The biggest problem we will probably run into is that he is a console gamer and doesn’t really do much of the pc side of games. That can be fixed though and then I will finally have started my dream of turning my house into a real gaming house.  All I need is to find 4 more people and my professional gaming career can finally begin.

I guess the thing that everyone else probably really cares about though is how any of this matters to them.  It will either work out to be a great thing for you guys or one of the worst things that could happen since I became really busy with work.  With my friend living here, I will no longer have to take an entire weekend out to go hang out with him anymore since he will always be around.  On the other hand, with him always here it will make it that much easier for us to go do something stupid together.  Maybe I should just go out and buy a GoPro and strap it to my forehead. Then you would always get to see all the stupid stuff that we end up doing.

Maybe that is going a little overboard though. I should probably just stick to my original plan and turn my house into one of those weird stream houses with webcams in every room that seems so popular these days.

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So it’s been a while since I made a post on here.  I guess you could say I completely failed my goal of posting on here regularly and as well as my consistent streaming I had been trying to do.  Hell, I couldn’t even get this post up in a timely manner, it’s been sitting here in the works for over a week now.  I’m sure you’re all tired of hearing the reasons by now because they are the same as they’ve always been.  Work has been killing me in a good way, things outside of work have been keeping me away from games, and there hasn’t been a ton that has interested me lately.

I seem to always be saying work has been ruining my game time but I guess really it’s all for the best.  Since the beginning of the year I’ve gone from a normal software engineer at work, to being a technical lead on one of the core critical systems and most recently a project manager on another one of the sub projects for our massive system overhaul we’ve been working on.  Learning all the new responsibilities that I had for those new projects was a ton of work but has been very interesting and a lot of fun.  The only bad part as I’m sure you’ve noticed is that I haven’t had time to do much else right now.

With all that said, I do hope that I’ll be able to get back into the swing of things again soon.  I’m not going to make any promises like I tried to do last time about my stream schedule or post schedule but we’ll see what works and move on from there.  Hope to see all you wonderful people again soon!

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Today being the 4th of July, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about something we all know and love, America.  But what is there to talk about you might ask?  I could write about how we should be celebrating 2 days earlier than we actually do.  Or perhaps we should talk about two of the founding fathers died on the same day with a third passing away years later also on the 4th.  Instead I thought it would be interesting to talk about a true American symbol, the bald eagle, and how Benjaminn Franklin was wrong.

Bald Eagle roosting on diriftwoodBald eagles and Americans share many things in common.  Like most Americans, the eagle can be found all over North America.  Last I checked, it is also illegal to shoot both bald eagles and Americans.  Apparently these many many reasons were not enough to convince big Ben and he still had his doubts about the eagle being on the national crest.  You see way back in 1784, Benjaminn Franklin wrote a letter to his daughter where he talked about his real thoughts on the bald eagle being on the new republics crest.  In part of the letter he wrote:

Others object to the Bald Eagle, as looking too much like a Dindon, or Turkey. For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him.

When he puts it like that, it does make a little sense but if you stop to think about it for a second, it turns out the the eagle was a perfect bird to represent the most badass nation in the world.  After all why go through all the work of catching the prey yourself if you could just wait until it is done for you and then eat the rewards?  Does it really matter how you got the fish or does it only matter that you ended up with the fish in the end?

So what did he think should be the bird to represent America?  The turkey.  I guess it could make sense to make a big fat bird the official bird of a big fat nation. But if we did do that, then what would we eat at Thanksgiving?

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I know most of you have probably never heard of this game.  It was old when I played it back in the early 2000’s and has been completely shut down for a few years now.  It’s still one of my favorite games I’ve ever played and also was one of the early games in my competitive journeys.  That game of course was Wulfram 2.  Today while I was bored at work while browsing the internet instead of doing any actual work I was able to stumble across a new site for a new version, Wulfram 3.


What is it?

Wulfram 2 was a hybrid rts/fps tank game where you would be split into two teams to fight over control of a map.  One player on each team would be able to pick up a link to be a commander and order parts from ships to build bases and defenses not unlike newer games like Natural Selection 2.  The main difference here though is the maps are much more open and both teams consisted of the same units and buildings to provide a completely level playing field.  The people playing as the fps soldiers would be able to pick between a beefy tank and a nimble scout.

The goal of the game was to kill the other team.  In order to do that though, you had to first make it so they could no longer respawn by destroying their spawn pads located throughout the map.  Another unique part to the game was that buildings came down from ships in cargo crates, and both cargo crates and the command link itself could be stolen by sneaky players.  That was pretty much the entire game and as simple as it might sound, it provided a surprising amount of depth and teamwork to the game.


The good ol’ days

The game had a weird way of splitting people up to try to make the game fair.  There were 11 levels you could get in the game which decided what servers you could play on.  Trainers would go into the lower level servers and help the new people get familiar with the game and test the people to make sure they were ready to move up into the next server.   I still remember the first time I logged in, had no idea what I was doing and was getting destroyed the these people with [TRN] in their name.  Of course little did I know at the time they were holding back and doing just enough to point me in the right direction to figure out what I needed to do.

After moving up to the max level, I thought it would be loads of fun to go back and give back to the community by helping the new people like the [TRN] of old had helped me.  That time helping people brand new to the game was one of the most fun experiences I ever had in a game outside of competitive game.

Of course I wouldn’t have stuck with the game for very long at all if there wasn’t a competitive side.  Sure it might have been a little primitive with needing to schedule matches and only having two servers to use for matches, but it was still a ton of fun.  I was also lucky enough to play for two of the best teams in the game in Tactical and Genesis.  So many fond memories in that game that I can’t even list them all.


It’s still super early in the development but I’m very hopeful that they are able to get something going in it.  I would love to see the game again with an updated engine and new player base.  I’m also sure that I am not the only oldie out there that is hoping they pull through.  IYAIAFFYDNPIP!


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