Category: Gaming (Page 20 of 230)

An Age of Games

Stormfall

These days there is not only choice about what sort of games we want to play, but also where we want to play those games. “Gamers” are no longer designated to just two locations, the couch (console gamers) or the PC. Now we can play games on our tablets, phones, and even our watches. How do you know what game you want to play? How do you decide what to try out next?

A lot of it comes from word of mouth. Other games we learn about on various platforms like the AppStore or Google Play. Sometimes you stumble into a hidden gem while exploring the various options available. A lot of games are free to play, making it easy to “try before you buy” and the only thing you have to invest from the outset is a bit of your time.

RTS, (known as real time strategy games) have only grown in popularity as gaming has become mainstream. In one such game you play as Lord of Stormfall and you have to raise your castle by gathering resources. As you grow stronger in power, you battle other rivals and defeat them. You can spend real life money on sapphires to purchase in-game perks like boosting resource production. There are even tutorials and guides so that you don’t get lost along the way, and a helpful wiki. You learn how to be flexible with your resources so that you’re able to adapt to each of the situations on the battlefield. In this way your army continues to evolve, and that’s how you rise in power.

When you start the tutorial you’re instantly brought into the game by the voice over explaining the basics through the tutorial. You’re told to start farming so that you can produce food for your army, and as you complete each task you’ll earn sapphires and other resources like gold and iron. Exploring around as your farm and mine are being built will show you that there are also daily login rewards. After you’ve got a few buildings you’ll be headed to your first battle, and if you’ve been paying attention to the tutorial you’ll emerge victorious! If not, don’t worry, you can keep building up your castle and try again.

The game has a lot to it and was quite a bit more involved than what I was expecting, which was a fantastic surprise. If you’re interested in trying it out or just want more information, you can find it here.

As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!

 

 

Collecting (steam) Games

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This post is motivated from a conversation I had on twitter yesterday where one person was surprised that collecting games on steam was a thing. Sometimes I forget that we’re not all steam game players – there’s also the Origin game client, battlenet client, other clients I haven’t named, and then of course there’s console games. Even though I own 233 steam games I don’t consider myself a ‘collector’ of them because I don’t actively seek games out. They tend to be simple humble bundles, or games from good sales. At what point would I consider myself a collector? I’m not sure. If I went just by sheer number of games then sure, I suppose 233 is more than enough to qualify – but I don’t *feel* like a collector of steam games.

Looking over my stats was a bit of a surprise. 60% of the games I own I’ve never played. I think a lot of people who acquire steam games can probably say the same thing. We buy them and we either never play them or we play them for incredibly limited amounts of time. Why does this happen? Well, lets face it, our time is precious. If we’re not completely sold on a game and we bought it on a whim or it came bundled with another game, we may not have that urge and motivation to log in when we only have an hour here and there. Why would we want to play something we’ve barely even heard of when our comfort game is waiting just over there.

It’s much harder to get me to try something I’ve never heard of before or that I’m uncertain about. That’s not to say that these games are not also amazing to play, I have no doubt that they are, but convincing me takes some time. Then there’s the obligation we may feel to play MMOs that currently require a subscription. What about all of those early access games that we buy thinking “I’ll play it when it fully releases, this game looks awesome and has so much potential!” only that game never gets out of the early access stage and years later it’s still sitting in your steam library. Yep. I have a few of those sitting around too.

One thing I don’t do is feel bad about collecting games, even games I’ve never played. I think collecting things is human nature. Comic books, baseball cards, art, rocks, whatever. These are our hobbies, and we invest in them. Some hobbies grow in value over time – and some don’t. I don’t expect that my steam account will be “worth” anything if I were to pass on but I do know that getting a neat game makes me smile, and playing those games and discovering them can take me away from a pretty crummy day and brighten things up. Berating ourselves for getting a treat of any sort is a common practice. I think these treats are essential to our well being. Of course I do mean in realistic terms here, obviously if you have no source of income and you’re spending food money on video games there’s a problem – but if you’re working hard and want a game – even a game you may not play for long – that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Of course I do have a goal to try to play more of my steam games, especially those I’ve never played before. Just need more hours in a day.

Legacy Family? Still Going Strong!

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It has been a little while since I posted about my Sims 4 legacy family, but they’re still around and I still play them. When I last left off, there was Jessica with her daughter Emily, and Alfonzo had passed on and turned into a ghost. He was buried in the family crypt in the back yard, and comes over frequently – as a ghost, of course. Making use of the bathroom and even helping himself to cooked meals in the fridge. Somehow he manages to keep up his relationship with his daughter even from beyond the grave.

Emily is about to have a birthday and will soon see herself as an adult. She has a boyfriend, Tristan, who will hopefully be continuing the family line with her. Jessica is about to become an elder, and spends most of her day writing books with titles like “Farty Arts: It’s all about the gas”. I’ve managed to upgrade the house quite a bit. If you remember, Jessica started with almost no coin, and was living in a sleeping bag and a house without windows (or a door). Now they have a modest mansion with three bathrooms and five bedrooms. Not bad for this mother daughter team.

I’ve never made it to 10 generations before in any of my legacy Sims games, but I’d really like to. The problem is it takes so much time to go through a single sims life. I know I could shorten it so they don’t live as long and they age faster, but I’d like to keep as many of the default settings as possible.

Emily hasn’t joined a club yet, but her mother joined the Avante Guard club. She went to a few meetings and enjoyed the chatter very much. I’m thinking Emily may just start up her own club, and what their activity will be, I have yet to decide. Have you created any clubs yet? What are some of your favourites? Let me know in comments!

As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself.

Playing Games with No Set Goals

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I spent a lot of my gaming time playing games that don’t have goals set out for you (also called sandbox games). You choose how you spend your time and progression isn’t typically linear. I’m still running my Infinity Evolved server for Minecraft and last night I spent most of it creating items from decocraft, a mod that allows you to use dyed clay to create modern items. Pictured in the screenshot is the office area. I also made a bedroom and a kitchen (with fully functional taps). I could spend hours creating items like this and designing ‘modern’ looking homes. It’s just one aspect of gameplay that I find enjoyable.

I tried to go through some of the minecraft achievements yesterday, but I find them a pretty lackluster bunch. I also learned a bunch about Endermen that I never knew by playing the Telltale game of it on steam. I had no idea what made them aggressive! With my new knowledge, I can pretty much always avoid them (by the way, that was a fantastic game, highly suggest you play it if you haven’t yet).

In minecraft the top floor of the base I’ve created is dedicated to resources and a few ‘pretty’ rooms. This is a drastic change from the room below, which is filled with computers and machinery. The bottom floor houses my tinkerer’s construct. Outside I’ve got a farm growing crops, and I’ve set up some animal pens. I’ve ventured into the Nether but haven’t gotten anything fancy set up there. I’ve also started working my way through Twilight Forest, but I’m feeling a bit lack luster about it because that’s where I spent most of my time in the previous rendition of my server.

There are still a lot of mod packs that I haven’t delved too far into, like Blood Magic. Once I get the ‘house’ looking the way I want, it will be time to pick another mod pack to figure out. Normally I just go with whatever my mood decides, but maybe this time I’ll take a look at the over all list of mods and work my way through them or something. I haven’t decided yet.

In any case, even though Minecraft isn’t an MMO and there’s no progression set out for me, I’m still having a blast playing and creating. Sometimes it’s just exactly what I need.

As always, happy gaming no matter where you find yourself!

A Greenhouse in Minecraft

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I’ve been in a bit of a weird mood with my game choices lately. Due to that, most of my time has been in Minecraft rather than my typical choices, though I am still logging into those too. I’m running the Infinity Evolved server and it’s loads of fun. I ended up turning expert mode off and switched it back to normal. I found that there was really no point in making things difficult (ie: take longer) than usual and I have much more fun when I can accomplish things in one play session.

A good example of that is the greenhouse garden pictured above. I went to a few different villages and pillaged their own greenhouses and then came back and made my own. These food ingredients go to the mod ‘Pam’s HarvestCraft’ and it basically allows you to make over 250 different types of food. Want a BBQ burger with fries? Yep, you can make that. I haven’t delved too far into the other mod packs yet, I’ve got a tinkerer’s forge set up so I can make tools but I haven’t decided where to go from there. Perhaps a quarry? I’ve never actually made one before, though I have come close (I typically move on to another game before too long). I do have a portal to the Twilight Forest, but I could use some obsidian to make a portal to the nether. I also need some animals so I can farm them for bits.

All in all, it’s a nice relaxing way to spend an afternoon.

As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself.

Games for Christmas

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The hustle and bustle of Christmas is coming to a close, and I hope everyone has had a happy and safe holiday. It’s a bit of an odd time of year for me. I love Christmas, it’s one of my favourite times, but it’s also incredibly lonely. My family lives too far away to visit, and I don’t know a lot of locals. My online friends are typically busy with their own happenings (as it should be) and so I watch from a distance, happy but sad if that makes any sense.

I did get a handful of great games from friends this year which was really awesome of them. I got enough WoW time to keep my account active for the next year (thanks Kasul and Shadowgeist!) I also received Stonehearth (thanks Scarybooster!) The Men of Yoshiwara (thanks Moumix!) and Aviary Attorney (thanks again Shadowgeist!) so even though it wasn’t quite the holiday I had planned in my mind, it was still very lovely. I didn’t spot anything in the steam sale that I wanted to pick up, but it’s always a great time for me to pass on some games to friends when funds are tight. I know Christmas is not all about the gifts or what you get from other people, but it does feel nice to be able to give and make someone smile.

I also decided yesterday to start up Minecraft again. I installed the new Infinity Evolved pack from Feed The Beast, and set the game to expert mode. This creates a more ‘difficult’ timeline in order to get things done, but what they mean by ‘difficult’ is ‘time consuming’. It’s not hard, it just takes a lot more time. One of the mods included makes it rain chicken / pigs from the sky on Christmas day. That would be what is showing in the screenshot above. I set up a home next to a mountain and began collecting items to better gear myself. The server is a bit crazy, I walked through 5 towns just to get to the place I wanted to settle. Each town had bits and bobs that I wanted to loot and take with me, so by the time I actually built my house, I had everything well established.

I’ve also been playing Wurm Online and World of Warcraft. In Wurm players received a reindeer decoration item which was pretty cool and nice of the developers. I didn’t log into EQ2 at all this holiday season, and a lot of the reason behind that is because I can’t seem to ‘get into’ it in such short spurt play sessions. I can’t do dungeons or raids simply by queuing, and I really wish I could.

A lot of my gaming has been limited because of a bug with Windows 10 and my mouse, too. For some reason it keeps performing double clicks when it shouldn’t. I know this is an issue with my logitech G700 mouse, I’ve seen lots of threads about it, but there’s no solution to keep it fixed permanently at this time and it bugs me to no end. It makes playing any game with mouse direction or clicking at all almost impossible, or at least incredibly frustrating. I’ve been plugging in the laptop mouse to game in the meantime, but that mouse is tiny and awkward. I keep holding off on purchasing a new mouse (like a corsair) in the hopes that microsoft or logitech or whoever will actually fix whatever my issue is (I’ve tried multiple drivers, I’ve tried no drivers, etc) but it’s certainly not happening any time soon.

Anyone else get any awesome game related gifts this Christmas? Let me know in comments and as always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself.

The No Pants Gaming Club

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My sim decided to host a club gathering at her home, and of course one of the activities everyone can do to earn club points is to set the house on fire bake together, which resulted in the neighbour setting the kitchen on fire. I actually miss having a fire department in Sims 4, it makes owning a fire alarm a bit silly. Instead of the department rushing over to put the fire out, you have to use your sim and select ‘extinguish’. Takes away a bit of the fun.

That being said, I’m having a lot of fun with clubs. I bought a few of the decorative items, set some outfits up, and basically created the no pants gaming club unintentionally. Then I decided to keep it that way. That’s right, in my club the ‘official’ uniform includes no pants, and gaming. Sounds pretty perfect doesn’t it?

The Family that Farts Together, Stays Together

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I’ve been spending a lot of time playing The Sims 4 lately, it is after all one of my favourite games. Last night the family was up to their typical shenanigans. They had a bite to eat, the kid was trying to watch TV, the wife leaned over and gave the husband a big kiss – and she promptly farts, and wafts it his way. There’s nothing that says I love you quite like a big smelly fart (hence the green coming out the rear of the lady in the screenshot, I captured the moment just a second too late). Then Nelson (the son) proceeded to let his own stench rip, quickly followed by his Dad who completed the family circle of gas sharing. Thankfully there were no casualties in the family fart wars.

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The Get Together expansion means there’s a lot of opportunity for sims to (you guessed it) get together. I’ve created the “Knit Happens” club, and members come over daily to watch TV, read books, fish, and garden. Good times are had all around. I’ve even started building a club house out back with a door for members only. I hope to expand it in time, but since I’m playing without cheats they’ll have to raise money for it the good old fashioned way, through digging up crap in the back yard and selling it.

Of course the session wouldn’t have been complete without a neighbour coming over during club meeting hours to set the house on fire while trying to cook grilled cheese. I forgot that there’s no actual firemen that come in this version of the game, so the kitchen slowly burned while my sims danced around frantically until I discovered the “extinguish” feature. Whewps.

I stayed up way too late, and played way too long, but dang if I didn’t have fun doing it.

Happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself.

 

Sims 4 – Get Together

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Another Sims 4 expansion has been released, this time it’s called “Get Together” and includes a new feature called ‘clubs’. Just like in real life, your sim character can join a club, earn points by doing ‘club things’ together, and even lead their own club if they want to.

I wanted to take advantage of some of the new styles in-game, along with traits, so I decided not to start with my legacy family (more about how they’re doing later). I created a new character and moved her to Windenburg (shake your butt-enburg to the locals). The map is a European inspired world that has ancient ruins, cafes, and discotheques. Unfortunately the game also comes full of bugs, some of them really annoying like the one pictured above.

My character and a bunch of strangers just gathered around this counter and stood there forever. They were talking to one another and just frozen in place. It happened twice before I decided to just automagically send my character home which freed her up. I believe the bug occurs when you have so many people gathered in one location. Hopefully EA fixes it before too long (yeah, right).

My sim browsed through the clubs that would accept her without having a whole range of skills and eventually settled on joining the Garden Gnomes. This is a gardening group – at night. At least I think they only operate at night because any time they have a meeting it’s dark. Their last meet up was at a local park, dead of night, complete with a child playing on the playground (that’s not creepy or anything). The group typically gets together (in the dark) and then performs some group farming rituals over some thriving plants, or goes fishing. Yes, that’s exactly what my sim wanted to do on her Thursday evening, go fishing in the city in the dark.

As you go to these gatherings and complete tasks together you earn club points, and these points can be spent on all sorts of things to enhance your club experience. Clubs come with a few by default, and if you’re the leader of the club you’re able to customize it even more. Secret handshakes, cool outfits and accessories of course.

Besides all the fun club things that comes with the expansion there’s a whole range of new items and skills to play with. I’ve been working on my dance moves and have every intention of trying out the new DJ options one of these days. Overall, I’m pretty happy with the expansion so far – minus the bugs, of course.

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Do You Need Combat in your Games?

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Spurred on by a conversation on twitter with Belghast and Adrel I started thinking about the games that I play that I enjoy more than others. Two immediately came to mind, Wurm Online and the Sims franchise. Both are games that (due to my play style) have very little if any combat – and I love that about them. Yes, arguably you can combat as much as you want in Wurm Online but that’s not how I tend to spend my time. In the Sims games there’s almost never any combat, not in the traditional sense. Of course there are ways to encourage combat if you want (you can make enemies and start fights) but for the most part the game is pretty peaceful. Then there’s all of the visual novel games that I enjoy playing, games like If my Heart Had Wings, and Dandelion – Wishes brought to you. Mindless games I enjoy just because like Cook, Serve, Delicious. Building games like Cities: Skylines. These are the sorts of games that entice me the most and I suppose until I sat down and looked through my games it’s not actually something I noticed before.

That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy combat in games, too. I do. Diablo 3 is pretty much nothing but blowing things up. The thing is I get very bored of those games very quickly – just like Belghast tends to get bored of games that don’t have combat in them (per our conversation earlier). I think that in the majority of games I play I spend my time equally between combat and no combat depending on the game. EVE Online is a good example. There’s combat, and I do combat via missions, but a lot of the time I’m running delivery missions or I’m mining or I’m doing industry things that don’t involve any combat at all. The same can be said for EQ2 and WoW, sure, there’s combat, but a lot of the time I’m harvesting, decorating, or crafting and none of that (at least for me) involves any combat at all.

Do you have a preference or are you about equal in terms of combat vs. non combat gameplay? Would you tend to fall asleep if one or the other aspect was missing from your game of choice? Let me know in comments!

 

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