Posts Tagged ‘YouTube’

Its ok, I’m still alive. Just about. I think I left my keys somewhere… This is just a quick update to let you all know what I’m up to at the moment, as well as some musings on recent events I’ve been meaning to get around to. I say this a lot, but I want to pick up the pace on blog posts in the New Year, so hopefully they’ll be more communication from me in general.

First and fore-most – I’m buying a house! Go me! This is the main reason why I’ve been so busy recently. Buying a house is hard, don’t you know. Lots to take into account, and then there was that one time where we thought the house was going to collapse on us as soon as we bought it… but it’s all good now. Coupled with this will be the acquisition of Virgin Media and fibre optic broadband. I’m literally this much happy right now {________________}. This will help me greatly with something else I’m getting into:

Twitch!

I’ve been avoiding it for a while, but we can’t ignore that YouTube and Twitch represents the future of videogames coverage. That’s not to say the written word will die out – not at all, but to ignore these emerging mediums is to tempt fate. Or admit that you have so much money that you don’t really care. Since I’m a poor freelancer though, I’ve got to go where the action is. My meagre video-editing skills that I picked up at University have rusted to the point of, well, whatever a good joke about ‘rust’ is, but Twitch is something I reckon I can handle.

At the time of writing, I’ve only done a couple of streams. Still fiddling around with the settings to be honest, and getting used to the talking/playing thing. It’ll get better when I get my fibre optic anyway. Please do check it out if you get a chance!

Project Author

That’s not the actual name of the project, but it’s the public name. I’ll reveal the real name and more details at a later date. Some of you will know what this is about anyway, but essentially I’m writing my first novel. I’ve always, secretly, wanted to write a novel as I love reading and I like to think I have a fairly active imagination. I got into Journalism in the first place because I wanted to tell stories, essentially, but do so in a way that’s informative and actually useful. Then I realised that actually that was quite boring and so went into writing about games instead, but I always try to tell a bit of a story in my work. My desire to write an actual novel never waned, however.

I’ve been working on it for around four-five months now. I’d like to say I’m making progress, but as soon as I hit 25K words I suddenly realised I wanted to do something different, so I’m currently re-purposing as much as I can and then carrying on from there, but I plan to do a lot more over Christmas as I won’t have as much freelance work to do. I’ll probably share more details when it’s more complete, but for now I’ll just say I’m writing a Science-Fiction novel. Because Space.

How Videogames Change the World

A quick shout out to all my friends and acquaintances who were involved in the making and production of ‘How Videogames Change the World’, which aired last weekend on Channel 4. It’s a great program, and I hope to see more positive mainstream coverage on videogames. The Guardian’s Keith Stuart’s segment during the Minecraft entry about his kids was very heart-warming.

It wasn’t perfect however, although plenty of other people/sites have covered this already so I won’t go into it too much. Essentially though, the format of the show didn’t really fit the theme, as the format was actually a list of 25-influential games, and how they specifically influenced the world. The only problem with this though is that a list structure like that is actually a bit too rigid, and at times they went off on tangents that didn’t really fit in well with what they were trying to do. It also meant they couldn’t really deal with issues like women in games at much as maybe they would have liked to, but no matter.

It also gave off the false impression that the games were in some kind of order of importance, when actually they were just in chronological order. This problem really game to the fore though with the #1 entry, which was Twitter. Now… I know what they were doing, but it was a bit poor, in all honest. Regardless of what the list means, having sat through an hour and a half of really decent discourse on videogames, to then have Twitter as the last thing I saw left a bitter taste in my mouth. Although that could have been what I was drinking. Still, it was something that was too smug for its own good and trying to be clever, and it wasn’t needed. Other than that, fantastic show though.

That’ll do for now… the problem with writing for a living is that I find I only have so much creativity in me, and I find I use it all up when it comes to be writing a blog about something. And there’s twitter. It’s essentially the perfect Micro-blog platform, and I find that I’ll make a point on there far quicker and more effective than just writing about it here. And I hate repeating myself.

 

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I’m rather chuffed with myself I have to say -I completed Darksiders over the weekend! Yay me!I think this is actually the first game in a long while that I’ve just sat down with the aim to complete a game, outside of the fact that I had it for review or whatever. I’m not much of completionist as you may have picked up on by now.

Story driven games like Darksiders pull me through the most, but then I’m liable to get bored if the game mechanics are too boring or grindy, which was in danger of happening here but the key difference I think is that I had a purpose. You may remember I was in Amsterdam a couple of weeks ago seeing the sequel, and in preparation for that I actually read up on the first game. Kind of spoiled the ending for myself, but it actually sounded like a decent, iconic moment for a videogame, and so as soon as I got back I bought it from ShopTo.net (GAME were out of stock), and the sometime last week I think I started playing it – doing a couple of hours every night before marathoning it during the Easter Weekend to finish it off.

It’s weird – knowing the ending beforehand gave me an end goal, a reason to put up with the oddities, the repetitions, and the rushed plot devices that littered the game, and when I got to that scene I wanted to see (which I probably could have easily looked up on YouTube), I had a real sense of achievement. More so perhaps than if I didn’t know what was coming. It was definitely worth it, and I don’t mean to make Darksiders sounds rubbish, because it really isn’t. Other people I talked to said the first hour or so was really boring, and I could kind of see that but again I knew what the game was about, and I knew where I was headed so it was easier to bear – perhaps foreknowledge really isn’t such a bad thing after all.

It’s a shame really that the second game isn’t going to continue on from that ending – it’s very much a “Can’t wait to see what happens next” moment, but given that the first game was a tentative first step into a new IP, the second is going to expand on the universe and the lore more, and then probably bring it all together for the third game where they’ll continue on from there. Assuming THQ survives long enough to help Vigil get a third game.

It’s like I said in my preview though – parallel stories are a dangerous thing, and I hope it doesn’t prove to be too tenuous a link to the original game – but it does have to account for the time of the other three horseman whilst War was incarcerated for 100 years at the beginning of the game. One of the game’s leads mentioned to me in an interview that they’d gone into the first game very much with a sequel in mind, and you can see that with the amount of loose ends they leave.

I doubt I’ll pre-order it though – too much potential to disappoint right now for me to commit financially for it, plus I’d like to get it for review if possible, but being freelance now there are even less guarantees.

Hope you all enjoyed your Easter.

My dad once told me that the random hotels and quick trips end up getting soulless and not really enjoyable anymore – I’m hoping I never reach that point. Press trips for me, whether they are quick jaunts into London, or going overseas for a day or a week or what have you, are all part of the experience for me, and experiences in and of themselves. I still love to fly, love to visit different places although I don’t really like staying too long – I’m one of those people who can be very rooted sometimes.

Saying that, the only holiday experiences I’ve had are with family – no offence to them, but those got boring after a while. I’ve always wanted to do a proper holiday with friends, as that would be a lot of fun.

Anyway – tonight, I’m about to embark on another one of my mini-adventures. After hanging out with the guys over at Videogamer.com for a bit ( to celebrate the launch of their new-look website ), I’m staying overnight in a small hotel in London so that I can catch an early flight from Heathrow the next day to Prague, in the Czech Republic. I’m going there to see 1C, a Russian videogames publisher who are a bit like Paradox in the sense that they specialise in smaller, more niche titles – although they have a lot more console offerings than Paradox at the moment. They are also apparently the second largest European publisher, with Ubisoft being the largest – who knew?

They have a few well known franchises, but again in niche areas – IL-Sturmovick is supposed to be a good WW2 flight combat game, the Men of War franchises (sucessor to Faces of War and Soldiers: Heroes of World War II) is, in my mind, the best offering they have. In wake of Company of Heroes, which Relic have seemingly abandoned for the moment, Men of War is the best there is. It sometimes has a problem balancing the micro management with the tactical element of the game, but it is really fun to play online and one of the few games where you really feel the chaos that was the second great war. You might also have heard of games like Kings Bounty, Death to Spies even Theatre of War – those are all 1C titles as well.

Last, but certainly not least, another game which I think is going to be big for them is Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad. It is the sequel to Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45, which in itself was based off the total conversion Red Orchestra mod for Unreal Tournament 2004. After winning the Making Something Unreal contest, the team behind the mod formed tripwire studios, and made a more complete, game, resulting in Ostfront. It’s a more tactical first-person shooter, and the sequel will feature many interesting features such as a first person cover system, destructible environments, off-map fire support, vehicles and as much else as I imagine they can reasonably fit in. World War II has been left behind by the first person shooter genre in recent years, so maybe there’s room for this game to carve out its own niche.

I’ve seen it once before, although it was at GamesCom, not the Prague showcase (1C does this every year), and it will be there again this year ahead of its August 30th release. Hopefully we’ll get some decent hands on with the game and I can get a better feel for what the finished product is going to be like. Shame it’s not coming to consoles at the moment – I still haven’t quite gotten into the whole WASD thing with FPS… might try giving it a go with me gamepad, see if I can keep up. You can read some thoughts I had on the game when I saw it last year here.

It’s only going to be a short trip – flying out Wednesday Morning, showcase in the evening, and then coming back Thursday during the day. Still, it breaks up the monotony of my typical day, which is sitting in front of my computer trying to amuse myself with blogging, or watching completely ridiculous videos on YouTube.

I might try and update Wednesday night, but we’ll see. See you on the other side if not.