No Round-Up This Week

Normally I’d be posting my State of the Game weekly round-up today, but this week has been hectic for a number of reasons, and I really didn’t have a whole lot of free time to play games. As such, I can report everything that I did in just a couple of sentences, and that’s not conducive to a full-on round-up post.

Recently my father was admitted to the hospital. He had an issue with his leg that turned out to be semi-serious, and we were fortunate to get him in there when we did. He’s been in the hospital for most of the week plus the weekend, and we’re still unsure as to when he will be released, so that’s meant I’ve had to step up around the house and get things done that he might normally do (or at the very least I would only have a small part in). This has not only drained the holiday spirit from the house, but it has kept me busy with doing chores and running errands, plus going to visit him.

I have also taken steps to get some of my own problems in order, which is all going to culminate in me being better off than I was the few months ago that I moved out here. I didn’t know that I would be in the position I’m in now when I decided to make the move, but it has worked out to where it feels like I came here for a reason, beyond my own selfish ones. That makes me feel good, like life has a purpose, but it’s stressful dealing with the adult world that I haven’t been a part of for the better part of this year. Being a bum has its perks, but I feel better having things that need to be done and it feels great to be getting back on track in my own personal life.

I started talking to a woman here locally, who just relocated to the area herself (we both lived here when we were kids but moved away for many years and find ourselves trying for a fresh start mere blocks away from each other). That, along with my other duties have left gaming by the wayside, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t play anything at all. It just means that life is starting to pick up around here, and I might be a little less present on the blog and on social media. Never fear, I’m not abandoning anything. There will still be regular posts here, along with new podcasts after the new year and I’ll still poke my head in over on Twitter. I just know that with the way things are going, I might not have as many things to say as frequently.

So what did I actually play this week? Well if you caught my Snowdown 2014 post, you’ll know that there was a new featured game mode for League of Legends, and I have spent most of my free time playing matches of that. I earned two of the icons, and have almost earned the third and final one. Aside from that, I’ve been playing Diablo III, but I spent most of the time on my Hardcore Monk, who is now level 44 and has cleared the original game. He’s sitting in Act V now, and after completing that I’ll probably just do adventure mode stuff til he hits the cap. I’d like to have most of that stuff opened up and have the ability to earn paragon levels in Hardcore, so that it’s not limited as it is right now. I still plan to play my Wizard (and maybe level up another normal character, we’ll see) in the end game stuff, but since normal and hardcore don’t cross over, I have to pick and choose what I feel like doing. That’s pretty much what’s going on with me. I’ll see ya around.

#stateofthegame #roundup #life

The Forest 0.10 and 0.11

So I haven’t really been paying attention as I haven’t touched The Forest in a while. Part of this is because as the game is in early access, I’ve been waiting for it to be more fleshed out before I really dove in, and I was really looking forward to the multiplayer patch that came in a while back. Unfortunately I don’t know many people with the game, so I haven’t really been able to try out the multiplayer yet, so now I’m just kind of waiting for it to get closer to, or actually release to really dig deep. I figure at some point there will be matchmaking or perhaps lobbies so that you can join up with other people to play. Plus there is supposed to be a story of sorts added as well, so I might as well wait for that. I still want to keep up the habit of chronicling the changes though, and perhaps I’ll get another round in sometime soon. For now, I have patch notes to share, the last one that I missed, and the one that just recently came out. Plenty of changes here.

Alpha Version 0.10

  • Platforms! Place the log cabin on a slope and procedural platform will be constructed underneath to give it support. No more cabins on side of hills.
  • New buildable item: Tree platforms!
  • Building height system added Look up to place structures higher (using procedural foundation system) or downwards to place on ground (as in old system)
  • Climbing system! Player can now climb rope
  • Removed steps from tree houses! Replaced with climbable hanging ropes.
  • Added clamp to tonemapper to stop it sometimes turning screen completely black if seeing a very bright pixel. Fixed related issue where bloom would sometimes cause screen to turn black if it found overbright pixels.
  • Fixed issue with plastic torch spamming errors, causing a performance drain when using torch light source
  • Tweaks to world lighting and fog/ambient colors. Lighter and plastic torch now cast shadows.
  • Tweaked enemy density in caves
  • Added option to turn off all hud elements in options menu (not recommended!)
  • Increased size of rabbit on fire to match world scale
  • Small performance optimization on cpu by removing OnGui calls
  • Meds will now be auto consumed if health below 20 when picked up
  • (single player only bug)Fix for pine tree top heavy not being cuttable
  • Fixed missing marigold and chicory plants
  • Improved ambient audio zones and fixed outside sounds continuing to play when inside a cave
  • Improved cave audio ambience
  • Lizards can now be caught in cages along with rabbits (and raccoons)
  • Fire Arrows! Press L with bow equipped and at least 1 piece of cloth in inventory
  • New falling leaf particles (3x) added and improved look of leaf burst (less bright/unlit)
  • New fluff particles added and using a new dust shader (bright in light, dark in shadow particle shader)
  • Improved look of torch light – now two tone
  • Fixed overbright lights on mutant creepy’s fires and all bombs/held bombs and better balance on bomb explosion particles
  • Balance pass on all mutant textures, improved look of skin and put all into same texture value space
  • New improved blood particles!
  • Fixed issues with sticky bombs
  • Fixed enemy skin and player arms sometimes losing ability to receive shadow and appearing overbright
  • Fixed molotovs not exploding on impacting enemies
  • Improved transition from cannibal village hole to caves using new generic rock chunks
  • Log holder is now pushable using push and hold animations
  • Fixed audio issue where some sounds would fade out instantly/abruptly
  • New suitcase art (6 textures variations, 2 model variations) added!
  • Fixed missing mesh renderer at front of plane crash(animated forward hull)
  • Animated passengers added to plane crash! – Don’t skip crash!
  • Fixed dead lizard normals flipped causing ragdoll to look different than regular model
  • Improved look of small shelter (better rocks, better log renders etc)
  • Lighter will always light after a limited amount of attempts (was previously possible to attempt to light 20 plus times if unlucky)
  • Fixed lighter animation playing continuously when stashing lighter quickly after getting it out
  • Improved held item switching sequence (better use of existing animations)
  • Pale enemies no longer attack each other or the distorted creatures
  • Removed cave beach entrances -replaced with rope climb out areas in lower caves fixing issues with entering caves near ocean
  • New molotov weapon art
  • Fixed lighter flame being too small visually
  • Fixed flare gun making shooting sound when fired without flares (will now make an empty click sound)
  • Improved tree falling sound settings
  • Swimming sound effects added!
  • Tuned/balanced pick up sound effects, eating sound effects etc
  • Enemies will now always prioritize visible players over other enemies in combat
  • Improved instances of small items pushing player and added max velocity to attempt to stop player flying up into sky
  • (multiplayer) fixed bug where some shadows would break/change after respawning
  • Improved some environment art, started implementing better cliffs in some areas and higher detail rocks. Added new lake zone.
  • New art for (some) cave stalagmites and stalactites
    (hopeful fix) for players sometimes swimming even when not in water area
  • Player will now stash weapon when swimming!
  • New creature added! – Check the caves.
  • Delay added to combat music so it won’t continuously trigger when entering in/out of combat
  • (multiplayer)Walkie talkies added! Press Q to communicate in multiplayer games.
  • (multiplayer) Fixed issue where items needed would sometimes stay on screen depending on if client/server destroyed a blueprint
  • (multiplayer) Fixed issue where returning to start menu would break game and turned back option in menu
  • (multiplayer) Fixed Enemies not showing blood particle fx on clients when they are hit.
  • (multiplayer) default player cap increased to 8 along with option to go up to 128 players (for adventurous players only! not recommended)
  • (multiplayer)Fixed Suitcases not being replicated over the network and existing only locally for each player
  • (multiplayer) Fixed Mutant ragdolls not replicated properly on client
  • (multiplayer) Fixed Wall built in MP vanishing instead of turning into logs when destroyed
  • (multiplayer) Fixed issue where remote players would not alert enemies via sound detection
  • (multiplayer) Lizard skin player armor now visible by both client/host
  • (multiplayer)Fix for overlapping chat text
  • (multiplayer)Fixed some Log duplication bugs
  • (multiplayer)Fixed Logs invisible for client in certain spots on the map
  • (multiplayer) Fixed issue where only newly built effigies would only be seen by host
  • (multiplayer) Fixed client/host sometimes having differently positioned yacht location
  • New art added for some of the cave entrances
  • Re-worked save game system so future updates will (likely) not erase save games to work!
  • Fixed issue with weapon upgrades have no or very little effect
  • Improved animal spawning in world- less chance of dead zones where no animals ever show up.

It looks like besides some general quality of life fixes, this patch added in the ability to build in the trees and climb rope, both things that add some extra dynamics to what you can build and tricks/traps you can pull on the cannibals. This patch looks to have added some cool stuff for sure. I’ll definitely have to get in game and check some of this stuff out. On to the most recent patch:

Alpha Version 0.11

  • New buildable item: Experimental walls! (single player)
  • New buildable item: Custom foundations!(single player)
  • Multiplayer save/load added Note: Currently limited to server being able to load the savegame, clients will start game fresh each time but still be able to enter a previously saved hosts game. Server/host will be able to save state of game world/structures.
  • Steamworks saving to cloud added – Regular save/load still works however it will now try and load from cloud first and pick most recent file (We’ve just hit the checkbox to enable this, it should be available soon)
  • Improved bridge snapping to be more responsive and less chance of it snapping to wrong position and improved visual feedback
  • Fixed wooden path blueprint not saving
  • You can now use the walkman as a distraction device. Stick it to a tree, confuse your enemies! Attach to a trap and lure them to it.
  • Re-worked title screen and cleaned up button animations
  • New options menu, with more organized layout
  • Added grass density slider to options menu – newer graphics cards can turn this up for better looking grass.
  • Player can now attack whilst crouched improving stealth kills
  • New animal added: Squirrells
  • Fixed bug where some animals wouldn’t show up
  • Improved look of ponds
  • Deer now have more health and will attempt to flee if you hit them
  • Killing deer will now attract skinny mutants who may attempt to feed on the carcass
  • Skin from deer can now be collected and worn
  • Deer skin will keep players warm if worn, can mix/match lizard skin and deer skin
  • New item added: Generic meat (can be sourced from deer or raccoons)
  • New item added : Wrist watch (can be found in luggage, or on some dead passengers) – use as crafting ingredient (such as on timed explosive)
  • Changed recipe for timed explosive to include watch
  • Audio – new cave sound effects added
  • Audio – Improved cave ambient audio fade out zones
  • Audio – Fixed audio slider in options menu not working correctly
  • Audio – Reverb added to cave sound effects
  • Audio – All sound effects now fade out on player death
  • Audio – Tuned levels of weapons, footsteps
  • Audio – Made frog sounds quieter,less frequent and less annoying
  • Audio – Lowered chance to cave combat music playing
  • Audio-Fixed suitcase open sound using flesh hit sound effect
  • Skinny enemies – increased speed, added in some missing animations. Increased health
  • slightly. Will now travel in groups of up to 3 making them more of a threat.
  • Pale cave enemies faster, more health and increased hit damage
  • Improved geese lake layout, new rocks and details
  • New ground textures! – improved parallax mapping, and better blending – switch to relief or lower if there’s any slow down with this (via options menu)
  • New rock detail textures added to most rocks
  • New pine tree and pine tree moss textures and improved look of (some) dead trees
  • Major re-work of cave2 environment, more interesting rooms, better layout of rocks, new rock types and better flow through areas. Added small water falls
  • Armsy will now sometimes tear down trees
  • Reduced chance that regular cannibals will flee after player kills one of their group
  • Fixed skinny cannibals sometimes having leader props on dead body
  • Fixed some instances of enemies stuck not doing anything
  • Fixed bug where player would have issues climbing rope if cold and shaking
  • (multiplayer) Fixed log duplication bug, where it was possible to spawn multiple logs when picking up up a log
  • Fixed issue where you couldn’t pick up rabbits. You can now take rabbits out of traps or out of cages.

The integration to Steamworks when it comes to cloud saves leads me to believe that future multiplayer matchmaking could come soonish. Otherwise it looks like more fixes and additions that will round out the overall experience. I like that they keep layering on new features and that these devs are consistently updating the game. The money I spent on it long ago has already gone to good use. I am surprised at all of the new ideas that keep popping up, and hope that the finished project is as awesome as it seems it will be. The game is already vastly different than it was when it first came to early access, and that’s great to see. Keep an eye out for a post coming soonish where I check out some of the new features!

#theforest #patchnotes

By The Numbers: Week 16, 2014

bythenumbers

So another week has passed. The Packers had a shitty day in Buffalo last week, in which they couldn’t get anything going on offense, but the defense managed to have a pretty good day. Take away the special teams touchdown and let Jordy make that wide open catch and the game wouldn’t have ended the way it did, but we can’t change any of that now. Looking forward, we know that the Pack is still in the playoff picture, but the seeding is unclear at this point. Since I’m doing this post on Saturday and there was already a Thursday game (that really made no bit of difference for the playoffs as the teams playing aren’t going to the post season at all), but there was also two Saturday games this week that I was unaware of, I have a little bit of insight into the playoff picture before the week is through. Here’s this week’s infographic that shows some clinching scenarios for the Packers, then we’ll talk about the rest of what we know at this point:

141219-infographic-bucs-920

So as you can see, Green Bay needed Philly to lose, and win their matchup against Tampa Bay, along with many other scenarios that could happen to clinch a spot in the playoffs, regardless of seeding. We know now that Philly lost earlier today, so now all the Packers need to do is beat Tampa Bay and we’re in, regardless of what happens next week with Detroit. However, that also pushed Detroit into a clinch this week, regardless of what happens with them. Of course, the goal is still to win the division, so the Packers basically still need to win out to do that. So it’s looking at this point like it will be Green Bay, Arizona, Detroit, Seattle, Dallas, and probably New Orleans in the playoffs this year. The Lions hold the no. 2 seed but that will change if we win the division. So it’s still up in the air but we get a guaranteed spot this week with a win. I think we can handle that. I’ll skip the picks for those two completed games, I’ll start with the game going now between the Chargers and 9ers.

Chargers 21, 49ers 17
Browns 17, Panthers 13
Lions 27, Bears 13
Ravens 31, Texans 20
Dolphins 20, Vikings 10
Saints 27, Falcons 21
Patriots 37, Jets 3
Chiefs 24, Steelers 20
Packers 27, Buccs 13
Rams 24, Giants 17
Cowboys 23, Colts 20
Bills 17, Raiders 3
Cards 17, Seahawks 13
Broncos 28, Bengals 21

#bythenumbers #nfl #picks

Couch Podtatoes Episode 26: Clip Show

CP4

This week’s show is a little different in that it’s not a usual show. It’s more of a year in review of the podcast, where I took some of the funniest or most memorable bits from all of our shows of this year and compiled them together to make a show that’s (hopefully) full of laughs and insightful bits. I have a lot of fun putting this together, so I hope you enjoy taking a ride through time with us. That’s really all I can say, so take a listen and enjoy!

 

Download this Episode Subscribe via RSS Download on iTunes Listen on Stitcher

Couch Podtatoes Epsiode 26: Clip Show (runtime: 1:22:35)

Clip Show (starts at 0:00)

Host Contact information:

Izlain
Blog: Me vs. Myself and I
Twitter:@mevsmyselfandi

J3w3l
Blog: Healing The Masses
Twitter: @ausj3w3l

Music Credits:
“Level Up” by Cookie Monsta (from the Riot! EP)
“Gold Dust” by Flux Pavillion (from the album Plux Favillion)
“Enchanted Rose” by Bury Your Dead (from the album Beauty and the Breakdown)

Couch Podtatoes is a podcast about gaming, though we might stray into other forms of media. Sometimes we use strong language, but we try to keep that to a minimum. All opinions expressed by us or our guests are our own and are in no way to be interpreted as official commentary from any companies we discuss. You can visit our official podcast page at http://couchpodtatoes.libsyn.com/. Be sure to follow us on iTunes, and/or Stitcher Radio.

Questions, comments and feedback are welcomed and encouraged!

#couchpodtatoes #podcast #gamesdiscussion #gaming

5 Terrible Xmas Gifts #Listmas2014

It’s that time of year: the time for giving and receiving gifts, for spreading joy and happiness to friends and family. For spending time with loved ones, eating a bunch of crap that will affect your waistline, and for the inevitable family feuds that will be quelled just in time for dinner. Maybe you’ll make it to the theater for a new film, or just stay in an play that new video game someone purchased for you. The possibilities are endless, but this list is not.

It took me a few days to figure out what I wanted to throw together for #Listmas2014, and I decided to go the comical route. Reader, I know that you have had a year (or maybe years) where you have a clueless family member who buys you a terrible gift. You’ll laugh, you’ll smile, you’ll pretend like it’s amazing, but you secretly can’t wait to re-gift it or return it to get something more desirable. Secret Santas and other holiday induced gift-giving nonsensical events can result in piles of crap you’ll never use and you never wanted, but it’s the thought that counts right? Maybe. It depends if you got one of these terrible gifts! So without further ado, here are 5 terrible Xmas gifts that I hope you don’t receive this holiday season!

1. Fruitcake

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You know it, and you hate it. Some of you might actually enjoy this “treat” but I personally can’t stand the stuff. Typically made with canned fruit that just doesn’t taste right after it’s been added to the flavorless cake, and if it’s being shipped to you it’s probably going to be a fruity brick by the time you dig into it. Some relative of yours who is normally a great cook/baker will insist that they make a great fruitcake. Be warned: there is no saving this disaster of dessert choices. If your dog won’t eat it, why should you?

2. Christmas Sweaters

Vintage-80s-Oversized-Sparkle-Teddy-Bear-Hearts-Tacky-Acrylic-Ugly-Christmas-Sweater-LargeXL-LXL

We’ve all received one of these from a clueless relative that doesn’t have the first clue what we like. They haven’t taken the time to get to know you, your interests, and likely don’t give a shit. They just buy the first crappy gift that presents itself and wrap that bad boy up and send it to you. Thankfully, there are two modern applications that can save the ugly christmas sweater from being the worst gift in the world. For one, it has become semi-fashionable to have more modern adaptations of the famous Christmas sweater, with funny slogans or pictures on them that might appeal to your inner nerd. For two, the Ugly Sweater party is now a thing, and the requirement for entry is — you guessed it — an ugly sweater. So when Aunt Shirley from Connecticut sends you this ugly pile of threads, save it to get into that party later on. Perhaps you’ll get laid and can thank Shirley (though you probably should leave out the getting laid part).

3. A Video Game (or anything really) that you already own

TheLegendOfZelda_TwoCopies-vgo

Growing up with divorced parents, I had the good and bad that comes with it. The good is that I had two Christmases every year, but the bad was that sometimes that meant getting repeated gifts.  Sometimes receipts get thrown away, or at the very least you have your own disappointment that carries over to them. There’s nothing worse than opening a gift and realizing it’s something you opened elsewhere already, and then you have to explain that, etc. etc. In the case of not being able to return it, you have two copies of one thing. Maybe you can re-gift or sell it, but it sort of defeats the point for everyone involved. So for all of you gift buyers out there, try to coordinate with your family so you don’t all buy the same shit for your loved ones! Communication! That is all.

4. Herpes

Touted as “the gift that keeps on giving,” this isn’t a gift that anyone wants to receive at any point in the year, least of all the holidays. I would also hope it’s not something you’re getting from a family member, but that’s none of my business. You should really put some salve on that. Something.

5. A Reservation for a Spot in Heaven.

essential

Yes, this is really a thing. For the low low price of $12.79 + $2.00 shipping, you can get the complete Essential Travel Kit, which includes:

This exclusive package contains all the necessary materials to ensure your reservation.
  •  Official Reserve-a-Spot-in-Heaven reservation certificate.
  • Official Reserve-a-Spot-in-Heaven identification card
  • Our informational guide to help you navigate your way. No GPS required here!
  • Our 100% money back guarantee if your reservation is not accepted.

Alright so I’ve said it before, I’m an Atheist so I don’t believe in any of this shit anyway. But seriously? There’s a company out there just scamming you for $15 to give you a couple of pieces of paper, and maybe peace of mind (if you’re an idiot)? For a novelty or gag-gift, ok, but they seem to be pretty “official” about all of this, even giving a money back guarantee if your reservation is not accepted (for which there can never be proof, so they could have just left that off). Anyway, I’d be offended by receiving this gift, but the sad thing is that this is a gift that people will buy for others, and someone will be super happy to get it. The perfect scam for all your religious friends. I honestly don’t see believers being duped by this, but I applaud the evil genius who thought it up. I wonder how they’re spending their Xmas earnings?

So there you have it. 5 Terrible Xmas Gifts. Hopefully you don’t give or receive any of the above. But Merry Christmas anyway 🙂

#Listmas2014