2016 Can Die in a Fire
The last couple months of 2015 were some of the most stressful in my life, even over moving internationally and buying my first house. I can’t disclose exactly why – just know things were…busy. “Busy” is a nice way of putting it. When Christmas break finally rolled around, we took it easy and I thought that 2016 would be different. 2016 would be better.
I started a post for the New Year, ready to recap 2015 and highlight my hopes for 2016. It’s still in my drafts, and will never be finished. 2016 started off abysmally, in terms of world news and entertainment. Riots, deaths from cancer, insane politicians gaining foothold with barbaric policies. It was (is!) a nightmare.
The karmic steamroller continued on, closer to home. The issues that plagued the end of 2015 were still present, but my husband and I stood vigilant, resilient. We would not let this best us now! But it didn’t have to – something else did.
Omni Treadmills – Run Into the Future (But Don’t Forget Your Wallet)
Run Into the Virtual Future (But Don’t Forget Your Wallet)
A look at the Two Big Consumer-Aimed Omni Treadmills
Virtual Reality is upon us, by friends. This year at EGX, I had the opportunity to try the Playstation VR (formerly Project Morpheus) and was blown away by the experience. I mean, wow. Playstation VR is slated for a 2016 release, as is the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift. We will have plenty of choices for how to immersive ourselves mentally into new worlds. But what about immersing ourselves physically?
Back when Oculus first put VR in our minds as a tangible, reachable dream, a few people dreamed even further. We were introduced to the omnidirectional treadmill controller, a platform in which you could walk, run, crouch and jump your way through gaming. Paired with a VR headset and motion controllers, you would be transported into your favourite game, mind and body.
Two companies have come out of the woodwork with consumer-grade solutions: Virtualizer by Cyberith and Omni by Virtuix. Both ventures saw successful Kickstarter campaigns and are presently available available for pre-order with late 2015 / early 2016 releases.
The idea behind an omni treadmill peripheral is that your motion is the controller. As you walk on the surface, your character walks. As you turn, they turn. The immersion this gives you is phenomenal. Pushing an analog stick to make your Dovahkiin run sure is tiring – but imagine how tiring it would be if YOU were the one running, slinging spells, sneaking and stealing sweet rolls, and jump off High Hrothgar to your doom? I can’t think of a more ideal way to get fit than shouting dragons out of the sky (or running from bears)!
While they are both omni-treadmills, they have gone different ways with their execution. There are advantages and disadvantages to each, certainly.
Ikea Hack – Two-in-One PC & Craft Desk
A month or so ago, I finally updated my desk setup. My existing setup used Ikea’s Table Top/Leg System – a Linnmon 120x60cm Top in Birch and two Lerberg Trestle Legs in White. This served me well for a few years – sitting in the living room, the clean look kept it from cluttering up the space and kept things light. It did well enough as a desk for my monitor and computer peripherals, but it just felt too small after a while. There was no space for a second monitor or my computer tablet, and it left no space whatsoever for other activities such as my various crafts – drawing, figure-painting, whatever else strikes my fancy. It just didn’t cut it anymore.
EGX 2015 Impressions – Day 2
Following on from Day 1 at EGX 2015, Day 2 was more sedate on the game-playing front. But it wasn’t without it’s moments!
The crowd amped up a bit on Friday! It didn’t help that we didn’t have early access for Day 2 either, as it sold out fairly quickly. As such, we didn’t get to play any of the bigger titles. I will admit to being overwhelmed a bit during the first half of the day, but things went smoother in the afternoon.
EGX 2015 Impressions – Day 1
EGX 2015 has now come and gone, but our impressions live on! EGX had a lot of games to offer, but I didn’t get to play many myself, truth be told. Some of it came down to long queues. A lot of it came down to the present “fad” genre not being for me. That said, lordwelshi did try quite a few as I spectated, so I was able to get an idea from them.
My First Time at EGX
This year was my first time attending EGX, previously known as Eurogamer Expo. It’s also my first time attending any sort of convention event ever. You can imagine my head was going in a million directions – what would I see? How would things flow? Would it be too crowded? Would I enjoy it?
Monthly Round-Up: August 2015
August felt like a slow and quiet month, but looking back, there was some stuff going on!
+1 Creativity (aka HERE!)
Following my review of Dragon Age: Asunder on WWAC (you’ll see that below), I did a breakdown of Cole’s full backstory, from Asunder to Inquisition, to show how each medium puts him in a different light. This also included a theory on the origin of Cole’s strange powers.
Women Write About Comics
As I mentioned above, I did a book review of Dragon Age: Asunder, the tie-in novel between Dragon Age 2 and Dragon Age: Inquisition featuring Cole, Rhys and Evangeline. As part of Productivity Month, I also shared my two methods for task and habit management: Kanbanchi and Habita (formerly HabitRPG). In a mini-feature of webcomics, I brought up Strays by Samantha Whitten and Stacey Pefferkorn, which I’ve been reading since around 2007 and is now reaching its final pages. Lastly, we jumped into another “What We’re Playing”, where I recount the crazy antics of my alien Sims in the new “Get to Work” expansion of The Sims 4.
Not technically August, but WWAC has now launched an IndieGoGo campaign, with the intention of gathering seed funding. This funding will allow increased advertising, the ability to pay both staff and contributing writers (hey, that’s me!) for their contributions, as well as a digital and printed zine! Exciting stuff! If you’re interested in supporting this endeavour, please check out the campaign.
lordwelshi & YouTube
YouTubing has been slow this month for technical reasons, which I’ll get to. In terms of playing, I’ve not actually played anything with him this month! However, if you want to check it out anyway, he has been playing Beyond Eyes and Infinity Runner – very different settings!
Homeworld (aka Real Life)
I’ve alluded to technical issues above – BROADBAND. The last two weeks of August, and these first weeks of September, we have been without broadband. This has led to a bit of slowdown in, well, everything. That big Anook push above was done because I knew the broadband was going out at SOME point, but not exactly when. Basically, we have switched broadband providers and when the new ISP checked the line for connection, they found faults at the exchange. These had to be fixed before they could proceed with our service transfer. Once that was done, they then began the two-week process. Oof! Almost a month!
Luckily, that should be coming to an end soon! Our activation date is imminent, so we should be back up and running. Once our broadband is in and stable, we will also be able to look at fibre broadband finally. What does that mean for you guys? For one, it means more ease of playing games, as well as uploading YouTube videos! A big perk of the fibre plan we’re looking at is a good upload speed, so videos will be much easier/quicker to get online. So fingers crossed!
Between Two Worlds: The Sad Story of Cole (Dragon Age) [Spoilers!]
I swear, one day I’ll stop talking about Cole. That day is not today! Cole from Dragon Age: Inquisition went from being a character I knew nothing about to one that I wanted to adopt as my son. His story is tragic, and his desire to understand the world and help people within it is endearing. His lack of social aptitude is childlike and I just want to shelter him from the whole world. I quickly became endeared to him throughout my first playthrough, which led me to the tie-in novel centred around his backstory.
There are two parts to understanding Cole – the part the book shows and the part the game shows. I’ll show you why this is important by highlighting certain parts. Parts in Blue are revealed only in the book and parts in Green are revealed only in the game.
Monthly Round-Up: July 2015
This little corner of the internet has been kinda quiet this month, but elsewhere –
Women Write About Comics
With the announcement of the FFVII Remake at E3 this year, we all reminisce about the original. I ventured forth into the depths of space, where no one can hear you bone, with Starfighter: Eclipse by Date Nighto (based on the 18+ webcomic – NSFW). I also took a look at why film/TV adaptations of manga are more successful and well-received compared to their Western counterparts. Lastly, we talk about our experiences with partners and their feelings towards our feminist opinions.
lordwelshi & YouTube
In the land of YouTube, Danny Sexbang of Ninja Sex Party accidentally ruined my birthday present, and Welshi is not pleased. We also dove back into the world of Elder Scrolls Online, following from our mini-excursion in the Beta days.
Not much on Anook this month – at all, actually! In the homeworld, we’ve had some routine-changes because…
Homeworld (aka Real Life)
…Welshi got a new job! He’s finally left retail and now has an office job at my company. Now that he has weekends off and better hours, we’re playing a bit of catch-up on things like HAVING A LIFE. Because of this, we’ve done a lot more game-playing and recording, which means I’ve done less artwork for Anook and writing for WWAC. We’re still adjusting to this newfound thing called “spare time together”, so it might take us a little while to get into a normal, balanced rhythym. So please bear with me!