Thursday, December 20, 2012

Let's Play Portal 2 (Blind) - Co-op Play With Sapphire Claw and Razznatazz

A Blind Let's Play
Platform: PC/Windows
Released: 2011
Genre: Puzzle/Platformer
Setting: Science Fiction
Developer: Valve Corporation
Publisher: Valve Corporation


First Video in the Series:

My blind playthrough with my daughters, Sapphire Claw and Razzmatazz (their real names were changed to endanger the innocent).

This is, of course, another puzzle/platform game. A game where physics is something you deal with constantly. The storyline, locations, and characters make this at least 10 times as entertaining as the first game. Join us as we try to get the hell out of this place... again.

[Total Game Time - 15:04:55]

Selected Comments From YouTube:

Cool, I've been waiting for this!
5:55 - a rather intense start for having done nothing but look around and jump... love that Wheatley guy!
9:05 - interesting puzzle. Hard to imagine many more puzzles coming up that don't require a portal gun, though.
10:33 - Interesting feature - the entry/exit chambers display video messages?
11:44 - Uh oh. More graffiti...
15:06 - The elevators dual as vacuums, cool!
Interesting game so far.

• Watching people play portal is one of the most frustrating things but good video.

Links of Interest:

Monday, December 3, 2012

Let's Play Quest For Glory I: So You Want to Be a Hero (VGA Version - Blind)

A Blind Let's Play
Platform: PC/DOS
Released: 1992
Genre: Adventure/RPG
Setting: Fantasy
Developer: Sierra On-Line, Inc.
Publisher: Sierra On-Line, Inc.
Version: 2.000


Join me as I play through the VGA re-release of Quest For Glory I: So You Want to Be a Hero. I play as a Mage in this LP. Originally titled Hero's Quest, this RPG/Adventure Game hybrid was re-released in VGA, with a mouse-driven interface. Observe as I rid the town of Spielburg from it's curse of brigands and it's plague of monsters... or die trying.

I played this in tandem with The CRPG Addict and The Adventure Gamer. They blogged about the original EGA release of the game, while I did my Let's Play on the VGA re-release. Links to their blog posts can be found below.

[Total Game Time - 9:15:28]

Selected Comments From YouTube:

• Amy, that's Earl Sinclair from the TV show Dinosaurs on ABC back in the early 90's. And yes, it is an easter egg. Congratulations!

Sweet! Been looking for a Magic User walk through of this game :3

Links of Interest:

Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption (upcoming game from Lori and Corey Cole)

HERO6 Live Chat Interview With Lori and Corey Cole

Transolar Games (the Creators of Quest For Glory) on the Making of the Series

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Let's Play Portal (Blind) - Co-op Play With Sapphire Claw and Razznatazz

A Blind Let's Play
Platform: PC/Windows
Released: 2007
Genre: Puzzle/Platformer
Setting: Science Fiction
Developer: Valve Corporation
Publisher: Valve Corporation


Or click here to view the playlist on YouTube.

First Video in the Series:

Or click here to view the video on YouTube.

My blind playthrough with my daughters, Sapphire Claw and Razzmatazz (their real names were changed to endanger the innocent). If our voices are too low, then please accept my apologies. This is my first time using a desk mic, and it's not a stupendously awesome mic at that. Hopefully someone will enjoy this. If not, eh. We had fun.  :P

What can I say about Portal? It's a puzzle game, and a platform game. A game where physics is something you deal with constantly. Underneath all the test chambers and things to figure out, there is a twist in the plot (or more, the twist is the introduction of a plot) that turns this game into something more.

[Total Game Time - 7:01:85]

Selected Comments From YouTube:

Nice LP. It's fun to hear reactions from multiple people :)

Were ya'll planning to do Portal 2? :-)

Links of Interest:


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Let's Read The Books of Skyrim

Technically, these aren't Let's Plays. They are Let's Reads. I'm intent on reading aloud every book I find in Skyrim (many of which are present in the previous Elder Scrolls games as well), and presenting them in video form, turning the pages as I go. All of these books are linked from (and link back to) events in my Let's Play series of Skyrim, in which I find the books themselves.

This may seem ridiculous (and it probably is!), but some people are actually leaving favorable comments on these videos.

I'm not going to make an entry for this in the list of Let's Plays, but I will embed and link to the playlist and first video in the series.

This is going to take me about a year to finish if I keep up with it, as I believe there are 300-something non-journal books in Skyrim. All I can say is that I'm having fun so far, and learning so much about the lore of the entire Elder Scrolls series.


First video in the series:

Selected Comments From YouTube:

• wow this is a very interesting idea thanks for doing this

• It's like story telling time at the local library...8)  

• THIS is unique...

• Thank you for taking the time to do these videos, they are great. :)

• Wonderful ,I love all your Elder Scrolls readings. You are a true Elder Scrolls fan and a credit to the ES games.

• Moral of the story: in Skyrim, insane people are actually posessed by the evil Daedric Prince Sheogorath, so don't try to take advantage of them or they'll double-cross your ass and then laugh inside your skull while you slowly starve to death.

This one made me LOL! Thank you.

Thank you ,wonderful reading, it explains the story of Oblivion very well.

Thanks for this. I have always wanted to read the books I found in Skyrim. My home in Breezehome are filled books lying on the floor. XD But I never have found the time to read it because when in game, I'd rather go questing. This is also easier because it's like watching a movie with subs. :D 

could you include subtitles? naaah i'm jokin good job

I could listen to you read these all day, you know in reading countless books from both Marrowind and Oblivion, that's the height of the games, it's what makes "The Elder Scrolls," amazing to play.

I left a comment on your "Mysterious Akavir" video about how sources conflict about the physical nature of the Tsaesci race. In this book, they're described as having mounted scouts and cavalry. If they were literally snakes with snake bodies, such an act would be difficult to imagine. This is one of several instances where the lore is internally inconsistent and we, the fans, are left to interpret it on our own. Again, I enjoy and appreciate your videos.

Gave you a "like" for reading from one of my favorite series in TES. It's right up there with 2920, the real Barenziah, the Commentaries on the Mysterium Xarxes, the Lessons of Vivec and the Remanada. All favorites of mine, but this one rivals them

I was looking for this.. too lazy to read them myself! thats unfortunate Good JOB! 

Very good work, you have a pleasant voice. This is one of my favorite books, if you haven't read Disaster at Ionith, could you? 

Awesome! I've watched all your "read the books of Skyrim" videos! Keep up the good work! 

I love these videos, I am absolutely in love with the Elder Scrolls series & it's lore! Thank you!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

I.F. Only

Well, it's been awhile since my last post, and I'm still playing Skyrim. Other than that, I have a whole slew of things to announce.

Today, I'll just announce the arrival of a second channel of mine. It's called I.F. Only. The 'I.F.' stands for Interactive Fiction, also known as the text adventure. You can find the channel here:

If you have a YouTube account, feel free to stop by, subscribe, leave comments, and what-have-you. I announced the channel about a month ago in my 121 Subscriber Special, but not everyone watches those things. It's okay. I don't always watch them either.

 As for what's going to be on this channel, I am currently posting videos that are edits of extended interview footage from the Interactive Fiction documentary, GET LAMP. This was filmed and edited (etc.) by Jason Scott, and it contains interviews with literally dozens of Interactive Fiction authors/programmers, as well as people who were amazed and thrilled by these games. These extended interviews are available on, but I've cleaned them up a bit and added subtitles where necessary (mostly when Jason says something off-camera that may be a bit hard to hear, or to indicate what the interviewee may be talking about, since most of the footage is of the answers to Jason's questions. The questions themselves have mostly been edited out.).

This year's Interactive Fiction Competition is about to start. This is an event where people submit their games to win prizes, or just to win. I'm signed up to be a voter this year, and I'll be playing through the beginning of these games, and recording them as Let's Plays / Reviews. I'll give my opinion on the game, and what score I've given it. I can't release these videos until the competition is over, which is November 15th. So be on the lookout for these vids in mid-November. There were 38 games submitted last year, but I'll try to get to them all.

In the meantime, I'm going to attempt to put up a Let's Play of an excellent Interactive Fiction game, Earth and Sky. This came out in 2001, and has two sequels. I'll be recording the LP with my daughters. I tried to record this a month or so ago, but the recording failed for some reason. With a bit of technical support from the awesome fellows at the CamStudio forums, I may have fixed things. I hope. If all goes well, we'll play through the sequels as well.

I hope to see you at I.F. Only!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

My iBuyPower Gaming Rig Experience - Part 5

Jeez, I've really dropped the ball on this one. Here's my video review and unboxing of my new computer. The video was uploaded a little over three months ago, and I'm only just posting it here. That, and the follow-up to that vid is long overdue. Whenever I get the house to myself again, I'll film a video update, showing my system while it's running. (It's running quite well, by the way.)

For now, here's the vid in case someone hasn't seen it yet. If you're one of those people, you may want to consider subscribing to my channel, since updates here can be a bit slow sometimes. Unabashed and sneaky plug over.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Let's Play The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

A Blind Let's Play
Platform: PC/Windows
Released: 2011
Genre: RPG
Setting: Fantasy
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks, LLC


First Video in the Series:

Join aspiring Breton mage Amethyst, as she braves the wilds of the province of Skyrim, in search of her destiny. This is a Let's ROLEplay, but I do take things casually, and may be out of character often. I like to have fun playing too, and thus may joke around and such. I'm also a slow and thoughtful player, and will not race through the game. If any of these styles displease you, then please feel free to go bye-bye. Thanks.


I'm playing this game on 1920x1080 resolution (1080p), on the High setting, but with shadow detail set to Medium (due to lag from Fraps recording software, otherwise I could play in Ultra with nVidia tweaks enabled). As of episode 7, I completely turned off antialiasing and anisotropic filtering to get the framerate with Fraps a bit higher.


Even if you've played this game, it may look and sound different to you, due to the various mods I've implemented. These only affect graphics and sound, not gameplay. Here are the mods I'm using (subject to change as game progresses):

• SkyUI v2.2 (improves the interface for PC users):

• SKSE v1.4.14 (Skyrim Script Extender - Needed by SkyUI):

• Skyrim HD - 2K Textures v1.5 (upgrades tons of textures to high resolution; in towns, the wild, dungeons, and more):

• Skyrim Flora Overhaul v1.0.9a (high resolution retextures of trees, grass and shrubs):

• Lush Trees v1.3 (adds extra branches and needles to make landscape more dense and wild):

• Lush Grass v1.4.1 (makes grass look taller and thicker):

• Quality World Map With Roads v8.0 (adds roads and better textures to Skyrim's map):

• Enhanced Distant Terrain v1.3 (improves distant low-level terrain):

• Realistic Lighting With Customization v3.4: Vision Lighting setting (improved lighting, added weather effects, more vibrant spell effects and colorful light sources) (NOTE: I removed this mod as of episode 7):

• Sounds of Skyrim: The Wilds v1.0.1 (adds nearly 100 background sound effects to all "outside" areas of Skyrim):

• Sounds of Skyrim: The Dungeons v1.1 (adds about 100 background sound effects to all dungeons):

• Female Face Retexture - with Lips Tint Mask v1.8.1 (makes skin smoother, lips fuller, and removes age lines - how vain, I know):

• Hair Pack v1.0.8 (newer, and usually more attractive, hairstyles - I hate the unwashed hair look in Skyrim - again, vain but oh well):

• Female Bard Cover by Malukah Ingame v1.1 (replaces bard songs with their renditions by YouTube sensation Malukah! (I haven't tested this as of this writing, but hopefully it'll work.)):

Added as of episode 36:
• 101 BugsHD HighRes HighSpawn v4 (adds more bugs and ingredients to the world):

• Categorized Favorites Menu v0.1.14 (though I don't get it working until episode 69):

• SkyTEST (which stands for The Elder Scrolls Tweaks) Realistic Animals and Predators v1.16, with Quieter Spiders Footsteps v1: (REMOVED AS OF EPISODE 52)

Added as of Episode 48:
• Shadow Striping Fix v1.3.1 (fixes annoying stripe effect on faces when near light sources):

• Breezehome Library v1ab (adds a basement library to Breezehome:


• Intel Core i5-2550K Processor (4 Cores at 3.4 Ghz)
• Two nVidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti's, 2GB each, in SLI Mode
• 16 GB of RAM (4 sticks, 4 GB each), by Corsair
• ASUS P8 Z68 V Motherboard
• 1050 Watt Corsair Power Supply
• 120 GB AData S510 SSD Drive
• 2 TB Seagate Barracuda HD, 7200 RPM, 6 GB/S, 64M Cache

[Total Game Time - 321:25:55]

Selected Comments From YouTube: 

After all those classic RPG's, I never saw this one coming. :-)

LOL when i reached riverwood i was practicing swinging my sword when i accidentally hit that chicken running around. the entire town turned on me and lynched me. i was dead 30 seconds later =D 

Woo! :D Good Lp so far!

I always give in to the urge to put chamber pots on the heads of a sleeping characters...XB

orcs with enormous axes make very big holes in adventurers in this game xD 

the companions you say? better bring a flea collar =P

you like killing bandits, you say? the way your character is developing you should team up with them and split the loot! xD

I am loving your lp's keep up the good work :)

 Links of Interest:

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on MobyGames


Skyrim: 2012
          Part 1
          Part 2
          Part 3
To Lydia With Love

Skyrim Cartoons and Animation

Man vs Skyrim - Ep 2. Creatures of the Night
Man vs Skyrim - Ep 3. A Dark Discovery
Man vs Skyrim - Ep 4. It's Back!!!
Man vs Skyrim - Ep 5. Still Got Meeko...
Man vs Skyrim - Ep 6. We Will Never Forget You...
Man vs Skyrim - Ep 7. I Travel Alone...
Man vs Skyrim - Ep 8. Dungeon Crawling
Man vs Skyrim - Ep 9. Attack of the Dragon
Man vs Skyrim - Ep 10. Leap of Faith
Man vs Skyrim - Ep 11. Moar Dragons!!!
Man vs Skyrim - Ep 12. Deep in the Gorge...
Man vs Skyrim - Ep 13. Clearing Out the Gorge
Man vs Skyrim - Ep 14. We Made It!!!
Man vs Skyrim - Ep 15. Going Deep... Super Deep 
Man vs Skyrim - Ep 16. Catching Diseases... 
Man vs Skyrim - Ep 17. Is This the End? 
Man vs Skyrim - Ep 18. Amnesia 
Man vs Skyrim - Ep 19. Vengeance Will Be Mine...   
Man vs Skyrim - Ep 20. Animal Sex... 
Man vs Skyrim - Ep 21. Bareback Riding...

Malukah's Vocal Covers

Skyrim Metal Covers

Skyrim Piano/Violin Covers

This post is backdated to reflect the date of the original Let's Play. My apologies for the two-week delay. I found myself so stuck in the game!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Legend of Grimrock: Pre-Ordered!

I pre-ordered Legend of Grimrock, and you can too, for a measly price of $11.99!

What the hell is Legend of Grimrock? If you already know, skip the following paragraph.

Legend of Grimrock (developed by Almost Human Games) is a dungeon crawling role playing game with an oldschool heart but a modern execution. It's inspired by Dungeon Master, Eye of the Beholder, and Ultima Underworld. It brings back the oldschool challenge with highly tactical real-time combat and grid-based movement, devious hidden switches and secrets, as well as deadly traps and horrible monsters.

Here's a few screenshots:

This is some plantlike thing called a Herder. My guess is it doesn't need sunlight to thrive.

 Here's a Tunnel Ogre. Wazzzup! *crunch* Owww...

I wonder if these cloaked statues would come alive and attack?

A tiny peek at the automap. There's an option to turn it off, and use a supplied printable graph paper.

Death by Undead Soldiers!

What I'm hoping is that LoG, and Wasteland 2, will bring a resurgence of old-school gameplay. We need a return to challenging, immersive games. Games that made you think and strategize.

Anyway, what did I get for pre-ordering? I immediately got the following goodies:

• A manual. Not too long, but it includes: An introductory story; some info on character generation, movement and combat; some spell rune descriptions; and a bestiary, with only five creatures listed. There are no specific items or spells listed here. That's just fine with me, as I prefer to discover these things for myself.

• A world map. This must be for mere flavor, since you spend all your time in a dungeon. It does tie in with the intro story in the manual.

• Graph paper, for those who prefer to turn off the automap and go mapping out dungeon levels. I've had some fun with that in the past, but if given a choice, I'd rather use the automap.

• A set of three wallpapers, at four different resolutions.

• A photo of the Almost Human Games staff.

• A whole bunch of art photos, such as from the intro cinematic, sketches, monsters, and the default player characters.

• Last but not least, an MP3 of the main theme, by Stakula. I love this song. It's so mysterious and majestic.

 Grimrock graph paper!

 You can pre-order now from (DRM free!), or order it on release day from Steam. (No, there is no pre-order on Steam. Yes, there will be achievements.) Or, better yet, order directly from the developer, which supports their efforts to a higher degree, and gives them the needed cash to create more games like this, and possibly expansions or other DLCs for Legend of Grimrock!

YouTube Channel:
Facebook Page:

Friday, March 30, 2012

My iBuyPower Gaming Rig Experience - Part 4

All of a sudden, there seems to be a flurry of progress on my new computer. It's built now, has passed quality control (though I'm not sure how much testing they really do), and it's been shipped! I'm so excited! I received a total of six emails, three of which were all shipping messages telling me that some part of my order has been sent out.

This email was received at 1 PM on March 28th:

Assembly Completed
Your system has been assembled and your order has been forwarded to the Quality Control (QC) department’s queue. During the QC phase your system will be inspected for assembly and physical defects and then it will have MS Windows and needed driver software installed. All systems will also undergo a series of tests during this phase so depending on the complexity of your build, your system may spend one or more days in the QC phase before moving to the Burn-in phase, or may even return to an earlier phase if a problem is found. Your status will be updated online and you will receive an email update when QC is completed.

The Next Step: Quality Control (QC).
The next email you will receive will be notification that has been passed QC testing.

This email was received at 3 PM, on the same day:

QC Completed
Your system has passed the initial Quality Control (QC) inspection/testing, and your order has been forwarded to the Burn-in department’s queue. During the Burn-In phase your system will undergo a final inspection and put through a series of grueling stress tests designed to identify any issues that may not have been caught during the QC testing. Depending on the complexity of your build, your system may spend one or more days in the Burn-in phase before moving to the Shipping phase, or may even return to an earlier phase if a problem is found. Your status will be updated online and you will receive an email update when Burn-in is completed.

The Next Step: Final Burn-in Testing and Inspection.
The next email you will receive will be notification that has been passed Burn-in testing and inspection.

This email was received at exactly the same date and time as above, which leads me to believe that no kind of burning-in was done here. Even on their website, they have the two status messages one second apart (see below). I'd never even heard of the term, "burn-in." It turns out that it's either a kind of stress test, or just leaving electronic equipment running for awhile, to make sure it's running at optimum efficiency. It doesn't look like I received either, from the information given. Here's that email:

Burn-in Completed
Your system has successfully passed all inspections/testing and your order has been forwarded to the Shipping department’s queue. During this phase your system will be carefully packaged and shipped according to the method selected. Due to shipping cut-off times, it is possible that your order will not ship the same day that burn-in is completed. Your status will be updated online and you should receive an email update with the shipping tracking number the evening it ships out.

The Next Step: Shipment Complete/Tracking Number.
The next email you will receive will be notification that your order has shipped; the tracking number will then be provided.

Here's one of the shipping emails that I received on March 29th, at 10 PM, of all times. Working late, iBuyPower? I didn't think Fedex was open at that hour. Oh, okay. Fedex picked up the package at 4:28 PM. This must have been connected to Fedex's shipping from their own local facility, since they have their departure time listed as 10:06 PM. And I'm an hour ahead of them anyway, me being in Arizona (Mountain Time, currently), and they in California (Pacific Time). Anyway, here it is, with the tracking number and other info obfuscated. One of my favorite words, obfuscated:

Your order#BlahBlah has been shipped! Your shipping and tracking information is below:

Tracking Number: 5203blahblahblah
Ship Date: 3/29/2012 10:10:40 PM

We’d like to ask you to take a quick survey. In order for us to provide better products and services, to our customers we need your input! Your opinion is very valuable to us, and the survey will only take a few minutes to complete. To participate, please click the following link: Thank you.

I don't find it necessary to paste in the other two shipping messages. They're identical, save for the tracking number. I knew that the computer and monitor would be shipped separately, and I guess the third box is the accessories, such as the keyboard and headset.

Here's the rundown of the progress on iBuyPower's website:

Status DateStatusNotes/Tracking#
3/29/2012 9:59:28 PMShippedShipped: FEDEX 520blahblahblah
3/29/2012 9:59:28 PMShippedShipped: FEDEX 520rewrewrew
3/29/2012 9:59:28 PMShippedShipped: FEDEX 520roarohnogodzilla
3/28/2012 2:50:08 PMProcessingBurn-in inspection/testing is complete and has been sent to Shipping.
3/28/2012 2:50:07 PMProcessingQuality Control inspection/testing is complete and has been sent to Burn-in.
3/28/2012 12:50:06 PMProcessingAssembly of the computer has been completed and has been sent to QC.
3/23/2012 2:50:29 PMProcessingThe materials needed for the order have been gathered.
3/7/2012 4:50:45 PMProcessingMaterials are now being gathered to complete the order.
3/1/2012 4:00:49 PMProcessingPayment has been successfully received/approved.
2/29/2012 4:46:00 PMProcessingThe order has been received and will be reviewed/processed by a sales rep.
2/29/2012 2:39:02 PMSubmittedOrder Submitted by Customer

If I remember correctly, Ground Shipping is supposed to take... wait a minute! These are Fedex tracking numbers! They upgraded me from Ground Shipping to Fedex Express Saver! That's probably because of the length of time it took to put my system together. (Hey, they didn't see my blog, did they...? Nahhh!) Anyway, that was pretty cool of them, and now it should get to me in 3 - 4 business days.  Fedex says I should have the packages by 4:30 PM on April 3rd; 4 business days. Seriously, though I wasn't able to reproduce this while typing, I was completely oblivious to the fact that I was dealing with Fedex, when this was supposed to be UPS Ground! Here's the info from Fedex's website (click to enlarge!):

As for this survey they mentioned above, I'm not filling anything out until a week after I have the computer running fine, with no issues whatsoever. I hope that'll be a week after April 3rd.

I'll probably pop in with a post or two before the packages arrive (hopefully all at the same time), just to report on where my package is at the time. I'm not worried about Fedex, but things do happen (knocks furiously on wood), and it's good for posterity, I suppose.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Let's Play Hacker

Platform: PC/DOS 
Released: 1985 
Genre: Adventure/Strategy 
Setting: Science Fiction/Cyberpunk 
Developer: Activision, Inc. 
Publisher: Activision, Inc. 

First and Only Video:

Come along with me as I play through Activision's Hacker. This is a very short LP. It's yet another game that bested me when I was younger, and I'm only too happy to beat it now. You stumble into Magma, Ltd.'s computer network (note: you don't actually hack your way in), and find yourself able to control a robot through a series of subterranean tunnels. You find out that this company is actually up to no good, and you negotiate with spies to get pieces of an official document which you can then turn in to Washington, D.C. Spy satellites, blackouts, and a time limit impede your progress. This game differs in other versions, but this is how it's done in the PC version.

[Total Game Time - 00:32:29]

Selected Comments From YouTube:

I loved it, I was like 6 when I first tried my luck at this. What a fantastic choice.

lol i had this on the speccy as a kid. i never had a clue how to play it xD 

Links of Interest:

Hacker on Wikipedia

Sunday, March 25, 2012

My iBuyPower Gaming Rig Experience - Part 3

Wow. Just a short update here. But wow. iBuyPower took a long time (16 days; 12 business days) to gather the parts for my new gaming rig. From what I've read elsewhere, this often happens when they have a part (or parts) on backorder. Unfortunately, they won't tell you that this is going on, unless you call them to inquire. The funny thing is, I was going to call them on Friday the 23rd, but I had misplaced my phone, preventing that and a few other calls I wanted to make that day. They must've felt the vibe from Tucson, because that very day, I finally received the email I'd been waiting for:

Parts Gathering (Completed)
The parts and custom materials needed for your system build have been successfully gathered. Your order will now be forwarded to the assembly department’s queue to be assembled. Please note that those orders with a rush option selected will receive expedited processing, but it is not uncommon for regular orders to take some days before our expert technicians begin to hand-build your system. Depending on the complexity of your build, your system may spend one or more days in assembly before moving to the Quality Control (QC) department’s queue. Your status will be updated online and you will receive an email update when assembly is completed.

The Next Step: System Assembly.
The next email you will receive will be notification that your system has been assembled.

Again, to be a completist about the whole thing, here's the info from their website:

Status DateStatusNotes/Tracking#
3/23/2012 2:50:29 PMProcessingThe materials needed for the order have been gathered.
3/7/2012 4:50:45 PMProcessingMaterials are now being gathered to complete the order.
3/1/2012 4:00:49 PMProcessingPayment has been successfully received/approved.
2/29/2012 4:46:00 PMProcessingThe order has been received and will be reviewed/processed by a sales rep.
2/29/2012 2:39:02 PMSubmittedOrder Submitted by Customer

That's a rather long wait. Here's hoping that when I get the computer and all is said and done, I can just say, "You can't rush perfection," or, "Good things come to those who wait," or something along those lines.

By the way, we fixed the truck, and we have the workstation now. We just have to put it together. (The truck has since gotten a flat and we can't fix it until payday, which is Friday, but that's another story.)

Another post to come once the next email arrives...

Friday, March 23, 2012

Wasteland 2, Baby!

I'm not going to have any info on Wasteland 2 that you won't find (or have found) anywhere else, but in case you don't know a thing about it, read on. (All are invited to read nonetheless!)

Rewind back to 1988. A game called Wasteland is released to an unsuspecting public. (How trite, blog author!) Interplay developed the game, while Electronic Arts published it. Set in an unforgiving post-apocalyptic (ahem) wasteland, the game found success in the PC gaming market in which it spawned. It's been seen as a classic ever since.

A sequel of sorts was released, titled Fountain of Dreams. It was not advertised as a sequel, and Interplay did not develop it. It was poorly received. Onward.

Fast forward to 1997. Fallout was released, developed and also published by Interplay, who stated that it was a spiritual successor to Wasteland. Interplay could not use the Wasteland name since it was owned by Electronic Arts. Needless to say, Fallout met with huge success, spawning several sequels and spin-offs.

Now fast forward to 2003. Brian Fargo is no longer the head of Interplay (he resigned after Titus Interactive bought the company and shifted its focus to console games), and recently founded InXile Entertainment. He bought the rights to the Wasteland name, which had been acquired at some point by Konami.

After several years, Brian tried to find a publisher for Wasteland 2. None of them were interested in funding a sequel to such an old game. In February of 2012, Brian announced that he had assembled all the key team members of the original Wasteland game, and was going to try to gather funds for the project, using a crowd-funding website called Kickstarter.

On March 13th, 2012, the Wasteland 2 page on Kickstarter went live. The goal for funding was $900,000. The project met its goal in 42 hours. At the time of this writing, over $1.5 million has been donated. What does this mean? More stories and quests, more maps, more music, and a more complex story. Plus, the game will be available for Mac and Linux!

$1.5 million... and 24 days of funding to go! I wonder how high this will go? I knew that Wasteland had a sizable cult following, but this? Wow!

Personally, I'm going to try to donate $75 to this project. It's not completely altruistic, especially given the fact that I'd really be scraping the barrel for this - if I can do it at all. For $75, you'd get:

• A mysterious "unique and quirky" skill for your party in the game. Hmmm.
• A DRM-free digital copy of the game.
• A digital soundtrack.
• A Wasteland 2 art book.
• A Big boxed copy of Wasteland 2, with cloth map and old-style game manual! Oh, drooool...
• Parts 1 and 2 of an early release novella with hints and such on the game world and story. Yay!!!
• You'd get signed up for an early-release beta of the game, playable on Steam. Exciting!

Oddly enough, I've never played the original Wasteland game. However, I have experienced the game in a way, first by watching the excellent Let's Play by mynameisnotlilly. (Click here for that.) Secondly, through the bloggy musings of The CRPG Addict. (Click here for the first post.) I highly recommend both!

Click here to go to the Wasteland 2 Kickstarter page.

Click here to read the Wasteland 2 blog.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

My iBuyPower Gaming Rig Experience - Part 2

In my last post, I was wondering when iBuyPower was planning on at least starting to collect the materials for my custom-built computer system. Less than 24 hours after I posted that entry, I received an email from iBP. It reads:

Parts Gathering (Beginning)
Your order is now with our inventory department and they have begun gathering the parts needed for your build. Please note that those orders with a rush option selected will receive expedited processing, but it is not uncommon for regular orders to take some days before this parts gathering process is completed. Your status will be updated online and you will receive an email update when the parts process is completed.

The Next Step: Parts Gathering Completion.
The next email you will receive will be notification that we've gathered your system parts. 

Just to be thorough (and to include it on this blog), I went to their website to check if they had updated their order status there.

Status DateStatusNotes/Tracking#
3/7/2012 4:50:45 PMProcessingMaterials are now being gathered to complete the order.
3/1/2012 4:00:49 PMProcessingPayment has been successfully received/approved.
2/29/2012 4:46:00 PMProcessingThe order has been received and will be reviewed/processed by a sales rep.
2/29/2012 2:39:02 PMSubmittedOrder Submitted by Customer

They took my money, yet decided to wait six days (okay, four business days) to start looking for the parts. Like I said before, the main complaint that people have about iBuyPower is that they are slow in getting the systems together and shipped out. Anyway, I'm excited, yet I feel that I'm being rather patient thus far. I have a bunch of other things to attend to in the meantime. Such as this desk, or workstation:
I tried to keep the desk at a low price (hence, WalMart), since I'd already paid so much for the system. This desk doesn't appear to be made out of pressed woodchips, or whatever their cheaper desks are made out of. I want the tower up off the floor, to help avoid cat hair and kids' feet, and improve ventilation. And besides, that case is made for showing off. With that shade of pink, I'm sure it'll catch the eye of anyone walking in the room, and I don't mind that. Anyway, this desk seems a bit stronger. I'm hoping it will easily support the weight of the tower, but I am going to be putting that on the left-hand side of the desk, so the legs should help support the weight. The tower is 24 pounds when empty! 

I also wanted to make sure that the keyboard tray is high enough to slide over my legs. I like to sit in a cross-legged style when sitting at the computer, and the tray we have on this desk now (as I'm typing this) is just too low to slide over my legs when sitting that way. I don't want to sit too far away from the computer, so I end up sliding the tray just partly out, and placing the keyboard diagonally. I'd like to type like I used to. The desk is 30 inches high, and the tray is pretty close to the top, so I should make it. We'll see. If not, I'll just have to get an office chair with a pneumatic lift and no arms.

I had the tower shipped to a nearby store (free shipping, gotta love that!), but we're waiting on the repair of our truck. It's a Ford Bronco, and it needs a bit of work to pass emissions. Once it's fixed and registered, we can easily pick up that sucker (a 50" long box) and bring it home. Then we get to put it together, and hopefully correctly. I can't wait. /sarcasm off

Here's a link to that desk on if anyone is really that interested:

In my last post, I failed to mention all the games I got. These are games that I'm unable to even play on our older computer, much less record. The first three games listed here will really show off the graphics capability of this system.

S K Y R I M (`Nuff said.)

Crysis 2 (Yes, I do like FPS games. The jury is still out on whether I'm any good at them, though.)

Battlefield 3 (Ditto. I want to see how it runs at max settings across the board. I'm sure the FPS will drop drastically when recording, though.)

Ghostbusters: The Video Game (Cheesy title, and you'd think it would be bad, but look at this video review here! There's an original story, though somewhat a rehashing of the first movie, and the original actors came back to do voice acting! Bill Murray is the man!)

Planescape: Torment (Yes, I'm finally going to be playing this!)

Orange Box (Containing Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episodes 1 and 2 (all of which I'll get around to playing at some point), Team Fortress 2 (which I probably won't play at all), and Portal (which is my main reason for getting this))

Portal 2 (I'm going to be playing Portal 1 and 2 with my daughters, as Let's Plays. I got a desk mic just for this little experiment. This should be interesting.)

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (Yes! I love this game. I played it quite a bit on my friend/roommate's PlayStation 2. I never owned the game or the system, and I never really followed the main quest/story. I would just fulfill a task to open up more of the city, so that I could run over more people, and drive cars off of more rooftops. Mwah ha ha ha! In the PC version, you can drop MP3 files into a certain folder, and they'll play when you turn on the car radio. That'll be so much fun for a Let's Play, to subject viewers to some of my crazy tastes in music. I just so happen to love 80's songs, which are featured in the game, but there's so much more I could throw in there, hehe!)

So I think those should keep me busy for awhile.

Speaking of games and Let's Plays... since I can now play more modern games, I'm going to be changing the format/schedule of my channel a bit. I'm going to be focusing on RPG games more extensively than before, while also playing Adventure Games, and adding in First-Person Shooters. My schedule right now is:

1 RPG upload a day.
1 Adventure Game upload a day.

Now `twill be:

2 RPG uploads a day, one a classic/older game, and one a newer game (Example: Skyrim and Planescape: Torment).
1 Adventure Game upload, or FPS upload, or Horror/Survival, or possibly another genre, 3 to 4 times a week. This could be an older or newer game.

The RPGs are usually lengthy games, and Adventures and FPSs usually are not, so they should break up any tedium, and allow me to keep adding games to my list. As for other genres, they'll show up from time to time. I'm very selective, though, as far as anything not fitting into RPG, Adventure, Horror, or FPS. The only one I can think of right now is Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee. I love that game. "Hello!" "Hello." "Follow me." "Okay."

More to come as things develop!