I’m thinking this would be a TON of fun to terrorize an audience with in Waco Hall.
February 17, 2011
February 11, 2011
I got Erin the Lego Harry Potter (Years 1-4) for our Wii and we’ve been playing through it as a team. It’s been fun to introduce Erin to platformers and she’s gotten pretty good at managing the dual handed control system (moving with the left thumb and aiming/shooting with the “wand”). Since she’s such a HP fan it’s very engaging for her. Unfortunately, the game has already had 2 showstopping freezes accompanied by an annoyingly loud buzz from the console that requires a full hard reset. I looked online and saw that a bunch of people had this problem and that even if you endure through the increasingly frequent crashes the game traps you in a room at the end where you can’t finish. The publisher (Traveller’s Tales) is ignoring the problem in spite of a growing call to fix it and replace the discs.
It’s a bummer because we were really having fun playing it for an hour or so each night. It’s not often when a guy’s wife practically begs him to play video games with her. Nuts to Traveller’s Tales and their bad coding.
February 10, 2011
Thingiverse posts 3d print files to print out your own Catan board. Legal uproar follows. Legal? Seems to be, but we’ll see more and more of this in coming days.
November 7, 2010
Postapocalyptic Wizard of Oz minis.
November 4, 2010
What’s more hardcore than building a full set of HALO armor? How about a three year project build seven full sets? Amazing.
November 3, 2010
On a whim (and partly as celebration for making it through another Pigskin week) I bought Super Scribblenauts for the Nintendo DS. It was only $29 on Amazon with free shipping and I’ve heard good things about it. Last night while working through the tutorial Erin came over and started watching me play. Well, it’s quickly become one of our favorite games to play together. You can read the reviews if you want a more indepth description, but it’s an absolutely hilarious game that’s totally unlike anything I’ve ever played.
In a nutshell, the game presents you with a level starring Maxwell, the erstwhile hero. He has to do different tasks in each level in order to claim his prize (a glittery star). To do this, you type in any noun you can think of and it magically appears on the screen (Jetpack, dinosaur, jockstrap, hang glider, waterfall, sleeping pill, chainsaw, eyeball… you get the idea). In addition, you can add adjectives to the words you type in order to modify your incoming creations (how about “zombie eyeball”, pink hang glider, flying chainsaw, distinguished dinosaur (with a monocle), etc). It’s initially a bit disconcerting to have so much freedom in a game, but after a while you stop trying to solve the levels in the obvious way and start trying really goofy solutions to see what happens. It’s rare that I stump the game with things it can’t create.
Case in point: last night we were trying to get a little guy safely off of a tall cliff. The obvious solution was “parachute” and sure enough, typing that in created a chute that the little man used to jump safely off the cliff. Mission accomplished! But we went back and tried the level a few other ways to see if we could use other things to accomplish it. Jet Pack worked great, as did Hang Glider and Umbrella. The funniest part of the night, though, was when we typed in “Bungee Cord”(it worked) and attached one end to the cliff and one end to the little dude. When he just stood there and did nothing we typed in “Lion” and created a roaring lion that chased the guy around and then off the cliff… where he promptly got hung up by his too-short bungee cord. Raucous laughter.
This is such a fun and funny game, and it’s made better by playing it together and discovering what we can do in this huge sandbox. Thanks to the creators for this little gem.
October 10, 2010
In almost every picture #7 tells the story of a Dutch woman whose life is seen from the point of view of a fairground shooting gallery.
The chronological series begins in 1936, when a 16-year-old girl from Tilburg in Holland picks up a gun and shoots at the target in a shooting gallery. Every time she hits the target, it triggers the shutter of a camera and a portrait of the girl in firing pose is taken and given as a prize.
And so a lifelong love affair with the shooting gallery begins. This series documents almost every year of the woman’s life (there is a conspicuous pause from 1939 to 1945) up until present times.
At the age of 88 Ria van Dijk still makes her pilgrimage to the Shooting Gallery.
In almost every picture #7 is a biography of one woman’s life from an unusual perspective, one which allows us to witness the times she lived in, as well as acting as a revealing look at the changing face of photography through the decades.
see the pictures here.
September 25, 2010
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman throws the fastest pitch in MLB history. 105mph. Amazingly, this was during a 25 pitch streak where every pitch was above the century mark.
This is just astounding. I tried my hand at a radar-measured pitch a few years ago. I thought “well, I’m a fairly big and coordinated guy. I’ll bet I can get to 60mph”. Yeah, right. I was barely able, with all my might, to break 40. 100+mph for 25 consecutive pitches is just incredible.
September 8, 2010
The sound and music of Halo Reach. Brilliant!
September 3, 2010
What I’m liking about the Rock Band genre of music games is that the controllers (guitars, basses, and drums) are getting to be less and less like toys and more like actual instruments, and the software is starting to include some really good basic training. If you can make practicing fun you can get all sorts of people into playing for real. I think the demand for Rock Band shows the pent up desire to play.
July 29, 2010
The music of Red Dead Redemption. Brilliant short vid. I’d love to be one of these guys (either playing, recording, or writing). Video has an annoying age check, but it’s worth it.
July 12, 2010
July 7, 2010
“when Gandhi threatens you with nuclear weapons,” Meier says with a chuckle, “well, it’s a moment you remember for the rest of your life.”
I’m hearing some great buzz on Civ V. I might have to grab a copy when it comes out. Haven’t played a lot of long-investment games lately (and the Civ franchise games are VERY long), so it might be time to jump back in.
June 29, 2010
June 25, 2010
June 23, 2010
I’m a builder. I love making things. All kinds things: furniture, props, models, small and large- if it can be built, there’s a good chance I want to build it. And if I can make it truly from scratch then sign me up. There’s just something about the act of taking a pile of raw materials and turning it into a finished, professional-looking product that provides me with a sense of deep satisfaction.
Several years ago I became intrigued with the process of casting. Making a part, then creating a mold from special material and then using that mold to make copies of the original part out of plaster, plastic, or even metal, is something that seems like magic to me. So out of this came my desire to make my own mold. Here’s the story from a few Christmases ago if you’re interested.
Anyway, I built another small structure (two actually) recently and decided that they needed to be populated. So I went down to our local game store (the excellent Dragon’s Lair) and bought some miniature figures. Since I was building the Inn I decided it needed to have a bartender and a couple of bar wenches, plus a small dwarf customer. I also picked up some paints and some very (very!) small paint brushes. Luckily, Hobby Lobby was having a 50% off sale on their high quality paint brushes so I was able to get some really good ones for a decent price.
I hooked up the magnifiers and got to work. These mini figures are all of about 2″ tall, and the detail can be intense on some of them, so it takes a really steady hand, great brushes, and several tries to get the paint just right. In the end, though, I was happy to see that my inexperienced hands were able to do a fairly decent job. I’ve never been the best at color coordination, but I’m pretty happy with the pallet I chose. Here are some pics that Sean took with his nice new camera. They show the figurines, the Dragon’s Inn, and some internal furniture. The figs are cast from lead and tin and the Inn and furnishings are cast from dental stone- one brick at a time. Then everything is painted by hand. I’m pretty pleased with the results.
Top down view of the inside of the Inn. All pieces are hand-cast and painted/drybrushed with several different coats of paint.
Bar wench and big tub-’o-meade
Bar wench #2. Yes, she has pupils. Yes, they’re really small (about 1/10th of a millimeter). I had to get paint on a single strand of hair from my smallest brush and hold VERY still. Took a couple tries to get it right.
Gront! He’s about 1.5″ tall. I’m particularly happy with the way his black front armor is weathered to look worn.
Top-down view of the Inn
Peeping Tom view
Shingle Detail. The roof is covered with 4 different colors of paint with the last two coats being a drybrush detail coat.
Better view of the roof color detail. I’m really happy with the way it turned out.
March 30, 2010
February 8, 2010
Clever little game! My stats: finished in 8:19 with 36 deaths. Can you beat that?