Sunday, June 28, 2015

Poll Results - What new game should I start next

So my poll has been closed for awhile but I finally have the chance to give the results.

What new game should I start (and capture)?

  • Dark Souls
  • Darksiders
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution
  • Dishonored
  • Rayman Origins
  • Red Faction: Guerilla
  • The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings

There were 2 votes for Dark Souls and 2 votes for Rayman Origins.  I know who voted so you can't hide from me.  It was a little bit unfair in that I started playing Rayman Origins before the poll closed.  I might even have posted a video before it closed as well.  I really just needed a change in the games I was playing and that one sounded like a good c
choice at the time.

Since the poll has closed I've actually started 2 new games (and picked up some achievements and trophies in both of them).  I've started Dark Souls on my Xbox 360 and Prototype 2 on my PS3.  I'm editing the video for Dark Souls now and I'll get to the Prototype 2 edits in the next day or so. 

I'm really excited about the Prototype 2 games for a couple of reasons.  1) I finally was able to get my PS3 set up to capture video and sound.  It tool a couple extra chords and devices to get it to work but I think it will be worth it.  I used a new audio program for the first Prototype video so I'm interested in seeing how that turned out.  I used Audicity to record.  It's a test video so hopefully things will work out but I'm still tweaking the settings.  And 2) I really liked that game.  Once I got a hang of everything I was having a lot of fun flying through the city and killing bad guys . . . and innocents some time when I needed a snack to munch on.  Don't judge me.  I got all the way up to the Hydra boss battle, which I did have some trouble with but it's still all good.  Look for Prototype 2 videos coming to my YouTube channel soon.

I think I've finally got things under control enough that I can commit to a schedule for posting on my channel.  I'm going to try to post 2 videos a week during the summer and hopefully get up to a 3 videos per week schedule once this blistering heat stops turning me in to a puddle of water with no energy to do anything.  That doesn't mean I won't be posting an extra video or two every now and then.  Just depends on how fast I can record them and edit them while still working a full time job.  Got to pay the bills somehow. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

I live in Hell and I'm losing my mind

I think I'm gong to lose my mind.  There's so many things that are frustrating me now in my life that I just want to go stark raving mad and get hauled away to the loony bin.  At least then I might get some peace of mind or at least a mental vacation for awhile.  And someone else can pay for the air conditioning.

Work: I've had so many meetings lately that some days I spend less than an hour sitting at my desk actually getting work done.  Why so many meeting?  I've been there so long that I'm the resident expert on everything so whenever a new project starts up that effects our unit, I'm asked to be the SME (subject matter expert).  Even when I'm too busy and they assign someone else in my place that always fails and I'm roped in later on because the original person can't handle it.  Well guess what?  I CAN'T HANDLE EVERYTHING!!!!

Also, due to the fact that I've been there so long and know everything, I'm also the trainer.  And I'm damn good at it (I did get my degree in education).  We've tried to split it up and have other people train on some things and that hasn't worked out very well.  I have to step in and "re-train" someone because they are so hopelessly confused.  It takes about 6 months to fully train someone so that they can function completely on their own and even then they probably haven't seen everything yet.  We had a new assistant start last June.  He got fully trained around late November/early December.  In January we had another assistant start.  He's almost done training, hopefully in the next week or two.  And guess what?  We have another person starting next month that will also have to be trained.  All these meetings and training are in ADDITION to my regular job.

Video capturing:  I've been so excited to finally get set up to capture video of game play and put them on line.  I've had some bugs and I thought I had everything worked out.  I spent a lot of money to get equipment to correct audio issues and at first it was working just great.  Then I seemed to have problems again.  The same types of problems.  I haven't figured out how to fix it permanently but I have figured out a work around.  Unfortunately that work around triples the time it takes me to edit a video.

Editing:  Now I'm having a new problem come up in the last couple of days.  Every time I go to edit a video when I get about half-way through and try to cut something out my whole video gets corrupted and I lose everything.  Not lose permanently, as I can always scrap the project I'm working on and start over from scratch.  But there is only so many times I can take trying to edit the same video file over and over again after it crashes each time before I start to go mental.  That's why I haven't posted a video in awhile because I can't finish editing any of the ones I've got recorded.  I think I'm going to have to edit in stages.  After I make a few cuts and things haven't crashed then I'll save the file, close out, reopen and try again.  Lather.  Rinse.  Repeat.  I'm not happy.

Weather:  I live in Arizona and the winters are absolutely lovely.  The summers, on the other hand, are brutal and I hate them.  I've been here for the last 19 consecutive years and I'm starting to feel like that's 12 years too long.  I can't take the heat anymore.  I can't take the endless blue skies with not a cloud to be seen anywhere.  It looks good on paper, but 114 degrees sure doesn't feel good in real life.  Yes, I have a pool and can take a dip to help cool off but that requires getting out in the sun and the heat.  I was only out there for about 20-30 minutes yesterday at lunch and I got burned.  Add a nice sunburn to the "uncomfortable heat" factor and you can see why the summers suck.

I miss a change of seasons.  Where snowy lawns give way to spring flowers.  Where cool breezes give way to sunshine and worth.  And then the air turns crispy and brisk as colder air comes in heralding the first arrive of winter and snow.  It's the cycle of life.  In Arizona you only have 2-3 months of "wonderful" and then 7-8 months of "bake in hell you SOB" weather.  I'm tired of it. 

I hear of other places getting inundated with rain and I openly beg them to send some my way.  Then I start to think.  Why should they send it over to me?  Why don't I just go to the rain?  Or at least somewhere that has weather and hopefully a change of seasons.  It's a scary thought about picking up to move just because of the weather (that and the fact that my job is sucking the life out of me) but I don't know how much longer I can take living here. 

Of course, I feel that way every summer and somehow I get through it.  Then the brief "winter" comes and I love living here.  But then the summer comes back and the cycle of my life repeats itself.  I'm finding this summer particularly awful.  I think we've had almost 2 weeks with temperatures above 110 every day.  That might be new record.  I don't think my other frustrations are helping me.  It's hard to get excited about editing after I've come home from a very stressful day at work.  And then when the editing doesn't work . . . .  You get the picture.

I've noticed some of my crabbiness has been getting into my commentary in videos (at least as far I can tell while doing what editing I can).  I'm trying not to let things get to me but it's hard when you're hot and miserable all the time.  I'm going to push through it and hopefully things will get better.  At leas the weather will get better . . . in about 6 months.  Until then I'll just keep living in Hell and losing my mind.  I'm pretty sure I don't have much left.  It's been fried from one thing or another for a while now.

Monday, June 1, 2015

A new game (Rayman Origins) and the last of my audio problems (hopefully)

So I started a new game for my YouTube channel.  I was getting really frustrated with Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga that I needed to take a break.  Normally when that happens, I would play something new and not go back to a frustrating game for a very long time.  One of the reasons why I started the channel was to keep me honest and coming back to games I’m in the middle of to make myself finish them because now I have to post a video of game play . . . even if no one is watching.

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to play.  Hopefully something more fun and happy that what Lego SW was turning out to be for me.  I picked Rayman Origins.  It’s one of the poll votes and the poll wasn’t done yet, but I still picked it.  For some reason I really want to play Dark Souls which I hear is a really brutal game so I’m hoping that Rayman will lighten the mood when I play it.  I’m sure I’ll have lots of games on the go at any given time.  Rayman just happens to be the next game I picked.

 At hopefully it will be the last as well.  Not for playing games, but for audio problems.  I finally had the extra money to fix my audio issues.  I no longer need to use the built in mic on my lap top and have to sync up the audio and video when I’m editing.  I now have a set up that will record the audio IN the video capture so there’s only 1 file to render, process and edit.  Instead of have 2 separate files for each step.  Part 1 of Rayman Origins was the last capture done with separate audio and video files so I’m excited that I finally figured everything out.  Even if it did cost a lot of money to get it to work the way it should have the first time.

I haven’t really edited the next video yet.  Just listen to the first part of it.  I think it sounds AWESOME!  It’s like night and day.  I really love the sound and think I sound so much better.  I still sound stupid at times, but I don’t think a new audio set up will fix that.  One thing I did notice is that you can really hear my dog Zoe’s nails click on the wood floors as she walks across the room.  It picks up sound so much clearer.  I don’t know if there’s anything I can do about that now, other than to keep my dog off the floor, but I have plans to fix that in the future. 

I have an old desktop computer that I really can’t (actually don’t want to) use anymore.  I need to go through the files and save anything I want to keep and move that over to my lap top.  Then I can get rid of the big brown box and the SUPER BIG FAT monitor.  Those will go in the garage for storage and maybe a Craig’s list posting.  I can then turn that computer desk space over to my gaming and move my whole set up in to my office instead of sitting in the living room.  That way you won’t hear Zoe’s nails as she walks across the floor all the time.  I will need to get a small TV to set up in that room before I do, but hopefully I can take care of all of that soon.

The only downside to this plan is that I work from home at least 3 days a week and I’m not sure how I feel about having my gaming set up in the same room.  1) it will be too distracting when I’m trying to work and would rather do anything other than work (i.e. every single day), 2) when I’m done working I like to get out of the room for a nice break and not go back in to it again until the next time I work from home.  Sometimes, after a particularly rough week I won’t go in to my office at all on the weekends.  I feel like I’m trapped in a cage while I sit there and work and I don’t want to interfere with my gaming or desire to game.  I’ll have to figure something out.

The other option is to move my gaming set up in to what I was making my craft room.  It’s currently mostly storage right now.  I’ve been slowly going through the boxes there and cleaning things out or moving them to a more permanent storage location.  Most of the boxes being moved are Star Wars figures and toys.  I hate to admit this, but I’m starting to consider selling those on Craig’s list as well.  I could make thousands (although not as much as I spent on them). 

The downside to using that room is that I don’t have wired internet access in that room.  I would need to see how the wireless is working in that area because it seems to be hit or miss around my house.  The upside is that my gaming station wouldn’t be a temptation while I’m working and I wouldn’t feel like I’m trapped in a cage all day if I work and then game in the same room.  The upside is that my roommate could also use that room for their gaming, if they wanted to, and it wouldn’t matter if I was home working or not.  While it’s in my office, on the days I work from home it would be unusable.  Another downside is that I was hoping to create a calming, soothing retreat where I could go and work on crafts.  Having a bunch of gaming equipment and stuff in the room doesn’t really lend itself to a Zen-like environment.  I’ve got a couple weeks before I can afford to buy another TV and clean up the old computer space so I’ve got time to decide.

Once I do figure everything out and get a final setup of where/how I want to do things I might post a pic or blog about it.  If I can find a replacement battery for my digital camera I might even do a room tour.  But that’s more money to spend.  Isn’t getting/keeping electronics working properly wonderfully.

In the meantime, why not enjoy my last (hopefully) terrible audio video before the video with my new set up comes out.  And it’s a new game.  And I pick up a couple of achievements.  Yeah for me all around!


Friday, May 29, 2015

The end for Frag Dolls

Sadly, I found out today that the Frag Dolls are ending.  You can read their blog post about it here.

I started playing video games a long time before I played anything online with other people.  I was hesitant at first at doing so because I was a girl and "girls just don't video games".  The first game I played online was Star Wars Battlefront on the original Xbox.  I think I played every night for more than a month before I finally said anything in the matches.  When I did, it blew some people's mind that I was a girl.  They just thought I was stupid because I spelled penguin (Pengwenn) wrong.

I got a lot of flack those first 2 weeks I started talking when people started to learn I was a girl.  People wanted to play with me and just wanted to hear me talk.  They would do everything they could to get me to say something.  They would follow me around and shoot at me, even if we were on the same team.  They wanted to get a rise out of me enough that I would say something.  It was annoying, but I'm more patient than they could possible imagine.

Occasionally I would get fed up and yell at them and then they would talk smack to me about swearing and being a girl, and why was I playing video games, and why I was so bad, and what my problem was, etc.  If I ever got in to a battle with someone and they were watching, they wouldn't help me out.  They would stand back and watch how things turned out.  If I won, they would say I cheating because that's the only way a girl could win.  If I lost, they would say I should stop gaming and get to the kitchen because I was so terrible.

And then there's all the sexual harassment crap I had to take from all the assholes out there because I was a girl.  Don't get me started on that.

There was a time when I wanted to give up gaming online because of all the harassment I was getting.  It didn't last long though because I really loved playing Battlefront . . . and I just stopped using a headset when things got really bad.

I did learn how to find really cool guys, that might be surprised that I was a girl, but didn't seem to care about it.  I was a gamer to them.  Someone who liked playing video games with other like-minded individuals.  As long as we had fun they didn't care if I had tits and a vagina.  And sometimes they even forgot that I did.

I have several memories where one or more of my guy friends stood up for me while playing matches online.  Killafoola was the first.  MasvHdWundHarry was the fiercest.  And Evil Ric, cyberWRAT and NatraZamataZ seemed to be the most welcoming of letting a girl play with them.  They have been my friends since the beginning and they still are today.

I remember when I first discovered the Frag Dolls.  I was thrilled that there were other girls playing video games and that I wasn't alone and there was someone else to relate to.  I followed what they were doing.  Even sought out their advise a time or two.  They gave me hope that things would get better, and to remember to keep playing until they do.

They were right.

Things have come a long way since 2004.  It's still not perfect.  There are still douche bags online that think the only way to talk to a girl is by tearing them down.  Luckily I've gotten older and wiser and know how to avoid and/or ignore them most of the time.  I am a strong woman, and gamer, because I saw in the Frag Dolls that it was possible to become one.

Sadly, I haven't followed them as much as I use to the last couple of years.  I've grown more confident and secure in myself as a gamer.  I was still happy that they existed for all the new girls coming in to gaming that could use the help support that I didn't have initially.  It's sad to see them go.  I hope that support will continue from all of us lady gamers to help another generation of woman pick up a control or keyboard and mouse and kick people's asses.  It's really fun to do so.  Whether your or guy OR a girl.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

I curse a lot when I get frustrated

So, I was editing my next video for YouTube and I noticed something.  When I get frustrated I curse.  A lot.  Everything started to fall apart when my game got glitchy and I couldn't get a minikit.  I tired over and over again to fit it and try to get it, but it didn't work.  All I could hear was me swearing, over and over again.  I thought it was really funny (not at the time though) so I added credits to the video and added a "swear count" to the credits.  You should watch the video and you'll know right when I start to lose it.  Did I miss any?  Should I go to anger management classes?  You tell me.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

New Achievements!

So I picked up some new achievements this weekend.  It's been awhile since I've earned any so I'm excited.

The first one I picked up was in the Arcade game Scramble.  I haven't played that game in a long time.  Actually the last (and only) achievement I earned in that game was from 6/1/2007.  Wow!  Talk about some time lag. 

I wasn't really looking to play that game.  I was actually seeing if I still had the digital download for Gears of War Judgment and I came across that game.  I couldn't remember what type of game it was so I loaded it up and tried it out.  Within in the first two minutes I got the achievement.  Maybe subconsciously I knew how close I was to another achievement and that's why I started it up.  Maybe I should listen to those voices inside my head more often.  It might help my Gamerscore.

The next achievements I got were in a new game.  I put in Rayman Origins and made a video in that game that should be released later this week.  Yes, I know it's one of the options in my poll which doesn't close yet, I just wanted something fun and bright and cheerful to play since Lego Star Wars was driving me crazy.  So much so, that there will be a "swear count" in the credits at the end of one of my videos once I post it.  I'm not done editing it (or counting swear words) so it probably won't be up for another day or two.  When you watch it, you'll understand.  At least I hope you will.  And it's all my fault.

I also spent some time today working towards 3 achievements in Gears of War Judgment.  And no, I don't seem to have the digital copy on my hard drive anymore.  I'm working on finishing the campaign on insane and I have a friend that is helping me out.  I'm playing on insane.  He's playing on casual.  We were able to play the 3rd chapter before we called it quits.  I should get the achievement for hardcore, insane and co-op once we finish everything.  That will be 125 points for my Gamerscore.  After we do that, we talked about working on the getting the stars and declassified mission achievements.  I think that will bring in another 100+ points, but those are much further down the road.  Let's just try to get through the campaign first, shall we.

I am seriously trying to get to (and possibly over) the 30,000 mark with my Gamerscore before the end of the year.  I've got a full time job that sucks the life out of me Monday through Friday, plus a bunch of other things going on in life.  It's doable.  It's just going to take me awhile.  That's kind of one of the reasons why I wanted to start a game that I haven't played to help me get some achievements.  And to experience something fresh and new.  But, mostly for the achievements.  What can I say.  I like achievements.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

New Poll: What games should I try next?

So it's been awhile since I've had a new poll up on my blog.  But I've got one I want to start now.  It might be a short window to vote so vote early (and often).  You can vote for as many as you like, as many times as you like.  I don't know when I'll shut the poll down, but there is a nice long holiday weekend coming up that I would like to spend time playing games.

I've been playing a lot of Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga because I'm trying to get the last two achievements I need to finally get a disk game to 100% for the achievements.  I've finished the achievements in several Arcade games, but never with a full disk game.  But . . . I'm getting a little tired of playing that game all the time since It's the third time through the game for me (once completing on PS2 and once again on Xbox 360 before my stuff got stolen). 

Now I want to start playing something else as a little break.  I've narrowed some choices down to the following.  I will be making videos of me playing them and posting on YouTube so what would you like to see me play.  These are all games that I haven't played before so the experience would be completely new for me.  Vote and let me know what I should dive in to.

What game should I start playing:

Dark Souls
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
Rayman Origins
Red Faction: Guerilla