Friday, April 22, 2011

The "X" Series. The greatest games you've never played

The "X" series has been around since 1999 and far too many gamers have probably never heard of it.  Egosoft has been making games for quite some time, and while they are by no way "mainstream" they are still great games in their own right.

The X series is an epic single player space opera game. Sure there's a story line, but the majority of the game is basically the player making their way in a large glaxay any way they want. Everything a big sci-fi gamer wants in a game is here. Fighter combat, big ships, galactic trade, epic political powers, and even powerful alien species. This game has it all, except for one thing: Multiplayer. I hope Egosoft shows at E3 so I can ask them all sorts of questions about this great game!

Monday, April 18, 2011

How do you found a new country?

So I'm kicking around ideas for a story I'm working on (Yes I'm writing again) and I had this thought: "How does a country form?"

I can think of a few ways: Conquest, International Fiat, Revolution.  Basically someone takes over something and calls it theirs.  The UN or other body "declairs" an area a country or a treaty says an area is a country.  Or the area is taken over from within.

Are these the only ways?

For instance if a group of people went out into international waters and created an island could they declare themselves an independent country?  Will a private group be able to go into orbit of fly to the moon and declare themselves independent of the Earth's nations? 

Honestly I'm not sure but I have a feeling if said country could defend themselves or had some sort of international leverage say a desired technology or commodity they could do it.  Especially if they're "just" a station or a small island.  Any ideas?  Suggestions on where I should look?

Your Australian Word of the day: Paddlepop!

What's a "Paddlepop?"  Or more specifically a "Paddlepop Stick?"  My wife dropped this word on me today and I knew right away what it was.  Here's how she put it:

"yeah i think we'll have to buy one of those container thingies that you put a paddlepop stick in and it freezes and voila !! iceblock!!"
Which brings up the alternate word: "Iceblock." Answers after the break.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

What my Daughter Sings

2 years of Bella 0-1-2

So Bella has fully jumped into "I have favorite things" time.  Specifically I'm talking about her favorite Disney movies.  I think all kids who are brought up with Disney movies eventually has a favorte that they'll watch over and over and over and over and over ad nausium. 

For her it is Tangled.  Followed by all three of the Tinkerbell Movies. Personally I don't think this is a bad thing, I mean come on it makes her happy right?


But is it okay for her to watch those same movies over and over again every day?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Joy of Discovery

File this one under "Fatherhood" or "Games" then again why not just under my normal nerdyness? Regardless of where you file this post, the this is a simple post of discovery.  In this case, the discovery of a new webcomic.

Briar Hollow is a "coming of age" story, or as I prefer to call it, "a school story."  Currently at about 56 pages, Briar Hollow is just a fun read of a nerdy girl returning to college after a semester off.  She seems to be trying to get past the "nerd" look and move on with her life, but as all of us who are nerds know, it is hard to leave the life.  In a sense it is denying a part of who you are, and while this story has been told thousands of times it still resonates because so many of us go through a point in our lives of "rediscovery" or trying to change who we are.

I look forward to seeing how this comic grows as it ages and I will probably do a more "complete" review in the future but for now give it a shot and let me know what you think.  Personally I like the art on top of the story as it was the art that made me look at it thanks to PvP's Scott Kurtz's tweet about Briar Hollow.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Free to Play or Pay to Win?

So as a Gaming/Politics/Father blog I figured I'd get started on one of the big topics in online gaming, the Free to Play model.  As a father my gaming time is limited, as is my gaming budget, especially when compared to pre-fatherhood. (Let alone single life!) So the idea of playing a game for free is always appealing, then again when I hear that this revenue model is known by its detractors as the "Pay to Win" model it makes me cautious and curious all at once.  I have recently been playing two different games that use the F2P model: Battlefield Play4Free and World of Tanks.

First up, Battlefield Play4Free:

The idea is quite simple, lets play Battlefield 2 or Bad Company for free!  But is it really free?  Let's dig deeper:

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bella at Scandia stairs

My lovely daughter being herself. :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Casey is back.

He's got a story to tell.  I haven't had a chance to watch it yet so I'll just post the video and a link to The Blaze's story on it. From the snippes describing it, the kid sounds like he went through hell, and a body slam is the least the bullies deserved!

AUDIBLE?! Lina's voice changed!

For those of you who know me, I'm a long time anime fan.  I've been a fan since back in the VHS days when the "Sub vs Dub" wars raged on.  Back then they were a major discussion point because you had to buy a separate tape for the Subbed or Dubbed version of a show, and even worse the subbed tended to cost more. ($25 vs. $20 if I recall correctly.)  During the height of the war I came up with a simple rule:  "Whatever you heard the show in first, was the way you should always watch the show."  Which is how I ended up watching Neon Genesis dubbed all the way through, yet Orange Road was Subbed all the way.

One of the shows I used to watch that fell into the Dubbed category was Slayers.

Slayers was a simple, comedy/fantasy show featuring Lina Inverse as the crazy overpowered sorceress and her sidekick Gourry Gabriev the idiot swordsman with a magical weapon of immense power.  I ended up taking a lot of ideas from the Slayers universe and incorporating them into my role playing. (The Merge came from it directly) Slayers, Slayers: Next, and Slayers: Try plus all sorts of OAV's were bought and watched.  Even after the switch to DVD's (which mooted the Sub vs Dub debate as both were on the disc) I still watched the dubbed.  Yes, even with the changing of voice actresses for Amelia I hung through and enjoyed it.  

Then in ended....

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Dashboard Camera captures Tsunami Impact

What's REALLY scary about this video is someone is driving this car when it happens! Luckily he seems to have gotten away. A helpful YouTube commenter summed up video with these notes:

Notes in 500 char:
Takes place Chiba Prefecture, Asahi City
0:40 Tsunami much bigger threat than the earthquake.
0:50 Showing damage to houses & roads, etc.
1:24 Showing how far water came up on house.
2:17 Driver describing feelings. Started to panic. Waves around 2m high
2:26 Afraid if leave car get sucked away by waves, waited.
2:37 Driver waited waves recede then ran away from car. Escaped to high elevation.
2:43 Driver mentally fatigued. Was terrorizing. Hasn't calmed down yet. Very scary.