Month: April 2013

Why Minecraft is so damn awesome

minecraft cr

“This is Minecraft” by CrowbarTK-Hullo

If you consider yourself a gamer, there are some games that you just should have played in your life. Games like Super Mario Bros., GTA and the older Sim City come to mind, but one title I would consider a must-play for every serious gamer is Minecraft. If you haven’t heard of it by now, I can only assume that this is your first day on the Internet, no, in the real world. I feel sorry for you, and hope that you spend the next five minutes buying & downloading the game.

Done? Good! So, Minecraft is damn awesome, and that’s why every serious gamer should have played it. However, “damn awesome” isn’t a convincing argument on its own, so I will have to provide you with reasons for my view. Presented in this article are the three reasons why this pixelfest is so marvelous, and why you should spend some more time in its blocky world!

It’s Lego
Really, if you get down to it, Minecraft is a digital, living box of Lego. There are different kind of bricks, and the ways to combine those bricks are endless. Though real Lego doesn’t have exploding bricks (not yet), both games are about the use of creativity and clever thinking. Sure, you can just stick to the blueprint provided by someone else, but isn’t it more fun to build what you want? The two are even so much alike that they share a really annoying thing: finding the right brick. When playing with Lego, it’s damn annoying to find that one flat brick with six duds. In Minecraft, you will curse the fact that you have just spent another thirty minutes digging for gold. Oh well, can’t have the good without the bad, right?

It’s moddable
The modding community that surrounds Minecraft is huge, and by now, there’s a mod for everything. You can add anything from armor racks to a real economy to your game, and the amount of fancy client and server plug-ins grows every day. There’s even something for the people who want to give Minecraft a more up-to-date look, so you can see beautiful sunrises in the blocky realm. Talking about looks: there’s texture packs for everyone, giving you the possibility to give your blocks any style you want. Minecraft doesn’t just give you the tools to play with blocks, but also ways to change the blocks themselves.

It’s lightweight
In a world where AAA title chases AAA title, and where graphics and specs are a game’s phallic replacement, it is great to see a succesful game that doesn’t devour twenty-five gig on your hard drive and requires you to buy a new computer. I think that 99% of modern computers can easily run Minecraft, making it the perfect game to spread around your circle of non-tech-savvy friends. Also, the client itself is small, and running your own server doesn’t consume all of your processing power. This makes the game accessible, and open for a wide audience.

So there you have it: three reasons why Minecraft is awesome. If you aren’t convinced yet, and haven’t downloaded the game before reading it, head over to the official site and get your fix! I’d love to hear your opinions. In the mean time, I’ll get back to fiddling around with this gorgeous, fantastic game!

Quality never dies

age of empires 2 hd version meme

Some weekends just turn out to be really awesome in a really special way. Sometimes, you just sit at home all bored out of your mind, and then a friend saves you by taking you to this really cool party. Other weekends become the stuff of legends because you go on a totally unexpected trip to the beach. This weekend, however, became grand because I had all the time in the world to sit behind my computer and play strategy games. Civilization V consumed most of my time today, but what kept me busy on a lazy Saturday was the recently released HD, polished and shiny version of Age of Empires 2. Is an RTS from ’97 still fun? Well, of course, ’cause it’s goddamn Age of Empires 2!

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Geek Jitsu – top three annoying people at the gym

gym facebook boromir

Working out is fun. Really, believe me, it is! Once you get into the groove of living healthy and sweating like a beast, you will agree with me. What is also fun is the fact that you can do it together with other people. You can go to the gym with your best friend, sign up for a martial arts course with your brother, or go running with your mother! Sports connect people on a different level, and once you experience that yourself you will see how powerful the bond forged with blood, sweat and tears is.

However, not all the people you meet during your workouts are fun. Some of them are just a little bit annoying, others are a royal pain in the ass. In this edition of Geek Jitsu, I want to share my top three of most annoying people you can meet during your workouts. Bask in the annoyance I share with you, and be wary of these people!

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Merging old and new vampires

giovanni vampire masquerade

“Matia Michael Giovanni” by Mattew

Don’t worry, I’m not planning to cross-breed Edward Cullen and Dracula. The title refers to my rekindled passion for Vampire role-playing games, both Masquerade and Requiem.

You see, Masquerade will always have a special place in my heart. It was the RPG that got me into the hobby, and I will never forget my first sessions playing a Toreador poet in the city of New York. Since these first hours of pretending to be a vampire, Masquerade has been the game I must have played most often, with Exalted coming in as a close second. The game had messed-up rules and some really annoying metaplot, but I still feel like it’s one of the best RPG’s I’ve played. Maybe it was just that good, or it’s my nostalgia giving me rose-coloured glasses, but I  feel like returning to the world of the Kindred once more.

There’s just one problem: the rules of Masquerade are an unstructured, frustrating bunch of contradictions and redundancies. As much as the setting was able to evoke the feeling of gothic horror the game was going for, the rules always failed to support that. Fortunately, Masquerade received a proper update awhile ago, in the form of its 20th Anniversary Edition. The rules are much cleaner now, but it still lacks that certain…sex appeal.

Requiem has a lot of sex appeal and I would love to use its ruleset to run a Masquerade game, but the rules of the new World of Darkness incarnation of Vampire support some other themes. For example, Generation is replaced by Blood Potency, giving age an entirely different flavour in the game. There is a Translation Document, which would make conversions easier, but I still don’t know if that’s worth the hassle.

Rules are just one issue, the other one is the actual game. I noticed that I simply lack the time to create big chronicles on my own, so I would have to resort to pre-written stuff. Fortunately, Masquerade has two big chronicles: the Transylvania and Giovanni Chronicles. From what I heard, the second one is a lot better and less railroady, and I’m actually reading through its first part to get a feel for it. It looks like something my players would like, so I’m thinking about giving it a shot. I would still have to talk it through with my players, but the general look and feel of the Giovanni Chronicles seem great!

So, while I’m figuring out which rules I would use, you can help me! What are your experiences with both Masquerade and Requiem? Have you played the Transylvania or Giovanni Chronicles? Do you think that I should not waste my time with bloodsuckers? Share your thoughts below!

Back from a break

Hello world! As you might have noticed, I haven’t updated my blog much over the last week. There’s a good reason for that, though: I was busy enjoying one-and-a-half week of vacation, starting with a long weekend in Berlin, and ending yesterday with a massive amount of sushi. My batteries are re-fueled now, and you will hear more often from me again.

To start, I want to give you a quick newsflash of what I’ve been up to, and what you can look forward to:

  • I’ve started making YouTube videos. My first video can be found here, and the next one will be up later this week (say…Thursday). It’s completely new to me, but I really enjoy making these. You can look forward to other kinds of videos and podcasts in the future!
  • I decided to drop the Strange Sunday column for good, noticing that I don’t have enough strange ideas to write about every week. I will compile an overview of all the past editions this week.
  • More Courage is on the way!
  • I have to really catch up with my writing for Camp Nano. Where’s the drive and motivation I had back in November?
  • Talking about on the way: Neverwinter will be released at the end of this month, and I will surely check it out. Maybe I should use that as an excuse to get into livestreaming?
  • Oh, and I’m surprised by how cool Warframe is. Didn’t expect too much of it, but I’ve been playing it over the weekend with Dee, and it’s actually pretty rad. If you like co-op third-person action akin to Mass Effect, check it out!

So yeah, that’s what’s been up so far. It’s great to be back, and thanks for visiting this blog even while I was lazy updating it. You guys rock!

The Chin Plays: Torchlight II

Remember how I played TSW all month in March? Well, this month, it’s gonna be different. First of all, I won’t be playing TSW, but Torchlight II. Second, I’ll be taping myself while doing that, so you can watch how I slaughter monsters and collect fat loots! Today, I present to you the first installment of “The Chin Plays”. Happy viewing!