Saturday Update – Onward and Upward

I’ve noticed that since I began making videos my blog presence has been… well okay, it’s mostly dropped off completely (save for my own video link dumps). So I’ve decided to rectify that by doing Saturday Updates every week. I’ll talk about what games I’m playing, how video production is going, any gaming news I find interesting, stuff like that. That way this will become more like a blog again!

So welcome to my first Saturday Update! It’s actually Sunday afternoon here, but since I upload videos on a US/Western-European-centric time schedule I figured I’d stick with it here as well. Spring is full on here now – the few trees that do drop their leave in autumn are budding again and the flowers are in a lovely bloom! We got a lot of yard work done yesterday. I planted some red bell peppers (capsicum as they call them here) and an heirloom tomato plant, which I am super excited about! Hopefully it won’t die :(

Apologies for my video uploading schedule this past week – we had plumbers and electricians in this week to do some work on our kitchen. Most importantly we finally got a dishwasher, which means I don’t have to spend ages washing dishes by hand and can spend more time gaming and making videos! Woohoo! But that meant my recording schedule got a bit messed up. Promise that my next Don’t Starve – Willow episode will be up tomorrow, though!

The past few weeks I’ve been playing a lot of the Binding of Isaac. When I played it the first few times after getting it in the Steam sale it seemed okay but I would continuously die very early (we’re talking like Basement 1, for those who have played it). However after a bit more practice I’m finally getting better and can consistently make it to the 3rd or 4th level down. I’ve also been watching a lot of Northernlion’s Binding of Isaac series (Today he uploaded episode #620!!). Not only are his Isaac videos great to watch as he learns and masters the game, but he’s just a great games video maker in general. I definitely draw inspiration from his success! He is also very helpful to other Let’s Players – he frequently posts in the LetsPlay subreddit with advice on getting review copies of games, what kind of things you should worry about for you channel and what you shouldn’t, how to effectively tag your videos, all sorts of stuff.

And so I’ve been thinking of starting an Isaac series myself. I feel like now I know what I’m doing a bit more I could add in another game to upload every week on Mondays. Isaac seems like a good choice because of its near infinite re-playability (did I mention Northernlion has done 620 episodes of it so far?) and it’s fast-paced gameplay lends itself to flowing commentary. The problem with it, of course, is that lots and lots and lots of people do Binding of Isaac series and a lot of them do it very well. But I think the ‘pro’ that trumps that ‘con’ is that… I just have a really fun time playing that game! And I feel like I would be able to do some good/entertaining commentary with it. So this week I’ll try recording a few play-throughs and see how it goes.

In gaming news this week Steam made three pretty big announcements – their creation of a Steam OS, a Steam Machine and a Steam Controller. This is all very exciting! At our house we have a PC hooked up to our TV that we use as a “media PC”. It’s Windows 7 and it stores all of our TV shows and movies and we use a program called XBMC to run them/have a pretty UI on the TV. However with these Steam announcements, we could instead install this Steam OS on our current media PC and use it not only to watch our TV shows and movies but also to play games with. OR we could buy a Steam Machine that fits our requirements and do the same. And we can use the Steam Controllers as remotes/game-pads. It’s definitely a very interesting prospect and I look forward to seeing how this shapes up. I’ve entered myself in the pool for the Steam Machine beta. If I’m super lucky I’ll get picked! But I don’t have my hopes up.

That’s about it for this week. If you have any feedback on how my blog/videos are doing please feel free to let me know! I am always looking to improve. Also if you have an idea for a game you’d like to see me play and record, let me know!

Videos From This Past Week:

LOTRO Lore-master Episode 15: And His Boots Are Yellow

LOTRO Lore-master Episode 16: Lalia Must Die

A Wedding, A Steam Sale and a Dog

These are the three main things that have happened since I last posted! I got married to my kinleader that I met through LOTRO, Navthalion. The much-looked-forward-to Summer Steam Sale occurred. And Nav and I got a dog to go along with our cat. The wedding was great – it was a very simple courthouse because we aren’t into big parties or ceremonies or anything like that. I’ll only post the one picture from it (above) because I don’t think people care that much! This is a game blog after all, not my Facebook! But after the wedding we went to the Hobbiton set in Matamata. I brought my Rohan flag and those of us from my kin there took a picture:

So now we have evidence of four Windriders of Rohan gathering together in the closest-to-real Middle-Earth you can get! It was pretty awesome. I hadn’t been to the Hobbiton set since they finished the set – if you remember I posted some pics from July and November of 2010. The finished product is absolutely amazing. The most amazing part, to me, is the incredible gardening they have going on there. They have expert gardeners growing extra large plants just so that everything has that over-sized-because-we’re-hobbits type feel. Also, the food at the Green Dragon pub is amazing! I had the beef and ale pie. Sooo good! It was a chilly day when we went so a nice warm meat pie was perfect. They also have a resident cat there named Pickle who is such a sweety. Click the picture below to get to a small album of Hobbiton pics!


So once all the family and friends and kin-mates left, we got back to our computers and realized the Steam Sale was going on. In the past I’ve never really gone crazy with the sales. I think the main reason is because I’d usually never buy something that I only kind of want in passing. However now that I’ve been making videos, I’m always looking for games to potentially do LPs of. So basically this year I went kind of nuts. For me anyway. I got Anodyne, Bastion, Binding of Isaac, Borderlands 2 (for both me and Nav), Fez, Gnomoria, Home, Mount and Blade (plus Warband and With Fire and Sword), Terraria and Tropico 4 (with a big bundle of Tropico 4 DLC). Quite a haul, I must say. I haven’t played a lot of them at all. I’ve played nearly 3 hours of Fez, a couple hours of Borderlands 2 with Nav and Farwing, and a few minutes of Terraria, Gnomoria, Binding of Isaac and Anodyne.

Regarding my videos though – I should be recording and posting again within the next week or so. As I mentioned in my last post, I was having a bit of recording difficulties. I thought I had it solved however when I went to continue my Don’t Starve series, the problems continued. So I got a new hard-drive, new recording software (DxTory) and new editing software (Sony Vegas). Probably tonight or tomorrow I’ll be re-installing Windows so I have a nice clear build to work with and we’ll see how that goes. My current plans for my YouTube channel are thus:

  • Continue my Don’t Starve series
  • Start a new LOTRO Let’s Play – I figure most of my followers know and like my LOTRO outfits and content and would like to see more LOTRO content. So why not start a class that I haven’t really played before? It will either be guardian or Lore-Master… or maybe Rune-keeper! I’ve played the RK a lot but… I don’t remember how to play it :X
  • Start a series on city-building/god-games. City-building games are what got me into PC gaming when I was a kid. And I’ve mentioned multiple times on this blog how much I love the genre. So it seems fitting to do a series on different city-building games!

Oh yeah, and then we got a dog. His name is Bucky. We thought about re-naming him Bilbo but we didn’t really want to have to re-teach him his name while also trying to toilet-train him and teaching him not to mess with the cat. The cat, by the way, is still quite uncertain about the dog.