The TBoD Podcast – 78 – A Night with the Oscars

How do chaps and chapettes,

on this weeks show Crinbot, The Quim Ninja and myself discuss all kinds of gaming stuff including;

no respawn,

Hatred,

favourite levels,

and this weeks indie game is the delightfully strange “Oscar“.

enjoy, like, subscribe, comment etc

right click and hit ‘save link as’ to download

- eremenko

The TBoD Podcast – 77 – The Krapton Fyctor

Hey dudes and dudettes,

Thanks for tuning in for another installment of the TBoD podcast. This week, we talk about:

Dragon Age Inquisition

Halo 1 and Halo 2 gameplay from the Master Chief Collection

With Clementine from Telltale’s The Walking Dead getting her very own action figure, we talk about what unlikely characters we’d like to see as action figures.

Our Indie game this week is Elegy for a Dead World

And finally…we do a short profile of 2BC Productions, a YouTube channel Crinbot has been watching a lot recently.

Right-click here and choose ‘Save as’ to download

As ever, get in touch on Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments below, and head over to YouTube to see out latest videos.

The TBoD Podcast – 76 – Just lounging

Just Lounging

Hello everyone,

TBoD are back in full force albeit a little worse for ware on The Quim Ninjas birthday weekend. Get yourself settled like we did to record this one, it’s really best listened to whilst reclined.

As always thanks for listening, hit us up in the comments or on facebook, twitter, itunes etc.

TBoD Greatest (S)Hits part 2

Howdy guys and gals,

Constraints on time means there’s no regular podcast this week. Instead, we have another installment of our Greatest (S)Hits. So put on some comfy clothes, settle into your favourite armchair or sofa, and crack open some booze to mitigate the aural assault we’re about to put you through.

Also, look out for some Eurogamer video diaries coming very soon.

Enjoy!!!

Right-click here and choose ‘Save as’ to download

My ears were violated…

tbodgagnon

 

 

Look, were all either too busy playing Destiny, NHL 15 or waiting for Halo and the Master Chief collection to blog…

However as a public service announcement, let me warn you that there is often pain to get pleasure.. I love the TBOD podcasts, but the things we do for love…

I make myself lol….

plate3

The TBoD Podcast – 72 – Barry Gibb Looks Like a Lion

Hello again friends,

We’re back again for your weekly dose of gaming news and banter. This week:

Destiny ships $500 milion on day one

Microsoft to buy Mojang?

Embarrassing sales figures for XBOne Japan release

What’s the future of mobile gaming?

PS4 and XBOne GTA V release

And finally……this guy completed Dark Souls, using a Rock Band controller…

Right-click here and choose ‘Save as’ to download

As usual, leave a comment below, or get in touch on Facebook or Twitter.

Snake Oil/Public Beta Test will cure all that ails your game!

 

 

A game called ‘Destiny’ got released this week, you might have heard of it. I was very outspoken about it. It was in a polite debate with others when beta testing got mentioned, I then got the itch on a serious scratch. Do people even know what a beta test is? Do they understand what it can or can’t change with a game? Do they even know what professional beta testers even do?

tbodgagnon

What is a Beta test?

be•ta test

noun

1. 1.
a trial of machinery, software, or other products, in the final stages of its development, carried out by a party unconnected with its development.

 

Did you read that? FINAL stages of development.

bt

I’m rehashing the debate of so many fans of games with sequels, when they complain the game has become inferior with subsequent copies, that a public beta would ‘fix’ the game in question.

Halo is the best example in my gaming corner of the universe where the debate that ‘Core Halo Gameplay’ is missing and that a public beta test would help fix this in the next version of Halo.

If CORE gameplay, mechanics are broken in a game, beta testing won’t fix it. That would be something an alpha testing round would first of all determine and then either fix or skip. But once your past that point, where the engine basics are set, you are limited to change to essentially the arrays for variables like speed, accuracy, damage of certain objects ect ect. Things that are effectively data in arrays that are always tweaked throughout a games existence pre and post launch.

It IS possible that a combination of these ‘external engine’ arrays can modify gameplay a lot. But if you don’t like the mechanics of a game, that’s a huge bit of work to fix, if it even can be fixed without domino effect or patch spaghetti coding, that effectively throw the QA people to pull the switch and go back to alpha testing. this would be throwing a project into reverse and in the case of a AAA title, costing literal hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions when you factor in potential loss of sales. Do we have a precident? Perhaps… I mean closed beta testing, which happens the vast majority of the time could be behind a game that has been pushed back, but what last AAA title besides Watchdogs had a major push back on release date? It is just something that doesn’t happen alot. But my point is, If there is an engine glitch, unless its a game breaker when flagged only in beta, it normally won’t be changed.

I have brought this up before in other blogs. But now have heard it in podcasts about OTHER games. So it’s all about misinformation. People calling for Beta Test to help their favorite game in most cases don’t understand how testing builds work. I’ll also go on the record that most public beta testers don’t give decent feedback, they basically just like having the game early. I spent a few years doing the often archaic style bug reports when I worked in game testing, where it was a lot more serious because it was our job. That doesn’t mean the layman can’t be a good tester, it’s just the vast majority of public beta testers don’t understand WHY they are beta testing.

Trust me folks, after doing bug/summary reports on dozen if not hundreds of games on various projects, if you ever had to do this after every games like you were supposed to, you would not always be eager to be a tester. Not at alpha level for sure and as far as beta is normally a mass of checklists of things you have rooted out for weeks if not months and can be very tedious. In many cases, a real professional tester often rarely and sometimes never plays a game after going gold. By that point, your sick of it!

YES, beta testing can help solve annoying issues like say the infamous Halo Reach beta grenades which were CRAZY strong and got nerfed for gold version. But these type things are usually tweaked going forward anyhow when a non public beta fails to catch it. These type changes are polish. Whereas core game mechanics are ore the guts and can’t be solved without major overhaul through beta testing.

I know.. I know.. I brought this up before in previous blogs. But I want to stop the misinformation that’s now creeping into a lot of games pitching Public Beta like a snake oil salesman in increasingly more posts I read.

PS: You thought I would rag on Destiny this week? Nah… Activision told me not to on day one…

plate3

TBoD 71 – Punching dragons to death

Greetings!

Thanks for tuning in to episode 71 of the TBoD podcast. This week, we discuss:

Destiny live action trailer

Remastered Resident Evil

Consumer rights issues for Valve

#Gamergate

Our indie spotlight this week is on Framed

And finally, Many a True Nerd: YouTuber, Redditor, and gamer who completes interesting challenges. The latest challenge, completed at the end of August saw him killing everyone in Fallout 3.

Right-click here and choose ‘Save as’ to download

As ever, comment below, or hit us up on Facebook, Twitter, and the usual other places

Halo Players & Their Kids Get Together! Join In!

tbodgagnon

 

 

 

The Halo community is ready to explode! We soon will be able to play the Master Chief Collection on the Xbox One, Halo 5 will be going to public beta soon after and of course 343 is giving us the Halo channel and movies and … well LOTS OF THINGS!

It’s a great time to be a Halo fan!

Now lets get together a corner of the Halo community that is out there but hasn’t really come together.

I am getting a game night.. day actually because it will allow those in this special community more ease to get together.. HALO PLAYERS AND THEIR KIDS! That’s right, you have heard people mention on various podcasts or read it in Halo forums occasionally where us older players talk of playing our precious game with our kids..

WELL LETS GET THEM ALL TOGETHER! SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 20th.

HALO FAMILY DAY

master med

Less than a month before MCC goes public lets have a Father/mother & son/daughter Halo get together!

Now it’s as easy as this, simply LET ME KNOW you want to play in this with your child. Let me know if that date works well for you and what time of day.

Come on! Each family is 2 players, so it shouldn’t be too hard to fill up a party and get this event off the ground?

IT’S ALL FOR FUN! Families play others in ‘family free for all’ or the kids vs parents.. we can play it all! We also will decide what version of Halo to play on beforehand, to make it more appealing to everyone!

Even if you don’t have kids, but know of a Halo player who has a kid, PLEASE mention this to him/her so we can hopefully have them join in on the fun!

Simply email me at andrewgagnon30@hotmail.com if you’d like to join in or have any ideas to add!

YOU CAN ALSO VISIT THE EVENT FACEBOOK PAGE TO JOIN UP!

https://www.facebook.com/events/812557365445478/?ref_newsfeed_story_type=regular

plate3

The TBoD Podcast – 70 – The Morgan Freeman Mod

Yo Teabaggers,

Welcome back for episode 70. We have super special guest BadMotherLicker joining us in Crinbots absence this week you can find Licker on @megaspaceninja on twitter. He joins in the fun to chat with us about;

And much more.

Tune in, listen, comment, like, subscribe etc.
eremenko

GLT PSA : Titanfall Exploit Has to Stop!

tbodgagnon

 

 

 

As alot of you know, my son and I do a series of videos called “Gottta Love Titanfall.” Well, as I play this game more and more, I decided to not only take funny and cool moments from the game, but now well throw together PSAs for these vids to help community when needed.

In this case, our first PSA is aimed at a tactic used in Last Titan Standing mode that is not cheating, its just an exploit which takes away from fair and fun gameplay.

Don’t get me wrong, all games have things like this, but I feel strong communities bring them to light and lets people know it’s not going to help make the community better to continue to do it.

newsig2

The TBoD Podcast – 69 – The Sexy Number

Hey listeners,

Back to basics this week with our original duo The Quim Ninja and eremenko representing TBoD, Crinbot couldn’t make the show this week but the two of us still managed to go long as usual on the following topics;

Destiny,

Game4,

Ori and the Blind Forest,

Wild,

our ‘we called the dog…’ game this week is The Firm,

and finally,

two button bashing fish.

Right click and hit ‘save link as’ to download

Thanks as always for listening if you have something to say about the topics discussed hit us up on twitter or comment below.

- eremenko

Oh no.. Gagnon is on Vine…

tbodgagnon

 

 

 

My first, and greatly witty Vine..

Okay, was last February when I got my first real look at Vine. I had heard of it last year, but when hearing about it: a social networking app similar  to Twitter that let you put 7 second looping video clip to communicate.. I ‘Mehed’ and didn’t think about it again.

But it was in fact my daughter, who was the one in February who showed me Vine on her phone as we waiting for my son to hit the ice at a hockey game. As someone who had used it alot, and the fact I can’t ignore my daughter, she showed me some great creative stuff!

Now for those who don’t know, recording with your phone in a simple ‘touch and record’ fashion, you can make a straight single shot video or by taking your finger off at intervals do several sections, even stop motion if your nimble enough. Although you can do edits with music and effects from your PC if you use Google Chrome which allows you to upload edited vids. (Yes,, Ill be doing this.)

There are different categories to help you search for specific vids and people and of course the now presumed hashtag feature to aid in this.

On Vine, you can find already established social Media stars like Harley Morenstein of ‘Epic Meal Time’ fame has over half a million followers and in the 7 second world of Vine has some great laughs in the comedy genre that is associated with him. But there is a new crop of their own stars that keep me laughing the most. There is the Vine immortal Nash Grier, with over 9.2 million followers and who’s vids are often simple, yet epitomize what Vine is. A quick fix of fin that once you open up, you then snap out of it realizing you have been viewing them and chuckling for an hour.

A NASH GRIER VINE VID

I often complain that on Youtube the internets attention span is too short.. and Vine does take that to a new level of short. (I had to cut down my 2 hour movie ‘A Fridge 2 Far 2′ into 9 parts to get any decent amount of views/exposer) But this limited canvas opens up what I mentioned earlier, great creative stuff!

Whether its someone having a conversation with themself, (Clicking on and off and swapping spots on a couch for example) pranking people, or a simple wise ass comment on something people see in everyday life, you would be simply amazed what people can do with 7 seconds.

Now it isnt all just comedy, there are sectiosn for things like art, DIY, food and a lot of music samples where people audition their talents for maybe future fame. But don’t kid yourself, comedy rules the day with Vine.

Now unlike Youtube, the ‘other’ video web thing, you can’t make money on views with Vine. Now while you can help market your brand if you do have something like monetized vids on Youtube you may point your Vine quickie to, the lack of monetization means the vids are much more genuine. Sure, the people want to to watch and like, but like so many things, when money is added to the equation, it can make things complicated. I mean were talking 7 second vids.. why complicate such a simple thing when its so good as is?

Yeah, I am on Vine. I find it entetaining, addictive and can’t wait to create more propaganda, I mean videos on it for you….

FIND VINE AT: https://vine.co/

ADD ME AT VINE AT: Gagnon 30

plate3

 

 

 

 

The TBoD Podcast – 68 – Patchy Erections

Good morrow friends, and welcome back to the TBoD podcast!

This week, we have mostly been talking about the Gamescom expo, with the old familiar tangents thrown in too.

Listen, enjoy, comment, subscribe etc. in the usual places: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or comment below.

/crinbot

Right-click here and choose ‘Save as’ to download.

You Can’t Go Back Home… Deal with it…

Sorry for those of you who were happy to see me not post blog last week.. was on vacation and now I am back! (Over 2000 rambling words for you in fact…)

tbodgagnon

 

 

 

There is a lot of choice in today’s gaming world. So many more that any time in its history that I feel it’s hard for a games community to survive unless it is one that has multiplatform and multigame players in its ranks.

In fact, it makes the argument that ‘We need to go back to classic INSERT YOUR FAVORITE GAME HERE a moot point. The days where thousands of users were in your favorite games lobby, where it was constant week after week, where posts in forums were all positive, where the grass was greener on your side of the fence are gone.  Simply, you can’t go back to the way anything used to be, because we’re not talking apples to apples anymore

Let me outline my train of thought on the complexity of modern day gaming in a simpler bastardized flow chart.

FLOW

Let’s look at chopping it up into what path a gamer can choose. Now the reality is, while if you have the time and most relevant money, you can take many of these paths right from the top. But most of us can only afford to go into multiple directions only within a certain platform machine we choose to be ‘My console’. But let us first outline the paths.

CHOICE: ‘What platform do I get?’

You have the PC or console at the highest level. I used to be exclusively a PC gamer for over a decade, by the way. When you choose the PC path, you need to have right equipment; in fact it’s recommended you have an idea of what type game you will be playing right from the start to make sure you have a machine that can handle it.

Now if you have chosen the console side, you have a couple more decisions before you hit the next level the PC players choose. So that being said.. PC players wait while we go through 2 decision steps for console players.

CHOICE: “What console do you wish to get?”

Of course the big three are (In alphabetical order to avoid catfight) Nintendo, Playstation & Microsoft. (I will now refer to Microsoft machine for the rest of this article as ‘Xbox’.)

Now while it’s not always in effect when it comes to console gaming, right now we are at a recurring but temporary state of being in flux of ‘New gen or old gen’. This then creates another decision.

CHOICE: “What gen of my chosen console do I want?”

Now with fans of Nintendo, there are increasingly less games for the old gen, WII, so the WII U will be the choice of most who prefer Nintendo. But for the fans of Playstation and Xbox, the choice isn’t a slam dunk. Games for both their units still are in production.

While to a lot of us, getting old gen right now is a short term deal no matter what. One can’t ignore the low cost point of the old gen with the still available and in production games, makes it a viable option for those with a tighter budget.

You also can’t knock the fact that right now there is no question that more players are still on old gen than new. This will change, but for those who eventually filter down choices to games requiring multiplayer, old gen normally offers bigger communities to pool games from.

The next choices are where more people will choose multiple paths. In fact I can’t branch off any more subgroups on the flowchart because it would be massive. So now using the ‘multiple selection’ angled box, we sweep downward despite the incredible amount of choices we have. Add the lopping factor that we play multiple genres and it blows the stats nerd/flow chart peoples mind.

CHOICE: “What Genre do I want to play?”

IMPORTANT VARIABLE: For Genres, I found this WIKI page that best outlined the array to choose from… over 50.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_game_genres

Not an easy answer as most of us will play multiple genres. Not regularly per say, but at the very least dabble, after all some genres have their own sub types. Like shooter games which as the linked wiki page shows 7 different types.

 CHOICE: “What game do I want to play?”

Well, this is where it gets interesting, I like FPS so I can play Halo, COD, Titanfall or hell even Plants vs Zombie’s Garden Warfare. PLUS DOZENS MORE IN ONE GENDRE ALONE.

CHOICE: “What version of a game do I play?”

Well for Halo fans on a 360 for FPS, they can play Halo CE, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo 3 ODST, Halo Reach, Halo CEA or Halo 4. For COD they can play… good lord.. one of around 8 titles. YOU GET THE PICTURE! But to be fair, let’s say by average, any major given game has 3 versions.

ADDITIONAL CHOICE: COMMUNITY POSITION:

Now that you have chosen to be a FPS playing Halo 4 on the Xbox 360 as your main form of gaming, you actually take another step as a specific role in this community. You can be one or even more of the following.

Non Clan Player: Casual Player

Non Clan player: Competitive Player

Clan Member: Casual Player

Clan Member: Competitive Player

Community Creator: Making things like maps, organizing tournaments, machinima, podcasts, YouTube ect.

In short, you play a different role(s) on a micro level.

SO WHATS MY FREAKING POINT?

‘We need to go back to classic INSERT YOUR FAVORITE GAME HERE’

Remember that line? Well 10 years ago, when Halo 2 took over the gaming world, or at least took it by storm, for those in the FPS genre, this was a golden era. The common lament repeated countless times since that this was heyday for Halo possibly no other console game has scene must understand that the landscape has changed.

With so many options of consoles, genres, games within it and even games competing with themselves, a games community is not easily one that can grow too large for too long. There is competition everywhere and the new hotness is always releasing shortly.

Each step down form the choice selection chart I showed and outlined shows gamers offshooting to smaller groups. More choice is nice, too many choices may still be good.. but the bottom line is smaller communities that turnover more than a guy in bed after 3 cups of coffee. More choices mean more fracture, though I do not think we should all be slaves to one game. Nor do I even feel there is middle ground.. the point is long term community focused on one game.. okay? This isn;t reality any more.

I’ll even say that with social media, where a tweet or Instagram shot showing something in a game somewhere is also adding to the fickle standings of nearly all games while we wait for the new thing to happen as we play the current fav. We should know its essentially short term communities we hop in and out of.

I mean if you were playing Halo 2 in 2004, there weren’t as many systems.. there weren’t as many games to compete with. There wasn’t a tweet to come out saying COD clan ABC was having a tournament that lures people away.

Hell I LOVE Twitter, Instagram and the fast pace of the gaming scene that comes partially from these forms of social media. But there is a cost. Ignorance is bliss, might be a good expression on how we were more content to play the same game for so long back then. We love the game we were playing, we weren’t easily bombarded with propaganda about other games or systems even. Or maybe that were spoiled now? Do we think loyalty is needed? What benefits loyalty in today’s gaming world? Shouldn’t we just play what gives us enjoyment.. point finale? In the end it comes down again to the fact with all the choices and fast pace around this hobby we all love, a long lasting, stable community within a game that has high population numbers is simply becoming less and less a possibility each day.

Let’s keep in FPS on console thought as an example.

I am a Halo player.

Halo 4 community died off and lost many players to Halo.. Halo Reach and Halo 3 even. Other players like myself went to Titanfall. In fact Titanfall took a huge chunk of COD players who weren’t thrilled with Ghosts (Kinda like Halo fans weren’t taken by Halo 4) Battlefield 4 initially took a lot of FPS people to its side, but the horrible server issues have to a degree crippled play having FPS fans scurry to the other titles.

Yet here we are, Titanfall pretty well having disgruntled refugees of the other aforementioned FPS games clinging to it, loving what it brings to the table with its mobility and simplicity. As big of a fan of this game as I am, there is no question a drop in numbers coming, due to the nature of this hobby of ours now. Halo comes out with the Master Chief collection in November, which to complicate things is 4 Halo games in 1 which will fracture its community within itself from a day 1 release. The new COD, which clearly has taken popular angles of Titanfall is coming at the same time. Then there is the game they say is a FPS but is really a MMO in Destiny coming out to grab bodies. Battlefield Hardline will desperately try to gain its followers back in October ITS GOING TO BE TURMOIL IN NUMBERS EVERYWHERE. My current crush Titanfall will fall victim to a reality of the modern day gaming culture/cycle.

But this is the nature of the beast. It is why we can’t go back. The competition and expectations are too high.

It is something repeated in all genres, though there is no question is exceptionally nuts in shooters.

Lets go back to the final step, a role within a certain games community. So if in 2004 I was a Halo 2 player who also hosted a community website, I could thrive and cater to hundreds if not even thousands of regular visitors. But in 2014, with H2A (Part of the Master Chief collection) you are going to have a huge launch, but also a huge drop when the new hotness in whatever form happens.. because it will. It may be in 2 months, 6 months but certainly no longer than the following year when the madness starts all over again of the fall release fury. It is just how it is. Mom and pop style websites used to be everywhere and thrive years ago.. now they have fallen to the wayside, and Facebook with it’s idiot proof way to make anyone create a fansite to whatever they want, helping out this angle.

The fact is, as mentioned early in this novella when I said “I feel it’s hard for a games community to survive unless it is one that has multiplatform and multigame players in its ranks.” Which is what modern day clans like the Porkchop Platoon and VOX clan are doing. They are genre driven and accept multiple games under their banner. Yet even with this approach, while they do maintain a high regular membership to play with compared to say a standalone COD Ghosts clan, but even with the new releases they take under their wing, fractures happen. The turnover is not as high as standalone clan, but is still high.

I laugh when I see 1000 slots for friends on my Xbone… hell I would love 6 long term friends I can count on to play Titanfall with long term. Because in 4 months from now we could all be playing different games.

So let’s close this puppy up…

Thomas Wolfe is quoted: “You can’t go back home to your family, back home to your childhood, back home to romantic love, back home to a young man’s dreams of glory and of fame, back home to exile, to escape to Europe and some foreign land, back home to lyricism, to singing just for singing’s sake, back home to aestheticism, to one’s youthful idea of ‘the artist’ and the all-sufficiency of ‘art’ and ‘beauty’ and ‘love,’ back home to the ivory tower, back home to places in the country, to the cottage in Bermude, away from all the strife and conflict of the world, back home to the father you have lost and have been looking for, back home to someone who can help you, save you, ease the burden for you, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time–back home to the escapes of Time and Memory.”

I’ll amend and add the following to this.. “…and you sure as shit can’t go back to classic long term individual game community.”

g30 footer

TBoD Greatest (S)Hits

Howdy friends, This week, we thought we’d bring you a medley of our greatest hits. So sit in a comfy chair, make a brew, and let us take you away on a magical journey through gaming. /crinbot

Right-click here and choose ‘save as’ to download.

The TBoD Podcast – 67 – Ether One Interview

EtherOneTBoD

This week Quim and I were lucky enough to be joined by the lovely Pete from White Paper games. After a Q&A session about Pete’s work in the industry and in particular on the studios debut title Ether One‘ Pete was kind enough to stick around and discuss some of this weeks big news including;

Yogs(mis)ventures,

early access on consoles,

Journey down roads travelled,

and

Thanks again to Pete for joining us, we had a great time chatting with him and we hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
The music used in this weeks show is from the Ether One Original Soundtrack by NJ Apostal and is available as part of the Deluxe edition.
Special thanks to Donnie aka @Murderzmedia for the image.
- eremenko

Destiny Beta.. “Does the cape make me look fat?”

DISCLAIMER: While generously hosted here at TBOD, the opinions reflected in the Eating Bed blogs are that of the blog writer, Andrew Gagnon. These opinions do not necessarily reflect those of TBOD or its hosts.

tbodgagnon

 

 

 

The primary duo of Eremenko & Quim Ninja, the driving forces behind TBOD are big Destiny fans, so I can’t make it more clear that my opinion on this game is only mine, not TBOD’s. There are alot of people who feel similar to how I do, so I voice this blog to represent them. Eremeno & Quim are kind enough to let me speak my mind. (Fine line between kind and maybe…. I don’t know.. a bit poor of judgement?) ;)

I honestly tried to play the Destiny Beta and build a neutral review.

In the end well…. let’s start as a neutral review… so please click to view the video blog below…

FOR A TEXT VERSION OF THIS SPOKEN BLOG, PLEASE CLICK HERE:

g30 footer

Old School Racism On XBL.. ‘Insert facepalm here’

As a fan of history (WW1 in particular) I often use the following quote

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Sir Winston Churchill

So on a random night this past spring I was upset by something which I feel applies to these words…

tbodgagnon

Is it 2014? Yeah it is.. funny at work I deal with appointments and countless conference calls every day, yet it takes me a good 5-6 months into a new year to stop writing the previous year at the end of a date. But yeah.. its 2014.

Yet at times I shake my head at how some of our fellow human beings can act to each other, and I wonder if it’s 1914 or even 1814.

This past spring, in the midst of a NHL Hockey playoff series between my home town Montreal Canadiens & our arch rival Boston Bruins (An incredible 34th playoff series between the teams totaling over 170 post season games) there were a bunch of ignorant racial remarks made by people on Twitter following the game 1 victory where the Canandiens won in overtime thanks to a goal by PK Subban. Subban for those who might not know, is a Canadian born defenceman whose parents were born in the Caribbean. In short, he is black. That last statement is important, because in 2014, it shouldn’t be relevant. Yet some idiots on Twitter spewed racial based hate on Subban after the game and thankfully were booted from the service, but not before the media in both towns got the story and ran with it.

Now my hockey playing son, as many thousands of other kids in Quebec, love Subban. He is a talented player who helps their favorite team. In the elementary school playground the days after this, there were a few Bruins fans who then were unfairly labeled racists by the overwhelming majority of Habs fans. (Habs are the nickname of the Canadiens) So I dealt with this when it happened, and happily my son understood it was merely yahoos who don’t represent all Bruin fans. I explained to him that “Some people don’t accept others, they are simply stupid and don’t understand were all human beings.”

So then not a week later,  Connor tells me his Halo Reach clan is fighting a ‘Anti Racism war’ vs another clan. They’ll be playing games vs anther clan in good vs evil and he ‘Wasn’t joking.’

Connors clan leader, who seems like a fine guy getting his online clan mates a place to have fun under a clan banner, happens to be black. Now if course, this should be irrelevant, but it isn’t to at least one ignorant riddled clan who are calling him racist things.

fpsm

WOW… I am blown away, it this really happening now online with kids? Halo Reach went from Red vs Blue to Black vs White? So instead of calling another clan ‘A bunch of tryhards’ to goat them to clan battles in Halo, you call them racial slurs?

Society in my part of the world at least, was evolving, accepting more. We were losing ignorance seemingly a little more with each generation. I saw that with my now 20 year old daughter and with my son who is now 11. Even the 9 year gap between them shows that the environment and views they have are that we truly more accepting we are all the same, human beings! Not colors or religion. The gap between my dad and my generation is even bigger proof.

Yet you have stupidity like this hockey thing and the Reach Clan ‘Anti-Racism War’ just piss me off beyond explanation right now.

I am glad that my son is on the good side of this debate, but MAN.. when are we going to learn? Does he have to worry about BS like this? I mean this kid in his clan is getting old school name calling based on his skin color in cyberspace?

I mean trash talking is a part of online gameplay.. sadly.. but honest to god, when kids are doing it with racial angles? What the hell? Is ANYTHING off limits these days?

Why write about this?

      Partly because I need to vent

Partly because I was going to mention this total bull**** racist clan I’d love to mention their name to get heat on them, but don’t want to give them ANY attention.

Partly because we all sometimes need a reminder that we need to read Churchill’s aforementioned quote and live it.

Partly because as mother day is here, and though she’s been dead for 12 years, I never go a day without thinking about her. Here is a story I want to end this blog with.

My mother never yelled at me. I always thought she let me did what I want and I turned out to be a decent person. But it was not really so, for she showed me how to act and I mirrored it more and more. She showed me how to do and act when I did what I wanted to do!

One day, I was in grad 4 or 5, and I used a racial term I shouldn’t have with my mom. I didn’t even mean any malice, because all of the kids were using the term, I honestly though it was acceptable. She stopped my head in my tracks and with the mom finger in my face and a stern voice she never used before or after told me that I was keeping the world from being a better place by using such a term. I was no better than anyone else and if I wanted respect for myself in life I must too give the same respect to people who looked or believed in different things from me. I was ashamed. I didn’t want to let her down.

(Sorry, had to take a break for a minute after that last sentence)

I don’t want to let her down, nor do I want to let me own kids down on this part/lesson of life.

Yes, online gaming is extended internet. Of course the internet can have us with a quick search find naked women dressed like nuns or people who live their loves dressed like goats.. anything goes. But old outdated hatred on racial or religious grounds? Why keep alive the ignorance that has historically literally had us killing each other over…

When I think about it, the people doing this racist garbage on XBL probably wouldn’t have enough collective IQ to understand Churchill’s quote anyway.

g30 footer

TBoD Podcast – 65 – Interview with Tara “Skunkie” Bellafiore

Hey all,

We were super stoked to have the wonderful Tara “Skunkie” Bellafiore of Punklabs fame join us for this episode. We spend the majority of the episode gaining insight into the life and work of an indie developer but we also manage to cover some news;

Goldfarb goes indie,

Popular YouTubers in cash for vids shock,

the tides are changing,

We had a great time with this one so I hope you all enjoy listening as much as we enjoyed recording it.

Interview special w/Tara

- eremenko

“Bricks of the Dead” Damn close to full zombie!

tbodgagnon

 

 

 

It was a about a year ago I hopped onto the Zombie train. After hearing so much about The Walking Dead, I finally started up season 1 on Netflix with Connor. After 3 episodes we were talking about it so much that we restarted with my wife in tow.

We then binged watched until we had caught up and when season 4 started up last fall we were glued to it every Sunday night.

Now Connor and I were passive zombie fans when it comes to gaming. We loved the first Dead Rising and it’s add ons, and also liked Dead Rising 2. (Admittingly we prefer the original) Connor was a huge fan of Plants Vs Zombies, and as COD fans of course we have killed a Nazi Zombie or two.

Hell, we even found a bevy of zombie movies on Netflix, most of them B movies and all worth mostly laughs.

In November we drove 90 minutes to Ottawa to the Fan Expo and met, amongst other crew members Daryl from the Walking Dead.

Connor meets the Walking Dead's Norman Reedus (AKA Daryl)

Connor meets the Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus (AKA Daryl)

Literally good family times, as strange as that may seen to those not bitten by zombie bug.

Now I found, interestingly enough, a side community around zombies and another hobby Connor and I share, around animation/toymations with blocks.

In particular “BRICKS OF THE DEAD”

23602_326637739136_5502489_n

http://bricksofthedead.com/

Now this site does more than Lego Zombies, although they do that exceptionally well.

How well?

How about the fact they are just hitting their 500th ‘Issue’ of their web comic. A comic which I look forward to each week and that is done at a very high standard in quality of story and visuals. (Pretty well all you can ask for in a comic!) One feature on their website I enjoy are character bios. To me this shows the thought and thoroughness put into the web comic one can’t help but admire.

But back to the other things it covers. It covers zombies, plain and simple. Reviews of zombie games, movies, books and more.

This wide array means it appeals to so many different fans of the zombie community. From cartoon to the most realistic movie, from comedy to dark & depressing, if it loves eating brains… it’s here!

They are active on social media as well, and their aforementioned website is organized and looks sharp. I urge you to visit their website and if you do the twitter thing to add them.

https://twitter.com/bricksofthedead

Bricks of the Dead has a great thing with its comic as a standalone, but they truly serve the bigger zombie community.

Yes, you never go in ‘Full Zombie’ but Bricks of the Dead gets close.. as close as you can without getting bit and turning…

g30 footer

The TBoD Podcast – Episode 64 – Barbershop Duet

Barbershop Duet (right click and hit ‘save link as’ to download)

Bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum

try getting that one out of your head.

Quim and Menko are once again a twosome for this weeks episode, joined in brief cameos by This is Reklaw and BadMotherLicker. The focus this week is in shooters with the following up for discussion;

Destiny,

Cliffy B’s Bluesteak,

updates to Titanfall and BF 4,

all rounded out with a discussion about Violence in games

 with comments from Ken Levine.

- eremenko

FPS Community: “Put on your headsets & be nice!”

tbodgagnon

TAKE 1:

Look, if the ****ing Wonderpets know about teamwork, then online gamers should as well

No no no… lets try again…

TAKE 2:

(Spoken as Tarzan) Back many moons ago, Gagnon30 was not amungst us. I lurk amongst shadows in PC gaming as long name which begin with clan prefix. That is right.. mysterious animal of clan which hold most high honor and teamwork…

Wow.. that was REALLY bad….

TAKE 3:

I am a team player. I was a hockey goalie for years, and it’s a position that you can’t be a lone wolf and be successful. So its kind of engrained in so many things I do that teamwork equals success. Now that doesn’t mean its probably a wicked feeling to win a individual type tournament/sport like say golf. But the feeling when a group comes together to win is incredible because you can share the feeling with your teammates and have faced similar hurdles you collectively overcame. For gaming, I am a team player as well.

I am not happy that team oriented games, the backbone of multiplayer online gaming, is not really in optmal shape.

But what I find now is alot of people complaining about the games they play and claim to be fans of, not to mention speculation rules the day… mostly on people wanting to ‘fix’ things they think are out of line in their corner on the FPS world.

Personally, I don’t think things are broken, because the use of the term ‘fix’ so many use implies something is broken.

It boils down to games doing new and different things with each new release to justify their existence to some degree.

So for me it’s a matter of ‘changing’ things, not ‘fixing’.

Not too long ago, I listened to Podtacular’s episode 421, Dusty & Brent hit up that simply scaling back on ideas, would perhaps help the Halo community going forward. I think he is right. I don’t knock new things, but I believe Brent’s thoughts that is if some things that were there in the past are back, that the community would be a lot stronger at this point in the Halo franchise game cycle. Even with the Master Chief collection coming down the pipes having us giddy, we cant forget to discuss what will help out. It also applies to any FPS franchise IMHO.

We’re talking teamwork, were talking headsets.

Yes, by doing something ourselves, not the devs, we all used to do not too long ago, we can change the games we love back to better.

In the Halo 3 days, the minority of players were the ones who DIDN’T wear their headset, especially in team multiplayer. It lead to better gameplay and a healthier social experience.

One thing LONG gone for myself is adding XBL friends as much as I used to in those H3 days. I mean if you can’t interact speaking with players, you likely won’t party up after a good match, you likely won’t add them to your friends list. With my Xbone now and the 10 fold of friends my list maxed out to.. I have added maybe a dozen friends in 2 months.

Frankly I don’t feel as encouraged to play certain games because multiplayer has become a solo thing because of the lack of social action that more active headset use brings.

I will of course blame the lack of universal headset use on COD. Because even though I was a huge COD fan up until the first Black Ops was released (I liked Black Ops1, the games after this have let me down) The COD lobbies were chalk full of trash talking kids, who took in into the game and gave crap to their teammates all game long. There was no respect shown by most over the 10 kids talking at once and whoever could be loudest as calling the other “A f***ing tryhard” louder than the other was apparently the BMOC.

Sure enough while there were always rogue guys like this in Halo 3 lobbies, Halo Reach lobbies became infected with these type jerks as well. This led of course, (Or at least obvious in my mind) to people simply not using their headsets who used to. They didn’t want to deal with trash talking kids/jerks. The next step of course is totally new players pick up Reach and just assume that, “Hey, nobody uses headsets so I won’t.” And the Halo multiplayer culture changed to one which was headsetless. Team oriented games took a turn for the worst.

Whether I try to play Battlefield, any COD, and Halo or even new releases in the FPS world like Titanall or even Plants vs Zombies “Garden Warfare” most players, VAST majority in fact don’t wear headsets.

I even had an interesting conversation when playing Titanfall in March with a guy who happened to buck the trend and actually HAD headsets on. I made a comment to the tune of “Wow, great to actually be playing with a teammate who I can properly communicate with. I mean we should all have headsets since the XBone came with one!” The reply he told me was that he had a nice new pair of Turtle Beaches, but that all his buddies were taking their XBone headsets to places like Gamestop and getting 10$ for them. They don’t use them.

Apparently Gamestop will have the factory version headsets in stock for the rare birds like me who use them. No wait, the trash talkers must be buying them, since they represent a big chunk of headset users. As a left handed person, I am used to being the minority!

Now, Halo Reach had a feature I loved. You could set up preference in the type of player you could be partied up with. So by wanting a ‘chatty’ player meant they would have a headset. Now of course it could potentially be a trash talker, but with the law of averages if they all had headsets you were bound to find a good honest to goodness group of guys who wanted to chat and have fun using the headsets to communicate properly in a team oriented game.

Yet this feature was NOT offered again in Halo 4. UGH! Progress gone!

A mandatory headset feature/lobby would rock.. but the point here is what WE can do with what we have for now.

As I do a reread of this little ramble, I can sum things up that one thing that can make FPS that much better. To be more like that golden age we all yearn for again, we can help by wearing headsets we can get alot closer to that era. Communicating will help the games become more interactive/better, and help make any games community stronger by having us know each other better.

That’s right, lets get our torches, pitchforks and headsets on AND IMPORTANTLY take the trash talkers out of it by being in full force a responsible community member who wants to help his/her game by being a team player and a positive community supporter! Be the example of what you wish everyone in the community was like! When we are not doing this, we are then letting those trash talking squeakers win. Those jerks who effectively ran us honest community folk right out of our headsets years ago!

wasnt

 

 

 

 

 

It is such an easy thing to do and when we are not doing it, it means were not getting the most fun we can from any games experience.

INSERT CLICHE HERE: “Lets be part of the solution, not the problem.”

g30 footer

TBoD Podcast – 63 – Towerfall Intervention

Hey all,

Apologies for the delay this week, I am useless.

This week we cover;

A few listener questions and,

the punishment of death,

games win prizes,

and our ‘we called the dog….’ section covers the gorgeous ‘Long Dark’

Crinbot was once again absent so no song …. sorry.

Right click and hit ‘save link as’ to download

eremenko

Video Features Will Help You Appreciate Old Games

tbodgagnon

 

 

 

So I do have a bias towards videos/machinima. I myself make them, so there is the bias!

Now the next gen consoles of course allow you to take, edit and upload vids of game play very easily now. So yeah, a guy with video game and video making hobby like me is very happy!

The Xbone has the Upload/Upload Studio Apps. They allow you to take the 30 second to 5 minute clips you record and do things like some basic editing and send them either to your Xbone world, but also to your Onedrive (Formerly Skydrive) so you can download them to your PC and then take it one step further and edit with even more powerful software. While sitting on the Xbone you can even use the all seeing Kinect and record voiceover with vid of you sitting there, picture in picture if you want. Hey, if you’re a true gamer, consider it a picture of you in ‘your office!’

I also know the PS4 offers similar ‘Save and Share’ for clips up to 15 minutes long. I don’t think it has edit feature but with 15 minutes length and the fact you can put it on a USB key to edit on PC later.. it sounds like a cool feature as well!

Now although I tinkered a bit with the Xbone Upload when I got the machine back in March (It was a Titanfall launch baby) I only recently began to post vids more seriously I it with a new series “Gotta Love Titanfall”. As a shameless plug, it is short videos on cool, funny &/or strange things that happen in game.

Here are 2 examples of ‘Gotta Love Titanfall’

I have spent quite a few hours more than I would like to admit in front of the Xbone watching not only clips others have posted on Upload, but Twitch streaming of a ton of different games. There is no question going forward that this seems to be more than a trend but a key part of gaming culture and entertainment.

But what REALLY set me off on loving Upload? How about the Master Chief collection!

I mean think of it. We all have a game that in the past few years was OUR GAME. We played it to death for countless hours, met friends and had uncountable good times. For me, as most know its Halo.

Now Halo had of course infamous Machinima. From Red vs. Blue (Honestly for one season it WAS funny) to The Spartan Life and hundreds of other shorts. I mean I still remember waiting for each weeks release of ‘Fails of the weak’! But these were reserved for those with the proper capture card/video edit set up to do it. (Not to mention time.) We got a lot of entertainment none the less.

But unquestionably there were so many layman gamers without the resources who had great ideas and/or moments from in game that never came to light because a feature like Upload and ‘Save & Share’ did not exist. BUT NOW THEY DO.

So on November 11th, a key thing I will be doing after I camp out to get my midnight release copy of the Master Chief Collection, is recording clips till the cows come home. Yes, “Gotta Love Halo” is born. But Ill also be scouring the interwebz for what will be the launch of a million vids similar that will now pop up thanks to this cool feature on the next gen consoles!

It won’t just effect random corners of any games universe either. You can have ‘Lets’s Play,’ speedruns, walkthroughs, funny clips, MLG battles, and things like forge have their own videos EASILY Made and shared. No matter what type gamer you are, you can likely find a video you will enjoy about the game you enjoy.

I think bringing old (Halo) with the new (Upload) will truly help us appreciate the new gen that much more.

If you haven’t used these feature with your Xbone or PS4… I recommend you look it up, there is a more than good chance you’ll be entertained! Join in on the addiction, I mean fun!

newsig2

The TBoD Podcast – Episode 62 – Statistically Masterful

Howdy,

We’re short a member again this week, Crinbot’s absence means we have no song either so apologies for that. We do have the usual content for your listening pleasure so without further ado the stuff we cover;

Continued support for X360,

Kingdom under fire and the new ‘Blueside’ engine,

PS now service update,

Console to PC parity,

Live GTAV in first person,

Oculus controller?

We called the dog ….. Anna!?!

…. and finally the WOW player who hit 90 as neither horde nor alliance.

as always thanks for listening and com-like-a-scribe.

Statistically Masterful

 – eremenko

Podcasting for the Community…

Please note: I am writing this weeks blog as a regular listener to Podtacular. I am not representing them nor does anyone from PT know I am writing this. With the other podcasters that were on the show mentioned in the article, I found them articulate and will listen to their shows to see if they come off just as well on them. I merely wanted to discuss a point that came up!

tbodgagnon

 

 

 

Listened to Podtaculars Episode 429, which was based not around Halo, but part 2 a show featuring its sister network podcast teams on the topic of podcasting itself.

In the description of show its notes:

429

  • This is the second episode in a series where we talk to the creators and hosts of shows featured on thePodKast.com, our gaming podcast network. Our topics for this show involves where we come up with the content for our episodes, what drives our discussions, how our sites facilitate our shows and how we promote the network. Guests includeAgro from Kritzkast, the TF2 Podcast, Mark Turcotte from Guardian Radio, a podcast dedicated to Bungie’s upcoming title Destiny, and Jon Shute from How to Murder Time.

Good podcast. All the parties are no question enthusiastic on what they do and serve their communities well.

Here is a point though on when PT got called out for website and forums ect. In short the other guys seemed to think having a website and things like forums was not needed for a podcast, it was up to others in thier comunity to facilitate these type things for the community. I got the impression they found it a waste of thier resources.

Okay, it boils down to the fact I think the other podcasts didn’t take longevity into account. They didn’t respect (I use  that word non maliciuously) what that means and brings to the table. In fact their own lack of long history like PT didn’t allow them to understand why PT supports a website/forums ect.

Podtacular in its history goes back to when these things were a must on all communities. Also when a podcast essentially had to have these things as they were, (For most games communities) merely spinoffs of their community website.

Not only that, but PT’s long history has seen them support their communities between different titles, and at times ‘droughts’ in the community. While the Halo community was so massive that there were many that still survived these lulls, a lot of them faded away or became (Cue in dramatic ‘duh duh dunnn’ sound clip) became ‘General Gaming Podcasts.’ A lot of community websites and forums disappeared.

So now that people are climbing back on the Halo bandwagon, PT offers the forums and website that fans loved in the past AND that were lost when other online places went the wayside.

Now while the other podcasts represented in the show seem to have a great read on what’s happening on podcasting, I say cutting edge as their views showed they know their stuff. They certainly may know the dynamics on podcasting and how on their own they can survive without home base websites, forums ect. Hell, I am an idiot with these things! But for these ‘more modern podcasters’ I think they are a lot like a rookie on a sports team that has all the talent, that is in its prime, but that lacks a little something that could bite them in the ass or hold them back until they earn it… experience. PT delivers on servicing their community by giving us old school, multifaceted options to give its fans what they want, what they have gotten and what they expect. All the while, looking forward for what is new

Hey guys, give the veterans some repsect!! *insert winky face here*

To listen to the episode of Podtacular I rambled about, find it here:

http://www.podtacular.com/media/podtacular-429/

g30 footer

TheSSMinecraft Needs Your Support

tbodgagnon

 

 

 

In this week’s blog I am taking the opportunity to promote a project some people who have supported my own projects in the past are now driving.

I am personally excited over TheSSMinecraft! As we now know Minecraft for the Xbone will allow import of 360 worlds into it. So couple that with the in game recording features of the new console, and it spells win! TheSSMinecraft is hitting the already and always hot Minecraft iron, and it’s going to get even hotter with the new console and easier was for places like TheSSMinecraft to get material!

Here is a write up from the creators themselves:

    TheSSMinecraft is a YouTube Channel which supplies Minecraft videos and more! The videos are anything from tutorials and reviews to Let’s Plays.
    The main duo are Sam and Shannon although the videos will also feature Joe, Simon, Ashley and others! Each person has their own ‘character’ which has come from something in the Minecraft world. For example, Shannon is ‘Ender Girl’ and Sam is ‘CreeperBoy’ this is to make it more child friendly for those younger viewers and makes the whole concept exciting.
    The channel wishes to reach out to different types of audience, not just focus on one. What’s the fun it that?!;) So to do this, we will have different ‘sections’ where we do tutorials and Let’s Play and Let’s Build for those more creative people, there will also be animations which a certain theme can be suggested.
    Hopefully, if the Channel and Facebook page gets enough likes and fans, competitions will be run and there will also be TheSSMinecraft merchandise as well as Minecraft goodies… And not forgetting, TheSSMinecraft is in partnership with TheSSMotion due to Simon and Sam being the original owners, and so there is a chance of a feature in the 2015 Halo MegaBloksFest, and so TheSSMinecraft will do cross-overs with Halo to support this.

10352759_665237720196885_8456453447312116783_n

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to TheSSMinecraft Facebook

Link to TheSSMinecraft Youtube

g30 footer

Halo Master Chief Collection? (YES)

    In the wake of E3 Monday and gameplay vids we got bombed with, I wanted to write and spew Halo love but when I started typing I realized that it would be too long.. even by my own babbling standards. I wanted to poke at Destiny because.. well just because. I wanted to laugh at COD Advanced Warfare for a gameplay demo that had ODST intro, with drop pods and enemy craft being bombed that both screamed Titanfall…

    BUT WAIT. POSITIVE WAVES NEEDED!

    There are many games out there and many people. Why hate on what other people love… at least for this weeks blog.

tbodgagnon

ME: So…

IMG_1131[1]

ME: Halo CE, Halo 2, Halo 3 and Halo 4?

343: (Yes)

ME: All the maps?

343: (Yes)

ME: Ability to play all on multiplayer?

343: (Yes)

ME: Dedicated servers?

343: (Yes)

ME: $60?

343: (Yes)

ME: Xbox One, 1080p?

343: (Yes)

ME: Great!

343: (There is more goodies, want to hear them?)

ME: Later… I can’t type with tears of joy in my eyes…

g30 footer