About Gagnon30

I like to play video games for fun. If it isnt for fun, then it isnt worth my time!

Haloholic Mexican Eccentric Guy Suffers 5 Stages of Halo Grief…

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I like to vacation in the Mayan Riviera in Mexico at least once a year. It’s a land of all inclusive pampered delight. Where the food and drink is great and plenty, I can get away from work and relax with my wife. Mexico is my happy place.

So as I sit on the eating bed in the far north in a Canadian hotel,  I feel calm enough to order Mexico food for dinner, I want to feel like I am in my happy place.

We are talking about emotion.. in this case when you are a fan of gaming franchises its mostly emotional between releases. Of course as a franchise gets long in tooth, the emotion ramps up.

As I eat this taco salad I realize that Canadian Mexican fast food is not what I get in Mexico…

I also realize for me the gap between Halo 4 and Halo 5 has been more like an emotional ladder resembling grief. But with a better outcome cause the only thing dead in the end is a few grunts when I fire up Halo 5.

All these classic states of grief came out and I evolved as we got me and more information on Halo 5 as it was developed at various stages after Halo 4.

Here is the official medical summary..

This following part should all be read like whispering.. like the voices in my head!

Denial and isolation

Yeah, I’ll go dark. I have heard a few notes about Halo 5. New guy Locke who’s tires got pumped with that movie Halo Nightfall. Frankly, I am not warm and fuzzy… where is Master Chief… won’t he find Cortina….? Where the hell is Lockes personality… he looks like the Old Spice guy but nowhere near as peppy! I hide from the online Halo community as I am in denial of this change.. I hide in a sleeping bed lying with Titanfall as my whore.  She knows how to have a good time… but I lack the history and the story Titanfall falls short on. I’m interested in its potential.. but those memories of precious Halo choke me up.

 

Anger

Okay… so what the hell… Spartan Locke is the posterboy and what? He seriously is hunting the Chief? He’s not a traitor! What type of pot did they legalize I’m the Pacific North West because I won’t let this **** fly! So begins my twitter bashing of Halo 5 and its heretic like path!

And who the **** brings back Fotus armor? Come on you space rhino loving bastard!

Bargaining

If only 343 would have stated true to the unicorn like “Real Halo”

If only I had diversified my game library to not be so invested in Halo.

I pray to God. .. “They gotta make Halo 5 work or I’ll end up in a gutter playing some crap game like Destiny as I have gone insane due to 343 lack of proper Halo guidance”.

I do a rosary on the steps of my local church, which I think is actually a synagogue which has nothing to do with Mexico… that’s for sure.

This hot sauce is really hot.. serves me right for putting salsa on a salad

Depression

I play the Halo 5 beta I get picked off every 5-10 seconds like COD. I am not having fun most of the time.

I ignore the fact that during Reach beta I felt same way yet when Reach went gold I loved final version.

I have a good game and then get hammered the next 5 at a 1-4 k/d clip. This beta looks great but is killing me. I’m off the rails dejected…. its tough eating good corn tortillas in the fetal position.

Acceptance

I slowly start to pay attention to the news in community. I see glimpses of changes and more concrete information on what the game really will be like. My eyes a just to the sunlight and cheeks are dry from Halo tears.

I sit and ask.. “What did i want Halo 5 to be?” And I can’t answer.

“I want to have fun” is the only thing I can come up with after a long awkward pause.. which considering I am alone should really be awkward, but sounds good and dramatic when one reads it.

News of the massive forge and clearer news that req points won’t hurt old school gametypes show promise.

Finally I accept that Halo 5 is it’s own thing.

I accept that different things are being tried and balance with old.

I accept that the days of Halo 3 heyday matchmaking is gone and it’s unfair to compare to anything else.

I accept that I have forever lost my CQB, but the recruit gear looks good.

I also accept that eating nachos after the salad has made these chips way too soggy

I accept I am actually ready and eager to play Halo 5.

I accept I have the need for a churro however…

My name is Gagnon 30, and I’m a Haloholic….

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BUSY GAMING SEASON APPROACHES

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HERE IS THE INTRO .. WHICH I SHOULD PROBABLY FIND SNAPPY THINGS TO SAY IN…

Being a sports fan, or at least fan of certain sports, I always use sports terms and organization in many facts of my life. I use a ‘bench’ model every day at work to grown my office better, fellow employees are teammates and we use ‘game strategies’ tackling projects.

So when I look at the next 4 months, I see an incredibly busy ‘season’ for the gaming part of my life. While I am thoroughly excited at the new tiles coming out, the more I sit and think about it, the more I worry.

HAPPY FACE

So what makes me happy going into the season? Halo 5, Rainbow Six Siege, Star Wars Battlefront, Black Ops 3, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate.. plus a few others to lesser extents. Normally my son and I have 3 maybe 3 titles we look forward too in the fall and Christmas period, but now we have overload!

Now that’s a lot of games, but then I realize the backwards capability for the Xbone will kick into high gear in the same period &  2 of my 360 favorites are coming to the new Gen in Halo Reach and Halo Wars.

Now for these backcap games, they are only gravy, the main course of new releases is gonna leave little time for them.

Even the new releases will leave little time for each other. When you couple in the most important factor for basically all of these particular new games coming out, multiplayer,  then we have a problem.

Insert sports analogy here. We’re down by a goal with a guy in the box, it’s 4th and long, 2 outs bottom of the 9th with 2 strikes needing a run, the ball is in the sand trap.

SAD FACE

What will happen to the numbers in these gaming communities?

Face it, back in the day Halo 2 was king on large part to lack of true competition.  It’s why to many gamers lucky enough to be around then, that this was is considered the golden era of their community.

But even fan boys like myself with Halo will admit, we now have so much choice to cycle to other games, at the very least between new Halo releases and updates.

But it’s no longer a sign that a fame is ‘bad’ when on release you’ll see tens of thousands of players in lobby count, go down to a few thousand 6 weeks later. It’s fairly normal.

So when you have so many multilayer games out in short period of time, there will be communities that simply will get shafted on numbers game.

Make no mistake, COD with BO3 will have huge numbers consistently this season, and I believe Halo 5 will have solid numbers at least better than Halo 4 did.

But games like Battlefront and Rainbow Six Siege which have been years since last releases, will no doubt suffer greatly.

While I have read some negative things about Battlefront, I’ll judge it when it comes out. I feel alot of the negative vibes are from people who didn’t play original versions. While dated compared to modern day mechanics, I still occasionally fire up the old PS2 to play BF and love it. If the game plays same with new graphics, he’ll that’s enough for me!

Now with Siege it’s interesting for me. I never was into the previous versions. Vegas was a little too vanilla for me. Yet when I played Siege at Montreal Comic Con, I was blown away. Now yes, it was MLG type 5 v 5 with full teams all with headsets, massive monitors, free Red Bull and screaming fans. But it rammed home the true team multilayer experience that for me and literal millions of others is core to our game play experience. Communicating while going for clear goals, strategy and understanding.

But how will what are essentially new communities (due to time between games for Battlefront and Siege) expected to grow? Too many other games to pull one away to give it a fair try.

Another contribution to why there are lack of headsets on most multiplayer lobbies, and half the time those with them nearly trash talk teammates or we are forced to listen to their music blasting in background? Well its a bi product in large part (I feel) to the migration of players to and from different games thanks to choice and competition.

 

EXHIBIT A

Let me differ to Titanfall. Where on the Xbone it released in March. The XBone was still very new and there were a limited number of games to compete with it. Plus at its time of the year for release was one of the only new ‘new hotness’s’ out there, overall and especially in its genre.

So Titanfall for new first few months had a really great community resembling a bit more of tighter old communities. There was alot if players, alot of headsets being worn and a surprisingly low amount of disrespect when people chatted. But when the fall came and new releases were abundant, the community faded to that of what is more typical of our current time.

 

IS IT ME? DOES THIS FRIENDS LIST MAKE ME LOOK FAT?

Now do not get me wrong, choice is good. Also, l’ll be honest, as a middle aged guy who is sometimes lucky to find a couple of hours an entire week to play any games, I don’t have a huge list of XBL friends. This means of course I can’t go online and say “Oh those 3 guys are on and we play Payday 2, those 2 play Far Cry…” then simply send invite. My son can jump in and out of any game because he does have a comprehensive fiend list and knows these type of dynamics. So part of my rant your reading is part of my own demographic placing.

Funny though eh, cause my demographic is the guy who buys 2 xbox ones, an extra hd tv and closing in on 2 dozen full priced games for the Xbone in short period of time! The demographic with a larger expendable income compared to a 19 year old!

MONEY?

Did I just mention money? Oh yeah… those 5 new games we have targeted in our home cost money. While Halo 5 will have free map packs for once (After MCC fiasco it’s the least they could do) it’s still 80 bucks before tax. Siege will set me back 115 more… and the other 3? Ugh!

But there is no gun to my head of  course!

Alot of people who are tighter on money (And I am not set financially by the way) are being more practical by picking and choosing priority games and buying those lower on list later. But my fear in approaching this angle is that any of these individual game communities I hope to be a part of will be gone by the time I finally join too far after initial launch.

LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL?

But hey, overall console communities are strong. At the point we are now in the new Gen,  more units of PS4 and Xbone have sold compared to same time 360 and PS3 were launched, & obviously more than the original Xbox and PS2. So numbers wise, one could argue the overall number of players can support more communities with larger than previous Gen numbers had at this point in time.

Of course that last statement I am saying there is hope to make me more optimistic. That this season’s bevy of games all have a shot at a decent heyday. Not doomed to deflate to nothing like Sunset Overdrive. (Thank god I never bought that)

I have to go on record that if all these games are major bug free,  I wish that they have dedicated fans like Destiny does, so instead of rushing to play all these games as soon as they are out to get best community,  I can look at the following 6 months after release and not worry.

Good lord, I kind of complimented Destiny, not the game thank god, but the community around it.

Take note as a hockey goalie for many years, I took many pucks to the head. (And other more sensitive parts)

YET AFTER THIS LONG RANT…

It will be a busy season, and honestly while I have concerns,  I think, hope & dare I say pary… we all will be winners.

Glass half full… game isn’t over till fat lady sings, there still is time on the clock.. insert sports cliché here.

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Titanfall 2: the Expected & the Eating Bed Wish List

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So, what is ahead for Titanfall?

Well although soon after its release in 2014 it was hinted there would be a second version on all platforms. This future however, was only finally confirmed from Vince Campella recently. But honestly, a sequel is no big surprise. While its population numbers have gone down, There is no question the game had an amazing first release & at the very least could be included in the discussion for best shooter of the year amongst any title, AAA or not.

So back to what is ahead? Now at this point it’s all speculation of course what Titanfall 2 will be. if we go back to the first Titanfall, little was known on hardcore details on things like game types & number of maps until nearly the March 11 release. So speculation what would likely be at least a year in advance of the next Titanfall is speculation to say the least. (We don’t even know what the timeline is for release of Titanfall 2)

However there are certain things we should logically expect & others we can toss up and see if they can stick. Respawn games earned a few things with Titanfall that give it the benefit of the doubt, so no matter what the end result, I am going to buy Titanfall 2.

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Let’s talk about what will obviously change in Titanfall 2

There will be different Titans, weapons, tactical abilities ect in the next release. While I am not a fan of the Call of Duty style ‘million-and-one-things’ you can equip your gun & character with, there is no question we will have a list longer to choose from than we did in the first Titanfall.

The key here is that Respawn has the right formula, what I saw as magic formula they had in the first Titanfall to give you options but keeping great balance. If you used the heavily armored Ogre Titan, it took a beating but was slow, while if you went for the nimble & fast Stryder, it couldn’t take too many hits. This balance was in all facets of things you could choose from as well, like weapons & tactical abilities. The more options you give to customize the more easily imbalance (Gaming terms ‘OP’ also explains it) can be put into gameplay.

For the Titans, the ability to choose from more than 3 & I would think more importantly flexibility to customize your stable of Titans is a gimmie . Even last year, Respawn earnestly added Titan logos & extra Titan AI voices when the community called for customization. I don’t think there will be revamp of the amount of slots one chooses will change though. 1 Titan frame, 1 main weapon, 1 tactical ability, 1 ordinance, while the current choice of 2 ‘kit’ items COULD be made into more without major imbalance issues. If they add the ability to have 2 different main weapons at once, it makes me scared.

I can’t stress that the choice from 3 basic Titans & a compact list of weapons & perks for your mech was a plus for Titanfall, there is room to grow. Let’s just not go overcomplicated & needing a copy of Coles Notes to figure out what the perfect combo is for you & the 200 different things you can combo like COD. ‘K.I.S.S’ is the way to go, or at least not to stray too far from.

It is the same for weapons & Tactical Abilities. The Respwan team had some kick ass stuff in the first Titanfall, just don’t overdo it with too much in Titanfall 2.

The question is can respawn continue to keep balance with additional choices? Pointe finale.

 

Now one thing Titanfall did & will surely continue to do is push the envelope on new game types. Frontier Defence released months after launch was a massive addition to the game. (For free let me remind you all.) Respawn will at the very least be able to tweak Frontier Defence to add new wrinkles to it. (I have personally gone on record saying it would be nice to be the attacking force on this game mode!)

 

The levelling up system was tweaked as the game got older. Some challenges like the unreal 50 Gooser challenge was toned down to 5 as best example. Respawn will have to likely add more levels to the current 10-50 system as many hit the cap quickly. But add in the rank chip which was introduced in the fall of 2014, & you have multiple ways on enticing you to keep playing. It would be only natural they add more.

 
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How about a few things not so guaranteed (in my opinion) but are not a stretch to be in Titanfall 2?

The elephant in the Titanfall room has always been campaign, in particular single player.
I have always been on the record saying Titanfall had been planned as multiplayer only. The campaign they put out was (IN MY HONEST OPINION) an appeasement deal where Respawn made an effort to give something of a campaign without major redesigning the release timeline of the entire game.

In a world where no shooter game can claim having a stellar campaign & multiplayer, Titanfall doesn’t need campaign. Yet hey, playing the campaign as it was in Titanfall 1 was a good place to play other noobs & learn the ropes. Hell, if you aren’t a noob & need some challenges like wins & pilot kills, hunting for noobs on campaign is fair game!

However a different sort of campaign is likely with Titanfall 2. There is a storyline there where a major shift in its story happened at the end of the campaign. So the groundwork is there.

Whether it’s a twist to the current campaign set up, or if it’s a new single player offline version, here will likely be a campaign there.

 

How about adding more players?

At first I found 6v6 not very “next gen” in Titanfall. But then playing COD on & off I realized that extra humans might make the game too COD-like in how you can kill 40 humans & die another 35 times in a single match & it’s normal. Titanfall had a good balance where you couldn’t camp & live the whole game not dying, but you also didn’t buy the farm every 5 seconds. Additional players must go hand & hand with bigger & better maps.

The maps in Titanfall are outstanding, so don’t take my last statement wrong. Titanfall I believe was the shooter game that had the best set of factory shipped maps in at least the last 10 years. But if you are going to add extra human players, you need to make sure those maps can handle it without changing the game flow.

Another way to add extra players is for particular game types. Even the choice of having standard 6v6, then offering option for (to borrow from Halo) ‘Big Team Battle’ of say 8v8 or hell 12v12 could be there.

I loved the 2V2 last Titan standing game, why not 6v6 or more?

 

I get to use/abuse my power being the blog writer here, to downgrade what many may think would be an obvious thing for Titanfall 2 to a not guaranteed thing, because I personally don’t love the idea. I’m talking about adding extra bots.

Yes, we have grunts & Spectors. You also have to add to the fold the sniper Spectors & suicide Spectors of Frontier Defence. For me these are enough. I would like to see in fact the sniper & suicide Spectors to be added to non frontier defence matches. That might be a tougher call of course in particular suicide Spectors in Frontier Defence run towards an objective. (The generator) so they might be added more easily to Capture The Flag mode running towards enemy flag or even Pilot Hunter running towards the targeted enemy mark. But could they work in attrition? How about those sniper Spectors? They would need to be dropped into locations where it would make sense to snipe.

Now the obvious thing for me would be variations on the grunts & Spectors. I’ll speak about a few ideas in my “wish list” section where I would LIKE to see new bots added.

Granted I mentioned benefit of the doubt for Respawn. So new bots would hopefully (will hopefully?) not be unbalancing factor to a game.

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My Wish List

 Sure, seems a bit self serving, but yeah.. I’ll list what I would like added into at least beta testing for Titanfall 2.

Finishing my thoughts from the last section: Specialist grunt/Spector units.

I am liking the idea of specialized units for the bots. In particular “Defender” units, which drop in strategic areas & defend these areas better than standard units because of better armour and/ or superior weapons. I’ll take this idea up a notch & suggest burn cards to use a defence unit. Imagine playing a big game of Hardpoint Domination where you are trying to hold that one point in a map that goes back & forth all game long. Well use your burn card to drop in a Defence Spector Team (forever to be known as ‘DST’) to help out.

Other type teams can be more specialized units such as anti-Titan infantry groups.

Let’s look at burn cards again & have the ability to drop your own bot drop pods as you wish. Imagine another tight spot for your team where you are able to use burn card & drop in a friendly unit of suicide grunts to run at the closest enemies near their drop zone?

Those placeable small turrets in Frontier Defence would for sure in my opinion look sweet in any standard game type if there were good balancing features.

A lobby game preference to check off where (like Halo Reach) you can choose to play only with players who have headsets.

Can we talk clans being implemented somehow?

I heard one podcast mention that they wanted flying Titans. Drones are one thing, but the idea of a flying Titan, even with reduced armour to compensate balance, seems over the edge.. lets beta test it?

I think capturing/activating a turret should have a challenge for it.

How about different specialized types of turrets?

One flag game types, wherein rounds you must first either defend or attack then swap sides with other teams after.

Team generator defence? Big teams where each side had a generator you had to blow? Even a variance where you take turns trying to take the other teams generator out like one flag scenario?

How about last Titan standing where you couldn’t get out of your Titan? I love the ability to get out & auto-Titan on LTS, but the idea of variance where you couldn’t is worth a beta test or two

Plant the bomb gametype

Pilot hunter variance where it’s all titans only. When mark is dead, new round starts.

I could go on forever! Wait.. I might already have! You guys get the point… Titanfall 2 has got me excited and thinking … as it should have you as well! Even the Playstation 4 folk who will finally be able to see why I am crazy about this game!

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Bloksfest 2015 : Halo Meets Toys on UK Soil!

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Halo the game near and dear to my heart, and to the wonderful hosts of TBOD is their sentimental favorite and is the last true string of their hearts near the Xbox… well Mega Bloks is the makers of Halo building sets that have been around for a few years and the largest convention of Mega Bloks is held annually on the TBOD motherland itself.. ENGLAND! (To add drama, as I type this I am playing ‘Jerusalem by Emerson, Lake & Palmer loudly in my home office.)

The third annual Mega BloksFest is hitting the Parr Hall on July 18th 2015. With hundreds of Mega Bloks sets on sale, huge video game tournaments with prizes, dozens of stall holders and hundreds of Mega Bloks fans gathering in one epic venue, this year is set to be outstanding.

Mega Bloks themselves will be in attendance with dozens of prizes and previews of upcoming sets with European first looks at loads of the amazing new products coming soon.

To help promote this event, Connor & I cross the point of no return, with a new genre for us in this promotional video.

Buy tickets and have fun! Don’t mention my name, you’ll likely get punched in the face… there is a hard core Mega Bloks crowd who like to gamble.

TICKETS AND INFO CAN BE FOUND AT:

http://www.bloksfest.co.uk/

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TITANFALL BLOWOUT ON THE XBOX

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If you are the owner of the XBox One and Gold Xbox Live Member, Titanfall is now on sale on XBox Live.. I MEAN REALLY ON SALE!

The option of the regular edition, seasons pass and the all inclusive deluxe edition will surely equate to a bunch of new players to welcome to this community! AND WE NEED THE MEMBERS!

For the Xbox One, the regular version is reduced from $40 to $10 while the seasons pass (3 maps packs with 9 maps total) will run you only $6.25 down from the original $25 cost. But hey.. for those who like a bargain, get both combined in the deluxe edition which is now down from original cost of $60 to an amazing $15! (These are US sale costs, but game is on sale EVERYWHERE XBOX LIVE IS, SO CHECK YOUR LOCAL COSTING TO SEE YOUR DEAL!

Over the last 3 days I have seen big increases of the Gen 1’s appearing, that is right new players taking advantage of this deal and I am glad to say from my own experiences enjoying the game! (That’s right, even alot of headsets to converse with the new Titanfans!)`

For those already into Titanfall, lets welcome the new players and spread the word to your friends who don`t have this incredible game, and don`t forget to welcome the noobs to our community properly, while you want to drop a Titan on them to maybe help a Challenge you need to finish, remember a large and friendly community is a strong and long lasting one!

FIND THESE GREAT DEALS ON YOUR XBOX DASHBOARD UNDER `DEALS WITH GOLD`

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Hot Gamer Dudes are NOT to blame….

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So where do we go from here? Now I have whored myself out to the point of the super sexy pic that no doubt will draw at least 4 people in to reading this blog, realizing its not as homo erotic as the stunning pic would make you lead to believe.

Hot Gamer Dudes like me, have to wonder in fact what is becoming of the state of gaming. Because we have allowed our precious in fact to decay to such a state quality wise, that we effectively seem to have hit a point of no return when it comes to excepting inferior quality from games.

2014 was a cluster**** of AAA titles with bush league issues. In the end, things that simply point to the fact games were simply not ready for release.  Yet we accept these things.

Assassins Creed Unity messed up so bad, it gave you free content and other free game to compensate, GTA’s online version took months to get up and we are STILL waiting for heists. The Crew, Drive Club and Watchdogs all have had bad enough issues to effectively kill the titles. Even a winner like Far Cry 4 this year had a very annoying PS4 problem where many had to uninstall and reinstall the complete game multiple times before it got to work right. The cherry on top of this steaming pile in 2014 was the total disaster Halo Master Chief Collection is.

Look no further than Halo and the Halo 5 Beta to show how we follow developers blindly like sheep to the slaughter house. Master Chief Collection is now closing on 3 months after release and is still multiplayer wise as broken as it was on day 1. Multiplayer is unplayable for more than 1 or 2 games in a row without a crash or major issue like being bumped from party.. of course this after you waited over 20 minutes to get a game in at all, if you are lucky.  Now 343 had enough of a **** storm after Halo 4. Yeah, many people hated H4, and had hung their hopes that MCC would redeem 343. THAT DID NOT HAPPEN. So when the Halo 5 beta came out at the end of December 2014, apparently the third time is the charm because preorders from Halo 5  took off.

Huh? People dumped on Halo 4, MCC was to many hardcore Halo fans the final nail in the coffin for us, and all of a sudden the beta test for Halo 5 has people throwing their money at 343?

I mean people posting/tweeting/blogging everywhere on ordering Halo 5 a year in advance after playing a couple of weak gametypes on not even a half dozen maps? WHAT THE ****?

Then it hits me, 343 is clearly not putting Halo 5 Beta to test the game and make us feel better about the future of the game, they wanted sales.. and baaahhh… we gobbled it up on the way to the killing floor with the other sheep.

We are preordering games a year in advance, then ignoring failures in a decent product when push comes to shove. In the case of Drunken Halo’s Justin Bryce, a fine guy, he ordered multiple different copies of Destiny well in advance for different platforms, got caught in the hype and rarely even plays the game now. Even this title, was missing its saving grace in the end, Raids, when it first released. We commonly feed the developers appetite for more money preordering and accepting crappy unfinished versions of games. Why would a company care about a good end product if your gonna buy anyway?

Yeah, I sure hope Halo 5 is a good Halo game when it releases later this year, but why should hope continue to mean we all buy copies months in advance. Thus taking the hammer we the consumers have over these developers by giving our money up front? They do not have to give us a finished game, because we won’t do anything but keep funding their next release with our fingers crossed.

It is simple, the next time you get your new game and it’s not finished, it is your own fault… so leave Hot Gamer Dudes like me alone.

Please, no tribute pics with the cover shot… I am a somewhat respectable guy.

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Ther Blocking Dead Episode 2: TBOD Co-Host hits the big time.

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Yes, Its me blogging again. No wait.. self serving promoting actually!

The Blocking Dead, Episode 2 is finally out. Now don’t think I go into this without an angle. With plenty of video game references and none other than a co-host of Teabag or Die as a character in this episode, I can say that it’s only partial self indulgence from me.

At just under 23 minutes long, it won’t qualify for an Academy award or a Emmy.. at this point I just want to clear up the hard drive space in my computer all the damn files needed to make this took.

Please share, comment and like the video, even if you don’t like it. After all this is a questionable website to start with, and you are LONG overdue confession in church.. so why not one more lie?

In this episode Andrew & Connor head off to Clairepointe to decide what to do next in this new post zombie apocalyptic world. My bet would normally involve a hamster, short length of rope and a golf ball.. but I am wrong.. crazy considering I wrote the script.

Here it is, let it blow your mind…

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The Gaming House Party: Long Live Your King.

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The forks in the road in the ever changing video game community. It’s like the big house party where we wander room to room… some more interesting than others. Some we stay in and have a great time for a while. Some other rooms we wander to, we pop in and politely drop out. Then we wander back to a room where we were before and see some familiar faces and new ones. Meanwhile, every once in a while, rumor of another party down the street floats around and some people leave… and some of them come back… churn, churn, churn.

We all have a ‘Favorite community we gauge in our minds as for us personally the ‘Best’ community we had been a part of. The Golden Age of gaming for us. But for most of us, we naturally stray away to new hotness. Sometimes a new version of same game and its community, sometimes new game and sometimes (gasp..) new platforms.

It’s well noted my golden age is around Halo community. Although spanning multiple versions, Halo 3 was my top pick.

But over the years since (and before even) there was the cycle of new games new rooms to walk around and test the waters.. to have fun. This goes back to when I was PC gaming in the late 90’s where copy and pasting IP addys in cumbersome GUI screens to play a laggy 1v1 game that you prayed your ISP held up and then after a game post 1000 word explanation on an AAR was the Golden Age for so long. But a couple of new kings came along, a lot of fun with games and the people in those communities.

This year I feel the community I am intertwined in is having a real banner run. Titanfall and Destiny came out already and have been big hits in their own ways. Another COD that well make fun of but play hours and hours, not one but 2 Assassins Creed and newbies like Sunset Overdrive which makes me faceplam but show that there are cool angles being thrown at AAA studios and titles.

But I cling to the golden age, The Master Chief collection which is here very soon.

Granted I admit since it was confirmed I HOPED it would be good. Because blind faith, the same type I made fun of people who bought into Destiny so much yet I have myself for MCC, had me reading every snippet of rumor/news over the last few months as a so eagerly wait to enter the room again in the gaming house party. I got my party shoes on, shaved, gelled the hair and got my fancy beer ready to go to the party.

343 has added a lot of bells and whistles, that have sold me or at least have me hoping more and more this is not a mere stroll down Sentimental Lane. I think we can all agree, in the Halo party room, that for at least a while once the doors open up on November 11th, well party hard.

So how long does the party go? In a short mess with vomiting and regretful woe? Or do we get bombed and find ourselves months down the road in Led Zeppelin type tour form partying to new dizzying heights with the Golden Age back.. with the King.

But as the expression goes, “Long live the King”, and I hope the king, my beloved Halo is still strong. However I understand that other expression.. “The King is dead.. long live.. (insert next in line to take throne.)

We are in for a treat with MCC. I believe its been a banner year for console gaming no matter  what pans in the final 6 weeks of it.

May you find a cool room to party.. I hope we meet! But most of all.. enjoy!

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My ears were violated…

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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….

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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?

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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.

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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…

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Halo Players & Their Kids Get Together! Join In!

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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

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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

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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.

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Oh no.. Gagnon is on Vine…

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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

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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.”

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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:

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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…

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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.

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

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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”

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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…

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

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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!

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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.”

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Video Features Will Help You Appreciate Old Games

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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!

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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!

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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/

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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.

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Link to TheSSMinecraft Facebook

Link to TheSSMinecraft Youtube

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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…

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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…

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Old School Arcades & Slugs!

tbodgagnon

Where I currently work there’s industrial manufacturing, which includes a lot of steel stamping. So it’s not uncommon to find pieces of metal lying around the dumpsters near in the parking lot. Which can be a dangerous thing for your tires by the way if you don’t watch it!

Low and behold this morning I looked down as I walk to the path beside the factory to the main office area, I see something I haven’t seen in a long time. “Could it be?” I think as I get down on one knee and pick up a slug!

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It’s not the kind that you find a garden. It’s the kind that in my world the late 70’s early 80’s growing up in Calgary allowed us to be game hackers in a certain way. Understand that while I had an Atari 2600 and the Intelevision to play home console gaming back then, where the vast majority of games good games were at were arcades. (Asteroids, Defender, Ms. Pacman, ect) These slugs helped us out a great deal of the arcade!

At the same period of time, Calgary was undergoing a housing boom as the oil market industry was booming as well. People were moving to town and therefore slugs were available

What the hell am I talking about? Housing and video games? Well…when you’re wiring a house, a typical electrical outlet will have little metal discs you can pop out when you put wires in and out of it. Check out this picture below, and look at the little circular discs on the inside of them. These are popped out by electricians as they plug wiring through them.

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Now the time these electrical boxes slug sizes were basically the exact size of a quarter, which of course for those old enough like me to remember, was a universal cost of one video game.

As mentioned at this time Calgary was a boom town for the housing industry, so when a new development popped up and as soon as the frame went up in a house my friends and I would eyeball when the electrician was going visiting. Usually after school go over to these places and go all over the floor picking of these slugs that it been punched out as the wiring had been put in.

Our next trip was to the arcade of course! The trick of was that you had to go to a different arcades most time time because eventually the teenager (Cause it always seem to be some pimply 17-year-old teenager was working the arcade) would figure out that it was you and your buddies that it filled their machines full of slugs. We could of course throw caution to the wind and go to same place mixing slugs with real quarters. But one of my pals got busted as he got searched in the arcade with a pocket full of slugs, no matter how many real quarters you had on you.. having one slug was getting banned from that arcade!

Now nowadays of course, new arcade machines a lot more sophisticated, and can tell it’s a proper quarter popped in, so the slug thing won’t work. But I’m curious if I find an old-school Asteroids game somewhere, (And you see them in places from time to time) for I’ll be keeping keeping an this new found slug in my pocket and giving it another try, just for old time sake of course!

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The Blocking Dead : Yes, I animate with toys.

EDIT: Episode 1 of the Blocking Dead, has been released since this article was published, it can be found at bottom of this write up!

Okay, so I got fan mail last week. Normally I get lots of email, normally telling me what an idiot I am, normally including the words ‘delusional’& ‘fanboy’, & often people wishing I would die. But I actually got an email of someone who liked my work. One point the person pointed out is question why I hadn’t blogged about the toymations I make. It was pointed out that for a lot of people, that what I did to get known to people in a small corner of the Halo universe.

Considering I have a new series “The Blocking Dead” debuting with its first episode later this week, time to blog!
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Now without going into too long a blog, I have made over the past 3-4 years various toymations with Halo Mega Bloks, which in 2013 saw the more than 2 hour comedy ‘Fridge 2 Far 2’ hit the YouTube world. Along the way I created a few shorter vids I am proud of, don’t for fun or in some cases contests. The vast majority were Halo Mega Bloks.

A Fridge 2 Far 2 In one vid.

Now my son Connor and I have made other vids together, mostly reviews of Mega Bloks and Lego sets Connor has gotten. I made some promotional vids for places like Postgame Carnage Report and things like promos for other projects I am working on. However with the more popular longer vids, it’s been over a years since the release of one, and I am typing this to let people know it’s because work is in progress! It HASN’T stopped.

A Connor’s vid, this one he interviews Tim, Comm Manager at Mega Bloks

    There are two projects right now in process.

      1: TERRA ALTUS: This is a feature length Halo Mega Bok drama, revolving around ODSTs in a post Covie war setting. The production around this will be the most complex I have done, so will take time but is needed to really get the story across the right way. I would estimate a good 80+ hours put into this already. I have a great deal of various Halo community members who have agreed and in a lot of cases already submitted lines to be voice actors. (Including a key ‘performance’ by a TBOD Host!) The estimate to release this in episodic form should start in 2104. Just as with Fridge 2, it will be a full length movie cut into smaller parts over a set period of time, but with a specific finish.


      Terra Altus Teaser Trailer/Concept Vid

      About time I get to the main part of this blog right? The Blocking Dead…

      2: THE BLOCKING DEAD: As mentioned before, the first episode debuts this week. Now this will be an ongoing episodic series, so unlike Terra Altus, doesn’t have a set story with ending. It theoretically will go on and on till the Energizer bunny dies or me I suppose.

      It will be a comedy and for the first time ever be done not with Halo Mega Bloks but in Lego. This will allow a much more dynamic and open possibility for scenes and film ‘sets’ as between what sets I got a as a kid years ago, and what Connor has, we have the ability to build much more different things.

      As the name and teaser material released so far shows, it is based around the world after a Zombie Apocalypse and takes the characters of Connor and I from the Fridge world into this new one.

      The look of the ‘filming’ will be different from what I have done in the past, but I think will work well balancing look and the ability to produce episodes quicker.

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    Cover of Blocking Dead : Episode 1

One thing I really want to do is to grow the toymations/animation communities I am a part of and have begin to create videos on how I make these projects to show its easier that some people might think, or at least give them tips!

For those who don’t know about this little hobby I share with my son, my YouTube page can be found HERE. True to YouTube whore, like, comment & share!

For Blocking Dead info, there is a Facebook page: HERE

For the record, when my wife is mad at me tells me to ‘Go play with your Lego.’ Which I suppose technically is true to what I do.


THE BLOCKING DEAD : Episode 1

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Guardian, shmardian! (Took me 10 minutes to make that title!)

Friday June 16, 9:26 am, 2nd cup of coffee (I am one behind regular pace)

THE NEWS: Halo 5 : Guardians, to be released in 2015 for XBone. “Halo 5 : Guardians”

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So I am happy for 2 reasons.

    1: This means promised 2014 Halo will no doubt mean H2A

    2: An extra year of development means a better product with the additional time. Especially when it comes to the XBone itself even which as all new consoles have, has its bugs to fix.

Yet one of the most common thing I read on social media this am is a new stone in the Halo/Destiny debate.

Basically those on the greener side of the fence at Destiny genuinely upset that the name Guardian is in title since there are Guardians in Destiny.

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I always love the opportunity to post that pic!

Okay, we all know ‘Guardians’ go back to the early Halo days, opening the debate as well that Bungie seems to be able to use then term because they brought it into Halo.

It’s a stupid debate. After all.. they are copying this!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guardian_(video_game)THE REAL GUARDIANS GAME!

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Made in 1994 the 3D shooter was made for the Amiga. It sucked so badly, they might have been many copies buried close to all those copies of the Atari 2600’s ET game recently unearthed.

Seriously? Good news at a new Halo release being given more time to develop and we grab feces and start throwing it at each other over the term “Guardian”?

I’m hoping both games are great that use these terms. Better 2 great games than any weak or even worse, no game at all. And while I have taken serious kicks at Destiny, I’m beyond that now. (Thanks to Titanfall largely for showing me games are for fun again.)

It boils down to this, my theory is, when you step out of bounds in Halo 3 and the Guardians kill you.. they actually were spies working for Amiga all that time.. or at least their legal team.

All hail Amiga Guardian!

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I like the Kinect! Plus, PS4 & XBone users only win from here on in!

tbodgagnon

Was just a normal Tuesday afternoon, when I went to check my Twitter feed (when it’s little slow at work) and I see the Xbox One have a few announcements, including as of June it will be available without connect. Firs thing that popped into my head was “That’s great!” As more people are going to buy it, & I have more PrevGen friends to play games with as some no doubt finally switch over to NexGen.

I get home, have dinner & start to relax later in the evening when I log into Facebook. Not one but two of my friends when saying you must be so pissed about the XBone news and what they’ve done with the Kinect, how “I can’t believe they suck so many people into buying Kinect” and “Now they’ve done this. You must be pissed!”

I couldn’t be further from pissed.

In both cases, to these friends I responded, “No I figured this would happen,” and the people on the other end of the chat were surprised to hear me calm. Personally, as someone who got the XBone already, I’m not upsetting Xbox as a matter fact I’m very happy I got to Kinect. I’ll admit, had I had the option right from the start to get with or without I would’ve gotten without, but frankly I like the little things that Kinect adds. It goes beyond being able to turn it on and off with a voice commands (Which is pretty cool by the way) like pausing it in an instant and of course, as most of you know I am a video guy, so being able to capture by saying “Xbox get that” for a little video snippet in the middle of the game is something I love. No doubt that they’ll have the ability to do that without Kinect going forward, but not as easily Ill bet. But that’s just a small thing that appeals to me and I understand it doesn’t appeal to everybody.

I do understand the price point change in XBone will allow alot of people to get now. There was in many cases resent at the higher cost, to whcih I understand. But its like getting a book when it comes out. Hardcover for a year first, then the paperback later. In the end, you will get to join in on the literary fun, but you have options, and as with most things, there are price points.

I have been an Xbox guy since Halo 3 day. I had a PlayStation 2 years ago when it was “the” machine, yet I don’t have anything against PS4. I’m just been totally engulfed in the culture of Xbox since getting one and it’s how I am. Sure last year I kind of trolled a bit in blogs when it was a heated debate between the two systems, where everyone was taking it seem to be taking aside. I too took a side but again I maybe trolled a little bit the PS users most notably on the infamous PlayStation online outage they had. By no means would I be one of the narrow minded people who would say ‘I’ll never get a PS4’. As things stand the Xbox still does the trick to fill my current needs, but maybe not forever.

But really very early in this NextGen lifespan, only a fraction of the OldGen users switched over. Mostly burned by the old 360 RROD, I was going to wait a whole year before I got my Xbone, but then caved for Titanfall and a good sale and got one, and frankly I’m happy with it. There are no doubts little kinks that the Xbox one has that even the PS4 has that we know are going to get fixed as the machines get older. Its par for the course!

I also recently made a blog that I have now bought into the fact that this is not just a game system but an entertainment system it’s the wave of the future no question. At first, it was an excuse to my wife for spending the money.. but man.. love the fact its intergrated and changed my families home entertainment system to the better.

In fact what I mostly take-out from the announcements made by Microsoft on Tuesday was that it’s all good propaganda, if you want to call it propaganda, because I prefer to all it I call it progress. In addition Games With Gold just coming out of the Xbox One which I’m very excited about, I mean I can’t believe the uproar before because it wasn’t in place from the launch. On launch there were no games for it, so how could they start giving away any for free? It was coming, I knew, I accepted and voila, now its here!

There’s no question that with this year’s E3 Microsoft doesn’t want to drop the ball like they did last year, even if it was in my opinion just a case of Microsoft explaining/presenting the system improperly. I still wish we had been given the original option they had to share games with friends!

No question with new frontman at Xbox, it screams “Games games games!” I think this pre-E3 announcement is marketing and smart marketing and we know that PlayStation will also do similar, as both understand the needs of consumers and do a little bit of propaganda that its users will benefit as well, just like the Xbox users would benefit from these announcements we just heard.

Sure PlayStation users can shout out “Xbox is doing this just like PlayStation always did!” When it comes to the new Gold account not needed to use popular apps, which was also announced today. The same way Xbox said the same similar words to things that PlayStation brought in that Xbox of been doing prior. Its tit for tat and irrelevant now IMHO.

In fact hindsight as it is now in this phase of the NexGen lifespan, where we’re not primarily focused on taking pokes who has what on their system, but just enjoying the fact that it’s all going forward. We the users regardless of what decision we made as far as which consol we get our benefiting from positive waves. Don’t beat each other up with what the other guy doesn’t have, focus on options on the units you make!

As always when a new console comes out, the only thing that really upsets me is how the friends list will change dramatically as people choose not to jump at all or jump into a different system. We all lose that way, most of us have all been though it before.

But this is what happens if you say play sports, where the year-to-year the lineup on your team changes and sometimes you choose to play a different team altogether

In fact to a large degree PlayStation and Xbox users should feel united because of these two companies battle each other to get our dollars collectively we all can now gain by the positive work they do adding things.

So, an I really just trying to justify the fact that I paid extra money for Kinect, when now less than a year later I didn’t have to? Honestly and I’ve already had 2 cups of coffee today’s so I’m fairly rational, No… I’m not trying to justify the spent money! Because I really do enjoy a little perks I have from it. Is it simply because I’m too lazy to hit a button to turn the machine on and off? Well maybe its a tiny little part of it! Also I don’t mind and even like the fact that maybe somebody spying to me as I play Titanfall my underwear! I’ll let you make a decision on that one, but if that interests you got my contact details below. Skype me… but only if you have Kinect!

Hugs and Kisses

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