Sonic Screwdriver trio for my friend's birthday.
They achieved their Kickstarter goal, and now the world gets more of their award winning sci-fi comedy!
Brought to you from Earthtastic! and A Bit of Geek.
My submission to the Mojang community art contest. Watch the video!
Instructions and babbling on how to make a TARDIS lamp from foam core!
Monday, December 31, 2012
It was a simpler time of DOS based machines, black screens, and mouseless navigation. The keyboards were chunkier and clunkier, and the floppy disks were actually floppy. I remember being in Kindergarten and having 'lab time', where all of us tiny children walked down the hallways and into the computer lab. The lights were dim, the room was warm, and the computers hummed lightly with anticipation of game time.
At school the game was always Word Muncher, a simple interactive title where a little green man with a giant mouth and legs walked around a grid and ate words or numbers that correlated to the key word or number. For example!
Friday, December 28, 2012
Spoiler alert: this story doesn't have a happy ending.
Close to the end of the day on Christmas I set about to downloading my game. I hopped onto Steam and moved forward with the purchase, deciding I'd download it just to be "on the ball" and then I'd install Wine later. It turns out you can't do that! Steam for OSX doesn't like it when you try to download a PC title. With a shrug and a sigh it became apparent that I'd better start with Wine right away.
After a few looks around online for solutions I found the missing DLL components that it so desperately needed (according to the Terminal log, anyway), but I was met with disappointing results. At this point I had sort of coded myself into a corner and I really no longer knew what was installed and what I was missing. So...
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
My mother listened to my constant woes and complaints over the past few months regarding my ancient macbook, and ended up getting me a new macbook pro (with retina display!) for Christmas. Sadly(?) I knew about this marvelous gift because my mother lacks sufficient knowledge on what makes a good computer, but also because she didn't know my specific needs. Somewhat indifferent to the lack of a surprise, I ordered it and then sat with my hands in my lap waiting patiently for Christmas morning.
I had grand plans for holiday gaming, you see. Until last year I was never much for computer gaming, just Minecraft really, but then I started Fallout 3 and Skyrim files on a friend's computer and, well, I've decided that I like the keyboard and mouse setup quite a bit.
My sister and her family weren't set to arrive until around noon or one o'clock Christmas Day, which left my mother and me with plenty of time to drink mimosas while watching the Doctor Who Christmas special (me, not her), and setting up my new macbook. I decided that the first order of business would be grabbing Steam and installing Fallout 3. Because nothing screams 'Christmas' like a post apocalyptic United States of America.
For some reason I had it in my head that Fallout 3 was PC/Mac, but all signs online point to it being PC only. Color me devastated. I sat melancholy on the couch, sipping my mimosa and watching the snow fall (all the while quite paranoid of sentient snowmen).
I have come to really enjoy the functionality of the macbook, and I have zero desire to switch to a Windows based machine in the near future. Why must companies punish me so? I've considered a Windows desktop to accompany my macbook for the sake of increased ease of access in software scenarios such as this, but no. I don't imagine that will happen.
Perhaps a dual boot is in my future.
In the meantime, I'll cry quietly while clutching my new Dalek plushie to my chest. Isn't that what you'd do with yours?
Monday, December 24, 2012
I want to take a minute to with everyone a happy holiday. Whatever you celebrate, whatever brings you close to your family and friends, I wish you a happy one! This time of year is my favorite because I become overcome with love and appreciation for the things that I have and the people in my life. And cookies. I make a lot of cookies this time of year. Does anyone have any great nerd crafted recipes they're willing to share?
This year I decided to combine the gift giving season with an opportunity to get more paper sculpt practice in, and I want to share one of them now. I made this for my best friend Jacki and, since she and I did a gift exchange over the weekend, I can now safely share it here:
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
My hands-on experience at PAX this summer told me that I absolutely want to own a Wii U. But the only game I'd even buy at the moment is New Super Mario Bros. U. My game collections are usually quite modest, but even I'd prefer a larger selection out of the gate. Even though Mario is an excellent title, it doesn't represent the range and capabilities of the system. Nintendo touts such innovation regarding the game pad, so I want a game that'll really show it off.
Since the Wii U boasts more online and multi-player features, I also want to wait until more people also own a system. I'm not a big online gamer, but that's generally because I don't care for playing with strangers. Waiting for my buddies to also be in a financial position to pick up a Wii U ensures more robust fun for all of us.
Lastly, and I think a lot of people can probably relate to this, I have so many other games to be playing right now. Adding an entirely new system to the mix would just be detrimental to the piles of "money" I already have in my house. Maybe every time I finish a game that I've been putting off I can put five or ten dollars into a Wii U fund jar? That'd serve the multi-purpose of saving and finishing more games in my library! I like the sound of this.
Are you waiting for more titles before buying a Wii U?
Monday, December 17, 2012
The house I live in now doesn't have a land line, and quite frankly they've become foreign in a shockingly short amount of time. Now I'm at my mom's for the holidays, and as a result I've had a chance to get back in touch with the ancient technology that is a house phone.
My cell was on the fritz, not charging and the like, so I had to call the Sprint store to inquire about my replacement. I wandered about the house to locate the elusive land line phone (since, again, my cell wasn't on since it wouldn't charge). There it stood, on its mighty charging station. Orange screen ablaze and defiant. A certain pride and anticipation about it, as though it sensed it was about to be used.
It felt odd in my hand. Too big, to be sure, and so simple. The 'on' button produced the long familiar dial tone, and I was flooded with childhood and teen memories. As I dialed the number, I mused over the fact that not very long ago phones didn't have screens on them. At all. So, you know, not only was Caller ID nonexistent, but one also couldn't verify the number that they had dialed.
As a child I dialed phone numbers with total confidence, thumb flying around the buttons (tactile, not screen buttons!) pressing with familiarity and accuracy. But now? Now I am gripped with complete paranoia if I have to dial a number without verification. I am severely reliant on the on-screen proof that I was sure-fingered.
I also got on a train of thought about Caller ID. I always know who is calling me, so when I answer the phone I say, "Hello." It is a statement and not a question. So often people will say, "Hi, it's (name)" and I never know how to respond, so I say, "I know." Does that read as creepy/threatening?
Whenever I receive a call from a number not in my phone I am driven to the frantic edge of curiosity. I practically froth at the mouth needing to know who it is. Many people that I know feel differently. The most common statement is, "If it's important they'll leave a message," but if no message is left I can't help but believe the receiver is left with a sense of unfinished business.
Who was the mysterious caller?
Friday, December 14, 2012
It's kind of been done, sure, but this is a slightly different angle. I don't claim to be the first person who thought of this, but hell, I had fun making it and it's always nice to think back on the little guys you crushed on your way to the Big Bad. Back when I first saw Bowser that's what I thought he'd look like if ever we were to meet in a dark dank dungeon. At the end of the game I also kind of expected something to happen with the coins, I mean, extra lives are great but a plumber can only use so many extra lives.
Get well soon MJ, the Geeks are restless without you.
En Taro Adun,
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
I thought that perhaps going through the old Google Reader would get my brain turning on a subject or two, but I'm really just staring blankly at my screen while feeling as though I'm in a badly pressurized air plane that has been attempting to land for three or four days.
Remember when you were little and you'd get sick and your parent or someone would take care of you and you'd get to watch all your favorite shows on TV? Why do I have to be a grown up who is forced to make her own tea and soup?!
I really should have been using this time to finally watch 'Firefly'.
(I know I know, it's a travesty that I haven't seen it yet)
It's becoming apparent that this is all going nowhere fast, so I'll leave you with an entertaining image and we'll all just hope that things go back to normal on Friday.
Good. I have my fingers and toes crossed that you fine readers aren't also currently sick to the bone and hacking up blobs in the sink that look suspiciously like tiny slugs.
Oh, right, here's the image I promised:
Monday, December 10, 2012
(This all dovetails nicely with the Ocarina of Time note ornaments that I included in my 'gift' post from last week.)
Without having specific products in mind to search for, I had to go with a generic 'geek Christmas', or 'geek decorations' search. I bet the internet holds more treasures still, but here are the fun things that I found!
-Custom TARDIS/Doctor Who holiday stocking from geekabyebaby on Etsy
-Hand painted Creeper festive platter from sweetpeapaint on Etsy
-Digital gaming wreath from ThinkGeek
-Super Mario Bros. puffy ornament set from bowlerhatbudgie on Etsy
-Pixel snowman mug from ThePeachPoppy on Etsy
-Invincible Star tree topper from jinglebells0424 on Etsy
-Star Wars Yoda lights from ThinkGeek
There are more options still for those who prefer a diy approach to their festivities. I found a few fun Mario Nutcrackers, for instance! Do you have any geek or gaming related holiday decorations in your house?
Friday, December 7, 2012
Fast forward to November, and Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion is available for in-store purchase as well as an eShop download for the Nintendo 3DS system. I happened to fall into possession of some eShop giftcards, so a digital download made the most sense!
Right out of the gate, I love the graphics! Any fans of the 16-bit era of gaming will feel right at home in the pixelated beauty of Power of Illusion. The game feels smooth and colorful, with responsive controls and varied environments.
The player is given the role of Mickey Mouse, who is tasked with rescuing an impressive Disney character back catalogue from the Castle of Illusion. You see, Mizrabel is back and is jealous of the attention that other characters get. She hopes that by trapping enough of them in her castle, she'll gain the power to enter the real world.
Mickey explores new areas of the castle that appear and collects lost Disney characters along the way. Each character ends up with their own room to wait in, and between castle adventures Mickey can perform side quests. Rapunzel wants a frying pan, for instance, and Snow White wants some pickaxes for her dwarf friends. Some of the side quest items can be found from other characters, while other items are found in the actual level environments. This means that some levels must be played through multiple times if you hope to help all of the Disney folk!
Power of Illusion features large "worlds" based off of well known Disney films. The first area is London and Neverland from Peter Pan, and it spans about five sub levels. At the end of each world there's a boss battle featuring your favorite villains! The first world ends with Captain Hook, naturally!
This 3DS offering brings back the paint/thinner methods of Epic Mickey for the Wii, and it melds beautifully with the touch controls of the handheld system. Players can activate the paint/thinner on the lower screen by either touching the lower screen or hitting the 'x' button. Sometimes Mickey will need to paint in a useful block while in midair, so prepare for some finger dexterity!
One of the first characters rescued is Scrooge McDuck, and he sets to work making a store where upgrades are purchasable! Mickey will have all the help he needs in the way of additional hearts, more powerful attacks, and less paint/thinner used when fighting enemies. Some enemies are defeated more effectively with melee bounce attacks, while others are spiky and therefore need the paint and thinner attacks.
Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion is more challenging than I expected, and many levels and villain fights take multiple attempts. I appreciate the fact that this game won't be a quick and easy jaunt!
If you're looking for yet another fun game to squeeze into your busy gaming schedule, then Power of Illusion is worth your time and money! Fans of old school side-scrolling platformers will find a lot of fun, and Disney fans will enjoy seeing all of their favorite characters on-screen (not unlike in Kingdom Hearts).
Are there any other 'Illusion' franchise fans out there? Has anyone else picked up Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion for their 3DS?
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
First let us take a look at the most useful websites for your purchasing needs:
1. Much Needed Merch
2. Geek Alerts
4. (last but not least) Think Geek
I've been a frequenter of Think Geek for years, but the other three are new to me. Each website contains an abundance of things that I wish I owned! Geek Alerts is a collection website, so to purchase a featured item you must follow a link. Much Needed Merch and FanGamer sell their own products.
I highly recommend trawling through each website. I can almost guarantee you'll find something for your hobby crazed friend, and I bet you'll see something you like, too. And don't worry, because each of those links contains far more than amazing t-shirts. It's high time the geek of your life expanded into relevant kitchen gear and clever license plate holders.
Here are some products (found on the aforementioned websites) that I find to be particularly awesome:
1. The Hobbit moleskine notebooks.
2. Doctor Who pocket watch.
3. "Studies in Evolution" poster set.
4. Professional nerd polo shirts.
5. NES cartridge notepads.
6. Wind Waker spoils bag.
7. Ocarina of Time note ornaments.
Monday, December 3, 2012
According to this article from Wii U Daily, we can expect a visual styling much like Skyward Sword, a team/budget akin to the Grand Theft Auto series (Zelda Wii U being their most expensive project to date), and dungeons that will "literally take hours to complete."
The article is lengthy and detailed, and talks about how the ideas that are in place for Zelda Wii U rank high among the reasons for the existence of the Gamepad. With a statement as bold as this, I now expect some serious innovation from the Gamepad. More than I did before, anyway!
I'm hoping for some official words and maybe even a piece of art or two from Nintendo, but there's a good chance we won't see anything like that until we're closer to E3 in June. Stay tuned though, and keep your fingers crossed!
Thanks to my friend Zach for passing this article along to me!