A Few Things

Hello. I’ve been lax in my updating, because I’m me. But hopefully I’ll be updating more periodically. The thing is, I never like the look of my websites. I generally like the layout, but colors make me sick after awhile and I neglect the site. To fix this, I decided to download a theme instead of creating one. I found a nice theme that allows me to easily edit and change colors and other things. I like it. So I’ll be implementing that soon.

Things to lo0k forward to. I’ll have a tutorial up soon, so the tutorial section will be relevant. I also plan on having another landing page for something else. I haven’t decided how I’m going to add that, but it’ll be here on this site. So look forward to that stuff.

Bye.

UPDATE: And it’s up. Thanks!

In My Time of Gaming

<Insert cliche about growing older>. I’m not that old. Mid twenties. For a person who plays video games, that’s still not bad. It’s seems weird though. I’ve been playing video games most of my life, and I don’t think I will ever stop playing video games. However, I think how I play games will change (not just innovations in technology, like motion controls and touch… although those are part of it).

Being a little kid, I played video games. I also played trucks, played with Legos, did a ton of outside activities(we had a large yard when I was really younger), and many other things. I remember playing Super Mario Bros. 3, and Super Mario World. I remember we owned the NES game that had three games, Duck Hunt, Super Mario Bros, and something else. I sucked at Super Mario Bros, and I had to get really close to the screen with the light gun to play Duck Hunt. I would play Twisted Metal 2 with one friend, and play a Looney Toons game for the NES with another friend. I wasn’t very good at video games at that age.

Dunk Hunt

He’s laughing at how close I was to the T.V. He knew my eyesight would go bad. That jerk.

We moved from the small town, where we had a big yard, to a larger city (not a major metropolitan area, but significantly bigger than my previous town). We moved right after school was out for summer vacation. This is the worst time to move for a child just ten years of age. No friends, strange town, and you’re still kinda pissed for having to move. I found some comfort in video games. I would constantly rent Twisted Metal 3 from a video store. My brother and I would go to an Arcade and play a ton of video games. It wasn’t your standard arcade; you would spend six or seven dollars and you would be able to play a bunch of arcade games for free. It was awesome. They had bumper cars too.

Soon school started and I made friends. Two of them I am still friends to this day. A weird kid who liked Final Fantasy and Zelda. Yes, he owns a Link outfit, complete with a master sword. Another kid, who became my best friend, would come over to my house and we would watch my brother play Starcraft and Diablo 2. Pretty soon, we both bought those games and played them with each other. This is when I started to really get into gaming.

Starcraft

The Zerg always lose because they don’t have Pylons.

By middle school, I was still playing the expansions for Starcraft and Diablo 2 with friends. I had built my own computer and brought it to LAN parties. You don’t appreciate laptops until you’ve had to carry a CRT monitor from place to place. Our family owned a Playstation (we’ve had it before we moved) and my brother had an N64. We had retired the NES and SNES for mainly computer games, and an odd console game here and there. Then I watched someone play Grand Theft Auto 3. I had to have a Playstation 2 after seeing this game. I saved up and when I could afford one I bought a PS2 along with a copy of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. My dad had to purchase Vice City for me. The game was magical.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

Nothing says “Magic” like a felony.

Fast forward a little bit; high school to be exact. Full on video game geek. I gobbled up anything video game related. This is when I started to really pay attention to this fantastic industry. I started watching XPlay (R.I.P.). Guess who was being interviewed on one occasion? David Jaffe, the creator of one of my favorite games of all time, Twisted Metal 2. He was talking about God of War, which had been out for a while. I worked at Target at the time. My mom bought it for me for my birthday… I was the electronics team member whom she purchased it from. I remember playing it and was stunned at the violence. It was awesome. I showed all my friends. I still love that series.

God of War

To this day, I assume blood looks exactly like this.

My interest for video games grew throughout the rest of high school, and college. I bought a Wii on launch day, a Playstation 3 shortly after launch, and an XBox 360. I always had a PC capable of playing the latest games. I bought several games on release day, played dozens of hours a week, read a ton of video game websites, and subscribed to four different magazines at one point. I always knew when a game was going to be out, at least a year ahead of time. I watched several games become vaporware (games that were never released). I could tell you the lead developers for several games. I watched closely at projects started by Bill Roper, David Jaffe, Randy Pitchford, Tim Sweeney, John Carmack, and several others.

Then something happened. My last year or so of college, I played less video games. Needed to focus on homework, or I just hung out with friends more. I still paid attention to video games media and bought a ton of games, but I was playing much less. I had (and still do) a large back catalog of games. After graduation, I got a career. That’s where I am now. It’s weird. I love video games, but they are not as large part of my life anymore. My outlook has also changed on them.

I still stay caught up on the latest video games news. However, I prefer the feature articles of Polygon or The Penny Arcade Report, to the headline stories of Gamespot and IGN. Not saying that Gamespot and IGN don’t have very well written features, but they seem to be few and far between. Instead of buying a game on release day, I tend to wait until I have time to play it; then if I wait long enough, I might wait for a sale  or the price to go down on the game. It’s smart, but with a career, I don’t really need to pinch pennies. Before I might have bought a game like Bikini Zombie Slayer on day one, while today I’ll just pass on it. I used to play dozen of hours of video games a week, and I’m lucky if I play a video game during the work week at all (although weekends tend to be open season on video games for me). I just prefer to go exercise, have dinner with friends, maybe watch a TV show, or play Dungeon and Dragons (I’ll write about that someday).

Dice

Roll for story time.

I’m still excited about video games, but they are a lower priority now. I’m watching D.I.C.E. Summit videos right now. Some of the speakers are fascinating. I’m buying God of War Ascension on day one. I’m buying Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm on day one. Alas, Aliens: Colonial Marines gets pushed back to whenever I have time. Whenever I upgrade my computer, which needs to happen this year, I’ll buy Crysis 3. I might have to buy a 3DS for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow (there’s a few other games I want for 3DS too… its just Castlevania is probably the tipping point). Gears of War Judgement will need to be put off until a later date. Basically, once I feel satisfied with God of War and Starcraft, I’ll move on to another game. By then, they might be cheaper too.

So that’s where I’ve been and where I am at; at least when it comes to video games. I’m sure I’ll never stop playing. My corpse will be holding the controller for the Playstation 50 when I die. I’ll always play games. Maybe not as much as other times in my life life, but they’ll be present. Especially if they keep making games like Bikini Zombie Slayer.

Bikini Zombie Slayer

I don’t care how crappy the game is… it has blood, zombies, and cowboy hats.

Assassin’s Creed 3 – Crafting

Assassin's Creed 3 - CraftingI almost started this post with “alright.” I realized I do that a lot. My first video game post in a long time. Let’s see if I still have a valid opinion. I’ve put over 40 hours into Assassin’s Creed 3, and I’m about 10 sequences into the 12 sequence story; I’ve done a lot. I absolutely love the Assassin’s Creed franchise, and Assassin’s Creed 3 is one of the best games in the series. I highly recommend the game, especially if you have followed the series this far. If you haven’t been following the series, I recommend starting from the beginning, or at the very least, start at Assassin’s Creed 2. It’s a great story, filled with history and conspiracy theories and playing them out of order would only spoil the story for you if you do plan on playing any of the past games in the future.

Even though Assassin’s Creed 3 is more then worthy to belong to the Assassin’s Creed family, it does have one flaw that stands out: the crafting system. Someone at Ubisoft decided to make it too complicated and sluggish. You don’t have to do it; however, it significantly improves your character.

The first problem I have with the Crafting system is that it downplays it. I didn’t start crafting until sequence 9, which proves it’s not necessary. But I kept hearing from my friends all the cool stuff you are able to do later in the game… well sequence 9 is pretty late in the game, and I was like, “What the hell? where’s my naval shipping and dual pistols?” Turns out, you gotta craft that stuff… well first you are going to have to find recipes.

Recipes are found via a few ways. First way, you can complete almanacks (think that’s how they spell it in game). You need to find the pages (or buy the map for them for a few 1000 currency). Then you need to catch them before they fly away.  After collecting all the pages of a certain almanac, you get new recipes. The second way to get recipes, is to open treasure chests. Treasure chests were down played in the previous games, so I didn’t worry about collecting them this time around. I should have started collecting them early on. So much money and so many recipes. This wasn’t a big deal. I kind of enjoy exploring and collecting stuff.

After knowing how to make stuff with the recipes, you need to have the materials and the people in your homestead needs to have the skills to make said materials. This is done by completing homestead missions. That’s not a big deal, because if I see a mission on the map, I tend to do it, and then continue with the story missions. As you do these missions, your homestead peeps level up and are able to craft new materials.

This step of the crafting process is the absolute worse. Menus… which Assassin’s Creed has never done well… they are slow as molasses. Alright (crap I did it again), the actually crafting process is done through a menu, which is accessed through a book at your homestead (I think you can also do it at any store as well). This menu is like any other menu in Assassin’s Creed and favors looks over function. First you have to Stockpile the supplies to make stuff. The types of supplies you can stockpile is dependent on which homesteaders you have, and what level they are. This section is fairly smooth going, as there is not a ton of supplies you can stockpile (well, there is, but not as much as the stuff you can Craft… I’ll get to that in a minute). It sections out everything, pretty much by who is making it (various woods are under the Lumber category, minerals are under Minerals, etc). This costs money to stockpile this stuff, but it’s fairly cheap.

Now for the actual crafting. This menu is laid into categories, and then everything in the category is alphabetized.. which sounds great. Not so great. If you have a lot of recipes (which you do if you have gotten every single chest and almanac) there is a lot of stuff to go through. The worst part is, if you want to craft 2 have a recipe, you have to scroll through the abomination called the menu system again to find it; it doesn’t leave where you left off. Good luck crafting three Soap under Medicine. Oh and if you run out of a stockpiled item, you have to go back to the Stockpile menu system. Oh I hate it. Finding a recipe that I either, couldn’t do because my homesteader wasn’t a high enough level, or because I found a new recipe is a pain the butt.

The biggest complaint I have with the crafting system is that it takes you out of playing the game. There’s so much to do in this game that is fun. Hunting, naval battles, and, of course, assassinating. It’s a drag that to be a badass that is able to dual wield two pistols that I have to trudge my way through the crafting menus.

The Old Is New

Today, I spent most of my day converting the old Royfuss blog posts into the new format. Here are the results of that labor. I also added a link to the side bar. It’s entirely hard coded with CSS, HTML, and PHP, but the PHP isn’t doing much. If I get the initiative to do it, I’m going to load up them into a database format, so I can have PHP do all the work next time that I update the look of the website. I removed several links that were dead, broken in some way, or lead to a page that had a virus.

It was interesting to go back and copy all of those posts into a new format, because I read several of those old posts; I also noticed the times. I was an insomniac at one point, updating in the wee hours of the morning. Working at Target, I generally updated right before going to work, after work, or on the weekends. During college I generally updated in the evening. From that point of view, it’s interesting.

It was also interesting to reminisce. I posted several posts on Hellgate London. In a weird way, it was fun to relive the downfall of the game and Flagship Studios. At a point, I hated the Sony and their Playstation 3, now it’s my go-to console. Oh, and I have a habit of taking a long time to design websites, and then never release them.

It all got me thinking about what I’m going to do with the website now. For now, it’ll mainly be a blog, as I mentioned. I’m sure I’ll post a lot about video games; that’ll not change. I might even bring back “Games to the Video.” That reminds me, I need to import the posts from YourPersonalGamer.com. I won’t link to it… the site is abandoned and broken. As soon as the domain expires, it’ll go away. That’s the other thing I learned; I go A.D.D. a lot. I’m trying not to, but it’s fun to ramble.

That’s all I got. I’ll post my thoughts on Darksiders 2, Assassin’s Creed 3, or Borderlands 2 in the near future. I’ll try to update at least once a week, so keep posted.

 

Welcome to the New

Royfuss Old LogoI’ve been working on this for a few months now. First off, on the old website, I noted that I was working on a new site. I also noted that I might do a redesign of Royfuss… well this is the redesign. The site I was working on and never let anyone know about didn’t work out. I didn’t secure it and it got hacked. As a result, the site got butchered. I have since abandoned the site. This site is secured up the wazzoo, and I’ll make sure it stays that way.

The old site is still available. I am thinking about transferring the old news posts to the new design. That will be very large task, and I’m trying to think if it will be worth it. The old site is completely hard coded HTML. If I can do it efficiently, I’d be happy. Meaning, if I do another redesign that I can transfer it easily to a new design.

Comments are enabled. Feel free to comment. I might need to approve it. If I start getting spam (which I am expecting) I’ll have to switch up some stuff. Ideally, I’d like to be able to have you login with your Facebook, Twitter, or whatever social network login. Those plugins were hard to test without uploading to a server, so if you notice random Facebook widgets popping up, that’s what I’m doing. I’ll give you heads up if I do do that.

No forum. Also no downloads page or media page. Too much of a headache, and I saw no point. I decided that royfuss.com exists for two reasons: a blog and a portal. The Blog is self explanatory. I also want to do tutorials. I might have to test a few things with the tutorials page. The portal is the Royfuss Sites page. It’s a page that links to pet projects of mine. If I do create a wiki or something for another project, but don’t want to buy a domain, I want an easy link for people to follow.

Anyways, welcome to the new site. I hope you like the design. I went through three designs to get this far. I’ll be doing some tweaking over the next few weeks, but this is pretty much the final design. As a few cosmetic things will get tweaked, as well the tutorials jazz. Obviously will add more text to the About page. I’m going to put images in most posts, and they’ll float to the right like on this post, at least for the time being. I’ll decide how I want it and might experiment with a few ideas.

– Royfuss