The Unfinished

     I own a lot of video games and a lot of books. Unfortunately I am rather bad at finishing what I set out to do. As such there are quite a few video games and books that I just never finished; not because they were bad, but because I just got sidetracked.

     I will start out on unfinished books. Generally this problem of not finishing a book crops up when I am in the middle of a book series, such as how I am only part way through the Dresden Files. Unfortunately for me I have a habit of keeping the books I am currently working on spread all throughout my room. I have Rise of Empire by Michael J Sullivan stacked on Red Country by Joe Abercrombie stacked on William Gibson’s Nueromancer. All half-read and all within arms reach. And do not get me started on all the newer books I have sitting around that are unread that I have acquired in the last four months (hint: they have their own bookshelf). But the worst offender would fall to Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. A series I have tried to push through from start to end several times and failed every time, losing steam after the seventh book.

     Perhaps the problem in my case is not that I do not have enough books but I have to many books. I have boxes of books that I have bought. I have boxes of classic science fiction books that I have inherited. A guess as to the ratio of books I have read to books that I just own would probably fall in at one book out of every twenty. This is in spite of just how prolific a reader I am.

     This problem is in some ways worse with video games. In some ways I want to blame the online Steam sales, especially the developer package deals (I have only 13 out of over a hundred games installed from Steam.) But the fact is I have had this issue long before I had a computer. On the Sony Play Station the only rpg I beat was Final Fantasy 7; leaving FF8, FF9, FF Tactics, Legend of Dragoon.

     Unfortunately I will never have the time to go back and finish many of these. It seems that if I don’t sit down and power through a book or video game (or tv series for that matter) I may never get around to finishing it. Except for the books, might be some hope for them.

  • Monday, March 11, 2013
  • Carlos

Kickstarters

     Ah, crowd funding. Where people put various projects up on sites such as Kickstarter and people put various amounts of money down so the project can meet its goal. Generally with various tiers. For example a crowd funded video game might offer a digital copy of itself for $10, with other levels of higher donations offering even cool goodies, exclusive contents and more. Of course since your money is funding the project, it will take some time before it comes to fruition and you get what you actually paid for.

     Now I personally dislike paying now for something that I will not receive for some time. When pre-order a video game is literally the day before the games released. Not that this has stopped me from using kickstarter. I myself helped fund one project last year, specifically a Shadowrun video game. Actually I put in roughly a hundred dollars getting me cool things such as: hardcover collection of short stories set in the universe by authors of the genre, a t-shirt, a usb Shadowrun dog tag with a DRM free copy of the game, the sound track and some other things. It is something I funded on a whim last year and it will still be some time before I get my swag. The thing to remember is that you are funding ideas that are not yet products.

     There have been many interesting projects on Kickstarter, some of them getting far more money then they asked for. The 3Doodler is one such example that has three weeks to go is one such example. The product: a hand held 3d printer that works like pen. The goal: $30,000. As of writing: $2,046,564 with 22, 951 backers. And the pledge bonus’s include the pen along with a bunch of the plastic that the 3Doodler uses. This makes this one a rather astounding success.

     Crowdfunding is an interesting way of getting small dream projects the financial backing they need to become a reality. I have not even scratched the surface of crowdfunded content such as this, because I do not wish to write a book on the subject of Kickstarter (which could funnily itself get funded by a kickstarter.) With more indie game developers turning to Kickstarters and a great number of cool projects in the pipeline, this is a part of the internet to keep your eye on.

  • Monday, March 4, 2013
  • Carlos

Too Many Zombies

     Zombies. Zombies. Zombies. I am tired of zombies. I remember enjoying watching the first Resident Evil movie years ago. From there I moved on to the Dawn of the Dead remake (fantastic in my opinion) and from there I started watching and playing other zombie game products. I read a good chunk of the Walking Dead comic and I had a lot of fun playing Left 4 Dead. But at some point I think in the last couple years I became sick of zombies.

     Back in high school was where I first became interested by zombies. I saw the Dawn of the Dead remake countless times, though I never could get into older zombie movies. The first zombie game I played was Resident Evil 4 on the Wii, which was amazing. I killed my damn 53,594 zombies in Dead Rising. I played quite a bit Left 4 Dead with friends. But I have become burned out on zombies. In fact since the games I mentioned I have not finished a single zombie video game though I have picked up several such as RE5, L4D2, Dead Rising 2, and more. Fact is I have come to accept that I will never enjoy zombies as much as I used to.

     What brought me to choose zombies for this post is AMC’s The Walking Dead. I do have to say that I prefer that tv series to any zombie movie I have ever seen. But even then I do not feel particularly drawn to it as I would have been in the past, and I have a habit of missing quite a few episodes. The Telltale Games Walking Dead game is a very interesting game, but I never find the time to get around and finishing any more the first chapter. I see all these zombie movies on Netflix, all these zombie video games and I find I just don’t care about it.

     Perhaps zombies are just to oversaturated in the media for me to care about them anymore. Too many books, and movies, and games on the subject may have killed the interest they once held. Maybe I’m just growing up, though anyone who knows me will vehemently deny that. Maybe one day I will no longer find zombies boring.

  • Monday, February 25, 2013
  • Carlos

Die Hard

  Another week and another blog post; on time too boot as well. So what now? With John McClane’s latest adventure in theatres being horrible I figured now would be a great time to talk about the original Die Hard. I have never kept it secret that I consider the 1988 film Die Hard the greatest Christmas movie of all time. It is in fact the only film I make sure I see on Christmas every year. I also consider it the greatest action film of all time. This film is older than me and damn does it still hold up.

  Unlike other action movies of the time the hero is not invincible. John slowly gets more and more beat up throughout the movie. By the end of the film John is a limping bleeding wreck. This is not a movie where the hero fearlessly moves forward barely taking any sort of serious injury (looking at you Arnold.) We see actually see McClane feeling fear throughout this movie, especially when he uses a fire hose to escape off of the roof. He has to use quick thinking and dirty tactics to survive and save the day. This is a hero who despite getting his ass handed to him keeps going despite the improbable odds.

  To be honest the acting in the film is fantastic, especially between Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman. Bruce Willis is very believable as a cop in the wrong place and at the wrong time and desperately trying to save the day. Alan Rickman puts in a magnificent performance in his role as the evil and intelligent Hans Gruber who is more than just a common thief.

  This film will always be one of my absolute favorite films. Well choreographed action scenes, smart and clever dialogue, realistic and well thought out characters, and it is an underdog movie. What more can you want?

  • Monday, February 18, 2013
  • Carlos

Memories of Morrowind

Hey people, I am Carlos and this is my blog. Or to be more accurate Blind Ninja Studio’s blog which is now my responsibility because of my overwhelming competence at blog writing and most definitely not because no one else wanted this duty. And so to start out this blog on a high note I am going to talk about Elder scrolls 3: Morrowind.

Morrowind was a game that sucked up a lot of my time back in the day, and there is a reason for that. Morrowind was set on the titular volcanic island. The island was full of mountains, ancient ruins, bizarre cities, interesting characters, and screeching cliff-racers. Most games I had played would keep you from going off the rails of the story, often with the use of invisible walls to keep you from leaving where the designers wanted you to be. In Morrowind it seemed like the opposite, there was just so much to do that it was quite easy to lose track of the main story. In fact I am embarrassed to admit that I had the game for two years before I got around to finishing the main quest.

One of the reasons I got this game back then was that it let actually create a character from the ground up to play through as. I suppose now that is a pretty easy thing to find, what with the rise of the mmorpg, but for me playing a character I made instead of a pre-generated character was a new experience. And I made characters. A lot of them. I may have been a little obsessive compulsive about it actually. Getting a couple hours in and then deciding I did not like to miniscule stat decision I had made at character creation and restarting from scratch. I did it so much that I knew every secret of the first town by heart, not due to reading about it in a guide but do to having explored every inch of it so many times. This was the main reason it took me so long to finish the game actually.

Another great point of the game was the music. I loved the music in that game. There have been a lot of people on the internet who have gushed about the music in the game. Guess I make one more then. In fact I am writing this whole thing with the soundtrack from that game going on in the background. In particular the opening theme for the main menu is the one that really sticks with me the most.

I suppose in closing I have to say that this is one of my favorite games of all time, a game where from the second to stepped off the prison ship you decided what path you would take. What can I say, I like a game that gives me that kind of freedom.

  • Monday, February 11, 2013
  • Carlos

Turkey, Fashion and Live Radio

What a big weekend last weekend, Our third episode of Department of Offense (DOO) and our new show Ninja Review aired. I really need to thank Cliff Williams for being a last minute guest this week, Cliff you're the Best!
Looking at next week's DOO episode I'm really excited. Our guest for the show is going to be Kelsey Rhodes, local fashion Guru, and she will be able to answer burning questions like: Parachute Pants, When are they coming back? and How much corduroy is too much corduroy? Also, because it's a holiday weekend and we know that you're going to need a break from your family come saturday afternoon we are going to be broadcasting our show live for the very first time! Consider it an early Christmas present.
You can join the chat and listen in at http://mixlr.com/blind-ninja-studios we air at 1pm central on Saturday November 24th.
If you have any questions you'd like to ask our guest or any of the hosts, post a comment below, send a message on facebook, send us an email or join the chat live during the show and ask away!

  • Monday, November 19, 2012
  • Gorric
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