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Monthly Archives: January 2019

Gin Rummy Plus

To begin with, the game play in Gin Rummy Plus is pretty good, and it looks fantastic. Card games are a dime a dozen, so the only thing that really separates them are graphics and extras.

Peak Games has done a fine job on the graphics part. The look is fantastic, the animations are smooth, and the user interface is very intuitive and learned in seconds.

Unfortunately, that’s pretty much it with this one. Even after connecting with Facebook, the “leaders” and “friends” buttons are non-functional, giving you a nice little “coming soon” balloon.

This is disappointing, especially the friends option. One of the selling points to games like this (e.g. Words With Friends, What’s the Phrase?, Dice With Buddies/Yahtzee With Friends) is the ability to play against people you know. As of now, this option does not exist… In fact, I would prefer it if they hadn’t even put the button in there to show users and upcoming feature, instead letting the game stand as it is.

As it is, it is a fine game. As I’ve already said, the graphics are very nice, the animations are smooth, and the matchmaking with strangers seems adequate. The turn timer is a bit annoying, as not much time is left for the player to think strategy without forfeiting the entire turn if you don’t discard in time. A turn timer is needed in a multiplayer game, of course, to keep things moving along, and on three missed turns in a row the player forfeits the game, so you won’t be stuck when playing an unresponsive opponents. A few more seconds would be nice, that’s all.

Another shortcoming (though one many, many developers choose to ignore – not that that is an excuse) is the lack of a play vs. CPU option. It never ceases to amaze me how many game developers refuse to put this feature in their games, when it appears it would be fairly easy to do (or maybe not – I’m a gamer, not a programmer… but then I’m giving a gamer’s perspective here, not a developer’s).

Start a Board Gaming Group

Don’t force it: My first attempt at starting a board gaming group was at my office. I work at a software company, so generally speaking, my co-workers are of the right geeky caliber to enjoy board games. At first this was great, but overtime I felt like a rancher corralling cattle to slaughter. This was basically a case of players who were mildly interested in games, but didn’t have the intrinsic motivation to be on time to play them.

After a while I gave up, because I realized that it simply wasn’t worth the exhaustion. If you find yourself having to constantly nag people to come play games, stop it now! All that does is annoy your friends, and wear you out. I promise you, there ARE people who want to play board games as much as you do, so the key is to simply find them.

Find the enthusiastic gamers: Before you spend the time it takes to build a gaming group from scratch, you should start by seeing if a suitable group already exists. Besides saving you work, this also has the added benefit of not fragmenting your gaming community. There are several places you should check to see if an established group exists.

Meetup.com is a place that helps people with similar interests get together and do what they love. This is probably the first place you should check.

Boardgamegeek.com is a community site FULL of enthusiastic gamers. The problem is that they are spread out all over the world. It is hit or miss, but dropping a forum post on this site asking about gaming groups in your area may turn up some good results.

Go it alone: If you didn’t have any luck finding an existing group, you’ll have to start your own. It is worth it to shell out the money it costs to join Meetup.com as an organizer and post the group there. Then you’ll want to promote the group on Boardgamegeek.com, and in any other local online publications. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the number of gamers who are waiting for just such a group to exist in their community, but don’t know where to start.

As for venue, your home will do just fine, but it may be preferably to find a non-threatening public venue. My group worked out a deal with a local coffee shop that had a meeting space. Our players commit to always buy at least something small from the shop. In return, if no paying customers have the meeting space booked, our group can use it, free of charge. It wouldn’t hurt to ask some of your local businesses if they would be open to a similar arrangement.

Set some ground rules: Not every gamer will get along all the time, so setting a code of conduct can help to make sure everyone is playing by the same rules, so to speak. Sounds like overkill, but it can save you a lot of frustrations when “that guy” joins your group. I found a great template for a board game group code of conduct here: http://boardgamegeek.com/blog/148/thoughts-on-creating-and-growing-a-gaming-group.

Be consistent: One of the best ways to keep gamers coming back is to make the meetup part of their routine. So simply set a recurring schedule that everyone can count on, and keep playing games.

Video Game Consoles

Choosing the ideal gaming machine makes a huge difference to how you play. Each one has its own advantages and disadvantages and you need to understand them clearly before you spend money on any one of them. However, you’ll also need to buy a whole lot of other accessories in order to get the best performance when you are playing games. These accessories include headphones, cables, remotes, charging mats, additional video game controllers and the like. Many players prefer to buy Bluetooth accessories, video gaming keyboards included, so that they can go wireless.

The latest gaming accessories use motion sensor technology and they enable you to get right into the game. You’ll need this accessory to track your movements so that you can play martial arts, sports, dance or action video games. The experience is absolutely lifelike and you’ll be really glad you spent the money on the accessory.

The gaming consoles and accessories can work out to be quite expensive since you will probably require a whole lot of them in order to have the best possible gaming experience. You’ll also need to keep buying the latest bestselling games in order to keep up with the latest trends. Make sure that you buy all your video game equipment from a reliable store that offers them at very good prices. Don’t be in a hurry to buy them unless you are absolutely certain that the particular model you pick up is the right one for you. These accessories are also perfect as gifts and Christmas stocking stuffers.

It’s a good idea to buy video game accessories that are compatible with different gaming systems so that you can use them more efficiently. Be especially careful about the sound quality of headsets or audio devices because this ensures that you really enjoy the game. It is good to look for durability as well since these accessories come in for rough use.

Heroes Of The Storm

The game offers a wide array of playable characters for completing your team of five. Generally, there are four types in which you can choose from:

  • Assassin – can inflict heavy damages on vulnerable enemies, but may be held back by its susceptibility to enemy attacks as well
  • Warrior – resilient to attacks, warriors are capable of taking on waves of enemy minions
  • Support – these types can reverse tables for any team through healing and giving out added abilities to allies
  • Specialist – whether it is to act as the team’s commander or siege, their specific expertise may come in handy in developing the overall force of your team

The right set of heroes is one of the key elements of surviving Heroes of the Storm. But it doesn’t end with customizing your team’s abilities. Here are a few tips as to how to effectively maneuver your hero:

  • Avail of the “try” feature – To get an initial feel as to a hero’s stats, the game allows players a free trial of using it for a pseudo-combat. This minimizes the risk of regretting the gold you spent on someone not really compatible for your strategies.
  • Raise the levels of as many heroes as possible – A common mistake of gamers is focusing on one character alone. At minimum, try to level up every hero you have available to level 5. This unlocks key abilities and can also help you tailor-fit team composition to your enemies’ weaknesses.
  • Practice new techniques – Before immediately trying out that strategy you’re itching to use, test it first through a practice or co-op game. It wouldn’t hurt to make sure you won’t screw things up in an actual match.

Although there are similarities, Heroes of the Storm has distinct features in contrast of the likes of DOTA and League of Legends. Let’s take a look at some things to remember before jumping into the game:

  • Gaining experience – Your role in the team doesn’t matter, nor does your favorite “last hit” strategy. Every member gains experience in a constant manner as long as all of the lanes are occupied.
  • Team dynamics is a must – Though it may be difficult at first to communicate with fellow newbies during in the beginning, note that this game is all about team work. Communication and building strategies is what will set you apart from other players.
  • Battlefields greatly differ – The game features unique arenas, but they all have one thing in common – there exists a key event that is vital to win against the enemy team. For instance, one requires you to pay gold to a pirate captain for him to charge his ship’s cannons against the enemy lines.

Strategy MMO Game

Maybe you remember back when Dungeons and Dragons was so popular. Dungeons and Dragons was a strategy game that had thousands of people participating in it, but the real fun was had when you could actually play with the other players in real time. A strategy MMO game works like the old Dungeons and Dragons in the fact that it has thousands of participants at once, but the difference is that online you have the ability to actually connect and interact with all of these players.

During the play of a strategy MMO game many people often develop friendships with some of the other players. The other people playing have something in common and they often try to be online at the same time as their friend so they can take part in the game together.

Not everyone that you meet during the game will be someone you like. Remember that you are playing a game and you play according to how you personally want your experience to be. Some people play very fair and honorable games while there are others that play backstabbing games where they try and manipulate and trick others that are online. Do not take these manipulations personally because they are not meant personally. The other person does not even know who you are in real life and they have no personal vendettas. They are simply playing a game and their style is vicious.

Most people that play these types of online games frequently like to buy special computer components to make their computer more capable of interpreting the data and downloading all of the scenes faster. These games are very detailed and intricate and you will need a fast computer and a really fast internet connection if you want to play. You cannot even attempt one of these types of gaming websites if you have the old dial up version of internet connections.

Some of these games are turn based and some of them are real time. The real difference in the two is that the turn base versions will give you a limited number of turns to make it past a certain point in the game. If you fail to make it to that point you will lose a turn and when you lose all of the turns the game allows you will have to begin again. The real time strategy games play more like you are never able to die. You have more time to explore the worlds the games are set in and you can see the changes in daytime playing and nighttime playing.

Being a Game Beta Tester

The first main drawback is that the work is actually not nearly as fun as you would think; on the contrary, it’s quite tedious. Students who imagine game testing imagine it being similar to when they have their friends over to play some games – sitting around, playing a few matches here and there, and trying out the newest games when they come out. Working in QA isn’t anything like this. The primary purpose of quality assurance is to find bugs and problems in the game, such as the game crashing, glitches in the images, or incorrect behavior. In order to find these bugs, QA has to play the game over and over and over again. For example, if you were working on Call of Duty, then when the first level was ready to play, then you would play through it. Then you would play through it again. And again. You’d try to do something slightly different each time, waiting for the game to crash. You will probably end up playing the same level literally hundreds of times. This is a far cry from the rosy picture most people have of testers and has a feeling much closer to assembly line work.

The second main drawback of being in QA is low pay. Of all the careers in games covered by the Game Developer Magazine industry salary survey done every year, QA consistently ranks the lowest, at over $26,000 lower than the next lowest discipline. Even leads and experienced QA personnel aren’t paid very much. While money isn’t everything, this is a huge drawback when considering which path in games.

The final drawback is that a career in QA has limited upward mobility. Some QA testers manage to move into other career paths like design or production, but most QA testers are stuck in QA the length of their career, no matter how skilled they become. It makes it very difficult to move into another discipline, and since everyone wants to be a QA tester, there isn’t much negotiating power to move to other companies as well.

So what’s a gamer to do? In my career advising sessions with students and parents, I often advise them to consider a career in QA only after considering other paths first. While I have worked with many great people in QA, if you can become a designer, artist, or engineer, then you’ll be getting paid more, enjoy greater autonomy in your work, and have better mobility in your career.

Scary Games Of All Time

Amnesia: The Dark Descsent (PC)

Developer(s): Frictional Games

Publisher(s): Frictional Games

Platforms: Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, Linux

The game is based in London, in the year 1839. You play as Daniel, and when the game starts the player wakes up in the Brennenburg Castle, with absolutely no memory of how he got there, and doesn’t remember anything but his name and where he lives, and the fact that something dangerous is after him. To reach your goal, you have to explore the castle with nothing but a lantern. No weapons, no powers. No way to defend yourself from the horrors that plague the castle, all you can do is run, as fast and as creatively as you can. You’ll have to fix things so you can use them, and solve some puzzles too.

There’s a health meter, and along with that there’s also a sanity meter, and you must keep an eye on both. The sanity meter is affected when you’re in the darkness for too long, or see something really, really distubing or stare at some of the ‘horrors’ mentioned above for too long. As the sanity meter declines, the hallucinations start, which lead the monsters right to you. Having some form of light with or around you will help maintain the sanity meter, but just in case you don’t have access to any, use the tinderboxes to light any candle you see. If you see an ugly, deformed and unearthy being- run as fast as you can, because it will chase you until you’re out of sight. Don’t even try to fight it because this is not Skyrim. Or Supernatural. So, run and hide and don’t stand behind doors because they can get rid of doors very easily.

Alan Wake

Developer(s): Remedy Entertainment

Publisher(s): Microsoft Game Studios

Platforms: Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows

The protagonist of the game is Alan Wake (best selling psychological thriller author), who is suffering from writer’s block- which didn’t go away for a while. Alice, his significant other, and his agent Barry suggest a vacation, and so Alan and Alice travel to Bright Falls, though they had no idea what was waiting for them. Alice is kidnapped by an unknown force, and the player must overcome various obstacles to get her back. Thus, you dive into the supernatural world where fiction comes to life, and it’s not (most of the time) in your favour. A world where a certain darkness is slowly taking over those around Alan, and that includes humans, animals and even non-living things. You have to defeat them with the combined use of light and firearms.

You opponents will have weapons of their own, and they’ll come in different sizes and with different levels of strength and speed. They are protected by a layer of darkness that surrounds them, and while it’s there firearms will have no effect on them. You have to get rid of the darkness by using the flashlight or some other source of light, and then use your trusty weapons to kick their asses. Ammunition and batteries will be limited, so make sure to collect them while you explore the town. Bigger sources of light will destroy more opponents, and streetlights will generate your health faster. There’s also an optional objective, and it’s pretty useful: collect the scattered pages of Alan’s latest novel, Departure, and it’ll contain information on events that have yet to happen, and tips that’ll help you progress.

F.E.A.R.

Developer(s): Monolith Studios, Day 1 Studios

Publisher(s): Vivendi Universal

Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Microsoft Windows

In this game, you’re the Point Man-a member of F.E.A.R., which is an exclusive special ops group that deals with supernatural forces. The player is in this group mainly for his distinct reactive reflexes. It’s a first-person shooter game, influenced greatly by japanese horror. The overall atmosphere of the game is one of the main reasons why it’s among the top scary games. One of the unique features of the game isreflex time-this slows down everything around you (you move normally) and allows the player to aim and shoot with ease. As for the weapons, you have your normal firearms: rifles, pistols, etc. The one thing that will probably creep you out the most is Alma-the terrifying little girl in red. But at least your opponents are human, albeit telepathically-controlled ones with extraordinary abilities.

The hallucinations are also something the player is subjected to repeatedly, injecting you with a healthy dose of fear and caution if you get too cocky at times. Parts of the game will mess with your head a little, and the sudden appearances will tire you out (mentally) after a while, so I’d suggest taking short breaks in between, if only to remind yourself that it’s not actually real.

Make ArcheAge Gold

Farming

This is the practice of growing crops on farmland and harvesting mature plants. The mature plants are used in cooking, husbandry, and a host of other things.

In ArcheAge, crops grow at different speeds and as a player you need to ensure that you harvest a lot of produce. The more you harvest the more you make gold.

You should note that many crops in the game are affected by climate; therefore, you should always take a look at your map to ensure that you grow the right crops.

Develop a labor system

Here you create a system that allows you to easily hire people to work for you on your farm and pay them for their labor. The good side with having this system is that you get all the projects done in the right time and as a result you get a lot of gold.

From the gold that you get you use some of it to pay your laborious and you keep the rest in your account.

By creating a good and effective labor system you will be able to get a lot of gold within a short time.

Use the Auction house

The auction house is where you buy items at low price and later sell them at high prices. For you to make good money using this system you need to understand the demand and supply chain. You also need to know what to sell at what time.

Buy gold

In some cases you will find that the gold you have is not enough to accomplish the tasks at hand. If you find yourself in such a scenario you should consider buying gold from the many online sellers. The good side with the sellers is that they sell the gold at brilliant prices; therefore, you won’t spend a lot of money.

Get Free FIFA Coins

Farm

This is where you create a new FIFA account and when you earn coins you transfer them to your preferred account.

In most cases, you are given free coins to start you off in a new game. When you are given the free coins you need to transfer them to your preferred account.

This process not only gives you access to free coins, but it’s also easy. This is because all you need to do is to have a new email address.

Use a coin generator

Due to the importance of FIFA coins, a number of people have come up with software that aid in generating coins. The good side is that most of the software are free to use and they are compatible with many operating systems such as MacOS, iOS, Android, Windows and Linux.

To use the generators you only need to download them and then choose your system (Xbox, PlayStation, or PC). You should then choose the number of free FIFA coins you want and press the data transfer button. You should wait for up one hour and you will have free coins in your account.

Participate in tournaments

Tournaments give players an opportunity to acquire coins when they win; therefore, for you to have the currencies you should ensure that you win the tournaments. There are a number of tournaments that you can engage in. Some of the most common ones are: online, single player, and offline tournaments.

Online tournaments require you to log into your device and connect to the internet. You should then play against different people from all parts of the world.

Single player tournaments involve you playing against a computer and if you beat the computer you earn a number of coins.

Offline tournaments don’t require you to connect your device to the internet. To play you should ask your friend to play against you and if you win you earn coins.

About Artistic Value in Video Games

I remember I as playing a game called Fallout 3 and I was given a choice. I could disarm a bomb for a town for some coin or blow up the bomb, along with the town, for more coin. Since I made the decision to save the town last time I played this time I decided to see how the game would change if I blew up the bomb. After the explosion I revisited where the town once was. There was one lone survivor. She had no idea that I blew up the town and she was still her cheerful self just thankful that I got out in time. Now I know she only survived because she gives quests in the game, but that moment stuck with me. This lonely girl who had been physically altered due to the explosion and the radiation. I have never experienced regret in such a strong way before this moment. I wanted to return to a previous save, but could not do so. I just sat there for a while and stared at the screen looking at what my actions have caused and in that single moment I was playing more than a game. I was experiencing something different. Something that I had never experienced before. Games can be more than just a child’s play thing or a thing to kill time. It can express creativity and emotion like any other great work of art.

I have wanted to talk about this for some time now, but could not find the words to get my point across. I have seen articles and news stories over the years about how school shootings and violent children are due to violent video games. No actual evidence or research to back it up, but I cannot get angry over this. They say that they are just a child’s play thing, dismiss it, and say that there is nothing positive that comes out of playing games. Every generation people find something to blame for all the bad behavior of children. People would blame books, art, movies, music, and right now video games are in the hot seat. All forms of media and art go through this before being known for the value that they give to society. Games let you experience the creativity that can be drawn in from all forms of art. You are the one who pushes the story that could have been read from a page, you make the decisions that actor is directed to make, you experience the scenery that could be viewed from a painting, and you are the one who experiences the music that is created for the game. All these types of art are brought together to make an experience that, if done correctly, can last with people forever.