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Geek Proud, GeekOut.

Posts tagged “NaBloPoMo

Last day of NaBloPoMo

 

First half, NaBloPoMo

So today’s post is a bit of a sad one, as it is the last day of NaBloPoMo, National Blog Posting Month. This is why you’ve seen a post a day from myself. I find I always have a lot to share and say, whether or not it’s good or even interesting to someone. My views could be seen as rambling, as this post is definitely somewhat of a ramble, but I thought I’d turn this post into a post of two halves. This first half is dedicated to NaBloPoMo.

I am somewhat sad and somewhat relieved as posting a blog post every day is pretty tough business, especially when you’re doing social meet-ups, working a full time job and what not. Massive respect to those who blog daily regardless of a month telling you to do it. I think I’ll keep up some regular content, but whether or not it’ll be daily, that is yet to be seen. A small part of me wanted to not post today, so I could have said “Oh no! Looks like I’ll have to do it again next year, oh drat!” but actually, completing it is better.

Big thanks to thanks to all of those who have been paying attention to this little site about our adventures. Whether you came here thanks to NaBloPoMo, or if you came here simply because you enjoyed a post or two, your views are appreciated.

To all those who have gotten involved in commenting, I hope you’ve seen I try my best to respond you all. Heck, thanks to some of the posts, I’ve found some excellent blogs in the process.

So, thank you NaBloPoMo and thank you to all of my readers, from those who have been with us from day 1, to those who’ve been with us from this post… and to those who follow this blog in the future. You help to make geekdom a better place, simply by being you and having your own opinions on things (Which I hope you share with us). You rock!

Go on, you deserve it. (Brofist is gender neutral, naturally!)

Second half, GeekOut meet-ups

Now that the second GeekOut session is out of the way, we went from just a few people the first time to a pretty sizeable group at one point. I’d like to thank all of the people who got involved in the last GeekOut, which had some fantastic conversation flowing the whole night as well as good beers.

Yes, I do put some emphasis on the good beers part, as I don’t drink to “get drunk”, rather that’s just a merry side-effect. A good beer can elevate a conversation, as of course, confidence grows with a good drink. This is why I think having a geek social in a pub just works. Sometimes, when we struggle finding anything to say, having a good drink fixes this problem. It can do the talking for you, which can then lead to either some excellent conversation, or even some terrible conversation – which ultimately is excellent as at least conversation is flowing.

So, what will happen for the next GeekOut? First of all: We’re going to hold off the next one until early in the new year. This way, we can celebrate (and moan) about how another year has passed and we don’t have to worry about extra expenditure before Christmas!

Do you want to get involved with the next GeekOut? Got some good ways to promote it? Got some ideas you’d like to share with the world? Post it in the comments below! Sadly, the only pictures that were taken were taken in 3D… Thanks to a certain hand held console I had with me that day. D’oh, as Homer would say.

Um… Not this console.

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Tonight

I am keeping this post short and sweet, like me and you… Unless you are not short, then just me!

Tonight is the night of the next GeekOut session. Oh yes it is, so if you happen to be in Bristol and in need of a beer, come join us!

7pm onwards, upstairs at the King William Ale Pub. If we are not there, try the commercial rooms where a few of us are grabbing dinner.

King William Ale Pub can be found on King Street.

Cheers, here’s to a great night for all!
Tim


Minecon

I’ve not been to one, but I wanted to shed some light on this one.

Geekdom is extraordinary, I mean think about it. A few years ago, Minecraft didn’t exist. Well, it did, but it was a little game that people were publicly doing a beta test of. Isn’t that fantastic?

Absolutely normal.

What about today, though? What became of the indie sensation that is Minecraft?

Well, along with regular updates which keeps millions of people occupied and going back for more and more, the creators, Mojang, came up with Minecon. A convention built for Minecraft. As I mentioned at the start of this post, I’ve never been. One day, I wouldn’t mind going to one. I guess it’s all down to how important Minecon stays and how Minecraft continues its life.

For a bit of background (I mean very vague here), Minecon was created as a way to celebrate the fans of Minecraft back in 2010, but it really took off in 2011 for the first commercial release (v1.0). No, not the beta, the actual first “out of beta” release of Minecraft was celebrated with a whole damn convention. With many stories of Minecon being superb, it’d be a shame to see such a great convention disappear once Minecraft inevitably starts to calm down on the sales and/or play time.

Some ideas

Mojang hit the big time when they released Minecraft, however Minecraft alone can’t keep this convention going. Mojang also use Minecon to showcase their other games. Games such as Cobalt* which is completely different to Minecraft. It appears Mojang are not just a one trick pony when it comes to designing and developing a game.

However, there is plenty Minecon can do!

Minecraft’s new features is one of the main features of Minecon. As well as this, people from the very impressive modding community can get together to talk about their mods and updates to their mods, as well as Minecraft’s standard features being featured.

Then we have Mojangs other games, Cobalt is one I mentioned earlier. This wasn’t made by Mojang, but made by Oxeye Game Studio and a collaboration with Mojang. Mojang, I can see, as perhaps even keeping Minecon going to basically become another way for indie developers to get their products to market in a big way. As well as this, there’s Scrolls, another game made by Mojang. I am sure we’ll start to see more and more of Mojangs games at Minecon, not just Minecraft. Although the sole focus will be Minecraft for some time, it’s inevitable this will slow down at some point.

Cobalt, looking lovely in action.

What do you think the future for Minecon is? Do you see Minecon going on much longer? Why not answer the poll and drop your reasoning in the comments section!


Nichijou – My Ordinary Life

OH!.

OH!..

OHH!…

Right. This is one I’ve been watching ONLY via YouTube and ONLY via clips. Therefore, I do not know loads about this series. However, since I’ve been reviewing shorter series as of late, this one strikes me as one of the best of the best. 26 episodes for the anime – That is all that has been released. Throughout this, I’ll be sharing with you some of my favourite clips as well as explaining what this is all about. Now, on with the “review”…

I should really make a format for these.

Art

Yes, just an ordinary day.

The art direction in Nichijou is some of the purely spectacular art and animation of any anime I think I’ve seen. I say this a fair bit, I realise, but I seem to be going from great to great in anime (Ooh, next time I’ll review one I know I didn’t like!) As proof, I present a video clip, of the struggles of trying to open a pumpkin (DISCLAIMER: I definitely had more trouble than this opening the pumpkin I used for my helmet).


That is one hard pumpkin.

Story

Actually, this is where Nichijou would fall if this were a serious review. You see, Nichijou, doesn’t truly have an absolute story. It’s more about these high school students going about their ordinary lives. Sure, it might be in an extra ordinary sort of environment, what with a boy who rides his goat to school, a girl who’s… Simply put, a troll… a child scientist who made a perfect android, but can’t handle simple things, like not getting herself trapped in glue – This is just about a day in the life, no, a day in the ordinary lives of the people of this world.

Certainly, this type of humour can be considered a “Slice of life” though I would be really pleased to hear from you if your lives ever look or sound like what you’ll witness.

With this being said, have another clip.

Now we’re getting serious, see?

Music

Well, as per usual, anime music isn’t my forte. I’ll have to break this mould some day. However, I will say this: Many of the scenes have an important piece of music to it. The music sets the tone for the rest of the clip. The above two, you heard the “inspirational” sound when trying to break a pumpkin. You heard the ferociousness of the heat of the battle with the deer… And to top it all off, this series has a pretty funky opening. Enjoy another clip.


Keeping to the rather charming style of Nichijou throughout, even the theme is fun!

 

Overall

Pointless! Bizarre! Strange!

Absolute fun. Go ahead and watch this one, or do what I did: Watch the clips. As far as I’m aware, there’s no greater plot to this show, than to be purely entertaining and funny.

So, without further adieu, my absolute favourite scene from this series:

Always watch out for the girls who are into Yaoi. GOODNIGHT!

 


Killing Floor

 

Possibly my favourite horror game of all time, Killing Floor is a Co-Op Horror Survival game, where you alone or you and a group of others try to survive the Zed apocalypse.

Zed?

Oh, these guys. (Credit to PC Gamer for this one)

I guess it was more fun to call them zed’s than zombies. No, there is a reason for it, but without going into too much detail, this game is about the following:

– Oh dear, England is being savaged by zombies.- Darn it, guess whose job it is to clean up the zombie mess?
– That’s right, you and your rag tag crew of would-be zombie killers.

The reason they’re “Zeds” not “zombies” is because the zombies are basically mutated experiments. From the standard Clot to the way overkill Fleshpound, these guys become nastier the longer the waves go on and don’t think a standard clot is no problem, oh no. You’d be silly to dismiss the normal ones. They come in numbers!

I’m a lonely gamer

That’s fine! This game is a co-op survival horror game, however it is also playable solo. In fact, that’s how I perk up for the most part, alone. Very alone. :'( I feel sad now.

I would definitely recommend this game as a way to get some friends together to play a game together. If you all like a little bit of action in your games yet don’t want to be killing one another for points (WHAT!?) then this may very well be the game for you.

 

Viewer discretion advised for the above video, but it’s a good idea as to what this game can do when you’ve got a group of gamers who have no idea how to play it! (Not a bad thing! Fun galore!)

How did this game come about?

Killing Floor started as a mod of one of my all time favourite FPS titles, Unreal Tournament 2004, arguably one of the most exciting FPS titles released. Of course, I use the term arguably because it is a subjective opinion and yes, even I do get carried away with opinions. Heavily. Do not talk bad of UT2k4! Please? :(

After being a very successful mod, Tripwire Interactive bought out Killing Floor and turned it into a fully fledged game! Arguably one of the more successful horror games on Steam, Killing Floor makes a lot of it’s money via DLC. No wait, wait, don’t switch away now. By DLC, I am not on about special maps or new game play modes, I mean mostly cosmetic. There are some weapons you can buy via DLC, but ultimately, the most part of the available DLC is cosmetic.

All of the DLC is relatively cheap and the game itself isn’t too badly priced (At time of writing, on Steam it costs £14.99)

This is well worth a look at if you are a fan of horror games. If not, but a fan of FPS games, this could still be for you. If you want a game to play with friends, this could STILL be for you.

(Credit to Pixel Smashers for this one.) Even during a zombie apocalypse, humans like to weld things.


Costume shops

 

One way to get involved with cosplay without getting involved in the technical aspect of building a costume is to simply buy a costume.
Depending how you look at it, buying a costume ready made is either:

  • A cost effective way of getting dressed up for a convention
  • Cheating the tradition of making a cosplay
  • Better quality than the home made costumes

This is all an entirely subjective opinion which is more down to what you want to do as a cosplayer. As mentioned previously, part of the fun of cosplay is to throw away any fears you may have and to be free and expressive. You act as the character, not just dress as the character and you can pose in front of cameras. People will often ask you “did you make that?” sometimes out of curiosity to see how good this cosplayer before them is or to see if they had it made for them and who made it.

Cosplaying can be either very cheap or very expensive. This is down to how much detail you put into your costume and how you have it made. Here’s a few different stores to help you begin your cosplay journey:

Store bought

A store bought costume isn’t literally a specialist high-street store (Although I am sure some costume shops will have exceptionally famous anime/game characters in stock). One of the best and biggest UK based cosplay stores is hello cosplay UK. On here you can buy whole costumes and prices will vary depending on the materials used and what was done. You can also buy props for your costumes, should you need to get yourself an oversized sword for any reason.

He forgot his oversized sword so brought his regular sword.

Renting costumes

This one I’m not too sure on, but many a costume shop out there give facilities to rent a costume. With this in mind, it’s less likely you’ll be able to find a cosplay rental store in the UK, as cosplay is still not that large over here. There are many a shop however, so you never know if they’ll have one in a rather generic/famous character, maybe if you’re looking to be Mario for a day or three? As a simple note, to this day, I’ve not found a costume store (at least in Bristol/the UK or online) that does rentals for Japanese animation or video games. There must be some around, though! Why not post some of your favourites below?

Commissioned pieces

Oh yes, you can get a whole costume commissioned if you have the money. These are very high quality, made by someone who makes some money off of your request. You give them references and you explain when you need it by, they return to you with a quote and boom! You’re fine!

The best place I can think of going to if you are going to commission a piece is a website such as Etsy. Worth a look if you have an interest in cosplaying with a higher quality costume, but beware. There are as many bad commissioned pieces as there are good (not necessarily either on Etsy. This is just a simple warning to shop around!)

Make my cosplay

This is the route most people take and a lot of this is going to be down to what you as an individual need your costume to be like. If you want a costume that’s very accurate, you’ll need to heavily research your character and design your costume. Once designed, take to stores such as Fabricland and My Fabrics. My personal opinion is to visit an actual shop, have a feel and a look at the fabrics. This makes a bigger difference than you could imagine. When picking materials for my first costume, the chance to actually see all of the fabrics made it much more worthwhile.

If you want foams, I’d recommend eFoam. These guys were prompt and fast, as well as cheap. They also provide adhesive.

If you want thermoplastics for armours or prosthetics or even just detailing, I’d recommend Coscraft. These guys do free delivery for orders over £30 (and if you’re going to do a large project, such as an arm and a leg, you’d probably want to go for a large amount of thermoplastic!) That £30 order is a lot easier to fulfil than you think!

If I manage anything of this kind of detail, I’ll be well chuffed!

You can even visit stores such as Tesco or Asda, in case you simply need to get some simple clothes to modify. It’s your cosplay, your way. Make it the way you want to make it but most important of all:

Cosplay proudly everyone!


Update for the day

Well, nothing much to say today. As usual, my day was filled with geeky things, including some studies.

Unfortunately, I have been out all day! So, enjoy a small, quiet post.

What have you done today? Anything? Post away!


Next GeekOut session

 

Hello fellow geeks,

Next Friday, the 29th November, is the next GeekOut session! Horray!

Come along one and all, fellow geeks and just fans of geeks even if you don’t feel you’re one! A night of drinks, merriment and a tale. Or ten. Of how we enjoy being who we are and what it is that we enjoy!

We’re simple a group of geeks based in Bristol, UK, who enjoy going out for a nice quiet drink, a few games of pool and just want to meet similarly minded geeks. So, whether you’re a full blown geek or just bordering on the geek line, we need you!

We really do want you to come and join us!

We really do want you to come and join us!

We’ll start the night upstairs at the King William ale pub on King Street. GeekOut will officially start around 7pm, however I’ll likely be there before then. The drinks at the King William are exceptionally good, it is a Samuel Smith’s ale pub and some of the beers there go really cheap (My favourite pint there is just £2.40, a soverign bitter! If you’ve not had this and enjoy a good beer, I’d recommend it!)

Whether you just want to pop by and see some geeks gaggle about geekly goings or if you want to stay the whole night and make some friends, we’d love to see you. Don’t have much to say? Don’t worry, the conversation is going to carry itself!

Tasty

Let the good times roll and the drinks be poured. We brought the date of this one forward to allow people time to enjoy Christmas and then we’ll return properly in the new year.

If you come along and decide there’s a better place for us all to be, we certainly won’t object to going to other pubs with people. Just come by, come chat, play some pool and enjoy some drinks with new friends and if you still want to go elsewhere and take us with you, just say where!

If you want to come along, why not pop me a quick message via the comments below? I’ll see to it that if anything changes, you’ll be kept personally informed. We’re not going to stop doing the day at any point, but you never know if something might happen to say, a venue or if people decides there’s another place or another time to try. I’ll be sure to keep this updated as well as Twitter will be posted on regularly to ensure anyone who wants to come along can do so.


Geek apparel

Good to see you’re all back here!

So, I was running thin on articles for today, so instead, I thought I’d focus on something I hadn’t really thought about until now.

Geekdom has changed in such a drastic way since, say, the 80’s. Think about it for a while. In the 80’s being a geek wasn’t cool! It wasn’t an “in thing.” Now change the date to the 00’s and all of a sudden what’s happening? Being a geek is cool? Why did this happen?

Was it the quality games?

DISCLAIMER: Watch Game Grumps series of Sonic ’06 for truly outstanding quality games… I said that with a straight face. How?

Possibly. Is it the fact that we had all sorts of media thrown at us, relating to geek culture suddenly?

All in all you’re just another string in the web.

Possibly.

Perhaps it was more because people were actually growing up slightly? Perhaps people who wouldn’t normally say “I like this whole geek thing” was suddenly able to say it without having their heads shoved down a toilet.

I even gave it a try, because no one ever flushed mine down a toilet.

Of course, in England I’d like to think it didn’t happen so much. No not heads down toilets, just the overall bullying of geeks. As I was growing up, video games consoles were the norm, thus if you said “I like games” chances are even those guys who played football day in and day out… also had a console. So there was common grounds.

Instead, it was more like a competition growing up. “Grr, I like this franchise!” “Well I like that franchise!” “Grr!” “GRR!” Grr, indeed. So, since people had somewhat grown up and gotten over the fact that “There are geeks in the world and they enjoy their own stuff which I don’t!” it was inevitable that people would start to display it.

True, this has always been the case. From posters (I sport a spiffing Minecraft poster in my room oh that darn game has been mentioned again.) to apparel for fans of a franchise as well as other merchandise such as game maps and action figures. But as time’s come on, geek culture has become more and more normal.

From viral songs such as Gangnam Style to What Does The Fox Say (If I hear that one just one more time this week…) to funny videos being compiled from YouTube and repackaged for TV, geekdom is at an all time high. Hollywood seems behind the big names (Such as Marvel and DC) and… There are shops dedicated to Geek apparel.

From the small outlets

So, since some of you will know, I’m a Twit…ter user. (And a Twit.) One day, I was added by some chap who runs a website called Dweeb Clothing. As far as I can gather, this is quite a new company, based in Bristol, who are trying to get the ball rolling for even more geek apparel. We can only welcome more geek acceptance, be it via clothes or be it via chatting with other geeks in pubs (Shameless plug for people to come to the next GeekOut right there.)

To the much larger outlets

So this is a local example of people pushing geek apparel. There are bigger names too, such as the colossal and original Jinx. Personally, I salute sites/outlets such as Jinx and Dweeb Clothing. Whilst the two of them are opposites in terms of scale, they’re both doing what us geeks should be doing.

Promoting our geekdom in different a different medium – What better than being a walking advert for what you love? It may even spark a conversation with someone you’d never have thought was into the same things as you!

Do you have a favourite site where you buy your geeky merchandise? For this conversation, I am purely on about apparel, so if you have any great suggestions for geek clothes, let’s talk in the comment box! I do own a few geeky t-shirts, anyone who meets me will likely see me in one!

If you’re a gamer, you may enjoy Game Grumps. As odd as the above advert may be!


Black Cat

Well, this is one I finished watching a little while back so thought I’d share this! Twenty-four makes up the number of episodes in this series, which means it’s not that long! Hey, I’m reviewing shorter anime as of late! I can’t wait for next weeks review in this case ;D
Plot

Some guy called Train Heartnet (wonderful name) was a member of Chronos, an organisation dedicated to peace (Peace and love! Wait, we’ve done Trigun already.) I say was, as he is slowly but surely shown to go from the super serious Train Heartnet we’re introduced to the much more light-hearted character we see later in the series. He is also known as “Black Cat”, due to his appearance. He is also called 13. (Notice the theme of bad luck? Yeah, there’s a reason.) If anything, this is a series about self-discovery and perhaps you can call this series a journey.

Train goes from a ruthless killer for the Chronos organisation, to a “carefree cat”. This transition is due to him meeting a girl called Saya. Saya lives the life of a “Sweeper”, a sort of licensed bounty hunter. Saya is unsurprisingly very care free, which makes Train realise: “You know, there’s more to life than killing things all the time. Even if I am pretty darn good at it.” lo and behold, he changes his ways to being less and less violent, opting to “stop” his victims rather than killing them. The Chronos organisation isn’t a fan of this and thus there is a bit of anger abound and that’s how he turns into the super carefree cat. I will not say any more as the rest would just be spoiling everything.

Art

Train Heartnet, just chillin’ the way any trained assassin does.

Art wise, this is a rather stylised anime. Whilst not as visually impressive as say Tiger & Bunny or Pokemon Origins, this is a series that has it’s own style and shows it off nicely. From rather dark and morbid themes to rooftops (which are unsurprisingly common scenes. Let’s think about it: Black Cat, he REALLY likes milk and he’s always on rooftops. Sounds normal.) to grand ball rooms and stages. Yes, this is a series that has it’s theme and sticks to it throughout, which to me, makes it good.

Music

The music sets the tone throughout Black Cat and you do feel almost melancholic thanks to the music throughout.

I’m not a huge fan of the opening theme of Black Cat, not sure why as I never felt the music was “true” to Black Cat… As strange as that may sound. I felt the series was rather “Angst” filled and I found that some of the scenes were far too depressing (early on) for this theme. With this being said, the song itself is very nice and worth a listen.

Verdict

Actually, when I first saw this series, I really didn’t like it much. It took a while, I had to watch it a few times to actually “get it”. When I did finally get it, however, I did find it thoroughly enjoyable.

I’m not saying this is hard to watch, au contraire! This is a very easy watch, but I think this is a series you need to “be in the mood for”. Some anime you can just start watching and instantly feel in their world (I’d say Trigun is one of these magical anime that immediately grip any anime fan). Whereas in the world of Black Cat, I feel you need to be going into it to watch the journey. You should watch it for the characters, as this is a series that prides itself on its characters and it shows! I mean just look how happy this guy is!

Okay, not so happy here. Sven is a great character that you grow to love. Quickly.

It feels too angst-ridden to begin with, but if you sit to watch the characters and watch them develop… Actually, this is a rough, unpolished gem… And we’re okay with that. The series is very centric around Train and Sven, so you’ll grow to love these two characters quickly. If I’m honest, I love Sven’s dress sense, so that’s good enough reason to like him!

I’ll give this 4/5.

Just because scores are back this week. Yeah :)

Have you seen this show? Come join in the discussion!