Friday, February 24, 2017

S2E7 - Hitman & Complex Game Systems - “March-ish”



Hitman & Complex Game Systems
In this episode:
  • If there is anything in the world Void loves, it’s a complex system that he can learn and exploit in video games. When he found out about Hitman, he jumped in and loved it so much, he gifted it to Beej just so this episode could exist.
  • While neither of us really likes the “murder” aspect of the game, it doesn’t feel like it’s really violence. We really do both see it as a puzzle game, and we tend to overlook the violence as it’s a means to solve the puzzles presented.
  • Beej isn’t entirely into complex systems like Void. They have to serve a true gameplay purpose. Some games are complicated for the sake of being complicated and add nothing to the experience, but Hitman is the opposite of that. It feels as though you are learning skills and building on them as you progress.
  • The game really helps you learn the systems through its very thorough tutorials--they don’t really feel much like tutorials, either. If you go through them, you’ll learn a pretty decent path to progression that leads into a lot of replayability.
  • Void describes his perfect 4-step program on how to become a professional hitman, starting with Beej’s preferred playstyle: bumble around like an idiot until people die, then run like the wind and hope you don’t get shot. Void’s system is a bit more elegant.
  • Paris is the first fully realized level, and instead of writing a lot about it here, just know that Void loved it so much that he’s barely played any of the other missions in the game. It is also part of a smaller bundle that you can get to essentially try out the game, and it goes on sale on various sellers all the time. So get it.
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  • Beej - Started running again, and really working on getting back into shape while freelance work saps lots of free time for a few weeks.
  • Void - Started running, too! The weather in Minnesota gave him a reprieve, so he was able to get outside and moving around. Spring is almost here! / Fire Emblem Heroes (Lunatic Difficulty and the lack of energy you have to play) / Hidden Folks
  • Void also went to the Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience, which is a live performance of the music. It was amazing. The first half was not cohesive and felt like a bad fanmade video, but the second half made up for it. The second half used full sequences that built on each other as the music played. It used the Battle of the Bastards and the Great Sept of Baelor scene from the end of the season 6.
The Nintendo Switch is almost here!
  • We are just kinda waiting for the Switch (looked at other games but not pulling the trigger on anything). Games like Nioh, For Honor, Horizon Zero Dawn, Resident Evil 7, Conan Exiles, FFXIV are cool, but so much comes out in March-ish: Horizon Zero Dawn, Zelda (and other launch games for the Switch), Mass Effect Andromeda, and Persona 5 (which takes precedence for Void over Zelda Breath of the Wild, which is crazy to Beej!)
And some new Zelda, Breath of the Wild info, in case you missed it.
  • No more compass, map autofills with exploration
  • No musical chests
  • Probably won’t get the green clothes until late in the game
  • No more money in the grass
  • We get a jump button!
  • No more Epona, just random tame-able horses
  • No one new item for each dungeon
  • Enemies won’t wait around to attack
  • Bombs are all remote, no more timed bomb fuses
Be sure to subscribe to the Geek to Geek Podcast your favorite podcast app, drop a review so we know how we’re doing, and feel free contact us via email at geektogeekcast@gmail.com or @geektogeekcast on Twitter with any comments, questions, or suggestions for the show. Thanks for listening, and we can’t wait to hear from you!
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Thursday, February 16, 2017

S2E6 - YouTube - “This is ENTERTAINING for you?!”


YouTube
In this episode:
  • For a lot of people, YouTube pretty much is the internet. It’s the world’s second largest search engine (next to Google, obvs), so we wanted to discuss how we use YouTube, get some great channels out there to you guys, and also find out what you’re watching and how you use.
  • What we actually watch on YouTube differs quite a bit. We initially thought it would be balanced, but it very much isn’t. Void uses YouTube as essentially a TV with all sorts of cool shows and creators he loves, while Beej sees it more as a novelty for one-off views.
  • Beej doesn’t have much that he watches: VetRanch, Dr. PimplePopper, Woodworking for Mere Mortals, ObeseToBeast, RunSelfieRepeat, various funny puppy and kitty clips, CineFix, and catches up on clips of late-night shows or music videos. And really, that’s about it.
  • Void, on the other hand, uses PLEX to stream YouTube to his TV where he follows various channels and creators like most people do their network sitcoms and police procedurals.
Void’s YouTube Highlights (the occasional watches):
  • Penny Arcade TV
  • Dungeons & Dragons
  • Nintendo
  • Star Wars
  • Waypoint
  • Rocket Jump and Rocket Jump Film School
  • Mark Brown’s Gamer Maker’s Toolkit and Boss Keys
  • Chez Lindsay
  • Vsauce
  • Extra Credits (gaming videos, but not so much the history videos)
  • NoClip with Danny O’Dwyer
  • Tested.com (any of the videos with Adam Savage are great. The other ones… not so much.)
Channels/Creators that Void watches absolutely everything they put out:
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  • Beej - GoT Season 6 / Paper and Fire 
  • Void -  For Honor Beta PS4 / Fire Emblem Heroes slowing down (things take more stamina at higher levels) / Thoughts on mobile Turn Based Strategy / The Genius Game Season 3
Be sure to subscribe to the Geek to Geek Podcast your favorite podcast app, drop a review so we know how we’re doing, and feel free contact us via email at geektogeekcast@gmail.com or @geektogeekcast on Twitter with any comments, questions, or suggestions for the show. Thanks for listening, and we can’t wait to hear from you!
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Thursday, February 9, 2017

S2E5 - Career Corner and Life Transitions - “Tuesday night motorcycle”


Career Corner and Life Transitions
In this episode:
  • We are both going through pretty major life transitions right now, and we expect some of you are, too. We wanted to discuss how we’re coping with them so that maybe your life can get just a little easier.
  • Mostly talking about new jobs because that’s the kind of transition we are both going through, but lots of things cause them, from health to marriage to kids to a hundred other things.
  • What’s funny about us, though, is that we traded--Void went from freelancing into a full-time position, while Beej went from a full-time position to freelancing. Weird, right?
  • It turns out that we have kind of the Geek to Geek Career Corner this episode inadvertently, so we talk about how we use our skills from other places to really move into something we love, and that even though we are changing, it’s still a career path that we both intended to take, and that some things happened by accident.
  • The hardest parts of life transitions, though, are how routines get thrown off, sleep being hard to get, and how sometimes, our bodies just aren’t able to cope with the change in ergonomics and space that we are thrown into when you’re changing jobs or locations.
  • Somtimes, it’s hard to motivate yourself because your routine is so different, and even when you can get the ergonomics right for your space, finding that space itself can be hard in a new location.
  • We both play video games (obviously) to destress from the changes in our lives, and mainly use mainstays that don’t take a lot of brainpower to get through. Both of us tend to work with stuff going on in the backs of our heads, and learning new mechanics and systems and anything complicated just makes us that much more exhausted.
  • Podcasts and audiobooks are a great way to just escape, break out of work mode, and use them on commutes. While they take some active brainpower to listen to, they can be more passive than sitting and reading, which is great when you’re experiencing transition fatigue.
  • And you gotta exercise. We aren’t doing as much as we’d like, but it helps a lot. Going out and running in good weather, using a stationary bike, even doing yoga stretches at your desk or between projects is a great way to make your day seem a little less exhausting. You can also dedicate some time in the morning or the evening to have some specific active time that you distance yourself from whatever your transition is, keeping that period up with your normal routine that’s been changed.
  • And everyone has some comfort TV. Void loves anything witty and well-written like Aaron Sorkin’s The West Wing or YouTube videos that don’t have a deep time commitment, and Beej loves old sitcoms like New Girl or Parks and Rec to keep him giggling with it in the background.
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  • Beej was on Dumbbells & Dragons podcast this week. Much stuff is discussed, and Kenny is good people. Go listen.
  • Beej - Ink and Bone / Fire Emblem Heroes / Politics (the idea of getting involved and showing up) / Starting and stopping new TV shows: The Expanse, The Man in the High Castle, GoT S6, Voltron / Blue Apron (may save this for a health hacks, but touch on it here)
  • Void - Chocobochica the Jedi Noob / Humble Bundle Subscription (Total War Warhammer) / Fire Emblem Heroes / Hitman
Be sure to subscribe to the Geek to Geek Podcast your favorite podcast app, drop a review so we know how we’re doing, and feel free contact us via email at geektogeekcast@gmail.com or @geektogeekcast on Twitter with any comments, questions, or suggestions for the show. Thanks for listening, and we can’t wait to hear from you!

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Thursday, February 2, 2017

S2E4 - Geeky Knick-Knacks and Toys to Life - “Bedroom walls full of memorabilia”



Geeky Knick-Knacks and Toys to Life
In this episode:
  • Geeks love toys. And collecting things. It’s just kind of what we do. So we wanted to talk about that for a while, and really dig in deep about the kind of knick-knacks that we keep around us at all times, those that are special, and the kinds we just don’t care about.
  • Void is very particular about what he collects, and Beej is now. He used to be a “gimme all the stuff” kind of person, while Void has always been more pragmatic about the kinds of collectibles he buys. But you folks could have probably guessed that.
  • Knick-knacks don’t always have to be physical, either. We talk about collecting in games, such as Pokemon and MMO items, getting ultimate weapons in Final Fantasy and things like that. Do we finish games all the way and feel as though we need to get every single thing we can?
  • And nowadays, there’s a huge surge in toys-to-life products. Skylanders, Disney Infinity, Amiibo, Lego Dimensions. All of these are huge money sinks, but they’re also fun to play. We talk about the line between collecting and playability, as well as the intrinsic value the toys add to the games themselves.
  • For te most part, Void keeps a few geeky knick-knacks on his desk, and he wears oodles of geeky t-shirts. What’s also very cool is that he has a bathroom in his house decorated in Penny Arcade comics. That’s awesome. Beej is actually selling off a lot of his old collection, and only trying to keep the things that really matter. He decorates his office in things that mean something to him, much like Void did his bathroom.
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Monday, January 30, 2017

Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection Review


I liked the Cosmere Collection a lot, but it's not going to be for most people.  The Cosmere is the greater interconnected universe that Brandon Sanderson has slowly been building in the background of a lot of his novels and novellas.  He's mentioned that they're all connected and only recently have some of the connections been mentioned in the text of his work.

This is a short story collection all about that.  It's a series of short stories and novellas from his various worlds in the Cosmere.

Some of them are brand new for this collection and some of them I've read before as stand-alones.  But, they're all good.

If you've read the majority of Sanderson's work then you owe it to yourself to pick up this Cosmere Collection.  If you haven't read any of his work or only a few books then definitely skip this one for the moment and keep it in mind for later.

But for the Sanderson fans out there, this one is great!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

S2E3 - Mini Topic Grab Bag - “She is not a Jedi... yet”


Mini Topic Grab Bag
In this episode:
  • We get so many comments and questions from you guys that we wanted to take this opportunity to address some of them. We take notes on them, so we put the ones together that we didn’t think we’d be able to pull together a full episode around.
  • The topics we discuss this time are pretty varied, but we think you will enjoy them--mainly because you suggested them! It was so much fun recording this episode. So keep those comments and suggestions coming!
What we talk about:
  • The uncanny valley in movies, games, and other media
  • General game design, including pet peeves, the best examples of single aspects, Bartle’s taxonomy, and the cost of games over the years.
  • Digital copies vs physical copies of games
  • Who’s our favorite Jedi?
  • Products, games, and media that we just want to love, but don’t.
  • Morality in roleplaying games. This turned into a very interesting discussion about gaming personalities and our real-life personalities.
  • Thoughts on Knights of the Old Republic, including KOTOR, KOTOR 2, and SWTOR.
  • You know you want to hear our thoughts on Mario Kart. Because Mario Kart.
  • We both love cyberpunk. We talk about movies and books and games. Is Neuromancer really incomprehensible? How many versions of Blade Runner have we seen? And do androids dream of electric sheep for real? LISTEN TO FIND OUT!
  • How have Podcasts and Netflix changed how we watch or listen to shows, especially based on release schedules?
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Be sure to subscribe to the Geek to Geek Podcast your favorite podcast app, drop a review so we know how we’re doing, and feel free contact us via email at geektogeekcast@gmail.com or @geektogeekcast on Twitter with any comments, questions, or suggestions for the show. Thanks for listening, and we can’t wait to hear from you!
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Writing Slowdown? Probably.

I'm going to be starting a new job soon and when life transitions happen something always has to give.

So, there's probably going to be a writing slow down here on the blog.  I've been on the 5-7 post per week schedule for awhile and I'm going to let that go for the moment.

I'll still be writing whenever I have the time and feel like it, but honestly... if there's anything I really want to discuss I'm going to make sure it makes it onto the podcast because that's something that won't have a slowdown.  Expect things you would normally see on here as short posts to now often end up on the Geek to Geek Podcast in the weekly geekery section instead.

I'm still going to be posting the podcast on here every week and writing whenever I have the time and topic for it!

Mostly, I'm not going anywhere, but the amount of writing I put out is probably going to take a hit for a while.  I just wanted to give a heads up!