Posted by: Kinross07 | July 18, 2011

The Cannon is Armed and Ready Sir!

A little over two years ago my friend, Chris, began working on an independent game to be sold via the Xbox Live Marketplace.  A short while afterwards (I think) I was asked if I was interested in doing a little voice work to be used in game. Turns out a little voice work turns into a lot if you use a voice that destroys your throat and are prone to not owning a proper sound booth resulting in odd echos and whistles. Along the way I’ve also been testing various builds of the game with countless variations-if you look at the game as it was just a year ago it was a vastly different experience than it is today. And it has certainly changed for the better. And now, through the power of amazing-ness you can download The Cannon to your Xbox for 80 MS points, or the trial for free right here.

I’m hoping that I’ll be able to write a more appropriate review type post or video in the near future, but until then experience it for yourself and perhaps leave your own mini review in the comments.

Posted by: Kinross07 | December 3, 2010

The Eternal Question

With the release of the latest baconology video last night, we are one step closer to understanding what, if anything, is not better with bacon. Which I shall link you to shortly. But first, a curiosity. I was looking over one of my old YouTube accounts (ElpenorTheShade if you’re interested) and saw that the views that channel got greatly outweighs what I currently have on my main account. I’m curious, do you think this is because the first is older and has had more time to circulate, or that it’s because the content is better, or simply because I forget to tag my videos on the new stuff? Personally, I think it could be any of these three, but I’m wondering what you think it is.

Anyway, a video.

Posted by: Kinross07 | November 27, 2010

Here we go again…

Today I provide you with 2.5x original content. The first is my latest vlog, which in essence outlines the things I’m covering here, next is our latest Baconology video-entitled “Bacon vs The Kendal Mint Cake” with intro graphic drawn by yours truly-and the last is a re-do of the “Bacon vs The Banana” video which had rather poor audio quality to begin with, but is now blessed with better sound. And a textual introduction. The final thing I want to mention is, that soon I will post the 4th instance of “The Geek Something or Other Podcast” to Chris’ website, as soon as I can login to post it. I’ll leave the blurb of that episode for the actual post rather than putting it here. It comes in wonderful Mono sound so that we are both in both your ears, rather than one in either ear. Now there is no escaping us.

Now if you’ll excuse me, my Buffy and LOTR DVD’s are at the door.

 

Videos and Links

I would just like to point out, the lab is not that crooked.

Posted by: Kinross07 | October 1, 2010

Project Circe

Project Circe originally came to me as an idea on how to at least attempt to be original on the internet. No easy feat, as I’m sure you know. The premise was simple, and based around an idea/saying that has definitely been around and about, but that no-one really seemed to have acted on. I mentioned this to my friend Chris (with whom I’m doing some work on his upcoming Xbox game “The Cannon”) and he also recognised the potential awesome that could come from this-if not for just ourselves and the life lessons it could yield.

The idea of codenaming it was something I’d half considered but figured it was a waste of time since originally I was the only one dealing with it, but it did make sense once Chris re-suggested it. We actually only had two suggestions prior to half settling on Circe-Chris liked it but imagined he wouldn’t remember it. First was “Code Bacon” because I figured, if you give something a code name blatantly stating what it involves no-one will link the two. Mostly because people wouldn’t think we’d just waste a codename on revealing something. Second was Chris’ suggestion of “Project Pork Chop”, though this didn’t get much discussion because within 30 seconds (and prior to reading his message) I was said “If I were to be really lame, I’d call it Circe because she turned guys into pigs. And in the Simpsons version, Homer eats the pigs”. It’s good to know my A-Level in Classics is being well used then.

In some sense, Circe’s genesis was in the first major idea I had aside from vlogging which was ”What foods can I mix and see if they work (on film)”. I say on film because I’ve been mixing weird things since I was 13 starting with strawberry gateaux and mayonnaise-which works surprisingly well. Somehow I must have caught some stream of an idea because my video of “Seafood Sticks and Nutella” is so far my most viewed, though this may be due to the fact I tagged it with fish fingers and custard. Maybe I should tag things more obscurely in future. I don’t know.

So, last night Chris uploaded our first episode to the YouTubes, and it is now available for your general viewing. Episodes will hopefully be released on a Thursday, though it might be so late into the Thursday it’s actually Friday. Either way, I present you with episode 1 of 13 of “Is it better with bacon?-Bacon vs The Banana”.

Posted by: Kinross07 | September 8, 2010

Nerdfighters Blew My Mind.

So I was chatting with the Nerdfighters and somehow we managed to migrate from time travel and time machines to talking about how insanely bizarre everything is. I mean really think about it. You’ve never truly touched anything in your life, practically all of the universe is nothing, your shoes are as old as the universe, and in effect a baby is the same age as you.

I’m not sure why that’s getting to me so much but it seems so completely wrong, but also makes perfect sense.

Posted by: Kinross07 | August 31, 2010

A Fresh Start

I’m currently sat on the floor of my new room in my new house, ready for the new thing called rent to make money vanish from my account at the start of a month. I will admit this is a little bizarre for me-though I think most of it stems from the fact that I’m writing this entry without being connected to the internet :O.

I’ve concluded that my room now is the same size, maybe a little larger, than my old one, but it’s a more reasonable shape, so I can actually use it. For one I don’t need a desk for any of my computing things now, thanks to some alcoves that will be filled with shelves, and an old fireplace. Though the fireplace may present some problems thanks to the fact that the chimney is now no longer sealed.

I’m also grateful that most of the hiccups with the house happened whilst I wasn’t living here, but my housemate was. Cruel as this may sound, it’s true. I was struggling enough with things she didn’t have to deal with as well as worrying about the things she did have to live with. Frankly I would’ve gone mad or had some kind of breakdown.

Anyway, all this and I’ve still not really talked about what the title’s about. Basically, I’m using this change of scene and situation to give myself the shove to change things about myself. First off I’m going to have to learn how to cope on an absolute minimum in money unless I can find a job and/or get more money than the basic package from the people at Student Finance. Linked to this saving of money is my new rule of only consuming 1 litre of carbonated drinks in a month. This might not sound like an issue, but I estimate that last academic year I would drink around 3 litres a day. Which on average would’ve cost me £4 a day. So that’s a major saving monetarily and in terms of my health. Which leads us to the third effect of my moving out and that is, partly to living on an absurd hill and partly because I could probably do with it, I’m working on a fitness-ish program that I’m seriously going to try and stick to. I have some weight I can afford to lose, and a heart that could probably do with working more efficiently.

12. 45 pm : Registration
1 pm : Welcome and introductions
1. 10 pm : Session 1 : How was it for you ?
1. 40 pm : Session 2 : Capturing the Learning
2. 00 pm : comfort break
2. 15 pm : Session 3 : Routes Into Teaching / The Children and Young People’s Workforce
2. 45 pm : Session 4: Evaluation – paperwork hand in etc.
3. 30 pm : Plenary
3. 45 pm : Depart

That is how my 3 weeks of working in a state school will end. Essentially repeating everything I did in the last 3 weeks, and the 8 weeks I did in lectures. Along the lines of my “If I were to run this…” it would be a simple task of show up, hand in paperwork, go home. There is no way 400 people are going to go on about how it was. In theory we oughtn’t need introductions. For one we’ve met everyone, for two it’s the last day of the scheme, why on earth would we need to meet someone then? Capturing the Learning sounds like it will be the one that will push me over the edge. Not sure why, I suppose it’s to do with the fact it sounds like a fluffy governmental way of saying something. The routes into teaching would be valid if we hadn’t already been told that twice, and it wasn’t possible to find out easily by going to a little website I like to call Google. It’s fairly unknown at the moment, but I think it’ll have it’s time. 45 minutes to hand in paperwork. This might be accurate, but if we broke off into the groups we were in (20 or so per group) and handed them in there, we could be done in 10. The day seems built to waste time. The plenary no doubt will be a rehash of sessions 2 and 3. So whilst I’ll be glad when tomorrow comes because it’ll be the last day I have to go into school-I was going to say work, but I need to get a job too…-I’ll also dread it because I know that those 4 hours will be the longest I’ve experienced since getting my Nexus.

Also, I reckon the government can save at least £12,000,000 a year just by scrapping this scheme. Or at least not paying for it. It would also mean the administrators who take 4 weeks to process a pile of bank details and put £600 into each can be reassigned to somewhere else, or replaced with faster staff who work longer and cheaper because they really need the job. Like me. I would happily, well maybe not happily, work from 0730 to 1830 on minimum wage. Assuming the system isn’t utterly shocking, I figure I could deal with 150 applications a day, so in just under 3 days I could process all of the UoP applications. Of course if there is more than one person doing it it’s faster. But I’m willing to bet the system is absurd too. Basically I’m pretty sure the best thing to do would be start from scratch and do it all with something called common sense. And under that bracket comes “if there was a problem this year, find and implement the solution for next year, rather than leave everything as it was because it kinda worked” bracket of the Student Finance. Which is my last point, if you’re going to have a massive body that deals with something like that, make sure the databases communicate with each other. Or that one block deals with one region, and subsequently can actually help if you phone them. It would go like this:

  1. Begin call
  2. Call answered
  3. Are you supporting or applying?
  4. What region of the UK do you live in when not at Uni (or where is Uni, not sure which would be more accurate)
  5. Connected to regional department.
  6. Regional department has access to regional applications.
  7. Query can be answered.

Maybe my thinking is a little wrong, but I really don’t see why it can’t be like that. If you can answer without referring to “because that’s the way it is” then please do.

Posted by: Kinross07 | June 17, 2010

Favourite Scientists

At the school I’m working at, one of us was assigned the task of finding out who each member of the science departments favourite scientist was and why. Some struggled or didn’t take it seriously, over the 40 minute lunchtime we came up with the following (and others we don’t remember)

Doc Emmet Brown. DeLorean-’nuff said.

Doctor Strangelove. Because he had an awesome alien hand problem.

Dr Oetker. He makes great pizza.

Heinrich Himmler. He didn’t let the public opinion get in his way.

Dr Octopus. He has 4 extra limbs, thus is awesome.

Dr Robotnik. The mustache.

I know there were at least 15 more, but I can’t seem to remember them. Anyway, this post is essentially to say that the science department at SDCC are awesome, and hilarious. Not to mention awesome-though one is rather creepy.

Posted by: Kinross07 | June 11, 2010

An After-taste Most Foul

Please watch the video before reading further.

So now I assume you’ve watched the video. What started as an odd but perfectly acceptable foodstuff has since made me feel (and be) rather ill. And on the whole, if something makes me feel ill, it tends to be for a pretty good reason-invariably alcohol was put in, but sometimes just from being a bad mix. And this is one of those latter cases. Of course I would love to hear from other people who try this to see if it’s just me, but only do so if you’re absolutely fine with the negative consequences. That is all.

Posted by: Kinross07 | June 5, 2010

City of the Daleks-The “Proper” Review

I know I gave a brief review-wherein I complained a fair bit-about the first instalment of the Doctor Who Adventure Games, but I feel that if I were to go back and edit that any more (I’m already annoyed at the edit at the end of the post) it would just get messy and move off the point. As a result, I’m going to cover the old ground and some new ground as well.

So you download the game, that’s easy enough, and then you load it. In total it took me around 45 minutes to properly get it going, which is to say beyond the start screen, and then a further 10 to work out how to fix the lag. The answer of course was to drop the graphics down from “Very High” to “High”, though I could see no difference between the two, except that one moved and the other didn’t really. The graphics themselves are pretty decent, at no point did I think “My god, these are terrible” (except maybe the animation of the Dalek Emperor-spoilers, the Dalek Emperor is involved) but on the other hand I didn’t think “These are awesome!”. They were acceptable considering it’s a free game, though if I could tell them to change one thing, it would be to have more than just grey everywhere. Makes it hard to find things.

The controls took a little while to get used to, having spent a fair while using the cursor keys to move and the mouse to rotate the camera in other games it took me a while to get used to the one or other approach. But when you do get the hang of it, you don’t really notice it. If I were to make a recommendation, it’d be to go for the mouse option-so long as you’re not using a touchpad. This is partly because it’s a little smoother, but also because you seem to need to use the mouse to interact anyway. And aside from a few moments where the camera decided to do what it wanted, it worked well.

The content of the game was fairly simple-avoid Daleks, reach end of corridor. Interspersed were a couple of puzzles-mostly mazes where you can’t touch the sides which got a little tedious. A slightly more frustrating one involved a maze of death. Really annoying death. With a time limit. And finally my least favourite-though the part which probably took the longest as an individual thing-which involved connecting wire points without letting wires cross. I can never do those. But that’s no fault of the game. As said earlier, the other major mechanic was stealth. This was pretty easy to get around and do-in a couple of instances I walked alongside a Dalek until he showed me to the door, which was nice of him. My main issue with it though was whenever I did get spotted, and was told to hide, it was always when there was nowhere to hide, but I tried to run anyway. In the process getting trapped by a wall and a pipe on the floor which was slightly too tall to climb. But these are minor quibbles.

The story wasn’t half bad either. And surprisingly, neither was the voice acting, in so much as it certainly added to the experience, rather than detracting. And something I didn’t expect was that the humour that has presented itself throughout the series actually found it’s way into the game too, which was really nice. My one comment on the voices, which I’m sure will come as no surprise to some, is that Amy’s really REALLY got to me. More than in an episode. It felt like she had taken an arrogance pill or something. That or a slice of patronising pie. If you’re going to make her give you advice when you talk to her, don’t make it so that she sounds like a patronising teacher. That’s the last thing I need

So overall, the majority of issues I had are fixable or adaptable, the others you don’t let bother you SO much because they don’t happen overly often. Actual playing I got about 45-50 minutes out of it, so the same as an actual episode, though you may vary. I think considering it is completely free, and out there, you really should check it out, you’ve got nothing to lose.

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