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Archive for August, 2014

Blogversation – Chatty protagonists

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A protagonist can go one of two ways really in terms of extremes. Last week, Joel spoke about the silent protagonist which is common place in Role Playing Game’s and First Person Shooters. Today I want to talk about the exact opposite to the silent protagonist: The chatty protagonist.

Done correctly, a chatty protagonist can make your game much more exciting. In video gaming, there’s a whole bunch of silent protagonists but we’ve completely ignored the chatty protagonist: Characters such as one of my all time favourite video game characters, Zidane Tribal. This is a character that chats when spoken to, giving him much more depth. I feel that the purpose of good dialogue is to make characters more likeable, relate-able and above all memorable.

Zidane Tribal – Main Character of Final Fantasy IX

He talks a lot, but not too much. Just right, if you ask me.

But then we go down the extremes and some characters talk for reasons you just can’t comprehend. Take, for example, the humble people of Oblivion.

They mean well but they won’t shut up. Really, I don’t need to know about your adventures, your home life, your missing children or anything. You’re impressing no one and you’re actually slightly breaking my feeling for the game.

Sometimes, it works really well, but like in the above video you can see that it doesn’t always work. In fact, in this case we see Foul Fagus go from being a beggar with a voice befitting his character, to a well spoken gentleman. Okay, that’s just broken, but there’s a reason why we don’t need so much complexity all the time. The human condition is complex, but probably nothing nearly as complex what they accidentally made.

But then sometimes, we get a character that talks so much and says the same things over and over again. I could once more go back to Oblivion even though I truly love the game. But instead, let’s find another source to point the finger at.

No, you blow it out yer…

Yes Duke Nukem is a character that spouts the same repetitive catchphrases constantly. It’s a constant reminder of the limitations of technology. You can’t have something too fluid, ultimately: Something is looping. Be it a loop of: if (alienx=null) then { say “eat bubblegum.” else Duke=”all outta gum” }. Okay, that’s a dreadful piece of pseudo-code, but you get the point.

There’s a point where the sound waves loop and you just think: Huh, okay. A bit weird you’d say that again. For the record except Duke Nukem Forever, I’ve not played a Duke Nukem game (merely seen videos) and I’m not trashing the games themselves. As far as I can see, they appear to be great fun! But with this being said, there’s still that constant reminder: You’re in a video game. There’s technology to be taken into account. Are you ready to have technology limit the creativity of the character?

This is why I prefer RPGs myself. A characters depth isn’t by its catchy battlephrases. Instead, it’s an invested interest in the character throughout. They tell you a story, they get involved in the story and you are that protagonist.

Aw thank you for making this real, ThinkGeek.

But don’t be fooled by the fact I’ve only spoken about video game characters: This can happen with protagonist of traditional games too.

It’s usually just some players in particular, when they want to take centre stage. When this happens, they come up with all sorts of elaborate plans and their characters are looked up to by the other players. Or, more likely: It breaks the flow of the game drastically. It can be brilliant when a player decides to step to the mark and become the hero he or she should be, but at the same time it can be to the behest of the rest of the group.

An instance I have of this is when I was playing as a sort of “knight” character. He was basically just a standard warrior, but he was honourable and as such he would say things like “To arms, my noble companions!” Simple, showed how he was a simple character and everything I did with him was for the point of: This is him. Take note then that one of my fellow companions was a rogue.

Yeah, you’re fooling no one, rogue. That dragon’s got more sharp edges than that little poky sword of yours.

Rogues are known to stand back and be stealthy. They’re supposed to deliver damage before anyone knows they’ve done it. Pray tell then: Why did this rogue decide to announce everything he was going to do in game to all of the other characters? “I’m going to go behind the enemy and flank him. You, Sir Elbert, keep him distracted from the front while I go around behind him to sink my blade deep into its skull.” Our DM found it equally as asinine as I did, so the DM decided that often: The enemy heard the conspiracy! Often, Sir Elbert and the mage were able to take out whatever they were fighting before the rogues plans had finished…

Perhaps this was an incredibly good bit of character development however? See, the best thing here was that our DM was able to teach this rogue how to be a rogue without telling him what he was doing wrong. The rogue slowly figured out: Not everything had to be explained. Not everything had to be told to the whole team. My character, Sir Elbert, announced his intentions because he was an in your face, sword and shield knight. He was the “tank”, as it were. He had to make enemies feel inferior and threatened yet his team mates safe and in control.

This rogue needed to make his enemies unaware of his presence. It couldn’t be done while he blathered on about his plans. Remember then: a chatty protagonist is the key in character and even story advancement. But sometimes, they really should just shut up.

What do you all think of chatty protagonists? Do they help to involve you in a game? Do you have any examples of chatty protagonists in either video games or traditional gaming? Until the next piece in our blogversation; take care all!


Cosplay Update – Wait, what am I doing..?

So today I thought I’d just give you all a very quick update just to explain how well the Deku Link costume is coming along.

So, last time I showed off a few pictures of what’s happening, but to continue with that, I thought I’d actually give you a quick run down of… Um… Oh gosh.

Making the tunic thing skirt

So, Deku Link as you can see quite clearly here has a…

... Tunic.

… Tunic.

 

What am I doing with my time? Well, I made the skirt from scratch, the same as I did the hat. Quickly then, how did I make the skirt? How long did it take?

Did I ever mention that my mini sewing machine which I bought from Amazon is broken? It’s so broken, that even someone who uses sewing machines on a regular basis said “… Just go get a new one. A proper one this time.”

So, I’m going to be saving up a few quid each month to get me a proper sewing machine. I’m going to start with a basic Brother model and if I like it enough, I’ll probably be doing more sewing tutorials (… Not because I like sewing or anything, but for cosplay. Um… Shut up. I’m liking my sewing sessions now.)

Simple fabric for the simple guy.

Simple fabric for the simple guy.

So first of all, I got me a large piece of material and folded it in half. I’ll explain why shortly. The material I used is the same material as that of my hat. The reason for this is it’s quite hard to tell if the fabric is different. I decided it wouldn’t be, so all of the clothing pieces are made of some form of green felt.

Measurements taken: Waist. Widest point of hips. Waist to just below knee.

With this information, I knew the different measurements I’d need to work on this tunicskirt. I’m sorry, I’ll never stop insulting this piece because for crying out loud, I’ve just made a damned skirt for myself. I’m not Scottish, thus it’s not a kilt I’m afraid. Plus, it’s the wrong fabric. I’m doomed to be called a skirt wearing guy. But it should be for something adorable. I hope.

 

Why did you fold it in half?

I folded the fabric in half to save room mostly, plus to get the two sides even. As such, when I finished cutting it, I knew I had to just sew the two sides together.

I realise as well that many people would do two separate pieces of fabric for this, thus leading to a possibly neater piece of clothing, but I’ll be honest: I didn’t think of that at the time. I just wanted something that’d look the part and be sturdy enough to be worn.

I hope no one tugs on it on the day of début, mind. That would be incredibly embarrassing!

 

Back to making it

Okay, so with my fabric cut out, I needed to make the hemline. If you don’t know what a hemline is, basically, you fold fabric in on itself and sew it. You do this so you don’t get any nasty looking straggly bits and loose threads just poking out all around the place.

Once the hemlines were in, I had to sew the two ends together.

But wait, I sewed this on the wrong side?

But wait, I sewed this on the wrong side?

Yeah, you should always do the sewing on the bit of the fabric you don’t want to see. See, when you finish your project, you’ll then turn it inside out to show what you actually want on display. In my case here, I didn’t want to be showing off the side of the fabric above, but instead the smoother side of the fabric. So, you should always sew on the wrong side of the fabric.

You can see how much of a ham job I did of sewing this, eh?

The last thing to do is to make an elastic waistband. That’s simply done by cutting some elastic to about 92-94% of your actual waist measurement from earlier. So, grab a calculator if you need to and type your waistsize in either centimeters or inches (depending how you work, I guess!) * 0.92 or * 0.94. In my case, my waist size was 34″ at time of writing. So I did 34 * .92 which gave me 31.28. I rounded that to 31.5 – Just because I could.

My rather cunning waistband.

My rather cunning waistband.

I cheated when I made this band! You might notice that not only is it quite a thin band, but it’s… got this black thing around it. What is that black thing? It’s duct tape. Seriously, that’s what that is. I duct-taped the band together and it’s held it together incredibly well. I’d not recommend you do this for your project, but that’s what I did.

So I sewed the elastic to the wrong side of the fabric once more and then I pulled over a bit of the fabric that was above the waistband over it. Then I sewed that again. Do you realise how much sewing I did thanks to this project!? I’m seriously finally getting the hang of sewing thanks to making this from scratch.

So how does it look?

This was as good a picture as I could get. I apologise. Seriously.

This was as good a picture as I could get. I apologise. Seriously.

Well, it’s… a skirt.
Great…
I won’t get picked on. Ever.

 

Well, there’s been a bit more since then… But I thought I’d actually explain how everything was done so if you ever felt like getting into cosplay and think sewing is a hard thing to do, it’s not. But what I’d seriously suggest is YOU GET A GOD DAMN SEWING MACHINE.

Sewing just the hems took me a good 25-30 minutes on each part! Seriously, it’s so tedious, but it is pretty relaxing in the long run. Just have your earphones in, sit down and get on with it. That’s what I did.

Oh, right…

 

Costume Number 4.

What is my 4th costume now going to be, now that I’ve dropped Felix? I thought I’d gather the bits and pieces for the costume. But the most important piece of the costume is this:

Oh crap, the camera almost saw me properly then!

Oh crap, the camera almost saw me properly then!

Yes, that is just an orange beanie hat. So, what do you think this is going to be for? I can tell you, that’s a pretty big give away, as it’s one of his main features. Other things to note, he raps. No, I’m not cosplaying as Eminem. I don’t know if Eminem has ever owned an orange beanie, but if you’re reading this Eminem – Don’t worry, I’m not going to do a dreadful cosplay/impression of you. That’d be downright disrespectful on my part.

Another thing about this rapper with an orange beanie hat, he’s gotta believe.

 

Have you all guessed what costume 4 is yet? What did you think of my quick but pretty useless “tutorial“? Let me know what you thought as ever and of course, I look forward to showing you more cosplay updates in the very near future!


Gamer Highlight – Phil, from 1001-Up

In Gamer Highlight, I’ve been interviewing gamers from all fields of experience. As I close off the series to pick up DMing 101 again,  I turn to people who are so very proud of their hobby that they have taken to the internet to share their views: our friends over at 1001-Up! They’ve spoken on individual games, and specific matters, but it’s about time to turn the spotlight on their attitudes, their history, and how gaming has changed their lives.

First on the chopping block, Phil! I first met Phil at Kitacon in March this year for a game of Cards Against Humanity, that’s a hell of a way to introduce yourself to someone. He’s one of 1001-Up’s founding members and one of their most popular writers. (more…)


Kickstarter Highlight – Legend of Lotus

Do you like Legends?

How about RPGs?

Do you like Legends about Lotus’s (..?) – wait this has to be my worst opening yet..!

Well look no further my friends, as fellow bloggers Legend of Lotus have created an awesome game with the RPG Maker platform and they’re looking for your help!

wpid-Kickstarter-Highlight.jpg

 

Legend of Lotus

What is it?

Legend of Lotus is an RPG being created by some of our fellow WordPress bloggers who have been documenting their journey through developing their very own RPG. They are creating everything, from the code in the games to the artwork and sprites. If you want to check out what they’ve done up until now, do check out their awesome blog.

In the world of Genos, which is inhabited by humans and elves who live in harmony, the Lotus stone is bringing sentient lives to… Well life. A subset of the elves played with the dangerous energies of the Lotus, which caused an explosion, destroying the shared capital of the humans and elves.

Faces are all over the places.

Because this has been made with RPG Maker VX software, the flexibility is pretty remarkable. The picture above is a picture from in-game, where Shane has had his picture put into the game itself. So, looks like the rewards for helping these guys out could lead to some memorable places to have your… Faces… Poetry strikes again.

There’s a rich story and plenty of hours have been poured into this. It’s been brilliant reading through their development posts over on the Legend of Lotus blog.

What do they need the money for?

They are asking for just $2,000 to get this game made.

The cash helps them get the correct licenses and helps to pay for anything they need to finish the game off. At just $2,000, this might be the lowest ever ask on a Kickstarter Highlight.

One of the other things they want to buy is a domain name for their website (Rather than being stuck to the generic “.wordpress.com” domain). By pledging just a few dollars today, you can help them on their way to making Legend of Lotus a commercially viable success and this could even lead to bigger and greater things from the small team!

What are the rewards?

Oh damn you and your reward wanting, isn’t the warm fuzzy feeling enough? No? Okay, carry on then…

  • Pledge $1 or more

    SUPPORTER! Your name in Credits + Digi. Wallpaper and our Eternal Gratitude.

    Estimated delivery: Jan 2015

    Pledge $5 or more

    DIGI-BACKER-MON! Below Rewards + Digital Comic and Digital OST.
    Estimated delivery: Jan 2015

    Pledge $10 or more

    EARLYBIRD! Below Rewards + Beta Testing and Full Game! [Limited Backer Discount!]

    Estimated delivery: Jan 2015
    Pledge $15 or more

    OLDSKOOL GAMER! Below Rewards + Beta Testing and Full Game with Digi. Guide and Art.
    Estimated delivery: Jan 2015

    Pledge $20 or more

    401K Tier! Below Rewards + House with a plaque named after you. Players will forever know that you… ‘InsertNameHere’ Supported Legend of Lotus! A wise investment!
    Estimated delivery: Jan 2015

    Pledge $30 or more

    SELFIE Tier! Below Rewards + You in a pic. or sketch in a framed picture in the game. Just like Shane and his cat! (see pic.)
    Estimated delivery: Jan 2015

There we have it, if you feel like you want to share the WordPress love, then please do go ahead and back this game. It looks brilliant and I hope they get the funding they’re looking for!

For the record, I’ve pledged myself, so please do help these guys out. They’re truly lovely people and I’m excited to see what they’ve made!

What do you all think of the game? Have you visited their blog before? Have you used the RPG Maker software? It’s damn good fun, if not! Give it a try if you get the chance to.


Top 10 odd weapons in gaming

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Have you ever played a game that you really enjoy, where suddenly you see this really odd thing in the game?

No, I don’t mean an odd pair of socks, or even an odd number of teacups in the game, but instead a really odd weapon? We have and we’ve compiled a small list of the oddest weapons in video gaming. These are in no way a comprehensive list, but these are our top-picks for odd weapons in gaming.

 


 

Top 10

10. Holy Mackerel – Team Fortress 2 (Scout)

Have you ever heard of the phrase “You look like you’ve been slapped by a wet fish”? Well the Scout takes it to the next level by literally slapping you with a wet fish!

To make matters worse for everyone who gets slapped by this most holy of all mackerels, there’s a unique kill-icon for the fish – only it counts how many times you get slapped by the wet fish! Seriously, what a nasty slap to the face that is for you and your team.

9. Scalpel – Guilty Gear (Faust)

First of all, I’d just like to point out that Faust is humongous. I mean he barely fits on the screen, that’s how tall this guy is. So why on earth would he choose to fight using a scalpel? Well it’s simple really: He’s a doctor who’s shamed himself by killing a patient. After having the lust for blood, he’s now realised the errors of his ways and wants to make amends…

… By being a good doctor… Who… beats people up with a giant scalpel. Not only is it a giant scalpel, he uses it as a pogo stick, amongst other things at that. A pogo scalpel. Right, that’s enough Guilty Gear for one day.

 

8. The Morningstar – Borderlands

They do say we’d all game better if we played like our mother was watching over our shoulders. 2K games has Mum’s back though, and delivers us a sniper rifle that offers pearls of wisdom with every shot:

“If you were a better shot you wouldn’t have to reload!”

“Wonderful shot! Murderer!”

“Just wait until I tell your father!”

Thanks guys, we needed to hear that, and we’re better people thanks to the Hyperion Morningstar range!

 

7. Hand Cannon – Dead Space 2

Isaac Clarke battles through The Sprawl in Dead Space 2, a massive space station overrun by the Necromorphs. To survive he’ll use a variety of high-tech weapons, from laser cutters to machine-guns and grenade launchers, and beyond those is the single most devastating weapons of them all: the amazing Hand Cannon, a GIANT FOAM FINGER!

Aim this powerful weapon at any enemy and Isaac will shout, “Bang, Bang!” or “Pew Pew Pew” at the enemy, who will subsequently explode into tiny little bits. No more frantic firing trying to dismember the creatures, just point the finger of doom at it and it’ll be gone in tiny little bits!

 

6. Lulu’s Dolls – Final Fantasy X

Lulu is a master spellcaster, throwing out Firagas and Blizzagas left and right, and clearing everything in such a dazzling spectacle you’d almost fear she’d get sued by ILM. But even she has to get physical at some point, and one look at her and you’d think she’d use one of the many belts that make up her bodice or a wand or staff as is expected of a sorceress.

Well, you’d be wrong. Lulu fights in cute cuddly and at the same time creepy style. Her weapons of choice are dolls. From teddy bears to Moogles, these cute little plushy toys will jump out of her arms, run at the enemy and give them a good whack before coming back to mommy!

 

5. Keyblade – Kingdom Hearts

This is the Swiss Army Knife of weapons. It can be used to fight, to open doors and chests and even close entire worlds; but what makes it so unique is that it can cut through anything…without actually having an edge. Just look at it, it’s round-shaped and its edge is blocky!

Over the years the number of people wielding the Keyblades has increased and while there have been edgier designs, the blade has never has never truly been sharp. You’d think it would work as a hammer, but nope, not in the Kingdom Hearts universe. If it’s a big key, it’ll cut through anything!

 

4. Earthworm Jim – Earthworm Jim

Earthworm Jim is a really super guy. An ordinary earthworm in an enhanced mechanical suit that grants him sentience, you have to ask yourself is the worm the hero, or the suit? Well the suit seems to know, and uses the symbiotic wriggler more as tool than pilot. In the games you can use your worm to lash onto hooks, ride zip-lines and whip your enemies into submission if your ammo’s running low.

There’s a joke in here somewhere, but I think the fact that you can use yourself as a tool is joke enough in itself. Nope, I just made it worse.

 

3. Dubstep Gun – Saints Row IV

The Third Street Saints, over their long criminal and media entertainment career have had a lot of weapons in their arsenal, but none as deadly, terrifying and rhythmic than the Dubstep Gun!

Simply aim and pull the trigger to unleash a hellish beat upon your enemies. They won’t be able to resist and they’ll dance to the beat to appease the weapon’s hunger until they just explode. Thankfully, for the universe, the weapon has a low ammo count.

 

2. Old Woman – Worms

Worms is bulging with weird and wonderful weapons; they’re invertebrates with floating hands, so this game was never going to be all uzis and shotguns. While we considered the legendary super-sheep, banana bomb, or concrete donkey, we respect and fear our elders, even if those elders are infirm, toxic-ally flatulent and explosive.

Unleash the wrath of the walking-stick wielding monster, the hunchbacked, thick spectacled octogenarian of carnage. Watch as your enemies inhale her every noxious emission before she explodes, for reasons!

 

1. Mr Toots – Red Faction: Armageddon

You’ve read this right and the video above really doesn’t do this enough justice… And that was the promotional video for this weapon! Yes, it is time to unleash a smelly dose of rainbows and sparkles upon your enemies in a laser-like rainbow storm.

To sweeten the deal even more, your gun is made even more magical than you could ever think possible. In fact, you get your very own Mr. Toots to help you spray butt-propelled rainbow laser beams upon your unsuspecting foes. If you’re in need of explosions, Mr. Toots the magical unicorns butt can provide this for you… And for the sake of the world.


 

Honorary mentions

So these are the weapons that certainly can’t be considered normal by any stretch of the imagination, however it’s worth noting that next to our top 10 list, they just aren’t odd enough!

Rather than dismiss them as the norm, we thought we’d give a special shout out to…


Cat Suit – Super Mario 3D World

We couldn’t quite get the Cat Suit as a fully justified weapon as honestly; it’s not. It’s a utility item but it’s one heck of a utility item at that!

Allowing you to climb and cling, claw and chew your way through any of the ridiculously hazardous lands of the Mushroom Kingdom, the Cat Suit is memorably for the fact it’s so damn adorable being a cat. Shame that it’s actually still a dirty, smelly plumber underneath that cat suit and not it just be an actual cat! Jump out at your opponents to make sure they know you’re not a feline to be messed with! This kitten certainly does have claws!

 

Bow-wow – Legend of Zelda

Koholint Island has a variety of weapons and items for Link to use on his quest to wake the Wind Fish. The most deadly, however, is Bow-wow, Madam MeowMeow’s pet Chain Chomp. Link gets to take him out for a walk around the swamp, opening the way to Bottle Grotto.

He’s an NPC, true, but he’s also the cutest overpowered weapon in the game. It lashes out to the nearest enemy and just devours them! Nothing is left of the poor victim, just loot. But as horrifying as it sounds, you can’t be mad at or afraid of that cute little razor-teeth-filled face!

 


 

Those were our top 10 odd weapons in gaming along with two more honorary mentions. We’d like to extend our thanks to Kevin of The Mental Attic and 1001-Up who joined us in writing our Top 10 list this week!

As always, please do leave a comment for us and tell us what are your favourite odd weapons in gaming? Do you think our rankings have been fair, or have we completely dismissed your favourite odd weapon which you think should be shown off? We’d love to see more!

If you want to get involved with the little chit-chat that goes behind these top 10’s, just drop us an e-mail. Alternatively, say in the comments below and we’ll try to make sure you’re included in the writing process behind one of these Top 10’s. Until next time, keep fragging with rubber duckies or whatever sort of weird weapons you like to use… I know I’m going to enjoy playing Guilty Gear and fighting people with an anchor, or perhaps a yo-yo and a hula hoop! A giant scalpel works for me, though!


D&D 5th Edition – Players Handbook

On tuesday the first book of the new version of D&D was released: the Players Handbook (PHB), the guide on how to create characters to play in game, and also a complete set of rules for managing most aspects of the game, including those for combat. This is the first of three core books, not including the Starter Set they released last month (which I didn’t bother with because I’m not new to this), still to come are the Monster Manual (MM) – a list of example creatures for use in campaigns, due out in September – and the Dungeon Master’s Guide (DMG) – a guide on how to create and manage campaigns, due out in November.

For previous editions the releases for these three books have been simultaneous, all three being necessary for a new group to begin playing. So why have Wizards of the Coast elected to stagger the release of the core rule books this time around?

First of all, they are at least releasing the books in the proper reading order, the PHB being needed to learn the core rules and get the first part of the campaign building process under-way, building the characters and protagonists for the story; followed by the MM which can help establish a campaign theme and allows the DM to familiarize him/herself with creature statistics; and finally the DMG to help refine and develop a story.

Second, the already available Starter Set and more importantly the simplistic free version of the rules makes the game easily playable without needing any of the core rulebooks, but allows players to build upon an already functioning rule-set.

(more…)


Blogversation – The Silent Protagonist

Is it better to put yourself in the place of the hero, or would you rather play through the adventure of another? A fully fledged person with a personality of their own vs. a place-holder in whose eyes you see through, and whose life you live.

The name “Mary Sue” applies to any character who serves only to fulfil the private wishes and fantasies of the author. They often have limitless or all too convenient powers and abilities that make them effectively unbeatable, and a bland personality. The problem with the voiceless protagonist is that they tend to fall firmly into that category, Gordon FreemanLink, Isaac Clarke for examples. There are notable examples of speaking “Mary Sues,” most famous perhaps being Master Chief, who loses points for talking but gains them for hiding his face, allowing the player to narcissistically apply his/her own face underneath the helmet (another common factor of the Mary Sue). (more…)


Cosplay update – Deku Link

Well then, as some of you might be aware, Joel and myself will be attending Alcon 2014 which takes place in less than 2 weeks now! Since we’re getting so close, I thought I’d start to update people about one of my costumes which I hadn’t yet mentioned: Deku Link.

I’ve been working hard on my Deku Link costume but a lot of the hard-work isn’t actually to do with progress of the costume: Rather figuring how to make the damn thing!

This fellah is far too cute.

This fellah is far too cute.

When I started, making this costume, I wanted something rather realistic and the more that I think about it – The more I realised just how impossible it would be at my current skill level. Crafting isn’t my forte even though I adore it. Yeah, I said it – I’m a cosplayer who isn’t very good at making things. Yet.

This weekend is succeeded by the bank holiday Monday here in merry ol’ England! Horray, an extra day to work on my costumes this weekend!

So far then what have I done?

These are the basic form of the wristguards

These are the basic form of the wristguards

I’ve made the shapes for the wrist-guards. Here they are – They simply need to be sprayed and coated in a layer of gesso before being sanded down. Those ones are nice and simple, thankfully.

Next up I’ve made my hat!

To make the hat, all I did was make 2 pieces then stitch them together on the two sides. Simple is as simple does, but it gets the job done. It’s not the best hat in the world but heck; it’s a hat. It reaches as far down as my backside, so not quite as long as what this fellah has, but not too far off either.

There it is! That's my hat! It's huge, so it's half draped over the chair!

There it is! That’s my hat! It’s huge, so it’s half draped over the chair!

I’ve also grabbed some old foam I had lying around which will be for the hair. However just before I wrote this article, I went onto my old favourite Coscraft and I looked up wefts of hair. For £5, I was able to buy 30 inches long and 100 inches wide wefts of hair. That’s plenty – I say hopefully! As such, I’m going to be trying a “Yellow” hair to make it a bit more “realistic”.

Them eyes have been designed and I have created a circuit which will be built into my costume. It’s a very simple circuit which probably won’t last very long. I will need to take some back-up AA batteries as a just in case. No more breadboards: This is the real deal! When designing the eyes, I had many different ideas in mind. I’d have a giant head I said and I said “I’ll look out from the mouth” so I could have very bright eyes. This has changed since then. Now, my head is an over-sized mask, but I’ll be able to see out of the eyes. I’m going to have to time my eyes glowing, so’s not to blind myself.

 

Here's the very simple base of the mask I'm going to use.

Here’s the very simple base of the mask I’m going to use.

I also begun work on the mask, which is currently rather flat. But at least the mask is in progress. Once I’ve got the hair weft along with the foam hair-holders set up on the top of the mask, I’ll be able to sew the top of the hat to the mask and around my ears and the likes, which will be another huge step towards creating the spherical effect for the head. Although you can’t see it in this picture, there are clear positions for the eyes to be placed in and I just have to heat it around a bowl to make the shape take effect.

The last thing to work on will be the body piece. I’m in several minds on how to do this: Make a body piece out of foam. Make a body piece out of strips of cloth (most likely right now) or make a mould and cast liquid latex to make a full blown body suit of sorts. See, the important thing to note is I want to take this costume onto the masquerade itself. As such, I want to try and make everything with this costume.

 

So there you have it – You’re now up to date as to how far I am on this costume. It’s been an exciting project so far and later down the line, I’ll be soldering electronics together. That I’m very excited for, so stay tuned for more on that!

Sorry it’s not much to show you all yet, but honestly – Keep watching this space. Over the coming two weeks, you should see a more bits and pieces about my costumes appearing as well as new/extra things to the other two costumes (Edward Elric and Deku Link.)

I’ve scrapped Felix for now, as I feel my sewing skills aren’t yet up to scratch (Evidenced by my Deku Link hat). That’ll just have to be a costume for another day. Hey; are you interested in learning a few crafting skills as a cosplayer? Do check out the awesome Cosplay Tutorial website, which has been showing me how to do just about everything! Go on internet, give me some love or hate for my works so far. More detailed breakdowns on how to do everything for this Deku Link costume will come in as time goes on.


Gamer Highlight – Nathan, the Games Tester

In Gamer Highlight I have been interviewing gamers from different fields of experience, from actual fields, to graphical fields.

I promised computer gamers, and computer gamers I have brought! Continuing from Beki’s Gamer Highlight last week, this week I interviewed Nathan, a Quality Assurance tester for Evolution Studios. (more…)


Kickstarter Highlight – Rogues to Riches

Do you like rogues?

Do you like riches?

Would you like to be going from rogues to riches?

Look no further, we’re back once more with another inexplicably imaginative Kickstarter Highlight.

Kickstarter Highlight

 

Rogues to Riches – a Game for the Criminally Imaginative

What is it?

With this Kickstarter campaign launched by Sam Fraser, Rogues to Riches is a storytelling card game for a small group of 3 to 5 players, where you have to basically create a story as to how you were able to steal the riches. Who owns these riches? Your opposing players do, of course – But they also have Trap cards!

I’m sorry, I really couldn’t resist explaining to the world that this game contains trap cards.

To overcome the trap cards, you have gear cards and you have to devise a believable plan as to how you’d get into your opponents base and how you’d defeat the Trap cards. Furthermore, the person who is being stolen from has to decide how to defend their lair with their Trap card.

The game is won by logic being dictated by the remaining players, who vote up or vote down the plans.

It’s a very simple game logic, which is basically a stripped back storytelling game, not giving you quite as much freedom as some games of this type, but for good reason. There are limitations to what you can do: But it’s your imagination that’ll see you through.

Look at these wonderful, criminal masterminds just having a right old jolly together!

 

How much do they need?

They are asking for $16,500 Canadian Dollars. At the time of writing, they are up to $6,883 with 27 days to go, pretty impressive if you ask me.

They have actually made a lovely graphic showing what it is they need the money for, which is broken down below!

Well, that’s a good enough breakdown!

Inside of the box you’ll receive:

– 56 Gear Cards,
– 48 Trap Cards,
– 22 Riches Cards,
– 12 Lairs,
– Blank gear & trap cards- 2 dice

 

What do backers get?

  • Pledge $1 or more

    Thank You Email and Downloadable Rogues to Riches lite – You’ll get a link to download a Print and Play (PNP) version of Rogues to Riches. You’ll be able to check out the artwork and the gameplay. It will have fewer cards and Lairs than the manufactured version, but it will be enough to play at least a few games.

    Estimated delivery: Sep 2014
    Pledge $10 or more

    Signed Card – I’ll send you a Rogues to Riches card in the mail, signed by me and artist Julianne Harnish. Your card might be one that’s not available in the PNP version. You can choose a Trap, Gear, or Riches card. Includes PNP files.

    Estimated delivery: Oct 2014

    Pledge $43 or more

    Game reward tier – One pristine copy of Rogues to Riches. May it brighten your days. Canada, the US, and Western Europe only. Includes PNP files.

    Estimated delivery: Jun 2015

    Some of the awesome gear cards you can play. I especially need me a Beast of Burden!

There we have it then, for just $1, you can get a downloadable version of the game! Excellent, huh? Plus it’s an extra $1 towards the official release of this game. You can’t beat that for value, right?

What do you think of the concept behind a storytelling card game? I’ve played one before at Kitacon and it was absolutely incredible – So this to me is an exciting game and yes: I don’t mind being criminally inventive just for the sake of a card game!

So, what do you all think of this weeks Kickstarter Highlight? Come join us again next week and as always, please do keep talking with your comments in the comments section below!