Modding in Games

I was always a bit reluctant with modding games. The only titles that I’ve ever modded were Minecraft (stuff like Mo’ Creatures, Optifine, Inventory Tweaks, or Shaders) and The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ (that mod that tells you what the items do), so I figured I should try and broaden my horizon a little bit and explain as to why mods are good and why I hesitated so much with installing a lot of things.

For starters, I’d like to point out that I don’t hate mods entirely. For me it’s just a bit hard to install them and I end up doing something wrong somewhere, so I need to redo everything, and then I give it up altogether, resulting in a rather unpleasant experience. At the same time, some mods disable Achievements in games on Steam and I ended up avoiding mods due to that reason, especially as I didn’t know what games did it and which ones didn’t do it. I’m not a completionist by any means and I expressed some thoughts on Achievements before as well… but I still kind of care about them and don’t like playing a game while they are disabled as it kind of bothers me. 

Mods are great though. Stuff like Optifine or Shaders can make a game like Minecraft actually rather pretty and add a lot of nice details to the world, even without you running that raytracing stuff (is that out already btw? Asking for a friend). At the same time, there are plenty of mods that add more content to a game without taking too much away from the vanilla-experience or they add so much awesome stuff to the game that it becomes an entirely new experience, which is amazing. There are also cases where games only are held together and popular because of the modding community, which is amazing and which must be a good thing. 

But despite modding being such a common thing, I still kind of hesitated to install any in some of the games that I played. I ended up shoving aside the idea of modding RimWorld as I wanted to learn how to play the vanilla game, first. At the same, there are titles like Skyrim or Torchlight that have fantastic examples of community-made content that maybe (or probably?) surpasses the original developers’ ideas and creativity. New classes, smarter pets and enhanced GUI in Torchlight’s case or new enemies, more character customization and roleplaying capabilities in Skyrim’s. The potential is basically endless and I felt like I should maybe try it out myself.

Alas, I started up Stardew Valley again, which is a great and very underpriced title that I’ve only spent a hundred hours in so far. I last played it on March 23rd 2020, so I was a bit rusty… and with new additions that were made to the games, I was a bit hesitant of starting it up again. But well, I figured, I may as well try it out with the Expanded mod among others, to give it a completely new vibe and more interesting things to discover as well as new NPCs to romance and new crops to place down. 

The picture below shows the installed mods that I’ve chosen. I used a Pastebin that KingArgaroth shared for his playthrough of this mod pack and alas, I figured I may as well copy that and share it with y’all. Make sure to check him out if you haven’t yet! I talked about him and other great streamers briefly in this post here. The mods mentioned in the Pastebin technically make use of SMAPI but I ended up having trouble with that, so I opted in for “ModDrop” which is a piece of software that made the whole process A LOT easier. I installed a lot of mods that are needed for both Stardew Valley Expanded and for Ridgeside Village. Both of these mods add a lot of new areas, events, dialogue options, features, and NPCs to the game. Apart from that, I also made use of the Season Villager Outfits that are actually quite lovely and the Dynamic Night-Time mod. 

In today’s stream, I then started it up for the first time and to my surprise it went quite well. There was a hiccup at the beginning where it took a while to load but honestly, that’s quite understandable when there is so much going on in the game and when there are so many mods involved. I didn’t have any issues after that with it apart from the Experience Bars Mod (that I now uninstalled) constantly showing… and I need to add a mod to update the map to also feature Ridgeside Village… but other than that it worked pretty well.

I’m quite overwhelmed with all of the content but overall, it was more than enjoyable. The new farm layout is fantastic and the new NPCs in the game are a lot more diverse and fun than the previous ones who all felt a bit one-dimensional… From RSV’s Flor, Corine and Maddie to SDVE’s Sophia there are plenty of cool characters in the game… but it’s actually not that easy to decide on who to potentially date/marry yet as the bachelors in the game are all rather cute as well and as I haven’t gotten to know them all just yet. 

But yeah, I really enjoyed that experience. ModDrop really helped with the hurdle of installing things easily… and the mods that I used actually don’t disable achievements, which is also incredibly cool. Looking forward to playing more soon!

Have you ever modded a game before and what were your experiences with the install-process and the game itself? What are your opinions? Do you like modding games or are you more of a Vanilla-Only person? Let me know!

Cheers!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

Indietail – Dyson Sphere Program [Guestpost]

Recently, I’ve asked people if they were interested in writing a guestpost on Indiecator, and alas we’ve got yet another review today here written by Naithin from Time to Loot. The game featured here, Dyson Sphere Program, is a lovely factorio-like game where you set out on a journey to create the ultimate intergalactic factory in space. I just recently played some of it myself and have really been enjoying it but as Naithin’s more into the whole genre, you should maybe listen to what he has to say about the game. If you enjoyed this post, make sure to check out Naithin’s blog for more posts on all kinds games from RPGs to MMOs to Looter Shooters and even gaming-related topics like new trailers, interesting up-coming games, or Humble Choice. If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you may know that Naithin’s a big inspiration of mine and that I really like his blog, posts and the events that he likes to plan or participate in. My series on the Humble Choice of each month is inspired by him as well, so there’s that, too. I highly recommend checking out his blog!

Anyways, I hope you enjoy Naithin’s review:

Dyson Sphere Program has thrown down the gauntlet to Factorio and entered the ring with a select few other titles I consider to be part of the ‘Factorio-like’ genre. A genre that now ranges from the medieval with Factory Town through to the far-flung reaches of sci-fi space with this entry.

Developer: Youthcat Studio
Publisher: Gamera Game
Genre: Sci-Fi, Space, Automation, Base-Building, Simulation, Strategy, Management
Release Date: January 21st, 2021
Reviewed on: PC
Available on: PC
Copy was purchased.

Despite the technological era — these games have a number of features incoming. The defining one perhaps being to solve the puzzle of bringing the ever-increasing material and component pieces together in the right places to automate the production of yet more things.

The risk is in getting lost and overwhelmed by the bigger picture. Particularly if you let the ruthless pursuit of efficiency be your guiding principle. I felt this starting out in Dyson Sphere Program. It is just so easy to get carried away by seeing the experts play and how they think about and approach the game.

The problem with that is you’ll hit a wall — likely sooner than later — and just stop. My first try at the game ended in exactly that way. I was already thinking several steps down the track to the automation of product manufacture that I wasn’t anywhere near yet. In response, my brain flipped me the double-bird and shut-off.

The early beginnings of my second start. I’ve brought the base materials together into a basic bus, and automated the generation of blue-science.

Where Dyson Sphere Program perhaps excels over Factorio — although this will of course be a matter of taste, I would argue it as a positive particularly for those looking to make a start in the genre — is that no given factory by necessity has to be overly large. The fact you can ultimately separate functions by planet and use interplanetary logistics systems to ship what you need around the place is a Godsend for making things perfectly playable in more manageable bite-sized chunks. What that means is, as I alluded to way back in the introduction, is that you can treat the game as a series of mini-puzzles. Small challenges to be met as and when they make sense for you to do so.

And I highly recommend approaching the game this way. Setting yourself mini-goals. Work toward the production of just one more thing at a time. It will become a spaghetti scramble your first time through.

Grown… Just a little since the last shot. Oil is now being extracted and refined into two different by-products, with the hydrogen being in turn fused with energised graphite into red science cubes!

But it doesn’t matter. Even if you work yourself into a corner — here’s the thing:

You are never penalised for building ‘wrong’. You can uplift any structure, conveyor belt, sorter, or anything else and be just… Yoink it into your inventory. Generally, with no materials lost either — the exception here being fluid storage. If you need to move a fluid storage container around, you will lose it’s contents, unfortunately.

But here’s the other thing. There’s also no time pressure beyond what you bring with you. You won’t lose for having a low APM. Nothing is going to explode. So, if it’s a fluid you’ve had difficulty storing, you can — if you wish — choose to drain it out to a new site before moving the original container.

You have time.

What I’m trying to get across here is that Dyson Sphere Program can be played without any stress. It is in fact quite a peaceful, chill game to play. But only with the understanding that nothing bad will happen if you slow down. I don’t think the game conveys that very well. So I hope to do it for it, for your benefit.

A look at my position on a solar scale. On a wiiiiddle tiny moon, orbiting a gas giant.

If it isn’t clear yet — I’ve really enjoyed my time with Dyson Sphere Program, and it’s an easy recommend to anyone who either enjoys the Factorio-like genre already or those who just like puzzle games. For genre veterans, the expansive interstellar scope is something you just won’t get in any of the other genre offerings to date. The ability to send logistics drones across the dark void of space to meet the supply and demand of your earlier bases is fantastic.

All this is supported by the research tree you might be familiar with from these games, opening up new materials or componentry or best of all — new logistics options! But on top of that, there is also a set of upgrades specific to your mech — your avatar in the game — ranging from the basics like faster movement speed or bigger inventory to increased construction drone capacity to varying levels of flight and more.

Hard to see from this angle, but I’ve essentially used all available land behind the factory there. So I’ve brought my main bus up and over the coal and water here, onto some pristine land for future development.

So! Don’t let the Early Access label scare you off. Dyson Sphere Program is one of the more complete Early Access titles I’ve seen. If I was to quibble about anything it would be the New Player Onboarding process (aka, the tutorial). Which is a giant shame given the potential appeal Dyson Sphere Program could have in bringing new players to the genre. The tutorial right now is… lacking, to say the least. The guided play portion is incredibly brief with the remainder being largely presented via the occasional pop-up pointing you at the game’s in-built encyclopaedia. Which to be fair — isn’t bad by any stretch. It just isn’t the most welcoming thing ever for a new player to deal with. Normally in this case, particularly for a game with this potential for complexity I would say — watch Let’s Plays to learn. And I think I still will offer that advice. Just… Don’t forget what I told you here today. Don’t let any optimisation considerations from others shape your own concerns while playing.

Just take it at your own pace and enjoy.

Editor’s Note: Magi here, again. Personally speaking I also really enjoyed DSP and can also recommend it. As Naithin mentions, there isn’t really a wrong way of doing things in the game. You can get away with a lot of things and I love that there’s no pressure in it, especially as someone that likes to optimize things in these types of games. Really glad to be able to feature Naithin over here. Can’t recommend his blog enough! Check him out!

Hope you enjoyed this post! Got any thoughts on DSP or the guest post format? Let me know!

Cheers!

This post originated on Indiecator and was first published on there by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken. This post was written by Naithin from Time to Loot.

Outriders – First Impressions

Honestly, I’m not sure what to think about Outriders. I’ve been playing it for the last four hours and while I’ve enjoyed the demo, it’s mostly that I’ve enjoyed the abilities.

For anyone that doesn’t know, there’s a demo available for Outriders right now that lets you play through the first chapter of the game. There are four classes and you can level up to Level 7 and unlock World Level 4. Everything transitions over to the full game if you end up pre-purchasing or buying it… 

Where do I start? Where do I start? Uh,… Earth is doomed and people hence travel to a distant planet. One of the ships blows up in space for whatever reason and down on the planet, there are these alien storms that are very lethal. For whatever reason, we don’t die by it but get altered instead… hence, we’re one of the “Altered”, on top of being one of the remaining Outriders (the military people that came with one of the ships). There is black goo that is infecting people, killer storms, and some mad scientist that commands the other ship that is still in space to come down despite us not being ready. God damn it! Alas, stuff happens and we get put into Cryo to be saved later… but we wake up 31 years later instead of the few days, weeks, months that were planned. Alas, once we arise from our slumber, we are involved in a war, we are left to die and then we end up helping our friends, including my favourite character so far: The charismatic and never-sober Jakub! 

Oh no…. a storm is coming!

Well, since we’re an Altered, we have up to three different skills that can be exchanged for different skills. The four classes play quite differently, although I haven’t played too much of the Trickster just yet (more of that tomorrow, hopefully). The Technomancer is an ice-based long-ranged support character that can drop turrets and other gadgets to help allies or fight their way alone through areas. The Pyromancer is a mid-range fire-mage, kind of… You can inflict a lot of elemental debuffs and damage and you have some crow control, so I’ve been enjoying this one a lot. The Trickster is a time-based short-range assassin that does a lot of damage and gets shielded on top of the healing (more on that later) when they kill stuff up-close. The Devastator is an earth-based tank that goes into short to medium range and heals from killing encounters up-close.

Now, every class heals in some way. The Pyromancer has spell-leech/spell-vamp and the Technomancer heals based on long-ranged damage dealt. I love playing mages and I love snipers, so I’m enjoying both of these classes a lot. There are also skill trees in the game as well as gear that changes your spell-attributes (similar to how exotics in Destiny have special attributes). Some weapons also may synergise quite well with builds, I’ve noticed. A sniper I got has a poison shot, for instance, which works quite well if I don’t one-shot a target with it while another weapon has bonus armour pen on the first shot after reloading… I’d imagine that other weapons deal bonus damage on burning targets or targets with ailments as that could work quite well with the Pyromancer for instance.

Selfie Time!

Either way, that’s been great and interesting, but overall it feels kind of… off? The gunplay is great with some of the weapons… but others feel lacklustre. In Destiny (and the comparison was inevitable) you’ve got weapons that feel like they hit their targets and like they’re packing a punch. The gunplay is funplay. Here… you’ve got snipers that just let out a quick “pew” before you have to aim again and it’s just not as satisfying. Not all weapons are like that… but a lot of them are.

In the same way, there are some mechanics in the game that feel kinda iffy like the missing jump-button and the whole guarding-mechanic that is very Gears of War ish. I both like and dislike the guarding mechanic. Sometimes it feels unnecessary or I forget that it’s a thing. I wanna jump over an obstacle and am suddenly guarding and clinging to the wall… feels weird. At the same time, it’s cool since I haven’t played many games with that sort of mechanic.

At last… the character creation… ugh… the male voice sucks btw… I like the female voice a lot more… but my biggest problem with the character selection is that the skin tones don’t work properly. Belghast has a nice comparison in his post showing some unintentional racism where skin tones aren’t the same for all heads… I wanted to create a super pale character because… I’m super pale and a lich and all of that… but all of the skin tones look brown-ish… which I didn’t feel that great about. Luckily, you can cover your head quite well with a helmet to brush over that fact. You also have presets for hairstyles, head shapes and beards… but I can’t customize the body or shapes or whatever. At the same time, I can select a beard as a man but not as a woman… and as a woman, I can have makeup… but not as a man? I don’t know. I like my makeup on male characters, so that would have been something I would have personally enjoyed. Generally, the character creation is also lacking a lot and I hope they add stuff to it, including actual functioning skin tones. I don’t have to be a pale vampire with red lipstick in every game… but you know… I don’t feel comfortable creating POC as a white person… maybe that’s just me but I feel like I could be labelled racist or something. 

Looking Dope!

Anyways, Outriders is fun but I’m not sure if I’ll play the full game unless it’s on sale or free or something… I mean, I wanna play a looter shooter again… maybe I’ll get into Borderlands again, who knows? But Outriders may not cut it for me at a price point of 60 bucks..

What are your thoughts on the demo? Let me know!

Cheers!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

Indietail – Breathedge

After your grandfather’s funeral ship crashed, you’re stranded in space. Just you, your immortal chicken and an AI/board computer that tells way too many jokes. Welcome to Breathedge, the “ironic space survival game” by Redruins Softwork that is releasing its version 1.0 today! I’ve been playing it on and off ever since it came out in Early Access two years and a bit more ago… and as time went on, I really wanted to like but… you’ll see.

Developer: RedRuins Softworks
Publisher: HypeTrain Digital
Genre: Open World, Survival, Space, Sci-Fi, Adventure, Sandbox
Release Date: February 25th, 2021
Reviewed on: PC
Available on: PC
Copy was purchased.

In Breathedge, you’ve got to survive hunger, thirst, radiation, freezing temperatures and the lack of oxygen in outer space. Easy enough. Throughout your playthrough, you’ll find resources floating around that you then can craft into tools and equipment to venture further into space or to access new types of resources, such as rubber, lead or paint. Your goal is first and foremost survival… but you also want to get to safety, which is why you’ll have to find ways to reach distant points of interest, such as an extraction point that is way too far away.

In the beginning, your oxygen reserves are limited. When you venture out from your shipwreck, you’ll find yourself quickly running out of oxygen, which is why you’ll have to come back to your ship and replenish your reserves. While this is somewhat interesting, especially with the fluid and fun movement in space, it also makes things rather tedious. Collecting resources and having to come back to base every time you run out of oxygen is annoying and while I get that resource gathering is key in these type of games… I don’t see a point in tool durability and having to craft a completely new drill whenever its durability/battery runs out… It’s quite maddening, to say the least.

Eventually, you’ll venture out and find the blueprint for the oxygen station that you can then use to set up balloons that you can refill your oxygen at, making the journey and resource gathering less annoying. You’ll also craft other upgrades for your suit to withstand the radiation or to increase your oxygen reserves, but generally speaking, I feel like it all is more leaning into the annoying to the tedious side of things instead of actually adding value to the experience. The upgrades you can get for your tools merely function as some sort of band-aid that lessens the frustration… but it is not enough, in my opinion. Getting rid of the durability mechanic completely would have made the game more enjoyable in the early stages. As mentioned before, you’ll also need to watch out for your food and hydration, which is standard-survival-stuff… Breathedge doesn’t completely re-invent the wheel or the formula for survival with these mechanics. It just does things because other games did the same things, which isn’t very exciting.

Now, where Breathedge truly shines is actually the exploration and the presentation. As far as exploration goes, you’ll find different wrecks of different spaceships floating around, functioning as eye-catchers that will allow you to pin-point more points of interest. Your oxygen reserves are, as mentioned before, limited, so you’ll need to test your limits, find something good to utilize in your next exploration attempts, and get back to base. Slowly, you’ll learn where to find different resources and where you have to go later once you have more oxygen available. It is very much a trial and error kind of thing but I personally felt as if it was rather interesting and somewhat innovative… until I realised that Subnautica and other games did it before as well.

As far as the presentation goes, Breathedge delivers really well. The art style is rather pretty, outer space looks amazing, and eventually, you’ll unlock base-building and you’ll be able to add windows to stare out into the void… which is just beautiful when you play with the highest settings. The soundtrack features some interesting tracks… and some rather pretty tracks… all in all rather satisfying… if it weren’t for the AI thing that narrates your journey.

Now, I’ll have to mention that the developers label the game as an “ironic” space-survival game. See it as Subnautica… but less serious. You’ll find yourself in a setting that is truly difficult to handle with depleting resources and oxygen troubles… but the AI that accompanies you constantly mocks the game and tropes of the Survival genre and the gaming industry, resulting in the whole setting being rather laughable. The plot itself is somewhat presentable and fun… but the AI makes it feel less enjoyable by constantly cracking jokes at anything and everything. Breathedge opens with a message about how the game is just trying to entertain and how it doesn’t want to offend anyone… but… the jokes are hit or miss.

Most of the jokes that the AI tells you or that you encounter in the game are seriously offensive and inappropriate. There are some good ones here and there with references to Mass Effect or other games… There are jabs that the game takes at other games but generally speaking, you’ll find yourself trying to ignore the jokes as much as possible. The notice at the beginning references some real offensive and inappropriate jokes in the game that aren’t fun or anything. I’m alright with explicit or even some more offensive humour if it’s within certain borders (“haha, like East Germany in”… Okay, I’ll stop.) but this game is just trying too hard to be offensive and thinks that it’s alright to do so if you mention it at the beginning of the game. At one point, I found the game making fun of men that wear makeup while at another part the game makes fun of “libtards”… Generally, I didn’t enjoy a lot of the jokes because they were tasteless or silly. Crafting an accelerator powered by farts is something that grade-schoolers would laugh at but they are hardly the target audience of the game.

Apart from that the game also suffers from pacing. You’ll find yourself held hostage and interrogated by coffin-robots that want you to tell everything that happens but as time goes on, you completely forget about it, which is just… weird. The resource grinding, the durability of tools, the constant trips back and forth for oxygen, food and water,… there are so many things that slow you down considerably and it makes the game just feel very slow to the point where you lose interest in playing more of it. When you die, you’ll have to pray that there was an auto-save an hour ago or something, or you’ll quickly end up ragequitting because of all the progress you lost. Alas, I just save every few minutes in case something happens that makes me want to reload the save again… or in case I die… and all in all, I really wanna like the game but it’s just not that fun unless you only play it on and off…

And again, the game is trying so hard to be like other games but also not be like other games. I feel like they could have tried out more innovative ideas regarding food and oxygen or other mechanics of the game. Breathedge frankly only goes where other games have gone before and it doesn’t really try to do things differently or be crazy and creative around its systems. It’s only a small step for the gaming industry but a big step for this Indie Studio. I mean, RedRuins Softworks are a Russian studio whose first project, Breathedge, has gained a lot of

Hope you enjoyed this post. It’s a bummer that the game has so many shortcomings and I kind of enjoyed it after ignoring the jokes… but I just feel like I can’t get into it for too long unless I take some long breaks in-between sessions. Oh well…

Cheers!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

Business and Private Stuff – Some thoughts and a story

With my blog getting more traffic these days, I’ve been also receiving a lot of e-mails from developers that want me to take a look at their game and write about it. I love it when developers or publishers do that as it shows me that they are confident in their game to the point where they are risking potentially having me not recommend their game… and that’s great.

But a while ago, in June to be exact, I had an interaction with a developer that taught me a valuable lesson: Don’t mix business with your private affairs.

And this is basically just a post on how not act if you approach someone wanting them to review your game.

The E-Mail was alright at first. The person behind the game that I’m not going to name mentioned a few things about himself (like him being Muslim, his background, where he’s from, and that kinda stuff) and about his work. He also mentioned things about the game he worked on and gave me an elevator pitch before linking press materials and links. He didn’t list an embargo but said that he’d like me to review, comment or give feedback on his game to help him out. He also called my blog “awesome”, which… was quite flattering.

The problem with his game was that it plays in a political setting that I have little to no clue about (the middle east) and that it’s a shooter game that takes some obvious sides, to put it frankly. I’m not entirely sure if I’m fine with reviewing a game that is so biased in a way on some things and that kind of plays like a revenge-simulation of sorts… at the same time, I also suck at shooters, so there’s that.

I should have probably left it at that. I was quite conflicted about not choosing to write about it solely because I suck at it and because I’m not confident enough in the political background of the setting… so I tried to make my rather negative response sound less negative by greeting him as a fellow Muslim and wishing him a lot of success with the demo. I then proceeded with the negative stuff. I then still thanked him for reaching out… and I said cheers. As I always do that… from there it went down-hill rather fast.

The developer was very happy about meeting “another Muslim brother who loves gaming” just like him. He then asked questions, told me about his work and how he’s converting people over there… and how proud he is about that. He had no problems with me not reviewing his game as he made a friend… but at the same time, he found out that I’m bisexual and that I’m a proud member and supporter of the LGBTQIA+ community… and he then left me a huge paragraph… trying to convince me about “changing my mind” and bringing up a lot of bullshit arguments that were more than sexist, homophobic, judgemental, and problematic. At that point, I knew… yeah, I’m not going to write anything about this guy even if his game wasn’t problematic.

Receiving a 1,044-words long e-mail filled with the most radical bullshit that a fanatic could ever think of is… disrespectful for sure… but also intimidating… nearly scary. It’s not about him being Muslim or whatever… It’s the fact that he’s thinking that he’s doing me a favour by being like that. What’s funny is that he started it by saying: “Okay, brother. I don’t want to judge you, I want the best for you.” – and then he proceeds with all of that stuff about the media lying about people being born with their sexuality… and Shaytan (the devil) dooming my life and destroying me to take me to the hellfire… Later, he also talks about calling upon the wrath of Allah… which was kind of weird because there isn’t an actual devil in Islam… and why is there wrath coming from Allah when I’m already going to hell for crushing on Tom Ellis?

Uh, I don’t know. It’s just kind of sad and more than scary to see such an extreme reaction from someone who just called me his “new Muslim friend”… It’s funny to see him talk about Islam being the only true religion, which is super radical and extremist… It’s incredibly stupid that he’s bringing up the same stuff that I heard from Christian homophobes…

He also goes on about how “[God] created the male genitalia to have intercourse with the female genitalia”, which brings pleasure to both, apparently… And a woman doesn’t feel any sexual pleasure “whenever a man approaches her from her back passage” (by the way… that phrasing is disgusting). So, there are no women in the world… that enjoy anal sex. And because of that… because of the fact that no women can enjoy anal sex (according to him), men can’t enjoy it either.

There were also a lot more disturbing passages in his e-mail that I won’t talk about since they are deeply unsettling.
After I told him to never ever mail me again and that I’ll never review a game by someone who is as inappropriate and harmful as him, he only sent me this here…

أسأل الله أن يوفقك يا أخي إلى سبيل الهدى

Which is just annoying and petty at best.

I believe in a righteous and kind God that watches over us and sends us signs every now and then… but he never judged me for crushing on Tom Ellis so far. I believe in a God and it just happens that he’s called Allah because of my family being Muslim. I think religion is a rather personal thing, so I can do whatever I want to as long as I believe… and others can do what they wanna do. I’m not gonna judge anyone for their religion or their sexuality because it’s not my job to judge them. It’s nobody’s job really… And as far as religion goes, I’ve been told that there is only one God. And since Christians believe the same and since Jews also do that… I think that we and that’s a hot take believe in the same God and that we all should get along.

And that one developer is a prick but that doesn’t stop me from doing what I wanna do and continue to be myself really. I mean, it’s sad because it gives Muslims a bad name… but what can I do? There are a lot of homophobic Christians as well but that has nothing to do with their religion and only has something to do with them being homophobic, right? Religion has nothing to do with bigotry and just because some ancient guy wrote a book on something, that doesn’t mean that you can’t believe in your own religion or that you can’t make of it what you believe in and change the rules and adapt it to the current times. Move with the time. At least, that’s what I believe in.

But I’m rambling. I should have just rejected his game and moved on. It’s a bummer because of the nightmares that caused me.

So, that’s why I just try to flat-out reject games if they aren’t suitable for my blog. I don’t try to bond too much to people, mostly to protect myself. In the same why I give feedback to games that seem rather bad in an e-mail-response… but I don’t write a post on it if it’s really too bad… and generally, I need to get better at not taking stuff too personal like in that case… Again, this happened ages ago… and I feel like I grew as a person already but I still could have acted differently by just rejecting the game and not trying to soften the blow somehow…

Oh well, Cheers.

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

Indietail – In Other Waters

It’s always a pleasure to see well-executed world-building in games and media. Reading up on lore entries, piecing together a world and exploring every nook and cranny for potential hints at what holds the world together at its core (yes, that’s a Faust reference). It’s a pleasure to see games create an immersive experience that enables exploration and narration in different ways than what we’re used to, and while “immersion” has become more of a buzzword as of late, I’m more than happy to have played through “In Other Waters“, game that made me understand better what immersion actually is.

Developer: Jump Over The Age
Publisher: Fellow Traveller
Genre: Non-Violent, Sci-Fi, Underwater, Adventure, Exploration, Simulation
Release Date: April 3rd, 2020
Reviewed on: PC
Available on: PC, Switch
Copy was purchased.

In “In Other Waters”, you play as an Artificial Intelligence (or A.I. for short) that is guiding a stranded xenobiologist through a beautiful and mysterious alien ocean. Explore the depths of Gliese 677Cc and help Ellery Vas uncover the secrets that lie beneath the secret. After being called to this planet by Minae Nomura, Ellery finds herself in an abandoned base in an ocean of secrets with only you around to keep her company.

“In Other Waters”‘s non-violent Sci-Fi story is portrayed through the eyes of Ellery/EV who’s trying to find and rescue her old partner, Minae. To do so, she needs you, an A.I., to guide her through the ocean. Alas, you need to scan the environment, find points of interest and navigate towards them. You are experiencing the game through the UI, rendering the world around you in a topographic visual style. You only see the UI, which is interesting as a design choice. I found it rather intriguing and really enjoyed this take on exploration. These overlays, buttons and features at first feel clunky and hard to navigate through but eventually, these menus actually feel somewhat homely and suddenly, you actually know how to move through the world swiftly and what to look out for.

As time goes on, you’ll encounter life on this distant planet. Creatures roam the area, plants inhabit different biomes and areas. A click on them reveals information on their behaviours and once you’ve scanned multiple specimens, Ellery will end up naming them and adding theses to the taxonomy as well as observations and quite possibly even a sketch of them. The game actively encourages you to collect samples of plants and other matters by tying them into the world-building or introducing gameplay mechanics around them. Some of the plant seeds can be used to open pathways while others can protect you from vicious currents.

Since you’re the UI of Ellery’s dive suit, you’ve also got to manage your oxygen and power reserves and keep an eye on them as you explore more and more. Your lifelines can be resupplied with plant matter and animal tissues, among other things. There are also other ways to create safe zones or help you out in the game and I found these interactions rather amazing as they added value to what you found out about the world and to how the world works. Frankly, you make an observation of the world around you and make use of that observation, which is a rather interesting take on gameplay, but I would have loved to see more of those in the game apart from the three or four that you have in there.

The immersion is further enhanced by the fact that different areas look differently in the UI. In the abyss of the oceans, there is little to no light, so your sensors can’t pick up on your surroundings that well, resulting in your UI being darker. In other areas, the colour of your UI changes completely due to rust and other materials covering your lamps and tinting them. It’s an interesting mechanic and with the bright colours that usually make up the world, I feel like these UI colour changes add a bit more to the world. It kind of makes sense, after all. You’re a program, a machine, after all, so you get influenced by that kind of stuff.

You are Ellery’s eyes and legs in this world, controlling every move and action. But you’re also Ellery’s friend and only companion in this somewhat depressing world. Frequently, Ellery talks about the observations she makes and her feelings on the events happening to you and her. Her discoveries are shared with you. In a way, it reminds me of Robinson Crusoe’s ball that acts as if his only friend for the early days before he eventually meets Friday. Talking to you keeps Ellery sane to the point where she asks you questions on speculations and theories, even if you’re just an AI. She asks for your input at times and you can answer with just a no or a yes… but while your options are limited in that way, it feels truly meaningful when you get a response from EV and when you actually can communicate with her and help her out from time to time. This aspect of the game felt really meaningful and awesome to me.

The gameplay mechanics range from research and exploration to these brief interactions with Ellery. You can read up on logs written by Ellery whenever you’re in your base or you can dive into the waters to collect samples and complete the taxonomy. In the lab, you’re able to analyse matters and unlock more entries for the taxonomy, too. Nothing’s ever forced and you can go on with the exploration and the story whenever you want to. This sort of pacing felt incredibly well-executed. If you don’t like the research, for instance, you can just go on with exploration or the story. Dying brings you back to a nearby checkpoint with no losses, which is quite nice. At times, I wanted to find out more about the story… at other times, I just wanted to roam the area more and find out about the world and see places I haven’t been to. When I died, I got set back a bit on the map but it didn’t feel too bad or frustrating, which is great as frustration would have ruined the experience for me.

All in all, I really enjoyed the experience and was able to play through “In Other Waters” after about eight hours. Depending on how much you explore and how long you spend in different areas, you may find yourself spending more time on this title. The soundtrack is amazing, the game is pretty, the story is interesting, and the world… is alive. Being the A.I. and seeing the world through that UI makes it all fit together and enables you to experience the game differently from how other games would have handled it and while I obviously haven’t been sucked into the game completely, I’d still call this “immersion”. I’m sure there is more to the term than just that but all in all, I can’t stress enough how great this game is and how “In Other Waters” actually is a great example of what “immersion” actually is, in contrast to the buzzword that big magazines throw around in their reviews on Cyberpunk 2077, for instance.

Alas, that’s my recommendation for today. I really hope you enjoyed this review. After writing this review, I checked what the negative reviews on Steam had to say about this game and overall, I just feel like people got into the game expecting something else entirely. The story is conveyed through text. The UI is the main feature. The world feels lively. I don’t get why people play a non-violent game about exploration only to complain about it being “actionless”, which is a bit of a bummer… Certainly, it’s not a game for everyone but if you tackle it in the right way, it can be certainly worthwhile.

Cheers!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

MonHunLog #10 – Another one bites the dust!

I last started up Monster Hunter on November 28th, 2020. After a total of 144.6 hours, I haven’t been able to start it up again due to me burning out from the game and exams keeping me busy, but alas, I figured I’d post about it again today! The last time I played MHW, I ended up burning out because of that one material… the Ebondy Odogaron Mantle… not dropping after thirty + hunts. But then Naithin came to my rescue and told me that I didn’t need to do that. In fact, I could just melt it. Alas, we did that.

Thanks to Naithin for giving me a tip here.

The Ebony Odogaron Mantle, needed for my weapon upgrade, is a very rare Ebony Odogaron material used to craft weapons powerful enough to take over the world. To meld it I need 500 Research points (got that!) and one Celestial Wyverian Print (that I already have). Now,… I feel stupid for grinding Ebony Odogaron but at least I got it now, right?

The Deadline is the upgrade I wanted. It has higher Affinity, damage, Element damage and it looks the same as the Nether Vajra I was rocking before. This apparently (according to a tier list I found online) is the second-best Insect Glaive as it doesn’t require you to use Free Element or Handicraft, really, due to it having the elemental damage portion from the get-go already and due to it already having a long white bar. Alas, I’m glad we got that now! It’s not the strongest build in the game, apparently, but it certainly is an upgrade with the increased damage, affinity and sharpness. The biggest thing for me is the Elder Seal that it has. Until I craft some better weapon, I will use this probably against Elder Dragon fights as it has a high Elder Seal and as most Elders have a weakness against Dragon Damage. I feel like that works quite well for me.

It has been done!

Now, eventually, I’ll have to get an upgrade but for now, I’ve got other matters to deal with… The Old Everwyrm needs to be slain after all!

The fight against Shara Ishvalda is a bit tricky, after all. I, at first, thought that it was a fully-grown Xeno’Jiiva but apparently that one’s in the game later on. The first stage features Shara Ishvalda in its rock-covered form while the second stage features Shara Ishvalda without its rock-shell. The rock shell is vulnerable at the head and body but takes reduced damage on all other parts. The arena has a rock-fall-trap that you can activate using bombs or by mounting Shara Ishvalda after luring it close to the wall and then slamming it into the trap, dealing massive amounts of damage. Apart from that, I also ended up calling a flare for support as I, frankly, am too out of practice to Solo this enemy. I had enough damage to get through the first form alone (the random player that joined ended up being AFK for a time, so I had to fight alone for quite a while…) – during the second stage, we had four people, though, which still took ages btw. We feinted once but eventually got it done.

Is it… o-over?

The main issue with Shara Ishvalda was for me that I didn’t have enough damage to solo it and I still have to get some good gems with Vitality or Affinity/Partbreaker to survive and/or deal damage. It would be amazing if I could get to that soon… but for now, there are other things to be done.

The second stage of Shara Ishvalda features it without its shell, as I mentioned above, which means that it’s vulnerable in more parts. The forelegs are breakable while the head is breakable twice. The weak points are the wings and the head as well, so I essentially focused my kinsect onto the head in order to generate explosive powder spots around the general area of the head/wings for a lot of damage. The other thing I mainly did in the fight was using my downwards spin-anime-slash-attack (aka Jump + Y to do a spin-slash downwards) when it stood on its back legs while focusing my attacks on its body and head whenever it leaned forward. With the insect glaive, you can actually deal a lot more DPS while on the ground, so I tend to do that more often now. Obviously, the jump attacks are quite strong when there are a lot of powder spots around the upper area of the monster, as you can then proc multiple of them and deal a ton of damage! The jump attacks also allow you to set up mounts and potentially get the monster to the ground, so they aren’t useless… It’s just a bit hard to deal as much damage if you only do the jump attacks… That’s something that a few insect glaive users that joined me have been doing… and it’s whatever, I guess. To each their own.

It still lives! Let’s fight together!

Shara Ishvalda has some scary attacks utilizing nearly invisible sonic beams that carve through rock and armour like butter. The insect glaive allowed me to dodge them using some jump attacks but eventually, I ended just sidestepping those attacks and attacking its body/head while it was shooting those beams out.

As far as drops go… I honestly have no clue what I got. I ended up skipping past it as I’m tired and I want to go to sleep now. I’m sure I got good loot, especially as we got six or more carves out of the body.

After beating it, you get a cut scene where it actually is still alive and tries to kill you but then Nergigante shows up and defeats it, which is amazing. Then the credits roll and there’re a few conversations on how the Elders and the ecosystem are potentially destroying themselves by linking up with the Everstream and tapping into that power… Luckily, however, Nergigante is its balancing mechanism that culls those that get too strong, resulting in the ecosystem prevailing.

Nergigante just noms Shara Ishvalda, I guess…

And yeah, that’s basically the story played through. I had a lot of fun with Monster Hunter World and want to play more of it, especially as I have a ton of Optional and Event quests to do, including the newest one for the movie! Apart from that, I have yet to craft my favourite armours and potentially craft every weapon in the game (not sure if I’ll follow through with that… but we’ll see), so expect more posts on that eventually. Shara Ishvalda was a nice boss fight and I’ve been told that there are more main quests later on as well as the tempered fights that haven’t tempered with (haha…) and then there are also Yian Garuga and the “deviant variant”/scarred version. I haven’t fought against a Silver or Gold Rathian yet either… Brachydios, according to the wiki, also has a sub-species, the Raging Brachydios, while the Tigrex also has a Brute sub-species, which is gonna be interesting… and I’ll have to fight this Rajang monster (big ape!) and this super pretty monster called Zinogre… and it’s super amazingly cool and lovely sub-species Stygian Zinogre (because the armour looks amazing!). Also, once we’re done with Rajang, we’ll have to deal with the “Furious Rajang”, which is going to be even harder… and then there are also quests that require you to take care of multiple of them… Oh, wowsers! Barioth also has a variant called Frostfang Barioth while Kirin has yet to be slain in Master Rank by me… so there is a lot to do! Amazing!

Not to mention, I have yet to defeat the hard version of Behemoth as well as Kulve Taroth (as I still haven’t completed that event thing… is it still up?). There is also this thing called Alatreon that apparently is really cool to fight against… and Fatalis…

Hope you enjoyed today’s log. I’m actually quite glad to finally be done with this quest… How are you holding up in MHW and do you want to join me on PC sometime? Let me know!

Cheers!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

#LoveYourBacklog2021

It’s February which means that it’s #LoveYourBacklog Month… but I kind of procrastinated and alas, we’re already 75% done with the month and I haven’t written about it yet.

“Backlog” as in… the collection of games, books, and other things that you bought to try them out but never got to. The collection of games, in my case, is something that is ever-expanding (partially due to Humble Choice) but never shrinking. I’ve accumulated a huge collection of games over the past couple of years thanks to freebies I grabbed, sales that tempted me, and bundles/choices I took/made. It’s a bit of an iffy that I can’t get to all of them as fast as new additions make it into the log, but what should I do? Dread about it? Well,… no. 

Kim created a tag a while back and in 2021 it’s time for this tag to reappear. Love your backlog! Be proud of it! Yay! Positivity! 

I mentioned it in yesterday’s post already but thanks to the daily blogging and the increase in reviews, I was able to accomplish things that I haven’t gotten to. I got to play through a lot of titles and test out titles that I’ve been meaning to test out. I got to play demos of games and write about them. I was able to lay titles ad acta after reviewing them, celebrating that I finally got to play them to the point where I was able to decide whether or not I enjoyed them and whether or not I could recommend them. I’m celebrating the fact that I have so many opportunities for games to play. Bioshock? I’m two thirds through the trilogy! Assassin’s Creed? I’ve just started playing the second game and it’s a lot of fun!

Heck, I recently got gifted a game that I’m really enjoying and am looking forward to writing about it… once I’ve edited someone’s review on it (Yes, this is a teaser!). 

I’m enjoying my time with games when I have spare time after chores and studies. Starting tomorrow, I may finish some of the reviews on games I played through a while ago… and I really am looking forward to seeing what games are still waiting there, lurking in the deepest shadows of my backlog. 

Love Your Backlog. Don’t dread over it!

Do you wanna see my collection? You can find it over here! (not including GoG, Uplay, Origin, Epic Games, the Racial Inequality bundle, and other DRM-free copies as well as physical copies that I own).

Alas, I’m rocking this badge over here that shows the whopping 950 games that I still want to play through before I’ll die or lose my ability to do so. A lot of these games include titles that I want to review or that I have to review due to the review copies sent by developers. Some of them include titles I frankly got gifted or bought myself. I got gifted 300 random steam keys by friends for my 18th birthday and while there was a lot of trash in there made by people that just created the same game over and over again, gave it a different name, and sold it for two bucks on Steam… there also have been some gems in there like Tropico 3 and Tropico 4… which was amazing. Kim made this badge over here with 1000+ games but since the time that she made it, I already had been able to chunk it down to less than 1000… but I’ll take it still! 

Kim’s tag includes a few questions to answer, so I’ll get to those now.

  • What effect did 2020 have on your backlog?

Frankly, I had a bit more time to play games since I didn’t have to travel as much anymore. I didn’t visit my family as much (since my father’s in the risk group) and ended up spending a lot less time outside/with friends. Since the university was closed down and since classes happened online, I didn’t need to use the bus as much anymore and due to me buying groceries bi-weekly instead of every few days, I also had to spend less time walking around or taking public transport… So, naturally, I spent more time in games. The backlog didn’t increase a whole lot but I ended up chucking down at it and playing through a lot of titles, mostly on stream!

  • What’s the oldest game in your backlog in terms of release date?

Since there is no feature on Steam to sort your library after the release date (at least not to my information), I have to take wild guesses and google afterwards. My immediate thought was that Assassin’s Creed 1 and Bioshock 1 were quite old… but then I noticed that Fable Anniversary came out in 2004 and is, alas, a lot older than those two games. But that’s not the oldest game I own! Serious Sam: The First Encounter, my next prediction, is actually from 2001… and it’s a proud member of the backlog! I also own the first Fallout game, which is from 1997, so that’s already getting warmer and warmer as for the oldest game in my library. Now,… that’s still not the oldest game… but it’s getting harder and harder for me to find out which games are older… so I took a few guesses… 

And Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards might actually be the winner here with a release date of 1987! There are other titles that I had in mind earlier but I can’t think of their names and browsing through this endless list is taking up a lot of time, which is why I’ll leave it at that. 1987 is still quite old… So, it could quite potentially be the oldest game in my library.

  • Can you name a game that you bought on day one, only to not play it immediately?

The only two games that come to my mind here are Risk of Rain 2 and Monster Hunter World. I was really looking forward to both of these titles… but my laptop at the time couldn’t handle either of them, so I had to play them much much later… But then I had a ton of fun!

  • What’s the game that has spent the most time on your backlog?

The game that has spent the most time on my backlog is probably Enclave. I got it for free via Indiegala back then in 2014 but haven’t played it at all to this day. Enclave is a game from 2003 by Starbreeze that the PlayMagazine rated 90/100. The PlayMagazine also called it “illegally beautiful”, venturing as high as saying that “it ranks among PC’s best-looking games if you have the power to run it optimally”. Alas, I maybe should give it a go eventually? 🙂

  • What’s the most recent addition to your library?

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice! I bought it, I started playing it, I’m loving it. It’s a lot of fun! Can highly recommend it!

  • Can you name the person responsible for adding the most entries to your backlog due to their good recommendations?

I would say Total Biscuit. It’s a bummer that we lost Bain and I hope he gets to review games in the afterlife as well. Rest in Peace.


At last, Kim from LaterLevels says that the Backlog Appreciation doesn’t end in February as there is more to come in March… hold your socks… because I’ll participate in that #MaybeInMarch tag! The game I mentioned above, Enclave,… I’ll play it in March… maybe. And then I’ll write about it. Yay! 

If you want to read the post by Kim yourself, check out this link here. Feel free to leave your own answers to those questions up there in the comments, if you want to! Take care of yourself!

Cheers!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

A Stray Sheep on Blogging Daily

I’m currently on a 54-day streak on Indiecator according to WordPress. It just kind of happened over the last few days of 2020 and I ended up sticking with it after seeing that I accumulated a few days of daily blogging. Alas, I figured: Why not challenge myself in 2021 and see for how long I can keep this up? 

And well, today I ended up having no prompt and no idea what to write about. Thus, my prompt for today is just about that: Daily blogging and the pickle I’m in. Kind of a cheat in a way, right? When you can’t think of anything to write about, write about the issue you’re facing, eh? 

Over the past 54 days, I’ve posted twelve game reviews, including one that was just edited by me (aka Quietschisto’s guest post). Daily Blogging kind of helped me with just going for any game and tackling it head-on. Write about it since you wanted to write about it for so long but haven’t had the chance to do so. My review on Hades, for instance, is one that has been sitting in the drafts for ages and that got changed over and over and over again. I would just rewrite it so many times, resulting in me never posting it until everyone has written about it already, which gave me less of a reason to write about it. In a way, daily blogging pushed me to abandon that idea of “everything having been said already” on certain titles. I mean, I even made a post on Crywank, a band that I love and adore SO MUCH but that hardly anyone knows about – or at least it feels like that within my circles. I loved writing about it and some vague and interesting thought and prompt I had in mind and semi-analysing their song “Now I’m Sad”, effectively warping the idea of the song or the idea of one passage into something that I live by. And my Dr Pepper review? It was only semi-serious and kind of dumb but I’ve been meaning to make a post on that for ages now. Nowadays, it’s probably a lot less relevant since my blog’s and my stream’s theme doesn’t revolve around it as much anymore… but I still had a lot of fun writing about it.

I got to post about Bioshock 2Destiny 2, and even Valheim just recently, and I got to explore other ideas I had for drafts, effectively shrinking my drafts folder down considerably from the 100 something drafts I had to… 60… At least, that’s something! 

Publishing a post every day is a bit rough for me lately due to exams and other obligations. Potentially starting next week, I’ll have to go to my internship and hence I will have less time to stream and blog, which is going to be bothersome… but I’ll manage somehow. The biggest factor in all of this has been time-management. Balancing the time I study, the time I spent with Ms Magi, the time I need to take care of myself, food, laundry and other chores, as well as the time I invest in blogging and streaming… balancing all of that can be a bit tricky at times but learning about that now and setting priorities is a skill that I’ll have to learn eventually anyways. With my headspace being a mess lately and me procrastinating more often these days, all of these priorities are a jumbled mess and I’m having a hard time settling for appropriate times to publish posts or do things like laundry and whatever. Alas, that’s a bit of an issue, but I’ll manage somehow.

I think the biggest takeaway from releasing a post every evening for the last couple of days has been this sense of accomplishment after hitting “publish” again. I really have been enjoying this sense of winding down after a lot of studies (or other things) by making tea, sitting down at my desk and writing about anything really. Hitting “publish” means that I created something and finished it immediately. It’s done. Just like the day. Then I get sleepy and go to bed. A new day begins and I get to do other things before winding down with a blog post later. That’s been quite a nice feeling for me as of late, and I appreciate the fact that I get to write for people about things that I’m passionate about. I’d love it if I could continue like this forever.

And I know, I know… technically, I haven’t written the post yesterday. Quietschisto did. I frankly edited his post, added my editorial note at the beginning and end, formated it, added screenshots and that info box, before posting it… now that I think about it, it sounds actually like more than I did, but you catch my drift, right? It was a joint effort. And I was and still am glad that Thomas (and two others so far) offered themselves up for writing about games and reviewing them essentially on my blog. I hope that it pays out for them as well in terms of views, clout, traffic or whatever you wanna call it. I really hope it does. In the same way, I hope I get to write something for others as well once I have a bit more time for that. But still, I kind of have this feeling that that post doesn’t count as “my post” and that the streak is falsified through that… but at the same time, I posted 56 posts in 54 days, so I could technically argue that I’ve redeemed myself already… not that someone’s trying to guilt-trip me about that other than myself. I’m just being weird.

At last, a bonus of blogging daily has been that I’ve been able to generate more traffic for the blog, effectively. That means that more people have been around, which is cool, and more people got to read about the cool games that I wrote about, resulting in potentially new people finding out about these Indie gems… and I’m happy about that. Yesterday’s post even got retweeted by the developers on Twitter, which I’m really glad about. They thanked Quietschisto and me for the review with THREE exclamation marks! That must mean that they really liked it! Right? Right?! Right! Yup! Probably! I’m glad about that! 😀 

Anyways, I managed to fulfil my quota by posting yet again about my experience with daily blogging. Again, I didn’t really have a prompt for today until I had this prompt. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s post. 

Hope you enjoyed my rambling today! Take care of yourself!

Cheers!

This post was first published by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken on Indiecator.

Indietail – Do Not Feed The Monkeys [Guest Post]

Recently, I’ve asked people if they were interested in writing a guest post for my blog. Today’s review is written by Quietschisto from RNG and features a game called “Do Not Feed The Monkeys“, which is a dystopian digital voyeur simulator where you watch strangers through surveillance cameras. You invade their privacy and witness their most intimate moments… but you shall not interact with the subjects as anything could happen if you dare feed the monkeys! If you enjoy this post, make sure to check out Quietschisto’s Blog for more video-game related content. His posts mostly focus on how the games he played could be improved but Quietschisto also writes about food around the world and cocktails. 

Alas, enjoy Quietschisto’s review:

My name’s Quietschisto, and I’m super stoked to be here! Our host, the gracious Dan, has offered some spots for guest posting, and I was more than happy to oblige. Today I bring you a short review of a fun little game called “Do Not Feed The Monkeys“.

Originally, Do Not Feed The Monkeys was just one of many observation-based games (like Beholder or Orwell) I wanted to try out. However, I ended up playing through it in a single night…twice. That alone should tell a lot about the game’s quality since none of its main features are things that I normally would enjoy.

Developer: Fictiorama Studios, BadLand Games Publishing S.L.
Publisher: Alawar Premium
Genre: Simulation, Choices Matter, Resource Managment, Voyeur
Release Date: October 24th, 2018
Reviewed on: PC
Available on: PC, Switch, PS4, Android, XB1
Copy was purchased.

For example, I couldn’t care less about pixel-graphics, I’m usually not a fan of slapstick humour, and resource management/survival mechanics and time-limits are things I try to avoid most of the time. But “Do Not Feed The Monkeys” carefully balances all of its elements to deliver a fun, streamlined experience that lasts around two or three hours, plus more if you want to see other cages and more monkeys.

The core gameplay-loop is always the same: You obtain information mostly by watching the monkeys in their cages at certain times, listening to their conversations, and writing down keywords. Through making connections on your own and “googling” the correct combination of phrases you gain more and more information that you can use to affect the outcome of the situation, for better or for worse.

At the same time, you have to manage your sleep, hunger, health, and money, all while continually buying more rooms/cameras. For adversaries of resource management, this might seem off-putting at first, but these mechanics essentially only boil down to managing a single resource: Time. These mechanics and time-limits are pretty bare-bones, however, and I believe they are only in place so players can’t “farm” resources at the start of the game and then just breeze through the whole experience.

I don’t think the resource-management aspect adds a lot to the game, as I personally am against creating an artificial sense of urgency. Instead, additional cages could unlock automatically, and the optional objectives could have been mandatory. This way, I feel players could have been enabled to spend more time interacting with the interesting part of the game, watching the monkeys.

There is a game mode where your resource meters drain significantly slower (and achievements are disabled) as some sort of “easy mode” but I think this is a relatively weak solution since making a potentially unattractive feature less important makes players wonder why it is in the game in the first place.

Despite their simplicity, the puzzles or “cages” offer surprising depth and encourage multiple playthroughs. Due to the short nature of the game and relative density of the lore (as well as multiple endings for all rooms), Do Not Feed The Monkey never overstays its welcome, even when the player inevitably will revisit the same rooms over and over again.

Notice how I said density of lore instead of depth. While not connected, every room has its own short story going on, ranging from comedy classics (although some might call them “cheap jokes”) like a paranoid alien-conspiracy theorist, a discount Hitler, or a mind-controlling plant, all the way to more serious topics like an astronaut trapped on an abandoned space station or an ageing rock singer who suffers from a terminal disease. 

First and foremost, Do Not Feed The Monkeys is a comedy game, so the jokes are always in the foreground, although the “lighter” comedy elements were sometimes a bit too hamfisted for my taste. What impressed me was the elegance with which the “heavier” topics were handled. A lot of the rooms have at least one or two moments that can make you stop and think about what’s going on and what you’re doing there. At the same time, the game made it easy to ignore all that and just stroll along for some laughs if that’s more to your liking. Part of this definitely is due to the pixelated art style, which helps with the comic-like presentation and softens the blow a bit for the more serious (or gross) bits. 

Do Not Feed The Monkeys further adds to the comedy of the game by displaying the protagonist as a run-down lowlife, barely making ends meet through dead-end jobs. He’s unwittingly getting ripped off by his landlady and lives in a filthy apartment, yet he still believes himself to be above other humans. Even the sound design is used to reinforce this portrayal. You see, there is no soundtrack in the traditional sense. Instead, your “neighbours” are blasting distorted music throughout the day and even the night, adding a bit of a muffled sound to your observation while other times you get to listen to crickets, cars and other “sounds”.

All in all, I don’t think that Do Not Feed The Monkeys will make you see the comedy genre with new eyes but be prepared for a few all-nighters. The game is serious enough to make you stop and think about morality and empathy and other topics while it is also lighthearted enough to simply serve as a fun experience. Hence, I recommend this game to you.

Editor’s Note: Magi here. I personally really enjoyed Do Not Feed The Monkeys but haven’t had the time yet to review it or write about it. I honestly have some drafts on topics featured in the game but thought I should review it first before I could write about it. Alas, I’m glad that Quietschisto got to write about it. Make sure to check him out if you haven’t yet! He’s a great friend of mine and blogger that more people definitely should check out, in my opinion. 

Hope you enjoyed this post! Got any thoughts on Do Not Feed The Monkeys? Got any feedback for the guest post format? Let me know!

Cheers!

This post originated on Indiecator and was first published on there by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken. This post was written by Quietschisto from RNG.

Indietail – qomp

Today we’re taking a look at qomp by the guy behind Gutwhale, Stuffed Wombat! qomp is a small game about freedom. You are a ball. Your job is to escape. Become a free bird… I mean, ball!

Developer: Stuffed Wombat, Britt Brady, Miroko, Clovelt
Publisher: Stuffed Wombat
Genre: 2D, Precision Platformer, Pong
Release Date: February 4th, 2021
Reviewed on: PC
Available on: PC
Copy was sent by the developer.

Controls are rather simple as you only need a button for pausing and a button for moving. Movement is tied to a pong-style system where bouncing onto walls changes your direction while using your movement-button allows you to go upwards or downwards. While it’s easy to learn, the system is hard to master. In the beginning, you’ve got to escape that game of Pong while you, later on, have to dodge saw blades, press buttons, solve small puzzles, and in general, there are a lot of things that the game does with this simple system.

For instance, some levels are underwater and alas, your ball behaves differently while in other levels, everything only moves when you change directions (aka hit a wall). What I love about qomp is that these systems geet introduced without any text at all. In the beginning, you figure out controls yourself (again, rather quickly) while you quickly understand how certain features and mechanics work. Due to the checkpoints that are placed frequently, it doesn’t even feel that frustrating when you die once or twice to a new object or mechanic.

The game is rather short with an estimated playtime of one to three hours. I was done with 50% of the game after an hour, so I feel like the time estimate is rather accurate. There are a lot of mechanics as well as some boss fights in the game that all play out quite interestingly. In one of them, for example, you become the snake from… Snake… and you have to hit the boss three times while not biting your own tail, which is quite interesting and actually harder to accomplish than you think.

While the difficulty of the game isn’t the hardest, there are still times where you can struggle a bit, which is why the game offers some accessibility options from invincibility to zooming out, aim-assist and autofire, just to help you get through some of the parts where you get stuck. I like this approach as there is always a level that you may not enjoy and the developer clearly doesn’t want you to get too frustrated.

While I like the accessibility options in there, I don’t actually like the normal settings that are available to you. You can only turn the music and sound effects on or off but can’t change the volume of them. You can get rid of the bulging effect and the screenshake if those effects bother you but… I’ll get into those later. I would have liked it if there had been more options here to potentially change the brightness or the volume in detail. Obviously, you can go into your PC’s audio mixer to adjust the volume for any game and any program, but nowadays most games have options for that in-game. 

But yeah, speaking of the bulge and the screenshake, the game features some stunning presentation akin to Gutwhale’s with some lovely pixel art and an amazing soundtrack. I really enjoyed spending my time in qomp, especially due to the soundtrack by Britt Brady and the art by Miroko. I love and adore franek‘s pixel art but it’s nice to see other artists and art styles in the different games. Animations in the game were made by Clovelt and also fit the game rather well. Stuffed Wombat and his co-devs essentially created a stunning atmosphere in qomp that feels quite enigmatic in a way. The story is not that deep but the mysterious vibe, the amazing tunes, the lovely art, and the fun gameplay mechanics really bring out the game a lot and make it feel really good.

Alas, I’d like to say that while the game isn’t the longest game, I definitely think that you get your bang for your buck. It’s rather short but it also features challenges that you unlock after beating the game, and all in all, I really enjoyed and can recommend qomp a lot. 

It’s nice to feature games by the same dev multiple times. I really enjoyed Gutwhale and also really enjoyed qomp. It’s good to see developers creating interesting titles with simple premises like this one that don’t feel too simple or anything like that if that makes sense. I hope you enjoyed my review on this one. Let me know what you think about it! 

Cheers!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

Twitch-Raids and Safety Measures

The other day I saw a tweet by some big YouTuber/Streamer that raided smaller streamers to support them. Obviously, big raids can be a great way to kickstart your community or allow you to show who you are to a lot of people… but for me personally, receiving a lot of people and jumping up from ten to a hundred viewers is more than frightening. At least, it used to be rather frightening when I just started out streaming and I wasn’t prepared for it at all.

In case you, dear reader, don’t know what a raid is, a raid is basically a feature on Twitch that allows you to bring your viewers over to a different streamer in order to support them, bring yourself out there, potentially “network” (I hate that word) and to share some love. To do so, you enter “/raid [streamername]” into the chat and wait until the timer ticks down. Once it’s up, you end your stream and you’re on your way to the target streamer’s channel. Their stream and chat is now shown on your channel and your viewers are over there now. Now, if the streamer in question raids as well, your viewers (if they are still there) will also be on their way to the next streamer. That’s what people call a Raid Train. 

The issue is that there are times when people do not wish to support you but actually have a bad intention in mind. There has been a streamer (that now is banned) who encouraged his community to “get banned” in the target streamer’s chat by spamming “fuck me” over and over again. The raided streamer was female, which didn’t make the situation better. Sexually harassing anyone on Twitch is a no-go but the streamer that raided her fully knew that (and I’m quoting here) “This is gonna be bad” while laughing.

GamerEarthJen (check her out! She’s a gem!) handled the situation really well by ignoring the messages in chat and (with the help of her mods) banning the trolls. While these instances can be quite bad, though, they are rather rare, from what I’ve heard. Hate Raids like that aren’t allowed on Twitch and Twitch themselves took action quite quickly against the streamer that incited all of this.

Now, to prepare for instances like that, you can visit your dashboard on Twitch, go into the Settings section, click on “Stream” and then select your settings for Raids. You can allow all raids (like me here) or only allow raids from friends, teammates, and followed channels (aka people you know)… or you block all raids to prevent anyone from raiding you. I feel like blocking all raids is quite radical in a way while only allowing certain people to raid you limit potentially meeting new friends, so I try to not block all of them… but in case you want to do that, there is an option for it.

Two other features that Twitch has are Followers-Only Chat and Slow-Mode. In case of a negative experience with raids, you can turn on Followers-Only Chat in your chat settings (the cog-symbol at the chatbox) to activate it. There you can select the time that people need to follow you to be able to chat. I wouldn’t do this though. 

The issue with Followers-Only Chat is that new people that actually want to participate in the chat are forced to follow you, which I often would perceive as a “dick-move to get easy followers”. Normal people on Twitch will most likely get scared off by Followers-Only Chat in smaller streams. It makes sense for big streamers with thousands of viewers… but when you don’t have many viewers, the Followers-Only Chat feature hinders your growth. 

The Slow-Mode, however, is an excellent feature. Not only does it allow you to moderate your chat better by limiting the messages that people can send within seconds to minutes, but it also lets you keep up with chat when it gets a bit overwhelming. I’d recommend activating this at the beginning if you feel like chat is getting overwhelming after a raid. Usually, people hop off rather fast or lurk after the raid, so you can deactivate it later on. If you were to receive a 200-man raid or something along those lines when you average five people, that can – after all – be rather overwhelming and stressful. Alas, the Slow-Mode is a great way to slow down the chat (duh).

Another in-built feature on Twitch is the Automod. It’s found in the Dashboard > Settings > Moderation Tab right at the top. You can customise the filtering you accept, allow or prohibit. Generally speaking, I’d recommend utilizing AutoMod, although it sometimes doesn’t allow phrases like “How” in the chat. In those cases, you’ll just accept/permit it in the chat. Quite easy-going and rather intuitive to use. I currently have it set up to Level 1 since I run a mature stream and swearing is allowed. I noticed that sometimes AutoMod can be a bit harsh on trivial things. Profanity is no biggie and if people are being excessive about it, I can tell them off or time them out myself. I have some filtering enabled for the derogative terms or “Discrimination” as it’s called here as I want to create a safe environment. Again, I could probably crank this up quite a lot higher but since I do have an active mod that I trust and appreciate and since I can also time people out myself, I set it up like this. If it doesn’t work out for ya, you can also just change the settings more easily.

Now, apart from that, you can also change your alerts to prepare for big raids. If you were to hear your Follow-alert 100 times after receiving a raid or after being botted by someone, then you’d probably get frustrated or annoyed quite a lot, especially as potential tips, cheers, subs, hosts, raids, and gift subs would also be put further back in line, resulting in you not being able to thank them in time, potentially. Hence, I’d recommend separating the alert box for Follows and the alert box for everything else for a more pleasant experience. 

I personally am using Streamlabs’ Alert Box for my alerts and can do that rather easily. You simply need one alert box link with all interactions but the Follows enabled… and one alert box link with only the Follows enabled. This way, you’ll have two browser sources in your sources. The good thing about this is that if you have too many followers all of a sudden, you can just mute/disable the follower-alert by clicking the eye-symbol in the sources. That way they won’t appear or make any sounds anymore. After the raid, once everything has settled down, you can also activate it again without any issues. I personally like this idea as it enables you to deal with different “threats” rather quickly. 

Obviously, you shouldn’t be afraid of Raids. These are just precautions or safety measures to deal with them in the worst case scenario that a huge raid shuts down your stream or overwhelms you. I’d recommend doing that follow-thing and have Slow-Mode and Auto-Mod at your disposal when needed. The Raid Settings and the Followers-Only Chat aren’t needed at all, in my opinion, unless of course, you’re a bigger streamer or you don’t want raids/chatters for whatever reason. If you receive a hate raid, simply ignore and ban them, before reporting them to Twitch later on. If you receive a nice raid by someone, then thank them and introduce yourself. Raids aren’t inherently bad and you shouldn’t be afraid of the worst-case-scenario. In my opinion, though, you should still potentially prepare for that one. Just in case.

Do you have any other tips and measures for hate raids or other negative interactions like that in place? A friend of mine got botted once (that’s where someone buys a lot of followers for a streamer to annoy them by playing the follower alert a lot) and used this specific thing to gain control of the situation and deal with it quickly. I feel like she handled that rather well and thought more people should know about the possibility and opportunity there.

Cheers!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

Streamer Appreciation Post

The other day, I talked about PogChamp and KomodoHype and all of that stuff and mentioned that I’m blessed to be in an inclusive and friendly bubble of streamers that aren’t toxic at all and feature some amazing content creators. Alas, since it was Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d spread some love to some of the streamers I adore and shout them out to you guys in an attempt to allow you to also find have a nice experience on Twitch. Generally speaking, a lot of people find Twitch to be a toxic place… but I don’t think that that’s the case because I’m heavily biased. The streamers I watch are great and friendly and there is no spam going on there. I am streaming as well on Twitch and am trying to also create a safe place for people to hang out and have a cosy time… but I’m just at the beginning of my journey and have still ways to go, in contrast to these amazing people featured in this post who are all just great at what they’re doing.

Alas, this list will basically consist of some of the streamers I adore and watch. I’ll do my best to get to as many as I can without this post turning into a huge list of sorts.

First things first, I love Flex’ streams. XilentFlex is an inclusive variety streamer on Twitch who talks a lot about Mindfulness and self-love. He’s an LGBTQIA+ ally and has probably the most wholesome community on Twitch, at least in my opinion, featuring an amazing mod team, some great people and a lot of fun that other people should experience. He’s probably my favourite streamer on Twitch. I love tuning into his streams and hang out and chat whenever I can. He’s been streaming full-time for about two years now and is just amazing at what he does. His stream often has slow-mode turned on so that he can keep up with chat and respond to everyone as well as possible, but I don’t mind that and I feel like he utilizes features like that rather well. Flex does a lot of Just Chatting streams as well and has been one of my biggest inspirations to get into streaming myself. He’s helped a lot with raids and advice in the past. I feel like his stream is a great place to hang out at if you’re new to Twitch as you’ll feel welcome as soon as you send your first message. I feel like Flex has a way with words and some incredibly polished social-skills that enable him to not only give great advice and bring together so many people but to also help you out and assure you that you matter. It’s a skill that I wish to have but being socially awkward and in the autism-spectrum I kinda feel like it’s going to be rather hard for me to accomplish that. Still, I learn a lot from watching his streams as to how you need to handle the concerns and problems of other people and how you can assure people that they are fine and they don’t need to apologise about things.

Urb looking cute as always!

Next up, is a streamer who I know through Flex, actually. Brian Gray aka UrbanBohemian is a black queer variety streamer that streams on Tuesday afternoons and weekend mornings. His streams generally feature a rather cosy vibe with some great music, lovely commentary and rather entertaining content in general. You can ask him anything you want which further adds to the cosy and friendly environment his stream features – something that I love on Twitch. In the past, he’s raised a lot of money for the Bail Project, Trans LifeLine, The Trevor Project and GaymerX, which is great, and generally speaking, he’s just a gem of a human being that I can highly recommend checking out. Lately, I haven’t been able to check him out as much due to my sleep schedule being more or less fixed right now but it’s always fun to have his VODs on in the background while I work on things. On top of that, he’s one of the few streamers that actually create lovely Twitter content. I love the GIFs and Videos he’s posting on there and his takes on some topics on there. I can highly recommend Urb to you and if you don’t fancy streams, you may also wanna check out his blog over here.

Fan Art for Cave that turned out well!

Another great streamer I wanted to talk about is CaveMobster who’s another inclusive and lovely variety streamer from the Netherlands. She does Art Streams as well as Simulation-type games. Sometimes she also hops into other games, like Fran Bow or Dark Souls, which is always fun to watch. Often, people have a place here to talk about things that are concerning them and Cave is great at actually helping out, giving advice and cheering people up if they need that. Cave’s goal is to normalise mental health and the conversation by infecting the world with kindness and building a loving and understanding community, one stream at a time. In my opinion, she does that incredibly well so far and it’s always a pleasure to be able to shower other people with hugs or even to be on the receiving end of that love and wholesomeness in her chat. With the pandemic and everything going on right now, life can be rather troubling and sometimes it can feel just dark, which is why I feel like streams like Cave’s actually are so important. Whenever I turn to Cave and her community, I feel welcome and like a friend of everyone, which is a nice and warm feeling to have. Even if you don’t know people, they welcome you and are worried about you and I feel like Cave has created a fantastic community in a small amount of time and I hope that it only grows stronger and cosier as time goes on. Cave’s a great streamer and I’d love it if you could check her out!

KingArgaroth, my liege, is yet another great streamer. He’s the King of the Kingdom of Argonia and could best be described as a loveable and wholesome dork who loves to banter and play games. He streams a variety of games as well as Horror Games every Sunday. Just like Cave, he also talks about deeper topics and mental health at times. His community has healthy discussions from time to time and I admire King for being able to moderate it so well and keep it civil and gentle so that everyone gets to participate without anyone getting offended or hurt. If you stop by his streams (and I hope you do!) make sure to ask him anything and engage. He’s a master of engagement and is always able to make me feel welcome and at home in his streams. On top of that, whenever I feel down or whenever my headspace is weird (like right now), I can rely on him being available over there. When I ask for help on anything, he’s got the best advice out there and is ready to listen. Just like Flex, who I mentioned above, he also is really charismatic and has a way with words. Even when you apologise for troubling anyone, he’ll assure you that you matter and that your problems are being heard and that he and everyone is actually there for you. When your head is just doing weird things and you start second-guessing everything, he’s there to shine a light into the darkness and actually help out. He’s an amazing lad that I can highly recommend checking out.

Fan Art for Joe that looked quite good!

Next up, there is Joecrastination (formerly known as MFC or TheGlassCanon) who’s another great inspiration of mine. He’s a truly kind individual who’s very entertaining, handsome and fun. Joe plays a lot of RPG games and loves getting into the Lore side of things. I played Hollow Knight and don’t get anything about the story but Joe is just out there vibing while talking about the lore whenever I have a question and it’s fantastic to see him get so passionate about these things. His streams are generally rather chill and if it was for him, Flex and Jimb0, I probably wouldn’t have started to stream myself at all. They were there with great advice and encouragement and I thank them every day for it. Joe’s been able to take a break for himself to get his stuff sorted, which is a rather brave thing to do, and he successfully came back recently, stronger than before. I love the quality of his content and his voice and his thought process on things in games and topics. I really enjoy hanging out over there whenever I can and I’m sure you will, too!

Just recently, I was invited into Team Mistakes which is a team where the streamers try to not take themselves too serious and laugh about mistakes or bad plays instead of getting angry, toxic or even violent about it. A streamer that I got to know through that is MurphyOwO, who’s a variety streamer that has been through their share of trouble in life and wants to create a space where it’s okay to talk about deeper topics while still having fun. They’re a Mental Health advocate that plays a plethora of games from Valheim and AC: Valhalla to Breath of the Wild and Genshin Impact to Among Us. They also do a lot of Just Chatting and their Sugar Gliders are just adorable. It’s always a pleasure to be in their streams even if I most often end up going to bed afterwards since it’s super late for me but I can highly recommend checking them out!

At last, I’d like to say that there are a plethora of other streamers that I’d like to talk about but since I don’t have unlimited time I can’t actually mention all of them. On top of that, I wanna say some more words about why I enjoy every streamer so much instead of just creating a huge list with bullet points like “variety streamer”, “inclusive”, “has pets”, or whatever. I feel like that’d be only fair, which is why I’ll make another post in the future talking about those that I couldn’t mention today. 

Anyways, I hope that you enjoyed this post today! Make sure to check out some of these streamers if you haven’t yet! They’re all gems and I really appreciate being able to hang out in their streams and chat with them so much lately, even if it’s just in lurk-mode or while I’m working on things or even when I go outside and ride the bus or whatever. I’ll try to make another post like this again sooner or later but for now, that’s it for today.

Take care of yourself! Hang in there! Stay healthy and warm and cosy!

Cheers!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

The Greydwarf Incident in Valheim

So, for the past couple of weeks, I’ve been chilling in some discord calls with people that have been playing Valheim… and eventually, I got it myself… and then I started playing and immediately understood, why it’s so hyped right now.

Alas, I wanted to talk about my experience and that one fated Greydwarf Incident.

Odin essentially sealed some baddies in the 10th world and noticed that they have been gaining power again, which is why he also sent us (and other Vikings from Valhalla) down to Valheim, the 10th world. In an attempt to get back to Valhalla, we now have to forage, craft, farm, build, and fight ourselves through the world to get stronger and kill those aforementioned baddies. Hugins, the raven Odin sent, is also there to guide us, and I think that summarises the story quite well. The game overall feels quite good. I am having a lot of fun with it right now.

Honestly, I love how you can improve your skills by actually doing things. Running a lot lets you increase that skill reducing the stamina used, while jumping a lot makes you jump higher. Attacking things increases the damage you deal with the spear, knife, axe, club, your fists, or whatever weapon you’re choosing. There are a lot of different skills and it kind of reminds me of Runescape in a way… in a good way, I should say. Progress is tied to the achievements you get. Fighting the first boss means you’ll gain access to the pickaxe that allows you to farm resources such as copper and iron in some areas. To get there, I need to gear up and also find a deer trophy to activate the boss fight. I’ve been playing for 6.7 hours (but mostly have been buildings things, to be honest) and I already got some deer hides and trophies thanks to my trusty spear-throws. The issue is that I need more leather scraps for the tanning rack to unlock even better recipes. On top of that, I need to hunt more deer to get those leather tunics, etc., which are going to be a solid upgrade to the rags I’ve thrown over myself. Currently, I’m wielding a spear and a tower shield most of the time, although I sometimes go for the axe in fights instead when I’m dealing with skeletons, for instance, that attack rather slowly.

After settling on a nice spot over here as well and building up two beehives, a nice little hut and a warehouse, I’ve decided to explore a little bit upwards. My seed “DrPepper” features a black forest to the north with some very interesting areas. For starters, there is a dungeon there filled with skeletons… and they don’t like me which is weird since I’m a lich IRL… but whatever. Otherwise, I found some ruins with loot and skeletons as well as some other structures that looked interesting. Upon further investigation, I was swarmed by a bunch of Greydwarfs as well as a Greydwarf Shaman. Among the Greydwarfs were a bunch of red ones as well as a lot of blue ones. I decided to do my best and block off any incoming attacks to increase my blocking-skill. It levelled up to Level 10, which was nice, but I sadly also got hit a bunch by rocks thrown from afar. The Greydwarf Shaman was fairly tanky and was spreading a lot of poison around that only seemed to harm me. On top of that, the Shaman was able to heal his allies by spreading spores upwards. The heals are coming in seemingly endlessly while my food is running low, alas, I decide to block and slowly crawl backwards. 

My kiting attempts and the occasional rolls actually worked out rather well, allowing me to get quite close to my base in no time with no further hitpoints lost. The Shaman seemed to protect something, which is why he stayed near that area. Alas, I ended up finishing off the small fry by stabbing my spear into them whenever they decided to turn their backs on me. At the same, I’d block all other attacks and eventually finish them off one by one. At last, I regenerated some health when the greed came over me. “Oh, Odin!”, I said. “Forgive me for straying from this path and not getting rid of these foes first. I decided to run but I shall run no more!” My flatmate probably heard my prayers and alas decided to knock on the door to ask if I was okay. “Uh, I was quoting something in class”, I said and he shrugged it off. “But Odin, I shall run no more and I shall rid this earth of these foes”, I continued, before heading back to the Shaman. The Shaman, now alone, posed no threat to me as I was able to roll away when he spread his poison while landing a few rather strong hits with my spear whenever he used his heal spell. He fell in no time and dropped nothing of importance. The chest he was guarding featured some gold and feathers as well as some Amber, but again, nothing major. Alas, I decided to explore more before stumbling across a Greydwarf nest. I struck it down and got rid of the remaining Greydwarfs only to notice that the nest here happened to drop an Ancient Seed, which according to a friend is required to summon the second boss. I held onto it tightly as I travelled back. Pressing it against my ear, lets me hear whispers. This shall be useful. “I shall burn their young and obtain their power”, I say, “but first I need to strike down Eikthyr.”

So, I basically need to gear up some more, prepare the area around the boss by chopping down some of the trees, and then I need to summon it in order to progress some more. I think I’ll leave that for the next post on Valheim. I’ve been enjoying this game quite a bit and since other bloggers have been posting about it recently, including Wilhelm, I’ve been meaning to make some progress so that I don’t spoil myself too much when I read their posts. 

Have you been getting into Valheim? If so, how are you liking it? I personally am enjoying it but I’ve noticed that it is somewhat poorly optimised. It is pretty but a bit rough around the edges. The issue I’ve been having is that it does use up a lot of CPU from my Computer, meaning that I probably won’t be able to stream it. Hope they fix that soon. 

Cheers!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

It’s Valentine’s Day!

One of the most commercialised holidays ever. I found a cake in the store yesterday for fifteen bucks. Capitalism at its finest.

I hope you have a fantastical Sunday and Valentine’s Day with lots of love for your loved ones, your pals, yourself or whoever you wanna show love for. I don’t think that Valentine’s Day needs to be about relationships or whatever necessarily. Self-love is important and should obviously be something that’s practised every day… but I’d love if you right there could try to appreciate other people and appreciate yourself today, at least a bit more than usual if that makes sense.

So sit back, make some nice food, treat yourself. You deserve it! Take a long bath or shower, maybe go for a walk (when there’re fewer people around). Watch a movie, play a game, get all cosy, take care of yourself! You matter and you’re important and it’s 100% fine to spend a “Me-Day” or “Self-Love-Day” or whatever you wanna call it. Take your time in whatever you’re doing.

I hope you’ll enjoy this day and maybe take things to heart. I appreciate every single one of you out there reading my blog posts. It’s really cool that there are actually people out there that care about them. I mean, I do… and I would write them even if nobody read them but seeing these stats whenever I visit the WordPress site and seeing the blog do well is really nice and I appreciate y’all. A lot. I hope you enjoy reading these posts, including this one.

Anyways, I hope you’re able to stay safe and have a wonderful day!

Much love,

Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.