Blaugust Prompt #7 – My Mascot?

Today’s prompt, hosted by The Rambling Redshirt, is about our mascots… if I had one, what would it be? Well, jokes on you, I’ve got one already!

I present to you… I mean… we’ve seen Magi already, haven’t we? 

Ages, ago, when I just started out doing pixel-art in Paint.net, I did attempt to re-pixel the black mage from Final Fantasy 1 but with a twist: It’s not a black mage but rather a Lich or a Necromancer! 

My character/mascot/avatar as a cultist-insect of sorts from Hollow Knight!

I practically always have adored magicians, wizards, mages and the like… and over time, I noticed that the bad guys in movies and games usually ended up being way cooler than most protagonists… alas, I depicted my “dream character” or whatever you wanna call it as a Necromancer: Someone who does the forbidden… necromancy… to fight his foes and rule over the world. An evil Overlord using minions to punish his enemies. Someone who’s actually doing evil to successfully accomplish their goal. I loved the idea of that. The sound of that is quite nice. A Lich or Lich King… or just a Necromancer or Cult Leader if not even an Overlord would be just the right character for me in that sense.

My “mascot”/avatar as a Dark Souls 3 character… with the Fallen Knight Armour, the holy Dr Pepper shield, the lothric knight sword, and the Crystal Sage Hat!

So, I did successfully re-pixel the Black Mage in Paint.net, which I was somewhat proud about… then I changed the blue and yellow from the original picture to a purple tone since I feel like purple is a lot more mystic and evil, if not even ominous and mysterious, than blue and yellow. The eyes suddenly were a deep and dark red staring out of the darkness… and overall, I was quite happy with this.

I love my little mage/lich/necromancer character to bits and jimmijamjams over here on Twitch actually ended up creating a GIF of my character! Absolutely lovely! If you visit me over here on Twitch, you’ll end up seeing it dance around in the corner somewhere, which is super cute and which I’m really grateful about! 

“magiwauwu” – a Tier 1 sub
emote on my Twitch channel!

MarsaOvO, another great streamer, also did a fantastic job, capturing the essence of my character into some wonderful and adorable emotes as you can see down below. I love the UwU emote to bits and it’s probably the cutest emote ever! 

“magiwashinderu”:
our rip emote

So, that’s essentially my “mascot”. I never really thought of it as a “mascot” per sé… rather, it was an Avatar of sorts for me. I used it on Discord, Reddit, Twitter and Twitch but since I rebranded a little bit on Twitch and everywhere, I’ve been using my logo over here instead. Alas, the mage character now only shows up on Stream, which is a bit of a bummer… but it works in the sense that it’s more of a mascot now. I love it. Magi the little Necromancer, I guess! 🙂 And since that name’s taken, I’ll be MagiWasTaken instead… or just Dan. 

So, I hope you enjoyed this little trip into the world of mascots and the like. The next post in line is by Tessa, so check her post out! What kind of characters do you have and what kind of mascots do you use? Are there any themes that you stick to usually? 

Cheers!

This post is part of the Blaugust 2020 event. Wanna know more about it? Then check out my post on it or Bel’s post where he also linked everyone who’s participating! Be sure to check out the others as well!

Note: This post would have been TSS#73. In case anyone counts or is wondering. I’ll probably drop the “TSS”-part during Blaugust to prevent overly long titles. Afterwards, I may return to it.

Arachnophobia intensifies – Venturing into the Deepnest

I’ve talked about my fear of spiders in the past before in this post and even in this one… but ever since I’ve visited that spider-convention nearby and had that tarantula on my hand, I have not really encountered any spiders in my flat. And apart from “Kill It With Fire”, I haven’t seen any in any video games, either, so I wasn’t sure yet if I’m over my fear…

Well, I wasn’t sure until I got to make more Progress in Hollow Knight and ventured into the Deepnest.

But first of all, let me clarify: I love Hollow Knight. I love the soundtrack, the gameplay features, the difficulty of it as well as the fact that you can heal yourself with the Soul you gather from hitting stuff with your Nail. I love the aesthetics and personalities of the enemies and characters in the game and from what I understand… I love the story. I just wouldn’t have thought that, even though I saw it coming, there’d be an area that I’d struggle with so much.

If you haven’t played it yet and don’t want story spoilers, skip the next two paragraphs. (I’ll separate them with pictures!)

The game sends you into this world to rescue villagers and find and “slay” (?) these Dreamers (deities of sorts?) to lift some curse (I guess?). It’s still very blurry to me and while you learn bits and pieces here and there, you hardly get the bigger picture until you read up on it or until you got further into the game. I personally love that about this game. It’s bits and pieces from different times and you just have to puzzle it all together to understand what is going on with the Pale King and all of that.

And well, in my last play session on Wednesday, I finally reached Deepnest, an area near the Distant Village, where Herrah the Beast used to rule. Herrah was one of the three rulers and she is one of the three Dreamers that you’re trying to “slay” (I still don’t know if we really slay them… it seems as if we absorb their souls into our Nails?).

Welcome to the “no story spoilers” part!

My problem with Deepnest was that, just like with other areas in the game, the enemies are based on one small critter from the world of bugs and worms and… well… spiders. There are spiders in Deepnest. And I wouldn’t bother with it, too much, but it’s just the way the area is presented, that freaked me out (Twitch Clip). There are webs and strings everywhere and some enemies come back in the form of spider-zombies! There are spiders falling down in front of the screen, which is seriously tripping me out, and there are a ton of disgusting sounds.

I hated this area so much, just because of those effects, that I didn’t bother exploring it too much more and kind of rushed through the area!

I just hated it. It freaked me out and I had some moments where I felt this weird jiggle that your body does every now and then. The shivers crawling down your spine. I felt something crawling or itching at my head and on my skin every here and there, too, which is just terrifying. Even now, watching the VOD and writing this post, I’m terrified of the potential of there being a huge fucking spider behind my monitors or in the corners of my flat.

So, I guess I’m still afraid of spiders. And confronting my fears wasn’t really helping it… if anything it made it worse. I’m not getting any nightmares from it and I even managed to capture a spider alive and release it into the wild the other day… but I still hate them a ton. I don’t know. Maybe it will get better over time once I get used to capturing and releasing them more often… Oh well.

So, that’s it for this post. Hope you enjoyed it!

Cheers!

Just another post about Hollow Knight

I love Hollow Knight. It’s a great game. And essentially I’ve been referencing it for a while now in my posts while playing it for fifteen hours already on stream.

So, I tried to re-create my Avatar as a Hollow Knight character but didn’t quite manage to do it and now I got this.

Tadaa!

I don’t really know what I could have done better… I’ve tried to go for an ant of sorts or a moth character but it didn’t just happen… and then I kind of went with the jester hat and the cultist robes that I kind of liked.

I’d love to create more variants like this in the future. One of my viewers on Twitch recreated my mage-avatar as a crow for the playthrough that we did on Aviary Attorney and I really liked the idea of creating characters like that.

Belghast from the Blaugust Community also has a thing like that going on with his character and everything as may want to see hin his channel banner over there. So, generally, since I’ll stick around to MHW and Catherine and Hollow Knight right now, I might as well create more mages like that. Maybe a Mage Sheep in Catherine’s case or a Witch-er armour for my MHW character… idk.
I’m rather satisfied with this one but would’ve liked it more if I had been able to “bug”-ify the character a bit more… but for now, this should work and if anyone is interested in trying your best at making a better version of this mage-character of mine, feel free to send it to me and I’ll feature all of those drawings on my twitch channel if you want to! 😀

Oh, I also opened up an Instagram account for the blog but I don’t really know how to post on IG from my PC or what content would be nice on there… I guess that’d be a good place to start for that sort of stuff :c
If any of you are interested right now in seeing me play Hollow Knight on Twitch, you may enjoy joining the discord and getting notified whenever I post something on my blog or whenever I go live. Maybe we’ll have a great time there!

I guess that’s it for today’s post. I like creating derpy drawings like that. Hopefully I’ll be able to get better at it in the future. We’ll see.

Cheers!

This post is part of a challenge called BLAPRIL. The goal is to post as much as possible during the 30 days of April. There are different themes during some of the weeks and a lot of mentors, newbies and participants participating. Feel free to check this hub-post out and check out the other participants!

I hate games

I hate them all. They take away so much time and quite often they cost money that you need to work for, hence losing even more fun. Games are bad. Really. It’s not COVID-19 that’s keeping us at home… it’s video games. The number of new streamers and new people playing games has increased in the last couple of months. Kids are not going to school right now and some people don’t even work anymore. Games are horrible. I hate them a lot.

Now, jokes aside, for the past couple of days I’ve been posting about game mechanics that I don’t personally like and that I always find frustrating to deal with. There’re timers and scripted fights, contact damage and even invisible walls… and that’s something I’ve been meaning to do for ages now. Hell, some of these prompts have been waiting here since last year’s Blaugust… and they are finally out.

But I’ve noticed that while I really enjoy writing about something like that and being overly negative about it… I don’t hate the games themselves (apart from Witcher 1 – I hate that game for other reasons, too, but also because of some of the bad features it has). Sparking a discussion and reading and writing comments about these topics really was a lot of fun but I guess I can’t do that forever… especially as I am running out of things to hate on… I guess I could hate on Rogue Legacy for being a bad game but that’s just a preference thing…

Instead, I wanted to talk about something different: Good games with bad mechanics that are done well in these games.

There are games out there that defy the logic of “good” and “bad” design. There are shooters where everyone’s invisible and where you need to do the unthinkable to kill the other players: Screencheat! (How could you?!)

There are games where you’re on a time loop, trying to overcome one hurdle after another, like Minit. It’s at heart a puzzle game and the 60-second-I’ll-reset-your-whole-progress-countdown is essentially nothing but a mechanism, a ship, or the way to give you that puzzle-game-feel. You need to do stuff – and you need to do them quickly. It’s great. I love Minit. Even if it sometimes can get a bit frustrating (but that’s not because of the timer… but because I don’t know what to do).

There are games like League of Legends where the invisible walls are actually quite pretty and prevent you from getting a headstart at the beginning of the game and there are also some invisible walls in there that prevent you from hopping off the map, which is understandable in a MOBA.

And then there’s Hollow Knight and Hollow Knight is just a great game that I really recommend without telling you anything about it… for now. I mean, sure, it has contact damage to it, too,… and platforming… but it’s still a great game.

So, even if there are mechanics that I don’t like in games… I don’t necessarily hate all games with those. But it’s fun to rant about them every now and then.

Anyways, that’s it for today’s post. Hope you enjoyed this one! Have a nice time! 🙂

Cheers!

This post is part of a challenge called BLAPRIL. The goal is to post as much as possible during the 30 days of April. There are different themes during some of the weeks and a lot of mentors, newbies and participants participating. Feel free to check this hub-post out and check out the other participants!

I hated scripted fights

Scripts generally have a neutral and a negative connotation to them. In video game terms, “scripting” means “hacking”, which is bad in a lot of ways and hence doesn’t really have to be discussed (today?). The other definition is “script” in a sense of “screenplays” or the instructions that one is given in a play. A script is the foundation of every play, film or show. A script is a requirement for a lot of things to happen but in video game terms this doesn’t necessarily apply.

I really hate scripted fights.

What is a scripted fight, you may ask? Well, in a lot of roleplaying games or RPGs for short, the player has to face off against some incredibly strong foe only to lose the fight at the end, no matter what the player does. No matter how many resources you’ve wasted and how many potions, revives and items you’ve used, you won’t win the fight. No matter the effort you put in, you’ll get disappointed as the director of the game wanted you to suffer in this one, resulting in a bad taste that certain fights leave in your mouth. Or even worse, these fights don’t even require you to try your best but only want you to stay alive until the special attack that you need to use is ready or until reinforcements are around, which I may hate even more than a one-round-K.O. by the boss of the level.

And that’s what I hate about it. Don’t get me wrong, it can be done well. You can hate the general mechanic but still like it in certain games. There are games out there that don’t allow you to use potions and other consumable items in those fights due to the scripted nature of the fight… but just because that’s done well in one game, that doesn’t really mean anything in other games as you’ll probably use up those rare “Ethers” and “Full Revives” in these fights if you’re completely new to the games and eventually you’ll die only to be woken up in a different place where some NPC tells you that they found you stranded at the beach (or something like that).

Other fights are scripted with phases, which is nice. In Hollow Knight, a lot of the fights have two to three phases with the boss getting more and deadlier attacks that hit harder and faster than before once they reach certain health point thresholds. This is generally normal in RPGs of all kinds and a lot of games use this system. Boss Fights should, in my opinion, get harder the farther you go, to make it even more rewarding for the player once they beat him!

And thus, I like it when you don’t lose anything for actually trying hard in scripted fights and I love scripted phases in boss fights but I hate those fights where the devs make you lose on purpose…

And I’d say that generally, not many people out there like to those fights. After all, nobody likes to lose.

Either way, that’s it for today’s post. Remember that just because I hate a game mechanic, that doesn’t mean that I’d hate all games with that mechanic. Thought I should let you know about that.

Alas, I hope that you’ve got a wonderful day and that you don’t use too many of your expensive items in the next few scripted fights.

Cheers!

This post is part of a challenge called BLAPRIL. The goal is to post as much as possible during the 30 days of April. There are different themes during some of the weeks and a lot of mentors, newbies and participants participating. Feel free to check this hub-post out and check out the other participants!

I hate invisible walls

Games allow us to escape reality. I mean, you don’t have to use it as an escape mechanism but it’s possible. You can visit places you’ve never been to before. You can do anything you ever wanted to do. You can be whatever you wanted to be.

Some games allow you to explore a ton of areas and give you a lot of freedom when it comes to movement. Some games want you to explore and find easter eggs – after all, it’s an unwritten rule that you shall never instantly take the main quest’s path or the path that the game wants you to go but that you, the player, shall strive to take every other path first!
The Stanley Parable is a great example of that!

But sometimes this can lead to problems. Being able to explore a map freely can make you feel lost. In Hollow Knight, for instance, I’ve heard that some people feel lost and I myself sometimes didn’t really know where to go… then I sat back at a bench in a small town… chatted with the elder and eventually found out where to go next or where to explore first with the new abilities I’ve got. Metroidvania games feature a ton of semi-open worlds where you can’t go to specific areas without certain abilities, so you naturally do a lot of backtracking eventually after you found that double jump or the wall jump or the dash or the ground smash ability. And that’s great. I enjoy the exploration and backtracking in Metroidvania titles a lot, especially since they kind of are like a puzzle, depending on how much handholding there is in the game.

BUT!

While Metroidvania titles are semi-open, there are a lot of games that are supposedly Open World titles… but really are not. There are games there that have this annoying and limiting ability called “invisible walls”.

I always loved to explore these maps in different games and when I suddenly flew into an invisible wall in Super Mario 64, that would essentially annoy me a little bit. The same goes for a lot of other games like Beyond Good and Evil or Sonic Adventure DX or Tomb Raider, where you’d just stumble into a wall because the devs didn’t find a creative decision to stop you from going there.

It doesn’t have to be an invicible one but a powerful foe can quite often be just enough to stop you from passing through. In this case, we eventually were able to beat him, but it took us a while and many tries.

Some games feature killing mechanisms that punish your curiosity without frustrating you. A great example of this is Subnautica where you can leave the “island” or map that you are on (at least in the base game) and encounter the Ghost Leviathans who essentially are translucent and really strong. The Leviathans in the game can be killed but it takes ages to do in Survival, especially as you are very mortal yourself and as you need oxygen, nutrition and hydration. Therefore, killing the Ghost Leviathans in the so-called “Void” is not really an option, especially as they are a lot stronger and as they get a lot bigger the farther you go out of the Void! In the Void, these Ghost Leviathans spawn a lot more frequent, too, resulting in a spooky experience in an area where you can’t tell “up” and “down” apart with nothing to orient yourself with, with no option of survival and no goal to reach but plenty of dangers to chase you.

And this solution is creative as it’s not an instant-death mechanic like in the Borderlands games… it’s a challenge of sorts. You can’t win it, of course, but you can definitely try to live longer. There were plenty of videos by YouTubers that I’ve watched a while ago where they’d try to kill some of the Ghost Leviathans or where they’d try to outrun them or where they’d build a base in creative mode, trying to reach the ground and trying to survive and observe the Ghost Leviathans. You’re challenging the game’s boundaries as the devs don’t want you to go behind those boundaries.

But in other games, the devs tell you to fuck off and essentially just block passage using an invisible wall or a guard that would just tell you to piss off.

And that sucks. I hate it. In Nier Automata, you have vast, open areas that feel great, exploration-wise. Especially with the buildings that you can jump on and off from… but some areas are closed off from you by these pesky invisible walls and I just dislike that mechanic. If the world’s not open, why would you call it an Open World?

I feel like devs would need to find better mechanics to cope with people going to areas that they don’t want you to go to. It breaks the immersion when you run into a wall that prevents you from walking somewhere or that even causes you to walk on the spot. Instead, you may as well have a storm that pushes you away every time you move into a certain direction, just like Hollow Knight has in one area (found out about that yesterday!). Huge Ghost Leviathans scaring you away in the Void are a great solution to keep people away, too.

But I guess I’m yelling at clouds again and some things may never change. A pop-up like “We don’t want you to go this way, so fuck off and get back to playing the game” would be a thousand times better than an invisible wall but maybe that’s too rude for some devs and they just slam the door into your face, thinking it’s more polite.

Either way, what do you think of this? What are your favourite encounters hindering you from going where you’re not supposed to go? Let me know!

For now, though, I wish you a wonderful day and a great time.

Cheers!

This post is part of a challenge called BLAPRIL. The goal is to post as much as possible during the 30 days of April. There are different themes during some of the weeks and a lot of mentors, newbies and participants participating. Feel free to check this hub-post out and check out the other participants!

I hate contact damage

There have been a few hedgehogs, freezing in winter. They were sitting in a cave around a campfire but it wasn’t warming them enough, just yet, so they ended up getting cuddly and hurting each other, hence pushing each other back.

Now, while that makes a lot of sense in this kind of fable… because of hedgehogs having spikes or needles… it doesn’t make any sense in a lot of games. And that’s what this post is about.

So, ever since I started playing games, I was wondering why you’d take damage when you’re only bumping into other enemies. After all, they should be hurt if you bump into them. But since they don’t get hurt, you naturally shouldn’t get hurt by them either unless they run into you with a knife and legitimately stab you. After all, getting stabbed hurts – trust me, I’ve been there, although it’s only been my hand that took contact damage from my knife.

In games like Mario, there are enemies with spikes on their head, so that bumping into them actually would make sense, I guess? Meanwhile touching somebody in Hollow Knight or Dead Cells, hurts you, too, and that despite Hollow Knight’s enemies’ squishiness or the rotten nature of the corpses and stuff in Dead Cells.

I guess it kind of makes sense to have a Goomba hurt you in Mario as naturally his only way of attacking is the actual charge and bump he does but that’s no excuse for all the other enemies that are out there, shooting projectiles and bolts at you. They’ve got their means to attack you, so why do they hurt when you hug them?

To put Mario aside, I’d guess that the damage on contact mechanic was there in the first place for a lot of older games because of technological restraints (as in not being able to animate a stabby attack for every enemy). But nowadays there’re so many ways of damaging you… you don’t really have the technological limitations that you had back in the day and therefore, I wouldn’t know why something would hurt you upon touching you unless it’s on fire and/or covered in spikes.

In Risk of Rain (which very much is a platformer, I guess?), enemies attack you and have their own animations to do so. Running or dodging past them doesn’t hurt you. You just do your thing while they actually try to kill you. Not by just running at ya but by actually shooting, biting, stomping, and jumping you.

And the same goes for Risk of Rain 2: You are in a 3D environment with so much going on that you aren’t able to care about your character getting damaged by enemies hugging you. A lot of 3D games don’t have contact damage, although I remember the first Blinx game (you know that game about time-travelling cats with vacuums fighting monsters by shooting trash at them?) being programmed in a way that allowed enemies to move towards you and cause you to lose a life, which was just obnoxious.

If I remember correctly, you were able to turn on a challenge of sorts in Bastion where you got damage on contact from enemies. Despite them already hurting you with their attacks and despite the game being so challenging, you could already make it a lot harder by having the enemies hurt you by just touching you. The next step from that would be damage on sight, although that’s probably a thing already in some game. Who knows?

And yeah, I know, complaining about games is like yelling at clouds or fighting windmills. I won’t achieve anything by doing it, but I guess I still have my right to complain about it being a thing without an excuse for it being a thing. It’s just another unreasonable thing to do when there’s so much else to complain about in the world, but I thought it’d be a nice writing prompt. I don’t really think that games should have anything like that. 3D games generally need some reason or animation to explain how something hurts you upon contact while 2D games quite often do it because of limitations, although even that doesn’t make sense – especially when these enemies have attack patterns already.

But I guess that’s enough about this topic for today. Cheers!

This post is part of a challenge called BLAPRIL. The goal is to post as much as possible during the 30 days of April. There are different themes during some of the weeks and a lot of mentors, newbies and participants participating. Feel free to check this hub-post out and check out the other participants!