Gaem Torents!?

Lutenent Worf

Turbine makes some outstanding games. The Lord of the Rings Online has been my main MMO for the past 5 years or so, and Dungeons & Dragons Online is pretty decent too. Both games offer exceptional value – free-to-play with a cash store, and you can earn the currency needed for the cash store through gameplay, allowing you to unlock F2P restrictions. Basically, they set the model for how to make a good F2P title, which other companies have followed. I like their producers, who are always friendly in Skype conversations when they do their PR blasts for new updates and expansions. Turbine is a great game company.

BUT! My one gripe with the company is that they use Pando Media Blaster as the download client for their games. I hate Pando Media Blaster. I find it buggy and demanding, like a B-list celebrity throwing a tantrum in a restaurant or something, demanding ALL the attention and creating such a commotion that if one thing goes wrong, the whole system shuts down and has to be restarted. I’m on wireless internet, which can be intermittent during periods of lousy weather, and occasionally my connection sputters. PMB hogs every spare bit of bandwidth, so I can’t even really use the Internet while downloading a game, and when my connection sputters out because of fog or wind or whatever, PMB freezes dead, generates errors and can’t be shut down properly, and won’t resume the download when the connection is re-established. I have to restart the computer to make it work again.

Anyway, my buddy Kevbob started playing Star Trek Online, and I figured I’d check it out. It’s made by Perfect World Entertainment, a company I’ve been having good luck with over the past year. Their games have generally been solid and enjoyable. I did reviews for Torchlight II and RaiderZ and gave them both fairly high marks, and they are coming out with Neverwinter sometime this spring, which is also looking really good. So yeah… I go to the STO page, click on the Download link… and they have options. Apparently, you can get the game through Steam (which I don’t really like for a number of reasons), any of a number of file-hosting sites, or my personal favorite method: torrent.

Why don’t more game companies offer this choice? I hate 3rd party downloaders. Torrents are easy, they don’t break and bug out, you don’t have to lawyer up with needless legal disclaimers ducking responsibility for the use of another company’s crappy product… it’s all-around win.

Ammazing Spi-Derp-Man!?

Gosh, where to begin…

Noep. Didint liek it.

Noep. Didint liek it.

Ok, first I’ll go over the positives. Points for casting Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy. She’s cute and fun. Another point for the mechanical web-shooters instead of the bogus spinneret patches on the wrist. Spiders don’t shoot web from their wrists, and if Peter Parker was to develop a mutant biological analogue of a spinneret, it would more likely be on his ass. The Stan Lee cameo is fairly well-timed and funny. I kinda wonder what those massive 80’s-style headphones are plugged into when he walks away.

That’s it for the good parts. Onto the criticisms. Continue reading

Nu Theem!?

Lapptop

Lapptop

Trying out a new theme. Not 100% sold on it, but it’s slightly nicer than the last one. I would prefer a larger date tag for each post, and a bigger comments button. I could get those things if I paid for them. I do like the two widget columns – the static one on the left and the scrolling one on the right. That’s pretty cool. The actual content area seems smaller, and the pictures are definitely smaller. Guess I’ll keep looking…

EADIT!?

Okay, landed on this theme. It has a nice look to it, flexible widget columns… I can set it up with one big content column in the middle, or the headlines like I have now. I think the headlines thing works better for this site because it accentuates the, umm, whaddayacallit… the off-putting aspects that will drive lazy or uninterested “browsers” away. The undiscriminating “casual browser” will just see the dumb misspelled headlines, assume the content is just as vapid and idiotic, and move on like they are supposed to. The ones who are clever enough to see through the ruse, and masochistic enough to want to keep reading, will click through.

ANUTHER EDDIT!?

Meh, back to full-content articles with a Read More button.  I might change my mind again later, but I like pages full of big-ass pictures.

>: (

Having a fine day, no more complaints than usual, then someone says that one sentence that destroys everything. They don’t mean it as an assault – maybe it’s a joke or a friendly jab – but with just a few words, it throws all the bullshit and failure and loneliness and frustration and horrible and awful into one ugly basket and drops it on your lap. Not their fault. Day is destroyed, miserable for the next several days.

sadface

sadface

Hwy I Haet Acrillicks!?

Cheep Acrillick Piant.

Cheep Acrillick Piant.

So I bought a couple cheap sets of acryllic paints today from Wal-Mart and the Dollarama. I’ve been thinking about trying them out for landscapes, and I wanted to see how well they worked for figurative and portrait work as well, because that’s what I prefer to do.

The cheap paints are quite thin – not quite watery, but definitely thinner than the oils I am used to working with. Despite this viscosity, they have poor flow. A tiny dab of oil paint on the brush goes a mile. A tiny dab of acrylic paint on the brush goes about a half inch and then you have to scrape and scumble it to make any use of it. Dry brush and glazing techniques seem to be the way to go. It’s all additive, not blending, and the coverage is poor.

Some of this may be because the paints are cheap and low-quality. More expensive paints may have better flow, longer drying-time and better coverage. But in that case, I’m just as well off using oils. For portrait and figurative work, which uses a lot of subtle blending for smooth curves and gentle gradations in shading, you need a medium that doesn’t dry out as you are applying it.

I also don’t care for the smell of acrylic paint. It smells worse to me than oil paint does. The linseed/safflower oil in oil paint has a kind of pleasant smell. Acrylic paint smells, strangely enough, more chemical-y and acrid.

Acrylics seem to dry a slightly paler shade than how they look when applied. The painting has inherently lower contrast than if it was done in oil. I could remedy this by applying a coat of glossy something-or-other, but again that’s getting into extra expenses.

I dunno, I probably won’t be using acrylics again. Maybe one more experiment. But unless that experiment turns up something wild, I won’t likely be using them regularly.