Category Archives: Uncategorized

Begun work on a Zombie Survival Novel

I haven’t posted on here in a long time. A lot has happened since my last post, a lot has changed in my life, and a lot has stayed the same. I’m not going to bore you with any details but i will say – A lot of hours at work, a lot of games have been played and a lot of films have been seen.

What i’m writing to say is that work has begun on a DayZ based survival zombie book. I’m unsure as to how long it’ll be, or upon completion, how i will go about releasing it. The plan is to self print the book myself and keep it so it looks cool and awesome. But who actually knows what will happen.

I’ve take a few screenshots for you to look through however. So that’s good!

http://steamcommunity.com/id/raidengod/screenshots/

^^ They can all be found on there, but in case you can’t be bothered to scroll through pages of screenshots here are a couple. My character is black and his name is Benjamin. His memory is completely gone, his stomach is grumbling and his thirst needs quenching. What lies in store for him along the long empty road? Image

 

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Assembling a Kashmir Executive Chair

The worlds comfiest chair for my computer has arrived. It’s incredible, looks beautiful and will support my rear for those long gaming hours which I have become so used to.

The Kashmir is actually incredibly comfortable. It’s actually like a sofa, but .. on a chair? Feels so much better than the other chair I used to sit on. The one which had eroded away from all of it’s wear over the past 6 years.

Here are compassion pictures.

That being said it did take me over an hour and a half to actually put together because i’d put the arms on the wrong side (woops). Many-a swear word later and after a quick re-evaluation of the situation we managed to get it all fastened together.

It’s a one year late graduation present from my parents, but I didn’t want to rush in to anything I wasn’t 100% happy with, and I am so glad I picked this chair.

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Live Streaming – Part 4

Here is part one of my streaming session last night.

Here is part 2 which i did today.

Everything is uploaded to youTube now and the links work! Hope to post more videos and fix the sound stuff soon so i dont sound so bad!! (just turn it down a little)

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Live Streaming – Part 3

So it took me in to the early hours of this morning, but streaming seems to be ok.

I turned off the camera mic and focused on in game sounds only and that, although lacks interactivity, has massively helped the audio for the stream. That being said I do want to talk to the ever growing audience during the stream.

This led me to my greatest conquest ever. I shall begin the story at the start, on my 18th birthday nearly 4 years ago.

I was able to have a gaming PC for my 18th birthday. At the time it was fantastic, the i7 processor, a £300 graphics card, 6gb of RAM (which at the time was incredible). Needless to say everything was going great!

I decided it would be about time to start gaming again then, of course that is why I got it! I tried plugging the headset in and off I went. No sound coming out of the headset microphone? And no sound from the headset? Ok, maybe the front ports on my PC may be broken. So I decided to try the back ones. The headset started working, but the microphone still wasn’t doing anything. I went in to settings and there was literally no bar indicating any sound coming out. This angered me a lot, and also frustrated me tonnes. I knew it wasn’t my webcam microphone over-riding it because it literally just wasn’t being recognised at all.

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4 years later, having used only the webcam microphone, with the worst sound quality ever. (see Alan Partridge sketch on Youtube.com/wraggy1234 for example of the worst sound quality you’ve ever heard)

I had since been back to look at it, also had Dan and Liam look at it briefly at i44, but again the same result, they were left scratching their heads wondering what was going on. I managed to get it working last night however, for the first time since I have had my computer.

It turns out we had been plugging it in the wrong port. There is a 3rd microphone port and this one works. Excellent, we are now officially the biggest idiots ever. Me being king idiot of course.

Needless to say the stream sound has definitely improved in terms of the microphone, if you go on www.twitch.tv/joshuawragg you’ll be able to see the difference between one of the latest streams to one of the older streams.

On a separate note I had clicked to upload to YouTube (after all that was the main reason I decided to switch to twitchtv from justintv, but apparently it doesn’t want to work for whatever reason). I’m not sure if there is a delay on it or something but it just isn’t appearing whatsoever, which is gay. Perhaps in an update I will be able to tell you it has worked and everything is fantastic, but I am not 100% if I will ever be able to do this.

I also tried to stream StarCraft 2 Heart Of The Swarm today, but unfortunately there were problems a plenty with this. Basically it didn’t want to have anything to do with this. There was a watchable picture, but every 2 seconds it would freeze for a little bit. Which is clearly unwatchable. So that counts StarCraft 2 out still. Which is so frustrating, because I would be playing that so much should it work! The still image makes it look worse than i first remember. It’s only until about half way through a game does it begin to pause, the first part of it runs semi-smooth.

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At least the microphone works, and we are 100% convinced the Matlock internet connection is possibly one of the worst in the country.

Live Streaming is still a distant dream for these big games at the moment for me. I haven’t even looked in to the possibility of making money off the stream yet either, but my friend Jamie has suggested i play some old games, such as the classic DiscWorld, this way it can be interactive with chat and we can all go and explore together. I have thought of pokemon as being a good one to stream as well. That would be fun too!

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Stolen

Stolen – Film Review

Now before i begin i cannot for the life of me remember which cinema screen i saw this in. All i know is that it was a small screen. Really small, possibly the smallest in the cinema, which leads me to believe it’s number 1. However don’t quote me on that. In fact i’ve been thinking about it long and hard, what was the cinema screen we saw Stolen in? Whilst i should probably ask Jack, Charles or Shaunie which screen we went to, it’s late and i don’t want to disturb them. That’s who i went to see Stolen with if you hadn’t guessed. It was a pleasant drive over and the gang were ready to watch Stolen.

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Now the best bit of the film happened before it had started. We took our seats a few seats in to a row where two people were sat on the very end (closest to the middle). This was because the screen was so small, there weren’t anymore desirable seats without being so close to the screen it would be like my face was pressed against it. Charles was agitated by this however as he has a very weak bladder. No seriously, he has the bladder size of a grape, or is that too large? Because every time we go to the cinema, he goes before we set off (15 minute drive) As we get there, before the film starts, during the film, and after the film. Probably when he gets home too. (Sometimes twice during a movie, especially if it’s over 2 hours). So yeah that covers the bladder issue. So as i said we had to get past people to get out of the cinema should we want to use the cinemas facilities. Charles didn’t want to be annoying to the couple who seemed very in to each other. So Charles being Charles stood up and jumped over to the seat in front of him and sat by himself. *Spoiler* He didn’t go to the toilet once during the entire film. Lad.

Ok, i realise there hasn’t been much mention of any film here. Which is fair enough, there has been mention of the screen and the title Stolen only, which again isn’t great when it’s supposed to be a review about the film Stolen, perhaps this is an indicator as to what my overall feeling is towards this film already.

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So we start off, everything is pretty cool. The FBI are involved, Nicholas Cage is in a van listening to some music. Excellent, it has grabbed me straight away, and the poor reviews i read going in to this were certainly out of my head after the sequence opener. As the film progressed however i became less positive.

Here is a vague outline of the film. It starts off with a robbery of a bank, and towards the end of the robbery, when they are about to get away they run in to a witness. One of the men is willing to kill the witness, but Cage decides he is merciful and decides to stop his partner from killing the witness, he does this by shooting him in the leg. Cage has the money when he finds himself alone and running from the FBI, he gets caught, with no money on him, and is sent to prison for 8 years. Upon his release he finds out people aren’t happy with him and want his money back. But the guy who he shot in the leg had apparently died a while ago. Before a big soppy scene with his daughter and she manages to get herself kidnapped in the middle of New Orleans on what looks to be the busiest day ever. Literally so busy! That is a vague outline of what cracks on. Basically he needs the money to pay back the kidnapper, and seeks help etc etc. It’s a pretty done story but yeah, it wasn’t all too bad.

Here are two vague points based on Cage and his Daughters characters.

-Nicolas Cage is exactly the same in this film as he is in everything else. This can be taken as a positive or a negative comment. For me it’s marginally positive, as i enjoy Mr Cage and his on screen presence. His last few films have been poor, (despite Bad Lieutenant) although this isn’t due to Nicolas’ individual performance, it is more so him signing up to poor scripts and bad film makers. His character has serious problems, the main one, and most annoying one, being his love for his daughter. The one who doesn’t love him back this is, the one who doesn’t want anything to do with him. Ok i don’t have a daughter of my own so i cannot relate to the feeling a father has to his daughter. But having spent a significant part of his life in prison, you would’ve thought he would realise his daughter isn’t a child anymore, so getting a huge cuddly toy for her upon your release is very thoughtless. One would think having a lot of time away from someone you love you’d be able to get everything right, or at least put some thought in to it. It is semi-embarrassing, somewhat deplorable.

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-This leads me on to the daughter. The film is supposed create sympathy towards her, and as an audience we are supposed to feel something towards her of course. She is a young woman who has been taken against her will and put in the back of a taxi. We are supposed to be horrified, and naturally we would be. But her unjust cold nature towards her father was something which really struck a chord with me. Yes sure, he left you when you were younger because he got arrested. That’s bad. Although it’s not like he fell out with his daughter, never made contact with her, took off and left to chase after another woman, then after 8 years decides he wants to be in her life. No not really the same is it. But again, this is probably just me being annoyed at the film because it’s at a really early point when this happens, and it’s at a time when the entire focus is to just create sympathy. Why not show footage of her being nice instead of crying and being bitchy all the time? That would’ve helped 10 fold.

The camera work was pretty nice in fairness. There we no fade to’s and the continuities were mostly plot based. The shots where the girl was in the boot (trunk) of the car felt very cramped and claustrophobic. The film maker obviously knew how to create suspense as well because there were moments which built up to something, and that in itself is a difficult skill to do. But the film was mostly trying to be 100% flat out most of the time, which shouldn’t have given the audience much room to breath it was so breathtaking and visually stunning. But it did, it gave us every chance to breath. For whatever reason, the film didn’t grab me like i’d have hoped for. What had i actually hoped for though? I knew it was going to be cheesy and rubbish.

pika

That being said, it was a decent watch, and i imagine it’ll be good on a Saturday night in with a girl round when you can get it on DVD.

5/10 – Standard Cage.

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Insomnia 48, Day 2

I woke up at 7.30 from my alarm, which is surprising because I usually miss my alarm at home. Maybe subconsciously I knew that I would have to be awake! We met at the bus stop at about 8.30, and literally there was so so much snow. I have never been away from home/uni when the snow has come down so heavily it’d be impossible to pack up and go home. The mini-bus shuttle service was better this morning though, I don’t know why this was, new driver? Less snow on the road? Well either way I didn’t feel like a crash was around every corner this time.

(Jack wearing just his t-shirt to go and get some camera equipment..)

Upon arrival me and Jack set too on eating. I had last nights left over pizza (this was left in the hot sweaty main hall all night). I forgot to mention in my last post I had a pizza. Basically we got given 3 food tokens as we were members of staff, 1 token got you a chicken wrap, 2 tokes was the equivalent of a 9″ pizza, and 3 could get you a 12″ pizza. I decided to spend all of my food tokens on the very first night, as you do! Which meant I had to buy everything else I wanted to eat. Needless to say I didn’t eat much for the rest of my stay. (it’s expensive ok!).

9am hit and we were back at the FIFA area, watching Dave and Aubs set up the fifa area. I sat down on the streaming PC and turned it on. Where I was met with error after error in relation to everything working. It was working fine yesterday what on earth has gone wrong today? Apparently everything. But that was mostly because everything had been turned off at the switch.. one of the HDMI cables was faulty, and because there was a last minute cable alteration by the technicians to change the video output going out of the speakers which made FIFA and the casting sound awful. But this was fixed (not by me mind).

Eventually there was a massive rush to get the Canon 600d’s working through the PC so we could engage in interviews off those cameras. I tried downloading the software for the 600’d so we could use them as a webcam (i’d done this at home so I knew it worked) but alas the pc didn’t want to know anything about it. Rubbish piece of equipment I say / would happily have it as it was worth twice as much as mine, but let’s just ignore that small irrelevancy ! So Jack told Dave the interview situation, that there would be no live broadcast of interviews through the ‘nice’ cameras, instead the solution was to take players to one side after a game and give them a cheeky interview, then let them get back on there way. Did I mention this was 30 minutes before the days event was supposed to start? No? well it happened 30 minutes before the tournament was kicking off. Dave probably hated me and Jack by now as mostly everything which could’ve gone wrong did go wrong, the whole reason why we were there was to make sure it was as smooth as possible. It was going about as smoothly as a hedgehog.

After all though, me and Jack said from the beginning we were there to do some filming, that’s all we had planned to do before we had gotten to the event, so in our defence we were always going to be useless at the rest of the stuff. The filming though. Yes finally!

Ok the filming didn’t go great.

Here is a list of reasons why the filming didn’t go as smoothly / as brilliantly as possible. I have done a bullet pointed list for your eyes so it reads easier.

  • The lighting was poor: You would’ve thought that with the whole area designated to us we would’ve thought about getting some additional lighting. Say like the StarCraft 2 area. They knew they were filming, so had some massive lights hanging from the ceiling, and some free standing lights. Something which benefits the camera greatly is strong lighting. Yes the players are probably going to be annoyed by it, and if you go to a TV studio and sit facing the lights you’re literally blinded by them. Alas we had poor lighting, and everything we shot was semi-grainy and lacking in full colours and good quality. This is not to be confused with unusable footage. That brings me on to my next bullet point nicely though.
  • Unusable footage e.g Interviews: We had this new RODE microphone which was awesome and the sound was so much better than the in built microphone. Bearing in mind we are in the worlds most echoey hall ever, you can literally hear all the sounds bounce off the walls, the p.a system constantly blasting out from other. The RODE microphone performed really well. That was when we turned it on. It spent half of it’s life turned off, which is annoying because it’s such an easy thing to remember, but when everything Is battery powered, and you are using something for the first time, that on top of having to be ready really quickly for something, both me and Jack missed out a few interviews by having a no sound recording. Useless I know, but it’s just one of those things! The interviews we did have were decent, although the microphone was attached to the camera, so we were reliant on the player speaking louder than usual (which for camera shy FIFA players isn’t likely)

Key ways around this for future:

Have more batteries so we can just leave the microphone in the setting ON.

Buy an extension cable so the microphone can be used as more of a handheld thing. You know, like proper interviews.

Remember that we are film makers and that we have an obligation to film things correctly.

  • Possibly try and get better cameras.
  • Have some order to the filming, we ended up just filming random shots of everything, some files were 6 seconds, some were 4 minutes. This makes for really difficult editing situations.
  • variety of shots limited, although this was due to un-invasive camera work.

So yeah, that’s what went not 100% to plan.

That being said we had great fun on the Saturday afternoon. Literally loads of fun, we were chatting with all of the players, following the live bracket, helping with the stream, helping with the administrative tasks set for us, helping choose which games should be shown live. Adjusting audio levels on the sound board, and for the stream. Literally think of a job and me and Jack helped with it.

We were finished by about 6pm and were able to go back to our seats, eat and do some editing. This sounds great, and an early night is surely to ensue you’d think! Well think again, this is Insomnia after all!

On our way to get some pizza some guy approached us wearing a big rucksack and carrying a keyboard. He looked me in the eye and started speaking to me. ‘Either of you two interesting in buying some gaming equipment?’ – Funnily enough I was, I hadn’t had a new keyboard since I started playing Counter Strike Source, and I got it for Christmas when I was 15. I thought at the time it was an average keyboard, but it had since lasted me ages and it was something I didn’t really want to part ways with, although for the last 2 years i’d been looking for something new, something which could take my many hours of gaming and many hours of typing! Everything was like £100+ though, and it was something I didn’t really feel comfortable buying for 3 figures. ‘Yes I am, i’m after a new keyboard though’, I replied. He took the keyboard(which was boxed so that’s why I didn’t realise it was a keyboard straight away) and held it out in front of me. ‘Here we go, it’s a brand new Razor one my team won, but want me to sell because they want the money, it’s worth £90 but i’m selling it for £60.’ Hmmmm what’s the catch I thought, who just sells a brand new keyboard, not faulty, with £30 off.. GEEKS OF COURSE! I instantly bought it and have not looked back since. It shines up all kinds of colours and looks wonderful. Right place at the right time!

We put all of the footage on to the computer, and used Jacks massive external hard-drive. I would’ve used my new (specifically bought for the event) portable 1TB hard-drive for everything which would’ve made everything so much easier, but I had left it at the University accommodation… Standard. But yeah, we uploaded everything off the SD cards, and proceeded to download all of the live stream footage from twitch.tv/sweetpatchtv using keepvid.com. We didn’t realise however that the footage would be saved as .flv files. Which, even though we were using Adobe software with the Premiere Pro, it apparently doesn’t recognise flash files. It doesn’t recognise it in media converter either which is useless. So that meant finding a .flv->mp4 (or a recognisable file type) converter, which appeared to take forever, and once everything had finally been converted it was 9pm. Then the editing was finally allowed to begin!

the editing itself was fun because it was nice to use in-game footage and interlace that with the footage we had done. It’s something i’d not really played about with before, using game footage before and I found it really interesting. Me and Jack switched positions regularly, deciding we would do a linear edit of the streamed games, inter-cut with funky cool shots throughout the day in the main gaming area. We used the cut tool on the EA sports logo throughout which we found to look extremely helpful between transitions.

By the time we had done it was 1am, we uploaded it to the SweetpatchTV Youtube channel and this is what the final result was.

For once I am extremely proud of this video. Not only was it an extremely fast turnaround the quality is great and it has increased my experience with Adobe Premiere. The more times you use something the better you get at it. Apparently if you spend over 10,000 hours doing something you become a master at it! I have not spent 10,000 hours using Premiere Pro.

We were unlucky with our timing waiting for the shuttle mini-bus this time and we were out in the cold at 2am for about 35 minutes before one arrived. Which meant less sleep, so when that 7.30 alarm sounds it will not be a welcome one at all !

Saturday was fantastic, and although i’m used to being a part of the massive pub quiz, gaming all the time and hanging around with my friends, it felt as though I was doing something just as fun. It was at this moment I realised that Insomnia is only possible for me to have such a great time when I attend thanks to the hard work and effort by the staff and volunteers at every stall which makes it such a fantastic event, and for me to be a part of that silent un-thanked group of people is satisfying enough in itself.

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Red Dawn: 3/10

Red Dawn Film Review.

(This video is for lazy people who can’t be bothered to read the review, but want to listen instead)
We sat down, Me and Charles that is, a couple of rows from the back of the cinema. It was shown in screen 4, which at Cineworld Chesterfield is a small screen, and despite it’s relatively recent release this should’ve provided us with warning signs there and then that this film wasn’t going to be as great as one would’ve hoped for. We were 10 minutes late and missed a few adverts, but this was because we nipped in to MacDonald’s for a pre-cinema treat, but we were just in time for the trailers. Which is one of the best parts of today’s outing.

The film follows two brothers as we watch ‘their homeland’ get invaded by angry North Koreans. Seems legit. In fact, I’ve decided to draw a brief synopsis of my own, I say synopsis, it’s more a plot outline.

‘We follow some high school footballer (who has potential to be good but doesn’t deliver) and his family are the focus of a North Korean (previously China but we will talk about that later) invasion on their homeland. They escape the grasp of the scary North Koreans and manage to form their own terrorist group called ‘Wolverines’. They train themselves thanks to the high school guys older brother who happened to be recently out of the Marines. The film progresses, and we find out more about the inter-stories which connects them all and how the invasion is fought by this small terrorist cell.

It all sounds well and good, and OK I maybe made a few things sound not potentially great. Like calling the main guy ‘some high school guy’ probably sums up my sympathy towards him and the rest of the cast. Every other scene was an explosion of emotion where everybody was crying, or close to tears. I am extremely sorry to say it was difficult to stomach one deep emotional conversation after another. The main brothers were crying in literally every scene towards the end, and fair play it was a tense and horrible situation to be in, but you’ve got to remember there is an audience who has to stomach all of this mush in between nonsensical violence.

The film feels low budget in a lot of places. The camera work is very shaky and feels dated in comparison to recent Hollywood exports, however it doesn’t detract too much from the action happening on screen. What I am trying to say is that the nice smooth shots when all is calm, compared to the erratic jerky camera movements whilst there is action is a nice comparison in itself, however is frustrating when we actually want to see what is happening rather than guessing. Each scene was poorly cut together as well, Me and my friend Charles were subject to some ghastly ‘fade to’s’ between the end of a segment and the start of another. Some other horror stories involved are the continuities upon cuts which were blatantly obvious, it’s as if there was no continuity staff involved on any location shoots. The hug where one of the characters arms come awkwardly under, but we cut to the next shot and she has her arms over on the hug, as if by magic some may say. Something which I maybe would’ve expected from The Amazing Burt Wonderstone.

The enemy is North Korea. But it was originally China. Ok fair play you have to change the main bad guy because of politics, that’s ok. At least re-shoot some of the film please. I don’t want to watch subtitled Chinese men speaking dubbed Korean not synced up to their speech! Or do i? No. The actual conversations the North Koreans had were mind numbing and extremely simple. One of the men issued an order to one of the other men (not a great description, but names in this movie are so forgettable, I think it was general woo and a member of his army) he said something about going to defeat the Wolverines, and the sentence ended with NOW! As if we as the audience couldn’t tell how keen he wanted the order doing by shouting at the top of his voice, the film makers decided it was necessary to put now in capital letters just in case we were unaware of the emphasis given by the actor.

The 12a rating is slightly ambitious. If I had a son/daughter who was 12 I would certainly not allow them to see this. Not only is it politically inaccurate it is also semi graphic, and contains potentially upsetting scenes. Not to mention the use of the F word. Which for a 12 year old to hear would affect their delicate and innocent minds. Although at that age I had said the F word so many times I’d grown out of it by the time I was 13. I refer to potentially upsetting scenes if you actually cared about any of the characters involved, which is highly unlikely because it is so alienating.

The film overall was watchable. There is no denying this. And no this isn’t really a review is it? It is just a vague piece of scripture which literally tares apart a film which many people poured there blood sweat and tears in to. Which fair play, there are things that are going for this film, the patriotism shown by the Americans is sure to hit the target market over there. Here in England however it misses the mark, because we, as a nation, are possibly the least self loving of our Country.

It is a decent ‘popcorn flick’ (this is the new saying for those really cheesy dated films with really poor scripts but a decent budget so there is action of sorts) and is completely watchable with a friend, or group of friends. That being said I stood up from my seat as the credits rolled and instantly felt dumber than when I had sat down an hour and a half before.

Go and watch it if there is literally nothing else to watch – 3/10

The pictures are there to keep the review focused.

Insomnia 48. Day 1

At Insomnia 47 I posted about entering the FIFA 1v1 Tournament. I won the 1v1 ‘fun’ tournament and came runners up in the 2v2 on following day. Although they were warm-up tournaments and don’t hold a lot of credibility, I still felt like it was an accomplishment in itself!

(Me shaking hands with Dave Witts upon winning the FIFA fun cup, I beat his son 2-1 in the final so he probably forced that smile. I will be working for /with him this event though!)

After the event me and Jack approached Dave Witts, the organiser of the event and the man who runs SweetpatchTV, offering our video making services. He was quick to reply and sound enthusiastic about our approach, which was extremely pleasing to say the least. We managed to work out a new plan for the FIFA tournament for i48 which involved a crowd seating area and a main casting desk with a PA system alongside what was the main gaming area for the rest of the tournament. In production value terms this in itself was already a massive step up to what insomnia 47 was like. Graphics were suggested, and conversations were passed back and forth between myself and Dave during the build up to i48, and in no time it was here.

It had given snow at midnight on the Thursday, meaning Friday driving would be terrible, so Jack decided he wanted to drive down late Thursday afternoon, we stay in a hotel overnight, then we are there ready for Friday morning with no snow worries whatsoever. Which proved a good thing because the snow became increasingly worse on our drive over, and after 2 hours of driving we found ourselves in a rather large amount of snow. Jack is an excellent driver though and handled the conditions well.

We stayed in the International Centre hotel for £65 between us for one night. Which in the circumstances was an excellent deal, and although we could’ve signed in to the uni accommodation, we didn’t actually know where that was.. And with it being so snowy by the time of arrival it was a journey too much and what we saw as unnecessary hassle. We put on the TV and went to sleep. Housekeeping came in at about 8 in the morning shouting housekeeping.. to which neither of us responded too, until Jack said, ‘Hello?’ but they didn’t reply, so we went back to sleep. Before our alarm call at 9, which meant the day was starting early!

When we first got there we were welcomed by the loud speaker system the main hall usually blasts out, and although it was only my 4th LAN event, it had that same sense of familiarity which I love. I recognised people from the last event, faces that is, it’s the same core group that seem to turn up every time, despite the weather! It makes me wonder what they do in their lives outside of LAN. Myself I try hard to create video content and be productive when time allows. Do they stay at home all the time? Do they have really good tech jobs? I think it’s the latter. People do have a misguided view on some geeks, that they stay at home in their mums basements and that is the end of it. When in reality there are some of the brightest people in the country attended these events. None more so than the Multiplay technicians, who blew me and Jack away with their intelligence and ability to think on the spot and get a problem sorted with the minimum amount of time, effort and fuss possible. Literally every problem, big or small (There were a lot of big problems, the main one being, how is it possible to have the Xbox hooked up to the tv, the pc and be projected on to another TV, whilst at the same time have the sound go through the large PA type speakers and be streamed live online which has the sounds from in game as well as the microphones. Literally I was clueless when this problem was posed to me. We needed help. Although now I can honestly say I respect what these guys do an incredible amount, because problem solving when technology is involved is a very difficult task. Inputs/Outputs, different cables, connecters, splitters. It’s all in my head ready for the next time I need it. And by I that I mean, I still have little idea as to what actually went on, but it was nice to look like I knew what I was doing for those short 5 or so hours whilst everything was being sorted out. There were literally always new problems coming up, if one camera was plugged in it would crash the pc. The Canon 600d’s would not connect to the PC without the correct software, which was impossible to get. The cameras themselves overheat so this is an extremely bad way to have a live picture. That being said we tried everything, but alas we couldn’t get it to work.

(The Streaming area, although full with cables was finally set up and looking good)

I was allowed to enter the 1v1 fun cup, which is what I won at the last event. As the reigning champion I thought I stood a good chance of doing well this time round as well, however the prize was £100 so that instantly attracted a better standard of player, and that coupled with my absence from playing for over 2 months, my 5-1 battering and elimination was humbling and just. That being said when I was at my best and playing well I don’t think I would’ve been able to beat the guy I lost too, he was really quite good, but didn’t make it to the final or anything, which again shows how good the competition was in the fun cup.

We then tried to do some interviews which failed again on the new pc. It was saying it had no audio, or it was extremely quiet. We thought it’d perhaps be the Rode microphone we had just bought, and we had turned the sound off. But we tried it on both of our pc’s (the windows and MAC) and it worked fine as both. We even exported the video as a .mp4 file instead of a .MOV to see if it would accept that but it didn’t seem to want to know. The technicians didn’t have an answer to this which was upsetting as this was our main reason for coming. To do interviews which could be streamed! Anyway, we went back to our desks scratching our heads, but it was about 7pm by this point and the long day had tired us both out. We sat and played 2 games of StarCraft, watched a little bit of Jerry Springer and decided we were way too tired to game, especially when our alarms were set for 7.30am. We had a bit of a treck to get back to the Uni Accommodation however as we had still never been. We went to the car to pick up our bags and saw outside. It was so snowy and cold, literally freezing. There was a van waiting outside the event hall who said he was going to the accommodation, although we knew it would be the slipperiest ride ever, and with that both me and Jack got in to the mini-bus. It was probably one of the most nervous I’ve been on the roads as every corners was a skid or a wheel spin, I gave a worried look to Jack about half way through, he looked pretty calm in fairness almost accepting his fate. Once we arrived, we thanked the driver who was a very nice man indeed and wished us a good time for the rest of our stay. You’d like to think that this is the end of what happened on this day, but no the story doesn’t quite end here!

So we go to check in at Wolverhampton Uni, Telford campus. We were given card keys as well as normal keys, My hands were bright pink and I was shaking pretty dramatically. It was frightfully cold. I stood for about 5 minutes in the cold trying to get my key to work but the door just kept turning red and wouldn’t let me in. By this point I couldn’t feel my fingers, I did call jack to see if he would come down and help me with my key, because I didn’t know whether I was doing it right or not or just being stupid because I was so tired. The security guard then came at about the same time as Jack appeared. He said laughing, ‘We’ve been watching you on the CCTV, you’re not supposed to do it like that, you’re supposed to just hold it until it turns green.’ He tried the door and it instantly failed. His laugh went as he confirmed the card was broken and it infact wasn’t my fault. But at least I got in to my room ok! It was really warm inside and I couldn’t wait to get in to bed. The next day surely must be better.. surely?

Portfolio

Here is the home of everything of note i have been involved in. There are many videos, some better than others admittadly, however they all demonstrate the willingness to try and be involved in new things, often to a high standard.

As well as videos there will also be two examples of scripts which were written with the intention to have them made, either by myself in the future, or to be taken up by a production company.

Each page will link to a series of different videos I am a part of. The information will summarise the content of the video, as well as my personal role on each production.

Most of the videos will be found at www.youtube.com/wraggy1234 or www.youtube.com/cumminswraggpro

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