Tag Archives: gaming

Game Dev Tycoon

I read a story today about a game called Game Dev Tycoon. They released their own game, and a cracked version of their game on a torrent site on the same day. Whilst 300 people paid for the game, 3700 downloaded the illegal copy. What the people downloading the illegal copy didn’t realise was that you can only get so far in the game before you lose to a piracy bug with-in the game. Pretty clever!

I saw this and though, what a fantastic idea, not only has it become news all over the internet reaching out to thousands of potential customers, it’s a really good idea to give people a trial of your game. We all know that people pirate stuff they are either trialing or not really wanting to buy, so there isn’t really potential sales loss, so it’s just clever business all round.

Although a clear rip-off from Game Dev Story, which is another incredible game. this is extremely addictive and could have you playing for hours. Turned out i did on my stream on http://www.twitch.tv/joshuawragg – it amassed 110 live viewers by the end, as well bringing in over 1400 unique viewers over this time. I had great fun playing, i think the people on stream enjoyed it too! The only thing wrong was my microphone issues which are continuous, god please fix yourself soon stupid computer!

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XboxVids1080 Channel Launch

The idea for making a new YouTube channel has been in the works for a while, there has been so much talk of lets do this and lets do that over the past year or two, however, the time has actually come and we are finally here.

XboxVids1080 is a partnership with me and Jack Cummins, looking to upload our Fifa 13 games, making highlight videos, tutorial videos, general fun videos etc etc.

I am extremely excited in presenting the channel, and will be uploading content for it very regularly, so please check us out at http://www.youtube.com/user/XboxVids1080, we hope to see you there very soon! Enjoy the Videos!

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Upgrading My computer

Upgrading my computer over the past week has been fun, annoying yet eventually rewarding.

Regular complications

I have been on Windows Vista since July 2009, which by any ones standard is far too long. It was using up 2GB worth of my RAM before anything else was even running, that alongside my 6GB RAM meant i rarely had enough virtual memory.

I purchased 2GB of Kingston Hyper X RAM to go with the rest of my RAM upping me up to 8GB, this should help things out no end.

Charles, the PC repair man, came round to my house whilst i was at work, to install the SSD drive and windows 7. He completely wiped my external hard drive as to not confuse the vista operating system on there, which is what i wanted as it had a lot of garbage on there. Unfortunately however, i hadn’t backed up everything as i had once thought, it turns out my pictures file was completely wiped with no back-up. This really is something which i will never let happen again, 4 years worth of pictures gone in a second.

The SSD card didn’t come with a cable either, so Charles smartly decided to use the CD-DRIVE cable instead, disabling it until a new cable was ordered.

Anyway, the installation went 100% fine, the SSD works, the cable was ordered, everything is looking A-OK.

Besides the problems with sleep, and the fact my computer still doesn’t turn off properly that is, that really does suck, but i don’t know what i can do about it :s.

Needless to say my computer is looking fantastic, in game graphics are literally more incredible then i could’ve ever hoped for, here is a screenshot from Mass Effect 2 for you to look at!mass effect screenshot

There are no frames dropped, everything is on the highest setting, my computer just runs nicely, i am one happy bunny at the moment!!!

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Charles Fixing/Breaking/Fixing My Computer

It’s Friday afternoon and i decide that my CPU has taken enough battering over the recent weeks, and upon further investigation realised it was reaching temperatures around 76 degrees(Celsius) idle and peaking over 100 degrees when it was made to do something, which in turn made my computer start to fail. Charles said he was free after work on the Friday evening, we were going to the 8 (or 9) showing of Oblivion at Cineworld so we had a couple of hours to take the computer apart and de-dust it. (de_dust it?)

I whack the television on and put my feet up, after all, i don’t know what i’m doing! Charles certainly looked like he knew if nothing else until that was he took the CPU fan out. The fan had a very delicate mechanism where forced entry would snap the pieces which would eventually hold it in place, which had happened when Charles managed to get his heavy hands in it. Which meant it would never go back in and stay.. which meant a new CPU was required.

‘Computer components are surprisingly strong’. Charles Saddler 12/4/13 – Moments before snapping the clips.

 

We decided to call it a night after that, go to the cinema and address the situation in the morning.

 

So it’s 10.30am Saturday morning. I literally never see this hour of day anymore, so i presume it’s being without a computer for the night which has allowed me to sleep for once, who knows. But anyway, Charles arrived at mine and we decided to drive to Chesterfield and get a new fan. Which fan should i get i wondered? Charles offered to pay £20 for the CPU fan as he had kind of broken it, which was extremely generous of him, but the generosity of driving to Chesterfield for me should’ve been enough in itself! It turned out though the best thing to do would be to get a water-cooler for the CPU as it would be future proof for my next chip, motherboard, thing. So that was £60 and Charles said he’d go halves on it.. like a complete lad! If anything i’m really glad he broke it.

The rest of the day was spent putting it together, which was no mean feat because we ended up going in to Matlock for some super glue we didn’t need at all, and 3 computer start ups which said the CPU was overheating.

Charles eventually got everything back together, and it all works perfectly with the new CPU water cooler, which is nice! it also idles at 35 degrees which is pretty cool in fairness!

 

Thanks Charles!! LAD.

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Donkey Kong Live Stream – Part 5

So today was a great day for streaming. I had a whole hours worth of streaming, completely fine, internet was great, people were watching, and it was fantastic! I just so wish i could do this with games such as Starcraft 2 and Counter Strike: Global Offensive. I’d be rate famous by now if my internet was better. I literally have no other option other than to move house.

Plan 1 –

Win the lottery and move to America and stream a lot. All the time.

Plan 2 –

Move to Sheffield with Charles, maybe Jack as well. Internet will be pretty fast then, but i’m not sure if i could afford rent & bills as i would have to look for a new job.

Plan 3 –

Move but someone pay my bills. Then i will make EoD videos, make pro streaming videos of FIFA, pacman, everything possible. I will be famous.

Here is the stream i did earlier tonight, it is pretty entertaining, i swear far too many times though so apologies for that! and the sound is poor in the middle!

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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.

microphone

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.

hots image

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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Live Streaming – Part 2

Managed to get the stream working ok. Some of the settings are slightly dodgy though. By that i mean my webcam has literally the worst microphone on it. But my plugged in microphone on my headset has never worked, not for this headset or any other because the port is broken, meaning only usb connections are accepted, which majorly sucks.

The video quality is exceptionally poor also, however once you are in game it doesn’t look that bad, Mario moves pretty freely and doesn’t seem to drop many frames at all.

I decided to change from my justin.tv/raidenstarcraft to my new streaming site twitch.tv/joshuawragg this was due to the inability to upload youtube videos from the justin.tv site even though it had everything activated, the upload button was nowhere to be seen. The overall feel of twitch.tv is also much nicer on the eyes.comparrison

 

Old on the left, new on the right.

So yeah, from now on my broadcasts will be done from http://www.twitch.tv/joshuawragg and i will be uploading my streams on to YouTube and i hope to get a decent following! See you all on the other side!

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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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Journalism within E-Sports

I have had a passion to play computer games my entire life. I don’t really know where this passion comes from, perhaps it was watching my dad complete Sonic the Hedgehog on the Mega Drive, maybe it was because it was an excuse to not go out when i couldn’t be bothered. Whatever the deal my life of gaming lead my to the point where i wanted to actively become involved in the world of professional gaming.

I wrote a couple of articles for the UK’s biggest gaming team. Team Dignitas.

http://www.team-dignitas.net/articles/blogs/Starcraft-II/578/Heart-Of-The-Swarm-the-pro-players-opinion/
My first post i reached out to a selection of Starcraft 2 professionals (when i says professionals, they literally get paid to play the game, most of them on salaries.) asking about the upcoming release of the next Starcraft 2 game, which in fairness was someway off at the point of the article, however Blizzard had recently released a lot of things relating to it and there was a buzz in the community and a niche for this kind of article.

The piece was very successful, reaching over 100,000 on teamliquid.net and had helped me gain some friends within the scene.

I ended up finishing my University degree and didn’t have time to continue writing, and unfortunately for a few months had to concentrate on my Final Year Project, missing everything to do with Starcraft. I then had a do i go back to it kind of moment. I had missed so much, i didn’t know who was good, who was on top, what tournament is happening where anymore. Alas i succumbed to watching Starcraft 2 again online through the various free streams and suddenly found myself over-awed at the entire gaming scene. I offered to write for Team Dignitas again, although they had no place for random journalistic articles like the one i had previously submitted and wanted only interviews and walk through ‘how to’ kind of articles. I tried my hand at the interview.

http://www.team-dignitas.org/articles/blogs/Starcraft-II/1970/Interview-with-Empire.Kas-Right-now-I-feel-in-really-bad-shape-I-have-problems-in-every-matchup-but-I-never-give-up/

Although it’s not a great interview, the main reason with that being that Kas is Russian, and unfortunately his English wasn’t particularly great, which made his answers short and often making little sense.

That being said it made front page on the Starcraft2 section on Reddit.com (largely due to Kas getting a big result against a top Korean the day the article was released).

I decided i didn’t want to make anymore articles for Team Dignitas as I felt i wanted to create something worth reading, more so than just your bog standard interview which you find on every gaming website you go on.

Although i am not currently writing for anybody, i regularly visit teamliquid.net to read the forums and keep up to date with what’s happening, and will happily write for another gaming organisation in the future should the opportunity arise!
#RaidenG writing!

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