Category Archives: Games

Writing Exercise Based on Minecraft

I’ve become a bit of a fan of Minecraft, thanks to my daughter. I enjoy the creative aspect of it, and have challenged myself to build multiple towns and even cities. Not only do I play the game, I record myself doing so. If you want to see my successes and failures, you can check out my channel. It’s called Dad Plays Minecraft for obvious reasons. I play Minecraft, my daughter is not involved.

So, I’m an adult who plays Minecraft. Aren’t I too old for a game like this? Well, I wrote an article on gamers.media (part of vocal.media) about this, and I’d like you to tell me what you think about it in the comments below. That will explain why I play it, and why I think it’s perfectly fine for adults to play it.

But the purpose of this post is to talk about writing. Yes, that’s right, I’m talking about writing for the first time in a long time on this blog. Sounds like I’m reviving it, doesn’t it? I had this idea for a while now, and I’ve found that I keep thinking about a background story and lore for my Minecraft world. It’s a fantasy story, and I’ve been thinking about writing a series on this blog in a diary/journal style related to each episode of my video series. Not only can you watch the video, but you can read what the character is writing in a journal about his journey and adventures. In a way, it reminds me of Myst.

I’d like to know what you think of this idea, as I’d love to see it get off the ground and turn into an interesting first person account of his life in a strange, wonderful world. Let me know in the comments section below what you think of this idea.

What Is Going On?

So, it’s been a while. I’ve just been quite busy with so many things. And yes, I do plan on getting back into this blog. But one thing that has been interesting to see is how much the blog has been viewed recently.

Since November 12, 2018, the number of views has dramatically increased. Why? Because of a single blog post, one I wrote about citrus fruit and how most of them are hybrids. Kind of an unusual thing for a writing blog to have go viral. In November, there were nearly 5,000 views, which is higher than any other month ever on this blog. Since then, it’s been averaging more than 2,500 views per month, a level not seen since 2016, when I was posting daily. Very interesting to see how things have been going while I haven’t been posting.

But I intend to be back, though the next month or two are quite hectic for me, as I’m working far more than usual.

Other than that, I have been doing some online things, particularly on YouTube. One of the things I’ve been doing is an ESL channel, which I just started. Only one lesson is up so far, but more will be coming. And because I’ve been quite busy, I needed an outlet for something a bit more fun, so I’ve been playing Minecraft and uploading my gameplay to YouTube. This actually requires minimal editing, and is quite easy to do. You can check out that channel and see what I’m doing there. I’ll have a post shortly about that channel, as well.

What have you been up to? Let me know in the comments!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you had a great Christmas. I know I did. My daughter had an incredible Christmas, as she got a lot of things she wanted. And this was one of them:

She’s always wanted a toy kitchen set, and this one looks really good. Quite realistic looking, and she’s really enjoying it. She also got a lot of things for PAW Patrol, My Little Pony, and Barbie.

I got some books, a movie, a new wallet, and my sister and I are sharing an XBox One S! We have Final Fantasy XV, NHL 17, and Minecraft, which I’m sure we’ll enjoy. Also, something we ordered several weeks ago finally arrived this week: Cards Against Humanity! We played a game tonight, and this was one of our rounds:

The one on the right was our “4th player” Rando Cardrissian, a player who was just random cards. I had the middle group of cards. The game is hilarious. I love it! Have you ever played it?

Something I wanted to talk about was you. That’s right, my readers. I want to thank all of you for reading, following, and commenting. You are what makes doing this blog fun and worthwhile. I appreciate every one of you.

I made a video on YouTube that has a message that I think applies to this blog, as well. Please watch.

I hope you all had a great Christmas! Let me know what you got and how you spent your day.

Can No Man’s Sky Be Salvaged?

It’s been nearly three months since I’ve played No Man’s Sky. It’s gone through some major issues with losing most of its players, many people complaining about false advertising, and a game that seems to have no direction. Well, it’s finally being updated! It’s called the Foundation Update, which adds many features, such as the ability to construct bases, build and operate freighters, hire alien workers for your base, and more. And these are some of the things that were originally promised. What’s even more interesting is that this isn’t the biggest update to come.

Check out this video about the updates. Don’t mind the people in the video. They always joke around about the games.

Will I resume playing it? Of course! I want to see how it’s been improved. Unfortunately, the update is buggy, as my sister has found out already. But they should be ironed out. But I’m not particularly interested in spending all my time building things. I still want to explore every planet I discover. That’s what I like about the game, despite its issues.

Is anyone considering playing again? Let me know in the comments below.

Books in Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is a reality now. You can get Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, use it on your computer, and enjoy immersing yourself in another world.

But this had me thinking. What if we could enter the world that exists in a book? You can fully interact with everything in that world, including places, characters, and more. Which book would you choose to enter?

I think I would love to be in the Pern series by Anne McCaffrey. I want to become a dragon rider and ride a dragon. That would be incredible.

Or maybe join Ender in Ender’s Game, training in that zero gravity training chamber. That would be a lot of fun.

Or how about exploring Mars in Red Mars? See Olympus Mons, the polar ice caps, or Valles Marineris.

The possibilities are endless. Which book would you choose? Let me know in the comments below.

In Memoriam: My First No Man’s Sky Game

Early last week, I signed in to No Man’s Sky only to discover that my saved game wouldn’t open. It started a new game on a new planet in a new system! I was quite disappointed. I was originally on a very colourful world, and I was going to take screenshots of the scenery on all the planets I discovered.

Has this soured my enjoyment of this game? Not really. I just started over again. The problem was a bug in the game that has been addressed by a patch recently, so it shouldn’t happen again. The game has been getting a lot of hate recently because it isn’t what was advertised. So many things that were said to be in the game actually aren’t. But I have expectations that some will appear in future patches. It seems more like they were pressured to release the game, and they released it unfinished. But what we get, I’m really enjoying.

My initial expectation of this game was to be able to explore planets and discover interesting landscapes, plants, and animals. That’s what I got. If you take this as a straightforward exploration game, then you should be satisfied. That’s what I love about this game. And so, I’m enjoying it a lot.

So, I’d like to share with you the Ariadne system. It was the first system I arrived in and I renamed it to Ariadne. Unfortunately, I didn’t get screenshots of one of the planets before the game reset. However, I have images of the first and third planets I played on. So, here is the first planet, Ariadne II:

The view of Ariadne II from space. It looks like it has water, but I didn't actually get to see it. It was mostly a rocky world.
The view of Ariadne II from space. It looks like it has water, but I didn’t actually get to see it. It was mostly a rocky world.
A night time view.
A night time view.
The sun is coming up, bathing it in a pink hue.
The sun is coming up, bathing it in a pink hue.
One of the local animals. Interesting looking, isn't it?
One of the local animals. Interesting looking, isn’t it?
Ruins in the foreground, big mountain in the background.
Ruins in the foreground, big mountain in the background.

The second planet I went to was pretty barren, and it had no animals at all. I didn’t get any images of it. The third planet was totally different. Very colourful and had abundant plant and animal life. No forests, but a pink “grass.”

A view of the pink planet, Ariadne III, from space.
A view of the pink planet, Ariadne III, from space.
So brightly coloured. Look at all that pink!
So brightly coloured. Look at all that pink!
At a trading post on Ariadne III.
At a trading post on Ariadne III.
More colours on display, with a pink sky matching the pink landscape. Sunset.
More colours on display, with a pink sky matching the pink landscape. Sunset.
What's this? A dinosaur? Kind of.
What’s this? A dinosaur? Kind of.
I loved this planet. The colour was amazing, and it seemed so comfortable and inviting.
I loved this planet. The colour was amazing, and it seemed so comfortable and inviting.

These planets have been saved on No Man’s Sky’s server, so someone way stumble upon it sometime in the future, although that’s extremely unlikely. I wish I could’ve seen the other planet in the system.

Despite the problems and issues people have had with the game, I find it beautiful to look at, and very inspirational. I love going into the game to just explore. That’s all that matters to me. I can’t wait to discover more.

In the future, I’ll have more posts about the worlds I’ve discovered in the game. I’m not sure if I’ll be doing animals, but I will certainly do landscapes. If you’d like to see animals, then let me know. I can still show you animals from these two planets, as I have the images saved.

Let me know which planet you like the most. Also, if you’ve played the game, did you enjoy it?

No Man’s Sky and Worldbuilding – Part 2

I already talked a bit about No Man’s Sky and worldbuilding in a previous blog post, but I decided to talk about it on video, as well. However, I go into far more detail in the video. You can watch it right here.

I mentioned that I’ll be putting up images from the game here on this blog. Consider it inspiration for worldbuilding. There are some fantastic landscapes and very interesting animals to see. Expect some posts about that soon!

Let me know what you thought of the video in the comments below. It really has me thinking a lot about what to do with developing the landscapes, animals, and plants of Ariadne.