Tag Archives: animals

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.

Worldbuilding and No Man’s Sky

As you may know, I’ve been playing No Man’s Sky. Every planet in the game is unique. And it’s actually quite inspirational for me. You see, it’s giving me ideas for worldbuilding.

However, we’ve had a bit of a bumpy road getting the game to work yesterday. It’s no fault of the game. It’s Steam that was being idiotic. Watch this video and you’ll find out.

I played the game today, and there was no problem. I’m loving the game. I spent the entire time today exploring this one planet, looking for resources, technology upgrades, and trying to learn more of the language. And the thing that struck me was how beautiful this world was. What you saw in the video above is that world.

The landscapes, ruins, plants, and animals inspire me. They’re giving me ideas for worldbuilding on Ariadne. And as I explore other worlds, I get even more ideas. This world is so colourful. I’d love to show you pictures, but I couldn’t actually take any screencaps of the game today. I’ll have to take photos instead. I want to show you the landscapes, the whole planet, and the animals. I’ll be making a feature on this blog about No Man’s Sky, and I’ll catalogue all the planets and animals I discover.

I probably won’t be playing the game for a few days, though. At least not until next week. But when I do, I’ll take pictures. I’m going to go through all the worlds I’ve been to, as I search for more things. I want to discover all animal species, which gives the player a big reward. Once I’ve done that, I’ll move on to the next star system.

On the topic of worldbuilding, it’s making me think about sketching landscapes and creating the animals for Ariadne. I’m really looking forward to that.

We Went to a Dog Show!

Yesterday, we had a bit of a fun day looking at some dogs. The Northern Alberta Canine Association held their annual dog show in Edmonton this weekend, and we went to check out these:

20160606-130558-47158155.jpg

Toy poodles! While there were only two being shown, we went there to talk to some of the owners and find out about good breeders in the area. But they weren’t the only dogs we saw. I kind of liked these:

20160606-130557-47157326.jpg

Do you know what it is? It’s a keeshond. It’s a Dutch breed. But there’s more! Check out the video I took. Plenty of dogs to see.

To be honest, I wasn’t exactly sure if the French bulldog was a French bulldog or a Boston Terrier, but it was smaller and stockier, so I thought it was probably a Frenchie.

You may notice something new with the video, too. I’ve been working on improving my videos and channel, and since I’ve verified my channel, I can now use custom thumbnails and cards. You can see a card in the upper right-hand corner, the i in a circle. They’re available throughout the video, and you can open and close them, but they draw your attention at an appropriate time in the video. Watch the whole video and you’ll see.

Have you ever been to a dog show? What’s your favourite breed? Let me know in the comments below.

TV Impression – Walking With Dinosaurs

WalkingwithdinosdvdcoverWalking With Dinosaurs

Series length: 6 episodes

Genre: Documentary

Going in chronological order, I watched this after Walking With Monsters. However, it was made several years earlier, in 1999. And it looks dated. Even though it was the most expensive documentary ever made at the time, the CG looks like CG. Jurassic Park was much better. That’s what stood out to me the most. The movement was a bit unnatural, and the dinosaurs didn’t seem to fit in with the real locations that they used.

But I enjoyed it. It was fascinating, just like the other series. But as it is dated, none of the dinosaurs had feathers. But that’s just a nitpick. They did mention that dinosaurs evolved into birds, so there’s that. Like Walking With Monsters, I found the environments interesting. The world changed so much during the time of the dinosaurs, from hot and tropical to hot and dry. Even Antarctica had forests when it was at the South Pole. Dinosaurs lived there and they adapted to the dark, cold winters.

But it wasn’t all about dinosaurs. It was also about the marine reptiles, like icthyosaurs and pliosaurs. And there was an episode about pterosaurs. They featured mammals, sharks, and the occasional amphibian, too.

At only half an hour each episode, it’s an easy series to watch in a short time. If you love dinosaurs, you’ll probably love this.

TV Impression – Walking With Monsters

Walking_with_Monsters_DVD_coverWalking With Monsters

Series length: 3 episodes

Genre: Documentary

This is the first of a series of TV impressions. They are not full reviews. Usually, I will do a full series impression. However, in some circumstances, I will do episode-by-episode impressions. In this case, I will be doing a series impression. So, let’s get to it!

This series was created by the BBC and shows what life was like during the Palaeozoic, the time before the dinosaurs. Coming out in 2005, the computer animation is quite good, though still looks a bit artificial. I found it to be very interesting, as we usually don’t get to see much about this time in prehistory, other than hearing about dimetrodons. It’s usually overshadowed by the Mesozoic and the dinosaurs.

The things I found fascinating about this include the environment and development of life. It had me thinking a lot about worldbuilding, in fact. The oxygen levels in the atmosphere varied vastly during this time, as did the arrangements of the continents. This resulted in totally different ecosystems developing. At one time, it’s extremely hot and humid, at others it’s very cold, and another time, it’s hot and dry. How do the animals adapt? Watching this gave me a little more insight into how to create a world with alien animals.

I recommend this series for those of you who love natural history. I’d give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Is This Rabbit City?

The area that we live in now has plenty of wildlife. We’re close to the edge of the city, as well as near a ravine with plenty of trees and a small creek. But running around the neighbourhood, there are many rabbits.


It seems that we see rabbits daily. We even saw four rabbits in one spot. They’re also many different colours. And they are huge. These are not the cute little fluffy ones, these are cat-sized.

They aren’t the only mammals around. Although we haven’t seen any yet, it’s possible to encounter deer, foxes, skunks, and coyotes. We saw a muskrat, though.

Birds are plentiful, too. Lots of ducks (mainly mallard), Canada geese, magpies, crows, pigeons, chickadees, robins, sparrows, and gulls. I’m looking forward to finding my old bird field guide and going birdwatching.

Whet animals live around where you live? Let me know in the comments below.

What Does the _____ Say?

It’s been a couple years since this went viral:

It doesn’t answer the question, does it? What does the fox actually say? And for that matter, what do some other animals say? Aren’t you curious about that? Let’s find out.

The fox:

Rabbits are pretty quiet, aren’t they? Just wait until you hear this:

How about a giraffe? Do they make a sound? This is interesting.

And what about river otters?

And porcupines?

Ever wonder what a wolverine sounds like?

How about a skunk?

And here are some raccoons.

And finally, from Japan, the tanuki, which is also known as the raccoon dog. It’s actually a type of wild dog.

And just for fun, dumb-sounding birds of North America.

What did you think? Any surprise you?

Dimetrodon Is Canadian!

In 1854, a fossil was found on Prince Edward Island by a farmer. It was part of an upper jaw with curved teeth. It was given the name Bathygnathus borealis. The 290 million year old Permian period reptile couldn’t be identified, and it wasn’t linked to other species that are now known. However, looking at the fossil again, scientists discovered that it’s actually a Dimetrodon.

Dimetrodon incisivum at the Museum of Natural History in the United States.
Dimetrodon incisivum at the Museum of Natural History in the United States.

The Dimetrodon is a famous sail-backed reptile that predates the dinosaurs. They are not related to dinosaurs, but are in fact more closely related to mammals. They come from a group of reptiles called non-mammalian synapsids. While they aren’t our ancestors, another reptile from that group is our direct ancestor.

I find this pretty interesting. Dimetrodons had never been found in Canada before, so it’s nice to add such a famous animal to the list of prehistoric animals that lived in Canada. What do you think of this news?

Hitting the Birdwatching Jackpot

Ever been walking outside and you see something you’ve never seen before? I saw this.

20151108-075210-28330550.jpg

Thirteen big white birds. Hmm, what are they?

20151108-075231-28351086.jpg

They’re great egrets! Thirteen great egrets all in one place! I’ve seen two or three in somewhat close proximity to each other, but never thirteen. But that’s not all! A little further away, I saw this.

20151108-075247-28367232.jpg

What? A grey heron? Thirteen great egrets and a grey heron all in one area? I truly have never seen this before.

Is this a birdwatching jackpot? Do I win something? Have you been lucky enough to see something like this?