Tag Archives: games

Cities: Skylines – A New Way to Eat Up My Free Time

I’ve been a big fan of the SimCity games, and in particular SimCity 4. I got that game in around 2004, and played it extensively for several years until my daughter managed to get the game CD out of its case and covered it with food. It was also a bit scratched up. So, there went my ability to create and run cities.

Then, tonight, I was looking on YouTube, and came across this video:

I think I’m going to immerse myself in a few of these videos. Cities: Skylines looks like the perfect replacement for SimCity 4! I love the look of it. It looks far more realistic. And the After Dark expansion looks great. I really want to see it on day and night cycles. And the ability to do cinematic flyovers makes me feel like I’ve found the perfect city simulator.

There’s a catch, though. The minimum requirements seem to exceed my computer’s CPU. But that’s okay. I do plan on getting a new computer when I can afford to. One that’s built for games like this.

Anyone heard of this game or enjoy city simulation games? Let me know in the comments below.

So Excited About No Man’s Sky, I Have to Mention it Again

I’ve talked about this game before. No Man’s Sky is a massive game consisting of billions of unique planets with billions of unique plants and animals, and you can travel all around the galaxy discovering and exploring. There’s piracy, battles, trading, or just plain exploring. Here’s a video I saw on Cobra TV’s YouTube channel.

There are more videos on their channel about No Man’s Sky.

What we didn’t know about last time I talked about this game is that there’s now a release date. It’ll be available in June 2016 for Sony Playstation 4 and PC. I think I may be exploring a galaxy next summer. I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited about a game before. I’ll probably post about it again sometime next year.

Anyone interested in this game?

My Post 1,500 Wishlist for 2016

This is the 1,500th post on this blog! So, instead of thanking everyone, I’m going to be selfish. This is what I want to get in 2016.

  • All the Star Trek TV series and movies on DVD
  • Cards Against Humanity
  • SimCity 4 (again)
  • No Man’s Sky
  • A car
  • A lot of books for very good sci-fi and fantasy series I haven’t bought yet
  • Watch an Oilers game in the new Rogers Place
  • See Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • See Batman v Superman: The Dawn of Justice
  • See a lot of movies, actually
  • Finally get some major progress done on my writing (okay, so this isn’t something I’m buying or paying for)

Another thing I want is to have another amazing year blogging and interacting with my wonderful readers even more. Is that being selfish? I feel great satisfaction when you are satisfied. So, I hope you’re satisfied with this blog next year.

But really, thanks to everyone for reading. I wouldn’t be doing this if it weren’t for all of you.

Is there something you want to get next year? Let me know in the comments below.

The Appeal of Dungeons and Dragons

This post started on Facebook, although it was really on Twitter. Wil Wheaton posted this:


This made me think back to when I was a kid. I never played Dungeons and Dragons, but I did play another RPG called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Other Strangeness.

TMNTrpgBack then, I didn’t know anyone that played D&D, but I knew people who had this particular RPG. And you know what? I don’t think we ever actually played the game. We created characters, and we spent a lot of time doing it. I made so many characters in my free time, but it was what I loved doing. The character creation was a lot of fun, and I just kept wanting to make more and more characters. Have you ever felt that way about games like D&D and TMNT?

DnD5thEditionBut back to Dungeons and Dragons.  Wil Wheaton’s post had me thinking about how I’d like to get my hands on the Player’s Handbook (and probably Dungeon Master’s book, and other resources). I’d actually like to play it if I knew anyone who does. However, I don’t know if I would even get that far. I’d probably be having too much fun creating the characters. But is that so bad? I mean, I could create characters I could use in a classic fantasy story. But that’s been done before.

And that brings me to another point. I wonder how many authors actually create RPGs like this for their fantasy books. I know some series, like Forbidden Realms was created to support their RPG system. But what if the book was first, and the RPG later? If you write fantasy (or even science fiction), would you consider creating an RPG system for your world? I think I would for Ariadne.

Let me know in the comments below: Have you played any of these RPGs? Would you create an RPG for your books? I’d love to hear from you.

Wasting Time – Smartphone Games

Smartphones are computers, and they have some pretty high quality games. Far better than the ones I had for Sega Game Gear more than twenty years ago. But I try not to spend too much time playing them.

However, I do play some. These are what have my attention at the moment:

SimCity BuildIt

To tide me over until I get a new copy of SimCity 4 for my computer, I’ve been building a city on my iPhone with SimCity BuildIt. It’s an okay substitute, but I prefer the more realistic look of SimCity 4.

Angry Birds 2

This is pretty fun, but I tend to only play one level a day. I spend some time playing Angry Birds Friends on Facebook, too.


This is a simple game where the objective is to add up the squares to 2048. You start with 2, combine it with another 2 to make 4, and you need another 4 to make 8, and so on. It keeps doubling, but it’s not as easy as you’d think.

There are some others that I have been playing, but not so often these days. What are you playing, if you play games on a smartphone?

The Most Perfect Space Game Ever – No Man’s Sky

Go to YouTube and search for “no man’s sky ign” and watch the videos. There are several of them. You won’t be sorry.  Here’s one of them.

This game looks amazing. It’s a space explorer’s dream come true. The worlds are randomly generated when discovered for the first time, and then they’re part of a vast universe. The discoverer gets to name them, including any animals they find. As time goes on, more planets are discovered, more animals are catalogued, and a vast encyclopedia is compiled. You can travel between planets and stars, upgrade your ship, become an explorer, trader, or just join with pirates and shoot at anything you like. There are so many potential planet that it’ll take billions of years to explore them all. And these are planets. They are full-scale. They have regular length days. So 24 hours of real life is also 24 hours on a planet in the game. You’ll see one sunset and one sunrise. It’s meant to be as realistic as possible.

Here are five worlds to check out.

Does this look interesting? As soon as I can, when it’s available to the public, I really want to play it. In the meantime, check out their homepage.

So, who wants to play?

Solstice – Summer Goals

It’s June 21st, which means it’s the Summer Solstice! First day of summer. It’s also my last summer in Japan. Summer is going to mean a few things, and I have some goals.


I am currently reading a couple books that will take far too long to finish. I would like to find more time to read, preferably at home, maybe at night after everyone else has gone to bed.  That means I need to streamline my blog posting process.  However, my best posting times are at night, as I have more time to write the posts. But that’s for another section of this post. I’ll try as much as I can to read during breaks at work, as well as on the train to and from work, and make time to read at night.


I’ve been able to keep up with my two posts a day commitment. Not one day has been missed so far this year. I will continue with that for the rest of the year, not only summer.  I’m also going to start up a new blog about architecture and urban photography. Other things to look forward to are more worldbuilding posts. I also plan to get started on Quick Facts, which is basically a renamed Encyclopedia Entries. I’ll get the astronomy section organised, as well as start up the geography and palaeontology sections.


After a successful A to Z Challenge in April, I slacked off. Mainly due to visa sponsorship application forms and things like that. I must get back into writing, at least 15 minutes a day. More on days I’m home alone.

Other things

Prepare for my sister’s visit in October. I won’t take any time off at Obon in August, so I’ll try find shifts in other schools that are open for this holiday period. I want to save up my paid holidays for my sister’s visit. I also want to go out quite a bit with my daughter, such as the beach and more splash parks. She needs to get fully diaper trained. She knows what to do, she just doesn’t let us know she needs to use the toilet. Got to work on that.  I’d like to install The Sims 3 on my computer, as I haven’t actually played any games on it since my old computer decided to die on me. My favourite game, SimCity 4, is difficult to install thanks to my daughter, who got her grubby, sticky, slimy hands on the CD and made it very difficult clean off.

What are your summer plans (or winter, if you’re in the southern hemisphere)?

Computer Games Anyone?

I started playing video games in the early 1980s with an Atari 2600. Since then, I’ve always had games. I had them on Apple II/e, Sega Master System, Sega Game Gear, Windows PC (1995 until now), and iPhone.  I think my favourites are on the PC.

The games I like to play the most are Sims 2, SimCity 4, and EA Sports NHL series (I have 2004 and 2009). I’ve also enjoyed playing the Myst series, and I have Civilization V, though I haven’t installed it. In fact, I don’t have a single game on this computer. I just never bothered installing them. But I’m getting the itch again. I think this is what I’ll do.

First, I’ll install Sims 3. I have it, but my wife is the one who always played it, while I had Sims 2. I prefer Sims 2, though. But Windows 8.1 doesn’t like CD based games. I’ll give Sims 3 a try, since my wife now has the Japanese edition.

Second, I’ll install Civilization V. I really have to see if it’s as good as many people have said.  I have Civilization III, as well.

Third, I want to install SimCity 4, because I love developing cities. Unfortunately, my CDs have a bunch of gunk on them, because my daughter got hold of them a year and a half ago after she’d eaten.  I need to figure out how to clean them.

Do you play any games?

Now You Can Study Online at Hogwarts

With all of the online courses I’m taking, there’s something that caught my eye recently.  Hogwarts.  That’s right, you can study at Hogwarts online!

I did some looking around there, and apparently, you can study all of the classes for first year students, and they take 9 weeks to complete.  There are assignments, homework, tests, and quizzes to do.  You can do them at our own pace, though.  You can join a dorm.  You join a class and can interact with the same 100 people for the entire time you’re enrolled in that class.  You can talk to other members of your house in your common room or to anyone in the Great Hall.

Also, it’s made by fans, so the professors and people writing the courses are all volunteers.  And it’s free.  But one thing about houses.  There is no sorting hat.  You choose your own house.

So, anyone find it interesting?