GEEK stuff

Moving Day!

When the Ancient Forest and Tundra biomes were added to Landmark, I abandoned my tower and moved. It is hard to believe more than two weeks have already passed.

I found a lovely claim on a new island on the border between tundra and ancient forest in a beautiful valley near the beach, and fortunately Hubby and my aussie gamer buddies found claims nearby.

I took my time rebuilding the tower larger and prettier, improved my roof building technique, and then started experimenting to learn the tools and funky techniques a little better.

The swap meets put on by SmokeJumper, Govinda, and others had so many great examples of micro and antivoxel techniques, and so many creative ideas. Plus, I got a one on one tutorial from Tsagh on antivoxels. He (?) is a great teacher, and I highly recommend watching for the next class at the Leyspring academy.

When they announced the end of Alpha, I focused on adding Wantia(EQ)/Shin(EQ2) style houses to my village. I was able to work out the basic style, but there is a lot of work to do to be able to put together a complete village.

For those that don’t know, Alpha is now over. Closed beta starts later this week (Wednesday hopefully), and then it will be moving day again.

I’m planning on starting the village from scratch again (unless I get another wild inspiration). I’m not looking forward to coming up with the 38000 burled wood that I will need to rebuild the tower.

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Honoring the Craft

Wall before smoothing.

A lot has changed on my claim this week! During the work week I made slow progress. I went through the entire tower and smoothed the Plain Wood parts of the walls (for those who aren’t playing Landmark, that’s the open parts that sort of look like latticework). 

Smoothed wall.

After a couple days looking at the tower with smoothed walls, I wasn’t sure that I liked it. (more…)

Bug Report

I just submitted my favorite bug report ever. Since I regularly write bug reports for work, that’s really saying something.

One of the items in the Landmark patch notes today was “Added a feedback message to the player when they submit a bug. Now you know when it successfully sends the bug!”

Well, this evening I came across a bug, and submitted it (like the good little tester I am), and was disappointed to see that I did not receive a bug submission confirmation.

So naturally I proceeded to report another bug: “I submitted a bug report, and didn’t receive the new message confirming that the bug report had been submitted, so I am now submitting a bug report about bug report submission. :)”

When I read this to Hubby, I couldn’t stop laughing… but then a friend asked if I got a message confirming my bug report about not receiving a message about bug reports. And alas I didn’t.

Hopefully the bug is with the confirmation message for the submission of bug reports, and not the bug report submission itself, because it would be a shame if my bug report didn’t make SOMEONE laugh.

Murren’s Mountain

Holy crap you guys!

When I posted about my Landmark build, I never expected that people would like it so much. I have had a few people stop by to take a look while I was playing (building), and yesterday Noobzilla posted a walk through of my claim on YouTube! Check it out!

I’m grateful for all of the positive feedback, and in shock a bit.

My silly Qho floor, before I placed it in the tower. (Click for full size)

I created a crappy mosaic for the floor on the first level of the tower in honor of everyone’s favorite EQ2 trade skill quest giver, Qho AugrenIt is actually fairly ugly, but it amuses me. I expect that I’ll replace the floor with prettier tiles in the long run.This past week was super busy, so I haven’t made as much progress as I would have liked, but here are some updates.

I also finished placing the latticework in the walls of the tower, and I love how it looks. The next step (which I will start on this afternoon) will be to do some smoothing on the latticework to open the sides up a bit more. I hope that it ends up letting in more light! Since the lamps were dimmed, it doesn’t get bright enough in the tower.  

I’m a little worried that I’ll end up disliking it when the lattices are smoothed. To be safe I’m taking screenshots of the different wall configurations to work from in case I need to redo anything (since my templates are too full to hold the walls). 

For now, I’ve called my claim “Murren’s Mountain” (because I’m no good at creative names). I’m trying to come up with a better name to use long-term, and leaning toward something like “Shin Tower” (since it is inspired by the Village of Shin in EQ2 and Shinto architecture).

Latticework walls are placed!

Latticework walls are placed! (Click for full size)

Show and Tell – Landmark

I’ve been playing a lot of EverQuest Next Landmark recently. Even though it is still early in alpha, the game is great. In fact, I have hardly played any Minecraft (my most recent gaming obsession) since Landmark alpha started.

Me, Hubby, and our long time Aussie friend, just hanging out.

Me, Hubby, and our long time Aussie friend, just hanging out.

Landmark has so much potential, and the entire process that they (SOE) are taking with the open communication, no NDA, pay-to-play Alpha is refreshing. And also super fascinating to the business systems analyst and project manager in me. I’ll probably share my thoughts on that later.

Landmark is a sandbox game that is heavily focused on exploration and building the world. The pieces that have been released to the alpha group so far consist almost entirely of resource gathering, crafting, and building tools. So in essence, you go into the world and a piece of land plant your flag in it (almost literally) and build. You gather the resources that you need to make and upgrade tools, and to build everything that you want to build on your land. And you explore what others have built. There are some very talented people playing this game.

But now to the point. Today I want to share what I have made so far. (Click to view full size!)

The view from the bottom of the path up the mountain.

The view from the bottom of the path up the mountain.

I don’t consider any of this done at this point.

I really wanted to build a traditional Shinto arch, but I need to practice with the tools more before I can make one that looks right.

View from above, with Hubby's place down in the valley.

View from above, with Hubby’s place down in the valley.

Neighbors dotting the mountain tops.

Other settlers dotting the mountain tops.

I have three other neighbors near by. One at the base of my hill (almost looks like part of my claim) and two out in the desert valley.

I have three other neighbors near by. One at the base of my hill (almost looks like part of my claim) and two out in the desert valley.

For the building, I am still working on the latticework in the walls, and haven’t done much work on the interior. I plan to use the smoothing tool on all of it (or at least parts) to make the edges softer, and maybe make the pillars round. The arch is pretty, but not what I wanted.

Sunset!

I love how it looks at night!

I love how it looks at night!

Another night view.

Another night view.

If the images don’t load properly here, you can also view them on imgur.

For those of you out there that are playing landmark, if you have questions about how I did anything, let me know! I’m happy to share. If you want to take a look in person, I’m on Liberation/Dell in the SW corner of the jungle (coordinates:  -1340.40, 1340.60, 1647.60).

Too many things that I want to do, not enough time.

I’m constantly plagued by wanting to do, play, read, and watch too many things. I get into one, and get distracted by the next. It is the story of my life (and part of why I post here so rarely.

Recently, I’ve been making an effort to be on the computer less (and when I am on the computer to not play the same thing all the time). I’m now in the middle of a few craft projects:

  • Learning to crochet – It’s an on going process, and I mostly fiddle with it when I’m watching shows with my hubby. I’ve finished 2 things so far, and I’m free forming a blanket for my cats to lay on/play with now (since they love crocheted things so much).
  • Painting miniatures – I’m painting some Big Lebowski miniatures that I got for my brother and Hubby for Christmas. Many hours to go before I complete these, many other miniatures to paint when I’m done (more warmachine minis, and then my Stonehaven dwarven adventurers), and more coming in May (Relic Knights!).
  • The game box! – I have an old wooden box that I’m decorating and will use to store smallish games (Cards Against Humanity, Gloom, Fluxx, etc) for ease of transport.
  • To Do List Chalk Board – This one is kinda self explanatory

I want to work on all of them, but of course, I can’t do it all in one night. On top of that I have been yearning to play EQ2 (I haven’t played in so long that I probably need to reinstall), and I’m sure by the time I get home I’ll either want to play Guild Wars 2 or Orcs Must Die 2 with Hubby.

And of course, I’m constantly thinking about updating my blog at the worst times (like right now… Come on Amanda, break time is over…).

So what to do tonight, THAT is the question.

Woot! gods, please forgive me.

I turn my friends into jealous bitches every time I mention it (and maybe I’m getting a little annoying talking about it too), so I avoided it in my last post. It has now become apparent that I’ve offended the Woot! gods. I must correct this.

During PAX, I checked my twitter feed regularly. Around mid-day on Saturday, @WootLive said something that made it apparent that whoever runs @WootLive was at Bumbershoot. I love Bumbershoot, but with a choice between Bumbershoot and PAX, PAX seemed the logical choice of place for Woot people to be on Labor Day weekend in Seattle.

 So I said:

@WootLive how can you be in Seattle and NOT at PAX?

and @WootLive made me giggle:

@AmandaRainBHM We try to only cover COOL events. #uncalledforslam #oneofusisatPAXtoo

Not long later, @wootgatzby introduced himself as the Woot person who was at PAX:

@AmandaRainBHM Hehe, I’ve been at PAX the last two days. Nobody even asked about the giant woot! symbol on my shirt. =(

@AmandaRainBHM (They don’t let me have access to @WootLive though. Something about restraining orders, public indecency, and fire.)

And thus began my twitterfriendship with @wootgatzby. This was another of my favorite highlights of PAX (even though we didn’t really meet).

Since then I’ve also met another Woot! employee via twitter. Another nice, funny guy who is new to Seattle, but this one doesn’t include Woot in his profile, so I’m not going to share his name here (in case he actually likes his privacy).

I’m enjoying the odd twitterfriendship that I’ve developed with these Woot! people, and hope we can still meet for a game night some day (after I’m done with school).

PS – If you’re one of the other people who I met at PAX, I do have a couple more PAX posts coming eventually. You probably aren’t forgotten.

PAX: In a nut-shell

PAX was pretty amazing.

Seriously. Where else can you be in a line with hundreds of other people in sight for two hours and have everyone remain patient? When else have you looked down on the floor of a theater to see more than three quarters of the audience fiddling with their laptop, PSP, DS, or phone while waiting? People who weren’t messing with some form of electronics before a show or panel looked out of place.

I began the weekend with my wish-list of panels. I picked all of the panels that I wanted to see, then eliminated panels that overlapped (of course, giving preference to any that may enlighten me about getting into the industry or what it is like working in the industry).

I was left with a list of panels for Friday that was packed so full that even if there were no lines, I wouldn’t be able to make all of them. I knew this, and I accepted the reality that I would be lucky even if I got into half of them. My “wish list” for Saturday and Sunday was nowhere near as full, but still had some very intriguing panels.

After all of my planning, I didn’t actually attend any of the panels that I’d planned on.

I’m always a bit embarrassed that I know very few names of people who are legendary in the industry I want to work in. Warren Spector is one of those names. Until a friend gave me a hard time for not knowing who Warren Spector is, I was clueless. After I was enlightened, I decided that I should go to the keynote.

On Friday, I got in line bright and early. I sat and chatted with Alex from New Jersey and Adrian from Texas while we waited in line and again during the keynote. Adrian and Alex were great fun and I regret not swapping contact information with them.

The keynote was spectacular. If you are passionate about gaming, work in the industry, or want to work in the industry, I highly recommend listening to a recording. All of the recordings that I’ve found have poor sound quality and video that isn’t worth watching, but are still worth listening to. A couple options are here and here.

After the keynote, I stayed for the Penny Arcade Q&A. It was amusing, but I think I would have preferred to spend that hour walking around the show floor.

On Saturday, Hubby and I met up with friends and sat in line for Acquisitions, Inc.; a live game of D&D with Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins (the Penny Arcade guys), Wil Wheaton, Scott Kurtz (PvP Online), and Chris Perkins (who I have heard is a legendary DM). After sitting in line for about 20 minutes, an Enforcer came by and told everyone that our section of the line was the end, and we should turn away everyone who came after. We waited another hour before the doors opened, and in the end our section of the line (about 200 people) weren’t able to get in. There had been a mis-count. I was super bummed, mostly because of the hours wasted waiting to get in (and knowing that we would) when I could have been seeing games!

Saturday morning we met a friend for breakfast (most expensive bowl of oatmeal ever). At the table across from ours Warren Spector was having his breakfast and reading. Even though I’d only learned who he was a few days before, I was a bit star struck.

The rest of Friday and Saturday we socialized with friends and wandered the convention center. I never actually played any games, since it takes me way longer than the 15 minutes to decide if I like a game. I loved watching the Rock Band free play stage; it was fun seeing people cheer more for performers who tried and sucked than they did for performers who were just mediocre. The Saturday night concert was great fun. Paul and Storm were great. I would love to see them live again.

Hubby wasn’t feeling well on Sunday, so I was on my own. I explored all the areas that I hadn’t seen yet, and then I walked through the entire expo floor again so that I’d know where I was going.

Sunday was the day I was going to put my cards to use. I was going to introduce myself to people at the various MMO booths, talk to them about how they got into the industry, and ask them for advice. But that dreaded shyness took over, and I just couldn’t talk myself into bugging people when they were obviously busy. I did end up talking to a couple of people who work at MMO development companies. I’m pretty disappointed in myself for not being more outgoing.

In all, it was a great weekend and I can’t wait until PAX Prime 2011.

(Edited 10/14/10: Because I’m a dork and like to believe that PAX continued until Monday. Corrected references to things happening on Monday to reflect Sunday.)

Mid PAX update

Short sweet and to the point, because my phone’s battery is about to die.
PAX has been great fun, exhausting, interesting, inspiring, and more. Warren Specter’s keynote was great. I’d like to find a transcript or recording.
The show floor is awesome. I haven’t played anything yet, but I still have all day tomorrow.
Petter (if you happen to read this) you would love it here.
More to come in the next couple days.

Cards!

image

Hubby designed some cards for me last night. They are pretty basic, but incredinly perfect.