Every Day Carry: What’s In Your Bug-Out Bag?

By Rachel Drummond

If you’ve been paying attention to the news, you may have seen the reports of major bushfires in Victoria. While this is nothing new, it made me think of something that preppers are known for. The Bug Out Bag. It’s that bag that we who believe in preparedness are mocked for by those who have no idea what it really is. Everybody, in one shape or other, has a bug out bag, or if you like, it’s younger sister the every-day carry bag. Some are just poorly equipped. Men have their wallets, women have their handbags Soldiers.. well NO-ONE is more equipped than they are.

I have two bags now. I have my BOB in my car, something that if I didn’t have, I would have had to turn in my apocalypse card. As a nurse though, I’ve had to carry what amounts to an EDC. In aged care, this was a pouch that consisted of ID, scissors, tape, pens (many, many pens), Handover sheet, alcohol (swabs!! gee, I’m a little more professional than that!) and I usually throw a simple dressing in there at the start of the shift. trust me, it’s needed more often than not, and having it on me saves a lot of time!

I was looking through my pouch this morning though. Thinking about what I would have to change going into the hospital. As of an hour ago, it is almost three times as thick. Just from what I have at home, I’ve found room for my stethoscope torch and diary. I have no idea what else I’m going to have to make room for in there or what I won’t be using as much of. I have so many things I would love to take with me (My ‘nursing for dummies’ first and foremost among these).

That’s my EDC. Are there any nurses out there who have suggestions on what to add to my EDC? What is something you have in yours that you never use? Do you have a non-nursing EDC or your own BOB?

Actually,  maybe don’t list your name if you have a BOB. I’m pretty sure there are Neegans out there taking advantage of pre-apocalypse information and taking a list of potential ‘cash-cows’. There is already a possibility that I’m going to be getting some nasty comments from nurses who have know their EDC is priceless and are not happy that I painted a target on their back.

I will leave you with a small tip though. When the SHTF, make sure you have a nurse or a doctor with you. Trust me, you’ll need them in your group.

AFTERWORD: Ha! How’s that for multi-tasking, nursing, zombies and prepper talk all wrapped up in one neat little pack.

"The South Forsaken" Rachel Drummond

Want more?  Check out Rachel Drummond’s survival “handbook”, The South Forsaken.  BTW, she is a gamer, podcaster, and a Naruto fan..  Truly an uber geek and awesome friend to have – we love you, Rachel!

HeroesOfTheStormBuildGuide PRESENTS HotS As A League Of Legends Player

My Personal Thoughts on Heroes of the Storm as an Avid LoL Gamer

Guest Post By TheShadeBlade

Presented By HeroesOfTheStormBuildGuide.com

I’m known as TheShadeBlade in Heroes of the Storm and Katrian in League of Legends. Currently, I am ranked Platinum and ended last season as Platinum 1 after being dropped out of Diamond for inactivity during the last couple of months of the ranked season in League. I have been an avid MOBA player for the past 4 years and have experience in some of the most popular MOBAs to hit the gaming community. In my personal opinion, Heroes of the Storm has put its own unique twist on the MOBA scene and will be a big breakthrough for the casual player.

Heroes Of The Storm - Diablo Expansion - The Eternal Conflict - Heaven Vs. Hell

The Eternal Conflict: Heaven Vs. Hell – COMING SOON to Heroes Of The Storm, Diablo fans!

HotS Battlegrounds: A New Experience With Every Map

Stepping into Heroes of the Storm, the biggest change that has set this game apart from League of Legends and other similar MOBAs is the fact that they offer quite a few different maps to play on. League of Legends only offers a single 5v5 map, and then two less competitive maps that are hardly played. Heroes of the Storm randomizes the map that players are thrown into, which requires adaptability and strategy to achieve victory as each map has a unique set of objectives. This keeps the game interesting, and will be a big factor in professional play once Heroes of the Storm finally hits release and is able to make their mark in eSports.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  We took a few weeks to get this published.  Apologies..  Heroes Of The Storm is now officially out as a full release and the Eternal Conflict Diablo-themed content will be part of the ongoing efforts to draw in new players.  We’re very excited about what Blizzard is doing here!  ~Yogizilla

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Minecraft Project gone CLASS(y)?

Browsing Reddit’s r/Gaming subreddit a Minecraft project crossed my screen that is so advanced I had to share with y’all.

This team, over the span on 3-4 years, have put together a fully scaled university.  The thing is done to epic proportions with multiple massive buildings, functioning wings inside of the buildings, on-site outdoor activities, and even a chopper landed on the helipad up top.  After browsing the dynamic map provided in the post – http://play.shirecraft.us:6635/?worldname=Nippopolis&mapname=surface&zoom=3&x=-3429&y=64&z=-4306 (EDITOR some say the platform lags but this is still petty sweet.. Google Earth for Minecraft YO!).  I jumped on Reddit to ask the creator some questions pertaining to a long unfulfilled fantasy to be able to wander the halls of a Hogwarts school, fiddling with things, discovering secret passages, and just plain exploring (aimlessly, no less).

To my surprise to creator stated that they do currently have some embedded Easter eggs and that more are planned to come.  His response:

I do!  There’s an ongoing quest going on within the university in one of the dorms, and there’s a hidden strip-club somewhere along the university subway tracks…

When asked about the possible business related options the maps creator also stated,

Aha, I’ve been asked a few times in the past to commission for Minecraft builds, I have unfortunately denied every one of them though, mostly because I like building in my free time and I don’t like being restricted and having the responsibility of completing a build in a certain amount of time.

No matter what this dev decided to do with this project, I give my kudos to him for such an awesomely executed project!

http://www.shirecraft.us/

 

University Aerial Photo:

Minecraft - Shirecraft - Full Scale University - Overhead View

Is Doctor Who A Proper Kid’s Show?

We have been having a debate whether or not Doctor Who is is still a kids show. In TWTT EP 6,  Yomar Lopez & Stan Faryna talk about whether or not Doctor Who is appropriate for kids. Yomar & myself think Stan is over-thinking things. I wouldn’t say its a show just for kids, rather than a family-oriented show where you can watch with your family or your children can learn something from it as well. I know what you are thinking, ” So KiNg, You are telling me my kids can learn something from TV other than rotting their brain cells?”, YES! Yes they can. I will touch on that subject in a sec, but first a brief introduction:

I am a father, blogger, Browncoat, gamer, geek, graphic designer, techie, vaping enthusiast, and Whovian. I have a <3 for ampersands, & just plain out of my mind.  Now that that’s over, thanks Yomar, on with the show!

Do you think Doctor Who is just a revisited & reimagined show from the 60’s with a silly man in a blue box?

If you said yes, then you are correct, but it is more than bow ties, fezzes, fish fingers & custard.  If we know where to look the Doctor can teach our children some very important lessons.

You Are Fantastic

If it is the only lesson your children ever take from this Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey series, then that is enough. They are fantastic. The Doctor teaches us to be the best that we can be & sees that in everyone, but he also values himself & that is such an important understanding to have. In the words of the Ninth Doctor
You were fantastic, & you know what? So was I!

You Were Fantastic - The Ninth Doctor Played By Christopher Eccleston

Friends Are Important

Rose Tyler’s painful goodbye,  the first companion ever to die, The Doctor shows how significant it is to have friends & to trust them. The 10th Doctor would never take pity on anyone when he is alone, he is Fire & Rage but when with a companion he is passionate, & caring. It shows us why we need our friends to help us stay on track & to give us a slap (or a gentle nudge) when we’re out of line

Change Is Good

Children experience change throughout their young, delicate lives – from growing to finding their feet to being taken around the world by their parents. The Doctor regenerates, he becomes someone new & he faces each change with eagerness & joy. Change means success & evolution & the Doctor makes this light.

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10 Myths About MOBAs Debunked #L2P #DawnGate #Tome

With the unrelenting rise of MOBAs, I feel it is appropriate that we provide a simple list on how to play MOBAs properly. Sure, there are plenty of game-specific guides and some general MOBA guides but they all focus on the same thing everyone else does:

  1. Item building.
  2. Last hitting and farming.
  3. Learning from the top tier players.
  4. Counter-picking characters.
  5. Mastering specific characters and roles.
  6. Blah blah blah.

That’s all fine and dandy..  But…

What about the fundamentals of MOBA/ARTS games?

I’d like to look at the core mechanics, attitudes, and other less-discussed items that will give you a real edge. More importantly, these are the things that will allow you to truly enjoy the MOBA experience, in spite of the tendency to encounter toxicity and BM (bad manners). On that note, I would say fighting games and MOBAs tend to have the most toxic communities, with FPS games somewhere in that Top 3 but anyway… Here we go!

Here are 10 misconceptions and myths surrounding MOBA/ARTS games – in no particular order…

 

1.  MOBAs Are For ADD/Twitch Gamers

No, no, and, furthermore, NO.  (Sorry Stan – I still love you, bro!)

There are certainly a majority of MOBA players that have no strategy, tactics, or finesse, relying purely on twitch gaming skills, but this is not everyone nor is it the pinnacle of the experience.  The real fun in MOBAs, to me, resides in the deceptively deep strategy that is available to those that believe in teamwork and developing their own unique playstyles.  Great MOBAs are as accomodating as MMORPGs in this aspect: you can make the experience your own and play up your strengths, even if PvP isn’t usually your thang.

That said, ADD is more prevalent with gamers now than ever.  Heck, the Internet as a whole has spoiled us.  There’s just so much content vying for our attention.  People “don’t have time” for deep thinking.  I worry that future games will feature one or two-button control schemes at most..  Or maybe respond to grunting and farting.

ADD - Attention Defi.. Hey, Look - A Butterfly!

2.  Tanks Only Exist To Soak Up Damage

Recently, a wonderfully snooty gamer said the following and I found it much too funny not to share:

Tanks are supposed to soak up damage.  That’s like their sole purpose.  Just sayin.

This is the sort of elitist behavior that scares people away from competitive games as a whole.  Nobody likes a know-it-all, especially when they are misinformed or misguided.  The worst types of players on MOBAs are the ones that worry more about the rest of their team’s performance instead of their own.  BTW, the guy who fed me this line of horse crap had the worst record in the entire session and kept over-extending…

Gee, there’s a shocker!

Yes, tanks are meant to be initiators and soak up damage; however, to relegate their roles strictly to that shows a lack of grasp on strategy and tactics.  The tank or support’s role varies but, essentially, they are there to mitigate damage, slow down threats, and provide focus.   In many ways, they function as the generals and playmakers for their teams.   The thing is, if teams do not follow the tank’s lead or positioning is off, tanks should not just dive in because then they die for nothing.

The expectation that tanks should just jump into battle all the time is nothing short of stupid.  Tanks have to be able to assess situations and make quick calls.  If he pings to go in or retreat, the team should follow suite because glass cannons and squishies should not go in or get caught out alone.  All too often, tanks are either too aggressive or too passive.  Players will always disagree on the level of aggression needed but, if teams move together as a unit, beautiful things happen.

It’s also worth noting that there are MOBAs like Dawngate where, late game, damage penetration tends to overshadow any damage mitigation.  At this point, tanks have to play more cautiously and resort to guerrilla tactics (i.e. baiting and rape bushes) or more coordinated team battles.  Since tanks tend to offer CC (crowd control) and AoE effects they should not recklessly lay down their lives if the opportunity to shift the tides of battle or take an objective is not really there.  #L2P

These concepts apply to other PvP games where you have traditional RPG roles in play.  I find that Dawngate and DotA 2 tend to favor more versatile roles as well, whereas games like League Of Legends tend to be more about compartmentalizing roles and positions.  Tanks can sometimes soften up and weaken enemies, making them far more than more useful that glorified punching bags and decoys.

Pokemon - Lucario Punching Bag

 

3.  Farming And Last Hitting Are #1

Imagine a game where the primary objective is timing button presses so you get points and your goal thereof is to get the high score.  Oh wait..  That’s a rhythm game!

I’d say farming and last-hitting is the least fun aspect of MOBAs yet people check CS (Creep Score/Kills) all the time, as if that is the only that determines skill or the match outcome.  The slight edge that the added income gives you is nice but it does not guarantee victory; in fact, being too obsessed with CS will often make you sloppy if you’re not careful.

Consider this: every time you bring up the scoreboard or glance over at your CS or income, you are distracted.  That makes the gap bigger and opens you up to attacks.  Your attention is better shifted towards map awareness and working as a team to take objectives; you know, things that win matches.  What’s even more important to note here is that there are MOBA/ARTS games where the mechanics of last-hitting, denying, and farming are either not there or not as important.  Dawngate, Tome, and Guardians Of Middle-Earth are good examples of this, as they focus more on action and strategy as opposed to boring chores.

 

4.  You Need An ADC To Win

The high DPS (Damage Per Second) and sustain that ADCs bring is certainly nice but the value of team comps (compositions) is often exagerrated.  It’s best to pick characters you are comfortable with and discuss with your team what they are comfortable with.  Break the meta.  Be a leader.

An ADC, for the uninitiated, is an Attack Damage Carry.  Alongside your Jungler and the optional APC (Attack Power Carry or Mage), the ADC is part of the damage-dealing machine.   What changes within these roles is the positioning and primary damage type (i.e. magic/AP vs. physical/AD).  The terminology changes up depending on the game you are playing but the core concepts are almost always there.

Typically, MOBA players like to have one primary damage-dealer so they can feed him.  The problem with this approach is that it places too much of a burden on one player instead of teamwork.  Various team comps are viable in just about any game but your team needs to know how to work with it.  For example, an all ADC team would be very squishy and would need very coordinated attacks to win team battles.  Similarly, an APC team could work but there would need to be some heavy CC or heavy burst damage to take out key targets before they could retaliate.

Ultimately, it’s all about teamwork.  Tried and true is nice but it’s not the only way to play the game.

Fairy Tail - Natsu Saves Erza - By RJDART On Deviantart

Not everyone needs to be rescued.. But, sure, it’s nice.
[ Art by RJDART on DeviantArt ]

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10 Twitch Myths Debunked… And How To Twitch (In Simple Terms)

Before we jump into this quick and dirty article, I want to be clear on a few things:

  1. I detest list posts but I realize that the ADD is real and people are “too busy” these days.  I appreciate that lists are easier to read but I find them lazy.  Just my opinion.
  2. I’m not a partnered Twitch streamer (yet) but that’s more a matter of priorities than knowledge.  I am a NISM-certified social media strategist so the info here is no mere speculation.

That said, I hope this list will entertain and perhaps help our fellow Twitch streamers step their game up.  More importantly, we want to provide a perspective that will make Twitch less intimidating and more useful, fun, and, well, doable.  If you are looking for a more detailed guide on how succeed on Twitch and social media, check out our unofficial Twitch/Social Media strategy guide (a.k.a. grow your audience). Here are the Twitch myths debunked and the truths revealed..  In no particular order!

1.  Google Purchased Twitch For One Billion Dollars [Cash]

Okay, let’s be very clear here.  The total amount of the Google acquisition of Twitch has not yet been confirmed and it certainly wasn’t when this was breaking news.  The original offer was for 1B but Google has not commented on the deal details thereof.  Anyone who says otherwise is full of it.  Even VentureBeat has offered “he said, she said” details and very shaky confirmations.  A rule of thumb on journalism is that, if anyone does not provide a solid source or says “basically” (or something to that effect), they are speculating, blatantly lying, or sharing an opinion.

That said, the deal is easily worth one billion dollars.  It is not known if this deal was done in cash or as a package with stock options and such.  Some media outlets have mentioned that this was a cash deal but do not back up the details.  SMH..  The real news here is what this means to Twitch streamers that are NOT part of the 1%.

Google Buys Twitch For Around 1 Billion

It’s worth noting that Google realized they could not win the fight between YouTube and Twitch, so they bought them out.  This is just more of their continued 30B shopping spree..  Because Google.  Is this a move to mitigate potential threats or do they have real plans to improve Twitch?  I remain hopeful but I am prepared for the worst.  Let’s not forget the acquisitions Google killed off in the past.  Of course, if there is any company with the resources to make big things happen for Twitch, it’s Google…  Right?

We reckon that it’s possible this deal has not been finalized..  And that someone might buy Twitch out from under Google.  Who has that media buying power?  Microsoft, EA, AOL, Time-Warner, Amazon, Viacom…  Hmmmm….  Check back with the GANG and we’ll keep you posted on that.  Regardless, be wary of media misinformation and fake news sites.

2.  You Need An Nvidia Graphics Card/Processor

Nvidia seems to be favored heavily amongst gamers but it’s not necessarily the best nor is it required.  Shadow Play does allow for much easier native streaming but AMD, formerly ATI, products are still solid and may provide a more budget solution with great compatibility.  Along with a solid PSU and CPU, a graphics accelerator is a must for streaming video but don’t feel pressured to get Nvidia specifically.  Look at the benchmarks and you’ll find the differences is are too subtle to warrant price differences.

On a similar note, don’t be afraid to share your gaming rig specs with your viewers.  Some folks may only acknowledge bleeding-edge technology but there is such a thing as overkill.  If your kit suits your needs, don’t worry about the rest.  Note that if you generally play indie or retro games, the system requirements are significantly lower.  Your rig will grow alongside your rig so no worries!

I will say that audio quality trumps video quality every time.  If your audio pops or is inconsistent, ears will bleed and people will leave.  Note that some people will only listen to the audio of your stream while they multitask.  This places a greater importance on a quality microphone.

3.  You Should Stream Popular Games Only

These days it seems like everyone streams League Of Legends.  That’s a great game to add to your stable of offerings but we recommend playing more niche titles.  At any given time, there are at least 1000 LoL streamers so the space is quite saturated.  You have to offer something very special for LoL to be part of a sustainable streaming strategy.

Indie titles and games that allow for easy viewer interaction/participation are usually best.  For example, Choice Chamber and Cards Against Humanity both offer deep interaction with your Twitch viewers with the latter allowing for big games, whereas LoL really limits how many people you can play with at once.  If you like the MOBA and ARTS style, there is still opportunity in popular yet less-streamed games such as Guardians Of Middle Earth, Dawngate, Smite, and Tome.

The beauty of streaming games that have little to no presence on Twitch is that you can work with the developers to be featured in-game or on their social channels.  They love the promotion and will often hook you up by promoting your channel, sending you freebies, or giving you work.  With League Of Legends, the competition is just too heavy unless you are part of the fortunate 1-5% that has timing, contacts, and/or professional gaming on their side.

4.  Twitch Only Partners Streamers With Lots Of Viewers

I hear so much talk about the minimum milestones and conditions necessary for Twitch to consider you for their partners program.  It’s all bunk.  Here’s why:

Twitch has and will make exceptions for streamers they find attractive in some way..  Even if the numbers are not there.

Maybe you have a great personality or you do other content that has garnered lots of attention.  They will consider that.  I know this because I have been to channels where there were 10-20 viewers and the person had a subscribe button.  I also know people that got sub buttons almost as soon as they started, just because they knew someone or got lucky.  Mind you, these same people had NO social media following or marketing background at all.

When you apply to be a Twitch Partner, you will have the opportunity to build your case.  Share links to your social channels, web sites, podcasts, videos, etc.  These will help you in a BIG way!  If you still get denied, don’t be discouraged.  Having a sub button is not an instawin..  But it’s nice.

Free Twitch Overlays - Twitch Templates

Before you spend money, try editing a Twitch overlay template or getting a simple freebie.

5.  Professional Overlays Are A MUST

A video overlay (the stuff that shows on top of the gameplay video) is one of the first things people will notice when browsing new channels, alongside a face cam and any sort of branding you share.  While you could pay someone to have a professional layout/overlay created, it is not recommended to boot.  It is best to get into a routine with your stream and find what works best for you before investing too much money into it.

If you pace yourself, you’ll find that people will donate and support your channel if you engage them and/or offer unique content.  These donations can then be re-invested to upgrade your rig, purchase new games to stream, improve your branding, or just save for a rainy day.  Don’t rush things – you’ll get there!  A Twitch channel is a constantly-evolving thing so enjoy it at every step of the way.

It’s also important to note that a lot of the overlays out there are overkill.  There’s no reason for your webcam or any other assets to take up 33-50% of your layout.  Some people, believe it or not, want to watch the actual gameplay.  This Wildstar overlay from Dexter_BL commits a lot of Twitch sins:

  1. It takes the focus away from the core of the experience – the gameplay.
  2. It slaps people in the face by trying to show off a nice house/apartment/flat.

This particular overlay is likely going for the LAN party effect but it’s a bit much, regardless.  I have seen people showing off their setups overtly and it’s quite obvious, materialistic, and silly.  I’ve heard from countless Twitch viewers that they feel this practice just shoves success in their faces and makes them want to support the stream less.  I would agree.

wildstar-dexter_bl-twitch-streamer-wildstar-serious-gaming-twitch-team

Too much Twitch overlay dedicated to fancy junk. Where’s the gameplay??

6.  Video Quality Is The Most Important Thing

Wrong.  Wrong.  WRONG.

People don’t see video quality when browsing channels (they do see your title though *HINT-HINT*) and, in the first few seconds of being in your channel, what they will notice is your skills in the game and your personality.  If either are what they seek, less than awesome video quality will not take away from the overall experience.  There are people that insist on streaming at 1080p 60 FPS or some other silliness but it’s overkill and most people will downscale your quality to suit mobile devices or avoid having their bandwidth throttled.

I am not saying that aiming for better video quality is not a good goal but don’t become obsessed with it.  When it comes to overall stream quality, it’s best to have smooth video than high-resolution.  You’ll have to play with the bit rate, CRF, buffer sizes, and other items to get it just right.  Be patient and, again, don’t be discouraged if you get the occasional elitist that says your video quality sucks.

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The GANG Minute: Choice Chamber, Early HorsePLAY!, Kickstarter Projects Ending Soon… And Stuff

We have some time-sensitive and last-minute updates in this installment of TGM. For more deets, be sure to watch the video and visit us on the official GeekyAntics channel on YouTube and Twitch.

 

Choice Chamber & Twitch Interaction

We did our first Choice Chamber stream and it was AWESOME.  This got us thinking that we need to identify more games that involved the Twitch chat fully.  Choice Chamber engages the Twitch chat by allowing everyone to vote on what happens in the game.  The current prototype is nowhere near complete but it provides tons of replay and interaction..  We can’t wait for the full product!

http://ChoiceChamber.com

If you missed the Kickstarter project, you can gain early access to the beta by using the above link.  I believe the $15 and $30 both feature beta access but the latter deal is much sweeter.  I’ve been talking to Michael and we’ll likely have him join us on a few of our podcasts to talk shop.  He’s a really awesome dude!

Other ways we have been involving the Twitch community more include the Cards Against Humanity clone, Pretend You’re Xyzzy, and Dawngate.  The issue with MOBAs is that, while they are free, you can only involve so many people at once.  Games like Choice Chamber and CAH are far more fully-involved, so that’s the sort of thing we’ll be exploring further.

http://twitch.tv/Yogizilla

Join me for future Choice Chamber streams.   The upcoming beta will likely have multi-channel support, which will be EPIC!  Word on the street is that there are other games featuring Twitch integration on the horizon.  Even the consoles are starting to jump onto this trend.  If you know of any of these, let us know in the comments!

 

Early HorsePLAY! LIVE & Possible Rescheduling

We’ll be starting early tonight, Thursday July 31st 2014.  Expect us to start around 10:45pm Eastern (3:45am GMT) and running a little shorter than usual.  As such, we’re skipping the obligatory news and featured discussion of the evening.  HorsePLAY! LIVE is evolving to be more of an interactive show and THE official radio show for the Geeky Antics network so we’ll be experimenting a lot more with the format.  Tonight, expect more Twitch interaction and call-ins, too!

Join Us LIVEhttp://twitch.tv/GeekyAntics

We’ll be announcing the winner of Magic 2014 and Gun Monkeys on Steam tonight on the show.  We were hoping to break 400-500 entries but no worries – more giveaways will be coming.  For future giveaways, we really need some hype.  The whole reason we give stuff away is to help draw in a greater audience.  We love giving you guys free stuff but we need to get something in return..  After all, we’re starving artists!  LOL

With the earlier start tonight, there’s a good chance we might play with the schedule.  I think we’ll stay on Thursdays but we may shoot for an earlier time.  Heck, maybe we will start at 5:00pm LIVE on AllGames.com – that’d be neat, eh?  Hmmm..  That may be TOO early though. *wink*

 

fire-with-fire-online-tower-attack-and-defense-game

Kickstarter Projects Ending VERY Soon!

First up we have Fire With Fire, which is being developed and produced by some of our friends in the All Games Network community.  This is a TD (Tower Defense) that should make Warcraft III mod fans and mobile gamers super happy in the pants.  The funding period ends Sunday, August 10th 2014 so please share this with everyone you know and tag friends that like this sort of game.  Even if you are not a TD fan, everyone knows people that love em!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/660810230/fire-with-fire-online-tower-attack-and-defense-0?ref=nav_search

Fire With Fire - Tower Defense & Attack Game

Note how this game takes a very streamlined approach to TD PvP action. I am hopeful that this will be the game that Tower Wars should have been.  Keep in mind this screenshot reflects and alpha/prototype version so there will likely be much more polish in the final release version.

factions-box-kickstarter-factions-customizable-strategy-war-game

For tabletop gamers, Factions looks REALLY good.  It is a tile-based, fully-customizable strategy war game.  The game designer reached out to me personally and must have known I am totally into this sort of thing.  Chip Cella a.k.a. CaptinChaos would love this too.  Let’s spread the word because this Kickstarter project also ends on August 10th!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/699966849/factions-a-customizable-strategy-wargame?ref=nav_search

 

 

Goodies Coming To Geeky Antics.. FINALLY!

We’re still working on getting Doctor Who content out to you guys.  Most recently, it was announced that Peter Capaldi will be playing a non-flirty Doctor.  How do you feel about the sexual tension on the series?  Is it a trademark or just pointless pandering/fanfare?

http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/07/30/doctor-who-peter-capaldi-2/

Doctor Who returns on August 23rd but for us in the states, we may have to wait a little longer.  We will keep you posetd!

There are tons of topics we’d love to discuss.  Here are a few of the proposed topics and rough drafts we have in the pipelines:

  • 10 MOBA Myths Debunked
  • Booth Babes Banned – Hypocrisy Or Justice?
  • The PC Police – Are People Too Uptight These Days?
  • SEO Basics For Geeky Journalists & Podcasters
  • Does Doctor Who Need A Strong Female Lead?
  • A Non-Flirty, Serious Doctor: Good Or Bad?
  • And MORE!

The first topic is the funniest to me because, sadly, for a web site to thrive you have to write lists and sometimes paginate..  People have ADD these days soooo..  Yeah.  Please forgive us if we cheat a little bit.  LOL

As always, please share your feedback in the comments…  And remember: WE LOVE YOU!!

Sonic The Hedgehog’s 23rd Anniversary #23on23 #WeLoveSEGA #SEGAfanboys

As a long-time SEGA fanboy, this news is particularly exciting:

Today, June 23rd 2014, Sonic The Hedgehog turned 23!

Well, maybe he isn’t quite that old but June 23rd does mark the anniversary of the Sonic franchise.  Over 20 years of  frantic coin-collecting and animal-freeing action.  Gosh, I feel old!

Sonic The Hedgehog 23rd Anniversary

This makes me really want to play more SEGA games.  Lamentably, my SEGA Genesis and Dreamcast systems are in storage and I have no Sonic games on the PC…  Yet.  This must change!

That said, I am certainly in the mood to play some SEGA games just to celebrate this awesome event.  Maybe some more Hell Yeah! and Typing Of The Dead Overkill.  Then there’s Alpha Protocol, Total War, and Binary Domain..  So many great choices!

Hell Yeah: Wrath Of The Dead Rabbit - Title Screen

Speaking of Hell Yeah!, I did a Sample Saturday / #TheDustOff stream on my Twitch channel this past weekend.  It was awesome to see how many people hadn’t heard of the game but loved it after watching for a few minutes.  The laughs in this game are soooo good.  It’s very similar to Sonic in the pacing but the humor and gore makes it a more grown-up Sonic experience, I’d say.

Here’s to Sonic and SEGA – GAME ON!!

Essential Albums of the 80s and 90s: Combustible Edison- I, Swinger

Combustible Edison – I, Swinger

Year of Release:  1994

Essential Tracks:

  • Cadillac
  • The Millionaire’s Holiday
  • Breakfast at Denny’s
  • Cry A River
  • Spy Vs. Spy

Quick!  What do alt-rock and punk bands have in common with easy listening and lounge music acts?  Give up?  The answer is simple: Sub-Pop Records signed them!  That’s right.  The record label that brought us Nirvana’s debut album, Bleach, and was known for all sorts of heavy-hitting acts is also responsible for bring us a key player in the short-lived swing resurgence that happened in the 90s.

Yeah, that was a thing and the group in question here is Combustible Edison.

Combustible Edison, also known as The Combustible Edison Heliotropic Oriental Mambo and Foxtrot Orchestra, was started by former members of a Providence, RI rock band called “Christmas” as founders of the band, The Millionaire (Michael Cudahy) and Miss Lily Banquette (Liz Cox) attempted to piece together a fourteen-piece orchestra for a show that The Millionaire had written called “The Tiki Wonder Hour.” The orchestra evolved and morphed into the five-member group which was signed by Sub Pop!

After an EP and single release, they officially released a debut album entitled I, Swinger in 1994.

While the album came out in the 90s during the (mostly ironic) swing revival, the album and music could fit in during the Big Band era of the 20s, 30s and 40s!

I, Swinger opens with “Cadillac” which opens with a swinging and bouncing drum beat and upright bass.  This is kind of a Big Band, ballroom style that could easily be the intro to a song by Glenn Miller or Benny Goodman (look them up, kids!) The song continues with a call-and-answer melody repeated by vibraphone, harpsichord and organ mixed with The Millionaire’s funky rock n’ roll guitar style. This culminates with a boogie-woogie piano riff and comes grinding to a halt after all of this repeats itself. It’s hard to believe that this was all done and composed by a five person group!

The second track on the album is arguably the most famous track by the band (and is, in fact the first song of theirs I heard in 1994).  “The Millionaire’s Holiday” starts with some soft drum play and guitar styling that could easily be mistaken for Dick Dale (again, look him up) with some floating organ over top. This is the track where we are introduced to the beautiful vocal styling of Miss Lily. It’s a two minute song with somewhat nonsensical lyrics that seem to point irony at the fact that this is swing music (“If your pad is a wax museum, be a swinger if you dare”) and Lily’s old-timey blues lady voice is almost and instrument in and of itself. Why is this song so pivotal in the history of Combustible Edison? One word: Commercials. This song was used in ads for everything from soda to cars to video games. It was also used in the soundtrack for “Four Rooms” which the band did as well.

This is immediately followed by a track that almost doesn’t fit the album.  That is not a bad thing by any means and the track is one of the best on the record. “Breakfast at Denny’s” almost sounds eerie with it’s slower pace, floating vibraphone sounds, sparse bassline, wood block percussion sounds and floating guitar. Throw in the “aaah’s” of Miss Lily and the deeper male voices of the group and the somewhat middle eastern sounding guitar melodies in the middle of the track and this could easily be turned into an entire movie soundtrack. In fact, this one was also in Four Rooms.

Four Rooms - A Comedy Compliments Of The House

“Intermission” is next.  The track literally sounds like one that would be used in an old movie theater during an intermission. I wish I could say something special about this one but, while it’s good, it doesn’t stand out. What does stand out, however, is yet another number with Lily’s vocals.

“Cry Me A River” sounds like a song that could have been a standard in Billie Holiday’s repertoire and that pretty much explains it.  It’s a bluesy, break up song. Lily’s voice is decidedly as sexy as could possibly be on this track as she sings “Cry me a river. Cry me a river. I’ll cry a river over you…”

“Impact” is next which sounds like a crazy abstract jazz piece that could have been done by Miles Davis during his “Bitches Brew” sessions.  It almost has an impromptu jam feel to it that would make any jam band (e.g. Phish or The Grateful Dead) fan happy as well and this transitions nicely into “Guadalupe” and it’s tango feeling and more of Miss Lily’s sweeping voice and a faint hint of The Millionaire’s surfer rock electric guitar.

The remainder of the album just seems to find the group having a good time and embracing the fact that they are a swing band through and through. There are goofy melodies and repeated themes from the beginning of the album (“Carnival of Souls.”) The Millionaire’s guitar style further shows itself with some more tango rhythms and some more showcasing of the group’s keyboard sections (“Veldt.”) Miss Lily even delves into foreign language lyrics (German in “Surabaya Johnny.”)

Two track bring round out the album perfectly.   While Combustible Edison did the soundtrack for Four Rooms after this album, they certainly put forth the images and style that they were meant to do scores for old spy movies and this is the whole idea of “Spy Vs. Spy.” The title itself conveys the sense of a spy flick and the strong backbone of percussion and keyboards are augmented by some more of that guitar sound! Then it all changes up to a fast paced jazz piece done on a harpsichord and back to guitars again.

Out of breath from that last one?  Well there is one more. Since the group came from the orchestra used in “The Tiki Wonder Hour,” would the album be complete without the theme from that production? Here it is. Very light and soothing. A nice way to close the album.

Jazz and lounge, Swing, Ironic, Hipster music, etc.  Whatever this is called now, Combustible Edison fits the bill and made quite a career out of it. There were more albums where this came from, but I feel this is the essential one! Sub Pop made a great decision signing these guys along with their already heavy-hitting lineup of Soundgarden, Mudhoney, Nirvana, etc. And while the swing revival may have died at the turn of the century, the music itself never will, so go ahead and embrace it. Listen to this album, sit and chill with your martini (“A glass and a shaker. Our host is a real scene maker”- The Millionaire’s Holiday) and enjoy the stylings of The Millionaire (guitar), Miss Lily (vocals and bongos), Nick Cudahy (bass), Mr. Peter Dixon (organ), Aaron Oppenheimer (percussion) and special guests Brother Cleve and Michael “Laughing Boy” Connors: The Combustible Edison Heliotropic Oriental Mambo and Foxtrot Orchestra!