Crucible’s Bugg is awesome and cute!

Bugg, the Crucible hero, is super cute, and I had to record this audio log. In game, he grows little plants that attack enemies. In lore, he used to be a gardening robot who was happy that people liked his vegetables!

20200527184908_1

This is his Honey Bee skin. I want it!

20200527184913_1

Here’s a closer look at it even though you can’t see the wings.

20200527184926_1

His Garden Grower skin is pretty cute too!

Joining Amazon Games

I joined Amazon Games a couple weeks ago as a technical writer on the Automation, Tools, and Insights team. I mentioned it on Kor’kron 501st, my other blog, where I talk about World of Warcraft and other MMOs and Blizzard games due to Amazon Games having a new MMO called New World coming out soon. I wanted to mention it here as well because I’ll talk about non-MMOs on this blog.

Crucible is a hero-based shooter released last week developed by Relentless Studios and published by Amazon Games. I don’t have much experience with this genre, but I’ve been playing it a lot this past week and really enjoying it. I included the trailer at the top!

K.K. Slider arrived on Luna

K.K. Slider visited Luna for the first time last week! I’m excited to get him to visit!

I finally spoke to Isabelle because I was curious how my island was doing. I wasn’t focusing on anything in particular to get K.K. Slider to visit. As soon as I checked with her, K.K. Slider wanted to visit!

Now I get my buddy K.K. Slider every Saturday! I love his songs and am glad he’s back again!

Some friends visited Saturday to listen to the concert.

gem even had a special request! 🙂

Dapper Day on Luna

Sunday was supposed to be Dapper Day at Disneyland, but it was cancelled due to COVID-19. They encouraged Dapper Day at Home, so I threw a Dapper Day party on my island, Luna!

From left to right, that’s Jenn, Joe, gem, Duncan, me, Aren, and Haley! While they weren’t shown in this screenshot, Niki and Steph visited as well.

gem from calamansi was looking very dapper on her third day of owning the game!

DrAstroPhD (Joe) from Drapland was quite the striking duck.

Tarok (Aren) from Thighland was oh-so-handsome.

Duncan from Robot Isle was stylish and our second duck.

Jenn from Calico had a variety of cute outfits and was our third duck! I especially liked the outfit you can see her wearing at the top of this post. Disneybound Donald Duck!

HAywinz (Haley) from `meruem` was not only looking good, but she brought me a cherry-blossom wand, and I’m so excited to be able to transform my outfits! Thank you!

Nikē (Niki) from Avalon was fabulous and quite purple.

Stay_Fresh (Steph) from Sty’lnd was indeed looking fresh in her dapper dress!

I hosted a scavenger hut by burying a ton of junk, a few bags of bells, and two pieces of fencing around the island. The fence pieces could be redeemed with me for Nook Miles Tickets! Congratulations to Joe and Duncan (I think)!

At one point Duncan led an assault on me!

Niki, Jenn, gem, and I played in the aquarium a little.

Jenn also shared the pitfall with us so we could all learn the recipe. Plus, somehow a few of us fell in accidentally!

Happy Dapper Day! It’s too bad we didn’t get to have it in person, but I enjoyed playing on Luna with my friends!

 

Bunny Day in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Bunny Day was the first major holiday in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and I’m just glad it’s over. If you didn’t play it, basically everything you do could drop eggs, and those eggs were used as materials to craft items. But there were way, way too many eggs. Nintendo nerfed the drop rates a couple days into the event, which is good, but this is still a bad sign for future events.

That said, it didn’t stop me from collecting everything and creating a Bunny Day room.

Here it is with the lights off. I really like the Bunny Day lamp, which is an egg, and the garlands that can be turned on and off.

You can see a little clip showcasing my Bunny Day room above!

P.S. Zipper is creepy.

Another week on Luna

It’s been another beautiful week on Luna in Animal Crossing: New Horizons! I’m loving all the cherry blossoms everywhere right now, but I guess I’m getting ahead of myself.

I built Nook’s Cranny, the new store. It’s great except that it closes at 10.

Luna also now has its first bridge!

Do you ever wake up with Duncan standing over you? How frightening!

While I was hanging out with Duncan, Joe decided to visit! It was pretty unexpected, which was hilarious.

I also visited Joe’s island. He has a pizza oven! I have on in Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp but not New Horizons. I need it! I really need it!

I ran into this monstrosity on his island! Ahhh!

I also visited Kristine, and she gave me cherries – the last fruit I needed!

I did a lot of fishing. April has some fish that are only found on the pier.

The stringfish was one of the fish that was going away at the end of March. It was March 31st and approaching midnight, and I still hadn’t caught it. The clocked rolled over into April. And then I saw a shadow of a fish. I ran for it, and I got the stringfish I needed!

Here I am enjoying a nice bamboo island.

When lightning strikes, the sky flashes for a brief moment.

I really love the sky in this game.

Look, a shooting star!

Lastly, my resident services and plaza got upgraded today! Hooray! Now, I need to continue searching for Stitches!

Finished a Boss Challenge and earned Costume dragon in Dragon Mania Legends

I hate Boss Challenge events in Dragon Mania Legends. Most events have a refresh period of 6 hours or so – meaning you have certain objectives you have to complete every 6 hour period. That’s nice because even if I have to play 15 minutes, I don’t have to worry about it again for a while.

Boss Challenge has a 2 hour delay delay between each part, which is much more annoying. It’s also hard to know how much of a grace period you have. If you wait three hours, you’ve wasted an hour. If you waste too much time, you probably can’t finish.

Well, I finally finished one. Yes, I had to spend some gems at the end, but I never purchase gems with real money so I’ll consider this a win! I also never needed to interrupt my sleep or anything important during the day. I just tried to be more punctual about checking the event when I was able.

Giving my best-friend confection to Stitches in Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp

For Valentine’s Day, Nintendo gave each player one best-friend confection to give to their animal of choice in Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. When you give it to an animal, that animal gives you a bell-jar bouquet with a note attached. There are three types you can get, but I didn’t think about what reward I wanted. I knew I had to give my best-friend confection to Stitches! He’s the best!

2-man Attack Forme Deoxys EX raid

I had two EX Raids to do at the same time and didn’t get a response in the Discord for the second about a later group. I went anyways, and no one was going for a second round. I figured I might as well attempt it despite neither of the two accounts with me being 40. Turns out, this raid is incredibly easy. I had about half the time remaining!

Divine New Year in Dragon Mania Legends

Dragon Mania Legends is a typical phone game in that there are multiple currencies in the game, and one of them is purchased using real money. Their events ramp up in difficulty in what I assume is obviously an attempt to get people to spend money to finish them. And I don’t spend real money on this game.

In this style of events, you go through multiple levels unlocking chests. A chest can contain the key to the next level or a puzzle piece toward unlocking a dragon. (Collecting dragons is the primary goal of the game.) The last level has a chest that will contain the a dragon itself, and this is basically the goal of the event. This event celebrated Chinese New Year, and the final dragon was the Nezha dragon.

For the first time, I was able to get that final dragon! The event ends tonight, and I got it this morning. And yet I did some quick math and found that it would be impossible for me to get the puzzle piece dragon at this point without spending real money. Still, I’m happy I finally got the end dragon in one of these events!

Super Mario Maker with friends

IMG_2021

Super Mario Maker was released Friday. As the release date approached, I really thought I could resist. I know I just don’t care to devote as much time to playing games as I once did, but I cracked pretty quickly on Friday and bought a copy. Even if I barely play it, it’s more than just a game. It’s a celebration of 30 years of Mario and the culture surrounding those games.

Super Mario Maker

I see it primarily as a social tool, so I designed my first level with friends. Here’s Anela, gem, and Antonio working on our level. We each took turns adding to it. The joy of Nintendo is how it brings people together and creates such rich culture around their properties. I knew gem would have fun with Super Mario Maker because we played it at SDCC this year, but what about Anela and Antonio? At least Antonio plays games and owns consoles, but I wasn’t confident Anela would have fun. However, they both did. Anela went crazy adding as many mushrooms as she could to her part of the level and then insisted I get those mushrooms when I played. Antonio and gem both set up traps in attempts to trick the players. There was a lot of laughter, so I think everybody had a great time. We’ve also been playing Super Mario 3D World. Like Super Mario Maker, even those who don’t play games often have had fun with it. Sure, Anela requests that we carry her through some parts, but she has as much fun, if not more, as the rest of us! Nintendo’s amazing at making their games accessible and enjoyable to people who don’t play games often.

Here’s our masterpiece – “Super cool friends Petanegemio.” It’s a majestic level! Okay, maybe not majestic, but I’ve played it a couple times, and I have fun when I do. Better than just enjoying some random Mario level, this one reminds me of my friends – Anela’s mushroom block maze, gem’s Money Zone of coins and trap (in which I totally fall in that video), and Antonio’s journey into the sky and trap (that I managed to avoid). It’s a masterpiece, at least to me.

“Mario Myths with Mr Miyamoto” helped push me into purchasing it. It’s such a simple video, but it helps accentuate the beauty of Nintendo and their games. It made me tear up just a little, especially the idea that it’s been 30 years since Super Mario Bros. Oh, and that hard hat Mario wears for Super Mario Maker. It’s so cute and representative of the game that’s a perfectly designed icon.

Super Mario Maker (and Super Mario 3D World and so many other Nintendo properties) are really works of art, beautifully created to bring people together accompanied by a soundtrack of their own laughter.

Thank you for the fun times Nintendo, Miyamoto, and all my friends who have played Mario with me!

More Papers, Please

Two minor things I wanted to mention after talking about Papers, Please recently.

First, Collin shared this video with me. It’s fantastic. Glory to Arstotzka!

arstotzka civilization 5 papers please

Second, there’s a mod for Sid Meier’s Civilization V that adds Arstotzka as a nation. I don’t play Civ V, but the mod seems interesting to me anyways. It’s created by Snakeeater337 and can be found on Steam as Arstotzka (Requires BNW) for Sid Meier’s Civilization V).

Pixel Press Floors

[Updated on 1/30/15.]

Pixel Press Floors is an iOS and Android game that allows you to make your own platformer levels. I Kickstarted this around June of 2013 because of an interesting hook: you actually design by hand on paper and take a photograph of the paper to import it into the game.

There were a few hiccups, such as the Android version being significantly delayed. As an iOS user, this didn’t bother me. However, two others things did. First, the game changed from a paid game to a free game with in-app purchases. As someone who backed the game early, I got an account in the game that reflected this. Supposedly this would give me bonuses. I don’t know what those are. I thought I was supposed to be able to place enemies in my level (it’s normally an IAP), but I don’t see any option for that currently. [Update: I contacted the developer, and they fixed everything for me within a day. Great customer service!] The second, bigger problem is that the creation mode ended up being iPad only. That’s great if I owned an iPad, but I don’t.

Regardless, I finally had a chance to sit down and make some levels with gem’s iPad, and it was a ton of fun. I’m still annoyed about not being able to create on the iPhone, and I’m hoping they add it. As for the backer bonuses, I don’t know what the deal is there, but I just reached out to Pixel Press to find out.

As for making levels? Fun! You don’t get to change any of the physics or design your own sprites, but you still can set the layout of levels. Even though what initially piqued my interesting was designing on paper, I did the whole thing on the iPad. You can watch the video embedded above to see my level, appropriately named The Adventures of Peter. And hey, I published it around 1:30 today and it already has 77 plays!

If you like platformers, you might want to give this a try. As mentioned, it’s free. There are a ton of community-created levels, and you can search for mine as well.

Osmos


My friend Alex showed me Osmos over a year ago, but I never got around to playing it until a couple months ago. It’s available for Steam, iOS, and Android; I played it on Steam. Osmos is heavily physics-based and deals with orbits and mass. The idea is pretty simple. You want to get larger. Running into something smaller than you allows you to absorb it. If you run into something bigger, you get absorbed. You move by expelling mass in one direction, causing you to move in the opposite direction.

Osmos starts out very tranquil and relaxing. A lot of games begin with tutorials, but Osmos is almost lying to you by trying to be seen in this light. The later levels are incredibly difficult and can take a long time to complete (after many, many retries). Sometimes you have to act quickly to beat other “characters,” but sometimes you can take all the time you need. You unlock levels in groups, giving you choices that work well to act as breaks from other, more frustrating levels.

The graphics and audio are both absolutely fantastic. The game looks beautiful and detailed whether you’re viewing your surrounding closely or from afar. Depending on what you’re trying to do, sometimes you’ll want to zoom close for detailed control and other times you’ll want to zoom out to see the entire area. In addition, you can change the speed that the game runs. I found myself making very slight tweaks to my orbit and then speeding up time to see the results. The music remains tranquil throughout the game, even when the levels get stressful. It sometimes even seems to reflect the orbiting, repetitive nature of the game. Usually when you hear a game’s music described as repetitive, it’s a bad thing; It’s not bad in Osmos.

Different people might get stuck on different levels, but level F3C-3 was my final level and took me a long time to finish. The video above is the recording of my eventual completion of the level.

Thanks, Alex, for the great recommendation!