Witcher & Writing

I have recently been playing a bit of The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt and loving it!
Having a huge world to explore on horseback and kill monsters and harvest their bodies for alchemy ingredients to make potions with is just great!
Yeah sure I can take a wrong turn straight into a high level enemy and get obliterated but that is part of the fun! Mark it and move on.
I am a little naughty though as I couldn’t resist getting Witcher 3 even though I have not finished Witcher 1 or 2, which I understand follows on but I am familiar enough with the characters and basic plot to understand what is going on even so.
I have had to start Witcher 1 Enhanced Edition again due to my long term save becoming corrupted or something, meaning I could no longer carry on with the main quest which annoyed me no end as I was pretty far in.
I have also recently picked up Witcher 2 for the 360 as it is backwards compatible with the Xbox One and had to start that again too so all fresh starts all round!

I have also been getting back into my Udemy courses on accounting software and Python programming language which seems to be going well.
I had installed Python Anaconda where you get the core language plus a metric ton of additional libraries for use as well as an IDE and a few other tools which I have literally no idea what they are for.
Problem is, I had to uninstall the old versions of Anaconda, which also uninstalled the new one for some reason then had to reinstall everything! Oh well, it seems to work fine now albeit a little slow.
Once I have completed all the courses on Python, I will be moving onto C# which is another language I would like to use for making my own game eventually.

Writing has been a little slow recently due to my health and my penchant for getting distracted by games or the Internet, but I have been watching loads of writing videos on YouTube and feel quite inspired to write again now and also bought a couple of books recently which are proving to be a good read (Your First Novel and The Writer’s Idea Thesaurus) which were recommended by YouTuber and author Kristen Martin who I have been binge watching in recent weeks! Go check out her channel!

Well, I am off to do some more writing so I will end it here, thank you for reading and have a great week!

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Volunteering and Gaming

Hi all! it’s been a long time since my last post, but here i am with a fresh new one to thrill and amaze!
Volunteer work has kept me busy over the intervening period as well as my long suffering wife Tracey.
Sadly, our time with the council run local library came to an end as the library closed, though we did walk away with a friend and reference in our boss.

We then started volunteering for the Maritime Archaeology Trust identifying and recording lost wrecks from World War One, which goes right down my alley, being able to use my Google-Fu to tease any extra data from the Interweb!

I started volunteering at a local cafe which went really well and I discovered that maybe i could go back into a fast paced dynamic kitchen environment again after so many years away, there i gained valuable experience both in the back and out the front and remember my time there fondly (even one day when the freezers needed to be scraped out and cleaned which was fun! 😉

Recently, I started volunteering at a charity shop with Tracey and a friend to gain valuable retail experience and also with the Council again with the Museum Collections Service, digitising old records, which suits me fine being up to my neck in old records and entering them into a spreadsheet, which is probably as boring as it sounds to most, but to me it gives me a chance to brush up on my Excel skills! though some of that writing can be tricky to read!

I have been slowly coming around to my games again after a long time being unable to do so for health reasons and have been particularly enjoying Microsoft Flight Simulator X:Steam Edition and Euro Truck Simulator 2 with the amazing Promods, Rusmaps, and Jazzycat Trailer & AI Traffic mods amongst others (which I HIGHLY recommend to anyone who has ever fancied taking a truck across Europe!).

I love Simulators, 4X games and RPG’s and I am hoping to take this blog in a slightly different direction in the future.

I will be keeping to these small ‘updates’ about my life, but will also be talking about what games i have been enjoying recently and what mods I can recommend based on my personal preference.

I have also been enjoying Mass Effect Andromeda and Fallout 4 on Xbox way more than i probably should but Tracey and I have an understanding so I get games during the day, then we veg out and watch our series and maybe a film or two afterwards in the evening with dinner.  It works really well for us.

Being a huge, huge fan of the Mass Effect franchise, the release of Andromeda was greatly anticipated by me but due to being unable to run it on my PC and not owning an Xbox One, I couldn’t play it, but careful saving and a liberal splash of trading in old games and hardware in our local CEX, i managed to finally join the current-gen club!
I have not tested the mods feature of Fallout 4 yet, but when i get around to it, there are definitely a couple i would like to try out (though part of me is saying wait for a PC upgrade and get it on PC too for more modding fun and mod managers!).

Well, on top of all this, I have been trying to write where and when i can.  I have the software, the hardware and no excuses yet still struggle at times.

I have a collaborative fiction piece with my brother in law which is going really well and we are both enjoying it (yes, i will get back to it i promise! 😉

I have my blog, which as you have all realised has been somewhat abandoned of late (okay longer than that!) and i am working on my novel of which i hope to be able to post updates on here very soon.

And then there is my reading… thanks to Amazon and Bookbub, i have been able to expand my Kindle library to probably over a hundred books nearly all of which were free (book 1’s of a series or really old) or were heavily discounted, which is all great on paper, but with everything going on, I tend to just want to chill out with YouTube videos at bedtime (yes i know videos are probably not the best thing to be doing in bed!) though my Watch Later list grows by the day and the amount of series I have started watching of various game Let’s Plays also never seems to shrink!

I think that is all i have for you today, sorry about the long wait to those of you who read this blog, but i hope to get back in the saddle again quickly so please bear with me!

A Relaxing Weekend?

Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy
Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just got in from a rather hot walk up to the big Tesco’s up the road.

Tracey made the whole trip there and back without stopping which is a huge achievement at this stage of her recovery.

Now we are both sat down with a cold drink and I thought it would be a good time to write.

Yesterday, we had to make another trip to Southampton, firstly to return a cheap pair of speakers we bought for Tracey’s computer, and secondly to return a game (Stardrive) that we bought from CEX and turned out to be a Steam game that had already been activated.

CEX were great, they refunded me straight away and the voucher went towards… (and I am almost ashamed to say this)  LEGO Star Wars The Original Trilogy.

In my defence, I am trying to get more games that both Tracey and I can play together and we are both Star Wars and Lego fans and the games came recommended so thought it was worth a try!.

Continue reading “A Relaxing Weekend?”

Kerbal Chaos!

I have been recently watching career mode tutorial videos for the technically brilliant Kerbal Space Program by Scott Manley on YouTube.

I have finally taken the plunge and started a career game.

In KSP you are in charge of the Kerbal Space Program (funny that eh?) and can design and build a seemingly endless variety of spacecraft to launch into space!.

You can orbit planets and moons, land and complete scientific missions, build Space Stations and much more.

It is more a simulation than a game in my view (though it is really fun!) and there are thousands of mods available to augment the gameplay in a myriad of different ways.

It is still heavily in development with a complete “Sandbox” mode where you can design and build to your hearts content and a career mode where you unlock new technologies by conducting space flights and experiments to obtain science.

My first attempted flight was simply a capsule with a parachute attached, connected to a solid state rocket, which is as simple as it gets but I somehow screwed it up as it promptly took off, veered to one side, exploded killing my poor Kerbal astronaut and left the parachute sadly floating to the ground unattached to anything.

Frantically watching the first video again to hopefully see where I had failed, I tried again.

Using an actual engine this time rather than a rocket, it sat on the launch pad.  I pressed “Launch” and it made a noise and sat there mocking me doing nothing, turned out i had forgotten to open the throttle so no fuel was going to the engine.

Third time I attempted a launch, the parachute opened while my rocket was still on the launch pad and then the engine ignited sending my astronaut up into the atmosphere, where he eventually fell back to Kerbin and without a parachute he was killed on impact.

Finally, I got the stages right, opened the throttle, pressed launch and watched in triumph as my puny rocket soared into the heavens.

After having watched a few more videos, i tried to carry out an experiment to earn some science, sadly, I accidently clicked “EVA” and my brave astronaut leapt out of the falling space craft as it fell to earth below him…. yeah I guess you know how that ended too.

Well, I have learnt a lot during these tests and feel bold enough to try again!

Wish Me Luck!

 

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College Days Revisited

I’m sat here watching the new series of Don’t Tell the Bride and looking forward to starting college again next week.

I’m not going full time as the course my wife and I are doing is only a few hours on a Wednesday at Totton college, but it is still the first time I have been back to college for a few years while I have been battling depression and trying to find work, so it is a big deal to turn that corner finally and start planning for the future again.

The course is an ITQ level 2 as we did the level 1 a few years back, it is an IT qualification in the use of Microsoft Office 2010 as I think I need to learn more about Office as it will come in helpful for my writing and for the possibility of employment in an office environment.  Also, it will vastly increase my knowledge of Office gained from judicious use of Google and YouTube!.

Plus, it makes a change from simply spending all day every day mindlessly job hunting without success or trying to wrap my head around the programming challenges I have set myself!.

The job centre needed to send some paperwork to us to prove entitlement for the bursary to enable us to do it for free – and they actually did! they sent the correct paperwork out with all the relevant details we needed.  Tracey phoned them to ask as I didn’t see the point, I knew they would screw it up just like they always do but this time the system worked!. Boy am I pleased to be wrong!.

So, we start Wednesday, I have an early hospital appointment the Thursday and Friday we are “house sitting” for my parents which is a nice little holiday for us somewhere else away from Southampton for the weekend! should sleep well then! maybe get a chance to catch up with my reading as I have been focussing on the computer recently so it would be nice to get back to The Dark Tower again!.

Wish me luck and take care!

My Top Ten YouTube Funnies

Thought I would try a new thing…posting some of my favourite videos from around the web (though mainly YouTube) in the hope that some of you may have the same twisted, warped sense of humour as I have!.

I hope you enjoy them, all credit goes to the respective producers of these videos, I am only showing them here for entertainment.

Any comments, hate mail, or the usual spam can be added below!.

Warning: There is some bad language in some of these videos, please use discretion.

FarmVille Commercial Parody
Mafia Wars Commercial Parody
Cafe World Commercial Parody
PetVille Commercial Parody
The WTF Gloves Parody
The WTF Blanket Parody
Twilight Modern Warfare Trailer
The Magical iPad
Dramatic Cat
Chav Hunting

Morrowind Overhaul Mod

I have been really distracted recently with this exciting new collection of mods I have found for Morrowind.

The graphics are admittedly looking a bit dated now (though that is a draw for a lot of people eager to escape the HD bandwagon!).

So while I was going through a folder full of old Morrowind mods I have collected over the years but never tested much, I came across the following nifty little set while scouring the internet for updated versions:

Morrowind Overhaul – A Compilation Mod

“Morrowind Sounds and Graphics Overhaul” is the first pack. It contains mods that will alter and enhance the visual graphics and the sounds of the game.

The aim of this project is to make more people around the world appreciate this huge game by giving them a simple installation file which includes everything they will need to play Morrowind with gorgeous graphics and sounds. I’ve tried to keep Morrowind’s “feeling”; therefore, the mods/meshes/textures I chose are the ones that I think are most faithful to the original colours and environment.

A benefit of this compilations is that players don’t need to go through the “download every single mod out there and try it” phase of customizing Morrowind. The pack is intended for people who would prefer not to hand-pick mods out of the thousands of mods available. Modding Morrowind can be overwhelming for some people, and they might want to start out with a compilation before they feel comfortable picking and choosing mods on their own.

 Here is a sample video of it in all it’s glory:

It is a large download, with three smaller downlaods after inital install (patch 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3) which greatly add to the functionality.

There is a pdf in each download with specific step by step instructions with pictures so it is easy to follow (mainly just clicking ‘next’).

But, here is a convenient video with it all explained there:

Morrowind Overhaul S&G Installation Videotutorial

So, if you are a long time Morrowind fan, or a newcomer to this amazing game, do yourself a favour and grab this mod HERE and prepare to be amazed! (and although it sounds like it, i actually have nothing to do with the mod, I am just a fan!).

Elder Scrolls Official Site

Bethesda Game Studios

Bethesda Softworks

latest MGSO news here