Writers Notebook

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I’ve found myself writing a lot more recently and decided to get a notebook to dedicate to writing. I wanted to transcribe anything I find useful from my previous notebooks. When doing this I found an interesting trend with my writing through the years. This is a 4 year span of notes I’ve been taking. All the tabs represent writing points and exclude things like “Video games I need to beat” lists. The pink tabs are during my time in college 2014-2015. The blue tabs are all after college when I was still figuring out my job. Clearly, this is when I had the most time to write. I actually held back on the tabs here. 2015-2016. The purple tabs are from when I was comfortable and established with my job. As you can see there was a huge drop in writing 2016-2017. And the green tabs are 2017-present(2018 as of writing this). I started using my notebook differently with the most current Moleskine, because of this I ended up having far less in it than I otherwise would have around this time.

Based on the level of consistency with the last 3 I would be on my 5th Moleskine now if I kept up with my previous writing trend. That writing trend being the back half of the notebook being used as a journal. I stopped doing this because I didn’t see the point of keeping a journal. I thought any writing points I needed I can add throughout the notebook. What Ended up happening is I started writing less. Which now is fixed with the dedicated Writers Notebook. I went with the Moleskine large soft cover for my Writers Notebook because I didn’t want too many pages on a subject if I can help it. If you are looking at picking up a Moleskine notebook and having trouble deciding between the soft cover and hard. I personally prefer soft cover. I find it overall nicer but I do find it more difficult to write in on a general basis. That being said if you need to write say standing in a train than I think the softcover it better. You can fold it back on itself and write fairly comfortably.

With a dedicated writers notebook, I found it much easier to work on my writing and blog post, this post included. Its hard to beat the level of convenience you get with having a single reference point. I didn’t organize it in any special way. Just numbered the pages, transcribed any quotes or ideas I had over the years and left a few pages after to expand on. If I fill those pages up ill just leave a small note on what page it continues on. I’ve already found that I’m seeing results in my writing after doing this. Just last night as I was going to bed I came up with some talking points for a project I’m working on. I jumped out of my bed and wrote them down in my Writers Notebook. I’ve already started implementing them into my project today. It’s not the first time I’ve come up with ideas like this but I never got out of bed before to write it down. The lack of having a focal point made me lazy and wander off. I would tell myself ill just remember it. Now I don’t have to.

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Fired Guild Wars 2 Dev Responds and Still Doesn’t Get It…(YongYea)

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Review

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I went into Jurassic world: Fallen Kingdom expecting a B tier monster movie with Chris Pratt and that’s exactly what I got. The Jurassic Park movies have always been monster movies in the same vein as Godzilla and King Kong. They just broke into mainstream much better than any other monster movie and we just accepted a questionable belief in the accuracy of the science and palaeontology presented in the first movie. The dinosaurs in the Jurassic Park movies are not accurate. Actually they are so inaccurate to actual dinosaurs that a mutation like Godzilla or King. Kong is genuinely more scientifically plausible than the dinosaurs in the Jurassic Park films. Growing up as a kid the first Jurassic Park movie was one of my favorite movies of all time. Still is. I watched it so many times that my tape copy stopped working. Those things can only take so many plays and rewinds. I also took the movie seriously at the time just like everyone else did when it came to the science. The internet was nothing like it is today and I didn’t get my first computer for another 7 years or so. Besides I was using that computer to look at much more “extravagant things” than dinosaurs when I got it. I was a dirty little boy and now I’m a big dirty man. But this big dirty man now has the internet and knows better than to expect any sense of realism or accurate science from any movie let alone a series as fantastical as Jurassic Park. They themselves in the films have admitted to the questionable science of the dinosaurs presented. The Indominus Rex was literally a Frankenstein creation. The Indominus Rex and the Indoraptor are just as much an actual dinosaur as I am. Yes, I’m upset I’m not a dinosaur too.

Accepting all that, was Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom good? No not really, but how many monster movies other than the first Jurassic park are actually good movies? This isn’t trying to be the next God Father or Inception. Again taking it back to the beginning of this review, “B tier monster movie with Chris Pratt”. That’s exactly what I got and I didn’t mind. I think the Indo Raptor was cool even though it didn’t really do anything. I think its kind of funny that they redesigned the park just to make it easier for these dinosaurs to escape. Its also kind of funny how their tech is absolute trash. Why do they need to be on the ground to close a gate wirelessly? Also, why is said wireless connection terminated if the tablet that started the closing sequence breaks? I don’t know, It doesn’t make sense but neither does Godzillas atomic breath and Frankenstein coming back to life using electricity from a storm. In Godzillas defence, they at least try to explain it and it only adds onto the interesting lore of the king of monster. Where as here with Jurassic World it feels more like they think everyone watching is an idiot. Which honestly is kind of a safe assumption since a lot of the people going to watch these movies think its scientifically accurate in some way or they have this inner hate towards dinosaurs with feathers. Which I just call dinosaurs. They had feather, get over it. I personally find that to be really cool but that’s just me.

Overall was Chris Pratt a handsome boy and the movie a fun enough viewing? Yes and yes. Is it a good movie? Not at all but I don’t mind. I don’t think most monster movies are classically good movies but I still like a lot of them. Would I watch it again? Yes. It would be a fun film to watch for a Jurassic Park or Monster Movie marathon with friends. I just don’t see myself watching it again sober unironically. Which is kind of a good tip going into this movies if you haven’t seen it already. Have a few drinks before or sneak a few into the theatre with you. It will make the movie better and if it doesn’t at least you will be drunk.

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The Reality of the New T.rex Scale Impressions (TREY the Explainer)

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Yugioh The Darkside of Dimensions

Have any of you seen this? I didn’t even know about it till recently and got to watch it a few days ago. I thought it was a great throwback to the original show and had some epic moments in it. It takes place 6 months after the end of the original show and Yugi finally hit puberty. Kaiba’s even more over the top and bad ass than ever and Yugi was basically a gangster. Told Kaiba straight up to back off and get out of his way because he’s dualing first. He had no chill and I was proud and impressed. The Pharaoh seems to have left him his balls when he left. It was cool to see more character interaction than dualing. They really put the story first here. I recommend giving it a watch if you’re interested in seeing where the team ended up after the show.

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Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire Review

I finished Omega Ruby last night. I didn’t post any progress pictures since I honestly wasn’t feeling this version of the game. It’s been well over a decade since I last beat Pokémon Emerald but I feel it is still the superior version of the Hoenn games. I remember it being genuinely a lot more challenging and getting to see both sides of Team Magma and Team Aqua was nice. Not saying Emerald was this perfect Pokémon game, just in comparison I feel it still stands out for 3rd Gen.

That being said a lot of my issues from the original games make a come back here. The pacing is all over the place. A story focused around climate change and global warming could have been great but was handled very poorly. People will say it’s a Pokémon game so they made it simple for kids but anyone who’s played this can tell you it’s not simple, it just doesn’t make sense. Neither teams reasoning has any sense or backing at all and when they have their change of heart later in the game it’s like…really? No shit it didn’t work as you intended. Now I an 11 year old boys has to go save the region form a literal force of nature, twice. I wish with the chance for a remake they fixed a lot of these issues with the story or reworked it altogether. I mean it’s a whole new timeline. Why not have it make a little sense?

Also IGN was right. Hoenn has too much water. The last 20% of the game or so you spend on your surf Pokémon. I found it annoying in Ruby and then Emerald over a decade ago and I still find it annoying now. I was expecting some sort of quality of life improvements when it came to this but it was how I remembered it. And yes I know Hoenn is An island based region, so is Alola and getting around worked fine there. (Partly because of ride Pokémon) Speaking of ride Pokémon, how much do I miss them? A lot that’s for sure. The amount of HM you need is a bit ridiculous really. Dive and Waterfall are not needed as HMs at all and could have been worked into Surf or worked around very easily. Instead of having to lose 2 more moves. It’s really annoying when trying to do a nuzlocke or a mono type run.

Something I admit I really liked was the very end and I mean the very end. I’m talking after the credits when your rival now borderline girlfriend or boyfriend waits for you and you head back to Littleroot together and have one last battle. Even showing the small pond that keeps coming up in the opening cinematic of the game as the place you first met. My dark frozen heart melted a little with that. Sadly everything before the credits didn’t get any of this quality treatment. It also felt really random since you rarely even interact with your rival through the game. Regardless it is my favourite addition to the original games.

Now onto the Delta episode which I like a good bit more than the main game. Nice to have some sort of a story here that isn’t complete nonsense and a decent tie in to the Mega timeline games. It was a bit too wordy and there was a lot of just going from place to place but overall I didn’t mind it. Flying is for sure better than surfing.

Overall I’m glad to be done with Omega Ruby. It for sure over stayed it’s welcome and I don’t see myself replaying it for at least another decade. That is unless they remake it again which could be great if done right and with some heart like the after credits portion. My final thoughts are, as a Pokémon game it’s just fine. Far from the best and I can’t say if it’s the worst but you know what to expect here if you know Pokémon. For a Pokémon game I would rate it at about a 4 out of 10 for the main game and at about a 6 out of 10 for the Delta Episode.

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Subsurface Circular First Impressions

I had an eye on this game for a few days now on the Switch eShop. When I found out it was a Bithell game I bought it instantly. Mike Bithell and his team are the ones who brought us Tomas Was Alone and Volume. I haven’t played Volume yet but Tomas Was Alone is one of the best puzzle platformers I’ve ever played. It also has some of the best writing and voice acting I’ve herd in a long time. I mean you are playing as a bunch of different colored blocks and the writing sold me on the “characters”. That’s not easy to do. Here we have their newest game Subsurface Circular where you play as a robot detective trying to solve a series of disappearance. You seem to know the cause of the disappearances rides the train you are on. You wait and get into conversations with other robots who get on trying to solve your case. I just started but I’m really enjoying it so far. The writing is up to the standard I expect from the Bithell team. There isn’t any voice acting though so if reading isn’t your thing you probably didn’t get this far on this post anyways. If you did make it this far you probably will enjoy it. It’s short, only a little over 2 hours or so but it’s also cheap at about $7. I recommend it. Always support good indie titles. If you have played it let me know what you think.

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Blizzcon 2017 Thoughts

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World of Warcraft Classic — I’m really surprised they announced this since all the Vanilla WoW kids seemed to have given up a while ago. Once Legion came out most WoW players on the bandwagon stopped caring about Nostalrius since all they wanted was content and the guys who were on the bandwagon just for the hell of it weren’t going to play to begin with. The small fringe groups of Vanilla WoW fans stopped playing WoW altogether or moved onto another private server. Even the ones pushing for Vanilla WoW servers in my group of friends stopped talking about it well over a year ago and they were never really into WoW to begin with. Blizzard didn’t really talk much about this and based on what they said I’m sure it is a fair bit off. Just to be clear I’m all for this I just prefer new content. Everyone looks back at these expansions with rose tinted glasses but every single expansion had its shares of pros and cons. I’ll for sure give it a try when it comes out.

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World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth — I was a little sceptical and still am about this. Anyone who’s been following BlizzCon for a while can tell you the whole “Bringing the War Back to Warcraft” line is a bit cursed. The last time we heard it we got Cataclysm which had its ups but also had a lot of downs and Warlords of Draenor which mostly had downs but some ups. I blame Blizzard for WoD. Not WoDs fault it didn’t have any content and garrisons were a bad idea for the same reasons they didn’t end up putting player housing in Vanilla way back. I’m just saying I’m sceptical of Battle for Azeroth. A really good opening cinematic that got my heart pumping isn’t enough for me to be satisfied. All the following coverage just kind of looked ok to me. Legion has been awesome and I think we will look back at it as one of the best expansions. Compared to that this looks lukewarm so far. That being said I am really liking what they are doing with the amulets which are pretty much replacing our artifact weapons. I still think artifact weapons are far more interesting but I understand the reasoning for cutting down 2 to 4 weapons into one amulet. Even though you lose a lot of epic flavour with it. Little quality of life improvements like this are nice, just the overall epic scale doesn’t seem to be there.

P.S. Only 3 new sub-races per faction? Still no Red Orcs?…sloppy Blizz, sloppy…Upright orcs though, so thanks for that.

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Diablo — ?

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Starcraft 2 — If you’re a consistent fan of the RTS genre or Just Starcraft in general then there seemed to be some good updates to the game. Blizzard is adding in the expected quality of life improvements and it seems to be more accessible to new players. It also looks like they are making the base game free to play which is pretty cool. None of this will get me playing but I can see returning players and new players going back to the game over this.

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Hearthstone — I personally quit Hearthstone a few months back to focus on Magic The Gathering and their upcoming Online CCG. Nothing against Hearthstone, just my TCG/CCG interests are taken up by Magic The Gathering.  I told myself Knights of The Frozen Throne will be my last Hearthstone expansions for the foreseeable future and with Kobolds and Catacombs…that statement hasn’t changed. Lol, that being said I will come back to Hearthstone to play the new single player “Dungeon Run” content. It is this contained adventure where you don’t even have to build a deck till you enter. You don’t have to worry about buying anything and you just have a good time playing. Pick a class, get some cards and build your deck as you play through the Dungeon Run. I see it a lot like you’re a new player in World of Warcraft and you are entering your first dungeon. You always find new solid upgrades as you go through. Great addition to Hearthstone to keep players like me coming back. What do I think of the new Kobolds and Catacombs expansion? My feelings are /shrug ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ couldn’t care less.

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Overwatch — Man what a surprise from my least favourite Blizzard game. I mean it still is my least favourite Blizzard game even though Blizzard seems to want you to hate Diablo the most. But damn does it look good. I don’t like Overwatch from a fundamental gameplay level. I find it remedial compared to almost every other shooter on the market. Which is exactly why it’s popular. You can be trash and still be useful and improve quickly simply by paying attention a little more. I mean I get why people like it. Everything from Blizzcon 2017 makes me get it even more. I mean how cool were some of those maps and the Reinhardt cinematic? I don’t even like the game but that cinematic got me thinking of getting a Reinhardt tattoo. The new hero Moira is a really interesting take on a healer. Her style and gameplay look really fun. She comes off as a more skill capped healer when compared to others like Lucio and Mercy. Cant go AFK and get MVP on Moira. The new Blizzard World map looks amazing. They said that in the world of Overwatch that Blizzard exists but in that universe they naturally have nothing to do with Overwatch itself. So Blizzard World is an Overwatch map but is themed after the other Blizzard games. Might be hard to follow but it’s a great addition regardless. Not bad Overwatch, not bad. Might just have to pop in the disk again sometime.

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Heroes of the Storm — Another surprising turn of events. I have been kind of done with Heroes of the Storm for a few months now but Blizzcon won me back. A whole bunch of new interesting hero’s like Honzo and Alexstrasza, reworks and quality of life improvements. Fine Blizzard fine. It seems I haven’t paid you enough through this game so I’ll give you some more over the coming months. The single thing that got me the most interested was their new ranking system. Its a new take on their current MMR system but instead of wins and loses counting for a large part of your MMR they seem to be focusing more on you and the hero you pick. If you play a difficult hero and play that hero well and also win you will jump up higher in your MMR. Same goes for if you play an easier hero and don’t perform well and lose, you will go down further in MMR. So winning and losing still matters but you can still move up in MMR as long as you are performing the best you can. They also showed how this leads to much fewer matches you need to play to get placed where you belong. This isn’t the exact numbers but it was something like 240 matches down to 190 matches with the new ranked system. They also said that number should go down further after its officially implemented in December.

Blizzcon 2017 MVP — Overwatch followed closely in 2nd by Heroes of the Storm.

Blizzcon 2017 Loser — Diablo (I mean really. Surprised?)

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Ready Player One Official Trailer #1

I read “Ready Player One” year’s back and it became one of my favorite books. Top 5 easy. I was worried about the movie but watching this trailer puts my worries to rest. The scenes that I recognize are exactly how I pictured them in my head while reading. Really excited for this one to come out.