Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Neck-deep in mining seriousness! Zomg!

Hi guys! how are you doing today?
I hope good, it's been a fun day for me, today there was no school, and i finally had some time to go hanging out with friends, relax a bit, and post!

I'm glad you guys liked the article i wrote before, i was worried you wouldn't like it, but seems it did just fine. Someone even suggested me to upload some of my bands songs, and it doesn't seems like such a bad idea, you can expect to hear from Sidra soon.

Moving on, today i discovered a really awesome game, it's called "Minecraft". I don't know if you played it before, but it's really fun! I downloaded it today, and i thought it was so cool that i had to review it and share it with you guys. Graphic wise, Minecraft isn't all that good, since almost everything is made up of only cubes and some simple polygons, but the quality of gameplay and the unlimited possibilities will make you forget about this fact.

Minecraft is an original game with an original concept. There's no real goal to the game, just having fun and surviving the nightly attacks by monsters.

See, in Minecraft you control a character, with which you can do various activities, like chopping wood, getting stone and other resources, digging, hunting, fishing, building and more. At the beggining the game won't be much fun, and most activities will take some time, since you are working with your bare hands. The fun of the game, comes when you start using the craft system, in Minecraft, there's a craft system where you can place up to 4 different materials in a specific order to create useful items, furniture and tools. With the basic 2x2 craft window, you won't be able to do much other than wooden sticks, torches, wooden planks and some other basic stuff, but if you combine 4 pieces of wood, you'll create a workbench, which you can place anywhere on the map, and right-click to access a more advanced 3x3 grid, allowing you to work with 9 materials at a time, and create and almost endless variety of items, like pickaxes, axes, fishing rods, hoes, shovels, chests (used to store stuff), stairs, swords, sets of armor, and more. With these new tools, like the pickaxe, you will be able to mine faster and break stones which would've been otherwise unbreakable, you can experiment crafting tools with different materials, such as wood, stone, gold, iron and diamond, being the best -obviously- diamond tools, and the weakest wooden tools.
I wish i can build something like this some day.

"But, hey! what about the sword and armor and all that stuff?" you might ask. Well, the game has a clock (in which, i think, passes 1 in-game hour per w real-life minute) and when it gets dark, monsters like zombies, skeletons, giant spiders and more start to wander around, and if you ever find yourself with your back against the wall and one nasty zombie on the front, you might want to carry a nice sword with you and a set of armor to fight it. Or well, you can also use normal tools like axes and your bare hands, but it'll take a while before they die.

"Cool, so i get to build weapons and beat zombies, then what?"
Well, as you progress, you will be able to build more complex things, like electric systems, boats, carts, plows, TNT, minecart tracks and even rollercoasters! Yeah, rollercoasters =D.
I've never made one, but i've seen them on the internet, and they're made with a lot of minetracks, a mine cart and lots of hardwork. Oh, and normal minetracks can become very handy when you've expanded your..."base" and you need to travel far distances between your safe house and resources. Also, it's a lot more fun to hop into a cart and escape from zombies at full speed, than just running away =P.

The game's map is huge. and by huge, i mean gigantic, it's almost eternal. According to wikipedia "The game world is procedurally generated as the player explores it, with the full size possible stretching out to be nearly eight times the surface area of the Earth before running into technical limits." And well, i think a map eight times the surface of the earth is more than enough to keep you entertained.
With the right tools, possibilities are endless!

Tho, why going on the same direction? screw left, right, forward and backwards. Go up! and down! The game's map generator is really awesome, and it generates some gigantic and awesome underground caves with even small underground rivers or lakes on them, which will also keep you busy a long while before you fully explore them, and you'll probably get lost a couple times (Already happened to me :D) Also, when you're just starting and can't build a fortress or house of your own, ocuppying a cave is probably the best choice as a safehouse, to protect yourself from mobs at night.

Not only that, if you keep digging a lot, you might even reach the core of the earth! with all the lava too =D. You can also craft special buckets which you can fill with lava and bring to the surface, to...well...i mean, you have a bucket full of lava, zombies, and free time, so you can do pretty much anything that crosses your mind! The fun doesn't end there, you can play this game in Lan or online, so you can bring a friend along to the crazyness!
I'll see if i can get Lucius to play it with me, some time :P.

I haven't played the game that much, so maybe there are things i haven't mentioned here yet, but guess you'll have to discover for yourselves.

Well, that's it for today, but before finishing, here's a funny animation about minecraft :).
Cool animation :)

The animation is in 2D, but don't worry, the game is on a full-rendered 3D.

It's hilarious, you won't regret seeing it. (The title of this post is a reference to that flash, also.)

And, as always, here's the song of the day!

It's Nightquest, by my favourite band "Nightwish" i hope you guys enjoy it!

See you tomorrow!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Venezuela Rocks!

Hi guys, Ganesh here =)
I'm really sorry for not posting anything yesterday...or the day before yesterday...nor the day before that one ._.
It's just that i didn't think i would be this busy with school! The year's just starting, and i already have lots of homeworks, plus my band, and...i met a girl =). But we'll talk about that some other day.

Anyways, lately, i've been practicing a lot with my band after a long break, and it's been awesome. I play the guitar, and the thing i enjoy the most is playing it with other musician, or friends, it's just so fun, so relaxing and you might actually end up coming with something cool!
That's why i decided to talk a bit about bands today.

My band is really more of a hobby for me, but it still is a huge responsability, and a lot of hard work. I'm not saying we are an awesome-famous band, either, but i thought it might be helpful if i shared my experience with you, and if you share your's with me.

Before you think of starting a band, you should really practice a lot and feel "ready" for having a band. Playing with someone else, is waay harder than playing by yourself, and playing with a whole band (Singer, drummer, Bassist and maybe a keyboard) can get even harder.
When we created our band (it is made from a group of my closest friends, who also happen to play instruments), we were all begginners (cept for the drummer, who was and is still a pro xD). We gathered around 4, or 5 times, but we just weren't ready for it, our musical skills weren't good enough.

So, suddenly, the band died, we just never mentioned it again, never played together again, we just stopped. Almost a year later, a girl from school was throwing a huge party, and thinking we still had a band, she asked us to play in her party. When she told us, we just looked at each other confused, but then said "yes".

After that, we were really scared! we had no idea of why we accepted, and the party was in exactly 7 days!.

My band's logo.
But i'm not going to tell you the whole story of the craziest 7 days on my life, just that after practicing like crazy, the party got cancelled due to some problems among the hosts. Yeah, you can imagine our dissapointment. Tho the next day we realized, that it was the best that could have happened, the band was reborn, and we practiced so much that we all improved both our individual and band skills! Anyways, my point is, that before starting a band you should know that (Even if it's just a hobby or for fun) it's a huge responsability, and real hard work. There's also something else, in order to succeed in a band, you have to have good relations with the other members, your songs will sound as good as the relations among the members. Of course, there's going to be trouble, you're going to fight every once in a while, disagree, and even get mad at each other! but in the end, you'll need to learn how to deal with those differences, and use them for the good of the band. Remenber, you are not playing alone, you're playing with a whole band, and you'll need to adapt to the way they play and sound, just like the will have to adapt to you.

After you have your band and practiced a lot, you should start looking for your own style, your unique sound. At the start we just did lots of covers, then composed a variety of styles (sometimes we played punk, sometimes hard-core, sometimes alternative...) until we found our true "sound". I'd reccomend to avoid labeling yourself and your band as a specific style, just, play, and play, and write and compose until you find out what's your sound. Then, let the "fans" decide what your band is.

If you want to get a bit more serious with the band, i'd suggest creating a facebook profile. Let's face it, almost everyone has a facebook. Post a song or two there with some news, and see how people will slowly join. When you have a decent amount of fans, then maybe it's time for a myspace (or a blog!).

And if you want to get even more serious, then start playing in small parties (usually held by one of your friends) there, you can experience how it feels like playing on a stage with an audience. A band is not just about the music, but also about the way you act on the stage, the way you dress matters too. You can use these small parties to try different things and see how people reacts. Then you can try school festivals, bigger parties (When people ask you to play at bigger parties or event, they will usually start to offer you money. Don't expect huge amounts tho, remenber, you're not Aerosmith, and you won't be paid with just money, but also with "reputation".)

I don't know about other countries, but in Venezuela, the best way for bands to succeed and become famous is by participating (and winning) a "New bands" festival. Usually held by some malls. There's almost always an agent from a studio or a radio station, who (if you're lucky enough) will contact you after the show, and ask for your number. Then, you might actually get signed! from then on, just practice everyday, and record as much as you can.

 And well, here's the music video of "Sanitarios" from the venezuelan band "Caramelos de Cianuro" (Cyanide candy, on english)

I hope you guys like em, and if you do, support them!


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Understanding, so demanding...

Hey guys, I think it's been over a week since my last post, and I'm really sorry about that... It's amazing how time just passes by. I think about writing something and when I see the clock I realize I have no time! Right now I'm out of town, I'll be getting home around 8 tonight.

This week I've missed two great concerts, Green Day and The Cranberries. Green Day because the tickets were really expensive and I didn't have enough money to spend; and The Cranberries because I didn't know they were having a concert until the day before... So I spent the weekend here in Valencia with my mother, whom just got back from New York and brought pretty presents with her! xD When I get back to Caracas I'll make a cool post, but for know you'll have to settle with this. There's no school on Tuesday, so I'll have the day to get some school work done and make the post.

 I see you've met Ganesh. I knew he would be a good blogger; we have lots of common interests and likings. His last post was really cool I think, and i also like the "daily song" thing. I think together we can make something really cool of this blog, so we count on you guys to keep reading it. We already have 50 followers. I know it's not much compared to other blogs, but just knowing there's people interested in stuff we post here makes me want to make it better.

In other news, I've been making progress in Sniper: Ghost Warrior, and let me tell you it just keeps getting better and better. The only thing I don't like -so far- is that you don't get binoculars. In Sniper Elite you had a pair of binocular that could amplify a lot more than the rifle scope, and it was really useful when you were dealing with enemy snipers. A cool thing is the realistic AI field of view. But I'm starting to think that "stealth" only works when the game feels like it, or when it is convenient for the story.  As you see in this screeshot, there's a bar in the lower part of the screen next to the possiton, that messures how near you are from being spotted. Well sometimes it just goes crazy and you get busted... and it's really annoying.

Well, that's all I have time for today. I'll leave you with a cool song, related to the title of the post.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

To stay alive. Why?

This is a really common question, many of us have probably asked this to ourselves, not meaning that we are deppresive or suicidal, just that they wondered, Why?

The thing is, why should you stay alive? From the point of view of an Atheist, there's life, and then there's nothing else. In this life, we'll fight for a lot years, many of which will be filled of a lot of suffering before we can reach a small accomplishment, and then, we die, everything we worked for will dissapear. Unless you made a huge change to humanity, then, your knowledge or achievements will be enjoyed and used by the other persons who are still alive. So it all is pretty much an act of charity, devote your life to create something for others to enjoy when you die. Or devote your life to find happiness for yourself, and then die, just like anyone else would, happy or not.

Myself, i believe that the most valid reasons for living are just any responsability we may have in our life, and of course, Ethic, respect for life, your's and other's.
For example, a mother or a father with children has a great responsability, to raise those childs, to protect them, and to turn them into strong men and women who will be able to defend themselves in the world, and possibly found a new family of their own. I believe that is reason enough for living, fullfilling your responsability, and not abandoning them. Plus, it'd be something really selfish if a Father committed suicide, their children would be orphans, and they'll carry the burden and all the damage it might cause to see that their own Father took his own life. All the damage done to innocent beings who you knew depended on you, just because you got tired of living? Doesn't seems fair.
Who will find your body? who will clean up the mess?

 That was just an example, but you can easily find a lot more by looking around yourself.

Something that should also be considered, is, what will happen after your suicide. Who will find your body? who will clean up your mess? your parents? your children? will they feel guilty?. A suicide can destroy innocent lives, or even complete families. Imagine the psycological damage suffered.
Because, think about it, a kid's going to tell his Father that he's going out with friends. And when he open his father's room's door, he finds his father's corpse, with a bleeding arm and a razor by his side. Imagine how hard that might be on the poor kid, who will carry that memory for the rest of his life.

Maybe this is the sanest choice, after all?
But, if no one depends on you, no one will suffer much because of your death, and you don't really have any responsability, or maybe just a "Reason" that forces you to stay alive, then suicide would be a pretty sane choice, right? A hard question, i believe, that's why i'm posting this here.

Some say (Specially kids and teenagers) that they want to live and grow up, just because they are curious of what will happen in their lives.

Opinions? Thoughts? or maybe; What is your reason to stay alive, instead of just killing yourself, and skipping all the process which eventually would lead to the same end?

Oh, and here's today song, it's called "Castlevania" from Cradle of Filth. Also a really cool song, i hope you enjoy it :D.