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Personal: What’s on my phone

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About a year ago, I wanted a new phone. My first smartphone was a Samsung, which was my 2nd and 3rd smartphone as well. I always wanted to try a different brand and since I bought an Asus Zenpad 8S in 2016 for my birthday, I wanted to give the Asus Zenfone a try. I’m quite content with my Asus Zenfone 3 MAX. I have the 5.5-inch version, so it’s quite a big phone in my opinion. So, a while ago, there was a tag challenge in the tech community to tell your audience what you have on your phone. I wasn’t aware of it at the time, but I still want to do it. So, here we go. Also, I invite other bloggers to do the same thing. What is on your phone? If you write an article about it, feel free to tag me on Twitter or link to this article. Or feel free to leave a comment here as well. 

Mini review

So, before we go to the main event, I first want to give a mini-review on the Asus Zenfone 3 MAX. What are the things that I love and dislike about the phone? I have been using this phone for a year now. If you want to read up on the specs of my phone, you can read it here on gsmarena.com.

There are a few things I dislike about this phone. If you use the screen at max brightness and either WiFi or 4G, the phone’s battery drains quite fast. Lowering the brightness helps quite a lot to save battery. Another thing has to do with the call quality. Sometimes the microphone doesn’t pick up my voice too well and the other end doesn’t hear me, but if I reposition the phone a bit, that fixes the issue. Another thing I dislike is that buttons like home or back aren’t backlit. But, that’s all I really dislike about this phone. While other reviewers would find other things wrong with it, I really like this phone and it fits my needs perfectly.

So, what are the things I really like about this phone? It’s my first phone with a fingerprint reader. This makes life so much easier. More on that later. Another thing I really like is how this phone seems to get frequent updates to the latest version of Android and all the latest security patches. I prefer the ZenUI over TouchWiz any day of the week. The camera on the phone is really good for family pictures in my opinion. But, the biggest factor for this phone is that it’s priced at 250-280€ and you get an amazing phone for that price.

What’s on my phone?

Now, what’s on my phone? Quite a lot actually. I nearly always carry my phone with me since it’s a handy tool when I need to look up something quickly or snap a quick picture of something I need to remind myself of.

Since I’m rarely at my desk at work, I always have my phone with me. So, they can call me whenever there is a problem. Also, I love listing to music while walking and I use my phone as an old school music player. So, my music app is one of my most frequently used apps.

First of all, I won’t talk about every single app that’s on my phone. There are quite a few games I have installed on my phone for when I’m in a waiting room or have some time on the train and the batteries of my 3DS or Switch are out. I’ll only talk about the apps I placed on my home screen since those are the apps I use the most.

Whenever there is an app I use often, I place it on my home screen. If I stop using it frequently, I remove it from my home screen and replace it with something else I use frequently.

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This is my first home screen. This screen greets me when I unlock my phone. For obvious reasons, I won’t show how I unlock my phone. On the left of my main home screen is the Google Assistant/Google Now. This way I can catch up with the latest news of the subjects I’m interested in. On the right, there is a 2nd home screen with additional apps. More on that later.

At the bottom, I use the classic vanilla apps. From left to right, you have the dialer, my text messages, a button to see all apps, Chrome, and my camera. On top of my home screen is a big clock with the date displayed. Besides that clock, I have the messenger app. I talk quite often to friends over messenger and if I want to share a link, Messenger is the easiest way. Underneath that, you have the Play Store. Each morning, I update all my apps and check the store if there isn’t anything interesting that I could review on my blog.

Then, you have three rows of 4 apps each. The first row is my calendar, my finder app, Discord, and Dropbox. The calendar app is Google Calendar. I use this app often to remind myself of things I need to do. I put more than just my appointments or birthdays in my calendar. Things like: “Article day”, “Write the time for the final project”, “Write a piece for collab” or “Release of thing X” are things that appear in my calendar as well. Appointments have a red color and things I need to do have either blue or yellow. Blue if it’s something I could delay and yellow if it’s urgent or if it can’t be delayed.

The file explorer is the one that comes with Asus’ ZenUI and I love it. It gives me Windows-vibes and it’s really great to use. Whenever I download a file, I can quickly find it with this app. When you open it, you can select to view all images, videos, music, documents… on your phone or just explore the phone. An amazing feature here is that I can set up a wireless method of accessing the files on my phone. When my phone and the device I want to access from being connected to the same network, I can wirelessly access the files on my phone. It creates a link I can visit and I see the same thing as the file explorer app. This app saved me various times.

I use Discord to talk to other bloggers and friends from over the whole world. I’m also part of some servers where game developers look for bloggers to promote their games. If you want to add me on Discord, just shoot me a message over Twitter. But, an app I use really frequently as well. I actually have Dropbox Pro, since I use this as a backup method. I have close to 500GB stored in my Dropbox. Everything from files I need for work to my final project is in there. So, I never worry too much about dying hard drives or losing my files. I also use the Photo Sync feature of Dropbox. This feature saves all the pictures I make with my phone in my Dropbox so I can use them directly on my computer or all the other devices I connected to Dropbox.

In the second row, we find Instagram, WordPress, YouTube, and WhatsApp. I do have an Instagram profile, but don’t frequently use it. I enjoy browsing Instagram to see what my friends are up to. If you can’t guess why I use the WordPress app, well, I use it for checking and fixing things on my blog on the go. So, I’m quite a big fan of YouTube. I love watching tech channels, retro gaming channels, game development channels and various other channels relating to creating things. The final app on that row is Whatsapp. I mostly use that app to keep in contact with my family or my theater group. That’s all I use Whatsapp for.

The final row on my main home screen is the row with the most used apps on my phone. Twitter, since I’m quite active on Twitter. Outlook to check my mails and “Nationaal” is the app I use to check the train schedule to get from and to work. I know that I skipped an app. That’s “Pulsar+“. In one of the firmware updates of my phone, Asus removed the quite excellent ZenUI music app. So, I searched high and low for a great music app on the Play Store. First I used Pi MP3 Player, but I started to run into issues. For some reason, no apps wanted to update on my phone after I installed that app.

Not too long after, I found Pulsar. I liked the app so much, I actually bought the premium version. It includes additional themes and some neat additional features. I can’t recommend this app enough if you enjoy listing to music on your phone. It’s one of the best apps I have used in a while.

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So, on my 2nd home screen are the apps I use less frequently but I want quick access too. Let’s start with the first row. This has the Facebook app, the UEFA soccer app, a weather app, and the Nintendo Switch Online app. The weather app, AccuWeather, is an amazing weather app. It’s quite accurate in my area and I use it to check if I need to take an umbrella on my walks or not. I use the UEFA soccer app since the soccer app of my local sports channel doesn’t have the UEFA Nations League tables built-in. I use the Facebook app since I dislike the website on mobile and I find that it was quicker and easier access to certain features. And finally the Switch online app, I use that app for if I want to voice chat during online Switch play.

The next row has the Steam app, for when I want to check the Steam Store and to have an additional layer of security for my Steam account. Besides that, the Easy Banking app is the app I use to check my finances. Then, you have the Sporza Soccer app. I use this app to follow my local soccer league and to see what the Red Devils, our national soccer team is up to. And Bancontact is used for quick payments, once you set up this app, paying for the doctor goes so quickly.

Oh, before I continue, quick side note. If you are American, I mean football when I say soccer. That said, let’s continue.

The next row has my gallery. When I need to show a picture of somebody. I find the way that the gallery app sorts pictures better than how my finder app sorts them. Besides that, you have the calculator app. Strangely, this is one of the only apps that doesn’t have its name translated in the ZenUI to Dutch. It such say “rekenmachine”. Oh well. It doesn’t bother me that much. Then, you have the Maps app, I use it as a GPS. And finally on that row, you have Imgur, for quickly uploading pictures and since I love this website.

The final row has the Telenet Mobile app. This app is from my ISP and I use this app to check on how much mobile data I have left. Besides that, you got Reddit. I have periods when I get very addicted to Reddit and go on the site a lot and there are moments I rarely visit the site. The final two icons on that row are the Patreon app and the Grumpy Cat game.

I use the Patreon app to check on posts the creators made that I support on Patreon and the Grumpy Cat game is just one of my favorite games on my phone at the moment.

You might notice that I leave one row empty. This row is my temp row. On this row I place apps I just installed and I want to test or if a developer asks me to review them. So yes, that screenshot might be a teaser for an upcoming article. Whenever I tested them or wrote the article, I usually remove them from my home screen.

A few apps that I want to mention that aren’t on my home screen are:

Ringtone Maker – MP3 Cutter – One feature I miss from Samsung is that when you select a song as a ringtone, it searches the best part of the track to start the ringtone. This app solves that and I can even choose from where start my ringtone.

Datasize Explorer Pro – Whenever I’m running low on space on my phone, I use this app to check which apps take up a lot of space and I should remove or clean the cache of.

WiFi Analyzer – If you are a techie or a networking person, this app is a must on Android devices. It helps you to visualize WiFi to help you troubleshoot issues with WiFi.

And all the other apps, outside of games, are apps from local stores here in Belgium or the Netherlands I use to shop or to buy my retro games from. Or your typical apps that almost everybody has like Shazam. And a few apps I don’t think are worth mentioning.

So, that was quite a lot. I’m quite curious to see which phones you guys have and for what you use it and what apps are on your phones. I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing it. It was something different from what I usually do, but next time I’ll get back into gaming stuff. I hope to be able to welcome you in another article but until then, have a great rest of your day and take care!

Publishing: Fincon’s Mobile RPG, Hello Hero Sequel Opens for Pre-registration!

With over 8 million registered users and 2.1 million Facebook Fans, Fincon’s top social RPG, Hello Hero is offering its sequel, Hello Hero: Epic Battle. This hit and immersive Mobile RPG opens for Pre-registration! Join now and get a chance to take home awesome gifts and surprises!

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Calling all RPG enthusiasts to come and be part of the growing community of Hello Hero: Epic Battle! Start pre-registering now! Currently, open to Southeast Asia and opening it more to other regions, really soon! Here is the link:

Start pre-registering NOW! https://goo.gl/jcLUuj

Hello Hero is an immersive Mobile RPG offering over 100 customizable bizarre heroes, impressive 3D graphics, and myriad monster-collecting chores. It switches from usual landscape gaming into portrait-style! And now, the game is making a big leap of conquering one of Southeast Asia’s top gaming countries, the Philippines for its soft launch, very soon!

Hello Hero takes place in an original battle for Armon. A new group of Heroes as what they called as Guardians are here to join forces with the heroes of old and battle the dark forces of the Keronic! Withstand the monsters and diminish them in no time! Recruit over 100 customizable heroes for your team! Raise your heroes through tough game modes: Adventure, Expedition, and Conquest. Bring the victory every quest giving you gold, useful and effective items to increase heroes’ skills and power. Portrait game mode for one-hand playing!

Check out happenings and updates for social RPG, Hello Hero: Epic Battle through our plug Community and Official Facebook Fan Page:

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Hello Hero: Epic Battle Official Website: https://www.fincongames.com/

Hello Hero: Epic Battle plug Community Link: https://www.plug.game/helloheroEB

Hello Hero: Epic Battle Official Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/HelloHeroEpicBattle

Hello Hero: Epic Battle Youtube Link: https://www.youtube.com/fincongames

Game Features:

  • Over 100 Customizable Heroes!
  • Stunning 3D Graphics and Gameplay
  • Various Modes to Fight in (Adventure Mode, Expedition, Conquest, World Boss, Battlefield, and more!)
  • Immersive storyline filled with eccentric environments and characters
  • Unlock Ultimate skills and unleash the Hero’s full potential
  • Smart Toy figures with exclusive boosts and rewards 

About Fincon

Fincon was created in 2012 with the intention of bringing the best games to the masses. The name stems from the abbreviation of the words ‘finger’ and ‘control’, with the mindset of allowing our gamers to experience interactive gaming through the control of their fingers. Headquartered in Seongnam-si, Korea.

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Gamer’s Thoughts: The curse of being a critic?

stanley parable 1I’m NekoJonez, 21 years old. I live in Belgium and I have been writing gaming related articles for over 5 years now. It has been quite a ride to be honest. But nothing prepared me for the curse that you get even without you wanting it. Yes, there are downsides in being a gaming critic. And not only the obvious ones. Believe me. In this article I will introduce my new series. In Gamer’s thoughts I will talk about a subject in detail that isn’t exactly 1 game. Look at it as expanded game quickies as well. So, that is a sub-series of this series of articles. Anyways, that blog update aside, let’s dive right into my thoughts on the matter of being a critic. Feel free to leave a comment on this article about the subject or what I have written. Thanks in advance.

The road to success?

1gXjAWhat exactly do you need to do as a critic to be a successful one? Review the latest of the latest? Then you might have just finished an article about Watch_Dogs. Or should you go looking all over the internet for that one flash game that is so bad, it’s good and everybody should play it?

It’s a tough balancing act. This is a part of the curse of a critic. What style are you going to choose to write your articles, make your video’s … From experience, I have one thing to say on this matter. You have one of two different possibilities here.

One, you stick with one specific area in the gaming world. For example: Nintendo, EA, puzzle games… etc. You follow that company like it’s your life savings. Each new pixel revealed of their next game is like a bit out of your favorite food. These guys are sometimes, if not all of the time, the hypers. They create the hype for the next big triple A game.

And the other possibility is like myself. I honestly don’t care about staying true to one style of games. I play (too) much games.  While I admit that I enjoy Nintendo games the most, I think I have proven on my blog that I can enjoy a PC game or a PSP game as well.

IBrSvR8HCYAEMx-D have proof as well. This picture here are my latest catch at the garage sale I went to before writing this article. While there is a ton of Gameboy games and Pokémon merchandise. I also got a few big boxed PC games and some Playstation games.

So, it’s always a challenge. What do you do on your channel, blog or site? The video’s of big names on YouTube always say: “Do what you want to do.” or “Do something you want to do.” While that’s important, there are people easily getting views of playing those games that are extremely hyped.

Ever noticed that the Let’s Plays of those series have a weird drop in their views? The first view episodes have a big number of views. The following episodes have a drop in viewers. Why is this? Well, that’s because some people look up footage before they buy. Be sure of that.

Social media pains

ArpegibeA real struggle for me is how time consuming the social media is. You need to update your Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr… It piles up to a huge amount. Honestly, I can’t keep up with it.

In the past, I followed back all my followers. Now, one hot tip for the starting entertainers out there. Don’t do that. It’s just insanity waiting for you.

When I started unfollowing people on Twitter that either flood my feed with tweets, where in a language I didn’t understand or where inactive for years, I saw my follower number drop.

Now, you can argue that you should support your other small entertainers. But, is this really what you should do? Don’t get me wrong here, but we aren’t a publishing house. We are content creators. I write a gaming blog where I talk about the games I play or the gaming industry.

Only follow the people you find interesting. Don’t go following the big names to try and get attention. It won’t work in the long run. I wonder how many “dead subscribers” the big channels, sites and such have.

Do I care about the number of followers I have. Yes, in a way I do. But the most important to me is that I can interact with my followers. I hate people that just follow you to promote themselves. I don’t follow them anymore to avoid a messy Twitter feed. Now, I have a cleaner Twitter feed and I can keep myself up-to-date with the news I want. And this way I can be more efficient for my blog.

So you want to start blogging?

ss (2012-10-24 at 11.45.23)I haven’t fully finished talking about this subject yet. So, be sure that I continue this article with a follow-up. But before I sign off, I want to share some tips that I think are important when you want to start blogging. Since I have been blogging for 5 years. Maybe some of these things can help.

1) Don’t care about the numbers too much. Every start is rough. You will see highs and lows in the numbers. But don’t let it influence your writing. If one article didn’t do as well in numbers, it doesn’t mean it was a bad article.

2) Invite people to comment and don’t force it. Out of experience I have seen that the articles where I invite my readers to comment on my article, I see comments appearing. But don’t expect a comment on each article. Since the comment section should mean more to you, as the writer, then a place where people can “dump” their praise for the article. The comment section is meant to talk back and forth with the people who read your article. Try to use the comment section in that way instead of asking how they liked the article. You get better feedback this way.

Anyways, thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed reading this first bit of my thoughts on things. This article replaces a creepypasta I was planning. It didn’t quite work out, so I had to scrap it. But don’t worry, one of these days you will see a new one from me. Like I said before, I will most likely come back on this subject. But for now, this is all. See you in another article.

Rant #007: First Impression: The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures (PC/Steam) ~ Major Letdown.

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Steam Store link

As a big fan of online video of gaming like AVGN, I was really looking forward to a game of him. When I pre-ordered it on Steam, I tried to not hype myself up. This way I could go in with an open mind as possible. And when I saw that one of the YouTubers I follow posted a screenshot on his Facebook fan page, I knew the game released earlier then it was planned. And man, that’s maybe what the letdown of this game is. Maybe I don’t get the humor that hold up this game but this game has various flaws that really break the game for me and make it a whole let less fun. I’m even doubting if this is a game, rather then an ode to James Rolfe. With the game next to me, I’m going to do the article in a sort of “First Impression” style. But list it under rants. Let me as a Neko Nerd rant about this will ya?

Overload of AVGN.

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I wouldn’t be surprised that many people will disagree with me and like this game. But hey, let me remind you that opinions differ. I might hate a game you like. But let me know in the comments what your thoughts are on this article and the game. The first issue that I have with the game is the terrible scripting.

If this is a game to honor the work of James Rolfe, I think they made a serious design flaw. But it was a difficult thing to do. Do you make a terrible game like the one James always reviews? Or do you make a great game with terrible games in it? They went for the last option but clearly, the execution is more leaning to the first.

I get that James is sucked into a shitty game but that doesn’t excuse the  overuse of bad words that public television has to censor. Each one-liner is in this game. And without the voice of James Rolfe to give it character, the annoyance factor kicks in fast.

The first issue is already present at the option screen. This option screen is terrible to work with. Also, this game doesn’t offer any setting to customize your keyboard settings. And the lay-out is laughable. It’s a shame to admit that I have an AZERTY keyboard and I promise you, the lay-out of the keys makes the game even harder then it’s already now.  In addition to that, I have something nitpicky. “Clear Save DataX”. What in the name of game design is that “X” doing there? And why are the stats on that same page? -Sigh- This is going to be harsh.

Unpleasant feelings

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It didn’t take long or I finished the tutorial level. One thing I have to give this game credit for is the fact that this game is really good with it’s source material. But like I mentioned before, they gone way to much overboard.

Graphically, the immersion in the game isn’t really working. While this game gives off a 8/16 bit vibe, the exploding enemies and various other animations are more modern. Also, many things are changed as a reference towards a review of James.

This game is extremely difficult. I love myself some challenge, and I often play a platformer but this game just isn’t my slice of cake. You barely have any room to move around or carefully plan your strategy. Everything goes way to fast. And the instant death blocks are just a pain in the ——! There are way to many of them.

There is something I like though is the music. The is extremely well done. I love the soundtrack to this game and in some levels I even want to rip it from the game and put it in my music library. And the sound effects and all that are pretty great too.

But then I go back to the other stuff. While the controls are pretty responsive, the pause menu is a bit frustrating. When you open the menu, you can continue with the same button you opened it. But when you want to exit the level, you need to go to the option for it and press the action button instead of that menu opening key.

Dirty game

steamworkshop_webupload_previewfile_136246834_preview (1)Be warned! There is a nudity level in this game. And it’s shamelessly using the games James reviewed in that one Atari episode. Playing it just made me feel unpleasant. Like the level design. It’s great yet way to full of enemies. Not clear which one you can kill and which ones you can’t.

And I sometimes was even able to kill an enemy and later in the same level, it couldn’t be killed. Like the bubbles. Well, that brings me to a major level design flaw in this game. This might maybe be just me but remember what I said about overdoing it? Well, the levels are named after some popular reviews of AVGN. That’s great. Just, you see more Mario type things suddenly appearing in a CastleVania level? What happened here? A game cross over?

Another plus is that the game doesn’t go back to the desktop when I clicked here on my browser to continue writing the review. I’m so glad they added that feature.

Also, I’m disappointed in the fact that everything is a platform level. At least, every 10 levels I played. There are also other characters but I have yet to unlock them. And I haven’t used the power-ups since I barely find them. Maybe that’s because I’m playing on a certain difficulty. At least there is level selection and check points so that makes my pain a bit less hard to bear.

In conclusion I can say this. This game is a mediocre game. It’s not worth the current price. Nearly 15 bucks is a bit too high. The game isn’t that good quality for that. A price like 7,5 would be way better. This game needs some polishing. Like adjustable controls and a revision of the level design. Is a worth a play? Yes, it’s not terrible, I’m enjoying it but even with the low expectations, I’m disappointing. I feel that they could have done a lot more then what is in the game. It feels lacking in terms of content. Since it’s only platforming. Also, the high difficulty might be a turn off to some. But I’m sure that the nudity level is one of the biggest turn offs! There is nothing wrong with nudity but a whole level and presented like that is just overboard.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this little rant of mine. I’ll do my best to finish and beat this game so I can fully review it. But this game’ll not be beaten soon since I have a minor disliking for it like shown. But I’m starting to add to something I finished. Jonez out.

CreepyPasta: You should have been playing. (Written by: NekoJonez)

As a hobby I maintain my own blog, forum and YouTube channel. For that I have made a Facebook page and people could request to join.

Writing is something that interested me since the beginning. When I discovered those horror stories about bewitched games and hauntings of cartridges my attention was caught right away. I watched a lot of video’s, read a lot of stories and enjoyed every second of them. Maybe with the help of some shameless advertising, I even made a few comments.

One day, a girl that wasn’t part of my forum wanted to join the Facebook page. I checked her profile out. She was pretty hot in my opinion. That aside, I checked her profile out to make sure it wasn’t a cover for some advertiser or some fake profile. And I accepted her. It didn’t take long before I got a friend request of her. I thought that she followed my links while reading my comments and to further spread my content, I gladly accepted the friend request.

After a week, we talked a lot over Skype and Facebook chat. Man, did we have a fun time. We also played a lot of games together. From Minecraft to Corpse Party. The single player games we played in screen share. Or we used something along the lines of TeamViewer. That depended on the resources the game asked to avoid lag.

But sadly enough, my holidays were running short and I had to go back to school. She was bummed out. She didn’t go to school anymore and she had nobody else to play games with. I felt sorry for her and I tried to spend my free time with her.

Winter arrived and I went out of town for a week. Enjoying my ski-trip with my classmates. Man, the teachers and we looked forward to it. But in the middle of it all, I realized that I forgot to inform her of all this. I shook it off, hoping that she would read it on my blog or the forum where I mentioned it several times. I didn’t need to be scared then… well yet.

When I arrived home, I hoped that she was online. Sadly enough she wasn’t. Yet her profile changed. It was much more filled with darker imagery. I rolled my eyes. I kept telling myself that it was another one of those times that she went obsessed with the games we were playing. And since we were recently playing horror games and games with a dark tone it didn’t came as a surprise to me.

But then strange things started happening. Thankfully nothing like “ultra-realistic blood” or “loud noises and freezing computers” like you read in many of these stories. Just something really scary. It started when I booted up my 3DS to play some Pokémon Mystery Dungeon. I found out that my capture device wouldn’t go out of my 3DS. I rolled my eyes and said to myself that it will be find. Maybe my desk was jamming the cable or something. I just wanted to play since I didn’t play the whole trip. Exciting.

So, those weird things. Yeah, those happened when I started my copy of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Gates to Infinity. My savefile was completed. Everything was there, the whole story finished, all Pokémon captured and raised till the highest level. And the completion time was 12:12. I was confused. Did my little brother play on my 3DS? Could be, but finishing my game…. Nah, I can’t believe that. He didn’t know where I hid the charger.

I closed my 3DS and placed it away for the moment. I started up Minecraft to put my mind on something else. When I see that I can’t connect to the internet. I got irritated since I didn’t want to look like the default Steve. But my mom told me that it’s because a cable snapped in the garage that gave power to our router. My dad was out getting a new cable so I had to wait a bit for it to return.

I started up the world me and she had been playing the whole time. But when I entered the world, I found a lot of signs. Signs of one of her pranks I thought? But all signs said the same: “You should have been playing.” All of them. They were everywhere. Well, to be fair on all the places I had yet to finish building. And believe me or not, all parts where indeed finished.

I closed Minecraft. Another thing finished? Odd. And I can sit here the whole day talking about the other strange things I saw. But everything comes down to the same idea. Every game we played, was finished. To the max. And every game had a hint that I should have been playing.

I didn’t want to continue playing those games. I got scared. What sick prank are they pulling on me? Every game was finished. Who of my forum or my community was that bored to do all of this? I started up the last game we played together. Scared what I was about to find. It was a hacked version of Corpse Party some people on the internet made. It was a simple translation hack to make it in our native language.

But the final cutscene played when I booted it up. “We came home. Without the help of User-Laptop! He should have been playing.” Then I started to laugh uncontrollable. So, somebody just wrote a script that hacked my savefiles to 100% and he made a mistake there where he or she pulled my computer name and tried to use it as my normal name. “Hah!” I thought to myself. I was so glad that I took that name as pc name now. So glad that my laziness when I reformatted my laptop months ago pays off now.

Yet, it didn’t end there. A new chapter was unlocked. “Absence of friends.” I smiled heavily. I love Corpse Party a whole lot and new content, count me in. This would have been such a great distraction from this prank. I thought.

I explored around and when nearly finished the chapter, I found an empty-ish room. There was only a bed, desk with a computer and some other things. Well, in short, it looked like a bedroom. One I recognized. It was her bedroom. She once showed it to me when she turned her cam on at Skype. I was confused. Scared of what was going to happen, I saw there was a body on the floor. I stopped in my tracks. A connection in my brain was made that instant.

Did she commit suicide because I wasn’t playing with her? And did she finish all the games we played and killed herself out of sorrow? That might explain a lot of things. Mostly her profiles being so dark and empty. And the signs of me begging to play everywhere. I was about to freak out. This couldn’t be real. With major fear, I walked to the body and pressed “A”. …..

The story is too harsh and emotional to continue to tell. Yet, to this day I don’t know if it was real or if it was an effect of the darkening of my arrival here at Heavenly Host Elementary…..

Wait Jonez, what is this? 

Thanks for asking. Well, since this is my 50th article on this blog I decided to do something really special! I made my first attempt in writing a creepy pasta. Which is a story that isn’t true, made up. It’s written for your own entertainment.

It’s mostly a story about something really scary happening. Something unreal.

Anyways, let’s close this off with the usual cliché and generic stuff. Thanks everybody! Thank you ButtonSmashers for recognizing me and all the moments we spend together.

Thank you for helping me grow. My Arpegians and the ButtonSmashers. Even when you aren’t one of both, thanks for reading and supporting me. It’s so much fun to write, make video’s and do stuff like this. It really helps me get through the challenges that life gives me.

Anyways, if you want me to write more Creepy Pasta’s, I wouldn’t mind. Just leave me a signal and I’ll try to come up with some. But feel free to write in the comments your thoughts of this story and/or how you would improve it. Thanks for reading and hopefully I see you here a next time.

Life of an entertainer.

Let’s talk about a different subject for a change. In today’s article, I’ll talk about how life is pretty different once you start to take writing seriously and really think about games in a different way. The biggest difference is that you get recognition for what you do. Your opinion gets valued above others. But that’s not all in this article. I’ll also talk about my story, my experience with being creative and writing gaming blogs. To make this blog a bit more personal and spice it up. So that you don’t need to read always reviews and my thoughts on them. In this article, you can get to know me a little bit better. 

Arpegi Back

Arpegi.

My story

I began in late 2007 with publishing my works. As a kid, I was always into entertaining people. I created stories that got me further than I expected. I once entered a writing competition in school and made it to the finals of my province. That with a story I wrote in 15 minutes because I forgot the assignment.

JonezProductions was my first production name. This name quickly died because I didn’t like the sound of it. And what can you blame me for? I was a kid back then. I didn’t know any better. But with other projects, I got to where I’m at now today. Arpegi.

This community is full of friends I met online through various means. And to keep contact with them I created together with MiseryLC the forum Arpegi. From there I get all my personal artwork and many ideas. All these guys are awesome and I really encourage you, readers, to follow them.

I owned a Dutch gaming and life blog before this one. Although it died because of personal reasons, I couldn’t stop myself from restarting blogging. And this resulted in this blog today. Oh, that reminds me to explain the nickname I use. Well, it has two parts. The Neko part is actually added recently since I spend much time with somebody called NekoSmash on Arpegi. We are both like felines over dogs. And for reasons like that Neko got added. Jonez actually is from Indiana Jones.

My cousin gave me once a game called Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine. I was so fond of it, I knew the levels by heart and was able to play it with my friends. And it didn’t take them long to start calling me “Jones” too. But as a kid, I was actually afraid of being sued. Yeah, believe me, or not. That’s why I changed the last letter to a “z”.

Today I have a YouTube channel, blog and a forum where people say that I have talent. For writing, I can understand that, but for creating other works I sometimes don’t believe that I have talent. I always get so excited when I see my content growing. It means a lot to me since it’s my way to escape from reality once in a while.

Differences since the start. 

ss (2012-10-24 at 11.45.23)My life has changed for sure. Ever since I started writing a blog, more people started following me. My personal Facebook got more friend requests in a week than I usually get in a year. People started subscribing to YouTube and clicking that follow button on WordPress.

Since the days I started publishing my content, I learned a lot. I evolved in my ability to create content and I learned many social things. I got through some rough times, but hey, most people do. I learned how important the bond with your audience is. Replying to comments is a major tip to do. I reply to each and every mail I get from people. And I admit that the one time I got a fan mail that somebody really enjoyed my content I teared up a bit. Yeah, I like it so much when I make people happy.

I also see that others want to start to express their creativity around me. Like some Arpegians wanted to start blogging as well. I saw more reviews appearing on the site which made me happy as well. More content means more people to come and check out and possible growth.

Also, I meet a lot of new people. These are all over the world and this really makes my life that more exciting. I work together with people from Asia, America, Africa… I really enjoy it. It makes for interesting content. The best example is video creation. The planning and such that goes into it for making a video when you are in different time zones is such a pain but it really helps me to learn to become a better planner.

And with that, I’m going to end this article. I know it’s a short one and I end it abruptly but that’s because I might talk about this subject later. I’m still trying to look around for differences in how I play my game and I’m preparing a big article about that. So, keep a lookout for that. But for now, consider this as a big thank you for all the support to me and my content and everybody related to it. And I hope to see you here the next time. Jonez out!

It’s time for a rest.

Nice one Powy.

Nice one Powy.

Alright, it’s time for an update for the NekoJonez Life Inc? Truth to be told, I haven’t made up a name for it yet. In any case, I have a few things to talk about Related to my YouTube channel, my blog and other things like that. So here we go. 

Games, too much of them.

Lately, I have been playing a lot of games to finish them up for a review. But I might have put too much on my shoulders to bear. Yes, I might be just playing over 15 games now just to write a review or do a video on it.

I tried to avoid this but it’s just too much fun. Preparing for articles, writing them, doing research, tweaking the article… It’s the most fun I had in a while. But this method makes for slower writing of articles. Since I try to go more in-depth of the games too.

Lucky me, I’m nearing completion of several of these games and once they are done, I’ll try to not start up a new game before I have finished most on my list now. But there is one issue there. I’m a retro game collector. So, I have many games on my shelf that are begging me to finish or play them. So, I’ll be busy with them after these games.

Ideas, ideas and more ideas.

Did I mention I had ideas? Well, for my YouTube channel, I’m planning a load of new series. Minecraft and non-Minecraft related. It’s a load of work, but it’s fun to do.

Recording sessions with TehDrunkenWarrior and Hetty happened recently. And I really enjoy the recording itself and the editing afterward. Yes, it’s true, I started to edit my video’s more so they are better quality. But this also takes up more time.

Also, I’m getting a lot of ideas for my DeviantArt, where I might just publish poems or short story parts I had in my mind once. And the issue here is that I might not have time in the future for all of this.

For my blog, I have a lot of ideas too. New game diary entries, new reviews, articles, and rants. They are all into the preparation.

What’s holding me back?

First of all, Arpegi is somewhat holding me back. Not in a negative way, but I’m the main coder so I update the site often with new content or new features and bug fixes. The mod I wrote for SMF has some minor issues I patched up. So, SMF, please review my updated mod.

Second, my holiday job is taking big parts of my week. I’m tired when I come home and then I need to do some chores before I can rest and work on my content. So, that’s why there is somewhat a lack of it. I try to publish something on either my blog, channel, Twitter or DeviantArt several times in a week but yeah, busy me.

The third thing is that I’ll be spending more time with friends and family. Like I’ll be out of town this weekend. I’ll return Sunday though. So, that means no new content from me tomorrow and on Saturday. I also planned a few trips to stand up comedy shows and several other fun activities.

4th thing holding me back is the preparations for my studies. Yup, it’s taking some time as well. And studies will always be more important than my blog. Since when I mess up in college, things will get messy and maybe that messy that I can create content for a while. Which is pretty logical.

And the final thing holding me back is the fact that I don’t have a driver’s license. Don’t worry, I’m working on it.

So, that’s all that I wanted to update you guys about. Thanks for reading and feel free to catch up on my new YouTube videos. It would mean a lot to me. And I hope that I can welcome you here shortly.

Rant #005: Modern gaming never grew up.

Thanks to my girlfriend for making this for me.

Thanks to my friend for making this for me.

Let’s face it. The modern games makes the current gaming market a totally different market. You can’t deny it, it’s simply a fact that games lately are getting easier and easier and that you can’t go without a tutorial, even for an easy game. People always go nuts about the graphics and some things no longer matter for them. Is this current gaming market still as good as the old gaming market? Are retro games truly better or is it something else? Let’s rant!

Retro games are better!

Many claim that the original Mario is still better.

Many claim that the original Mario is still better.

Many gamers that are around the age of 20 or older will tell you that games of their childhood where better then the current games. Some will even stick with those good old games and play them even to this day, they are the so called retro gamers.

But if you ask younger gamers, they are going to look to games from 10 years ago and go bashing on the graphics or other things. Saying that they are old and actually saying they suck.

To make a long rant short, you can easily say that it’s a generation thing. Older people grew up with the old Mario and since it holds so many childhood memories, they say it’s the better game. Newer games don’t give that feeling of nostalgia that makes them prefer the newer games above the older games.

Yet, there are also gamers who always think the newer games are better. Graphics, gameplay, story telling… everything gets improved.  But what’s a better game? Surely, it’s personal preference. If I like to play older games, I’ll say that the older games are better. But it can work the other way around too. In addition to that, you need to look to the “quality” of the games too. Are the games actually good for that time period? Or are they garbage?

Flaws of the modern games.

Yearly we get a new Call Of Duty. Yup.

Yearly we get a new Call Of Duty. Yup.

Modern games aren’t perfect. Not at all. The biggest issue I have with them is that they are mostly focusing on the graphical aspect rather then the gameplay. Also, in one of my previous rants, I talked about how many modern games actually hold your hand and tell you what to do. There is no exploration in a game.

Straight or a limit amount of paths are the norm. Games with an open world like for example Zelda always have a certain way to stop you from progressing without an item. This way they manage to make the game extremely linear without you even realizing.

A big example for ranters to talk about is how the Call Of Duty campaign gets shorter each year. The game is a multiplayer game without a doubt. You basically buy it for being able to go online. One of my best friends was a fan of the series but got annoyed by it’s latest entries where his hand was hold for him to finish.

It would be stupid if we didn’t mention the fact that most gaming companies go milking the cash cow. If something sells, they make more of the same to get even more money from our pockets. Let’s take the cheap example of how many Mario games are sold. It’s an easy mascot that kids recognize and buy.

What mostly makes me worry is the lack of creativity in the current gaming world. Outside of the indy developers we barely see new creative work. It’s always the same thing and it the sequel the work out the flaws of the original, but it’s mostly the same idea. Or they cut out on things like Pokémon Mystery Dungeon – Gates To Infinity.

Let’s talk about the systems for a second. Give me one system that can’t run DVD’s or play your favorite music. The Wii & DS couldn’t do that, unless you illegally modified them. Modern gaming platforms are more aimed to the general multimedia lover instead of a gamer. This makes that games need to be aimed for a wider group so they can’t be too difficult.

Flaws of retro games.

Good old Metroid.

Good old Metroid.

One major issue is that some games are way too difficult. The infamous 1 hit death is a welcome example here. Also the fact that there wasn’t an internet to look for walkthroughs or cheats, makes games more difficult. Like some gamers say, when you couldn’t finish a game back then, that’s though luck for you.

In addition to that, there were many games that had cryptic area’s to make the game more difficult. In Zelda II – Adventure of Link for example you need to pass through a wall to finish one dungeon. Or Death Mountain, it’s a maze beyond belief.

Also, games were pretty fragile. Saving worked with an internal battery in the cartridge and when that one ran out, it’s no saving for you. Also when there was dust in the game’s connector pins, you had to carefully blow in the cartridge to make it work again. When the connector pins broken, your game was broken too.

Also the games where more flawed back then. The games where more buggy like the famous cartridge titling glitch. But I can’t count on one hand anymore how much internet memes are created because of the faulty translation of games. “All your base are belong to us.” is a very popular example.

The internet, a knife that cuts both ways.

A generic picture to fancy up the article.

A generic picture to fancy up the article.

If I had to point out something that is good and bad for the gaming community it’s the internet for sure.

The good thing is that indy developers now have more tools to release their work. If they make a website and do some promotion on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube for example; they are set. Another good thing is that (big) companies can now easier support their costumers. They can make FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) on their website so that their Q&A (Question and Answer) staff doesn’t have to answer the same question over and over again.

Yet the internet is such a bad influence to games as well. Walkthroughs are such a welcome invention. But I can’t deny that I have finished some games with a walkthrough at hand. Above that, the internet is filled with spoilers. If you are tired of the game and you want to know the ending, you can simply look it up. This defeats the purpose of finishing a game.

Oh, and don’t worry, I’m going to talk about it. The amount of hacks and cheats in a game that you can download on the internet. An aimbot for shooters or a X-Ray for Minecraft. It all exists. And people enjoy using it online. And it ruins the experience for gamers that want to play the game legit. Abusing bugs, I can live with that. But using wall hacks or other things makes my blood boil.

I have to admit that after finishing a game, I messed around with programs a lot that made my character jump higher or that I had unlimited ammo. It’s fun to do once to see how the game is made and how things work. But if you try to finish it for the first time, a lot of the fun is taken away.

Spoilers are also everywhere. If you play a game alongside with one of your favorite YouTubers, the comments are filled with things that will happen in the game. Bye bye thrilling game.

Modern games never grew up.

It’s nearly “pick your poison”. Both games have flaws that make me go nuts. Old games can be too difficult and new games can be too easy or unpolished.

Thankfully there are exceptions to the rule. Some games actually aren’t that bad. Some old games can also be extremely easy. But in my eyes, modern games never grew up to a new gaming level. Many improvements are made to the graphics but does that make for better games? I truly don’t know and I will surely touch upon this subject again. But for now I’m going to leave it here. Thanks for reading and until next time.

Types of gamers

Thanks Nhi for creating this

Thanks Nhi for creating this.

Well, it’s a big pain if you always need to explain which games you like and which you don’t. You can lazily say that you are for example a casual gamer or a shooter guy. But if you think about it, there are a million names then. I started to look around and think about which types of gamers I think exist. Because this subject is mostly opinion based, feel free to give me your opinion. I’m not wrong, since it’s my opinion. I can be mistaken and needing to correct myself. That’s a totally different cookie to crumble. If I had to tell which type of gamer I am, I would have an issue. Be warned, the types of gamers I talk about are the main games they play, exceptions are always there. Also, let me know with which type you can relate the most. 

Type 1: Casual Free Timer

Finding a picture where they are both presented well was such a trouble.

Finding a picture where they are both presented well was such a trouble.

You mostly see these gamers at a busstop or in a doctor’s waiting room. They have a tablet or a mobile to tap away on.

You also could find them on Facebook playing games where you need to reach easy objectives like switching jewels or collecting coins.

Many other types of gamers don’t recognize these people as gamers. Sadly enough, since they are gamers. But they don’t devote their lives to games. While it’s possible that they buy an app here and there, it’s not the end of the world for them if they can’t play a game.

They also sort of avoid other games that require an other device or controller. It’s possible that you can also find them with an emulator on their phone to mostly play handheld games from their childhood.

Type 2: Die Hard Fanboy

call_of_duty_minecraft

Some minecrafters and Call Of Duty players are a major example.

These gamers don’t care much about other games. They devote their whole life at mostly one game. Games that dare to be similar to their “holy” game are called names and they give them bad rep.

I’m not going to get ranty about the Call Of Duty players so spare me there please. I don’t do easy targets.

What I mean by that is that these type of gamers are the best troll bait you can get. Since they go out of their way to be the best in the game they play. Some go as far as bullying or making somebody feel bad if they are defeated.

They are also the living version of WikiPedia about their game. Some even dream to go working at the company which produces the series/game they love so much. They also get extremely excited as soon as a new title in their series is announced. They are also the first to rant when there is too much change in the sequel.

It’s also possible that they are a fanboy of one company. And they praise everything that they release. Since for them, everything their developers touch turns into an emptier wallet for the fanboys.

Type 3: Old school & retro gamers

retro-consoles

Pixely retro-goodness?

This type of gamer doesn’t care about the time the game is released. They just play what ever catches their eye on various gaming websites and blogs.

For some retro gamers, the older the better. They are also the style of gamers that play in texture packs to make the game look older.

They always love the original and think that the new entries in a series are killing the series.

Many under them are big collectors, sometimes of one company or system. They start playing a game but sometimes don’t finish them since another game caught their interest.

Angry responses they give when somebody starts nagging about graphics. (I get even annoyed by graphic junkies) Since they don’t really care about that.

Most retro gamers want to know the ins and outs of the system so that they can explain what happened if a game isn’t working and that they maybe can fix it. Or replace something when it’s broken.

There is no real difference between old school and retro since they are pretty much the same.

Type 4: Platform/genre gamers

gamer-tag

It feels great to be a gamer.

I don’t mean here people who play platform games. Not only that, platform and genre gamers are people who only play on one platform.

They see other consoles as less worthy to play and often say bad things about them. Pointing out their flaws or saying that their platform is better.

You can also have gamers who only play on consoles or handhelds.

PC gamers are a prime example. Devoted PC gamers will build their own PC and buy the PC version of a game even when there is a console version.

The genre gamers try to play as many games from one genre as they can. Most (in)famous of these guys are the shooter fans. They have loads upon loads of games of the same genre and are mostly extremely good at it.

They also have a certain game in the genre that is their absolute favorite. They often compare other games to the holy game of them.

Type 5: Mainstreamer

The mainstream guys are the ones who sometimes buy all the consoles. Buy all the things. A new console by Google? Oh, that doesn’t stop them. They go out and buy it.

They follow the latest gaming news and always want to play the newest of the newest. If it’s not new, they don’t play it. If it isn’t hyped, it’s no point in the schedule for them.

Mostly triple A title (expensive games to create. Big name games too.) games. Indy games they don’t care much about.

Wait wait, stop there.

Hold on a second, what am I doing here? Something doesn’t add up here. If I continue with this, I can find a piece of myself in each type. To me it’s extremely pointless of trying to see which types of gamers there are.

Many issues raise up. First, personal preference. You can like a series and it suddenly dies out. Then you can go from a mainstreamer to an old school gamer.

There are in fact, three main types of gamers. Mainstream, Old school and Casual. Since let’s face it, if you don’t follow the mainstream you either play games on Facebook or your mobile. If that’s not the case, you play games on your DS or other platforms.

Secondly, you can always merge types of gamers. You can be an oldschool NES gamer. Does this makes the two types of gamers actually one type?

Thirdly, the gaming market changes so quickly that this article can go out of date in matter of months if I truly continued in this fashion.

Before I go on a big rant, finally there is the issue of time. Yup, the older you get, the less time you get to play games sadly enough.

All in all, I think it’s silly to put gamers into groups. We all have one thing in common, we play games to pass our time and enjoy them. Some might devote more time on it then others. Some will even go blogging or/and collecting them.

Anyways, what do you guys think? Let me know in the comments. But for now, NekoJonez out!

What’s a retro game?

Thanks Smashy for this.

Thanks Smashy for this.

Trying to come up with a definition for a retro game is extremely difficult. Many websites give different information. But which one is right? I did some research and broke my head about this question multiple times. After a while of thinking, I came up with my answer for the question. In this article I will explain more about my though process about this question. So even consider this to be a controversial topic, which I totally don’t get. But feel free to discuss in the comments down below and who knows, we might make the real definition of a retro game. Keep in mind that I try to make a definition here of what exactly is a retro game. Like “when is a game retro?”.

What’s a retro gamer? 

For answering that question we need to ask the question, what’s retro? When does a game turn retro? Is the previous entry in the series when the sequel releases a retro game? Or does it need to have a certain age? If we check WikiPedia on this one, there is an issue. They don’t give a clear definition. Also, they say when the most popular time period is. So, according to WikiPedia it should be 20 years old, looking to the popular period.

But then on other gaming blogs, they talk about games being 10 to 15 years old. So, there is some unknown things about retro gaming.

Promotional image for the DS game Retro Game Challenge.

Promotional image for the DS game Retro Game Challenge.

I think we can all agree that the Playstation 2 is now retro. Since it’s discontinued and the PS3 is out, plus the PS4 is soon going to be released. But let’s look at another console. Is for example the DS retro? I would say so, since the 3DS is out for a while and the mainstream gamers don’t really care about those games anymore.

Definition of a retro game.

So, are retro games, games where the mainstream doesn’t care about anymore? Yes and no, bargain sales don’t count. But I think I can say that whenever a game starts to get sold on second hand stores for low prices or not anymore on store shelves, it’s retro for sure. But wait, that isn’t correct since my local game store sells some old games and some of them are first hand.

Let’s look at it from a different angle. We are currently going to the 8th generation of consoles. The Wii U, PS4 & XBOX one. So, in my eyes, generation 1 till 6 is retro. But when does generation 7 turn retro? When generation 9 is released or announced? Or when generation 8 is well on it’s way?

Some might say that when something is discounted, it’s retro. When it’s not being sold anymore, it’s retro. And I disagree on one level. What if a company went bankrupt? Would their latest releases be considered retro? That would be a far stretch.

Yet, one thing is for sure. A retro game is an old game. But there is still a lot of debate when exactly a system turns retro. The issue we still have is about generation 7. Well, I think as soon as you barely see generation 7 games on the shelves, they are considered retro. When the first hand copies are becoming extremely hard to get. Since saying that games that need to be at least 10 years old to be considered retro, leaves one big time gap to be questioned. So, a game that is for example only a 5 years old, isn’t retro yet?

Is it even possible?

wii-u

In 2013, the Wii U is anything but retro.

For a while, I thought it would be impossible to make a definition for retro games. On all the forums I visited for researching this topic, everybody starts giving their own opinion. And some are very different then others.

Years are said, requirements or examples. What strikes me as odd is that many new questions start to raise. How do you call games that aren’t retro? Modern games? And why are always the handhelds left out?

It becomes even more difficult if we try to think about what games exactly you need to look at to make a definition. For retro games, do we need to take games like Android and iOS in a count? Or even the online flash games or Facebook games?

Let’s actually give a definition of a video game.  What is a video game? WikiPedia gives a great definition.

A video game is an electronic game that involves human interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a video device.

So, actually we need to count games created online and games created for tablets or phones into our group of games. Sadly enough, many gamers will rage at me for saying that. Since they don’t see Facebook games as actual games. Yet, I would refer those people towards the definition that I gave. Okay, copied from WikiPedia. Plus, I don’t think the developers would like to call their product an interactive application or a game wannabee.

Flaws in the logic

And then you get creations like this.

And then you get creations like this.

Like I said in my previous part of this article, there are always flaws in somebody’s logic. When somebody says that the previous generation is considered retro games, I have a small question for you then. Let’s take the 3DS for example. The 3DS is released late 2011. Are games from 2011 retro or not?

Honestly, it’s a combination from factors that decides when a game is retro. But I think I found a great indication for looking if a game is retro or not. The sales graph.

Think about it, if you look to a sales graph, you first get the early adapters who buy the game without looking to reviews. They are extremely hyped and they want to product. If you look to an usual sales graph, there is a point where it goes down in sales. In my point of view, I think you can say that a game is then starting to get retro.

Mainstream games will continue to sell. Like for example Minecraft, it might be an old game but it keeps selling like crazy. Whenever a game starts to “die” in the interest of the general public, the sales will go down. With that, the developer starts to get more and more costs of supporting the game. And eventually they start to support the game. Around that time, the game starts to become retro.

So I think that you honestly need to look to how much the game is sold, for which price (compared to the original), how much general interest there is, if the developer supports the game…

But then again, there is a flaw in my logic as well. Games that are overlooked, aren’t really the issue since they get sold. But I’m talking about free games. Those can’t be sold.

Well, I think I’m going to leave it here. What do you guys think is retro? I look forward to reading the comments.

Rant #004: Lay-outs ~ Let’s get forcing.

maxresdefault

Let’s rant about something different this time. Something that mostly all gamers have something to do with. Social networks and things like that. But mostly, the lay-outs of them. YouTube is a big one in this area. They change their lay-out so much, it starts to annoy their users. Another nice example is the Facebook Timeline. Are these constant changes good? Or do they do wrong things? I wanted to make a video about this but I rather wanted to write an article about this. I admit that some changes got me mad but I actually started to not really care. I just try to adapt to the change. 

The biggest issue.

The biggest issue with the changes are mostly that you don’t get any information at all when the change is going to happen. Suddenly a new lay-out is there in your face, and you simply got to deal with it. After some hours, a dozen of video’s go online that claim that you are able to revert back to the old lay-out.

Also, you can’t really test the new lay-out. Apparently as YouTube partner, you can. But according to me, that is far from enough. Cosmic Panda was a lay-out you could test at will. That was a good idea.

Don’t worry YouTube, you won’t be the only one receiving some ranting here. Facebook, you have issues with this too. The timeline, it’s a great idea and makes the site pretty unique. Think about it. Basically you write your life story on Facebook by sharing pictures, video, feelings… And you can watch your history in a timeline form.

Each new lay-out has a bunch of nice new features but it also gets rid of a lot of features too. It’s like in a store. They change everything from location so that you explore the place a bit more so that you pass by products in the hope you buy them. This logic can’t be applied to sites like Facebook or YouTube. Because you get frustrated since you can’t change what you want.

Trolls and haters.

It doesn’t take long before almost the whole site starts to hate the new lay-out. They always say that it sucks or that it doesn’t look nice. But after some time, you get used to the new lay-out. But by the time everybody got used to it, there is a new lay-out ready to be launched.

I have a big question for Youtube. You guys have the lay-out for quite a while now. How is it possible that so many big channels still have the old lay-out? And even your partners? The change to your new lay-out has a good idea behind it. To change the lay-out that it’s the same for each platform. That the channel looks the same on the computer and on the mobile devices. But make it them so that you have to change after some months.

It wouldn’t surprise me that a lot of comedians take easy money when the new lay-out comes around. That they make parodies and put the creators of the site to shame. But I don’t think that a lot of the changes are bad. I have a penpal in Finland and by the second he got the new lay-out he went all rant on me. People aren’t used to changing sites. And he doesn’t like the merging of the “stop” and “refresh” button in browsers.

Testing.

Facebook had a beta program to test their new lay-out. My mother and a classmate have gotten the new lay-out. And as far as I know, for months. Until this day, the new lay-out  hasn’t been published.

YouTube has it’s YouTube Labs. But here is the thing, it’s extremely hidden and you barely see it. Plus, I am sure that the feedback they get from it is too little.

I remember that Google Docs and other products had an option for a while to change back to the old lay-out. This was great since I used the old lay-out on one screen and the new one on my second screen. So I could see where everything was located in the new lay-out.

The biggest issue is that these things are buried. You want to test something? Well, after some digging you can. And then you can give feedback more easily.

WordPress has a great system for this. The publish unfinished releases so that people can test them out. They also tell you where you can help and give feedback. In addition to that, they have a change log. And the help feature really helps if you feel lost. The WordPress forums is extremely helpful and they reply fast.

Compare this to the slow Facebook and YouTube helpdesk. They might be big companies but if teams like the WordPress guys can pull it off so fast, I truly can’t understand why the others fail in this. WordPress goes even as far that admins can edit posts on anyone’s WordPress.com hosted blog to fix issues. You don’t see other websites do that.

Conclusion

I would like to shout at developers to release beta versions to the public to test out before you fully launch the new lay-out. Even when the new lay-out is filled with great idea’s, people get alienated and lost in the new lay-out quite easily. The internet can be that dumb.

Also, I want to thank the people who do the effort to make video’s to point out the issues of the new lay-outs. Video’s or articles, it’s the same deal. This way people can voice their opinion and maybe get some things “fixed” or improved.

Also, leave an option to stick with the old lay-out. And when you think the new lay-out is ready to be launched for everyone. Please, make an announcement. So that everybody can get ready for the change. And don’t roll it out like it’s your site’s last thing to save it from death.

But what are your thoughts on this matter? Leave it in the comments down below. Thanks for reading and happy blogging!