It has been quite some time since I wrote about my favorite music tracks in video games. So far, I have written 23 articles in this series. Today I have a special spin-off article in this series. I was a guest on the “Untitled Game Music Podcast” by Alexander Sigsworth. Today it’s finally live and to give it some publicity since this series is amazing and I highly recommend that you all listen to it, this week’s article is simply going to be an embedded version of the podcast. Please enjoy and feel free to leave a comment here or on Alexander’s channel!
So, what if a game developer falls in love with the game he created for a game jam? Well, some of those developers make their game into a fully-fledged game like the developer behind Baba is You. Arvi Teikari created the basic concept for this game for a Game Jam. The Jam version is free, but for a more expanded version, you have to pay around 15 dollars. But, is this puzzle game worth your time or was it better as a Jam Game? Let’s take a first impression and quick look at the game that has been released on PC and Switch. The version I’m reviewing is the Switch version.
One of the main reasons I’m writing a review for this game in my game quicky style is because this game doesn’t have a story. So, I have less to critique which makes for a shorter article. But, why am I mentioning this with the good points? Well, that’s simple. The lack of a story in this game is actually a rather enjoyable thing.
Since this game is a really meta puzzle game, writing a story for this game would be a huge hindrance. It would be too silly or it would take itself too seriously. Also, it puts the focus on the unique gameplay of the game and that’s all that matters.
The gameplay of this game is extremely addictive. The idea of this game is that you finish the level by hitting the object that “Is Win”. So, how do you that? Well, by manipulating almost everything in the level. You can see the basic idea at work in the gif I attached to this article (source: official website of the game).
You see “Pillar is Push”, so that means that you can push around the pillar. Off-screen, there is “Water is Sink”, so you sink/die when you touch the water. Now, something that’s unique is that the text can also be moved. So, you can make: “Pillar is You” as well. And that means that you control both Baba and the pillar.
As long as you make real sentences, the game will act accordingly. Now, there is no real tutorial in the game but the game is divided into sections. The first few stages of a level are introductory levels to the mechanics that the level is going to use. And, these training levels are needed since this game can get pretty challenging.
Mark Brown from Game Maker’s Toolkit explained how smart this game is in his video where he praised this game as his most innovative game of 2019. And I have to agree, this game challenges the most veteran players to finish each level. And sometimes the level is stupidly simple while you look over the solution multiple times. It’s such a rewarding feeling when you finally beat a stage that you were stuck on for so long. Something I enjoyed quite a lot was when a friend and I were figuring out puzzles together. Discussing strategies and trying to figure out how each puzzle worked.
Now, I can keep praising the gameplay for a long time here. But, take it from me. If you enjoy puzzle games or great brain teasers, this is the game for you. But is the rest of the game any good? In the visuals department, I can only give you one answer and that’s yes!
Compared to the Game Jam build, this game got a visual overhaul. From a cuter main character to better animations. It’s all here. I personally think that Baba is a sort of white rabbit/cat hybrid animal. In this version, the improved animations give the player more information instead of the rather static look of the original game.
There are barely any sound effects in the game. But, that’s no big issue. Since it would destroy the atmosphere of the game if the developer added sound effects for the calm water or lava. It would be a bit too much. The music, on the other hand, is amazing. It’s rather calming and soothing to listen too. It’s a trance soundtrack that relaxes you to think outside of the box to find the answer more easily.
Controlling this game is also a blast. I rarely had any issues with the controls. The fact that you only need a few buttons makes the game easy to understand. All you need to know is how to move Baba, how to undo an action or how to wait. You can press the “A” button to wait for an object to either teleport, move, jump… while you are standing still.
Now, yes, I’m praising this game to the moon and back. But, does that mean it’s flawless? Sadly enough, no. I have a few things that I have to mention in my negatives section. 😦
Now, the game makes a few minor mistakes that might be called nitpicks. First of all, there is something I really dislike about the UI. You are stuck to the level layout. That means that you can’t move freely over the screen when selecting levels. This can make navigating in the level select a bit tricky.
You get a flower when you finish a level in a stage. Whenever you finished around 6 stages in a level, you can go on to the next level. But sometimes, you earn sun symbols. And it’s never clear when you are going to win which symbol. This is extremely annoying when you are only one sun-symbol removed from opening that one gate that’s blocking that one world.
Now, since when is the “B” button a select button? In almost every game I play, the “B” button is a cancel button. Not in this game, it’s a selection button. My brain is so hardwired to press B to go back to the world map, I get extremely confused when I suddenly enter a level or select an option that I didn’t want to select.
Something that I think would be great is a sort of hint system. This game could have used a help system where the user could unlock a hint after a certain amount of time. Sadly enough, you are on your own in this game. Oh well, thankfully there are walkthroughs when I really want to know the solution to one level.
And yes, that are all the negatives of this game. So, let’s wrap this article up and let’s go to the conclusion.
I can totally understand that this game isn’t for everybody. This game is for people who really enjoy solving brain-melting puzzles or extremely unique indie games. The game is extremely charming and enjoyable. The addictiveness of this game has that one more try mentality. And as soon as you find the solution, you get that rush of adrenaline.
I really meant what I said in my tweet in January. I think there are huge chances that this game will be in my top 10 games of 2020 list. I enjoyed my time with the game, the visuals, the soundtrack, and the gameplay that much.
So, give this game a try! It’s totally worth your time in my opinion. And not only that, 10% of the game’s profits go to charity which is an extremely nice move of the developer. Even for an indie developer.
There are a few minor things that this game does wrong but honestly, I think they can be fixed with a patch or a feature update easily. Especially the “B” button thing since I found that extremely annoying.
And with that said, I think I have said everything about this game I wanted to say. Thank you so much for reading and I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it. I hope you have a great rest of your day and take care!
It has been quite some time since I wrote an update article. A lot of things are happening and I think it’s high time that I update you all on my life and all that. There are going to be a lot of changes and big updates in this article. Especially because I’m nearing my 8 year blogging anniversary next month. Also, if you want to keep up-to-date with my latest updates on my life and the things I do, I highly advise that you follow me on Twitter. Since that’s the platform I use the most to communicate with my readers and other bloggers for updates and things of that nature. But, some of these updates haven’t appeared on Twitter yet, so, let’s not stall any further and let’s get into the updates.
Personal life things
So, a lot of things are happening in my personal life. I wrote this update article on Friday the 26th of April. Today is the night of the premiere of the play I have been practicing since late December last year. We play it 6 times. Tonight, tomorrow night and on Sunday in the afternoon. We also play next weekend. Because of the frequent amount of rehearsals, I focused my attention more on the play then on playing games or working on my blog. That’s why articles have been so slow lately. On top of that, this whole week I have been out with a nasty cold. Luckily, I have been recovering quite well.
Another big change in my personal life is a huge job change. On Monday, I’m going to start working in a local computer hardware store. I’m quite excited to start in my new workplace. Because I’m starting in the upcoming week, I’m not going to talk too in-depth about my new job yet. So, that’s also a huge focus of mine. I’m preparing myself to start working there by reading up on the latest tech news and things of that nature for what I think are obvious reasons.
But it doesn’t stop there! Another huge change in my personal life is the fact that I met someone. She is my special someone. We met each other through a closed Facebook group and after a bit of talking… we started dating and since the 21st of April, we have been a couple for one month. So yes, I have been spending quite a lot of time with her. While it isn’t her main hobby, she also plays games. So, it’s highly possible that I’ll ask her for a second opinion when I’m writing articles about certain games I think she will enjoy as well.
Now, another huge change in my life is the fact that I’m not going to college anymore. The reason for that is that I got my degree. I’m now a graduate computer scientist with my specialty in networking and repair. This actually happened in late December of 2018, but I haven’t written an update article since then, so I wanted to mention it here.
Last year, I wrote in various update articles that my bad mental health. So, because of my new job, my finding a girlfriend, completing my degree and various other things, I’m happy to announce that I’m finally out of that bad mental health state. A lot of my friends are telling me that I made a 180° flip. While I’m not going to talk too much in-depth on my blog, but let me say it like this; thanks to the support of friends, family and my support network… I have been looking for solutions to tackle the things that were making me unhappy in the first place. I’m so thankful for everybody’s kind words and advice that I can’t thank you guys, girls (or whatever gender you prefer) enough for everything. 2018 was extremely rough for me, but 2019 looks like it’s going to be an amazing year.
With all of that said, I think it’s high time to talk about the updates concerning my blog and things of that nature.
Blog & brand updates
First of all, if you go to my YouTube channel, you might notice that I have a lot fewer video’s then in the past. That’s because I have unlisted most of them. The reason for that is, I didn’t feel happy or content with the quality of those videos anymore. From low frame rate footage, badly edited videos to horrible microphone quality… I might have been happy with it when I was creating these videos, but nowadays, I feel they don’t represent me or the quality I want to bring now. So, that’s why I also deleted the video’s from my blog as well. Now, will I put these videos back publically? Well, at the moment of writing I think that the chances are quite low of that happening.
In the future, I’ll be using my YouTube channel to upload glitches or weird things that happen in the games that I have been playing. So, if I want to share a bug, exploit or something of that nature, I’ll create a video about it and share it on my YouTube channel. I won’t make an article for each and every video I create, but I’ll tweet the video out. Now, will I search for these things to have some sort of consistent upload schedule? No, not at all. I feel that I’m way better in writing articles and maintaining a blog then I’m at creating videos. Besides that, I don’t have enough time to create videos, write a blog, work full time, spend time with my girlfriend… I think I’ll exhaust myself too quickly that way.
Now, something that will happen sporadically in the future streams. Because I bought an AverMedia Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus (what a mouthful), I’m now able to stream almost everything from the original hardware. At the moment, you can find a few archives on my Twitch channel of test streams I did. So, whenever I fell like sharing my gameplay experiences with my you guys and girls, I’ll be doing that over Twitch. Thanks to this, I’ll be able to create better screenshots and video’s to support future articles.
You might have noticed that I have been publishing fewer articles in 2019 when you compare it to last year. This has a lot of reasons. One of the main reasons is that I have been focusing on improving my bad mental health state. The results of that, you already read earlier in this article. Another reason for a fewer amount of articles is one that you might have noticed already. My articles are getting longer and longer, more in-depth. It’s simply because I’m spending much more time and effort into writing each and every article. In the past, I have been able to research, draft, write and finalize an article in 2 or 3 evenings. Now, it takes me at least 3 evenings to complete an article.
I have been thinking about reducing the number of articles I write as well. I have been thinking to reduce the number of articles to 2 articles each month instead of 4 articles. So, I can spend even more time on each article instead of rushing 4 articles through the door. While I tried doing that, I miss writing articles so much, I write 2 additional articles anyways.
Usually, I write during the evening or on the weekends. Because at those times, I’m able to focus on the creation of an article. But, this is also going to change. I’m going to work on Saturdays. Now, I do have another day off and this is Thursday. So, it’s quite possible that I’ll be publishing articles on Thursday in the future. Because I’ll be starting an article on Sunday and then being able to finish it on Thursday. I’ll have to wait and see how it’s going to turn out. It’s also possible that I’ll still be publishing on Sunday as well. Only time will tell.
Another thing I want to mention and talk about are the collabs. A lot of blogging collaborations are happening on a lot of my friend’s blogs. But, because I have been so busy with other things, I have missed a lot of them. So, until I have been able to get used to the new rhythm of my new job and the big life changes, I’ll be keeping the number of collaborations I’m contributing with to a real minimum. That way I can grantee I’m able to give my all during the collaborations and not burn myself out.
So, a good summary of what I have been saying in this article is that I have been cleaning up my blog to make it look more professional. There are also a lot of big changes in my personal life, a new job, a girlfriend, a degree… so I’ll have to get used to the new rhythm. This might cause scheduling changes, fewer or no collabs for the time being and possibly fewer articles. I’m also putting more time and effort into writing the articles as well. And because I bought an AverMedia device, I might live stream some gaming sessions of games I’m playing.
I have to admit that it has been strange writing an update article when I haven’t written one in almost 6 months. In any case, that’s everything I wanted to talk about. I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing it. I hope to be able to welcome you in another article but until then, have a great rest of your day and take care.
First combat Alpha demonstrates successful game integration, delivers fun gameplay experience for real players.
State College, March 1, 2018 – Heroic Games announced the successful start of Alpha testing for the combat systems of Ship of Heroes, by enabling mixed teams of developers and supporters to fight three enemy groups in Apotheosis City. Video highlights from the Alpha can be seen here.
“We’ve taken several teams through the combat Alpha, and we’ve been delighted to find that the players loved the gameplay,” Casey McGeever, CEO of Heroic Games, explained. “They have also given us a list of improvements they’d like to see, and we’re hoping to expand that list with feedback from our forums.”
Heroic Games reports that the combat Alpha uses all of the elements they’ve been showing to the world for the last 14 months, including their signature heroes, the Apotheosis City environment, their offensive powers and powersets, enemies, UI, AI, and several other gameplay features, all of which are integrated into the Alpha version of the game.
“I’ve been following Ship of Heroes on my channel for a while and I was so hyped to be among the first to go on a Combat Alpha Run,” Brandon Cooper, gaming video blogger “Positive Gamer,” said. “”As a previous City of Heroes player, I am beyond excited to let you know that I finally felt at home again. Even in this development stage of the game, it felt so good to flex my superhero muscles once again! There are many superhero MMO’s on the horizon, but I’ll be playing Ship of Heroes.”
This is the second Alpha test for Ship of Heroes, following the successful demo of their character creation tool (CCT) last September and October. The devs report that they are working on an upgraded version of the CCT, which they plan to preview later in 2018, incorporating ideas from their supporters. The same process will be employed with the combat mechanics shown in the current Alpha. “We are developing Ship of Heroes with continuous feedback from the community, and getting feedback has been a key goal of this Alpha,” McGeever said. “We now have real supporters, not just devs, using the signature characters we made in our CCT, in our city. We’re running a client/server arrangement with players from two continents, no lag, and high FPS, fighting and winning and getting dust and loot. That’s not just an Alpha, that’s a very advanced and successful Alpha.”
The enemies shown in the Alpha highlights footage were all introduced earlier in the game’s development, but now they have new and interesting powers. Each enemy group favors different tactics and needs to be fought differently in order to win.
“We’ll be conducting additional Alpha tests during 2018. We want to try some kind of raid test, and we also want to return to the CCT for another round of feedback and improvements. We want to see about larger tests, with more participants, to help us assess the practical numbers of characters we can have in an instance of Apotheosis City during normal gameplay,” McGeever added. “We’ve made a lot of progress so far, in just under two years, and we hope that this continues to be the case. A Beta is scheduled for the end of 2018, but that does depend on the results of the intermediate Alphas.”
The Ship of Heroes team, which includes both volunteers and professional game developers, has a very good record of expanding SoH on a reliable schedule. A growing body of gameplay videos can now be viewed on the MMORPG’s YouTube channel. To get the latest news and influence the development of Ship of Heroes, register on their official forums.
About Ship of Heroes
Ship of Heroes is a new superhero MMORPG that combines the best elements of space and hero games aboard a generation ship traveling the galaxy 500 years in the future. Ship of Heroes will have both PVE and PVP content, along with complex harvesting, crafting, trading, and combat features. The game promises a family-friendly environment, along with an innovative storyline that allows players to explore the gigantic generation ship, join raids and counter-raids against alien ships, and land on multiple worlds as the Justice moves through space. The developers began work on the title just seventeen months ago, and are hitting a very rapid development schedule; Heroic Games has already shown an impressive amount of high-quality in-game content, especially for a pre-Alpha MMO. Visit us here.
About Heroic Games, Inc.
Heroic Games Corporation is a State College, Pennsylvania-based independent developer, and publisher of cutting-edge Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs). The firm is currently focusing on the development of a single title, Ship of Heroes, which was announced in November of 2016.
It’s no secret that I recently had to deal with two websites stealing my content. While everything is almost taken down, I decided to write an article where I talk about my experiences, tips, and tricks on how to defend yourself and take down content that is stolen from you. Before I continue, I want to make one thing clear, I didn’t write this guide to take down the content you don’t like or you are trying to steal yourself. I wrote this guide to talk about the various methods that are out there for content creators to help them if their content is stolen. In addition to that, this comes from my personal experiences and I’m not a lawyer. Ask legal advice where needed.
Protect your blog!
First of all, make sure you have a page/post that your readers can easily find where you talk about what you allow and don’t allow with your content. For me, that’s my DMCA page.
On that page, mention what you allow and don’t allow with your content. If you are stuck or unsure how to write this page, Creative Commons can give examples and you can use it to create your own license. But do read the whole license before copy/pasting it on your blog.
Know that this page/post will be looked at by lawyers in case of theft. So, make sure you cover everything with this post or page. It also makes clear what a user can and can’t do with your work.
Some websites also offer badges and other similar things to scare off potential thieves. Like Creative Commons I mentioned before and DMCA.com. You can actually pay DMCA.com to take down a thieving website if needed. If you are interested, check out both sites, since they provide useful and interesting insight.
If you are using WordPress, like myself, don’t disable pingbacks! You can find these in your admin panel under “Discussion”. The reason why that is, I’ll explain a bit later in this article. But, pingbacks can really save your skin or help you in your research. So, DO link to your older articles if you talked about something else in the past.
You can also take measures to the extreme and host your WordPress blog yourself and install and install a plugin that stops people from right-clicking or copying your text. Now, personally, I hate when websites do this. I’m not a native English speaker, and sometimes I have to look up translations for words. In addition to that, I get the impression that the creator doesn’t trust me with their content.
Now, let me state this for the record, I’m not saying that this is a bad idea; I’m saying that I’m personally not fond of this practice. Also, I don’t believe in protecting your site 100% this way. If you have a bot setup that can copy from HTML and the developer console, well; then your protection is busted. And for pictures, if you only disable the right mouse button, you can easily bypass that with a screenshot tool. So, yeah. And people share methods online that easily bypass a system like disabling right-click like here.
With this, I wanted to say that not all protection or preventive measures will make a 100% theft-proof system. Create a system that works for you and is easy to manage without your users complaining about it. I honestly think it’s no good idea to go into overdrive and focus yourself more on protecting your work instead of actually creating content… Before I ramble on and on about this, let’s continue to the actual point of this article.
Before I talk a bit more about how to take down content, here are a couple of articles that provide helpful insight on protecting your work from theft. From tips and tricks to advice other bloggers gave about protecting your blog. Do give them a read, they are great.
Before I continue, know that the DMCA law exists. Please, read up on that law as well if you want to know more.
Takedown stolen content
Okay, now for the actual meat of this article. I had to deal with a WordPress.com and a self-hosted WordPress blog stealing my content. So, I can talk about both issues here.
Before you do ANYTHING like a DMCA or further research, do try to get into contact with the owner of the website. Once in the past, I found another blog stealing my content without credit. They had a contact page, so I contacted them and they took it down. Do the following steps when the owner of the website doesn’t reply.
Let’s tackle the easiest to take down, blogs on platforms like WordPress, Tumblr, Weebly… Here is what you have to do. First of all, be prepared for playing a waiting game AND possibly long mail chains with abuse and or legal teams.
So, one of the blogs stealing my content had a Tumblr, WordPress, Evernote, Weebly, Pinterest and Diigo account posting links various stolen material. On Tumblr, Evernote, and WordPress my whole text was readable.
Before you continue, do know that this is only something the original creator of the article can do. If you haven’t created the work, do not make a DMCA Take-Down request, since this can have serious consequences. If you want to help the creator out, please report it to them and ask them what you could do. Making fake DMCA claims can create an even bigger mess. Just ask big YouTubers like Alex from iHateEverything who got into a fight with Derek Savage a few years back.
Now, you need to find the procedure for each website on how to make a DMCA Take-Down claim or anything related to that. Here are a few links that found that can help you if you need it:
Fill in the required forms and DO read what you fill in. This can be a very serious process but fill in everything to the best of your ability. Do realize that you have to prove that you are the owner and creator of the work and you will have to provide permalinks to the stolen content and the original work. This codex entry of WordPress explains a bit better what permalinks are: https://codex.wordpress.org/Settings_Permalinks_Screen
After you fill in the required forms, you have to play the waiting game. Some requests can be taken care of in a few hours, others can take up to a week! Be patient and if further theft occurs, make a new DMCA Take Down.
Also, speaking from experience here, be as complete as possible. If a blog copied 53 of your articles, to provide 53 links WITH proof (original source) to avoid having to make a secondary DMCA.
Add in the DMCA comment box if the account also breaks other rules posted in the terms of service. In one case, I was able to get the account suspended without a DMCA request but with proving the blog was spamming and using an automated bot to post content to their account. This was enough for a certain company to suspend the theft from their site and fully remove it.
Now, onto the second part of this article. What if your content is stolen by a hosted WordPress blog? Well, first of all, you need to know the basics of how IP addressing and web hosting work.
I’m not saying here that you need to be an expert in computers or internet technology to deal with this. If you don’t know what you are doing, please ask help at people who know more about computers and know more about networking.
First of all, do a WHOIS search on the offending blog. If the website is hosted by a company, you will get an abuse address. Before you mail this address, do check out the website of the hoster. If the abuse mail you got from the WHOIS search is for example:
Go to “thisisanexample.com” The part behind the “@” is usually the website of the hoster. If not, google that email or part of that email.
Look at the terms and conditions of the hoster and act accordingly. If they have a live helpdesk, talk to the helpdesk and ask them what to do. Also, they can confirm if the website is hosted on their servers or not.
Mostly these mail addresses are in the lines of “firstname.lastname@example.org” or “email@example.com”.
When looking in their Terms of Service, look at what they require from you for a DMCA take-down request or a takedown request. Provide the needed information to the company and hope for the best.
Now, I had the bad luck that addresses that WHOIS gave me for the self-hosted blog wasn’t the host of the website but the owner of the domain. Now, the trick here is, either look at the name servers of the domain (mostly ns.hostname.region) or open “CMD” on a Windows computer and launch the following command.
Replace “website.com” with the offending website. More often than note, the last trace will spit out the IP of the website and the hoster.
If this is still not helping, abuse pingbacks. Yes, I’m finally going to talk about it. When you get a pingback from another website, you usually receive an email. Guess what, the IP address of the stealing website is at the bottom of the email.
Use the IP address you get from the email to further do WHOIS searches and this is how I found the actual host of the website which kept stealing from me. So, do link articles you wrote so you have some pingbacks. If the theft bot steals your content and forgets to either disable the option and/or forgets to remove those links, you have their IP. I call it “pingback trap”. And it worked twice on the theft bot.
So, I found out who was hosting this thieving website, I mailed the helpdesk of the hoster and they forwarded me to their legal team and voila, the website is now being taken care of.
Final pieces of advice
If you and other people their work is stolen from a website, do content the other bloggers and writers. In my battle to take down the stolen content, I had two blogs contact me back and we agreed to all put in a DMCA takedown notice. Not too long after, the website was gone.
Do realize that taking down stolen content can eat hours of your time. Keep a journal or notes of what you did and who you contacted for what. Otherwise, this can become a big mess. Don’t get demotivated from this.
Do warn other bloggers about the theft. The action I took was the PSA Drakulus and I wrote together. The support from other bloggers can be so uplifting. All the reblogs and people lending an ear to vent out your frustration can help quite a lot.
If you really want to protect yourself and your blog from theft, don’t let this be the last article you read about it. I read a lot of articles and watched hours of YouTube videos on this subject to learn from what others did. I also talked to other content creators about what they did and how they took down the stolen content.
So, there. That’s all the advice I can give. Thank you so much for reading this article and I hope you enjoyed and learned something from reading this article as much as I enjoyed and learned from writing this. I hope to welcome you in another article but until then, take care and have a great rest of your day.
This post has been written by NekoJonez from NekoJonez’s Gaming Blog. This post is written to spread information about his experiences with content theft. NekoJonez isn’t a lawyer and please; if needed to seek legal advice. I’m not responsible if you don’t do your research or don’t read something for the consequences.
PS: if you need any help with content theft, feel free to contact me. I’ll try and do my best in helping you whereever I can.
So, today I want to take you on a different journey through my thoughts. Not too long ago, the people over at Get Good Gaming invited me to be on one of their Get Good Talks. A 30 minute long podcast talking about a certain subject. In this episode, we talked about reboots and remakes, a topic I wanted to cover in the past on my blog. Here is the actual podcast. I’m sorry for the connection issues you can hear at my end.
It has been quite a long time since people heard my voice. But doing this podcast made me do more. So, if there are any YouTubers/podcasters reading this that do podcasts, feel free to contact me. I would be interested in doing some more podcasts.
In addition to that, I would love to expand on this topic in the future. Thanks to my friends, I have a whole list of games I could cover that are remakes or reboots.
Also, if you are interested in videos about gaming, be sure to give the channel from Get Good Gaming a look. They guys behind it are pretty nice people and I wish they get more recognition. So, go ahead and take a look, okay?
So, you want one tool that can easily record your screen, your gameplay, screenshots, record only sound, stream to Twitch AND record your stream and much more? In the past, I used various tools for that, but ever since I got contacted by the developers of Mirillis Action, I uninstalled most of those tools. Was this a good idea? Is the software good enough to replace them or does the software have holes? Mirillis gave me a review code. The software is usually 30$. So, let’s get right into the review and talk about how this software performs according to me. And as usual, feel free to leave a comment with your opinion and/or thoughts about the software and/or the content of the article down below.
Specs and such
Before we continue, I should say that I tested this program on two different machines. Both on my laptop I use for classes and my gaming desktop. My laptop is a Lenovo B50-80, the only modification I did was that I changed the standard 8GB RAM into 16GB RAM. I need that much RAM since I have to run 4 or more virtual machines and each VM can use up to 2-ish GB RAM each. And yeah, if I only had 8GB of RAM, I wouldn’t be able to follow the classes.
Before I tell you the specs of my gaming desktop, a computer I built myself with my uncle, I know that the graphics card isn’t the strongest or best in these modern times to play games on; but I’m happy with it. The specs of my gaming desktop are an i7-4820K CPU (3.7 GHz), GeForce GTX 660, 16GB of DDR3 RAM, 128GB Boot SSD and a 3TB HDD for my data. It’s quite a beefy PC in my opinion.
During the time I tested the software, the software updated twice. From v2.7.1 to 2.7.2 and then again to v2.7.3. While the software update crashed on my laptop when updating from v2.7.2 to v2.7.3, it ran fine on my gaming desktop. Probably a hiccup with files that were in use by Windows Update or something. Thankfully, a simple uninstall and reinstall fixed everything.
The positive aspects.
I can hear some content creator say already, why do we need this tool? What does it have over OBS Studio, which is free? I think a big plus is how clean the interface is when you compare it to OBS.
You can do a lot with OBS, but it’s all buried in menus. When I used OBS for the first time, I was quite confused how to set it up. I had to use a guide to get started. Most features of OBS are hidden in drop-down menus and that’s a real shame.
In addition to having a better-looking UI, a big advantage in Action is that you have a better indication if you are recording or not. The counter is visibly more present than in OBS Studio.
This tool is much more than a streaming and recording tool alone. You can take screenshots and benchmark as well. These are two quite handy features to have. The more I worked with the program, the more I was amazed by how handy this tool is for content creators.
Some neat features are, you can easily cap the framerate the video, you can set a length of time to record, there is a built-in video converter for the recorded videos. I think that this tool will be quite useful when I’m benchmarking a game for a review or when I want to record some gameplay footage to refer to when I’m writing a review.
Something that might make video creators quite happy is the feature that you can record your microphone audio on a separate track. So, when something happens in-game that is quite loud, you can easily edit that out without having your commentary be too silent.
If you need any help with the program, the help button is not too far away. When you use it, the program will display a very to the point help screen. If you still need more help, you have a button that will redirect you to the website with even more information to help you.
There is also support for greenscreen webcam recording. At this moment, I don’t own a good webcam or a green screen, so I wasn’t able to test out this feature. But, from what I read online; it’s pretty good.
The Action RCU app is an amazing feature, but I’ll talk about that more in depth later in the article.
The negative aspects
Now that I talked about all the reasons why I would recommend this software, here are the things that I didn’t like. Keep in mind, these remarks are made about v2.7.3. It’s possible that Mirillis patch or update their software to make these remarks invalid.
When you open Action, it displays by default a box (called the HUD) of what you will record and how many frames per second it takes. The default location for this is rather annoying. It’s in the top right of your screen. While I understand that the box is more visible there, it’s quite annoying when you have apps on full screen. While clicking the box does nothing, I keep thinking it will open the program. So, I try to navigate my mouse around it. I think it would be better if it showed by default in the middle of your screen at the right-hand side. Then, I realize that you can quickly hide it with F6. So, this is a true nitpick.
Something I miss from OBS Studio is a preview of what the video is going to look like. When you boot up OBS Studio, you see what it’s going to record. This is something you don’t see with Action. So, I had to make a test video every time I tried out some new settings.
A nice feature to have is to easily move the output folders at once to another location. In the current version, you must move it feature by feature. If an option is added where you specify a folder to output and Action creates the 4 folders it needs for the output; that would be awesome.
Something that is missing from the video recording & streaming tab, is an option if you want to record system audio. I would move that option from the options menu to the streaming and video recording tab. Since it’s more useful there.
A huge incoming update
Something I wanted to quickly touch upon is that there is going to be a big update in the feature. Action 3.0 will fix almost every negative I have with the program. The new features will include things like a live preview of the video composition and an improved HUD. Let’s not forget to mention that v3 will have StreamLabs support. You can read more about it and give your own suggestions on this Facebook post.
If you already own Action v2, you will be able to freely upgrade to the v3.
The Action RCU Android App
If you have an Android phone and you are a YouTuber or streamer, you are going to love this feature! When you enable Action RCU in the options menu and install the app on your smartphone, you will be able to control parts of the program with your smartphone. Before I forget to mention it, this is a free app! Yep, free.
In the app, you will be able to start and stop recording or streaming. But not only that, you will see the program that Is recording, how much free space is on the drive you are recording too, how many FPS you have and how long you are recording.
This is an amazing additional feature. I would love to see more promotion of this feature. Since this is going to be a selling point for a lot of let’s players and streamers.
If the app gets updated with these few remarks, I think that the app would be even better.
First, I think it’s quite dangerous that you can connect with any computer without giving a password. I think it would a good idea that you must enter a preset password before the connection is made. This password can be set in the program itself in the options menu. This would avoid annoying roommates stopping your recording without you knowing it. Or let the program pair your smartphone with the program and smartphones that aren’t paired, block them until they are paired.
Second, I couldn’t connect at first to my computer. After a bit a troubleshooting, I found out that some firewalls are blocking the app. I use Avast Internet Security now on my gaming desktop. Right after I made the connection, I can enable Avast again and the firewall doesn’t interfere with the app. There is a solution for this. You can whitelist the program in Avast and the problems will stop. On my laptop, I use Avira Free and Windows Firewall and that didn’t have any problems when I allowed it in the Windows Firewall settings.
Third, I think it would be amazing if a button is added in the app to mute the microphone. In addition to that, possibly a “light” that changes when the microphone is active or not.
Four, this might possibly in the pipeline; but create an iOS and Windows Phone version of this feature. Since the smartphone market is more than Android alone. The developers told me that they will first develop a MAC version of the program before they port the app to iOS. This is planned to start production next year.
Update 28/09: so, there is an iOS version of the app. There will be a version for MAC of the actual program possibly next year. Still, I would love to see a version for Windows Phones.
Five, if a limited record time is set, I think it would be lovely to have a countdown timer of some sorts too.
Six, add a screenshot button! Seriously, one that will be something useful to make thumbnails without having to search around in the video afterward.
And last, why not display the key(s) you need to press to pause the recording also in the app?
Apart from the first two remarks, the other remarks are just additions to improve the app and make it more powerful and even more useful than it already is.
Would I recommend this program? Without any doubt in my mind, I would. This program is already a great tool but with some additional features based on the remarks I raised in this article, I think this program can compete with major names like OBS Studio or DXTory. Besides, the program has more features than DXTory and is cheaper.
This powerful tool is cheap in my opinion and I’m glad that Mirillis Team contacted me to look at their software. Since now I’m a proud owner of a great piece of software that’s going to prove useful in class when I record how to enter commands to configure routers and switches but it’s also going to prove useful to create screenshots for my articles.
The program is already worth the asking price, but it can only grow and improve. The developers update this program quite often, so it’s going to only get better from here on out! In my opinion, this is one of the best recording tools out there right now.
There are a lot more than this program can do, so if this program sounds interesting to you; go and check it out. So, that’s everything I wanted to say about this program. Time to wrap up this article.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing it. I hope to be able to welcome you in another article but until then, have a great rest of your day and take care!
I’ve got two quick updates for you that may be of interest.
First and foremost: I’m writing a new article for this blog. It’s been a long time since I posted anything on this site, excluding this thing I wrote a while back, but more on that later.
It’ll be a fairly straightforward review of a game, but I felt the urge to write about it.
The second thing I’d like to do is talk a bit more about the previously mentioned post that I wrote a while back. In reply to someone’s comment, I said that we were considering making some videos or streams in English and, well… That’s what we’ve done!
I try to stream multiple times per week, but I don’t really have a set schedule. I highlight most of the streams, meaning that anyone can watch them later. If you’re interested, you can always check out our Twitch channel.
After that, I also upload them to YouTube, where you can watch them as well. Some content is still in Dutch, though, but you can usually tell by the title.
And if you want to stay up to date, you can always check out our Twitter. Every upload to YouTube is posted there, as well as updates to when we stream.
That’s all for now.
It has been quite some time since I talked to you guys and girls directly. Because I don’t have a lot of time this weekend, I thought this is a perfect time to give you guys and girls some updates about the future of my blog.
First of all, I plan to kind of return to YouTube. Kind of. I plan to use my YouTube channel to post glitches and oddities in games.
Secondly, I’m truly sorry for the lack of articles this month. I have been really busy with my personal life and my job. I work in education and in June, it’s always crazy busy. It’s the end of a school year so yeah. Also, I had to study for my exam in the evening school, which I passed!
Also, I did a play together with my acting club and it was so good, some schools asked if we did school plays.
Besides that, I have been distracted by some new games and the EK in France. Tonight I’m going to support my national team… The Red Devils!
This weekend also had a party of my acting group and big garage sale. I will post a loot picture on my Twitter account really soon.
Also, I’m working on a review of a Wii game named Kirby Epic Yarn. But I’m replaying the game a bit. That’s because I haven’t played the game in a while and that wouldn’t make for a fair review.
The 2nd article I’m working on is the first impression of a PC game I bought at the start of this month. It will be out in July. That one is for Mirror’s Edge Catalyst.
So, I hope you can forgive me for not writing but I have been playing a lot of games to have future reviews. Games like Kirby Planet Robobot, Evoland II, Fire Emblem Awakening and others.
Besides that, I have been pretty hyped for a few releases in the near future. Like the new Zero Escape game releasing next week!
Oh, and I have a little announcement to make. Since this month was really low on articles. I’ll try to get more articles out next month. I have a two-week vacation there. (Last week of July and the first week of August) and I’m planning something really special there.
In any case, my schedule should be freeing up next week. So, I’ll be back then. If you have any requests for games and/or topics you want to hear me about… Feel free to leave a comment on this article.
If you want to hear the latest updates on my blog and me, follow me on Twitter at @NekoJonez.
Thanks for reading this article and I hope to be able to welcome you next week with a new article. Have a great rest of your day and game on~!
Hi everyone! It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything on this blog. It’s been over half a year… The last post I made was THIS ONE in which I was talking about the next step forward for me. So if you’re interested in what I’ve been up to, read on!
I’ll be honest in saying that my reasons for writing this are twofold. Firstly it’s because I think some of you might be interested. Recently, when talking to NekoJonez, he told me some of my articles are still being read, so that’s what drove me to write about this. The second reason, though, is a little bit of self-promotion, I guess. It’s something I’m not a big fan of doing, but I understand that it is hard to attract people to a starting YouTube and Twitch channel, so I’d like to take advantage of that, so I hope some of you are willing to at least check us out.
My cousin and me have been gaming together for the better part of a decade now and we always knew we wanted to do something online, but never really knew what. Last year, I went over to his home to play some games together, as he had jus bought an NES and SNES with a whole bunch of games. We had so much fun, we figured it was time to actually go online and do something with games.
It took a few months before these plans came to fruition, but they eventually did and so far I’m pleased with the results. A mutual friend of ours has also joined us for some of the videos, mostly our Twitch streams, so there’s three of us at the moment. We chose the name Dos Cosinos, which is sort of fake Spanish for “two cousins”. I think it’s even funnier now there are three of us and he’s not related ^^
Now for those who might be interested in what we created, I’ll put links to our YouTube and Twitch channels below, but mind you: everything is in Dutch. This is a deliberate choice. We know this limits our audience tremendously, but it’s a concious decision. We are also aware that some of the material we created is still pretty rough, but we’re constantly trying to improve, so forgive us for now.
As I said at the beginning of this article, it is very hard to get your content noticed, but I hope that some of you will be interested. We’re trying to do a few things differently and we are well aware that some of the choices we make, make it harder for us to get attention. We’re not fans of the quick-cut editing some vloggers and Let’s Players use, so our videos are usually longer and less “cut”. We also don’t like how most people beg for likes, comments and subscriptions in their video (usually at the end). It’s an effective strategy, I know, but we want people to do those things of their own volition and not because we told them to.
Thanks if you do, don’t worry if you don’t.
From time to time, I look at my list of articles I want to write about. At the bottom, underneath all the games I want to write about is a section with questions. Today I’m going to talk about a few of them. I have chosen a theme for this article as well. How I think when creating these articles and all things related to that. If you ever have a question for me that you want to answer, put it in the comments of a relatable article, mail me or tweet me. Who knows, you might inspire me for a future article.
Should I review the game on the best specs?
This is an issue I have mostly when I’m reviewing PC games. Should I play all my games on the highest settings and review or write with the highest settings in mind?
This is a tricky one to answer. How I honestly see it, I don’t think that’s a great idea. When I’m reviewing newer games that demand a very beefy PC, I try to play it on the highest settings that my PC will allow. While I have rather decent specs, I don’t have THE best specs for playing the newest games on the highest setting. I have a 3.8 GHz CPU, 16 GB RAM and a Nvidia GTX 660. It can run most of the newer games on medium to high settings.
You could argue that a reviewer always should play the game on the highest settings. I honestly believe otherwise. Why play the game on the highest setting? Like I said, I try to play it on the best settings for my PC. In the end, I’m reviewing a game; and there is more to it than high or low-quality graphics.
Besides, not every who reads reviews has a beefy PC to play on the highest settings. So, I think it’s best to play on medium settings. That’s the in-between zone for everybody.
Can a blogger review a game twice?
Can a blogger review a game twice? Well, I do that with some games. For some games, I first write a first impression and when I have beaten it, I write a full review with my final opinion.
When I write my articles, I try to write them in a way how I experienced the game on that playthrough. It’s how I feel about that game at that moment after I have beaten it and did my research.
When a blogger changes his/her opinion after playing the game a second time or years later… Well, you have two options. Either you edit your original review or you write a new review. If I would change my mind on a game, I would write a new article in reference to the original article. Since then you can talk about how your opinion changed.
But I try to only review a game once. While I replay games from time to time, also the ones I have written about, I think it’ll only create confusion for your readers. Or it would look like you have an article that praises and bashes the game. And that’s not a good idea.
Does a blogger need to stick to a certain generation?
What I mean by this question is that a blogger or a review needs to stick with a certain platform or genre of games?
Well, in my opinion, the answer to that question is yes… But to a certain extent.
The games I write about are the games I have played or I’m playing at the moment. It’s a sort of gaming diary of my gaming life. So, I write about the games I buy.
When you write a blog or have a YouTube channel, it’s always a good idea to have a theme. For example, you review PlayStation games or talk about everything XBOX. But, talking or review about something else wouldn’t hurt.
The reason why I write these gamer’s thoughts is to be able to talk about something else. Since writing about the same or similar subjects can feel restrictive sometimes. I admit, it’s fun to write this kind of articles, but they are a lot more work to prepare.
In any case, there is one big argument that I haven’t addressed and that’s the audience. People who read my blog are either looking for a review of a certain game or want to read what I’m up too or what I’m playing. When I would change that, I would loose readers. But then again, I would create a new audience.
So in short, it’s a matter of finding a right balance between what your blog or channel is about and where you want to go with it.
While some questions I have talked about in this article might have an easy or obvious answer… I think it’s fun to think about them from time to time.
It helps me to think outside the box and write some interesting articles. Besides, they make for interesting conversation topics between creators.
In any case, I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing it. If you have any questions or ideas for future content… Feel free to leave a comment.
I hope to welcome you at another article but until then, have a great rest of your day!
What I’m about to write today will differ from the content I usually write. The reason for this is that I was asked recently what my opinions were on eSports. Hence this article.
This article is inspired by the following image. Link
I usually write about things I like or dislike, which is why it has been so hard for me to write this article. My stance towards eSports is quite… indifferent. That being said, eSports are gaining more and more ground.
It’s well documented that the gaming industry brings in more revenue than the music industry, or even the film industry. Gaming extends beyond your classic triple-A titles and even indie games. It also entails mobile games and social games, like those found on Facebook and other social media.
As such, games reach a wide audience. Somewhat surprising, perhaps, is that in recent years watching people play video games has become so popular. People love watching streams on Twitch or “Let’s Plays” on YouTube, and those numbers grow each passing year.
Maybe, keeping that in mind, it’s no wonder how the world of eSports is booming. We see more and more different kinds of games used in official eSports tournaments, but it is striking that the most popular games are MOBA’s and strategy games.
League of Legends and DOTA 2 are incredibly popular, as is Smite, though perhaps to a lesser extent. Star Craft 1 & 2 are still very popular, especially in Asian markets. Other genres are also represented, but to a far lesser extent than the ones mentioned before.
We still see first person shooters and fighting games being used, but not
as much. It might be because those rely mostly on skill, whereas strategy games and MOBA’s require a blend of skill and logical thinking.
Last year, the DOTA 2 championships had a prize pool of eleven million dollars. These events, which are often sponsored by big-name brands, deal with huge amounts of money. Viewer-ship for eSports is even surpassing the “actual sports” championships. More than double the amount of people that watched the MLB world series, watched the League of Legends World Championship. Even the NBA finals don’t come close to those numbers.
Earlier this year, viewers of ESPN 2 complained about eSports being broadcast. It’s apparent that these kinds of events are gaining a lot of ground, so much so that they’re slowly, but surely becoming part of everyday society. As with all change, opposition is to be expected, but I think it’s a good thing that gaming is becoming part of mainstream culture.
I think gaming as an art form, and a form of entertainment, still has a long way to go. But we’re getting there. I firmly believe one day it’ll be as prevalent and universally accepted as film is today.
Most people watching and playing games today are young people. Approximately 80% of people involved in gaming are male and under 35, but that is slowly changing. People who started gaming in the ’80’s are getting older and having children of their own, who in turn might be interested in video games.
And perhaps the ubiquity of games available on mobile and social platforms is a new gateway for people who might not ever have touched a video game otherwise. So while I personally don’t have much interest in eSports, I cannot deny its influence in recent years. As I see it, this will only continue to grow.
Alright, this will be a quick update. It even has a short introduction. This update is meant to tell you guys what I post where from this post.
First of all, the place where I post the most updates is my Twitter. On there I post things I quickly want to share.
Very rarely I write a story that has been in my mind. I “dump” those stories on my DevaintArt.
I linked my YouTube in the sidebar, but I don’t make vids anymore. It’s too time consuming. But here and there, I do a stream. I announce that on my Twitter a couple of minutes before I go live.
That’s almost everything. Now, I haven’t talked about two links yet. One is the link to my friends over at ButtonSmashers. Go check them out. If you want to see more people I recommend, go check out my friends page.
Alright, down to the final link. Now here is the big change I’m going to do and the reason why I post this short article. When I want to update you guys on the progress of some articles and my life, I’m going to do that on Tumblr when it’s too long to tweet. So, it’s wise to follow me on Tumblr as well!
Now it’s possible that my articles now come twice on my Twitter since I linked my Tumblr to my Twitter! But don’t worry, the long overview updates will most likely not stop on my blog.
I’ll link to this article on my “About me” page so you guys can read this as well. I might update this article when major changes happen!
Thanks for reading and hopefully until the next time we meet.
Shame on me for not publishing an article for a few days. I have been busy and I have been experimenting with streaming. Plus, I thought that I wrote that article of Broken Sword 5 later. That game got an update today. I’m pretty excited to see that actually since that means they might do something about those awkward dialogue gaps. Well, let’s get right to the updates.
I’m going to admit that I miss making video’s. But I simply don’t have the time to edit, render, upload, maintain a channel… So, that’s why I decided to quit YouTube. But more on that later.
I announced it on my personal blog, since I am going to publish this article on ButtonSmashers as well, that I stream. For the people who missed the link, here it is again: http://www.twitch.tv/nekojonez1.
Anyways, I’ll mostly stream Minecraft. Since the easy stream integration is such a blessing. Since I can still make video’s but I don’t need to edit them and all that. And it also keeps the charm of video’s. If you want to see my past broadcasts. Click then here.
I stream some other games when I feel like it. Yet, the quality can be better sometimes. But I blame my ISP for that. The internet I get sometimes bugs out and the quality drops because of that.
So, I was out of town yesterday and I watched a comedian preform. It’s my favorite comedian and I had an extremely fun night. It was one of his best shows. One of the best shows of the ButtonSmashers blog are the podcasts. With one of our most recent members, Allahweh, a 2nd podcast has been added to our shows.
In one of the last episodes, Q (the owner of ButtonSmashersBlog) was a guest. And surprisingly, they talked about me. They talked about me stopping YouTube. Here is a link to the start of my segment. Yet, I advice to listen to it fully. Anyways, I need to correct Q on something.
I already posted a comment on the video to correct him. I might just said it wrong to him or just said it the wrong way but the reason why I quit YouTube is simple.
First of all, I was never planning to delete my YouTube channel. Those memories, I don’t want them to get lost. I said that I was going to delete some left over footage since I didn’t felt like editing it and uploading it after my “I Quit” video. It turned up to be glitched out footage anyways.
The reason why I stopped YouTube wasn’t because I was out of creative juice. I had to do with it but I felt tired of making video’s. I felt more like being an admin of a video page instead of a video creator to me. I still enjoy creating video’s so that’s why I stream. But the editing, rendering, uploading and such was just too much to be bothered for me.
Also, I felt like I had to make video’s and such to gather an audience. And as soon as I realized that I didn’t had time to combine everything anymore, I had to drop something. And since I felt forced to make video’s I decided to drop it.
My blog feels more rewarding then my channel and that’s also why I continued blogging instead of making video’s. And as it turns out, my blogging actually improved and I had now more free time to finish games and finish my college work in order to maintain a better blog.
Lack of articles
Indeed, there is a lack of articles when you compare it to the future. Normally I publish a lot more articles on a weekly basis. There is a reason for this. My exams are coming around the corner. After the Christmas holidays, I have around 14 exams to finish. Yup, 14.
So, I have to slow down the articles. I stream here and there since that doesn’t really prepare prep work. But don’t worry, I’ll still write articles. Only less of them until I find a bit more time.
In a recent update for my blog, I started to post a list of what I’m currently playing on which device. It’s possible that I’ll publish an article about that game in the future.
Next week will be another rough week. I also feel a little bit sick again. A slight headache and coughing. Hopefully I don’t get sick while I’m supposed to study for my exams.
Anyways, thanks for reading. Now you guys are totally up to date with what’s happening. Hopefully I see you around at my next stream or blog! Take care.
Hello Neko’s. NekoJonez here. Yeah, it has been quite some time since I have written a full blog now. It has been nearly 10 days. But don’t worry, I have an excuse. Well, not really an excuse, but something to announce. I’m so busy for a change. I get too tired to write decent enough articles. But I’ll try to keep this short m’kay?
Okay, I haven’t had time for writing this article because college asks a lot of attention from me now. I have to prepare myself on exams in two months and I have a lot of assignments to write. In addition to that, I have few courses to prepare to teach in my class.
And above that, I have been relaxing a lot. Possibly I have taken a small break from blogging. I’ll return soon. Don’t you guys worry. But that will probably be in December – January. Since then work gets more spread so I can find a bit more time.
Lucky me, I have a few projects to talk about! But follow me on my Twitter if you want to keep up to date with me.
So, I asked my friends from Arpegi to create a new banner and such for my blog. I’m truly excited with what comes out of it. Something amazing for sure!
Also, I have a few articles in preparation. From a few first impressions to some reviews. Also, I’m preparing a bunch of articles outside of reviews.
And I’m on a Minecraft server now with YouTubers. I’m truly blessed of being on that server. I’m enjoying myself a lot. I feel right at home. So yeah. I’m in several live streams of that server. Go ahead and watch them at my previous blog.
Also, I have been updating my forum here and there. Fixing bugs and adding new features. I have a major update planned with some big bugs fixes and some new fun features.
Anyways, in short, I’m working behind the scenes a lot and I’m extremely busy with real life. I hope you can understand that I slow down the articles to maintain the quality I have. Thanks for understanding and until the next time!