Monthly Archives: March 2016

Struggles of Getting to “PRO” in League of Legends

Getting to the idea of “last hitting” can be tough to comprehend at first.

League of Legends can be observed or viewed as a simple minded game from the outside. Objectives seem normal when it comes to destroying enemy turrets, minions, champions and ultimately their Nexus. Yet, blindly just doing these acts without proper mechanics can turn you into a fool. First time I played, I assumed I just needed to hit the creeps and go full out confrontation with the enemy champions. Yet, there was this important concept that others kept referring to as “last hitting”. Initially, I had no relevant clue as to what that meant. However, once explained it seemed to be something that was easy to grasp. However, I was mistakenly wrong. Not only is “last hitting” considered a basic mechanic in this game but there is a required number of creep scores that every gamer of League of Legends should hit within a specified time span. Achieving an average of 20 or 30 creep score per minute can seem straightforward, but accomplishing this takes practice. I started playing this game, 3 years ago and I have yet to reach the 20 creep score mark within one minute. There is something about timing when to hit the minions till the very last drop of their health that requires time and patience.

Knowing the proper item build on your champion and skill order

Often those that you play with in this game will ask you what items you have bought. Higher skilled players have the tendency to judge certain items that you build throughout the game. At the same time, whats skills your rank up first or second will be looked by others. First champion that I had played was Ashe, an archer with ice based skills. First time playing, I built items that stacked ability power when apparently this champion was attack damage based. For beginners, the struggle seems to be in identifying what the strengths of the champion is and at the same time, the skills that need to be maxed first. While playing this Ashe character, I maxed out my passive first for some reason, although it had no incremental increase in damage outputs. However, over time you learn to adjust as a beginner. As a beginner, make sure you take advice from those of higher skill level in League of Legends. They may be harsh and critical towards your mistakes, but the recommendations they give are relevant.

What on Earth Was Wrong With Retro Game Makers “Flying Edge”? Quite a Lot As It Turns Out

Something troubles me, and it’s been troubling me since the early nineties. I sometimes awake in the middle of the night, skin cold and damp, screaming. Badly coloured, badly animated sprites, collision detection non existent, arrrggggggh! I compose myself and reach for the paracetamol. Surely it was all a dream?

NO! Flying Edge really did happen!

The Mega Drive and Master System were both supported at their fullest from around 1991 to 1994 – hence why later MD games are so rare (except Ballz, please, please go away… ). The list of third party contributors to both consoles is lengthy and many still exist today, albeit in a different form (Domark are now Eidos for example). One that you think wouldn’t exist is Flying Edge. Even in my late Primary School/early High School years I knew that if I saw that logo it meant trouble.

It actually didn’t start off too badly. The first FE (as I’m going to refer to them from now on as) game was Arch Rivals, which at the time seemed a stupid idea, a 2 v 2 basketball game where you could only play as one of the “characters”. Although it doesn’t play great, the reduced number of sprites on the screen and slightly violent dynamics made it a relatively fluent and pleasant experience compared to the dross Basketball games about at the time. It also laid the foundations for something truly special, which you’ve probably already guessed.

So, FE were on the cusp of being pioneers… not quite. The games that came afterwards reads like a who’s who of complete and utter tosh. If you ever have the opportunity to play George Foreman’s KO Boxing on the MS run, run as fast as you can. It looks like someone threw up over it and is actually less fun than staring at one of Mr Foreman’s grills. It’s rushed, plain and simple. This theme continues with Smash TV. Smash TV was an immensely popular arcade machine whose main draw was the two-joystick system where you could shoot in an opposite direction to which you were running. The SNES version works pretty well (the 4-button acting as the second joystick) but the graphics and collision detection are horrendous, on both 16-bit and 8-bit versions. Don’t get me started on the sound and control systems on the Sega versions, we’ll be here all day… The laughable Crash Dummies, RoboCop 3 and Double Dragon 3 are just a few more games that no respectable developer would ever be associated with.

FE were just another bad developer with no one else to blame but themselves. Wrong! Now here’s the twist in the story, FE were actually a subsidiary of Acclaim. Apologies to those who already know this, but I bloody didn’t! There is a clue in the aforementioned SNES version of Smash TV, Acclaim are there quite proudly in the opening sequence but they left FE to the Mega Drive version… How can a company responsible for making gems such as Mortal Kombat and NBA Jam (see what I did there) have any part of Flying Edge? I just simply had to find out.

Acclaim itself had been established since 1987 with much of its focus on games based on licenses it acquired from comics (Spider-Man games aplenty), TV/Sports (WWF) and movies (Alien 3). It also forged a strong “partnership” with Nintendo despite titles such as Rambo on the NES being pretty poor, Star Voyager on the other hand was considered revolutionary. You will never see Flying Edge on any Nintendo game (if you do, it’s dodgy, throw it out) as they were created specifically to “produce” Sega games. Apologies for the many speech marks already used in this article.

Information on the contractual wrangle between Nintendo, Acclaim and Sega is so sparse I’m left clutching at straws as to how Nintendo persuaded them to do this. In fact, the only conclusion I can come to is that Acclaim were happy for FE to be the sacrificial lamb in order to preserve their relationship with Nintendo. This appears logical given Nintendo’s dominance in the home entertainment sector and the gradual decline of arcades. Looking at FE’s back catalogue it’s easy to assume that the developers/programmers in this division weren’t very good in comparison to Acclaim’s. The reality is that for every Mortal Kombat and NBA Jam there were several stinkers. Forget what you know about Acclaim, the reality of it is that they really weren’t that good, period. If it wasn’t for Midway, Mortal Kombat wouldn’t have existed. Acclaim’s back catalogue around the same time reads: Double Dragon 2; Krusty’s Fun House; NFL Quarterback Club; The Addams Family etc etc… It isn’t good!

Flying Edge was dissolved in 1994, which clearly must have provided Acclaim with a get out clause for all those bad titles. What did they back it up with? Again, mainly hit and miss. The Turok titles proved popular on later consoles and some of the Spider-Man games were good. They was also Virtua Tennis 2 which is still a joy. However, rubbish… sticks. The poor licensed games continued – Batman Forever, Paris-Dakar, Gladiator, Fantastic Four. Acclaim were made bankrupt and defunct as of September 2004, ten years after the demise of Flying Edge.

There is a reason that the big guns (Sega, Nintendo) and some of the smaller guns (Domark as Eidos) still exist. Evolution. Acclaim, in amongst all its glory, never deviated from their primary aims – buy licenses, tack on games around them, seek the assistance of other willing developers.

Acclaim (or the name) was purchased by Acclaim Games who were one of a few companies in the early 2000s who focused on online gaming. Sadly, their games were unpopular and they were subsequently bought and dissolved by Playdom games in 2010. The Acclaim name now only appearing in the footnotes under “What Could Have Been”.

4 Steps to Get Started in Hearthstone

So, you’ve decided to get into Hearthstone. Maybe you’re a World of Warcraft fan who wants to experience the card game based on the series, perhaps you are a card game fan who wants to try something new, or maybe you just came across this article and I’ve enticed you to play. Regardless, welcome to the club.

There are several things that you will need to do as you get started. If you go through the following list, you’ll learn the first actions to take as you begin your Hearthstone adventure. With that in mind, let’s learn:

4 Steps to Get Started in Hearthstone

1. Complete the Tutorial: Assuming you’ve already created an account at battle.net and logged into the Hearthstone game, your first move is to fire up Hearthstone and complete the tutorial. You’ll play five simplified games as a mage, during which you’ll learn the basics of the game, like how to play the cards, monitor your mana, and see what minions on the board. If all that sounds tricky, don’t worry, the tutorial makes it nice, simple, and pretty entertaining to boot.

2. Unlock the Other Classes: When the tutorial is over, you’ll be in the game itself, but can only play as the mage. If you want to play as any other classes, you’ll need to unlock them first, which should be your first step regardless. The easiest way to do that is through the Practice mode. Just click Solo Adventures, then Practice, and then Normal, and you’ll be able to select your deck and which opponent you want to fight. Complete a battle against each class to unlock them, and when you’re done with all the battles (including one against another mage), and you’ll be able to play as any class, plus get the Ready to Go! Achievement and 100 gold for your trouble.

At this point, you’ll unlock several new modes of play, including the Arena and Adventures. We’re going to hold off on those for a while; they cost gold/money to get into, and you need more experience with the game before you hope to do well. First, you should rank up your heroes to (at least) level 10, by:

3. Beat the Expert Level AI Opponents: With all of the heroes unlocked, you can try to take on the Expert level opponents. They are, as you can guess, much harder, but yield more experience to your novice heroes (when they aren’t below level 10; you’ll need to switch to a new hero at that point when facing AI opponents to gain more experience). You can (and should) create custom decks for these battles; while the basic decks can hold their own against Normal opponents, you’ll need to improve your holdings when facing harder opponents. When you defeat all the Expert level opponents, you’ll complete the Crushed Them All quest and net yourself another 100 gold.

4. Fight Human Opponents in Play Mode: By this point, you should have all the basics of the game down, so it’s time to try your hand against some human foes. Go into the Play section and you can select Casual or Ranked to choose your preferred style of play. In Ranked, each victory will get you a star and improve your ranking, while each loss (when you are at rank 20 or above) will cause you to lose a star. Casual doesn’t, although don’t let that fool you; the players can be just as rough, especially once you get over rank 20.

A good approach for new players to take is to play Ranked until you are at Rank 20 (since you can’t lose any ranks until that point), then switch over to Casual mode; you’ll get plenty of practice, plus, getting to level 20 gives you a new card back each month. You’ll achieve the First Blood quest (and a pack of cards) for your first battle against another human, and The Duelist quest (and 100 gold) for winning three victories against real people.

Play each of your characters until they get to level 10 and you have all the basic cards in the game. The first character you get to level 10 will net you the Level Up achievement and a pack of cards, while getting them all to level 10 will achieve the Got the Basics! achievement (since you have all the Basic cards that you earn by leveling up) and 100 gold. You’ll also get 10 gold for every three victories you get in either Ranked or Casual mode, which can add up pretty well.

At this point, you should have a fair amount of gold, a few card packs, and a decent understanding of how the game works. Where to go from here will depend greatly on what you hope to accomplish in this game, but hopefully, this has helped you to get the ball rolling on your smashing Hearthstone adventure!

7 Ways To Make Money From Minecraft

Think you can’t make money playing your favourite video game? Ever been told that all those hours spent on Minecraft was a waste of time? Well think again, now you too could be making money from home. But how I hear you ask, how is it possible to make money from Minecraft? Well read on because you’re about to discover seven simple ways to make money on Fiverr.com (and impress your friends at the same time.)

Firstly let’s take a moment to discuss the web site, Fiverr.com. Fiverr.com is an online marketplace where people tackle any number of bizarre gigs or “micro-jobs” in exchange for payment of a whopping $5. Users might offer to place 100 flyers on 100 cars, or design a company logo, or record a customized message while imitating the voice of a “Star Wars” character. The sheer scope and variety of available gigs will impress anyone who isn’t familiar with the site, and on your first visit, you might understandably wonder how on earth you can get all this “stuff” for just five dollars.

While some gigs have an opening rate of $5, the more popular and well-reviewed one’s are earning much more per gig. For example you need a project done in 24 hours add $10, you want more detail in an illustration add $15, hand out another 200 flyers add $20 and so on. Now a gig that was originally five dollars in price can earn the seller much, much more.

Like all web sites Fiverr.com has some terms and conditions that need to be followed to protect both buyer and seller. At the moment the site is available to anyone aged 13 and over, isn’t limited to any particular country and doesn’t allow any violent, spam or illegal type gigs. Other than that, anyone can sell their talents and services there. So what can you offer on this website? Here’s eight ideas to get started with…

Illustrations

Are you always doodling scenes from Minecraft? Got a killer scene of Herobrine and Steve in combat? Well if you’ve got the talent you can make money from it. A quick scroll through Fiverr.com using the search term “Minecraft” and you’ll find lots of artists offering to draw scenes in exchange for money.

Recreate Images In Minecraft

If drawing isn’t for you, maybe you’re one of those people who likes recreating real world scenes in Minecraft. Are you able to build the Statue Of Liberty, the Grand Canyon, or a 747 airplane? Then you could also make money from this talent. With this gig, customers provide a photograph of a real world scene and you recreate it in Minecraft, simple.

Video Banners

If you’ve watched any Minecraft videos on YouTube, you’ll know the best ones always have a banner, logo, or set image on them. They have to come from somewhere, so why not from you? If you find image editing software like “Gimp” or “Photoshop” a breeze to use, you could provide a service creating opening or closing credit banners for a price. Do it well and you could find yourself very busy, very quickly.

Minecraft Servers

Do you know how to set up a Minecraft server? Could you do it all day and even in your sleep? Well you could provide that service at a cost. Just because you find it easy, doesn’t mean everyone else does. So why not get paid for your expertise? You could provide a service helping fellow players set up and maintain their servers.

Animation

Are you one of those people who loves making short movies with Mine-imator? You could offer your services for a price. With this gig you can either offer to create a unique one off short animation for a customer, or (even better) sell the same video over and over again and make money off of it. With this option you can offer different alternatives of the same video. In one you could change the music, in another place your customer’s domain name on it, make it shorter or longer or many other options to make each video unique. And of course each change comes with a price tag.

Minecraft Skins

Do you find it easy to make Minecraft skins, then why not make money from it? Simply offer a gig where your customers provide a picture, example or idea of what they’re looking for and you create it. To see examples of this, search Fiverr.com with the search term “Minecraft Skin.”

Minecraft Parties

Do you or your Mum know how to create the ultimate Minecraft party food or birthday cake? Could you create Minecraft birthday invitations better than your local store? Then maybe it’s time to put that knowledge to some use. You could provide this information in a document, print out, or group of videos that you could sell over and over again. Heck with so many Minecraft parties out there, you could offer your baked goods for sale to parties in your area.

As you’ve seen with a bit of imagination and creativity it’s possible to make money from Minecraft. Are these the only ways to make money, definitely not? Once you’ve spent a little time on Fiverr.com you’ll probably come up with other ideas and services that we didn’t think of.

Will you be able to retire to the type of home Notch has, probably not? With everything it depends on how good a service you provide, your reviews and how many people are looking for what you have to offer. But do you best, don’t give up and you too could have a nice income coming in all from your love of Minecraft. Now who said playing video games was a waste of time.

Please Note – Mojang now takes their copyright infringement more seriously than ever before. Just to keep on the right side of their lawyers, its best to read over their terms and conditions before creating any gigs first.

Gaming Computers!

A gaming computer, gaming rig or gaming PC is specifically designed for playing demanding and complex video games. They are quite similar to regularly conventional personal computers; specific differences include the inclusion of components that are performance-oriented towards playing games, and video cards. The term ‘enthusiast computing’ is often used in association with gaming computers as there is overlap of interest and the genres described.

However, for a layman to understand differences between gaming and enthusiast PCs, it is important to know that gaming PCs are put together to achieve specific performance outlays in actual video game play while an enthusiast PC is simply built to maximize and optimize performance using gaming as a benchmark to achieve it. The cost of the two systems also amplifies the differences between the two; while gaming PCs can be extended over a wide range from low, mid and high range segments, enthusiast PCs are always high-end in definition and are quite expensive.

There is the popular myth or misconception that computer gaming is intertwined with expensive enthusiast computing; however, it is interesting to note that gaming video card manufacturers earn maximum revenues through their low and medium range PC offerings.

Gaming computers are widely different because of the complex variety of parts that go into assembling them; they are invariably custom assembled than pre-manufactured. Most gaming or hardware enthusiasts put together the computers; some companies that specialize in manufacturing gaming machines also do this. They create an interest among computer enthusiasts by producing ’boutique’ models that allow the enthusiasts themselves to complete the design by aesthetic choice in conjunction with the hardware in the machine.

Although gaming computers are distinctly different from conventional PCs, the evolution for better output began with improving graphics, color fidelity, display systems etc. in producing them for the mass market. Another particular move that has since been integrated into motherboards is the adoption of the sound card which is an all-visible component in today’s PCs.

Gaming movements began aggressively in the 1980s with several non-IBM PCs gaining popularity due to advanced sound and graphic capabilities. At that time, game developers, in particular, video game manufacturers and developers started out on these platforms before porting the usage to more common PCs and other platforms such as Apple.

Custom-built gaming computers became increasingly popular in 2012 allowing more flexibility in budgets, controls and upgrading advantages. Several basic components that are required when assembling a gaming computer like motherboard, memory cards, video cards, solid-state drives, CPUs etc. are maximized for performance outputs by gaming enthusiasts by turning to independent benchmarks during hardware selection. Such benchmarks include ratings for PC components to ensure protection of equipment and safety from in-built hazards like heat output etc.