Saturday, May 27, 2017

Free Weekend - Overwatch and Fallout 4 [Notification]

Just a quick notification for those that didn't know, that this weekend is a Free Weekend for two great games: Overwatch by Blizzard Entertainment and Fallout 4 by Bethesda Softworks.
To commemorate this amazing alignment of the planets that these two behemoths occupy, I created this 'Mash-Up' Image Header as a Reminder, which I will release as a Full-Sized Wallpaper, for fans of these two franchises, once it is complete... Soon™


A big fan of both companies' products, I was so excited about it - but I haven't had a chance to play yet! So, I'm trying to help out all of you fellow gamers and notify you that these games are Free and Playable all weekend - including being sold at lowered prices - but it's almost over! Get out there and jump in - and have fun! GOGOGO

See You In The Game!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Gwent - Playable By All Now As It Enters Public Beta Phase [Notification]

Update: Added Bugs Personally Found - 20170525, Ongoing
Update: Added Example of Patch Notes - 20170526
Update: Embedded The Gwent Cinematic Trailer 'jussferfun' - 20170527

Just a quick notification that Gwent, the Free-To-Play online card game based on The Witcher series, is now playable by all, as it enters the Public Beta phase (Open Beta).

Stress-Test the servers!
Find bugs and improve the game!
Have fun!

https://www.playgwent.com/


From the GOG.com Store Page:

"GWENT: The Witcher Card Game is currently in public beta. The game requires an online connection to play and offers optional in-game purchases. Single player campaign will be added at a later date."

 Example of Changes, Patch Notes by CDprojektRED:


Example of the informative Patch Notes, Updated Regularly by CDprojektRED
(Click to see Full Size)


Here is the Gwent Cinematic Trailer by CDprojektRED:



A First Impressions post on it... Soon™



Possible Bugs I Personally Found/Experienced So Far:

- There is no explanation of the 'red eye icon with the silver arrows above and below it' on some cards (it was not mentioned in the Tutorial and does not have a pop-up information panel for it)
- Some cards do not have an image (Loading Screens, not sure if this is per-screen basis (card assigned to that screen) or the image just does not show/process at random times)
- PASSING once results in continuous PASSING forever (resulting in the loss of the round) [This is Intended perhaps, OnePassToPassThemAll]
- Sometimes, the AI will play a card that is supposed to DEPLOY other cards (as an ability of the card), but the 'other cards' will not show up. Then, later in the same game, it will play those 'other cards' as single cards. (Not sure if this is my misunderstanding of the mechanic, but I have seen the special DEPLOY cards work and DEPLOY the 'other cards' all at one time, which is how it appears that it is intended to work)
- Cannot seem to play Multiplayer with a Friend (Friends List in GOG Galaxy, the client GOG is attaching to the game), clicking on FRIEND MATCH just results in the game 'freezing' for a bit, unable to click on anything
- There seems to be a possible Exploit that is potentially occurring concerning Desynchronization issues (opponents will be losing and cause 'lag spikes' or other communication interference, resulting in the game seeing a difference of information on their Servers and ending the game as a defense mechanism, which causes you to end up "Defeated" automatically)

Bugs/Feedback submitted - enjoying the game otherwise [Single Player is fun, there's tons to learn and look at, the Art is awesome, the Music is awesome, so far this game is GREAT]!


[Note: Trying it out myself, it looks like it needs a GOG.com (formerly Good Old Games) Account to play... I already had an account with them, but wanted to add that I am not affiliated with GOG.com or CDprojektRED in any way and am not receiving any compensation of any kind to mention them here (look at the link above, it does not have any 'affiliate tags' or extra information in it). I am merely a Customer of GOG.com (sometimes they have good deals on their DRM-free catalog) and GOG.com merely seems to be affiliated with CDprojektRED and the release of Gwent.]

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

And More: Revue - Fantastic Four (2015) [Spoiler-Free Review, Text-Only]


I love movies - who doesn't? I like reading Reviews of them sometimes (not all of the time) - who doesn't (sometimes)? Now, while this is more of a game-centered blog [well, supposed to be haha] I wanted to start sharing some Reviews of movies I write, here. Not often maybe - and don't worry, they won't be 'long' [my personal illness along with ADHD takes care of that]. Maybe I'll call them a movie 'revue' - borrowing from the term for 'review' in the sense of smaller summaries, jokes and plays that were based on larger works. Yeah, that's it: The Game Tips And More Blog Presents... fadeawayto...REVUE...fadeawayto...insert-movie-name-here... [Heh. Hmm, kind of cheesy, but not too bad..].


Note: 
All "Revue" articles will be SPOILER FREE (and to help with that, also image-free, other than a Title Screen / Header image) and Safe-To-Read even before viewing [I personally don't like to read Reviews before movies, but I know many do - please let me know if any of my Revues are 'too spoiler-y' and I will adjust them]. Enjoy!



Revue #1 - Fantastic Four (2015)


What an oddly finished product to make an opinion on... I just watched this on Netflix, and while it's not just that the movie feels disappointing, it also left me feeling 'empty' or even ‘sad’ somehow. Like the movie was a small animal that someone found, took in to care for, then forgot it out on the street again later on... That odd mixture of disappointment and sadness is what I came away from this movie with. 

Without getting into the ‘technical’ or ‘background’ details of it (how they handled the Origin Story is what most people did not like, for example), the first two-thirds of the movie is actually not bad, if a little slow-paced. It develops their backgrounds slightly and places them together, trying to get you to have empathy for the characters somewhat. It does in fact feel like a caring hand was hanging over it all, keeping it ‘realistic’ and the work put into that made me ignore the slow pace of the development. The cast themselves by the way, seem like they could become decent actors, but they all feel ‘held back’ and are almost stoic here. 

Then, after about three-quarters of the movie has gone by, they throw everything out the window and ‘chop together’ a 1980’s-quality “battle-with-the-bad-guy” that has none of the feeling of care and pace of the first majority of the movie. Now, I know production houses, crews and casts all have time limitations that put chains on a movie - turning into whips at times, urging completion; but this last section of movie feels like someone forgot about the animal they found out in the wild that they cared for so well up to now and left it out in the elements again... In my opinion, they could have even eliminated the ‘final battle’ and just finalized the development of the Origin of the characters - maybe with some ‘competition’ or other plot point, to end on; at least then, this could be an Origin Only movie and you would be left with some feelings for them after it was all over, not minding 'the wait' until the expected Sequel with 'real action' could come along. 

While the 2005 Fantastic Four is a bit ‘campier’, it still is in my opinion a better movie than this, because of its' overall polish and the mistakes of this one. In the end, I gave this movie, not a Zero like many, but a 2 out of 5 because of the effort that was put in ..at times


Review submitted and published on Netflix


[Personal Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Netflix in any way, pay my own account with them, and have not received any compensation, in any form, for mentioning them here. I am merely an enthusiastic user of their service; but have also utilized other, similar services as well, such as Amazon's PrimeVideo and Sony's Crackle and other online streaming services. All opinions herein are my own personal opinions and do not reflect in any way, any opinions or influences of the companies, production houses, peoples or persons involved with the projects mentioned (movies). These articles which are "Revue" posts are my own personal ideas/opinions/predictions and are not open to 100% re-posting or re-distribution (please try to stay ~50% re-posting of the text involved). Some Rights Reserved.]

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

And More: Corel's VideoStudio - Crashing When Using 'Open With' To Import Clips Into VideoStudio [Fix/Workaround]


Just last Month, I picked up version 20 of Corel's recently-updated video editing suite "VideoStudio" (nomenclature "X10") and am having a lot of fun learning what it can do and how to do it all (coming from mainly editing videos with Sony's Vegas 'Movie Studio' line of products [now taken over by MAGIX]). However, I quickly ran into a little issue with importing clips using the "Open With" option in Windows and wanted to share what I found...




Normally, in Windows you can 'right-click' a video file and mouse-over the menu option "Open With..", which brings up a sub-menu of known applications, to 'send' the file to ('opening the file with the chosen application'). Doing this, whichever application you select will startup and the file will be sent to it to work with.


However, doing this with a video clip and VideoStudio x10 I found, every time the program would open up, it would immediately 'crash' (close/stop/etc). Hmm... time for some Troubleshooting! I double-checked that the file in question was not corrupted excessively by playing it, testing it in a couple of video/media players, and even tried a few other clips that were 'known good' (that VS worked with before). Each time, using "Open With...", the Splash Screen for VSx10 would show up and then just as the program itself looked like it was opening, the entire thing would crash and show this message:

Example of the "Corel VideoStudio has stopped working" Error Window Pop-Up
when trying to import a clip into VideoStudio X10 utilizing the "Open With" shortcut in Windows


I then went to the Corel 'Official' Fora [Forii?] and did some searching to see if anyone ran into this same issue. Unfortunately, all I could find were people experiencing 'general crashes', that is, crashing and non-starts without it being specifically associated with utilizing "Open With..".

I then decided to try these same 'testing files' on some other video editing programs I have installed, such as Sony's Vegas Movie Studio (now owned by MAGIX, the same company that makes the Movie Edit Pro product line, which I have no experience with yet, at this time). Using the "Open With.." command, Movie Studio was able to open and import all of the video clips without issue - so then, what's up Corel? /tilthead

I thought of trying VideoStudio 'on it's own', not importing or 'sending' anything to it - just opening the program and seeing if it works... Everything opened fine! I was just playing with the program the other day in fact, learning some of the features it offers [I'll have to write a short 'Review' or at least a 'First Impressions' sometime of it]. So why was it being 'fussy' (to use the highly technical term)? I tried opening and closing the program a few times thinking about it, when I noticed that when I opened VideoStudio X10, I was being greeted by a nice-and-helpful "Welcome" StartUp Page...

The "Welcome" Section of VideoStudio
(Click to see Full Size)

Indeed, 'The "Welcome" Startup Page' offers a lot of helpful information on opening VideoStudio. There are Tutorial videos on some of the New Features for that version and even Basic Tutorials and Help File links. But wait - no editing interface! No Timeline, no Media Library to add clips - that's it! That's the problem! I went into the Settings to see if there was a Preferences option where I could set the Section to open VideoStudio to be - not the "Welcome" section, but the "Edit" section - the tab/area where all of the editing/mixing and importing takes place. There it was: Default Startup Page - and it was set to "Welcome Book"...

The Corel VideoStudio X10 Preferences Window
showing the Default Startup Area/Section which is shown when the program starts
(Click to see Full Size)

A simple pull-down menu change to "Edit" and that was it! Now, VideoStudio is opening to the "Edit" section/area every time. So, I tested it out: right-clicking on my video clip and mousing-over "Open With.." and then clicking on "Corel VideoStudio" - it worked! VS opened up and in a few seconds more, my little video clip was right there on the Timeline, waiting patiently to be edited. Woohoo!

Example of Corel VideoStudio x10 Starting Up In The EDIT Section
(Click to see Full Size)


Here is a video version of the steps above, made showing the error when trying to use "Open With..", what happens and how to change it, as well as the final 'working' result of changing the option (after I finally figured out what it was):


[VIDEO NOT YET COMPLETE, IT WILL APPEAR HERE ONCE FINALIZED AND UPLOADED TO YOUTUBE]


Hopefully this will help any of you dear readers, who use VideoStudio and were running into this error/crash/issue when opening clips with VS (trying to use "Open With..").. Enjoy and Have Fun editing your gameplay clips once again!

~Troy from The Game Tips And More Blog



[I'm calling this a Workaround, since this is more of that than a true 'Fix'... It does not solve the base issue of VS not being able to import a clip using "Open With" without taking taking these steps (whether this is more Microsoft's fault or Corel's fault is beyond the scope of this post ...and being more experienced in computer hardware than computer software (programming, etc), I would not have completely isolated the very base cause of the issue anyway - or at least, could not offer a 100% explanation of what is occurring)]


Note: I am not affiliated in any way with Corel and I have not, and I will not, be compensated for mentioning VideoStudio or any other of the products herein, in any way.  I have used other video editing products than these in the past, and will do so in the future, including free editing applications, such as VirtualDub, AviDemux, DVDVideoSoft products and more... I am merely an enthusiastic gamer-and-sometime-editor and wanted to share information that I discover about these products to help other gamers record-and-edit and have fun doing it, if I can do so.

Friday, May 05, 2017

It's Not Just You ™ - Heroes Of The Storm 'Screen Shake' = 'Motion Sickness' (Dizzy, Nausea, Headache) [Notification]


Just a quick post to let others know that - if you are experiencing this phenomenon - getting dizzy or even nauseous while playing Heroes Of The Storm lately: It's Not Just You™... I even whipped up an Example of the effect, for those that aren't quite noticing it:

Example of 'the screen shake effect' I made, in GIF format
(Click to see slightly larger Full Size)

I first came across this in the Official Heroes Of The Storm Forums at Battle.Net. It was originally posted by "Phoenix" a couple of weeks ago, here. Although I have seen it personally in-game (noticed it), I have not suffered the nauseating effects that many may/do suffer with this Special Effect the game offers - even though I have experienced 'game motion sickness' from other games. [I did notice when testing and creating the above Example, that it made me slightly queasy however..]. Mainly, I have 'been lucky' with not experiencing it because I do not normally play the Heroes that have/produce this effect (the 'screen shake' effect). Here is a list of all the Heroes and Spells that can produce this effect, thanks to a helpful post by "Hatsoz" on the Official Forums:


Spells with Screen Shake
Zagara - Nydus Network (R)
Genji - Swift Strike (E)
Sgt. Hammer - Concussive Blast (W), Blunt Force Gun (R), Napalm Strike (R)
Gazlowe - Deth Lazor (W)
Lucio - Soundwave (Q), Sound Barrier (R)
Valeera - Blade Flurry (W)
Zul'jin - Twin Cleave (W), Guillotine (R)
Ragnaros - Sulfuras Smash (R)
Alarak - Lightning Surge (E)
Cho - Upheaval (R)
Karazhim - Radiant Dash (Q) (Only with Volley of Blows Talent Lv. 16), Seven-Sided Strike (R)
Anub'arak - Burrow Charge (E) (Upon resurface)
Li Li - Water Dragon (R)
Diablo - Shadow Charge (Q), Fire Stomp (W), Overpower (E)
E.T.C. - Face Melt (W), Stage Dive (R) (Landing only)
Falstad - Hinterland Blast (R)
Kerrigan - Impaling Blades (W)
Muradin - Thunder Clap (W), Dwarf Toss (E), Haymaker (R)
Sonya - Ancient Spear (Q) (On Hit), Leap (R)
Stitches - Slam (W)
Tyrael - El'druin's Might (Q) (On sword landing), Angelic Flash (Q) (Teleport to sword), Judgment (R)
Uther - Hammer of Justic (E), Divine Storm (R)

Heroes with No Screen Shake
Valla
Tyrande
Lunara
Kael'thas
Zeratul
Cassia
Probius
Varian
Samuro
Zarya
Auriel
Gul'dan
Medivh
Chromie
Tracer
Dehaka
Xul
Li-Ming
Greymane
Gall
Artanis
Lt. Morales
Rexxar
Leoric
The Butcher
Johanna
Sylvanas
The Lost Vikings
Thrall
Jaina
Azmodan
Chen
Rehgar
Murky
Brightwing
Tychus
Abathur
Arthas
Illidan
Malfurion
Nazeebo
Nova
Raynor
Tassadar


I experimented with every single Graphic Setting available in the game (eventually running it on the Lowest Possible Settings) and could not find a Setting that disabled this effect.... I first tried Physics, then other effects-affecting settings, such as Shader level, and more, until everything was at the lowest possible Settings and still the effect appears in-game.

I even looked through the game directories (folders) for some sort of editable configuration file, but the only ones present were 'protected' by Blizzard, by being compressed or encrypted in their own proprietary encapsulation of some sort (which renders the files not easily readable or editable by normal means - this is understandable, as they do not want their game easily 'hacked' or negatively affected by end users).

So, for now - unfortunately - there is no solution for this, for sufferers of this effect. The only recourse, until Blizzard puts in an option to Disable Screen Shake, is to avoid the Heroes that produce this visual effect.


Just letting Sufferers know: It's Not Just You™!


[I will try to remember to return to this Post and Update it once Blizzard adds this option - or a workaround is found]


Tuesday, May 02, 2017

In One Sentence™ - Heroes Of The Storm - Hero Overviews [Very Short Reviews Of Each, Currently Text-Only]

[In light of the recent 'Heroes Of The Storm 2.0' release - even though this was a 'work in progress' since I started playing 'Heroes' again a bit ago and it is not fully compiled yet - I wanted to get this hopefully-slightly-helpful information up right away for everyone... So here it is - being added to as I complete it but without any Screenshots yet - I am collecting some together and plan to place them in-line within ...Soon™]


Update: Last Added - Arthas on 2017.05.04



In One Sentence™


A Heroes Of The Storm

Hero Thingy Overview  


By: The Game Tips And More Blog


Presented in Alphabetical Order, in a Document-sorta-but-not-really format



[Initially, was invited to the Heroes Of The Storm Beta; but was not able to play much at the time and so I didn't write about it much back then. I did work on a few articles, such as this one, adding to it the bit that I did play. Only recently (before I knew about "Heroes Of The Storm 2.0") I got back into this fun game, tallying up my own opinions and favourites, of each and every hero in the game. Seeing "Version 2.0" come along, I felt that, even though I have not fully compiled every singly hero yet, I wanted to share what I did have done, so that everyone - and especially newcomers to the game - could get a quick idea of each Hero and how they played in the game, helping them make a choice as to which one to try. I will be returning to this post and adding more Heroes as I play them... I hope you enjoy these little snippets of info for each one - and See You In The Game!]





Rating Key (if applicable to Hero, when used):

* = Heroes I ‘Liked’ (fit my personal playstyle(s), or is unique in some way)

** = Heroes that are A Personal Favourite (I myself would play often or ‘mainly’ would use (may not match your individual preferences dear reader, this is just a Personal Rating of mine))






Auriel = Finding myself playing more offensively than defensively with this Hero, I enjoyed her AOE and healing capabilities.


Alarak = With skills focusing on mainly attacking Heroes, in the right hands this high-damage-potential Assassin could be quite deadly.


Artanis * = Another Hero with skills focused on killing other Heroes, Artanis comes with high damage output potential - and although I was left feeling oddly ‘limited’ playing him, Artanis was fun to play overall.


Arthas = A mobile tank - big, tough, but a little slow [in my opinion] - with some light healing (and the possibility to heal yourself) and some nice offensive moves as well, Arthas can become quite competent in The Nexus.


Azmodan ** = This large and lumbering behemoth is capable of dealing out huge damage as a "Ranged Specialist" - just be careful as you have fun creating your own armies on the way to dish it out on the enemies’ base, as you are also a ‘heavy target’, so to speak. A Personal Favourite.


Dehaka * = With deceptively simple gameplay [or is that ‘deceptively difficult’?], high damage output potential - and with the ability to ‘tunnel to any bushes on the map’ instead of a mount [with a cooldown], this Hero has some nice unique gameplay to fiddle around with in The Nexus.


Diablo = Huge and tough - as he should be - with some care taken and strategy used, this "Melee Warrior" will be a force to be reckoned with.


E.T.C. * = With strong yet simpler gameplay, ETC and his unique ‘rocker’ attitude is a fun handful of Tauren to Melee with.


Gazlowe ** = With the ability to plop down temporary turrets and shoot what eventually becomes HUGE DETH LAZORZ - not to mention being able to recover Scrap Parts for mana - Gazlowe The Goblin Engineer, though more complicated than many Heroes, was a joy to play and kill with. A Personal Favourite.


Jaina * = With straightforward damage and easy gameplay, Jaina The Mage is fun to use and fun to take out other Heroes with ...if mages only had Unlimited Mana [in any game]…


Johanna = Johanna The Paladin is a little more difficult than most melee Heroes - she is far more offensive than defensive as I first thought she might be - with many life-saving capabilities, in the right hands she could be quite a formidable Hero to run with.


Leoric * = With the unique ability to ‘remain undead’ and re-spawn wherever you desire after a time, along with simple melee gameplay, this Hero was neat to play - in the right hands perhaps this one could do a lot of damage in The Nexus.


Lunara = With mainly indirect damage (DOT or Damage Over Time), this Hero was difficult to gauge; with the ability to always move faster than most Heroes (not needing a Mount) and her ranged attacks, perhaps in the right hands she could be quite effective.


Malfurion** = A multi-faceted Support Hero with both healing and offensive capabilities, if you like to play Support in other games (such as an Engineer, or Medic/Cleric), this ambidextrous Hero should be fun for you to play in The Nexus. A Personal Favourite.


Probius * = If I had to sum up Probius I would say words like ‘difficulter’ (because I say that’s a real word now) ...and ‘cool’ …and ‘overpowered’ …and ‘work’ ...and ‘cute’ ...and ‘fun’ ...and…other words like that with ellipsis between them.


Raynor = With simpler gameplay and the ability to buff any allies around you - along with the possibility of some light self-healing - Rayor the "Ranged Assassin" is a helpful addition to play in The Nexus.


Rexxar ** = If you’ve ever wanted to handle two Heroes at once, now you can with this ‘hunter-pet’ combination which promises good damage output and a lot of fun - if at a slight cost of easier gameplay. A Personal Favourite.


Samuro ** = If you like to be stealthy, confusing opponents and striking from the shadows, this is a fun Hero to do all that and more with. A Personal Favourite.


Sgt. Hammer ** = This spunky Ranged Hero in a Siege Tank has huge long-range capability - if she can be handled with caring hands. A Personal Favourite.


Sylvanas * = Capable of not only high damage but also ‘converting’ mercenary units to your side, this "Ranged Specialist" also has sleek gameplay and a powerful (translation: annoying to other people) Mind Control ability.


Thrall ** = Fast melee and a bit of spellcasting - along with being easier to play - makes this Hero a fun brute to run with. A Personal Favourite.


Tychus = With good offensive capability, this Hero is easy to learn and practice with.


Valla ** = With fast and smooth gameplay that is fun and easy to get used to - especially if you have played The Demon Hunter in Diablo III as many of the Demon Hunter ‘basic moves’ come into play in The Arena. A Personal Favourite.


Zul’jin ** = Focusing on Ranged damage and even doing more damage as his health lowers, this Assassin felt like it could take out both Heroes and swaths of mercenaries with ease, thanks to his light self-healing - just don’t get caught surrounded while trying to do the highest damage possible! A Personal Favourite.





Repeat  of top comment: [In light of the recent 'Heroes Of The Storm 2.0' release - even though this was a 'work in progress' since I started playing 'Heroes' again a bit ago and it is not fully compiled yet - I wanted to get this hopefully-slightly-helpful information up right away for everyone... So here it is - being added to as I complete it but without any Screenshots yet - I am collecting some together and plan to place them in-line within ...Soon™]