June 18, 2016

Viridi for Mobile Releasing on Summer Solstice!

Hey everyone! School just let out in time for me to enjoy some summer sun and even better, the Fremont Solstice Parade going on this weekend. I'm going to be doing the dog walk tomorrow (but I'll be skipping the bike race because of the rain...and other reasons...). Summer's also a good time for me to start some new hobbies. For instance, I thought of something when I made a friend the other day. Everyone, meet Paul:
isn't he precious
I pretty much cried when I met him, and I know that I want to start raising plants of my own. Wouldn't it be awesome to have some succulents growing on my desk and have cute names for all of them? Then, I came to a few conclusions a few hours later.

1. I live in the shade
2. I'm too broke for a UV plant light
3. Between books, tech, and the microscope, there's no room in my own living space for plants.

So, I opened up Viridi instead. As I've said before, Viridi is a free, meditative succulent-raising game that works in realtime so you can grow and enjoy plants without having to worry about little bugs crawling around or spilling nutrient water all over the place. It's been lots of fun on PC, and it's gotten great reviews all over the place. Even HuffPost says that, "Yes, you do need an ultra-zen video game about growing succulents ... tending to these digital plants offers a seriously calming experience". And I agree.

Ice Water Games, developer of Viridi and calming survival game Eidolon, poked me just last week and announced that Viridi would in fact be making its epic iOS/Android debut soon! In fact, it will be hitting the mobile shelves on the summer solstice, which is June 20th at about 3:30ish here in Seattle.

What's new in Viridi mobile, besides that now you can carry your own little Velmas and Roxies and Amoses* with you? Some additions include...

- More consistent visual treatment  
- In-game camera with much more sophisticated rotation/shot-framing capabilities 
- Different snails in different environments (YAAAAAS)
- Plants take longer to grow, are more resilient, flower more sporadically, selection is easier 
- Ability to start a fresh pot for free if all of your plants die 
- New Apartment environment 
- Updated Cat House environment

I think mobile Viridi will be a much bigger influence on my life than PC Viridi, since it's normally when I'm away from home that I need to escape to my little plant-filled happy place and enjoy the progress I've made. 

Whether you're there for the plants, the snails, the atmosphere, the music, or the euphoria of plucking those gosh-darned weeds, Viridi seems to worm its way into the hearts of whoever touches it. It will be free and can be played for free for a very complete experience, so why not give it a try? If you need more convincing, definitely check back here for my complete free-to-play rundown of the mobile version after release. 

*yes, I did name my plants after characters in Chicago. My Grove pot is all from Macbeth.

June 7, 2016

May, Budget Changes, and Let's Plays

Hi, everyone. Sorry I haven't been active lately - School's been just a huge pain in the neck and I decided to prioritize my classes. Let's get an overview of the month and some plans that I have before diving into what I want to talk about today.

1) I've been playing a ton of Town of Salem! I'm writing a post about this but it's coming along slowly. I haven't played in a while and I'm fascinated in the new mechanic with the vampires. Definitely more on this soon.

2) I've completed the main story in Pokemon Alpha Sapphire and I'm super pumped about that! I'm working on catching more interesting Pokemon and training up my team to take on the Elite Four, etc. Gotta be the very best, right?

3) There's been a huge demand for Let's Plays! I'm super excited about this and I'm working on possibly getting some going, so look for that coming up soon. Hmm...Oxenfree? Crypt of the NecroDancer? Skyrim?

Also, as you all know by now I'm sure, PAX West tickets went on and off sale just earlier. I was...uh, dissecting a cow eyeball when this happened, so I caved and will pay about $350 for my passes this year, which is an improvement for the $400 last year. Oh boy.

However, this means that I'm going to need to make some changes in what I'm up to this summer in terms of gaming. Since the PAX tickets came out of my gaming budget, it's up to me to be satisfied with the games that I have and make the most out of things until my money recovers a little. This means no binge-buying on Steam (gasp) even if it's the summer sale (SERIOUS GASP!), and actually getting around to finishing the games that I have on me. Sounds like a challenge, and with the idea of doing let's play videos, it sounds like one I'm really up for.

Again, I'm sorry I haven't really been talking much this past month. Lots has been going on and I needed to focus on my life a little more, but I'm looking forward to lots of fun things in the future! Take care, everyone.

Do you have your PAX tickets? How are you about finishing the games you buy? Let's chat about it below.

May 16, 2016

First Thoughts: Stepping Into Skyrim

I'm very excited to have finally gotten to try Skyrim, since all my friends really love it and I've been listening to the soundtrack and reading up on bits of lore for the past few years all without playing it. I had a pretty good idea of what I'd want to do once I got there, but it would take the actually getting there to give any of it a try. Curly got me Skyrim a few weeks ago, and I finally got around to trying it out just this weekend. I know I'm a little late to the party, but that's definitely not going to stop me from talking all about it.

April 28, 2016

#Pirate101 - Book 15's Teaser, as Analyzed by a Skeptic

Swordroll - a reliable blogger-friend of mine - and I shared our adventures in the Wizard101/Pirate101 blogging community for years. When Pirate101 began to slow down, I bowed out and moved on to other topics, while he made the best of the situation and continued to grow his now hot-topic KI fansite, Swordroll's Blog. However, just recently, KingsIsle announced that Pirate101 would be seeing a continuation after all...and from their recent Book 15 teaser, Swordroll and I found a difference of reaction worth a couple of posts. Read his opinion on the matter here.

April 9, 2016

Replaying Games

I'm not one for replaying games. I find going through the same storyline again, even if an ending is different or if there's different flavor text, just boring. So, when I finish a game for the first time, I put it down. I finished Transistor a few nights ago. Awesome game, would totally recommend, but that's not the point of this post. Let's get into the meta here, actually: After I finished, I thought to myself four things:

1. What a fantastic game, I'm going to go and write a post about it!
2. Hey, this reminds me a lot of Bastion. That post should be about the comparison of them both.
3. OK, so do I actually remember a lot about Bastion?
4. No.

March 30, 2016

Field Notes From Being an Internet Teen

I read once, etched into the top of a toilet paper holder in middle school, the phrase 'Internet kids never sleep'. I'd slept at all the night before (I had testing that week, it was probably for the better), but I still felt a pretty large grain of truth in it. On my Twitter page, one of the first Tweets recalls the fact that most of my friends 'live' in the information-sphere known as the Internet...or to some of us, 'home'.

I get out of school at 1:55 and off the bus at 2:30. The rest of my afternoon is in town at the Barnes and Noble, where I'll leech free wi-fi and write a post until it's finished or until I go back to my house. That's when the better portion of my day starts, because where at all is better than home sweet home? (Hint: It's decked in virtual furniture and I call it 'Twitter'.)