Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Make a New House Feel Like Home Instantly

There are few things more exciting than moving into a new house. As fresh starts go, there aren't many more wonderful than that. You and your family are able to turn this new place into a genuine home for all of you to enjoy. However, a lot of that feels like the potential for a future that feels a little far away. When you first move in, it can be a rather strange feeling since you know this is your home, but it doesn't quite feel like it yet. Sometimes it feels as though you're just sort of sitting in an empty space, often surrounded by boxes, without much life or personality. Luckily that's something that you can deal with pretty easily. Here are a few ways to get your new house feeling like a home straight away.

Get connected

One of the best possible ways to make your house feel like a genuine home is to be able to live your life as normal as quickly as possible. Things are often so up in the air when you first move in that it can be near impossible to feel settled or secure. Even doing something as simple as getting your TV, phone and internet hooked up so that you and your family can be connected to the world can make a huge amount of difference. You'll certainly want to be as connected as possible, so the Consumer Essentials Cable Modem Guide is a great place to find what you need. It might seem like a small thing to focus on but being able to live life as normal can make a huge amount of difference to the way you and your family feel in your new home.

Give it some personality

If you have pictures to hang on the wall, don't feel as though you need to save them until last. Of course, there are going to be certain items that take major priority over others, but there aren't really any hard and fast rules over what you should unpack first. Why not get out the decorations for your new home and cover the walls in art, family photos and memories as soon as possible? That way, rather than feeling as though you're unpacking into an empty space, you'll feel as though you're filling up your home.

Get rid of the boxes ASAP

Nothing makes people feel less settled than being surrounded by boxes. It can sometimes be tempted to get the "important" stuff unpacked and then do the rest in bits and pieces. Do not do this! Sure, the things that you need to live and function day to day are incredibly important, but that doesn't mean you should just treat everything else as unimportant. If you do that, then you're going to end up putting things off time and time again, and you'll spend your time surrounded by boxes until you simply can't deal with them anymore. If your home is filled with boxes, then you're always going to feel kind of unsettled and tense since you'll never be able to shake the feeling that the house is somehow "unfinished." Get everything unpack as quickly as you can so that you can get on with simply living your life in your new home.

Friday, 3 March 2017

Video Games, Luck, and You

Let’s talk about a topic that many video gamers hate to even think about: luck. In video gaming circles, luck is known by a simple abbreviation: RNG, which stands for “random number generation”. It’s a term used to describe randomness within video games.

For example, in the video game Hearthstone, RNG is a term used to describe the random nature of a card-based game or the luck involved with certain cards that don’t have pre-determined targets. For instance, the new Shaman card, Volcano, deals 15 points of damage split among random targets. There’s no way to game this ability outside of not having too many targets on the field, which gives it a notoriously random element that many players hate. Another good Hearthstone example is the Legendary card, Yogg-Saron. This card played a random spell for every spell that you have played during the game, making it incredibly random and spawning a whole series of funny videos on YouTube.

Randomness is everywhere

Random generation doesn’t occur in just card games, however, and much of the “luck” you see in competitive online video games is actually more to do with planning and probability. For instance, if you are playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in a competitive match, you might encounter some situations that are completely random and as a result, lose you the round.

Let’s use the following example; you’re playing on the counter-terrorist side and you have just killed two people entering the B bomb site but the terrorists haven’t dropped the bomb. There’s a high probability that the remaining three terrorists are rotating to the other bomb site in order to have a better chance of planting it and winning the round. They didn’t randomly decide to back away and turn around—they did it because it would offer them a better chance of winning the round or gaining some money to take into the next round.

This sort of decision making usually leads to many new players thinking they “randomly” decided to turn around—but that isn’t the case. Decision making and probability are huge factors when it comes to playing well and beating your opponent.

Some degree of randomness is needed

What makes these games so entertaining to both play and watch is the degree of randomness within each of them. It’s also what makes them popular to bet on, and there have been many illegal gambling intermediaries that offer betting services on everything related to games. It could be Poker matches, Blackjack, the latest eSports matches or even amateur gaming leagues. There are ways around this, however, and you can learn how to play online legally if you know the right places to look.

The randomness also helps to shake up the game and give lesser skilled players a fighting chance as long as they put in the effort. If skill was the only factor involved, then it would create a very stale gameplay environment and the top team will always be dominating which creates a very boring competitive scene. There has to be room for players to improve not just via their motor skills, but also their strategy.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

PC Gaming: Battlefield 1

To play battlefield one on the PC requires a certain amount of skill. First, because the game in itself is pretty tough and brutal, but secondly because PC gaming is reserved for the more hardcore gamers who really know their stuff, so you’ll be hardpressed getting kills off these experts. However, this small guide can help you get off to a great start and rack up some points to help your team. It will be tough at first, but like anything else, perseverance is key.

Get The Right Hardware

Lag will kill you early. So make sure you get the right hardware. You’ll need a good monitor to make the most out of the great graphics, there are some brilliant monitor reviews done by gaming buff, you can read more on their site. You may also want to consider a controller. Sure, most PC gamers use the keyboard, but a controller is really beneficial in a game like battlefield and can feel far more natural. Once you have gotten the hardware out of the way you can start to focus on what really matters

Choose A Helping Class At First

At first, don’t go assault or scout. They don’t come with help for the team and as you are new you’ll just end up getting yourself killed time and time again. Go a medic, you can revive downed teammates and really make a positive impact on the team. Or, as a support based class you can drop ammunition for your team. You can still work in an offensive capacity and kill dozens of enemy, but you’ll be better served starting off with one of these so you can still contribute in the earlier matches.

Play The Objective

Battlefield is not call of duty. Simple. You need to play the objective or you’ll get kicked from the game by the server owner. You need to ensure you try to capture points or defend points instead going off on your own jolly mission. It also gets you far more points. You can spend the whole game playing the objective and not bothering to kill an enemy and come out with more points than anyone else, that is what makes battlefield unique.

Lead Your Target Over Distance

To ensure you get the kills you need to lead your target. The old cranky guns in battlefield one are hard to use and fire. You must lead the target or you’ll miss every time. This means following the target down the sites of your weapon ahead of their direction of travel so they essentially walk or run into the bullet. This is particularly useful for the scout, but applicable to all classes. When you get the skill nailed you’ll start performing stellar headshots from distances you thought impossible at first.

Use Cover

Many people don’t and pay for it with high death counts. You need to be able to use cover in a compelling way. There are a huge amount of explosions in this game, from infantry and vehicles alike. So taking cover gives you the best opportunity to get some top kills while dying less yourself. Use wood, boulders, wall and even other vehicles and you’ll soon see the benefit of cover.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Gaming for Non-Gamers

One of the biggest issues with gaming is not the lack of games, content or expensive DLC. It’s much simpler than that, and doesn’t have anything to do with games at all: it’s the community! Whether it’s a fresh new title or console such as the Nintendo Switch or a huge sale on the Steam platform for PC, there’s almost no gaming event or release that manages to please the general public.

Games are still exclusively made for gamers. You shoot zombies, fly spaceships and hunt dragons, but what about the more down-to-earth games? Sure, there are titles such as Forza which allow you to drive around your favourite racing cars and sports games where you can create your own fantasy teams, but that’s about the extent of mainstreaming gaming that appeals to everyone.

So whether you’re a technophobic parent trying to connect with their children or a curious individual that want to see what the fuss around gaming is, here are a couple of ways to enjoy games if you aren’t a gamer.

Simulation games

If defeating monsters and shooting people doesn’t appeal to you, then perhaps you’d prefer something more relaxed such as running a city, managing politics or running a farm? Video games don’t have to be high-impact games that push the limits of your reflexes, they can be laid-back games that test your intelligence too. Games such as Sid Meier’s Civilization VI tasks players with the goal of conquering the world. However, you don’t have to do this through a bloody war or arms race, you can do it peacefully and conquer the world with science and religion. It’s a fantastic game that simulates what it might have been like to lead a civilisation, and it’s extremely fun to play with friends too!

Games based on physical games

A digital version of Monopoly might not sound interesting if you picture you and your family crowded around a tablet screen or PC monitor, but it will probably sound more exciting when you realise you can play Monopoly online with people who are on the opposite side of the world. 

Although many people prefer to play the physical version of games if available, there’s no doubt that going digital has its advantages. For example, you could search for online casino websites like the one here and play for fun. If you’re on a winning streak or feel like luck is on your side, you can kick it up a notch and play for real money too. Replicating your favourite physical games is a great way to get involved with gaming because you know the rules already, so all you need to learn is how to work the controls.

Party games

If you’re not keen on sitting at home alone and gaming, then how about some party games? There are games like Just Dance which is all about following dance moves to your favourite pop songs. There are also games like the Jackbox series which are based on creating silly drawings, phrases and trivia. These are party games that excel at bringing together a group of friends or family members, and anyone can play assuming they have a smart device like a phone to join in because they don’t require the use of controllers.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Half Finished Titles, Expensive DLCS and Other Issues that Kill Gaming

It’s easy to be positive about the future of the gaming industry. Currently, there’s new exciting tech on the market which is awesome to use like VR. If you haven’t tried out PlayStation VR yet, I highly recommend it. The experience is incredible, if just ever so slightly underwhelming. Then, there’s the promise of short console development times. The introduction of the Playstation Pro and the announcements of Project Scorpio is great news for console gamers. It means that we will no longer have to wait eight-plus years for a new console to be released. It’s believed that instead, console cycles will be cut in half. This means that there won't be such a massive gap between console players and PC users. But, there are issues with gaming that we do need to be aware of. Here are some of the problems that gamers have to contend with.

Poor Security

It’s Sony that has received a bad rep for this particular issue. Playstation owners have been hit with several high profile hacks over the years that led to the theft of sensitive data. Microsoft has also been hit with a hack during the current console cycle though not nearly as severe. These types of security breaches should be expected due to the shift in focus to online transactions and gaming. However, that said, it is the responsibility of the developers to keep their servers secure. If they can’t do this, they should be held accountable when a hack occurs.

Unfortunately it seems that console companies are far more interested in protecting themselves from piracy. They should spend less time on pirate protection and more on the issues that really count such as customer data protection.

Unfinished Games

The worst issue in the gaming industry right now is certainly the problem of unfinished games. Or, short games that are released with the intention of completing a finished part as an extra DLC. It pushes up the cost of games from around forty to seventy dollars for a season pass. In the past, these season passes gave you extras that weren’t core playing points. Now, they can include anything from additional quests, extra maps to entirely new chapters of the story. People are often more than willing to pay for high-quality add ons. But there is the argument that they should have been released at the same time as the actual game. The most famous example of this was Star Wars Battlefront. The game was hyped up, but players were shocked to discover no offline campaign at all and less than ten maps for a full price title.

It’s not all bad news of course. Due to the obscenely expensive titles we can gain more appreciation for free games like Minecraft. These games are actually better than the titles that are often released from AAA studios.

Choosing How You Play

There are a wealth of options when choosing how you play video games. You can buy a console from any of the top developers, game on your PC or play online. But there have been issues with ports of top titles to different consoles. Either the graphic quality hasn’t been there or the game hasn’t worked at all. PC gamers waited several extra months for Arkham Knight to be released only to discover it was riddled with bugs and glitches.

So you see, it’s not all good news for gamers despite the exciting updates in technology. The only thing we can do, as Jeremy Jahns has said, is to vote with our wallets and hope the situation improves.

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