Archive for June, 2012


Fan service

Fair enough, they’re Wind Turbines, not fans but hell, they’re certainly going to need servicing after Rico is through with them. A new lick of paint, at the very least!

Here is another of my Let’s Play Badly series of YouTube videos where I bungle my way through Just Cause 2 wreaking havoc (mostly intentional) as an international man of mystery armed only with a grappling hook… and a never-ending supply of parachutes… and an absolutely insane arsenal of weaponry. But nothing else!

Wind Turbines are amongst the many things you can destroy to further your chaotic goals on Panau so remember to take down any you come across. While often not part of a mission or a requirement for base takeovers, they do all add on to your overall completion percentage.


The Schematiclysm!

Okay. Just like I mentioned in the post for the video walk-through and the post with the larger screenshots, I’ve organised and uploaded schematics of my Hot-Air Balloon, Fish and Skull to threads.

The Hot-Air Balloon schematic thread can be found here.

The Fish schematic thread can be found here.

The Skull schematic thread can be found here.



Just sayin’

Minecraft Pixel Art SucksSorry, but no, copying a retro bitmap into Minecraft isn’t worthy of anyone’s praise. Sure, Reddit might fall for it every time and upvote you to hell and back but we both know that you put as much thought into it as you do picking your socks in the morning and both probably only took you five minutes. Pixel art shows all the imagination of a rock.

You might have gotten away with tracing when you were a toddler but maybe you should aim higher and do something just a little bit more impressive? Pixel art in Minecraft just plain sucks.

Update: In case you need to convey to your server’s guests exactly what you think of pixel art, the model in the image in available as a schematic, downloadable from this thread.


Unlucky Nº13

Might just be getting the hang of this YouTube thing. I’ve added another three Just Cause 2 videos in my Let’s Play Badly series, making a grand total of thirteen videos on my YouTube channel. I seriously enjoy playing that game but I have to stop myself from taping just about everything I do and posting it.

I’ll try to concentrate on faction missions and storyline missions only. Mmm, maybe with the odd Race Challenge thrown in for good luck (like the 2nd video here).

The first of the three is the starting stronghold mission for the Roaches. Razak “The Razor” Razman has us take over a Port for him.

The second video is an example of the Race Challenge missions you’ll find dotted everywhere on the map (75 in total). This one is a flying challenge (others include land vehicles, boats and free-fall) and considering its only a 1-star, the easiest of the challenges, I do incredibly badly. Yeah, I named this series well.

The last of the three is another stronghold mission for the third and final criminal organisation – the Ular Boys. Led by Sri Irawan, he’s had his eye on a Nuclear Power Station…


Link to the Past

As warned about on my earlier post, here is a quick walk-through of my constructions on the old SMP Minecraft server I used to frequent. As well as the builds in the screenshots (Fish, Skull, Hot-Air Balloon), there’s the four beyond-the-Nether bases I built and also a quick look at the original Clipper Ship (schematic of the new/improved version can be downloaded from this forum post, btw).

I’m considering putting up schematics of the Fish, Skull and Hot-Air Balloon over the weekend. Check back then if you’re interested.

Update: Schematics of the Fish, Hot-Air Balloon and Skull are available to download. Check out this post for more details.


Badly with Bolo

I created another Just Cause 2 video in my Let’s Play Badly series. This time, I’m helping out the local criminal gang, the Reapers, take over a facility. Headed by Bolo Santosi (she of the chunky pronunciation), the Reapers lack the ladder technology to get over a three metre high gate and so need my mad grappling-hook skills (um, skillz?) to scale it for them. Oh, and to shoot lots of people.


Bigger is BETTER!

A while back, the old multi-player Minecraft server I used to play on closed its doors and was taken off-line. Graciously, the owner packed up all the files and sent me a copy of the world map so that I could still access the builds on there I’d created.

After bunging my recent piccies on Imgur, I’d meant to revisit those old builds and create some larger, clearer screenshots. Well, here they are! Click on the thumbnails for the bigger versions.

Minecraft FishThe first new screenshot comes from the bug-eyed Fish I plopped down in the river running along my ‘island’ (first mentioned in this post).

On the left of this shot, you can just about make out the entrance to a cave where the secret switch (okay, it was right in the middle of the floor) activated a hidden piston-powered sliding door in the wall, leading to an underground tunnel that circled back under the river and led into the fish interior. It was either that or stick a door in his forehead or something. Tunnel up the butt seemed like the best choice at the time. Erm…

Minecraft Fish InteriorAs you can see from the shot on the right, the interior of the Fish is surprisingly spacious. I didn’t really need it for anything so everything I put in there was for during its construction. The bed to skip the nights (pesky zombies kept swimming up to say ‘Hi!’), chest for temporary storage plus the usual crafting table and furnaces.

Once it was built, I thought it looked very sparse so I stuck in a second floor to break the space up and added the chairs/carpets to make it look a little more homey.

Minecraft SkullThe second thing I constructed on the this server (apart from the bridge and dock) was a special build for Halloween. On the far side of the bridge, in the water facing the town, I placed a large Skull on a spike (original post here).

Along the back of the spike, from the waterline, there’s a ladder which runs up through the inside of the skull providing access, all the way up to the ‘roof’. Now that Minecraft has a greatly increased max-height build ceiling, it would probably be cool to extend the stem of the spike (make it a pike, as it were), and have the skull top it off, looking out across the landscape.

Minecraft Hot-Air BalloonThe third build in this post was my first attempt at making a sky situated build – the Hot-Air Balloon (original post here).

It needed an absolute f-ton of differently coloured wools to construct but was a lot of fun. The thing I like about this one is the over-sized anchor and ‘rope’ used as an excuse to provide access to the basket and balloon itself. It looks like it belongs and then you notice the ladders.

I’m thinking of creating a walk-through video of my builds on this server, showing each of these constructions (and maybe a couple of the far bases). If there’s any interest, I could probably also create some schematics of the Fish, Skull and Hot-Air Balloon and make them available for download. Drop me a note through my YouTube channel, twitter or email (the address is over on the right), if you’re interested in seeing that happen.

Update: Schematics of the Fish, Hot-Air Balloon and Skull are available to download. Check out this post for more details.


MC: Airship Schematic

Minecraft AirshipAnother viewer on my YouTube channel left a comment in my Airship walkthrough video asking if the build was available to download. It wasn’t then. It is now.

I’d already built the Airship in the Minecraft Structure Planner before building it on the multi-player server just to make sure I made the balloons… well, balloon-shaped.

Unfortunately, MSP was abandoned long, long ago, before a lot of the newer blocks were added (like upside-down slabs/stairs) so I had to import the build into a creative Minecraft map then touch it up somewhat before finally exporting a schematic with MCEdit. The schematic just features the Airship itself. I didn’t include the tower/gantry because a) that bit was done freestyle when I was building on the multi-player server and b) it’s not exactly one-size-fits-all. Anyhoo, I’m sure you can knock together a tower if you need one.

As with the Clipper Ship schematic, I’ve started a thread on where you can download the Airship schematic. Here you go.


Badly to the bone…

Just Cause 2

Yay, an excuse to use my JC2 explosion image!

Just recently, as you might have seen, I’ve created some videos on YouTube for my Minecraft creations (channel here). What you might not have noticed is that I have also been trying my hand at your typical “Let’s Play” style game video. Naturally, I picked the excellent Just Cause 2 as my source material. And just as naturally, I’ve called them “Let’s Play Badly” because I’m a pretty lousy gamer.

So far, there’s three videos covering the first two missions. I think I may have picked exactly the wrong game to do a series on as a majority of it is free-form chaos, going wherever you fancy… and then blowing it up. To counter this, I’ll probably focus on the bigger storyline missions (ones with cutscenes) and maybe a few random base attacks.

One thing I’ve noticed – waffling on while you’re wandering around a blocky landscape may be hard but waffling on while flying through the air, trying not to get your head blown off is really, really hard.

The first episode introduces us to our hero, Rico Rodriguez as he is transported to the island of Panau in order to locate former mentor Tom Sheldon.

In the second episode, we’ve discovered that our contact on the island, Karl Blaine, is holed up at the top of an under-siege casino and needs us to get him out.

The third episode has us putting our life in the hands of the perma-blotto Karl Blaine as we surf the roof of his sweet, sweet ride back to his ‘crib’.

I’m not sure how many more of these I’ll be doing but if you’re interested in seeing me fail repeatedly at Just Cause 2, be sure to check the site. Or you could always try subscribing to my YouTube channel. That’d work too.


Press [A] for Awesome!

Dragon's LairYears ago, there was a game in the arcades (ask your parents) called Dragon’s Lair. You might even have heard about it. Since ‘retro’ became cool, it has been ported to every single platform in the known universe. What was once a game that came on a big silver Laserdisc (ask your parents) the size of an LP (ask… oh, just face it, I’m old), can now be played from the palm of your hand on an iPhone or Android unit. It differed from other games at the time because instead of being given immediate and direct control of your character, you were prompted at certain specific points for an input (joystick direction or button mash) that either led to success or death. Think one long quick-time event and you’ve pretty much got it sussed. Get the waggle right and your character did some awesome death-defying dodge and got to live on to the next precarious event. It was very popular at the time. Not so much now except with the retro freaks.

Games moved on. Players wanted more than linked FMV, no matter how lush it looked or how action-packed the canned moves were. They wanted control.

But these days it looks like we’re coming full circle. One thing I noticed from the demos shown at the recent E3 – canned awesome is back. Yeah, we have control over our grizzled soldiers, our wrong-man-at-the-wrong-time-in-the-wrong-place or our plucky English roses with an archaeology fetish but jabbing away at the game pad now has them cinematically leaping across obstacles, wrestling weapons from foes and performing grisly take-downs that’d have most action movie stars green with envy. Have we reached a tipping point where we’re once again handing back our control just so we can look awesome?

We used to get our awesome quota from cut-scenes. If we needed our protagonist to look just that little bit more heroic and death-defying than the game engine could muster, the cut-scene would be there to show us the big explosions, the cityscape-altering alien invasions or simply the snappy back-and-forth banter that would have been missed if done in-game while we were too busy scouting round for that last health pack pick-up. But cut-scenes got too big and people eventually complained that they wanted a game, not a movie with only occasional joystick waggling.

Watch DogsThese days cut-scenes are sneaky – popping up in bite-sized chunks every few seconds in triple-A titles. They’re integrated into the gameplay with the developers worried that you’ll lose interest if you’re not seeing something humongous, kinetic and awe-inspiring taking place in the game world every third or fourth step your character takes. Round a corner, blammo! Open a door, surprise! Scratch your nose, woo-haa!

I admit, canned actions of cinematic awesome look nice but ultimately leave me feeling a bit unfulfilled. I know that while it was my random button jabbing that brought the moves into being, I’m not really responsible for the dynamic and rather graceful way my hero is separating the bad guy from his spine. I don’t deserve it. That’s not skill. Just like Dragon’s Lair, I’m simply pressing the right button at the right time. It’s how you play the game, it’s what I’m supposed to be doing and yes, more often than not, it does look amazing but I just don’t feel… awesome.