Geek Approved – October

October has now passed and time just continues, barreling down the hallway of life like a crazed quarterback. Seriously. I can’t keep up.
r2-d2-falls-over
Me dealing with life.
A lot of cool things happened between exams and curling up in fetal position from lack of life-handling-skills.
These were my nerdy favourites for the past month:

1. Roleplaying

svavelvinter bok rollspel roleplaying book

As I wrote in (Tabletop Roleplaying – My First Time) I have kinda feared the actual roleplaying. Then I was sidetracked with some lovely character creation and forgot to be nervous. But yesterday, the time had finally come.
I would have to actually… act. Or at least pretend in front of people and not just in my head.

But it was amazing. Yes, my face was kind of red. Yes, I had to have a drink or two for bravery. But it was SO MUCH FUN. I love exploring new worlds, through gaming or books and I will now add roleplaying to that list.

The best moment of the night was when my character had to desperately defend herself. At the crucial dice roll which would decide if she would succeed in defending herself with wind magic, or likely die, I scored sixes. Which meant the assassin was literally blasted across the alley by a gust of wind so powerful it took everything in its way with it.
I felt like goddamn Kvothe when he called the wind for the first time.

excited minions

It was, just to cement your view of me as a sad little nerd, everything I’ve ever dreamt of. Can I always be her instead of me? Okay, maybe that’s not a healthy approach. My point is, it felt like being there. The only equally strong sense of stepping into another world and affecting it myself, not just spectating, was when I first played World of Warcraft, many years ago. And that is saying something.

To all others who are afraid of trying out tabletop roleplaying, who thinks it is too nerdy and that they will feel embarrassed playing pretend like that:
With the right friends and someone to guide you through it, it can be an absolutely amazing experience.

2. Guild Wars 2

guild wars 2
I never fell for GW2 like I though I would. It was a very pretty game and I loved customizing my character (so much I made four in a row before even pressing play).
But the story didn’t grab me and I felt that I had no direction or purpose. Sandbox games are not always my cup of tea.

Now though
, on the third attempt, there’s a spark.I’m getting the hang of my abilities and the game mechanics- I’m thoroughly enjoying discovering events and hunting down bosses. I’ve not gotten excited about a “new” MMO in a long while. So yay!
dr horrible fingers crossed

3. Halloween

Halloween is always a highlight for me. But this year things got quite stressful. Eventually it worked out though and I had a brilliant night with my BF and friends.
Here is my costume! (Or you know, the parts of it that fit in a bathroom selfie.)

fawn_halloween
I was some kind of Urban Fawn-Demon/Forest Creature. Just go with it. xD

I got lots of compliments on my horns which of course made me go  ~*w*~ (=starry-eyed, overly excited and waving my arms around like a jellyfish, in case that wasn’t clear.)

If you want to make your own for a cosplay or a party or something, you can  have a look at my antler-tutorial here. Quick and cheap, the way I like it. (Y)

What did you enjoy most in October– a book, a movie or dressing up as something awesome for Halloween?

/Joh

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Until Dawn – First impressions

Hayden-Panettiere-Poster-Until-Dawn
Gloom and doom. Let’s do this.

In the outro of my LoTR fan’s Fall To-Do List I mentioned a great weekend involving scary games. And one of these games has stuck in my mind so adamantly that I really want to share my impressions of it with you guys.
I’m talking about new survival horror game Until Dawn.

Haven’t you always thought that you would be so much smarter than the characters of *insert name of any major, stereotypical horror movie*?
I used to think so too but now I’m not so sure anymore. Turns out making the right choice can be seriously complicated.
(Except if your choice is to instantly disagree to crap ideas like spending a weekend on a haunted mountain with a convicted criminal on the loose in combination with no cell phone reception. That would have been a good and simple choice.)

Heading up to the cabin. I'm feeling good about this decision.
Heading up to the cabin. Feeling real good about this.

I will admit straight away that I did not touch the controller. That is still out of my league because the terror is real. But I was part of the decision-making and  watched intently for about five hours so thus I feel qualified to tell you what I think of the game so far. xD

Until Dawn allows you to step into the classical horror movie tale of teenagers isolated in a cabin in the mountains. The wealthy Washington family has built their luxury cabin on a mountain that is sacred to a native american tribe, and now an unidentified lunatic is set on bloody, excruciating revenge.
You alternate between playing as the different teenagers, who are a rather dramatic and bitchy crew let me tell you, and chose how they react in different situations and what they say.

The  game’s biggest unique selling point, in my opinion, is how one tiny action or dialogue choice heavily impacts how the game plays out- the butterfly effect. This is what really drew me in and kept me in the room even after shit hit the fan and I started screaming on a regular basis.
I had to know what happened because of the choices we made, and see if we could avoid the next death through smart play.

Which alternative will get someone killed in the next chapter? So much pressuuuuuure
Which alternative will get someone killed in the next chapter? So much pressuuuuuure!

An interesting feature interacting with the butterfly effect was the totems. Tying in with the native american theme, you can find and pick up totems lying in the snow or in dark corners of the cabin. These can for example warn about Death or Loss or give Guidance. The visions of possible events add another level to the butterfly effect, will you create that very destiny in your efforts to avoid it? The atmosphere is one of constant doom looming and frankly, I was exhausted after a couple of hours trying to cheat death and get everyone through the night and off that damn mountain.

Phew, yellow totems offers guidance.
Yellow totems offer guidance.

In between acts, we get to visit the shrink. I don’t yet know if he will turn out to be a real person or just a figment of your imagination. But he is very creepy.
This moody and gloomy character is modeled after and brilliantly voiced by Peter Stormare (swede high-five!).
For the record I think it’s awesome how it is possible to merge the film and game medium like this, letting professional actors lend their voices and even their mimicry through motion capture – another big name doing a wonderful job is Hayden Panettiere as Sam.
Anyway, Stormare’s shrink starts out semi-friendly and helpful, but soon things take a sinister turn and I have a feeling that these sessions will get very dark, very soon. I am also pretty sure that this is a clever way for the game to mold itself after your personal fears and preferences, while also giving tantalizing clues as to what will happen next.

Dr Hill is in.
Dr Hill is in.

You can’t write about Until Dawn without mentioning the graphics, because they are ah-mazing, as you can see from the screenshots I’ve included above. It’s a new, fresh game and it looks the part. Apart from a few dodgy freeze frames on too-toothy smiles when a new character is introduced, the game is eerily life-like. The snowy woods, the log cabins, the people, the gore– everything looks almost too real for me to able to cope with. And my guesses are that I’ve by no means seen the worst of it yet.

If you have nerves of steel, or back up from several friends including one that can handle the steering, I highly recommend trying out Until Dawn. I NEED to know how it ends! And then I would like to figure out how to get things to end better. Arrrgh.

/Joh

Tabletop Roleplaying – My First Time

“Svavelvinter” by Fria Ligan, my very first tabletop RPG D:

The idea of roleplaying in person scares me a bit. I had imagined it would feel like being back to taking acting classes, meaning being certain that I suck and that the others are just too polite to say anything.
I have imagined roleplaying with me would simply be an embarrassing experience for everyone involved. But somehow I have still been curious (it IS hard to resist fantasy worlds, pretty art and being the single hope of a doomed world), and now it is happening.

A friend of mine has taken it upon himself to show me the way of the world, and last week we sat down and started creating our characters. Which, it turns out, rocks no matter if it is a video or a tabletop game.

I’ll admit that I got a bit hyper. There were giggling, reading sneakily ahead and general shout-outs for booze (which we didn’t even have. A slight set back).

It is so weird though, that feeling of getting to choose exactly who you want to be in a world with no limits. Do you know what I mean? Not that I hate myself that much IRL, but like I can’t do pyrokinesis or anything truly useful here. I guess I also love the (imaginary) feeling of being powerful and in control. This all sounds very depressing lol.

The character I’m working on is a young woman- a bard who has a special bond with animals, is somewhat of an outcast and has dormant magical powers. Yes, I am pathetic enough to create a me-but-way-WAY-better char.

no excuse_awkvard_girl_gif
Sorrynotsorry.

The game we will be playing is called Svavelwinter, I am not that familiar with the world yet but this is what the creators from Fria Ligan say about the settings:

“It takes place in the Tracorian world, which is similar to Renaissance Europe of the early 16th century, but with notable differences. It is an animistic world where living clouds, mountains and winds coexist with dragons and other mythical beasts.”

Svavelwinter claims a groundbreaking game system, that will allow players to enjoy anything from classic adventuring to character driven drama to strategic battle. I find that freedom fascinating, no clue how they will make it work though, tabletop newb that I am. I’ll find out soon enough I guess.

To sum it up I’m stoked to continue this tabletop RPG-thing! I had a great first experience. : D (that’s what he saaaaid)
sexy_wink_paul rudd
(Give me a break, that was the least horrendous of all virginity-jokes I almost inserted in this post. Only got +1 resist to immaturity after all.)

/Joh

Get excited for Overwatch – Newest Member of the Blizzard Game Squad

I will admit to being somewhat of an RPG fairy. Meaning I like going on quests and saving the world in a peaceful-esque way (a little poison, say a bazillion arrows and a few explosions might be involved though). Anyhow, Borderlands is one of the few FPS games I steeled myself to play, and I did it all for you Tiny Tina.

But now a new challenger is entering the scene- Blizzard’s team-based shooter Overwatch.

Overwatch squad goals
The Overwatch Line up

The game is scheduled to closed beta testing this fall and you can already see that tantalizing Overwatch icon in the Battle.net client.

I am a huge fan of Blizzard, but even if I wasn’t I’d have to admit that they make some of the best cinematics around. Want proof? Get a nice cup of tea (or coffee I won’t judge) and watch this six minutes long, epic trailer.

I wish this was an actual movie. So badly.

The game play reminds me a lot of Team Fortress, I kept yelling “MEDIIIC” when I saw Mercy do her thing in the trailer. Which makes me happy because team shooters are just so much more accessible than single player ones if you’re a wimp like me, or just enjoy the strategic depth teamwork offers.

Since I’m a sucker for stylized  graphics, of course I think Overwatch looks amazing. One of my favourite parts of the aesthetics if the diversity of the characters. From gender to ethnicity (with accented voice overs that I think adds a lot of flavour and depth) to the armor designs. I felt like I was being served a buffet of funny, cool and beautiful options to play as. I can’t wait to try Hanzo, Widowmaker, Tracer or Reaper out. : D

For those who didn’t have time to enjoy the entire trailer here’s a summation of the characters:

GIF created by Redditor a_leethal_llama. Drool.

Who do you want to play as? : D

/Joh

4 Reasons Why I Love League of Legends ( and 1 Why I Hate It)

LCS_sized
The EU LCS Summer finals in Stockholm. Such a close series!

League is hands down one of my all-time favourite games. I’ve been playing it since around early 2011 and I consider myself an experienced casual (with a few ranked games from time to time when I’m feeling mentally impervious and/or remember I want that skin for getting to at least Gold.)

Let's do this.
Let’s do this.

Why I think League is amazing:

  • It is simple to learn. Or rather, the basics are. You can start having fun and actually play the game pretty much straightaway, without spending hours learning rules and commands. But while it takes little time to learn, it takes a long, long time to master. A sign of great design if you ask me.
  • The artwork and style is gorgeous. Am I the only one who get super excited every time Riot release a new splash art and/or animation?
    Kindred- the Eternal Hunters.
    Kindred- the Eternal Hunters.

    Just take it
    Just… take it. Take it all!! *flips desk*

Got a bit distracted there. Moving on to the next reason which is:

  • The professional scene. The casters, the set up, the amazing teams! The dodging of spoilers from the LoL-client when you haven’t had time to catch up just yet!
    I love watching the EU and NA leagues, and in periods of some-would-say-too-much-spare-time, I follow the Chinese and Korean ones as well. Don’t judge me.
  • Playing with friends and being social while still in your own lovely lair (or apartment or whatever you guys call your space. I like lair. Shelob style!).
    I have people I stay in touch with solely through League. And that is perfectly healthy and should not be frowned upon. I also highly endorse nerd drinking nights with Aram and alcohol as a delicious wombo combo.

So, that one downer about an otherwise epic game? I think you all know.

Why League crushes your soul:

  • The dark side of the community. When it feels like you’re spending more time trying to convince the top laner that he shouldn’t AFK in your last and deciding promotion game (“Lee will come and gank! Lee, could you please go help top? No, don’t wish for anyone to get cancer, just help us win this. Please hang in there Gnar, just hug the turret and we’ll help out!”) than actually playing, it can get you down.

That's enough League for now lads.

Imagine a League where people did their best, only AFKed if, like, their house was on fire and tried to encourage their team instead of flaming… But hey, I guess it might be healthy that this give us a reason to log off from time to time.

/ Joh

PS. What do you guys main? #proudsupport (andsometimesmidlaner)

Geek by Joh

So. Hi.
I am the Joh mentioned. I have a Bachelor’s in Game design and graphics, and a Master’s in both General Escapism and Telling Your Mom You Can’t Pause.
I play hunter in WoW, I main support in LoL and I basically always pick the fire-type starter pokemon. I will scream and throw away the controller if someone makes me play Dying Light, Amnesia or L4D though. Working on that.
Here I’ll be writing about games I like (and dislike), books, zombies and all things geek and wonderful. 😀
I hope to see you again!

Jinx- making supports wanna play AD since 2013.
Jinx- making supports wanna play ADC since 2013.