Month: December 2011

Tweet Friday 2011-12-30

  • Merry Christmas Everyone! Making pancakes for the brood 🙂 #
  • Merry Christmas! Just finished Skyping the (now far away) grandparents and Liam was in good spirits. Now he's asleep, he's over Christmased! #
  • Liam was all cranky yesterday, had a late nap, hard to put down, and has been up every couple of hours crying. I'm hoping today is better 😦 #

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Night before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house,

Liam was sleeping, quiet as a mouse.

The stockings were hung by the fireplace with care, in the hopes that Santa would soon be there.

This year Tara, Liam and I are spending Christmas with Tara’s family in Vancouver. It actually marks the first time I’ve ever been away from my family for Christmas. It’s a happy and at the same time a little sad. But we all promised to share 🙂

Tonight we attended a very nice local candle light service at the church up the street from Tara’s mom’s place. It was lively and very Christmas like, which is good for a Christmas service 🙂

It’s been raining here, and will be a very green Christmas, but it’s not just about snow, it’s about being together. Tomorrow we’re going to Skype my parents so that they can see Liam, and the rest of us I suppose. 😉

Then, for the rest of our trip we’ll putter around town, visiting people and generally just having a good time.

So Merry Christmas to you all, and I hope your New Year brings you all wonderful things 🙂

Christmas Party

Today we had the whole gang over for our Christmas party. It was a good opportunity to see everyone in one place. It’s not something that we really get to do that often.  There was a fair amount of work put in to get it all sorted and done, but it’s effort that’s well worth the….effort. Hmm.

People started showing up at 1 and the party pretty much just started itself. It was good to see people catching up with each others lives, seeing what’s new and generally just getting along like no time has passed at all. That has to say something about people that have been friends for so long. No matter what, time just doesn’t matter. But you can’t let too much pass by. Which reminds me, I have catch up with some long distance people.

Everyone brought food, and we made food, so there was lots of food to be had. And people didn’t eat as much as they should have, and we actually had to send some home with people, as we didn’t want to eat all the remaining stuff before we head to Vancouver. I would be a peach on the plane if I did…

Once everyone caught up, we dove into the gifts. And boy was there a pile of them to go through. It was a lot of fun watching the kids just dive into these gifts. The paper was flying and the giggles were abundant. Even the adults got a few things. Steph made everyone some ornaments; either angry birds or star wars. Both were very cool.

We had planned to make Ginger Bread houses, and just never got around to it. Mind you, by this time all the kids were hopped up on sugar and probably wouldn’t sit still enough to actuallty make it through. But they were having a ton of fun regardless. Tara and I set up this play area for the kids in the guest bedroom, of which Alice and William spent the most time. In fact, the were even in bed together. And if it wasn’t for the fact that they’re 3 and 2.5, we would be worried. But really, they spent the most of their time giggling. It was really fun to listen to, and partake in.

In the end, everyone left with gifts, food, and excellent memories.

Lunch Time Demos: Hard Reset

Another indie title this time around, makes me wonder if I’ll just be doing indies, not that it’s a bad thing, but it’s a thing.



Hard Reset is an action packed FPS from Flying Wild Hog, and it’s currently selling on Steam for about $30.

As far as FPS’s go, it’s pretty typical. You have a gun, you run around shooting things, and those things go boom.  But if I didn’t already know that this was an indie title, I wouldn’t have believed it if you told me. The graphics are gorgeous, and it really sets the mood and tone of the game. It’s very dark and run down, what you would expect from a cyberpunk theme. And the overall interface is really well done. In the game you can run around and collect credits, which you can then use to upgrade your two guns(but really more than two) or your combat enhancements. That upgrade interface is something that I want for my computer now! Unlike most games where you have to click an action key to start using things, in Hard Reset you just have to get close enough and your gun disappears and the interface pops up. Then it pretty much surrounds you with options, and reminds me a lot of the Minority Report interface. But cooler.

It’s too bad the official site doesn’t have a screen shot of it, I don’t think my description is going it justice. But the game is more than just a couple of pretty interfaces.

The overall plot is that the city you occupy is the last hold out for humanity, and the machines want to take over. So all the enemies(at least in the demo) are robotic in nature. This drives another cool part of the game where there are ‘energy’ kiosks that you can destroy to injure the bots. These kiosks are all over the place, and it’s a good thing because these bots tend to swarm on you. Also, most things have a tendency to blow up, and that also works to your advantage. I don’t know why you would plan a city with so many explody bits, but whatever, it works Winking smile

As mentioned before, the upgrade system let’s you upgrade one of two weapons; your machine gun or plasma gun. But they are really a ton of guns rolled into one…two. The machine gun will also house a rocket launcher, combat shotgun, grenade launcher and have other upgrades. The plasma will also do a grenade thing, an EMP burst, area effect shock cannon and other upgrades. You switch back and forth with the Q and E button, and then get more detailed with the 1-5 keys(or mouse wheel). It takes a little while to get used to but is pretty effective as you only have two kinds of ammo to worry about. The personal interface is in the bottom left and it shows the usual, including your rechargeable shields.


Blue ammo is Plasma, red is bullets. They have these little symbols that tell you the kind of gun/version you’re using, but I didn’t find that nearly as helpful as the actual title of the gun/version.

The demo is pretty fast paced and ends with a nice swarm attack that took me a couple of tries to get through. It has an autosave feature, but I didn’t notice a proper save feature(maybe not in the demo).


So would I buy it?

If I had the extra cash, I would. No problems there. As I don’t have the extra cash, and it’s $30, I might even save up my pennies for a later purchase, or wait for a sale on Steam.

But the demo, as always, is free, and if you have the time, I would grab it and go Smile

Tweet Friday 2011-12-02

  • @mdbhickson Thanks for the Youtube info, I had no idea. And they have a ton of free movies. Now to see if I can watch them on the Wii 🙂 #
  • Maxed Out! I now have 11Gigs of free Dropbox space. it did take two Google Ad Words campaigns but it worked. 😀 #
  • It would have taken less but most of the referrals didn't complete the full process. Oh well. It was all free anyway. 🙂 #

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Lunch Time Demos: Serious Sam Double D

I have some time to kill at lunch, and there’s no better way to do that than play a game or two.

This week I downloaded the Serious Sam Double D demo and played it through.


If you’ve never played any of the other Serious Sam games, let me sum it up for you:

You have a gun, you shoot and kill waves and waves of enemies, then there’s a final boss, then there’s the next level. That’s pretty much it in a nutshell. Not that it’s a bad thing. It was designed that way, and people ate it up. For some reason, I was just never very good at it. I mean, it’s just a FPS boiled down to it’s roots. There’s not even much of a story to get in the way Winking smile At least, none that I was ever aware of.

Developed by, it seems that the original developers of the Serious Sam games have opened up the concept to Indie developers. Which is pretty cool.

While the original was a FPS, this is a side scroller, with the mouse used to aim the gun(s). It reminds me of the older games like Abuse(the first time I saw this kind of aiming system used).

So while that’s nothing new, and the overall Serious Sam concept isn’t new, there’s an interesting, and crazy, twist to this. There’s a gun stacker(see image). It stacks guns. So you can use more than one at the same time.

Oh, and there’s a giant chainsaw in there as well. While the demo was limited, I was able to stack:

  • Default machine gun
  • Tommy Gun 1
  • Tommy Gun 2
  • Shotgun

And they all fired at once. Had I another stacker, I could have plopped the chainsaw on there as well. The full version of the game allows up to 6 guns to stack. It’s a fun, yet totally crazy, thing to see Smile

I played it on the normal setting and was able to get through the first two levels without too much difficulty. I can see where they would ramp things up though, because that’s what the game is all about.

The graphics are very 2d. In fact, it really looks paperish. But I suspect that was the intended effect. It does remind me of flash games where everything seems to be connected with push pins. But no real complaints there, it’s a fun effect.

There are some nice little details, like if you jump on a killed enemy, it still goes squish. And the soundtrack is very rocking. it goes very well with the action. And that’s all there is in this game. Action. If you stand still too long, more people port out of no where. Just to try and kill you. There’s no catching your breath here Smile

Would I buy it? Now here’s the question.

As it’s only $8, it’s not a serious commitment. And it’s a good time killer and since you can save pretty much anywhere, it’s good for casual gamers.

If I had the extra cash, sure, I’d buy it. Would I save my pennies over a period of time for it; no.

But hey, try the demo, it’s free and on Steam.