Tuesday, 21 April 2015

How to Map Out When Your Brain is at It's Best, Just By Playing Games

Wordament is one of my favourite game apps, one of the ones I play almost daily, and have been for a few months now. I like that I can pick it up and play a round in under three minutes, and while sometimes that one round turns into three or four, overall I like that it's simple enough that I don't get sucked into playing for longer.

It's a good distraction without being too distracting. I pick it up and play when I have a few minutes to kill, when I've hit a wall and am stumped as to what I should do next, when the kids have been pushing my buttons and I need to cool my jets before I start spouting obscenities at them, and at the end of the day when I'm winding down for bedtime. Two minutes of flicking my fingers over the iPad, finding words with one half of my brain, while the other part of my mind peculates over whatever is nagging me at the time.

Playing it frequently at various hours throughout the day I discovered something interesting. Wordament is actually a great tool to chart out when I am dull eyed and dim witted vs when my brain is bright, alert, and ready to work. I began to notice patterns. I consistently score better at certain times of the day. First thing is the morning I am useless, while at 11 o'clock at night I'm brilliant, and there's a noticeable slump most days around 3 or 4 pm. It's actually a bit eerie how I can play the game, feel like I am playing fast and at my best and at times find only 30 words, while at other times I score easily double that.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Teens React to Nintendo {aka How to Feel Old}

Nintendo came out when I was a teen. Yes - I'm that old. Our family had computer games from when I was young, but we never got a console system until the SNES when I was 15. When we plugged it into one of our TVs, the whole screen jumped up and down the entire time we played. We sat there for hours - and honestly I have no idea how we all kept our sanity playing Mario on a jumping screen for that long.

By that point, though, I was a pro. Super Mario Brothers on the Nintendo was all I played when I went to my friends' houses. I loved that game.

So, this week when I was poking around YouTube, I found this video of some teens of today being given a Nintendo and asked to play the original Mario. It cracked me up. And then made me feel very old.


What was the first system you played on?

Sunday, 19 April 2015

RPG Maker

Are you a fan of old-school RPG style games like Zelda for the Nintendo? Ever wish you could design your own? Now you can, with RPG Maker!

The premium edition of this program, RPG Maker VX Ace, allows you to create and personalize a game from scratch, without ever having to type a line of code. A combination of drag&drop options and instruction boxes give you the creativity and freed to design your own storyline, characters, scripts, maps, and more. You are in charge of everything.

The game itself, when played, is the top-scrolling map style game with 8-bit models, pop-up boxes for character scripts interaction and also for battles. 

I recommend coming up with a storyline plan before starting:

  • Who is your hero? Are they male or female? Are they a warrior, adventurer, unsuspecting by-stander who was "chosen"?
  • What is the goal of the game? "save the princess!" or "stop the bad guy from taking over the world!" or "Why has the river's gone dry?!"),
  • What does the world look like? Is there a town? What's in the town? Who is in the town?
  • What obstacles will your hero encounter and how will they have to overcome them?
  • Does your hero find a team along the way? Who are they and how can they help the team reach the goal?

Once you have that all planned, all you have to do is start putting the game together!

The Tagline for this program is

RPG Maker VX Ace :
Simple Enough for a Child;
Powerful Enough for a Developer

And that's true. My boys who are 7, 9, and 11 love this program! But there is more than enough to keep me entertained and designing as well. Plus, if you WANT to see how the programming works, there is the option to check out the code for yourself.

Detailed tutorials make it so that you can figure out all the features and how to use them. (My oldest spent DAYS researching and learning with these!)

Unfortunately, this program is not available for Mac, but it does work great on Windows.

At the time of this post, this program costs $69.99US. 

There are a few options if you want to try this game out for yourself:

1. You can download a LITE version for free – just know that there are limited features for this option such as a maximum number of maps you can make and events you can have in your game and less tiles for design options.

2. Download the free trial for 30 days, after which you can buy a membership and continue your access.

3. Check out one of the other programs that the company offers – from character designing to other rpg makers that are less detailed and intense as the full VX Ace version.

Now get out there and get game designing!

Saturday, 18 April 2015

The Man-Only Game

Gaming has long been a male-dominated hobby. Now that things are changing in that statistic, it appears that men had to up the ante and find a way to create a game that only they can play.

Introducing Urinal Games - a man-only gaming sensation that allows men to earn a score while peeing.

Watch this clip from the show Daily Planet - all about the system, the games, and the inspiration behind it all.

Now, ladies..... who is going to create something just for women to play?

Friday, 17 April 2015

E.T. for the ATARI 2600 #FlashBackFriday

sheet of "tips on getting E.T. home fast!" for the ATARI E.T. game

I had this game as a kid, which would be why I still have a copy of the instruction booklet kicking around. Yes, this is the same E.T. game who's main claim to fame is that it was so wretched and sold so poorly that thousands (or perhaps even millions) of copies were buried in a landfill

scan from the instruction manual of E.T. The Extra Terrestrial for the ATARI 2600

instruction manual showing screen shots from one of the worst games ever made

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Gamer Girl Giveaways - Week of Apr 16

There will be an ongoing linky, but will be published each Thursday. Stop in weekly and link up any gaming related giveaways. Or come on by and browse for gaming giveaways to enter!

Wondering how to participate? It's easy!

Under Your name: put the name of your giveaway prize and the end date. For example something like this "My Cool Blog - Excellent Prize (Can/US 3/12)" or  this "Awesome Prize, 4/16".

Under Your URL: copy and paste a direct link to your giveaway, not to the main page of your blog.

If you're looking for more places to list your giveaways   
check out our lists: Giant Linky List, and Giveaway Listings.

And finally... if you link up, please help spread the word about the Gamer Girl Giveaway Link-Up. Grab our button or send out a quick tweet. The more folks that know, the more exposure your giveaway will receive!

Gamer Girls Giveaways Link-Up

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