Video games, fiber arts, and more.

Dragon Age, Ma Vhenan: Magic and Me

Screenshot from my first playthrough of Dragon Age: Inquisition

I’ve loved Dragon Age since the beginning, sinking a not inconsiderable amount of time into the first game, Dragon Age: Origins. Dragon Age 2 was a bit disappointing in comparison, having been rushed out and clearly suffering for it, but the story was still good. Dragon Age: Inquisition, however, has blown my mind. It captures my brain’s every spare moment, making me go back over everything that’s happened in all three games over and over again. I could probably rant for days about the complexities of the setting that this game has cracked open, and I’ll probably write a lot about it over the next couple of years, but today I just want to talk about magic.

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Travel Tips for Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka

Hand washing/mouth rinsing station at a temple

A game developer recently asked me if I had any travel tips for Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka. Since I recently went on a trip to those three places with my mother and have been to Kyoto twice now for BitSummit, I was able to write up quite a bit of advice. Since I went to the trouble of writing it all out, I figured I’d blog it. Now I won’t find myself writing it all out twice.

Copy-paste, ho!

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Writing is a Thing I Do

I haven’t written anything here in a while. The reason for it is I’ve been writing things in other places. Now that I’m officially on staff for www.indiegames.com, I’m writing articles for them 4-6 times a week. This involves finding and trying good games on top of the writing itself. It’s also November, which back home in the USA is National Novel Writing Month, a.k.a. NaNoWriMo.

Every year, a lot of people celebrate NaNoWriMo. The goal is to pump out 50,000 words of a story over the course of the month. It’s doable if you keep up with it. When I tried last year, though, I got a few thousand words in and then stopped. This year, I picked up the same story and am trying to actually finish it. It may be a little cheaty to use the same idea and what I started with last year, but this is a story idea that’s been floating around my head for years waiting to be written.

Besides, when the goal is 50,000 words, what’s a 2,500 word head start?

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School Festival: We are HERO!!

Stained-glass style banner the students hung just inside the school's main entrance.
The kids insisted on being grammatically incorrect.

It’s been a while since I posted anything here. I’ve been busy — I’m now writing articles for IndieGames.com regularly. I also went to Tokyo Game Show (the first event of its kind I’ve ever been to). Coming back from Tokyo Game Show, I came down with a cold. It’s caused minimal discomfort but a fever that kept me out of work for 3 days.

This past Sunday my junior high school had its annual school festival. It’s the first time I’ve been to one of my schools’ festivals without having been around for most of the weeks of practice since right after I first got here. This made it an event of mixed feelings. A big part of the reason I missed so much of the prep time was Tokyo Game Show and the cold it gave me.

I’m also not at all sorry for going to Tokyo Game Show.

>_>

Anyway, read on if you want to find out about all the neat stuff my students did for their festival. Here’s a list of the general flow of the day, with details starting after the break. This is be the first of multiple posts. (Check out part two and part three.)

  • Free performances by grade
  • Choir performances by grade
  • PTA Choir performance
  • Random performances (optional)
  • Lunch
  • Dance performances (all grades)
  • Play performance (all grades)
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Final Fantasy XIV: Great, when logging in happens

Final Fantasy XIV Logo at time of ARR beta
FINAL FANTASY is a registered trademark of Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (hereafter ARR) officially launched last week. The developers aimed to make a game that was renowned for being terrible into something good. Square Enix didn’t anticipate so many people wanting to play, though. There are not nearly enough servers for us all.

There’s been so much demand for the game it took me four hours of trying to log in yesterday. They’ve capped the number of people who can log on to a given server at any given time. This makes it hard to actually get in to play the game. Once you do manage to log on to a character, though, the experience is great. This way, Square Enix has managed to avoid the problem of lag, lag, lag that usually plagues highly-anticipated MMOs (and their expansions) when they are first released. This excellent gameplay experience comes, however, at the cost of angry customers.

This is a long article, so here’s my TL; DR: It’s like Final Fantasy XI, but with some modern MMO conventions. I recommend it, but if you want to play it you should wait a bit before doing so.

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