All words presented in this blog are purely opinion, not fact - unless specifically stated otherwise in the post.

Wednesday 31 October 2012

Zombies is comin'

Forget what you think you know about the fiction of Zombies, because you're wrong, they are coming. It may not be today, it may not be tomorrow, it may not be for years, but they are coming. We don't know if they'll be the fast chasing kind, like from dawn of the dead and 28 days later, the old-school shambling kind or some variation we haven’t yet seen, but they are coming.

Evidence has been piling for years of the Zombie Apocalypse, and you have to ask yourself; are you ready?
Do you have what it takes to survive? Do you have the tools to live in Zombieland? I'd like to think I do and so, as a public service announcement, I want to help you put together a simple pack that will keep you alive.

As the hordes of the undead take to the streets like a student protest in London that got out of hand a lot of the smaller things you take for granted are going to become important. Shelter, warmth, food, light and a thousand other things that even I, as paranoid as I am, haven't come up with yet.

The first thing you need to your hand on, however, is a weapon and you're going to need to learn how to use it. Many of you in America will be thinking 'I've got a gun' or 'I've got access to a gun'. But that won't help you. Sure, a gun is a powerful weapon that will insta-kill a zombie, but it's also loud flashy and once you've run out of ammunition it's more or less a paperweight. You need to get yourself a melee weapon and a bow of some kind.
I personally own a recurve bow with 8 aluminium arrows and three hunting arrows. This weapon is invaluable as it allows you to hunt quietly without fear of alerting a nearby Zombie horde. Alongside my Bow I have an Axe, primarily for chopping wood, but sink the head into the skull of one of the undead and it's as dead as it would be with a bullet.
Long handle axes, like fire axes, are the best choice as they keep the Zombies at arm’s length and you can be certain of a brains destruction, far better than when you use a bat or club.

Now, you've got your weapons ready, make sure to keep plenty of water, there’s no knowing how long it'll be until you can re-fill, or how easily the rivers will become infected by a zombie corpse that fell in just around the next bend.

After water your next priority is shelter. You need somewhere safe and easy to defend. In the beginning you might be able to stay in your home, bar the doors and weight, but eventually the cities are going to become too dangerous. Then the populations turns from majority alive to majority not quite dead you're going to want to get to the countryside.
With fewer people living there, there will be fewer zombies to contend with. Make sure that your pack has a sleeping bag and either a small tent or enough canvas to build a shelter. Your best bet is to sleep in trees so I suggest a canvas and some paracord (make sure it's descent weight paracord and you can use it for a lot of things) over the tent.
Make sure you have plenty of camping supplies, there’s no knowing how long you'll be out in the wilderness before you find somewhere defensible. Waterproof matches, a hunting knife for making tinder, anything you can think of that'll help. I have mess tins and a camping cutlery set.

Now, for rescue; get a multi-channel radio and a handful of batteries and keep it with you. Never lose it.

My current pack includes:
Waterproof Matches,
10m of 550 lbs. Para cord,
A hand axe,
A recurve bow with 11 arrows, 3 with hunting tips,
A LED lenser hand torch,
A sleeping bag,
A knife,
A water bottle,
A folding shovel,
A paracord bracelet with a whistle,
Alcoholic, flammable hand sanitizer,
A military style bag to keep everything in.

I still have a lot to get, but I think it's a good start. The Zombie Apocalypse won’t get me right away.

A dissenting opinion
- James

P.S. During the next month I won’t be blogging very much as I will be focussing on Nanowrimo. I'll try and post the weekly of 52s but if now I'll make it up in December. Check my twitter feed for news.

Monday 29 October 2012

Thirteen Of Fifty-Two


Game of Thrones

God I love this show. There is nothing else like it, and don't say Merlin or Robin hood, because they really don't compare. This show is brilliantly well made with an ass load of information and a massive, wide, impossibly cool world with so much lore that they had to create special animated sections to put in the Blu-ray/DVD just to get it in.

Originally written by George R. Martin, I've never actually read the books, but I love the show. While I have seen both the first and second seasons I don't want to talk too much about what either are about because it's relatively new adn people should go and watch it and may not have already.
I will say that the first series follows a lot of different stories;
Denaerys Targarian, the princess and heir of the old kingdom, who was married off to the leader of a savage Dothraki tribe.
Eddard Stark, last honourable man in the seven kingdoms, head of house stark, Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North, After the pre-show death of Jon Arryn, the Hand of the King.
John Snow, Bastard son of Lord Stark, off to join the Night's watch, the guardians of the kingdom against the terrors of the north.
Bran Stark, second youngest son of Lord Stark.
Arya Stark, Youngest Daughter of Lord Stark, a very un-noble noble-woman who dreams of fighting with a sword, not with a sewing needle.
Tyrion 'The Imp' Lanister, dwarven son of the Lannister house. Intelligent, funny and likes to have sex... a lot. Also my favourite character, though he didn't make the of 52 list it was only because the list was full when I came to realise his awesomeness. While anyone who reads my work can attest I do like sword fights, but there’s something more interesting about the Dwarf who defeats all his foes through wordplay and clever political manoeuvring.
Rob Stark, eldest son of Lord Stark who rules in Winterfell while his father is in the South, acting as Hand of the King.
And a handful of others who take up less time to poke at little bits that need to be said.

The show, unlike most medieval set media, is not about fighting, it's there, but that's not the point. It's about politics, intellect, spying and, eventually, war and the strategy thereof. Watching this show you can't help but love half the characters while despising, yet respecting the rest.
And that's where I think the beauty of it lies. nothing is as it seems, nobody is who they appear to be. As the Guardian said; '...characters so venomous they could eat the Borgias.’

I think one of the other reasons I loved this series is because it had Sean Bean in it, but that's neither here nor there.

I have to say one thing, though; While Jamie is a bad man, a dick, an ass, etc... I can't help but feel sorry for him. He killed the last king, the mad king who everyone hated, but not once has he been praised for it. Not once has he been given credit, instead everyone looks down on him and calls him 'Kingslayer' in a derogatory tone because he did it by stabbing the mad king in the back.
Everyone wanted him dead, what does it matter if he was stabbed in the belly of the back?

Vidlicious - Oh Joss you make me laugh.
- James

Friday 26 October 2012

Job Block

So I've been job hunting for a while now and I gotta say; it's pretty shit. You go on the job websites and go through the listings, find the ones that apply to you and then send off your CV/Résumé. You could go through websites for each company and look that way, but a lot of the time the sites not up to date and they outsource their job hunt anyway.
Hopefully at this point in your career you're in touch with quite a few games industry peeps who can point you in the direction of jobs but more than likely they aren't all anteing up jobs on a daily basis (let’s be honest the economy is still shit, so there just aren't that many jobs), the only other option you have is to go through an Agency, you know them, Reed and Office angels for temp work, that sort of thing.
For the Games industry we have a wide choice of recruitment agencies that we can go to (and have to go to). I don't have a choice but to go to these companies if I actually want to find work, yet for the most part they are the ones stopping me from getting it.
Nine times out of ten when I apply for a job it goes to a Job Agency, they look at your CV/Résumé and they will only send the CV/Résumé on to the company in question if you are exactly what they're asking for. If you have every one of the qualifications, if you have all of the experience required and all of the skills that are written as 'being a plus'.
They do this because it makes them look bad if they send too many people, or if too many of the people they send don't get the job.
However this stops people like me who have worked in the industry for years as a tester with experience as a Senior from ever getting a Senior or Lead position. I have the relevant experience and skills to take a lead position, I've done it in two of my previous jobs for extended periods of time, but because none of my previous job titles have been 'Lead Tester' the agencies refuse to put me forward, not only that but they refuse to tell me who the company is so that I can put my own name forward in case I knock their applicant out of the running.
Yes it's good business practice for them but it makes it harder for other people to get jobs. It shrinks the pool of applicants down and the Company might not get exactly what they wanted because the Agency didn't send all the applications.

But we have no choice but to keep using them and keep being used by them.

It. Sucks.


- James

Thursday 25 October 2012

Twelve of Fifty-Two


Batman Arkham Series

The very best super hero game series of all time.
Batman Arkham Assylum and Arkham City perfectly blends stealth gameplay with action. Blends kicking ass with detective work. It even appeases the lore fanboys while making it easy for the new player to know what's going on.
Sure some of the more intimate stuff like 'Batman slept with Ra's al ghul's daughter' and 'who is Mr. zsasz' will go over the head of someone who has never read batman but it won't ruin the game and they'll still have a hugely enjoyable experience. They just wont enjoy it as much as the super nerds.

Unlike the new movies they got all of the characters right. Alfred is a kensington sounding butler, not a cockney secret agent. Batman sounds intelligent and scary at the same time, not like he's gargling with nuts and bolts. Zsasz is a freaking crazy serial killer, not a mobster. Bane is a mexican wrestly with a drugs addiction not sean connery with a mask and muscles. Robin's Dick Greyson or Tim Drake, not random police guy no. 5 named Robin.

The gameplay is fun, interesting and, while easy to understand and intuitive it's also exciting. Easy to learn hard to master is the phrase I believe.
The game has stealth missions where the player has to go around and take out all of the enemies withotu being seen. It has fight missions where you get to kick a lot of ass (1 vs lots and lots including some enemies that were boss battles a couple hours ago). It even has some detective missions and riddles that you have to figure out in order to go forward with the game.

It's a remarkable feat of gaming that everyone, comic fan or not, should play. The story is awesome, though I did kind of guess the end halfway though. when I said it I was joking but the more I played the more likely it seemed. Still awesome.

And that's not even to mention the arena style battles you can do out of the main story.

Go. Play it. Now.

Twilight rifftrax makes me lol

Tuesday 23 October 2012

24 hours of life

So extra-life was this previous weekend. I earned 103% of my goal in the 60 hours between deciding to do the event and the event completing.
Overall $1.91million has been raised so far this year, though donations are still pouring in.
If you feel the charitable spirit you can still donate here.

During the event I played XCOM for an hour, Borderlands 2 for 9 hours, Sleeping Dogs for 2 hours, Audiosurf for an hour, a second session of Borderlands 2 for 10 hours 30 minutes, and a second session of Audiosurf for 30 minutes.

One thing I did while I was going through it was take a photo every hour, and here they are:


Fun Crazy Times.
I'll keep y'all updated with the final result.

- James

Thursday 18 October 2012


The more perceptive of you may have noticed that last night on Twitter I announced that I am taking part in the Extra Life event.
It's been a weird one. First I said I wasn't taking part cos I was away, then I said I wasn't away but I would only be available to help others through the night, now I'm saying I'm taking part.
It seemed a little stupid for me to do all the work but not reap the benefits (helping people IS a benefit aparently, I looked it up in the moral people's hand book, who knew, right?). I figured I'd join my friends team and take part.
So you all guessed what I'm gonna say, it's pretty freaking obvious, right? Ok, I'm gonna just get it out of the way;
I'm currently in last place on the list of my team... Please PLEASE give me your money. I swear it's going to a good cause!

If you have ny money to spare, even if it's just a dollar, please go to and save some kids lives.

If any of you need proof that I'm actually gamine I'm gonna have the most boring Ustream in the world running live from 2pm saturday until I get paranoid that people are watching and turn it off.

 - James
p.s. I'm gonna be busy prepping tomorrow, so I wont be blogging, but there's been 2 blogs today now, so no harm no foul, amiright?

Nothing to add.

Ok, so I have nothing to say today, like, nothing. But I do have a video to put up so I'm gonna waffle on for a few paragraphs about the Presidential election and then just link you to YouTube. Ok? Ok.

So Obama's first debate looked like Obama had given up, it looked like Obama was on the ropes and was about to just give Romney the presidency. Romney spent an hour and a half lying and the President spent an hour and a half unable to come up with a comeback.

Tuesday the second debate was held and let me tell you; Obama did slightly less bad!
Ok, so thats an understatement, he kicked up his game a lot and actually sounded like he knew some of what he was talking about, but in the media all I've heard was that he beat Romney, destroyed him, but he just didn't. It was fairly even.

They didn't really tackle many important questions, but it's a presidential debate, that's not what it's for. its a place where the two men can stand there and be as inoffensive as possible. Of course the Right and Left Medias are going to say that their opposition did badly just to make their guy look better and they're going to be spontaneously offended by things that have no offensive quality.
I think the best example of that is the right saying that they couldn't stand Obama's smile because it made him look condescending and immature. I think the point they were really making was that Romney spent most of the debate looking like he was caught in headlights, but that’s not really the point.

I think that the biggest issue for the Romney campaign right now is that they aren't saying how they're going to do all the things they promised, while the Obama campaign is suffering because of Obama's inability to call Romney on simple inaccuracies.
It's quite frustrating to watch.

Learn this video.
- James