This great new book came out recently, teaching how to program with apple’s new language “Swift”. Also, in the section mentioning Blender, the book mentions me and shows a sample from my blender work 🙂 (which I think is pretty cool) :Anyway, Here’s a link to the amazon page and a description:
The last Lego StarWars wave included: the Sandcrawler, the Great Vehicle Collection,the Coruscant Police Gunship, the Republic AV-7 Vehicle Cannon, the Droid Tri-Fighter, the AT-AP, the Droid Gunship, the Vulture Droid, the General Grievous’ Wheel Bike, the V-Wing Starfighter, Jedi Intercepter, the Battle of Saleucami, Utapau Troopers, Kashyyyk Troopers and Death Star Troopers. not including the Micro Fighters.
These were great additions and some replacement sets for the really old ones(non-CloneWars). But, hidden among these, are three small battle packs, which iv’e highlighted in the list above. When first finding out about the next wave (via Brick Show), it was mentioned that a new kind of blaster was going to be introduced. The blaster was going to be able to actually shoot.
It was pretty exiting to think of all the possibilities, although, I never saw any pictures.
Then It finally came out, among a huge wave surrounded by repeats and new clone wars episodes.
Awesome! Awesome, awesome, awesome! I immediately wanted to go and buy the set… but then I tore my eyes from the trooper’s helmet and looked down.
I held back some barf in my throat. What is that? Oh.
Okay, okay. It wasn’t that dramatic, but the blaster was pretty bad. It’s fat, it’s disproportional, it’s ugly. In no way does it resemble a gun from either CloneWars, StarWars or the extended universe.
The new blaster’s uses are limited to play. All collectors will find it utterly and completely useless. But, keep in mind that playing with Legos is not excluded to little kids. Personally,I would find this blaster very useful in a certain environment. for example, a while ago, I had created a Lego based warfare game. The basic goal was to destroy all your enemies via a rubber band powered cannon. The pawns were a assortment of a certain themed army. They could move, and if close enough, attack. But we had no short range guns to give them, so it completely destroyed the realistic feel of actually being able to aim and shoot. At the time, there was absolutely no thinkable solution. Now that the blasters came out, I have the perfect way to attack with troopers (but I must admit I haven’t actually bought a product with the gun in it yet, so i’m not sure of it’s firing capability). Any purpose other than play doesn’t fit at all.
However, the sets that have the blasters in them, are among the top five in the wave. And that’s the main problem i’m having with the whole issue. As a collector, MOC builder and just general Lego user, I really like to collect clones. Two out of the three battle packs have the coolest, awesomest, best clones iv’e ever seen in my life. So to not be able to collect them along with their guns. Not good. Plus, I can’t find them in any re-sellers.
The solution? Well, the main problem is looks. What if there was a way to make a thinner, smaller bullet to fit in a more stylish gun.
Or, there is a second solution. If a modified bullet is out of the question, then there’s still a way to use a stud (1×1 round plate). Since the current gun is too big, what if they made it bigger? That’s right. BIGGER. The gun could be a rocket launcher or bazooka or something like that, instead of an over-sized pistol. *gasps* A way to keep the stud and design, without it being ugly. Amazing.
Summary: The new blasters look and operate terribly. But consider the little uses they have because of the sets they come in, other wise, don’t bother.
Got on Minecraft today and was scared out of my whits when clicking the Multiplayer button on the menu.
“Click!” It was a villagers voice, saying “click”! I continued to navigate the menu finding to my surprise that everything was being narrated by a villager. Was I being hacked? Does my computer have a virus? No. APRIL FOOLS!
I was relieved at the realization. Joining the server of Mineplex, I discovered that everyone’s skins were that of the villagers.
As seen in the snapshots above, I was playing Turf Wars. Involving a lot of arrow shooting.
“Phew! Phew! Phew!” “Boing! Boing!” “Ow!” “Oof!”
Every action was being interpreted into an Element Animation form of a villager voice. Let me tell you, it was really annoying. But also painfully hilarious. Apparently Minecraft set everyone’s resource pack to the Element Animation resource pack.
The chat was filled with confusion and the words Element Animation and April Fools. It was a fun experience that I thought i’d share.
To start from scratch, Star Conflict is a multiplayer game in which you get the chance to pilot a space ship, flying through the beautiful maps in high definition to fight against various warring groups, with your many options of lasers, blasters and more. To me, it’s more like a simulation than a game, with it’s realistic and futuristic feel. You can install a lot of different tools to your ship, included in these options, is the gun jammer, cloaking, shrapnel mines, shields and many others.
Think StarWars, remember all those space hosted star fighter battles? “Raise the shields Artoo!” Well that’s similar to what you’ll experience in this game.
The basic goal is to not blow up, but you already knew that. It’s how not to be blown up you need to know. Simple. Depending on the ship you’ve acquired, the shields will differ in strength, as well as the guns. Two bars populate the space around you ship (the game is not in the first person yet), one will be the shields, the other… well… i’m not sure what to call it, but when receiving damage from either collision or being shot, you will notice the shield bar drain slightly (unless you get hit with a “one shot kill” blaster, in which case you wouldn’t really see anything accept the re-spawning screen). When that bar is diminished to the max (rendered empty), then the second bar will begin to diminish. The second bar is basically your ships damage status, although, it drains much faster than the shield. After this bar is gone, you’ve blown up.
This scenario would seem pretty lame… if it wasn’t for the awesome graphics!
Look at all the colors! The graphics are another reason that this game is realistic. I’ve found myself ducking out of the way of a well aimed gun bolt a few times, or flinching when a ship fly’s too close.
Okay, i’m going to lay off on the screenshots, but iv’e made my point.
There are three types of battles, beacon capture (dubbed “Bacon Capture” by many pilots), combat reconnaissance and EMP bomb. Chief among these is beacon capture. In this game, your goal is to capture the beacon (DUH!), and the longer a beacon is captured, the more points the team gets. If a team is being completely dominated, with no beacons in possession, then their points will lower. the first team to hit zero losses. Also, if a beacon is occupied for a certain amount of time, drones start to spawn around it, shooting at any opposing ship within 2000 meters.
Which begins another point i’d like to make, depending on the gun capability of a ship, there is a certain range at which a weapon can reach. Most beginning guns will hit anything within about 3000 meters. An HUD display will surround all opposing and friendly ships whether to far to see or close enough to crash into, giving stats of distance, direction and other useful information. The direction display will show a circle that moves away from the ship in order for you to have an easier ability to track it’s movements, it helps when your firing at a moving target. All you have to do is point your cursor (also a circle, with a limited amount of movement depending on the ship. It allows the user to steer and target.) into the tracker and shoot. As for range, if the distance between you and your opponent is adequately matched to your gun , then the HUD will change color. This display is especially useful if your hunting the captain in combat recon, or trying to intercept a ship from acquiring a beacon or bomb.
All this sounds really fun, and it is. But to play any of these games, you must join them first.
The story line of Star Conflict is based off of a battle between three different groups, Jericho, Federation and Empire. When creating an account, or starting the game, you must first choose which group to follow and fight for. Each has it’s own selection of gear, abilities and ships. You will go through a sort of tutorial, with missions. To keep the game interesting, missions continue to be available even after the tutorial ends, and you can get new ones from signing contracts. You can also buy different ships and guns, to help in your battles.
To enter a battle, you must press a button at the bottom of your screen, labeled “Launch”. This will give you the option of, PvP or PvE. There are two ways to join a PvP.
- A map showing a hexagon shaped territory, in which you can choose a specific game.
- A button that automatically finds a game.
To join a specific game using the map function, you have to be with a corporation, costing real money. So normally, i’d choose the second option. This puts you into a small tab that counts how long you’ve been waiting, and gives an estimate on when the next match will begin. PvE also does this, because in both games, you must have a minimum amount of ships to join you. The longest wait time will be five minutes, which is a huge damper when your ready for action and have to just sit there and stare at a clock. The average time you’ll have to wait depends on the amount players that are active. I’ve only seen up to about three minutes of waiting, but even for such a short time it can get pretty mind numbing.
Once the game find a spot for you, it will show a “Triangular” text on the wait tab and lock all hanger options. Then it starts the game, showing you a player list of both teams, and the rank that the match is set to. The rank is determined by your type of ship and it’s capability. The same display shows up when your respawning, backed by a background of the map with small icons that represent the positions of all the ships. Sometimes, it will even show the shooting lanes.
The average game will last will last a pretty long time, making up for the grueling wait.
Another issue that keeps recurring in both my mind and the Star Conflict community is the view point. Currently, when flying a ship, you will see from a third person view. Many players (including me) would really like to see this game from the first person, but the response looks something like this:
“the suggestion for a cockpit view has already been forwarded, but at the moment a cockpit view would not be very effective.
Due to the limited view you would have a disadvantage compared to 3rd person pilots.
and: “It is planned, but the priority for this is very low at the moment because the cockpit view would be less efficient in battle.”
So I guess it’s in progress.
In conclusion, Star Conflict is a great game, with fantastic graphics, realistic piloting scenarios, fun and competitive games and a good story line (my friends and I often argue about which group is dominant). Although, there are a couple problems I have with it, like the wait time, 3rd person view, foul language in the intercom (can easily be shut off in the options) and lack of variety which causes the game to get dull after a while. There are many disadvantages and advantages, but the problems fall far short of making Star Conflict unplayable, and the good parts dominate intensely.
When looking for custom Lego pieces or accessories, I am looking for quality. This is exactly what BrickForge provides, and more. Their products are almost perfectly in shape with the style of a normal accessory, melding into the universe of Lego flawlessly. Also, they match Lego in the aspect of professionalism. Never straying from good service and direction.
Ranging from armor and weapons to hair and musical instruments, BrickForge always has what I need. And the variety doesn’t stop there, any and every piece has a wide choice of color, with an accurate preview for each. Plus, there’s no need to worry about price, which is always just what it should be. Unlike many other custom part companies in it’s league, BrickForge is quite friendly and generous, adding little extra parts to my orders ( I’m not sure whether or not that’s purposeful, but it’s still pretty awesome).
The owners, Armothe and Redbean, are highly experienced with the field of Lego, and ensure that their products are adequate for both experienced and inexperienced customers. They also host a forum, and have a page on Flickr. On the forum, you can suggest a piece that they don’t currently carry, or post your usage of BF products.