TIE Fighter Short

So, I’m a little late to this party but a few weeks ago I discovered this short animated film, TIE Fighter. Done over the course of four years by one guy (Paul Johnson), his short is set in the TIE Fighter universe. Or rather, was inspired by the game. The popular 1994 space combat sim that we all know and love, and you can still play today via GOG.com if you desire.

I had one of my friends who’s into animation watch it, and he was very impressed by the multiple perspective changes. The cutaways for the face shots were also a nice touch. As a rule, of course, we never got to see the people behind the masks in the movies. If you have eight minutes or so and you enjoy Star Wars, I highly recommend watching the film. Something different for the blog on a Friday.

Going back to Unity

Over the years I’ve dropped hints here and there that I’ve been working on game projects. Well after discussing it with a few of my colleagues, I decided it was time to shift focus of Usualjay.com from gaming news and commentary (and my collection boasts) to my efforts in Unity. Going forward I’ll have more to say about my indie dev efforts, while still doing the Read From Memory series and business posts (which have been popular to my surprise).

So beginning tomorrow, I’ll have a write up on the ever popular Unity engine, and if you’re interested in getting into the platform, some tips for you.

Happy New Year (2018 Edition)

Happy New Year to my readers and visitors. If you’re new here, I’m glad you decided to take a peek at one of my online homes, and if you’re returning, welcome back. I hope this post finds you in good spirits and health as 2018 begins. I talked a bit yesterday about my traffic and popular posts, so today I’m going to lay out the roadmap this year.

Don’t expect a significant change in the type of content I put out. But I do want to start turning over the mic to some newcomers in the coming year. If I can arrange a few things, I might be looking for help during the big conventions. I also have an interview planned that will cover MTG finance, a topic I know a few of you are interested in. So look for announcements on all that in the coming weeks.

I enjoyed doing the Read From Memory series, though I needed a better structure. A lot of blockbusters will have their 20th anniversary this year, including Ocarina of Time (Nov 21), Metal Gear Solid (Sep 3), Turok 2 (Oct 21), Resident Evil 2 (Jan 21), and Half-Life (Nov 19). So expect to see more of that series from me. I also enjoyed reviewing other people’s long plays and will add a couple of my own in the coming year. That said, my YouTube channel is long neglected. Never could figure out a good angle for it.

As for some blog housekeeping, I’m enjoying this new template, but I still have some display kinks to work out. Image work is usually an afterthought for me, so a goal for me is to improve that. I’m also overhauling the site’s taxonomy. While I couldn’t tell you what the ROI is for a solid taxonomy, it helps keep me organized, if nothing else. If you’re a webmaster/blogger and have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m glad to knowledge share.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to this year and everything it brings. Remember we’ve got something like 8,745 hours remaining. Make them all count. Cheers!

End of 2017 Note

Happy New Year’s Eve (or Happy New Year if you’re in that part of the world already celebrating).

Just a quick post about my year end stats, for those who run blogs or are curious about numbers. Since I took up blogging daily here, I’ve had a 426% increase in traffic from last year. The lion share of traffic came from organic search, 84%. Most of that was from Google (big shocker). I’ve been very inactive on social media, sharing out posts sparingly throughout the year. I got quadruple the amount of referrals from Twitter over Facebook. Which isn’t surprising, as only a few readers shared my articles on Facebook.

Here are my top five most viewed 2017 posts:

In 2018, I’m going to focus more on the games that I’ve been playing, and highlight some games coming out that I think are interesting. My Magic playing and wargaming are so sporadic that I don’t think I’ll devote time to these anymore. As I’ve mentioned throughout the year, my other projects take up considerable amount of my writing time. And I will build my audience and traffic up.

Tomorrow I’ll give a preview of some of the content I’ll be creating.

Thanks for reading! And thank you for making this year my most successful year yet. I hope you all have a Happy New Year, and I’ll see you in 2018.

A Short Post

Today I celebrate my anniversary with my wife, so no long post. But I did want to share something game related on this day. My wife doesn’t play many games, just a few retro titles here and there. She owns the 8-bit Marios and Zelda far better than I do. And Spelunker. I watched her beat the revival version one long summer a few years ago. She does, however, love card games. While I’m not much for those, we do break out Dominion occasionally. She’s played a few games of Magic but her CCG career began and ended long ago with Decipher’s LOTR TCG. We also had a string of Scrabble online games going, but that client started to suck so we gave it up.

Also, my wife likes to play Chess every once in a while. In fact, a chess night was our second date.

She has a beautiful glass chessboard. Although it’s aesthetically pleasing, it’s sometimes hard to see the pieces on the squares. You have to see it in person to get the full effect. There have been a few controversies, particularly during that first game we played. Somebody may have moved a bishop that didn’t belong to them, on a color that was wrong. But we managed to work it out.

There’s probably a marriage metaphor in there somewhere, but I can’t tease it out.

Happy anniversary to my wife and my love.


Currently Playing

As I mentioned the other day, I’ve been mostly playing Metroid Samus Returns lately. You can read my “impressions” of that game here. But before the remake came out, I started playing Alundra.

Alundra is a weird game. Like many unhappy RPGs that happened to get released around the time Final Fantasy VII arrived, it got swept under the rug. I had heard about it back then, and years ago got the PSOne “Classic” version for my Vita. After playing through FFVII, I thought it was time to give this hidden gem (by reputation) a try.

It’s essentially a Zelda clone, and not an overly well done one. The best part so far is the amusing game manual. Anyhow, I only got about 2 hours in before I switched to Metroid. When I’m done with Samus’ adventure on SR388, I’ll return to Alundra.

To close out the year here I’m probably due to pay some time in Cuphead. The buzz and post release controversy is proving too hard to resist. I also want to spend more time with Fire Pro Wrestling and some other PS4 games I missed out on due to the Read From Memory series.

Knights of the Round FFXIV

I discovered that Square-Enix did a little throwback to the Knights of the Round summon in FFXIV. I’ve never played this game and have no idea what the battle is about, but the the throwback is awesome.

Just a reminder, I’m on break this weekend. I’ll return Monday with the penultimate Fantasy Baseball update for this season, and we’ll get back to FFVII on Tuesday.

Intermission Continued

Yes I decided to extend my break from FFVII another day. Tomorrow I’ll post the Fantasy Baseball Update, right now – to my surprise – I’m leading my opponent by about 20 points. I still don’t expect to win, but at least if I do lose it won’t be a lopsided defeat like the last time I faced him.

On Tuesday I’ll resume the RFM series with Disc Two.