Night One – Five Nights At Freddy’s: Horror Game Success in Simplicity

There are times when I just really need to go fanboy crazy over something. Age of Ultron was a pretty good example of this. So is the Five Nights at Freddy’s franchise.

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I’ve made a terrible mistake.

That’s why I’m devoting a week of posts to Five Nights at Freddy’s. One for each night you have to survive, culminating with the dreaded sixth night and 20/20/20/20 Mode for those of you who are brave enough.

Five Nights at Freddy’s – The Original 

Touted as one of YouTube’s favorite jumpscare-based horror games, Five Nights At Freddy’s is the start of something special. A horror game that allows players to flee with one press of the Escape key clearly knew what it was doing and who it was catering to from day one. It’s five nights of surviving four animatronics and one sneaky Golden Freddy, followed by one extra night and an adjustable AI difficulty. 20/20/20/20 Mode is a strong representation of the relentless difficulty video games used to have, and should have for people seeking a real challenge. Hell, Scott Cawthon even added an extra star for people who beat the original 20/20/20/20 mode because he didn’t think it was possible.  Continue reading

A gradual journey to a new normalcy

Some of you folks may be wondering where the Hell I’ve been. May was, of course, my month-long hiatus from Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress, and it was definitely a learning experience. And then I didn’t blog for the entire month of June, which was a bit less intentional. Plenty of events transpired between the last post and this one; the world continued turning, people kept writing, and life went on (and I have so much to catch up on in my subscriptions that it actually gives me a headache thinking about it).

This post will be about the good, the bad, and the ugly, but not necessarily in that order. Don’t worry, though. A lot of this will be shortened up for everyone’s sake. Plus, really, the good outweighs the bad. It’s a lot more enjoyable to read the good stuff.

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Final preparations

Free Comic Book Day is practically here, which is nice because I’m feeling glum in a way that only free comics, Indian food, and watching Ultron wreck the Avengers’ collective shit can fix. I’m excited about a good few things that are coming up in May, actually,

I deleted the Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter apps from my phone already, which went a little something like this…

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I was going to be a wise-ass and compare this process to starting the first night at Five Nights At Freddy’s, but when I opened the game only to discover my save data at Night 4 was lost I kind of lost any desire to make that joke. Yeah, I’m not super-thrilled with that.

On that unfortunate note, I’ll see you folks in a month. Take care. Wish me luck.

Winding down for my break that’s not a break

Yesterday was a great start to the week, and I only have tomorrow and Thursday before I take my hiatus from being tethered to the internet. (Because that’s something I complain about so often, obviously.)

As I get closer to this self-imposed hiatus from my various distractions (Facebook, Twitter, blogging, Tumblr, and so on), the more apprehensive I am about the possibility of failure. I’ve pointed out that I’m allowing Messenger and Instagram to avoid cutting myself off from the world beyond Altoona, and I will be using the internet for e-mail, searching for publications accepting submissions, and to help with writing, but I can’t help but worry I’ll manage to slip up. One month, though months seem to fly, is a rather long time when that time isn’t being flushed down the digital toilet.

It occurred to me this morning, however, that there’s no real point in worrying too much about it. Not using Facebook gives me time to focus on writing, reading, and actually enjoying my video games. (I mean, I’m spending money on them and not actually making use of them. That seems a bit counter-intuitive.) Without having to worry about coming up with a topic for each day for my blog, I’ll have more attention to devote to writing the short stories that are rattling around in my brain, the novel(s) I’ve put off for how long, and so on and so on. Strangely enough, I’m gradually discovering that worrying about everything isn’t really a viable solution. That is by no means me admitting that I’m going to up and stop worrying; I’ve got far too many energetic, highly active neuroses for that. What I am saying is that this break is exactly that: a break to wind down and focus on other things that matter.

Well, that and enjoy several amazing events throughout May. Why fret when I can finally work on getting more of my work published, more of my games conquered, unpack and clean up more of the apartment, and generally feel less high-strung?

Money helps the art go ’round

I’ve got a couple topics floating around in my brain, and I’ve also got some great short stories in there. And some eventual progress on the novel idea. Ultimately, there’s a lot of drivel-poop in there, too, but it’s been a long week and I’m trying to recover. This topic is probably a hair on the lazy, underwhelming side of things, but it’s also a personal curiosity of mine that I feel like exploring. You know the old song: “it’s my blog post and I’ll write what I want to”.

Web sites like Kickstarter exist to help ideas happen. There is a clear benefit for both sides involved in the site. Backers receive various types of increasingly impressive macguffins for helping creators make their idea a reality, except in the cases where crowdfunding fails to reach the goal or the creators don’t meet their promises.

And then there are web sites like Patreon. Patreon fascinates me because it’s the idea of giving creators money to help them continue to create. There are rewards, yes, and it can be set up in a tiered way like Kickstarter, but it’s an ongoing process instead of a one-and-done sort of thing. I find myself feeling oddly torn about it because it seems like the act of saying “gimme” and hoping for the best, but that’s not a warm and cheerful way of looking at things. People get some sort of thank you, creators get money to support their creative ways, and everyone wins. Yet I’m still oddly suspicious of it. Maybe it’s because I wonder if I could give it a try myself but think it’ll turn into a study in how much failure I’m capable of.

The real questions are is this something worth checking out as a writer? What thoughts do you folks have? Am I being a technology-fearing, change-fearing doofus? Let me know.

The wonders of personal essays

Today was without a doubt, and beyond compare, one of the most productive days off I’ve had in a while. Exciting apartment maintenance stuff was handled bright and early. I mowed the lawn for the first time this year, which was taxing and horrible but necessary. There was a strong aroma of wild onions all around my yard, however, and it proved to be surprisingly enjoyable. By extension, the lawn mowing became that much more pleasant. After that, and without showering first (not a point of pride for me), I deposited my tax return and used a small portion of it to treat myself. The rest, of course, is planned out for responsible, adult things, but I wanted to have a little fun with some of it. A copy of Majora’s Mask for the 3DS, an Ultron bobblehead, and a copy of Lumberjanes later, I achieved that much.

Funny enough, all of those things are relevant to today’s topic. Continue reading

Artistic what-ifs

It’s really easy to ask someone what they do for a living, and the typical response to such inquiries usually revolves around their job. Sometimes, and I emphasize sometimes, the response will have to do with something a person is passionate about (IE: I consider my writing how I make my living, while my day job is the way I afford said living). As I’ve said a million times before, and will continue saying forever: there’s a certain magic when a person talks about what really makes them tick; the thing they’re most passionate about doing in the whole of all creation.

However, I would argue that everyone also has at least one other passion, but one they’ve never gotten to pursue (or, perhaps, one they’ve not gotten to pursue to the extent they’d have liked). It may be something they talk about openly, with a sense of longing, or something that is quietly yearned for in those moments before sleep. I’ve talked about wanting to act before, so I figured I could offer a little more insight into myself. And, of course, I’d love to hear what you folks all wish you could get around to learning, doing, and so on.

If possible, and I realize there’s the small matter that everything is possible with the right amount of time, money, and patience (and other things, but that money one is what really kills me), I’d love to learn how to play the cello. I’d be very happy to really sit down and learn any instrument, really, which is one regret I have from not staying with my piano lessons. There’s something about cello music, though. I’m having a hell of a time really describing the feelings cello music cause me, so instead I’ll just share this:

I think the first time I heard that was on House, M.D., and I was hooked. There’s something inherently soothing, I think, to cello music, and so learning to play it would be like a nice, musical form of meditation. That all said, cellos are really goddamn expensive and, quite frankly, I have a hard enough time finding…well, time to accomplish all of the things I need to in a day without adding learning an instrument into the mix. Or perhaps those are just excuses.

What kind of other adventures do you folks dream of embarking on? Are they things you really can’t achieve, or are you, too, just making excuses?

The Evolution of the On Screen Superhero

I have one of the single-most wretched, God-awful headaches tonight, and so this installment in One Hundred Days of Blogging 2.0 is a lazy reblog of my first editorial on MaverickFilm.co. Keep an eye on that site for some excellent content (as well as more of my pop culture nonsense).

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Superheroes in mass-consumed media, specifically movies and television, have evolved a good deal from their on-the-page comic book roots. From early incarnations with largely comical natures to their modern counterparts that have the capacity to be dark and gritty as well as light-hearted and humorous, the superhero genre has seen a lot of change and growth. Not all of this growth turned out well, but that’s where the magic of rebooting a franchise could always be worked. Oscar wins for movies like Big Hero 6 speak volumes for the current state of these movies, and so it’s important to take a look back and see exactly what paved the way for the modern superhero epic, both in film and on television.

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