Not just another weblog

Playthrough of the original portal game on steam, a game pretty much everyone should own especially if they enjoy this type of game and with how often it is on sale cheap during steam sales there is no excuse not to own the game

If you haven’t got your tickets for EGX 2015 at the NEC yet time’s running out as tickets are selling out fast, so be sure to head over before they run out. While you’re at it if you’re interested in attending a relaxed evening with the yogscast, there are two days of panels, each for £15 or £20 for both days, separate to main expo entry these are 2 hour long sessions of questions and gaming hosted by the yogscast, with team flux+ on friday being sjin, hannah, duncan and kim. And on the saturday evening it would be lewis and hat films (Ross, Trottimus and Al Smiffy)

Now onto the main event itself, if you’re not convinced to go purely for it being the main gaming convention in the uk being hosted at the NEC arena for convenience of location for the majority of the country, or the fact that you can get up close and personal with both developers and youtubers across four days, then lets get down to one of the biggest draws, the fact that there will be over 200 screens of playable games, featuring upcoming games such as homefront: The revolution, Assassins Creed Syndicate, Mirrors Edge Catalyst, Starwars Battlefront and many more.

One particular game you may wish to queue up for above all others would be the aseembly, being playable for the first ever time anywhere and being a virtual reality adventure game, which lets face it not everyone has a VR kit at home, this will be the opportunity to not only test the equipment out for yourself and experience whether you think this is the future of gaming, but also the fact that this is an adventure game rather than the usual fairground rides or on the rails stories VR tends to highlight, it would be interesting to see just how interactive the game would be and how far it pushes the technology forward.

While you’re there don’t forget to visit the rezzed zone too, filled with a variety of indie games, some you may know well such as speedrunners, and project zomboid, but also a chance to discover new indie games you will have yet to hear from, all being shown off by the development team themselves providing the best opportunity to ask them about the games and see the future plans of the development teams. If you’re after a break from the screen you can always chill out over some board games for some classic and tactile gaming.

If you’re not just there to play the games, chill out in the retro zone with some classic games such as megabomberman, or have a look at the leftfeild collection sponsored by sega, then there is even more on offer, not only the finals of a variety of competitive gaming tournaments which could be exciting to watch, there will be developer sessions where the big development teams will take to the stages to talk about the latest games and upcoming development plans, and don’t forget the usual plethora of cosplayers that will be around the event partaking in activities revolving around that and taking to the stage for judgement and even posing for pictures and to be drawn at times.

Finally for anyone wishing to enter the gaming industry there will be a career fair, providing the opportunity to speak to recruiters and get advice on how to develop your career within the gaming industry and a variety of career workshops based upon the gaming industry.

I will be attending the event and bringing you the latest from these games and more, so if there is anything in particular you would like me to cover be sure to let me know, and I will try to find you those hidden gems that might get missed by other people, and if you’re going yourself maybe I will see you there.

Dungeon League is a multiplayer Brawl/Sport game with a single screen of heated action for up to 4 players, currently in steam early access so things could change dramatically over time.

As it stands it is currently local co-op only (although the cooperative nature of the game should be in heavy parenthesis as it is more adversarial with different teams competing against each other for survival, coins and points. Currently there is a very limited number of gamemodes available but some have been noted like a ball sport which could be very interesting, and a quest mode to perform specific tasks, possibly with whichever team completes the objective first taking the win.

As it stands though it is a very promising game, with the usual cast of dungeon crawlers playable from the traditional warrior, mage and archer to engineers and brutes with possibly more to come. The tables are turned however instead of plundering the dungeon for loot and killing all creatures to take down the boss of the dungeon instead the dungeonkeeper itself seems to be in charge with the beasts controlling everything, sure there are the usual minions which spawn in hell bent on killing you, but that’s all part of the game taking down the heroes foolhardy enough to participate in the game to their inevitable demise. There is a good degree of humour in the interactions that play out in options and with the new training mode, and I expect these to carry across for any quest modes possibly focusing heavily on jokes against the heroes.

As for the gameplay itself everything feels smooth and correct, the monsters themselves feel paced well enough without being too hard or too easy, of course when you’re in free play mode by yourself it is easier to be swamped than if you had 4 players to take down the beasts. Don’t forget this is early access so if you have any suggestions you can let the developers know your idea’s and they can be sure to add them should they fit in well with the game and the direction the developers wish to take. My current suggestion may be that perhaps free play mode introduces boss monsters perhaps every 100 kills or allows for gradual randomized leveling up. And one or two suggestions that go without saying would be the ability to quit once inside the mode and to have some options for changing things like sound levels and full screen, but these are bound to be in development as we speak.

I would definitely recommend a purchase if you enjoy this style of game, and I would presume online multiplayer would become an option later but no guarantee’s as yet, if this changes I shall let you know, and in the meantime I hope to be able to get some people together for local co-op gameplay video’s to show off the game some more.

Check out Dungeon League for yourself on steam

Anyone who has been effected by any form of delays or incorrectly paid benefits of any form from the DWP an official investigation is underway by parliament at so you should visit to submit any information you have whether it personally effects you or somebody you know, so the department of work and pensions are held accountable for their misdeeds and incompetence.

Also Epetitions has been down since before the election stating it would be online “shortly” after the election, having been down for a few months it is now back in a new format, stated to be delayed to allow the system to be revolutionized into a better more efficient format, this does not seem to be the case as you now require 5 signatures in order for any details to even go live on the site, and without 5 people signing the petition blind it only simply states your name and to sign your agreement to whatever the petition is about blindly. If you remove the sponsorship and visit the petition page itself it them claims that 5 people have already signed and that it is under review when this isn’t actually the case as from the outset having just set up the petition I can guarantee 5 people have not signed, this seems to be further discouragement to sign as though it has already been supported and you’re not needed, so don’t bother in that sort of psychological influence, when truly the petition still requires your support.

My personal petitions awaiting signatures are a vote of no confidence in the conservative party calling for a new election as they do not have a significant majority.

Also A petition to compensate those who have been effected to benefits delays of more than 3 months that result in them losing their home in a fair manner.

I would appreciate your support and signatures on these petitions.

Following the pre alpha demo of lumini I highlighted we have a more recent alpha stage demo as the game gets closer to release, further from its initial stages this build has new area’s and the start of what appears to be a form of branching storyline and purpose towards an end goal.

With puzzles and the backgrounds still hinting towards some secret hidden in the depths and reviving not only the lumini by taking pollen from plants to the crystals but also growing fauna in the planet and restoring life to desolate area’s.

The alpha does have some frame rate issues which will undoubtedly be resolved ready for the final release, as optomisation tends to be a later process when everything has been prepared fully, this however does cause some issues with the puzzles with the turbines in particular being difficult to turn correctly due to input lag, do not expect this to be a problem in the main release however as there will undoubtedly be the usual options of minimising shadows, bloom and textures in order to optimise correctly to your setup especially when recording at the same time which is notorious for creating further framerate lag.

I may have neglected to point out that the final release will undoubtedly feature further lumini to unlock, some of which may be hidden in secret paths and be harder and unessential but may ultimately make progression and completing the game easier, and others again may perform useful actions such as lighting up darker area’s and depths, perhaps traversing the toxic skyline, going under water, and even moving rocks and scenery or planting grass spores in new locales.

Who is to say what other secrets are yet to be discovered and what the storyline could entail, but I am definately looking forward to seeing how the final game pans out and exploring all the world has to offer, obviousely the final game will have more open worlds and area’s that branch out in more diverse ways true to the format, but obviousely this would not be possible to demonstrate in an alpha demo which does not wish to show off everything the final game has to offer and ruin all of the secrets, perhaps it’s for the best I could never pass the turbines and maintain the secret of what lies beyond for you to discover.

Check out lumini on to keep up to date with the latest information about release dates and teasers as they become available.

The video attached was recorded before spontaneous protests which have since happened, including the one where charlotte church attended, all of which shows we will take it #NoLonger

“Institutional Oppression occurs when established laws, customs, and practices systematically reflect and produce inequities based on one’s membership in targeted social identity groups. If oppressive consequences accrue to institutional laws, customs, or Practices, the institution is oppressive whether or not the individuals maintaining those practices have oppressive intentions.”[wikipedia]

With the conservatives getting a majority in the 2015 general election, and thier main policies being to oppress the socially unfortunate who are unable to find work despite trying, with only 1.1% of unemployed people having never had work when you discount students. The majority of the unemployed market would like to find work but are unable to for a variety of reasons, ranging from toxic zero hour contracts where you can have just about enough hours to pay your bills one week, but the next three weeks get absolutely no hours whatsoever. This is not only unsustainable but completely against the ability to find a sustainable job.

The unemployed are demonised and treated like strains on society when the majority are good natured people who would like to find work and employment in thier hometown, often being happy to take less hours as long as they would pay the bills and provide the ability to live, in amongst a time where mp’s are able to not only earn thier base salary of £67,060 (which might as well be 666 is many instances) they are also requesting pay rises and are also able to claim ridiculous expenses, often resulting in completely immoral tactics of taking advantage of the expense system, yet they are still able to hold office and run in the position even when ousted as being completely soulless immoral scum of society, yet that is a tag they would place on those who are unfortunate and wish to work, stating instead we are the drains on society where £72pw is such a drain on the tax system compared to thier ridiculousely high incomes of £1289,62pw+expenses. Not only are they earning such levels but most of them do not even perform thier mp expected position and instead work additional jobs, and represent the issues of big companies which pay them off or are associated with thier own business interests rather than the political interests of the people they are supposed to represent.

Then you get people who go “why don’t you just get a job” as if applying to 40+ jobs per week which you have to prove at the job center just to claim jobseekers isn’t enough, as though you aren’t putting any effort into looking for work, and they state that you shouldn’t be entitled to a home or any form of life if you’re unable to find work but would like work, meanwhile they’re happy to hoard all of the hours of a job, where people could reduce the working week to 35 hours and provide work for millions of people accross the country by the 13 extra hours per week which gets freed up for new jobs which increases employment and reduces the spending on benefits as a result, which creates more free time for people which in turn leads to further spending on leisure activities by people, a happier better rested workforce, boosted spending leads to further jobs required to cope with the increased spending in the area’s so boosts the 13 hours extra to a good 20+ sustainable job, all of which leads to increased net tax income for the government to spend elsewhere, but they’re just too dumb to see that and instead focus on demonising and killing people throwing them out onto the streets.

And what about human rights? well mr cameron hitler decided people don’t deserve human rights, and instead chooses to write his own bill of rights which will undoubtedly remove any rights for those who want to work but cannot find work, remove all rights to the underprivelleged, all the time while never doing anything to increase taxes on the rich, which as noted previousely has not changed for a very very long time, so the poverty gap widens.

Focusing on demonising one section of the socio economic group, is a social sector, so we are an oppressed people, and people suffering from oppression only put up with it so long, peaceful protests are planned, including on the 20th of june at 12 noon in front of the bank of england, however if peaceful protests won’t be listened to people will rise up in revolt. We have had enough and will not stand for any more oppression, do you want us to take jobs and homes by force, we want them so don’t put us down when we put all of our effort into trying to get work and sustainable income, if you want chaos and force and us to do WHATEVER it takes to get work and sustainable incomes, don’t tread on us and put us down, the downtrodden will fight back, you create your own enemy, we have a voice and we will be heard.

With the UK General Election Date set for the 7th of may I wanted to inform people about the party policies and manifesto’s so that they could make an informed decision on voting day, and vote based around the declared policies as opposed to which face they find preferable and who’s slanging matches they believe, or which parties they’re told to avoid rather than actual voting on the issues which matter, which is what changes you would like to happen in the next term of government coming up to 2020 as opposed to avoiding getting certain parties into majority power for the next election, which lets face it if you believe the statistics state no party has a majority and party power will be shared and decisions will be influenced by MP seats in parliament over decisions as opposed to actual power held.

Of course the whole seat system and the forecasts are a matter of discussion because not only can these be completely inaccurate they seem to change on a daily basis, and with some news organisations omitting some parties over others, and often including others which really shouldn’t count such as SNP in the english sector where mp’s aren’t even held for voting and won’t hold primary power where other parties could.

Ignoring all of that, your vote does matter, and if you actually go out rather than listening to forecasts you can make a difference, because forecasts themselves are an influencing tactic, stating you’ve got no chance to put you off voting against that party so they will get the majority in your area, and only by voting can you make change, and by voting you can get a council power in your area that works for you especially over devolved matters, and only by getting seats in parliament which represent the issues which agree most with you can you actually get things in the country to change in a manner which suits you.

So watch the video, or visit The BBC Manifesto guide and have a look through the issues that matter to you, and see which party most closely matches the interests you wish to be represented in the next term coming up to 2020, which itself has its own political issues, especially with the EU mandated changes expected by 2020 which have thier own consequences, and issues which effect young people such as the availability of jobs, homes, the working week, working time directive and “zero hour contracts”

Perhaps some parties have issues which effect different classes or age ranges, and some represent certain socio economic groups and others might better represent another sector, the only way to know who represents you best is to look through the manifestoes, and short of that read the highlights pointed out in the bbc page as I discuss in the video, whatever the option the only way you can truly have an influence is to vote on what matters to you, as opposed to which particular leader you like in a popularity contest, especially when some leaders (IE david cameron) aren’t going to be in power for a full term and you will be represented by some unknown party throughout.

It is a shame that corrupt mp names who have been involved in previous scandals do not get published, as I would have liked to have pointed out a distinct list of names to avoid completely, as you do not want expense grabbing scummy leaders in parliament representing thier own interests as opposed to those of the country and thier county which they have been elected to have a greater responsibility to cover, and are paid more than adequately to cover without looking for every excuse to scum the books while in the name of austerity cutting off benefits and services to those in need.

Whatever your thoughts, and wether they match mine or disagree completely the simple matter is you should vote, as the only way to make a difference is to go out there, if you’re under the impression it makes no difference and only certain parties get in, that is how they continue to get away with it, playing on your mind to put you off voting for a party that goes against them and playing on your insecurities over a split power rather than a majority, when split powers with mutual interests which benefit you as opposed to a majority power which goes completely against your interests is surely a better choice?

Voting day is may 7th 2015, don’t forget.

Potential spoilers as reviewing this episode would be next to impossible to review without talking about issues and themes which reveal what happens in the episode, so if you wish to avoid spoilers watch and read no further.

Episode 2 of life is strange deals with some hard hitting plot lines dealing with issues from depression, rape and drugs to gaslighting and suicide throughout. The main plotline of this particular episode is kate marsh and how you have dealt with her in the past and throughout the current episode and the problems she has been going through with the release of a viral video, we soon discover that this isn’t illicitly filmed footage of her in her room with a boyfriend but instead out at a vortex club party where she has been drugged by nathan prescott. Of course proving this and simply knowing are two different matters which will pan out diffferently depending on the choices you have made throughout the playthrough as perhaps directly blaming nathan and confronting him on every instance could cause him to destroy any evidence you may have been able to find, whilst supporting kate and keeping things on the lowdown may be more likely to cause him to slip up in the future.

Divergent paths can be seen to begin as to whether you get a party invite finalised on the list, whether you choose to go on a date with warren or avoid him entirely, and also whether you actually suceed in saving kate marsh from the rooftop or not, and also who you ultimately blame in the final scene all have consequences, with mr jefferson losing priveledges if you blame him, perhaps the security guard losing his job or being put on repromand if you blame him and nathan getting suspended regardless of blame for simply being involved in the party.

The game begins to develop some new gameplay mechanics also, pointing out that noticing the little things which have cause and effect and also memorising the little details might be something immensely useful in future episodes, especially as you learn that you have a very limited time travel potential, not only the the ammount you can go backwards in time, but also that max’s health deteriorates if you use it too often, so perhaps adding a limited time travel potential per room which could cause the instances of missing possibilities for change even more likely in future episodes.

The ultimate reveal of the episode however is that max can also freeze time, or slow it down to such a degree that effectively time stops, whilst being very draining on her abilities and removing any ability to use them in the future this could become an essential mechanic later.

Regardless of how you have treated kate to this date she will end up on the roof, simply because mr jefferson gaslit her to end up there by being accused of making things up for attention and blowing everything out of proportion, this can be hard hitting if you’ve put everything into caring for kate but also reveals potential further involvement from mr jefferson, which I am happy to say isn’t highlighted to be something to rewind when they have a confrontation outside of the classroom and simply remaining as something you can learn if you utilise your ability to manipulate time correctly.

It would also appear that the security guard is simply misguided and overreacting in a protective manner to his daughter over the majority of instances as opposed to being more directly involved in the dissappearances of the students, and persuing things in an incorrect manner, because as stated he is not cut out to be a cop, and perhaps resents this and hopes to investigate himself without involving others, causing increased danger to the students at blackwell academy as a result where if he had simply handed in evidence to the police things might well have gone different, although the prescotts essentially own the town and may be able to get around police investigations confronting kate and simply gathering evidence rather than acting in her interest also did have some influence on her not being prevented from getting on the rooftop.

Chloe herself seems to be coming accross more unstable owing money to drug dealers and perhaps not being so honest with max as she comes accross, being far more invested in rachel amber than max and being selfish in many instances insisting max perform tricks for her and spend all her time with her instead of others, getting jealous at max taking kate’s call for example, and seeing max as a way to solve all of her own problems rather than simply being her former best friend.

I can see how the plot could be very different in future episodes depending on how you have played through so far, and I would be very dissappointed if they wrote kate out of the game entirely even with a win condition especially considering how much effort some people have put into saving her life and making her feel good about herself, and also that she could be the very key to getting a conviction on nathan and unlocking the whole mystery of rachel ambers dissappearence. I would hope she remains a full character in the game who you can interact with and even bring along on investigations, perhaps storming nathan’s locker or dorm room while everyone else is at a party as an option rather than ending up on a date with warren, or off helping chloe with her drug dealer debts.

Also at the end of the episode the mystery depeends around the flashes forward to inside of the tornado itself and a solar eclipse which could be a metaphore for max’s life light going out and dimming in a future where she may already be dead or on the verge of death having been knocked out by a falling lighthouse, depending how you interpret what has occured in the game to date.

I can’t wait for the next episode to come out, and so far to date this is definately an award winning work in my opinion, and if it doesn’t win an award from a larger institution at least it deserves an IStar, which any readers of my reviews will note I very rarely give out and are only awarded to the most very exceptional works in thier field, and this is something I believe definately deserves such an award.

Life is strange episode 2 is out now on be sure to check you’ve unticked and reticked the dlc for episode 2 if you’ve purchased it and it won’t download.
life is strange IStar 9/04/2015

After having put complaints in over the past 3-4 years (depending if you count complaints prior to my home being reposessed by the housing association) and constantly being ignored, recieving responses from different departments and districts to I sent messages to, with heavily delayed responses and despite asking for messages to be forwarded to correct departments and for a direct email for the correct department because the ones listed on birmingham city councils website themselves proved fruitless I was forced to involve the ICE and LGO as well as mp’s to get the situation sorted.

Having filed ICE and LGO complaints last year (where they stated they would have to wait for official final responses, which never arrived or constantly arrived from incorrect departments despite every effort to contact the correct departments and asking for responses from the correct departments) I have been forced to involve local and westminster MP’s in the situation to investigate, and it is only because of thier pressure as well as the ombudsmen actually taking on the case now that significant efforts have been made constantly over the past 3 years after losing my home, and significant time since messaging the ombudsmen to investigate and thier own attempts to contact the correct departments for a final response that I have finally recieved a response from the benefits department of the birmingham city council.

This response clearly states that payment should have always been in place and I should never have had to resort to filing a new claim in september 2011, which was only filed because efforts by myself and family housing association to get due benefits into payment were proving fruitless and contacting the correct department, providing proofs both postally and directly to the office were doing nothing, and emails and phone calls to sort out the situation were proving fruitless, it was hoped this fresh application would get the housing benefit into payment; especially as in august 2011 investigations had been completed after providing all of the requested proofs and my benefits were reinstated (yet housing benefits remained unpaid)

In september 2011 the new benefits application was accepted, with provided proofs, and yet actual payment of housing benefits remained unpaid, constant attempts by myself and family housing association were ignored and went unresolved, and family housing association began reposession of my home in september, ultimately reposessing it in the begining of january during the period while the job center and council were closed for the christmas period. Forward to the 17th of february 2012 a whole 6 months after the filing of a fresh application (which they note themselves was not required to get housing benefits paid, yet clearly was due to thier non payment) they paid PART, not all just part of the housing benefits due, only backdated to that claim, almost a whole 2 months after my home was reposessed and I was forced to stop attending jobseekers to an inability to look for work with no stable home and being scared to leave the house for being locked out of it while I attended the jobseekers as they would know when my sign on dates were to lock me out as they had sucessfully filed for reposession in the courts.

None of this would have happened if the council had paid the housing benefits that were due, on time without delay (8 months of delays essentially) I would still have my home, all of my posessions, had been able to look for work and sign on, yet despite all of this they deny being responsible for me losing my home and everything, and three years of my life as they “lose” housing applications, forwarded proofs and more to attempt to get back to birmingham and my life, and also asking unreasonable proofs of where you’ve stayed temporarilly on sofa’s and clearly could not have bills and registered bank statements at very temporary accommodations and other excuses to simply avoid putting right what they’ve done wrong.

Still they send a message stating they will arrange an interview to put me on the housing register, which now almost a month later, and despite sending another email asking why this has been delayed no interview has been made, and I remain off the register as they unreasonably delay further where I should really just be given a place back in birmingham as I never should have lost my home in the first place, and would not have if they had simply paid the housing benefits that were due, and constantly chased for from myself and family housing association to get into payment which was actually due, and they admit should have been paid.

Now they have offered compensation… yeah “compensation” of £250 for losing everything you own (valued far higher) all the stress and discomfort, three years of your life and being unable to look for work stuck arguing with them trying to get back to birmingham and get this sorted, not really an adequate level of compensation is it.

Quite frankly I’m getting sick of the way they think they can treat people, and something needs to be done. The entire council needs to be fired and replaced by competent individuals who aren’t scumbags, and they need to stop treating people like this as I’m not alone in this, and only by speaking up and being heard can we prevent this happening, and by voting for someone who isn’t going to be scummy towards those unlucky enough to not be able to find work despite trying.

If you’re in a similar situation speak out and be heard, especially now they’re under investigation, get your voice in, get your case heard and get this situation changed for everyone.

TorqueL went a little unnoticed as a steam release due to the new nature of the steam front page where instead of having a list of latest releases products get hidden behind layers of “curator content” and “recommended products” and by the time you do get down to where the releases are located it tends to be automatically set to “popular new releases” despite changing the setting, it always reverts to this, which is unfortunate because TorqueL was one of the games I wanted to show off so much I got permission to show the prototype in early form, if it wasn’t for the fact that the developer sent me a product key through youtube the release would have passed by completely unknown

As it stands the release was in january, and as I do not actively check that inbox this video has been delayed in being released due to late discovery.

The game itself remains higlhy polished, with smooth well designed totional control involving extending sides of your cube and rotating, using the physics of this to traverse over pits of death or difficult terrain in order to reach the exit. New features added since the prototype include things such as gravity flipping funnels, moving platforms and scenery of increasingly difficult nature to traverse, accross 50 chambers with 8 routes, one of which is noted to be very secret there are reasons to replay through, wether attempting to speed run through the game or traverse all of the routes possible.

Whatever route you choose the game is challenging and fun and if you enjoy puzzle games this is one that you wont want to miss, the mechanics of the rotation and physics of the extended limbs just feel so right and satisfying and must have been very difficult to programme, the object feels like it has a correct mass and weight every time you extend a limb, wether to help gain a rotation you couldn’t achieve before or to launch yourself accross the terrain, things operate as you expect when using the torque to your advantage.

Check out TorqueL for yourself on steam, I know I’ll be playing it through and I think you should too.
TorqueL is copyright