XannyTV Returns!

Here's the relaunch of XannyTV! Excuse the shoddy camera / editing work. I'm getting used to the new GoPro and the new editing software. Expect updates at least three times a week, maybe more. You can watch the latest episode below, or visit the Youtube Channel Page

Don't forget to subscribe, it would mean a lot!

Momocon 2015 - A Con Review

Momocon 2015 has come and gone, so I figured I'd write a bit about it. This was the first year myself and my partner attended, and overall we had fun. It was held in the Georgia World Congress Center down near the dome in Atlanta, which turned out to be a pretty okay location. Why pretty okay? Well, it was the first year the convention had been here, so there were a few minor things happening that could have gotten better. We arrived and got our badges without a problem, but not even 10 minutes inside GWCC security was complaining because we were "standing in front of the escalators", which we really weren't. There were different teams running around. Momocon security was now called Momocon safety due to the on-site security. Momocon security seemed to be laid back and didn't have the power-trip thing going on, however, some of the GWCC security was another story.

Panels

I attended two panels this year, one being a Godzilla panel, and another dealing with Arduino and costuming. Both were very well done and we weren't waiting in really long lines to get in the door. Some of the other panels, however, proved to be very popular. Not a bad thing, but just something to keep in mind. There was plenty of space in the convention center, so it didn't feel too cramped.

Vending / Gaming

This is where I spent the majority of my time, the vendor and gaming room. The vendor section was your typical anime / gaming / cosplay / artist setup, but there was a lot to take in. I didn't spend a dime, which was something I was particularly proud of. Then, there was the gaming side of the room. There were old arcade and pinball machines set up for free-to-play mode, indie game developers were on-hand to show off their creations, Microsoft has a presense as did Hi-Rez, the creators of Smite, which is something I do play from time to time. Also, there were sections for console gaming, a LAN was set up (bring your own PC), and a tabletop area, which my partner spent a lot of her time at, trying out Legion. It's definitely this section alone that makes the convention worth going back to.

Final Thoughts

It's a decent convention, if not overwhelming. It's a bit smaller than Dragoncon, but it's definitely larger than most conventions we are used to attending. We haven't decided if we're going back yet, but it wouldn't be because of the convention itself.

I Gave It A Week: Torchlight

This is a new series I plan on writing at least twice a month. In it, I pick a game from my library of PC games and give it a week of play. I then review my week and weigh in on the likes, dislikes and whether or not I can continue to play

This week, I dive into the Diablo-like game, Torchlight. Originally released on October 29th, 2009, it's been living in my Steam library for some time, and I had heard a lot about the game both online and from a few others. Gameplay, in a nutshell, from the website:

Players will choose from among three character classes, and venture from the safety of the town of Torchlight into randomly generated dungeon levels, with a huge variety of creepy monsters, endless variations of loot to find, and quests to complete. The endless randomization ensures a long-lived gameplay experience.

So, let's get down to it. First, we'll look at Gameplay.
If you've played any of the Diablo series, then you have a generally good idea of how Torchlight is going to play out. Top-down view with a click to move/perform action/etc. interface. The HUD is pretty clean and informative, and it does stay out of the way. An interesting element is your pet. Your pet can attack, and it can also hold inventory and take it back to town to sell it off. Convenient for sure, as it cuts down on the runs-back-to-town mechanic that can get old when inventories get full. The challenge is good, and there are quite a lot of weapons to choose from. Depending on the difficulty level, it modifies drops and such. There is a leveling system, and you have your normal RPG-style stats along with a skill tree to feed points into.

The game is fun, for a while anyway. By the time I hit level 20, I was starting to get bored with the repetitive nature of the game. Quests up through this point were pretty much "Go retrieve this, go kill that" and required grinding through seas of bad guys.

Performance
This is an older game, so it did just fine on my gaming rig (FX8320 / AMD R9-270x). I did not hit any major framerate drops, and things ran as I would expect them to for an older game. That being said, this should run fairly well on older hardware, including laptops.

In Summary
Torchlight is a fun game, but the repetitive-ness pretty much killed my interest in the game. You should be able to pick it up pretty cheap on Steam if you want to give it a shot. I haven't tried Torchlight 2 yet, but when I do, I'll be sure to compare it back to the original and see what happens there. So, will it last more than a week? Sadly, no. When I get bored of a game, it usually gets thrown to the bottom of the pile. I may go back at some point just to finish the game, but it won't be for a while.

XannyTV, Gaming and Content

Short version:
I'm still working on it.

Not so short version:
It's hit or miss when I can record given my current living situation. However, I'm going to try to make the best of it. I'm on some game every night, whether it be Rift, Smite or something else (most likely Rift, since I'm in a great guild there, and I get to play with my partner!). I should be able to somewhat easily stream those while I'm playing and get some usable content. In fact, I'm going to try that in the coming week or so. Granted, you won't see my face on the stream, but it's something anyway. :)

XannyTV itself I'm still trying to work out how to bring back. The camera I picked up to try to vlog with turned out to be a dud (given the price, I'm not surprised), and I don't want to constantly be out of focus. It's coming back. I plan to record something somewhat decent in the next couple of weeks as a relaunch. If you have any leads on a somewhat decent handheld camera, let me know.

Interested in when I stream? My stream lives over at Twitch.tv (@justxanny), while replays will be posted to Youtube.

Youtube and Twitch: My Video Presence

Youtube Channel

It's been a long time, but I'm finally working on re-launching XannyTV. The last videos I created were back in 2012, and I've since hidden those away (for now anyway). I've completed the channel art and branding stuffs (not very important, but I want my channel not to look so... uncared for). You can find it at http://www.youtube.com/user/xanography, or you can just click on the Youtube icon on my page and be taken right to it. I plan to start weekly vlogs again in the near future, and I'll also have some other content such as video game reviews, Twitch.tv replays and project walkthroughs. I'll most likely post here to the blog when something goes live as well.

Twitch.tv

This is something a bit new to me, streaming live content, but I'm going to give it a try over at http://www.twitch.tv/justxanny. I've got the streaming software figured out and I ran a bit of a test a couple of weeks ago which seemed to go well. Everyone seems to stream newer games, but me? I'm going to focus on older games from the NES / SuperNES / Genesis era. I'm not a great game player, but I think I can create some entertaining videos that way. My sense of humor is interesting to say the least, and listening to my inner commentary come out should be a fun time. I will from time to time stream newer games, as I have 250+ Steam games that I need to start working my way through. I record the gameplay locally as well, so a live stream may very well turn into an episode of XannyTV on Youtube at some point.

Of course, should you have any questions, comments or suggestions for what you want to see, hit me up here, on Twitch, or on Youtube.