Miniature Painting

Another set of pictures... turns out close range focusing on my camera isn't too hot... focus on the backpack, and the arms and legs are blur... focus on the arms, and the body is blur.. probably something to do with the depth of field.. any suggestions?


Maybe I'm Back

I used to be a shutterbug. I stopped taking pictures for awhile - for some reason. Maybe I lost the habit of bringing my camera around - the big heavy bulky thing that it is.

This is the only good picture I've taken all year. Or at least, I like it a lot myself. I was supposed to frame it on the right with the Tram pole sign - and leave the Stop number and Route number more visible, but space and angle considerations beat me. The focus was originally on the chill, foggy night, the ghostly lit skeleton of a tree glowing quietly in the darkness, but now it seems the picture is more about this particular Stop - somewhere, for many of us, we've spent the best years of our life, loved and lost and lost some more. And then, like the turn of the seasons, we move on. There's always this longing to rewind the clock, to do things again, except that you're afraid that it will turn out the same again.

Would we do it all over again, if we knew it would end up like this?


Grid Wars 2

Link for description and download

Grid Wars is quite a marvel of a game, clocking in at merely 3 megabytes - complete with retro graphics and sound effects.

It's an age old concept and game style - you control an amazingly agile spaceship, and armed with a puny antimatter cannon, you have to dodge and destroy the seemingly endless hordes of neon coloured geometric shapes thrown at you.

This game is absolutely chaotic, but the key to playing it is seeing the patterns in the chaos. Each type of "enemy" on the screen has their own subtle behaviour patterns -> the cyan diamonds will move directly towards you, the green squares will actively avoid your attacks, the red interceptors have a frontal shield which repels your attacks, the tiny dark blue seeker circles move at high speed towards you while ignoring gravity wells. There are ways of dealing with each type of enemy, but the trick is surviving when a whole bunch of different shapes are closing in on you. There are literally dozens of different colored shapes to learn to handle in the game.

The real twist that this game has, is the implementation of black holes. They are a random spawn, like the enemy shapes rushing towards you, but they exert a gravity well around them drawing in everything (including you!) while repelling your antimatter attacks. As it swallows more enemies, the gravity field grows more intense, evidenced by the increasing distortion on the grid background and the higher pitched humming the black hole generates. If a black hole hits critical mass it detonates, sending a hail of deadly sharpnel towards you. The black hole gravity field and mass can be diminished by firing your antimatter cannon directly at it, (to counteract the repelling effect of the gravity field on your cannon you must sometimes position yourself dangerously close to the black hole)

Destroying a black hole with your cannon yields points based on how many enemies it has swallowed, on an exponential scale -> a black hole that has swallowed many enemies can be worth a lot of points, however those points are "locked" in the black hole and you risk losing all those points if the black hole implodes or you perish before destroying it.

The black holes are essentially the terrain upon which the game is played -> the gravity field can be a blessing and a curse, shielding you and simplifying your defensive solutions against an insurmountable rush of enemies, yet hindering your movement and sometimes slowing your movement when you need to get away quickly, and sometimes rapidly reaching critical mass when you are not in any position to get near it to pacify it. The game would be close to impossible to play at higher difficulties without black holes shaping the terrain -> a mass of 50 squares approaching you from all directions is impossible to dodge or destroy, however with a scattering of black holes many squares will be deflected and swallowed leaving clear paths of movement.

Playing this game does feel like farming : you are shepherding masses of enemies into the black holes and keeping their size under control, zipping to and fro between different black holes, deciding when one has gotten too dangerous and "harvesting" it for points.

Well enough of ranting =p Great and simple game. Highest score so far is 700,000-ish on Hard difficulty. (found the lower difficulty settings too slow to try playing).


hunters ^_^

I have been dabbling in some PvP with my hunter... they're an amazing class to play, even with relatively inferior gear I am regularly topping the charts.

Highlight of tonight in AV - met an opposing faction warrior on his mount, I waved to him, and he dismounted and swapped to Battle Stance. Aha... lay freezing trap, fire off a shot at him and take a few steps back, he charges, and bang he's frozen 10 yards before he reaches me.

I hop skip away to 41 yards, then fire off in quick succession an aimed shot, concussive shot, autoshot, multishot, autoshot, watch him swap to Zerker stance, limp forward, then use Intercept. He foolishly uses his rage to Whirlwind instead of Hamstring - I retaliate with scattershot, dazing him for a few seconds, flip backwards back out to 10 yards, amd multishot + autoshot again.

He quickly closes the distance, and I feign death and reset another freezing trap, just before he reaches me bam he's frozen again. I run back out to 10 yards, arcane shot + autoshot and he's dead.

I didn't even have my pet around =p