Also known as Zodiac Eclipse on the forums, Joanna is your friendly neighborhood MOMerator and co-forum admin. She fights spam and trolls with Aaron and helps promote and support the awesomeness that is the Dtoid community.
After the success I had with Plushtoid I got a PM from my forum buddy Jesus H Christ asking if I did custom orders. Feeling a bit overconfident I told him I could, then he asked me to make him a plush Gordon Freeman. Now to put things into perspective for you folks at home, I'm not some master crafter by any stretch of the imagination. I taught myself to sew and am very much still learning the ropes as far as proper protocol and making shapes correctly goes. I've never made anything even remotely human shaped and certainly nothing with such a detailed armor case to build.
I delicately tried to talk him out of it, assuring him that it wouldn't come out as amazing as he hoped, hell I haven't even played Half-Life, what was he thinking? Still he wouldn't be dissuaded and I finally found myself agreeing to do it. I started googling hard core and jotted down some sketches to give him an idea of what I could make. After they were approved I went to work on my most complicated piece yet.
First up I made the body. This wasn't too bad, mostly felt and fleece cut to look like Gordon's outfit. I really should've taken more pictures of the inside to give you an idea of how many layers there were involved in this, but frankly it was way more than I should have needed so lets save me the embarrassment and just pretend I forgot.
After the front was finished I laid out the back and matched up the sides as best I could. Then it was time for the real challenge, his face.
This was my biggest concern since there was so much room for error here. With the armor I at least had the advantage that so long as the colors were in the right areas it would look right. Faces require more effort and planning. In the end I went for a "less is more" approach to keep him from looking too busy and hectic. It took a few more days for me to track down from fuzzy hair material, but then he was ready to be sewn shut and stuffed.
Even after I had flipped him rightside out I still had to go around and check all the seams and correct a few places where they weren't sealed properly or didn't line up right. I had estimated the final product to be around 16 inches tall. What a liar I turned out to be when Gordon ended up at 21 inches. Still I think the extra space helped me add in a few small details that made it worthwhile. I even went back and made a quick felt crowbar to go along with him so he wouldn't have to be unarmed out in the world.
So that was pretty much the process I followed and while I have no intention of doing another one of these I figured I'd share it with you guys. Hopefully I'll find time for more video game related custom's in the future and will be able to post those as well. I learned a tremendous amount working on this one so the extra work was time well spent in my book.
I was extremely excited to be attending my first ever PAX this year. Having my forum mods with me was like icing on an already delicious cake, but sadly it was not all sunshine and sausages in the land of PAX because my dear friend and Forum co-admin, Mxyzptlk could not attend. I realized that this was the perfect opportunity to try out the avatar adoption program I've heard so much about. After a quick trip to the print shop Mxy and I were on our way.
Turns out it was a very good thing that I brought Mxy along, because my lack of picture posting meant that nobody knew who the heck I was. Mxy on the other hand, knew everyone and was welcomed wherever we went. Here's a few pictures of his amazing adventures;
Hanging out with Halo
Fighting inflatable monsters
Confusing cosplay chicks
Checking out Guild Wars 2
Going around being a Nazgul
That was all pretty fun, but Avatar Mxy wanted to spend some time with his community peeps, so we set out to find some. You'd be amazed how quickly people flock to you when you start waving around a pic of a dude in a bowler hat.
Oh hey, it's Ali D and Changston! Hai guys!
Apparently, we hadn't fed Ali yet.
After wresting Avatar Mxy away, I set out to hobnob with some local celebrities. Unfortunately, it seems they hadn't fed Jim Sterling yet either.
Quick side note, Jim did this with no explanation or introduction whatsoever. Thanks Jim!
Having learned from my mistake, Avatar Mxy and I went to grab some lunch so that people would stop trying to eat him. Good thing too, as we soon encountered a shark.
Of course it wouldn't be a proper Destructoid PAX unless we got to meet Mr. D himself.
And we had to put in some face time with our boss.
Prior to leaving Mxy had requested some redhead action, luckily our very own Hollie Bennett fit the bill nicely and can even say "Mxyzptlk" in a way that sounds more sultry than nerdy.
Last I heard Avatar Mxy had met up with some booth babes at the bar. He was last seen rolling out of Seattle in a pimped out caddy and I haven't heard from him since. Wherever he is now I'm sure he's keeping it classy.
Here's to the next 4 years being as epic as the first.
I remember doing a birthday post last year. I almost didn't make one because I felt like I was still too new to the community, but in the end I joined in the fun and slapped something together. You know what? It was great to feel like I was part of something this awesome and it still is great.
I know there are a lot of people who think like I once did, that they aren't well known enough or clever enough to be a recognized community member. They lurk the shadows, make a few off-hand forum posts and get kicked only once from IRC. The thing is that unlike other so-called online communities where you have to devote your life to commenting for years before anyone recognizes you, at Destructoid you are a member of the community from day one.
Even if we don't know you yet, once you introduce yourself there isn't a waiting period to be accepted. I've never seen anything like that before anywhere else so I have to assume it's something pretty special.
This made a lot more sense to me before I started writing it, but it's hard to describe such an unprecedented phenomenon so bear with me.
The bottom line is that this place is something so special and remarkable that just getting to consider myself a part of it is an awesome experience. Getting to know more of the community and hanging out with my forum kids on a daily basis is just icing on the cake as far as I'm concerned.
So I'd like to give a heartfelt thank you to our resident overlord Niero and wish a happy birthday not only to him and this amazing site he created, but also to all the members of our little community. You guys make this a place to want to be part of and in a way it's success is also our success.
Since I'm rather late with my musing this month and October is upon us I've decided to lend this tale a bit of Halloween flavor. For your reading pleasure I present to you a tale of horror, a story of what happens when game saves are stored away and indefinitely forgotten. Turn your lights down low and your Silent Hill soundtracks up as I impart to you my monthly musing, Poe style.
Once upon a midnoon day, as I whiled the hours away,
Tidying up many a quaint and curious shelf of forgotten lore,
I spotted there upon the wrapping something that I'd been lacking,
A memory card containing my glorious adventures of yore.
"'I should totally play this again," I muttered, "play and relive my forgotten days of yore-
Only a few hours, and nothing more."
Distinctly I remember it was the past bleak December,
When last I had dusted the dust from my PS2 upon the floor.
Eagerly I found the cable;- quickly set the disc to stable
Pressed the power- the red light did glower-
Roused from its slumber for the hour-
Ah, how this game I did adore.
And the churning sad uncertain whirling of my console's burden,
Thrilled me- filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
"'Tis a normal sound emitting from the core-
A normal PS2 sound from within the core;-
This it is, and nothing more."
Presently my anticipation grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
"Start," said I, "or through the window you will explore";
But the title screen then came snapping, and so gently a final scrapping,
Before the start screen appeared, tasked was I with selecting my previous chore,
Pressing "X" I prepared to see my final score;-
Darkness there, and nothing more.
Deep into that darkness peering, long I sat there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no gamers ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the confirmation of my fears unspoken,
And the only word there written was the simple word, "Error!"
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Error!"-
Merely this, and nothing more.
Back into the bedchamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
"Surely," said I, "surely it is only a glitched status:
Let me restart the game, and this mystery explore-
Let my game save still be there, my prayer did implore";
'Twas a blank screen and nothing more.
Pulled out then the card from the clutter, the console did whirl and stutter,
Upon the case an insignificant scratch inflicted from when it had fallen underneath a drawer;
Not the least concession made I; not a minute stopped or stayed I;
But, pressed the card into the slot once more-
Pressed the restart and waited crouched upon my floor-
Awarded only the option to begin anew, and nothing more.
Then this ironic situation beguiling my saddened face into smiling,
By the grave situation it forswore.
"Though thy saves be corrupted," I said, "my gaming shan't be interrupted,
Alas, if I only knew what secrets you used to store-
Tell me what games I've saved to you that you no longer store!"
Quoth the Save'n, "Nevermore."
Much I marveled this unlikely chance to hear it speak so plainly,
Though its answer little assistance- little reassurance bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was behest with speaking with a device to which games would store-
My sanity was clearly in question, I contemplated the effect of running screaming from the door,
Surely the card had not uttered "Nevermore."
But the save'n, sitting lonely in my hand, spoke only
That one word, as if its soul in that one word it did outpour.
Nothing further did it utter- while I watched feeling flustered-
Till I scarcely more than muttered, "this shit just got hardcore-
Also I should cut back on my drinking." I swore.
Then the card said, "Nevermore."
Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
"Doubtless," said I, "This is merely a dream and something to ignore,
Caught from some late night snack which lead to disaster
My mind spun fast and then faster till the words one burden bore-
Till the dirges of my hope that melancholy burden bore
Of 'Never- nevermore'."
While the Save'n still beguiling I considered grabbing the phone and dialing,
Instead I took a seat in front of console and card on the floor;
Then upon the carpet sinking, I found myself thinking,
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous card of yore-
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous card of yore
Meant in croaking "Nevermore."
This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the many hours spent endeavoring for that high-score;
The many countless adventures and skills that required refining,
Characters who's lives I followed over,
But whose stories now buried under clover ,
Game saves I would return to complete, ah, nevermore!
And the Save'n, never splitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the shelf of games just beside my chamber door;
A sad reminder of games forgotten,
Games I meant to come back to someday and play once more;
The final testament to the effort into my hobby I did pour
To be played again- nevermore!
Sorry for the overly exciting punctuation, I didn't have a writing program installed so it was all done on the fly and I pretty much just kept the original stuff rather than actually edit for the new content. I hope you all enjoyed it.
I'm throwing my hat into the ring and announcing my love for this site, its metallic mascot, and all you fine people who join me here day in and day out. Honestly I love you guys because you let me be part of this. I've yet to find another site where you can just jump in and be part of something fun and not always feel like the noob in the corner.
Even if I never become one of the big names on this site or manage to make it into one of the group photos everyone's flashing around, I've still managed to make some awesome buddies and have loads of fun on a weekly basis playing games and just chilling in the forums (yes we have them).
You know the saying;
"I wouldn't want to belong to any club that would have me as a member"?
Yeah, if Groucho Marx would've known about Destructoid he'd have changed his mind.
Also, the staff has a good sense of humor (reposted for you poor suckers who don't visit the forums.)
It's time to throw down my entry into Aborto's swag contest.
Now as a long time RPG player I have learned a few tricks when it comes to assembling the ultimate team in a game. There is a reason most RPG's use the same character archetypes in all popular games where teamwork is called for. Based on REASONS I'll be using the same method in selecting my patented “Ultimate Tag Team of Unlimited Ultimateness” (catchy isn't it?).
First, you need your hero type. This character should be able to effective in any given circumstance since he's your go to guy. Ideally a swordsman who dabbles in some magic so he's not gimped against ranged opponents.
PICK ONE : The hero
Geralt of Rivia, AkA: The Witcher
Geralt is a professional Witcher which means that he hunts and kills monsters, demons, bandits, sorcerers and other evil things for a living. Think about that, what do you do everyday, I bet you aren't out tracking werewolves and striga's are you? That kind of daily training keeps Geralt from being the slightest bit phased by any of the creepier selections others have made. No screaming in terror here, he'll just whip out a sword and go to work. Makes a great lead in character to access your opponents weaknesses.
Next, you'll need a dedicated magic user to lay down the hurt. This character has to be insanely powerful to exceed the hero's offensive power.
PICK TWO: The Mage
Jean Grey AkA: Dark Phoenix
While the lovely Miss Grey is a force to be reckoned with in her own right when she unleashes her Dark Phoenix powers she is suddenly capable of “accidentally” destroying the world. With pretty much limitless power at her disposal no other fighters would stand a chance against her. It makes perfect sense that the ultimate team would require the ultimate mutant to be complete. Done and done.
Now one could argue that my current team is already overpowered to the point of making any attempt to stop me foolish by definition. Surely allowing me to pick another teammate is unfair and will only result in tears of anguish by my already trembling opponents. Well, Aboroto demanded three team members and three he shall have.
Following my RPG trend I now require a character that is solely included for brute strength. This character requires no fancy footwork or special powers to make them a threat, as they are dangerous by their very existence. It just so happens I have the perfect choice in mind.
PICK THREE: The Brawler
Ty Rannosaurus AkA: The T Rex from DinoCrisis
Oh yes, I went there. While my team was already perfect there is one slight potential issue I've become aware of when reviewing my picks. Witchers are infamous for their insatiable libidos and Dark Phoenix isn't exactly a prude. In the off chance that during the course of the battle my first choices were to sneak off for some nooky I'd be left high and dry. Fortunately I have a fail safe backup plan in the form of the largest known land predator.
No button mashing combos needed here, the T Rex just runs around stomping and biting at everything in its path until it is good and dead. Nothing short of a well placed explosive could stop this rampaging behemoth. This is domination in its most primal form and its the final member of my “Ultimate Tag Team of Unlimited Ultimateness.”
In case your chin is still firmly planted on your chest from when it dropped earlier here's a quick recap of my team. 1. Geralt (awesome) 2. Dark Phoenix (super powerful) 3. T Rex (get in the choppa, oh wait he ATE it).
Everyone else can pack up and go home, this team wins everything. Ultimate Win!