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Swishiee's blog

6:45 PM on 10.09.2012

Team Fortress 2sdays: Team Fortress 2spooky

Greetings Dtoiders! Spencer is away working or something (does he work?), so I'm writing the TF2sday post on the cblogs.

If you played with us last week, you may remember us playing the Halloween maps, and having them crash when a boss was about to spawn. Well today I installed a SourceMod plugin that will hopefully fix the issue. We'll be killing the Headless Horseman and Monoculous in no time! And, if for whatever reason this plugin crashes the server again... whoops. Hopefully it'll work though. The bosses will only spawn when there's 10+ players on the server, so we'll test it tonight!

And if you're going to skip out on us and play Dishonored, Xcom, Retro City Rampage, The Walking Dead, or Borderlands 2, FINE! BE THAT WAY! MEANNIES!

Port: 27015

Early Match
Time: 8 PM EST

Late Match
Time: 12 AM EST


If you have any suggestions for next week's match, sound off below! Also, we'd love to recap this week's events during next week's post, so take lots of screenshots and email them to spencer[@]!

Special thanks to me for streaming the session over on Streamtoid, and me for being freaking awesome.   read

2:18 AM on 09.11.2012

Valve Does Not Owe Half-Life 3 to Anyone But Themselves

If there's one thing in recent internet history that drives me nuts, it's the fact that people feel like Valve owes us Half-Life 3. Every time Valve releases a new game, or a new feature on Steam, someone pipes up with a "Where's Half-Life 3?" or "Why are they releasing this and not Half-Life 3?" My thoughts on this trend is "Since when did Valve owe Half-Life 3 to anyone?" Honestly, it's getting a little annoying.

Valve is, by far, my favorite game developer. The Half-Life series is my favorite IP of all time, and, In my opinion, I have not played a single game from Valve that was bad. Plus, Team Fortress 2 is my favorite online game of all time. On top of all that, I rarely buy a PC game that's not on Valve's Steam service because of the sheer convenience that the service delivers. So it should be no surprise when I say that Half-Life 3 is my most anticipated game of all time. Yet, I'm okay with waiting for the game.

There are many reasons why I'm willing to wait for Half-Life 3. First off, with the trend for Half-Life games, I feel as if Half-Life 3 should be delivered on a next generation Source engine. Half-Life 2 was the flagship title for the Source engine to begin with. While Counter-Strike: Source was the first release on the Source engine, Half-Life 2 was the game that showed off what it had to offer. The biggest selling point of the Source engine were the physics, and Half-Life 2's Gravity Gun was the weapon to showcase what the engine could do. To me, a new Half-Life should be a flagship title to a new engine. Unless we're looking at Half-Life 2: Episode 3, which most people think we're not going to see, Half-Life 3 should launch with a new engine that not only has newer graphical capabilities, but new features to the Source engine overall. What would these features entail? I'm not entirely sure, other than DirectX 11 support, or maybe even further next-gen PC support. However, we do know that a Source 2 is most likely on the way, so perhaps Half-Life 3 will show up sooner than later.

As for why people think everyone deserves a Half-Life sequel? It's kind of hard to say exactly why. I think part of it is because the last Half-Life we saw was Half-Life 2: Episode 2 back in 2007 with the release of The Orange Box. Episode 2 had a cliffhanger ending, and that left us all wanting more. On top of that, after Valve decided to release Half-Life 2: Aftermath as an episodic series, we've gotten two out of the expected three episodes from it. However, I feel the biggest reason people are clamoring for this game is due to the day and age we live in.

If you look at the state of Triple A games these days, we're getting sequels to lots of the big games at least once a year. While Valve normally delivers one game a year, the game usually isn't the same thing each year. While we did get Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 a year apart from each other, overall they mix up what we get every year. Another thing is that these days we can get most of our media instantly. Steam allows us to get a new game fairly quick. iTunes allows us to download music and movies within minutes. With today's instant media delivery, it's easy to want things faster than they can be created.

All in all, it has been a few years since we've last seen a new entry in the Half-Life series. And while a sequel to the Half-Life series is something I want more than anything, I'm willing to wait. Especially since Valve is still delivering quality games and services in the meantime. All that I ask of the rest of you is to try to be patient as well. Valve owes you nothing. If anything, you owe Valve for the revolutionary services and quality games they've delivered to you while you wait for Half-Life 3. Valve will release the game when it's ready. And knowing Valve, it'll be one damn fine game when it's released, and well worth the wait.   read

11:09 PM on 08.23.2012

Conventions: Breaking Out

PAX Prime 2011 was my first big PAX. The reason I say big PAX is because I went to one of the first years of PAX back when it was in the Belleview Convention Center, before they moved over to Seattle. Overall, I had fun. But I had one problem with the convention: I was shy.

During the last PAX, I was just starting to be a part of the Destructoid community. I barely knew anyone from the community going in. However, I went to every scheduled Destructoid function, with the exception of Rock Bottom the last day. The first night I went to the GameWorks meetup and visited with a couple of the people I knew and had talked to before, like Mr. Andy Dixon and Max Scoville. It was fun seeing them and talking to them, but overall I felt lost. I was in a sea of people that I didn't know.

Over the weekend I talked a few other Dtoid staffers and community members. When I'd introduce myself to people, I was surprised at how many people actually knew me. Before PAX, I usually would comment on the front page, play Bad Company 2 with Mr. Andy Dixon and company, and write a few cblogs. But that was basically it. I didn't feel like I would be known by very many people, yet I was. I remember being in line for Destructoid Live 2.0 and meeting Gobun. I'd heard of him before, and he'd heard of me. What I'm kicking myself for back then was that I didn't try to get to know him or any other Dtoider that weekend. I let my shyness get the best of me.

As I type this, we're just a week away from PAX Prime 2012. I've promised myself that this year is going to be different. In the past year I've gone from just Swishiee, to the guy who runs the Destructoid Team Fortress 2 server, hosts a live show on the new community steaming channel, Streamtoid, and runs PC Friday Night Fights. I feel like I've made a name for myself in the community, and as such, I shouldn't be so damn shy around the community. Plus, in the past year I've become friends with quite a few Dtoiders who plan to be at PAX. I'm looking forward to PAX Prime 2012 not because of the games, but because of the Destructoid community. I can't wait to see all of you sexy people in Seattle!

This is going to be the longest week of my life.   read

1:46 AM on 08.15.2012

Mann vs. Machine

Greetings folks! As you most likely know, I am the owner and admin of the Destructoid Team Fortress 2 server! You may or may not have heard that tomorrow marks the day of a major update to the game that adds a new game type to Team Fortress 2, called Mann vs. Machine. If you haven't heard of it, get on it. This is looking to be the biggest update to Team Fortress 2 in a long while. As for Mann vs. Machine on the Dtoid server, I have some good news, and I have some bad news.

I'll start with the bad news first. As you've most likely read somewhere, Mann vs. Machine is six player co-op. You fight against waves of bots (they're literally robots), defending Mann Co. against their attacks. Why is this bad news? Well, the six player cap is it. The server, at this time, supports up to twenty four players. From what Valve has said, modifying the game to support more is doable, but will tax the CPU of the server quite a bit, since the Gray team takes up the extra player slots. So we will not be doing Mann vs. Machine as a regular mode on the server. I wanted to do so, and was hoping Valve had something up their sleeves for the servers, but they said that while MvM is doable with more than six, it's not advised. So, unfortunately, it won't be done on our server.

But here's where the good news comes in. Tomorrow, after the update goes live, I will be setting the server to be a dedicated Mann vs. Machine server. This will only be a temporary thing, but I figured why not? What I'm planning on doing is setting the server to be password protected for the day, just so we don't have people jumping in all day at random and filling up the server at all times. Want to try out Mann vs. Machine? Hit me up on Steam. Just look for Swishiee, and message me if you want to join in. I'm planning on having shifts of players, up to an hour or so each, with me moderating everything.

So yeah! Join us tomorrow with the new game mode! I'm freaking excited as heck! I hope you all are too!   read

5:32 PM on 07.01.2012

The Dtoid TF2 Server and You

Greetings everyone! As most of you probably already know, I'm one of the admins on the Destructoid TF2 server. What you may not know, unless you were online to hear me announce it last TF2sday, is ownership of the server itself has been transferred to me. With this, I'm wanting to try to refine the server, and take some suggestions on how we can make things better for everyone.

If you have any recommendations on maps, features, and more, please post them in the comments of this post! One thing to take into consideration is I'm wanting to limit the amount of custom maps and content we have in rotation at a time. Maybe change them up once a month or something. I know it's a pain to be a new player on the server and have to download new maps and models and stuff. Not to mention how much worse it is for international players.

Also, we're planning on opening up donations to make the server at least partially community funded. I'm talking things over with Hank, Andy, and Spencer, and we're thinking of ways to reward the players who donate, as well as improving the server, like adding more player slots. If you have any recommendations on that front, please also leave a comment.

Last, I want to extend a special thanks to Conrad Zimmerman, who has kept the server going for us this past year. Without you, we wouldn't have had the server in the first place, and our weekly playtimes like TF2sday would be nonexistent. Not to mention we would't have our server regulars who are now practically formed their own Dtoid sub-community. So thank you Conrad!

So then folks, give me your recommendations! I'll have more info on changes, if any, in the near future.


10:30 PM on 06.25.2012

why tf2 is the worst game ever

valve made a game called team fortress classic which was a really goodg gaame with good graphics. then they came out with the gamee tf2 which is completely terrible. heres why
the graphics are just terrible and look unrealistic. thres not enough greay in the game which makes games look hd and real. one server i played on people exploded with cunfetti an d preasents it was weird and stupid. and then theres the hats. whats up with those? i saw a guy with a hot dog on his head. your head isnt the dinner table dummy.
also i die all the time why does this happen im good at the game. id probably be better if i had weapons other than the crappy ones you start the game with but those are too hard to get. also why be a spy his weapons suck and he has no special abilities or anything i thought the other team wasnt supposed to be able to see me. and the pyro is hard to hit people with because im dead before i can light people on fire.

overall tf2 could have been better if it was more like modern warfare because that game is realistic and modern. tf2 looks like a cartoon and cartoons arent video games. maybe tf3 will be better look at these graffics from it.

stop being the worst game company ever valve.   read

1:39 AM on 04.30.2012

TF2sday Fanart?

Well, I guess you can call it fanart. For those of you who don't know, recently I've been made an admin of the Dtoid TF2 server. Also, because of my streaming of the events on my own channel, I will soon be streaming TF2sdays on our new channel (more info on all that coming soon). Anyways, because of this, I made an image for when I go AFK, or just preparing to go live with the actual stream.

The picture features myself, Spencer Hayes, and M. Randy Dixon in place of some of the regular TF2 team. Also, if you look very closely, the Heavy is posing as Destructoid's mascot, Mr. Destructoid. Kind of hard to see though.

Also, as a bonus, while I was making the image, this happened when I posted Dixon's head into the image. It was so good that I had to save it. Think of this as a special feature on your DVD you bought when DVD's were new and they didn't know what they should do with a DVD.

Good stuff, yeah?   read

7:55 PM on 04.11.2012

Opinions? On the Internet? (Or, why I'm still buying Fez)

Fez is set to release on XBLA in mere days. With reviews for the game coming out, the controversy behind the developerís stance on Japanese games has come back to light. Many people are still outraged on the situation, and are planning to boycott the game. The thing is I think these people are going to miss out on a great game, all because of a statement that doesnít affect them.

For those of you not in the know, Phil Fish, the developer of Fez, was asked his opinion on current Japanese games during an Indie Game: The Movie panel. He gave his honest opinion in response: ďYour games just suck.Ē This got gamers on the internet in an uproar, personally attacking Phil as well as saying that they were going to pirate his game, or just not buy it. Instead of ignoring the people attacking him, he responded. And for that, I donít blame him.

Fez is a project that Phil has been working on for five years now. And for people to come out and attack him and the project heís put a lot of his life into, I feel he has the right to defend it. Heís just one guy, compared to studios of hundreds of people. Do I think counter-attacking was a good idea? Absolutely not. Counter-attacking the internet is like adding gasoline to a fire. Itíll just makes things worse. However, he is entitled to his own opinion, as is everyone on the internet.

His statement on Japanese games didnít hurt me in any way, and I like Japanese games. In fact, my second favorite game of 2011 was by a Japanese developer. Not to mention that I have major respect for some Japanese developers, like Suda51, Hideo Kojima, and Shigeru Miyamoto. I enjoy their games immensely, both new and old. If someone were to say that they didnít like the same things I like, whether it be Phil Fish, or someone I immensely respect, I wouldnít care because I still like what I like.

People shouldnít overlook a great game just because of a developerís personal opinion. What he said had no effect on how good the game is, and it also wonít effect on how enjoyable it is either. Iím not trying to get people to buy the game, but more to not overlook it. Great games being overlooked for weird reasons drives me crazy. And it seems pretty obvious that Fez is a great game.

Still not going to buy the game? Thatís your decision. Overlooking a great game due to a comment that doesnít affect your opinion whatsoever is your loss. As for me, Iím going to enjoy Fez this Friday.   read

11:21 PM on 04.02.2012

Ten Things I Hate (Or Don't) About Me!

Time to jump on the bandwagon! Figured I might as well do this, so here we go!

10. The first time I played Half-Life, I hated it.
For those of you who know me even a little, you already know that Valve is my favorite game developer ever. I own every one of their games, and will continue to buy them all until the time comes where they go on a suck streak, like Sonic. But back in the day, my friends tried to get me to play Half-Life. But there was one problem: I couldnít play it. I had never played an FPS with the WASD control scheme before, so I just didnít get it. I played about two minutes and went ďThis sucks.Ē It wasnít until we played a ton of Half-Life Deathmatch and Counter-Strike in my networking class Junior year when I fell in love with my second favorite game of all time. Number one being Half-Life 2.

9. I used to be suicidal.
This was actually only about five or so years ago. I went through my first big relationship. I took the endÖ okay. But when I was trying to move on, I went on a streak of rejection. This only made unhealed wounds open even more. I was cutting myself, and one night I was ready to try and end everything. But then I turned on Famous Last Words by My Chemical Romance, and it made me realize how fucking stupid that was. Since then, Iíve taken the pain from back then and turned myself into the awesome person I am now! But, since I mentioned MCRÖ

8. My Chemical Romance is my favorite band.

People who know this about me like to make fun of me for it sometimes. But I donít care. I got in to MCR back when I was depressed all the time. The common misconception about MCR is that theyíre an Emo band. But in actuality, theyíre anti-emo. The lyrics for their music are actually motivational, and talk about how you can never give up. In fact, the song I mentioned above, part of the chorus of Famous Last Words is ďI am not afraid to keep on living. I am not afraid to walk this world alone.Ē Whenever I feel down, I just remind myself of that song and it makes me feel much better. On top of that, their newest album is the farthest MCR has been from Emo in their whole discography.

7. I donít normally watch TV.
I often see people talk about the new TV shows. Iím also asked often if I watch certain shows (my mom keeps asking me if I watch The Big Bang Theory. ďFUCK NO,Ē I keep saying). But over the past several years, I havenít really gone out of the way to watch TV. Thereís a few exceptions, like new The Venture Brothers, and Lost. But most of the TV watching I do is either on Netflix or downloading on the internet. In fact, the TV in my room is stuck on Cartoon Network, because I canít find the remote to my cable box. And I donít care.

6. My day job is retail tech support.
For forty hours a week, I work as in-store customer tech support for a Fortune 500 company (Iím not going to name them, but Iíll give you a hint: Theyíre named after an office supply that attaches pieces of paper together.). I fix computers for my customers. I donít think Iím the best at fixing PCís, but I do know quite a bit. Overall, I like my job. But at the same time, I FUCKING HATE MY JOB. Itís a mixed bag, really. But, thatís what I do, and someday Iím going to take this skill further and get a better job with it.

5. I pissed on my roommateís bedroom door once.
Normally, when Iíve had too much to drink, my body pulls a defensive maneuver where I just go to bed. But one time, I didnít do this. I had two Four Lokos, and an unknown amount of beers (I browned out at that time). Next thing I know, Iím waking up in bed. One of my friends saw me, and came in and asked me how I was doing. Next was ďYou know you peed on Garyís door, right?Ē ďYouíre full of shit! No way!Ē Way, it seems. That night, I thought his bedroom door was the toilet. And I tried flushing a Cowboy Bebop wall scroll on the wall. Ha! Speaking of drinkingÖ

4. I just chugged a beer while peeing.
This goes out to my Dtoid bro vApathyv. Back when I hosted 360 FNF often, he and I played together a lot. We also drank over the internet a lot too. And whenever heíd say he was going away to pee, I told him to chug a beer. And he would. And because of this, he named the maneuver ďThe SwishieeĒ. So yeah. I just performed The Swishiee.

3. I didnít like Max Scoville when he first joined the Dtoid Show.

The Destructoid Show was pretty much what got me visiting Dtoid on a daily basis. Iíve been watching from the beginning. But back when they did that GOTY episode over a year ago, they announced Max as Taraís new co-host, I was sad. And the first few episodes he was in, I didnít like him. I donít know why. Maybe it was because he was different from Holmes. I donít know. But, he grew on me over time. And today weíre friends. Hooray for friendship!

2. I still know the Blood Code for Mortal Kombat on Genesis by heart.
A B A C A B B. I entered this code at my friendís house so much.

1. I love all of you!

Not to steal this from ChillyBilly, but Iím totally stealing this from ChillyBilly. Over a year ago, I barely knew anyone from Dtoid. But today, I know quite a few of you. When I was at PAX, I got in a few arguments with a friend I went with. And one of them was about Dtoid. But the thing is, he saw Dtoid as just a website. But Destructoid is way more than just a website to me. Itís home. In fact, Destructoid is like a second family to me. Iíve never been proud to be part of a community. You guys rule!   read

12:44 AM on 03.30.2012

How Microtransactions Can Be Done Right

Microtransactions have been around for years. But with more and more games adopting the free to play business model, they're as common as ever. From Facebook to Steam, they're everywhere. But instead of complaining about how bad some of these companies are using microtransactions, I'd like to talk about some ways they're being done right.

The first example of a good use of microtransactions that comes to mind is Team Fortress 2. In TF2, you can obtain items by a random drop while playing on a server. With them, you can turn them into scrap metal and combine them with other items to make specific items. Additionally, you can trade with other players for items you want. But, if you don't want to wait to eventually get the items needed to craft what you want, you can buy them in the Mann Co. store for a fee.

The reason I find TF2's system to be done so well is the fact that the game doesn't force you to buy items. The game is 100% enjoyable whether you buy stuff or not. They're not necessary to play the game at all. Plus, buying items is really simple when using your Steam account, which makes it easier for Valve to take my money.

Another good example is Star Trek Online. Recently going free to play, the game has also adopted microtransactions. There are a few things I don't agree with, like limited chat and guild creation, but overall the restrictions for being a free player aren't bad. There are the standard things you can buy from their store, like more character slots and inventory space. The awesome things in the STO shop are the extra ships you can buy. They all, for the most part, have the same stats as the ships you can buy and earn during regular gameplay. The special thing about these ships is they're modeled after ships from the Star Trek franchise. In fact, one of the ships I ended up buying myself was a refit of the NX-01 from Enterprise. It gives me no advantage over the other ships, it just looks cool.

These two games are only a couple of several out there that I feel do things right. If the companies out there that used microtransactions for their games for fun things, like Team Fortress 2 and Star Trek Online do, people would be more inclined to spend money. Locking down a game and only giving partial access to free players is just an awful way to make people to want to spend money in your game. Make it fun, inviting, and easy. And damnit, stop taking so much of my money, Valve!   read

9:56 PM on 03.14.2012

The Story of Commander Shepard (A Tale With Pictures)

Once upon a time there was a spaceman that everybody loved named Commander Shepard. He flew around space in his spaceship called The Normandy, which was named after a guy named Norman who fought on a beach in World War II.

Shepard flew around space fighting Humanity's enemies. He even shot Voldemort with a gun, because that good for nothing Harry Potter couldn't do it.

But one day, the people who loved Shepard suddenly stopped loving him. "We demand something better," they said.

This made Commander Shepard sad. He had spent years saving humanity and pleasing people, but the people he fought to save and please were no longer pleased.

It was then when he came up with a brilliant idea: "Cake," he exclaimed to himself. "Everyone loves cake!" So he and the crew of the Normandy made cake for everyone.

It was then, when people all around the world started loving Shepard again. And they used all the energy and effort they'd been using on hating Shepard, and cured cancer, AIDS, World Hunger, war, and all the other problems that plagued mankind. That day, they stopped being regular people, and all became Shepard themselves.

THE END   read

9:17 PM on 02.18.2012

HD Collections - Yay or Nay?

HD collections. Re-releases of last generation games on current generation consoles. Some think HD collections are great, while others think of them as a quick cash grab from publishers. But with current trends itís looking like theyíre here to stay. After thinking of the matter myself, Iíve come up with a few pros and cons for HD collection re-releases.


Your favorite games, now in HD. Ė This one is a no brainer. Last generation consoles didnít have high definition, but current generation consoles came with HD built in. Not to mention HDTVís have become fairly common in households today. So instead of playing a standard definition game scaled up to fit on an HDTV, why not get it in HD? The HD collection games have been reworked to scale properly to HD resolutions, and a number of them have also gotten their textures and models reworked to look a little better than their last generation incarnations. On top of that, games that were held back by last-gen consoles, such as Shadow of the Colossus, can now be viewed in the way the developers meant for them to be viewed.

A second chance. Ė Jak and Daxter is one of my favorite platformers for the PlayStation 2. While I never got around to playing Jak 2 and Jak 3, I always wanted to. Now days itís harder to find copies of some last-gen games, due to them no longer being printed. But with the Jak and Daxter HD Collection, I now have another chance to pick up the rest of the games. On top of that, I own a bunch of PlayStation 2 games, but donít own a PlayStation 2 or a PlayStation 3 with backwards compatibility. So when I really wanted to play Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, I couldnít. But now that I own the HD Collection, I can play Snake Eater once again. What a thrill! With darkness and silence through the night.

Multiple games, one low price. Ė The HD collections normally come with two or more games from a franchise. So instead of one full length game, youíre getting a few. On top of that, the HD collections are normally at a price lower than a brand new game, normally going for around $40 to $50. A bargain, if you ask me.

New content and features. Ė With some of the HD Collections, theyíve received new content from the developers. Take Peace Walker from the Metal Gear Solid collection. Not only is Peace Walker on consoles for the first time, but it also introduced Kojimaís Transfarring, where you can transfer your save data from the PS3 to the PSP, and vice versa. Other games have also seen new additions, like the Sly Collectionís PlayStation Move minigames. Sometimes the new content isnít worthwhile, but itís still new content.


New content and features. Ė While I named this as a pro, it can also be a con. For instance, look at the upcoming Silent Hill HD Collection. For some odd reason, Konami decided to re-record all the voice work in Silent Hill 2 and Silent Hill 3. While I feel the voice acting in Silent Hill 2 wasnít the best, I also donít feel it needed to be changed. And if they were re-recording the voices to have a higher quality recording, why not get the original voice actors to portray their roles again? Since the original announcement, Konami has said that the original voice acting will be in Silent Hill 2 again, but I still find it odd for them to do that. And the PS Move content I mentioned for the Sly Collection? Yeah, it's new content, but it was just slapped in there to make use of the PS Move.

New system, new problems. Ė Now Iím not trying to be a console fanboy here, but when a game was originally released for the PS2, and itís ported over to the 360, you can run into some problems. Take the Metal Gear Solid collection for instance. Metal Gear Solid 2, 3, and Peace Walker all originally came out for the PlayStation family. So the migration of controls over to the PS3 was painless. But the 360 has a different control scheme, and some players had quite a bit of trouble adjusting to the controls of the 360, whether they originally played on the PS2 or not. Plus, every one of the PS2 and PS3's controller buttons were analog, while most of the 360's aren't. Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3 made very good use of those features on the PS2 controller. So using these controls on the PS3 is easy compared to the 360. However, you won't come across this problem with too many games. Just the ones that used the special features of the different controller.

Thatís basically it for my pros and cons. I find there are more pros to HD re-releases compared to cons. And while yeah, publishers may be using these collections as a cash grab, at least they're releasing some of the best games from the last generation and not just shoveling out everything they can as fast as possible. Have any pros or cons of your own? Let me know in the comments!   read

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