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9:18 AM on 11.23.2013

Building a new EuroNARP location: Teh Lair^3 (part 1)

I haven't blogged in ages, but I've been very busy... My real life has changed a lot since my last blog, I've got a new job, I've moved to a new home and last but not least, I've become a father of twin girls ( My wife and I already had a son, so it's a full house now ). 

As I now have 3 kids, hosting the EuroNARPs in their old format was going to become a LOT more difficult. For every EuroNARP I had to be away from home for about 5 days, 2 days for setup and 3 days for the actual NARP. On top of that, my father wants to sell the little forest where Teh Lair^2 is located. 

In case you have no idea what I'm talking about, check out this blog detailing it all .



So, what's going on right now?
In my new house, one of the main criteria was that it needed a basement to build a new location for Teh Lair. As you can see from the picture above, I managed to find a house with a brilliant basement. I did a little test-setup when we first moved into the house and wanted to go from there immediately, but fate had a whole different idea...



After a few weeks in the basement, we found out that there was a rather big problem... Whenever it rained hard for a few days, water would seep into the basement, if you want to build a huge room filled with electronics, water is the LAST thing you want in that room. So a full rebuild of the room is needed and we're on it! First we had to empty out the whole room. 



I like building stuff, but to solve this issue, I needed some help from the pro's. So we had a professional company come in to build a new floor that would give the water the possibility to be pumped away. First they ground a few 'ditches' in the floor to give the water a route to get out the room to a pumping system.



after that they installed a special kind of plastic floor and filled it up with concrete.



the floor, drying out... With a nice and new floor, the walls had become a bit of an eyesore, so I decided to do a full-on rebuild with new walls, new electricity and everything else needed to make this damp old basement into the ULTIMATE NARP-location. 



One of the plans made for the final layout, this was the idea, but reality has gotten in the way a bit, so the actual layout will be slightly different, but WAY better and a LOT more practical :-)



We started installing a few extra electricity circuits, as you'll see later on, these few are escalating to a LOT more, just to be sure we have enough POWAAAH for the future, but this was the actual start of the rebuild.



My favourite material to work with is wood, so I bought a huge load of plywood and beams to build a completely new set of walls.



It took a lot longer then expected ( real life is a bitch ), but after a few weeks, a full frame was finally mounted on the walls, ready to have the plywood mounted!



Here you can see me mounting the plywood. 



All the existing pipes, lightswitches and power provisions need to be accessible, so we had to adjust every piece of plywood for them, as you can probably imagine, this was a lot of work, in the pic you can see Strikeman going at it with a passion ( and a saw ).



After 2 days of hard work ( and a quick trip to the LEGO-store ), 90% of the walls was done.



The pile of plywood is a lot smaller now:



I'm now building some of the smaller parts, like a box for the pumping system.



During the mounting of the walls, we ( Strikeman & I ) have decided to add more electricity circuits, so I'm doing this now with the help of DenBelg.



So far it looks like we'll be adding 7 electricity-circuits in total.

The Future!
Once again, Real Life invaded, I had some issues with one of my toes which were handled by a doctor, but for about a week I've been unable to wear any socks or shoes, hopefully I'll be able to continue next week.

So still to go now:

- finish the last pieces of wall
- fix door
- add 2 more electricity circuits
- mount additional ventilation
- cover the concrete floor
- install electricity box
- paint walls
- install network
- build some additional furniture ( like a bar )
- install and decorate everything

and then finally:

Host the first of the EuroNARPs at Teh Lair^3!   read


3:23 AM on 03.14.2013

Dtoid Memories: EuroNARPs!

I "discovered" Dtoid in its infancy, through Digg.com I kept seeing this site pop up that I'd never heard of before but it was posting articles and links at a frightening rate... Lots of the articles were real eye-catchers and I ended up visiting the site without being referred to it by Digg.com... A few months in, I discovered the concept of NARPs and how a bunch of US-dtoiders were hosting them regularly... I loved the idea ( having grown up in the LANparty-age ) and I wanted to bring it to Europe...



This lead to the very first EuroNARP. I've been "collecting" old gaming-consoles since I was a student. I had a pretty great student-job and was able to buy shitloads of old crap at various yardsales etc, but I felt that it would all go to waste if it wasn't used, this lead to the first "Teh Lair" that I built with Undergod ( PICS & original broken blog about that ).



So anyway, the first PAX was coming and since I live in Europe, there was no possible way for me to get there ( really don't have the money for stuff like that ), so I posted an invite for all Euro-Dtoiders: "Can't get to PAX? How about a NARP? (NSFW prolly)". As you can read from the blog I posted after the NARP, it was F*CKING AWESOME! =>EuroNARP Recap



After the first one, we had the taste, we started hosting 2 BIG NARPs every year. We do a summer edition in the summer ( DUH ) and a Winter-edition around february ( will be next week this year due to stuff & reasons ). And in between we host tiny NARPs to fill up the gaps. We've done all kinds of NARPs too, we've done "RetroNARPs", "NintendoNARP" & "SegaNARPs". Always at the same awesome location: Teh Lair^2



Yes, you see that correctly, it is indeed just a few containers stacked together & rebuilt into the ultimate gaming-paradise :-) Every NARP we try to "surprise" our regular guests and thus the inside & outside of Teh Lair^2 have changes significantly every year. This is how it all started: Before Po0ky & I started the rebuld and then it became this: EuroNARP 1, Main Room At the moment it mostly looks like this: "Welcome To Teh Lair"-blog.



Every single NARP has been a huge pleasure to host & we've had people come from ALL OVER THE WORLD, which is incredibly awesome to say the least... You have no idea how great it feels to have a visitor that has travelled for a full day or more just to be at your NARP... We've had Dutch guys ( Simon & Bob ), German guys ( n0brein, 3roticN3rd, Fana7ic ), guys from the UK ( Njsykora ) and even someone from Brazil ( NuclearPsycho ), I'm probably even forgetting some people due to all the alcohol-consumption at the EuroNARPs...



The biggest honour came for me last year... Hamza & Niero were going to do a EuroTrip and I invited them over to Teh Lair for EuroNARP 4.5, sadly they wouldn't be able to make it to that one, BUT they would fit a few days in Belgium into their schedule so they could at least visit Teh Lair... So, we hosted a one-night-NARP, EuroNARP 4.4 and it was incredible! I hope they weren't to bothered with me being so starstruck, but it was so awesome to have them come over, and then they totally RAPED our asses at any game we threw at them... we even had to create a specific Halo3 mode for MP that we still play now.



It's called "Deathmatch for when Hamza joins in" and it basically punishes who-ever is in the lead by depleting their shield and setting them at half health... and he still won almost every single match...



Every single NARP has been special to me, but the visit by Niero & Hamza was a truly special occasion for all of us that waste days and days at setting up and preparing Teh Lair for every single EuroNARP...

The next one is next week and it'll be AWESOME once again, I'm sure :-) It might be the last one at Teh Lair^2 because I'm gonna rebuild it in my new basement of my "new" home, but the EuroNARPs will keep going as long as I can hold a controller in my hands!

Thanks to everybody that has ever been to one of our EuroNARPs and if you read this guide you can start hosting your own NARPs and join in the fun!

It has been a pleasure ( and will keep on being one, I'm sure ) to host these NARPs and I hope to see you all at the next one, or the next one, or the next one...

Warm regards,
mistic, Po0ky, UnderGod & No-Use[youtube]   read


12:01 PM on 05.30.2012

Welcome to Teh Lair!

In 2005 I came home from living in my College-city for 4 years... Over the years I had collected a shitload of games and consoles ( worked my ass of for it at the local movie theater ) so I couln't store all of them in my bedroom, the solution came in the form of a bunch of construction-site-containers. It started with just one but now we have this place:


I lived there for about a year until I met my current wife, now we use it for hosting EuroNARPs ( like the one in a few weeks )

We started with just one 'room', now we use 3 of the 4 containers in the picture above to include a number of 'zones'.

MainRoom:


Other side of the MainRoom:


The Bar:


Guitar Hero Zone:


2-Player-Xbox-Zone ( For our LAN-Halo-Sessions ):


Racing Zone:


Lego Zone:


SlotCar Zone:


Rythm & Fight Zone:


Over the years we've hosted 18 EuroNARPs, the 19th will be on the 9th of june but this will be a very limited one of only one night and mostly to get the place ready for our 20th EuroNARP and also the 5th anniversary of the Summer EuroNARP.

This year we even had some very famous visitors come over:

Hamza:


Niero:


Teh Lair, signed by Hamza & Niero:


A video about our latest EuroNARP ( 4.5 )

So, if you want to become a part of Teh Lair's history and join us for 3 mad days of gaming, find out how to join us right HERE   read


4:56 AM on 01.24.2012

EuroNARP 4.5: 17th to 19th of February!

Well it's that time again, february is approaching and thus, so is my birthday... Time for another EuroNARP!

Well, 2 actually...

First we'll do EuroNARP 4.4 on the 2nd of February => information here .

Then we'll do EuroNARP 4.5!



Don't know what a NARP is?
GO HERE NOW

Or, you can go and watch these movies to know what to expect:

"EuroNARP 3.5 in 10 minutes"
This was my birthday-edition from last year, the video goes from the setup to the end, so it covers 5 days in total, true NARP-action starts at the 4th minute.
Youtube!

"EuroNARP4.2 Official Recap"
This was Po0ky's birthday-edition from last october, it also has a part in the video that shows you some of the history behind Teh Lair and the EuroNARPs:
Youtube!



Details EuroNARP 4.5

Start: Friday 17th of February at 20:00h
End: Sunday 19th of February at noon

Location: Essen in the north of Belgium ( NOT THE ONE IN GERMANY FFS! ), exact location-details will be sent when you register for our event.

Registration: send a mail to "tehlair" "@" "gmail.com" with your nickname, cellphone and in subject "EuroNARP 4.5 Registration: <nickname>"

Prices: 25 euros for 3 days, drinks included!



What to bring?

- Sleepingbag + something to sleep on ( not enough sofas for everybody, you might get lucky, but you never know )
- TV/Consoles: mention in your mail what you want to bring and we'll reserve a space for you.
- Games/Controllers: bring whatever you like, but be sure to mark clearly what is yours!



Can't wait to see you guys there!   read


7:08 AM on 01.22.2012

Europeans, you can meet Hamza & Niero on the 4th of February now!

EuroNARP4.4 : The US-edition!
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE DATE HAS CHANGED!!!!!

Dtoiders of the Europe-Mainland, now is your chance! Our hallowed overlords Niero and Hamza are visiting the Old Continent in a few weeks and they will be passing by @ Teh Lair!

To celebrate this we're having a special mini-EuroNARP!
if you don't know what a NARP is, go here: How To Host a NARP


Teh Lair from the outside

So on the 4nd of February we'll open Teh Lair for a crazy night of gaming, beer and fun with anyone that wants to join us! Though as it is a mini-NARP, we'll have limited seating available, so if you want to join in, be sure to register for the event ASAP by mailing to "Tehlair" + "@" + "gmail.com"


The Main-room in full action @ EuroNARP4

Details

Location:

Teh Lair
this is located in a small village in the North of Belgium: Essen ( beware there's a city in Germany that is named Essen as well but that's 100's of km's away from the one in Belgium ), more details if you are actually coming.

Date & Time

We'll be starting around 9pm on saturday the 4th of February and Teh Lair will be closed again around 10/11 am on sunday ( depending on when we finish breakfast )

Stuff To Bring

- 15 euros per person for entrance ( free beer all night long! )
- Sleepingbag + something to sleep on
- Games / Controllers / TV : let us know when registering if you want to bring something allong and we'll let you know if we still have a spot for it!

Please note, we don't really like having to ask for money for entrance, but we kinda need some money to keep all these containers in usable condition, but if you drink enough, there's nothing to be worried about :-D


Late-evening-beamer-gaming @ EuroNARP4

This is your chance to meet the guys that have made all this possible, the big examples of "Living The Dream", our overlords from the US, so join us in this celebration of Gaming & the Dtoid-Community

Hope to see you all there!


ALSO: if you can't make it to EuroNARP4.4, EuroNARP4.5 will be happening from the 17th of feb till the 19th of feb, so feel free to join us at that one! More info will come, you can join the Dtoid-EU-mailing-group Here


ALso2: here's the official recap video of our last event ( EuroNARP4.2 )
watch it here   read


2:26 AM on 08.29.2011

How to be a simracer and father without too much clutter.

As some of you know, I'll be a father soon. I've been a fan of racing games for years, but really became an avid fan of simracers over the last few years. This requires a wheel + seat for the best experience. So far I've built 3 "rigs", 2 of them were basically just plywood contraptions to keep a wheel and racing-seat from a GOLF2 together, the last one of those was in my gameroom:

Seat + book-cupboard by Van Loon Johan, on Flickr
Full set of pics for my gameroom

We just have a 2 bedroom-apartment, so when my wife got pregnant, my gamerooms days were numbered, so I had to find a solution and quick! Luckily, my wife is very supportive of my gaming-quirks, however putting that racingseat in the living room was simply out of the question, for one it looks hideous, takes up a shitload of space and it would mess up our otherwise nice and clean living room. So how to have a racing-setup in the living room without making it look like a mess?

The first part of the solution was the birthdaygift my wife gave me in february, the Fanatec Rennsport Wheelstand, she suggested I store it in the bed room and just to grab it if I wanted it. The PC would be on it's 'old' Ikea-Desk that was in the gameroom... HOWEVER... I've grown up in a carpenter family ( father & youngest brother are carpenters ) so I know my way around a woodshop. I decided to build my own custom desk.

Designing it took a little longer then planned as I had to wait 3 months for the wheelstand to arrive, but after that it all went great :-)

So here's my home-built racing desk:

When it's closed, it's just a nice and clean-looking desk.

desk as a real desk. by Van Loon Johan, on Flickr

And then the magic starts happening ( takes about 5 minutes to set up completely ):

IMG_2655 by Van Loon Johan, on Flickr

After the panel is secured, we start setting up the wheelstand:

IMG_2656 by Van Loon Johan, on Flickr

wheelstand is ready to go back in:

IMG_2658 by Van Loon Johan, on Flickr

add a chair from the table:

ready to race by Van Loon Johan, on Flickr

and RACE:

racing on the desk by Van Loon Johan, on Flickr

lots of possibilities with 3 different systems in the cupboard:

the goodie-cupboard :-) by Van Loon Johan, on Flickr

all the crap back in the box (not the gigabitswitch on the side):

all tucked away by Van Loon Johan, on Flickr

The actual desk area:

Desk in it's 'normal' state by Van Loon Johan, on Flickr

Hope you guys like it!   read


7:46 AM on 08.26.2011

EA, you've been bad, but here's a quick and simple way to make it all good...

Everybody's pissed at Electronic Arts at the moment, either it's Origin-steam-feuds, ridiculous Battlefield-decisions, buying this-or-that-developer and more. Recently the focus is directed at EA for not allowing Turn10Studios to use Porsches in their next opus: Forza Motorsport 4.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm mad at them for all of the above as well, but there is a very simple way for EA to make it all up to me and probably a LOT of other gamers, especially the people of the last and newest group: the people that'll be missing the Porsches in Forza Motorsport 4.

Here's what I'm talking about:


Hear me out now, I want this game, BUT I also want to play Forza4 with my G25, alas since it doesn't work on a 360, we can make a LOT of people happy. First a short introduction for our younger public:

My love-affair with Porsches really started with the original Porsche Unleashed on PC, I didn't have a wheel yet, but I did have a controller on my PC, a kickass soundsystem and I was at a public boarding school that allowed the 6 people in the last 2 years of highschool to have their own private (30 room) floor without any supervision... We all had PC's and we were racing in this game almost non-stop for months after it was released on a small network with hubs and cables hidden behind our curtains and posters and our fireproof ceiling. ( most of us were studying informatics or graphics as a major so we needed decent PC's :-) I worked a whole year to buy a ,ew gaming PC )



The "Factory Driver"-mode was EPIC, you got to drive with virtually every important Porsche ever built, is was the first semi-serious NFS-game in the series in that regard :-) Multiplayer was a blast, especially in knock-out mode since whoever sucked most was left behind and had to wait the longest for his next run :-)

Now, as much as I loved that game back then, it's got a problem. It's Need For Speed, as much as I love the series ( I've owned ever single game they ever made at some time or another and still buy every one that comes out), I've been longing for a more realistic experience, my hopes were aimed at shift, but they've been shot down a bit. Don't get me wrong, I still really like those games, but they're not sim-experiences in my eyes, being used to GTR:Evolution.



So, how to handle all this? Well, first step is, you've been overtaken in the realism-field by Turn10Studios, plain and simple, they've done Porsches ridiculously great for years already now so why not get together, you're a publisher, they're a brilliant dev and their engine simply rocks!

But, all us true fans of simracers that own G25's (and sometimes a lot better) on PC are missing out on games like Forza, where we can change anything we want and get a true feel for the cars and the race. I've driven the 'Ring about 20 laps myself and about 50 as passenger with drivers of various skilllevels and with my limited experience, I truly feel that Forza's representation of the 'Ring and driving a car on edge feels a lot more realistic in Forza then in Shift, no matter how many aids you turn off. And once again, they're great at building Porsches:



So, what to do?

1. Get Forza-engine and port it decently to PC
2. Get Forza-Porsches ( all 35 of them ) and build the whole catalogue of Porsches ever built yourself
3. Give Forza licence for their own 35 plus the ALMS-Porsches, but only for 360
4. make new Factory Driver mode but take all the rest from FM3 :-)
5. release game as PC exclusive ( not 360 as not to interfere with Turn10Studios )
6. PROFIT and LOTs of it



PS: Also, RELEASE IT ON STEAM please.   read


3:02 AM on 08.25.2011

Being Social: How to host a NARP ( EuroNARP4 pics! )

NARPs are one of the greatest things I got from Dtoid, I've been hosting them for 4 years now and we've had about 15 EuroNARPs. The number only goes up with the summer edition, in betweens are decimal numbers like 2.5, 2.6 etc. Since we can always use more people doing NARPs, especially this side of the ocean, here's a short introduction to how to host a NARP.

1. What is a NARP?

NARP stands for No Apparent Reason Party. It's kind of like a LANparty, but instead of using PC's, which are mostly single-player-devices, we use consoles. The benefit is that most of the time you'll have to get to know the people to get to play, as a result, everyone goes home with a bunch of new friends :-)

NARPs come in any shape/size you want them to be, we're lucky to have a dedicated location for EuroNARPs, but you can just as easily do it in your own home/dorm/garage/garden! Which brings us to the most important part.



2.Location, Location & Location!

As with all things in live, the most important part is having a place to do it. We're really lucky to have Teh Lair ( see first part of article ) but as said before you don't have to have something over-the-top like that :-)

There's just a few things that you need to think about...
- Gamers/Games are generally pretty loud, so if you're doing a 3-day-NARP like we do, warn your neighbors before it happens or find a place where neighbors aren't an issue ( we're "hidden" in a small forest in the middle of an industrial site, surrounded by factories :p )
- Seats!!! Make sure you have enough seating available or ask people to bring their own foldable chairs, nothing sucks more then having to stand up for hours on end...
- Powah!! This might seem logical, but it can be trickier then you think, lots of TV's & consoles together use an awful amount of power so make sure you're using different circuits in your location. We didn't have power until friday afternoon 2pm even though we were there since wednesday. Or to be correct, we had too much power, 400V iso 220V :p

Also, if you do a multi-day-NARP like us, you'll need to provide people with a place to sleep, we set up a campingground in our forest during the summeredition and use the available seats & floorspace in Teh Lair when it's too cold for that.


next up...



3.Games!

You can't have a gaming-festival without games, but which ones? Well, I believe any game is ok and welcome at a NARP, but logically MP-games are the most interesting.

our 2-player-racing-area ( farthest one is on a triplle-screen :-) )


MarioKart NGC ( Wii version is too easy! )


Worms:


if you read through the recaps of our previous events, you'll find some good tips on which games to play, the alltime classic for any EuroNARP at Teh Lair is "Mashed" on the regular XBOX ( Track: Polar Wharf Weapons: Chaos Airstrike:ON ) this one track gets played more then ANY game ever played at any EuroNARP ( it's what's being played on the beamer up there :-) )



4.Catering

This kinda depends on the size & location of your NARP, we're once again lucky to have someone like Strikeman who is a master of the BBQ. We also have deal with our local liquor-store that we can take along as much beer as we want and then return whatever is unopened ( per package of 24 of course ). Finally we made a deal with the local bakery a few years back, and he delivers our breakfast around 7am when most of us go to bed, so we can get up at 11am for breakfast and more games :-)

On nights where we don't provide food for all, we generally make 1 big order at the local pizza place and they'll deliver it since we order so many pizza's, as most gamers don't make too big a deal about this, there's generally nothing to worry about :-)



5.People

1. Get in touch with your local city-group ( or create one if needed ) e.g.: DtoidEurope via their blog
2. make sure it appears on The Dtoid Meetup-page
3. invite friends over, it might make them new dtoid-fans :-)



6.Rules

We have a few rules to make life at the NARPs easier for everyone.

1. Gaming takes precedence over ANYTHING: watching a movie on the PS3 but somebody wants to try out MOVE? too bad for you, Gaming Goes First!
2. Multiplayer >>> Singleplayer: trying out the MOVE on PS3 but a few people wanna play a 4-player-game of COD-splitscreen? Move over mate :-)
3. No sleeping in the couches unless it's too cold to sleep in the tents ( aka don't take up gaming-space if you just want a quick nap :p )

Now, go forth, host & visit NARPs!   read


7:20 PM on 07.30.2011

Motion Control: How it changed FPS for me.

I started out playing PC-games when I was 7, at 8 I got my first home-console ( Sega Master System II ), but I stuck with PC-gaming until slowly but surely the original Xbox and Halo convinced me of the viability FPS-games on consoles... Before I knew it my gaming-pc was hopelessly outdated and I was playing my games exclusively on consoles, as always, I kept playing shitloads of FPS-games ( also racing-games, but that's another story ).

As I grew up as a PC-gamer, FPS's on consoles were a LOT easier then what I was used too but I kept on feeling that nagging idea in the back of my head "I'd have gotten that kill with a mouse!" "Damn movement is sooooo fucking slooow" etc etc however, the comfort of playing from my sofa and no hassles to get a game started kept me on consoles.

Gears Of War, Modern Warfare, Halo3, Resistance 1&2 all convinced me that I "was doing it right", though the nagging feeling still remained... About 2 years ago, I built a brand new gaming PC ( I got a nice bonus at work and wanted to spoil myself a bit :p ) mainly for racing with my G25 in GTR:Evolution, I installed some FPS's that I still had from my previous PC, but even though I thoroughly enjoyed the speed & precission that came back with playing via a mouse, I was missing my sofa...

Then MAG came out for PS3, and I LOVED it, 256 players in a single map is just amazing... I was missing the mouse-speed & precission once again, but just the shear scale of this game kept me coming back...

then...


I've always been a fan of cool peripherals, so I bought a Move-set in the first month that it was available, I got beta-access to "MAG_with_Move" and the first match I got utterly RAPED, I went back to the 'tutorial-section' and played around untill I started to get a feel for it...

And then it literally changed everything for me... Once you take the time to actually get used to playing an FPS-game with a Move-controller it's actually really precise and a lot more enjoyable then a regular controller is when compared to a mouse-keyboard setup.

A few months back, Killzone3 was released, the first real FPS designed from the ground up with Move ( and 3D :p ) in mind and it showed!


yeah, I bought this too...

The sharpshooter is just the icing on the cake, I can't tell you how immersive this makes an FPS-game, you really have to experience it ( and take the time to get used to it ). I'd even venture to say that a sharpshooter is to an FPS like a racing-wheel is to a racing-game, sure it takes some time to get used too and is sometimes even harder then with a regular controller ( try going full-opposite-lock from left to right on a G25 and then try it on a controller :p ) but once you try it, you'll just get bored with a regular controller, there's just so much more fun in playing an FPS with an actual gun in your hands :)

The only "downside" is that soo many people try it for just a few matches and expect to be at the same level as they were before switching to a Move-setup, while you really have to take your time for it, you weren't at the top of the ranking when you started FPS's, nor when you switched from kb+mouse to controller, so why should this be any different? Just GO FOR IT!

So what is the end result for me? A steam-sale brought me Battlefield:BC2, so I'm still playing FPS's on PC with a keyboard and mouse ( guess you just can't stop what you started with ), but on my PS3 I'm almost exclusively playing with the sharpshooter if available, sure it takes some time setting up and finding the setting that work best for YOU, but once you're used to it, you'll never want to loose that precission again... I now find myself thinking "damn I'd love to play this with the sharpshooter" while I'm on my PC :)

So in the case of Move, I'm an avid supporter!   read


6:57 AM on 06.28.2010

Picreport of my slightly Dtoid-themed trip to Singapore :-)

Just got back from Singapore, as a loyal Dtoid-member, I took all my 3 dtoid-shirts with me, sadly only one of those ( STFUAJPG ) is not black, so I had to wear that one the most ( luckily my mother-in-law cleaned it regularly for me so I could wear it most of the days :-)



I left from Brussels in my Kamikaze-shirt, which turned out to be both a great Idea and one of the worst ever in travelling :-) It was a great idea since it's such a recognizable t-shirt. We had just passed security in Frankfurt ( Germany ) when suddenly a security-guard comes running at me, I crap my pants as I've got a lighter and matches in my backpack, both of which are banned from flights, but they didn't find them on me, so I figured he had spotted it after all... but he just points at my shirt and goes "That's from Destructoid right? I'm a huge fan of the site!" so I handed him my contact details so he can join us for the EuroNARP in August :-)

When I arrived in Singapore, I noticed all locals staring at me like I'm crazy, at first I figure it's because of the bright yellow jogging-suit I'm wearing ( very comfortable for 13+ hours flights ), but as we leave the airport with my parents-in-law, my mother-in-law points out that it's not very "nice" to wear a shirt with the Japanese WW2-flag on it in a country that was ass-raped by the Japanese in those days... ( so that's why it was a horrible idea :p )


upon our arrival we went for a late night dinner ( 10 pm by then ) where I stunned Chinese people ( the people suffering most from the Japanese invasion in WW2 ) by still wearing the shirt ( as I didn't have a chance to change yet :p )


Singapore is a city of tech-addicts and gamers, on the first real day out, we found this Sony-booth where a huge contest was taking place in FIFA World Cup on PS3, pretty fucking sweet :-)


There was also a anime-convention somewhere in town ( never made it there in our short trip ) but there were people cosplaying all around town, like these examples show :-)




In Singapore, they try to put statues in the places where they're supposed to be, like this one of children swimming in the Singapore-river. While I "took a dive" a group of Japanese tourists was passing by that obviously thought my pose was hillarious as I saw a shitload of flashes go of :p


For the rest I mostly walked around with Dtoid-shirts all the time :-)





Sadly we weren't allowed to take pics/vids in this arcade or I would've been able to let you feast your eyes on 2 asian teen chicks cosplaying in japanese student outfits totally destroying a Dance Dance-machine a 2 player Expert-mode match... ( My wife wasn't too happy about my looks at them but she understood it was more the awe at the quality of their playstyle :p )



I had gone to Singapore thinking to spread the word about Dtoid everywhere I got the chance, however it turned out that it wasn't needed at all, Dtoid had already invaded BOTH toys-museums!

MINT Museum Of Toys:



I couldn't help myself (vid at bottom of blog):


Magical Children Museum:


In short, Singapore is a fucking great city with 3G and 4G-networks all around, even on the subway you've always got FULL coverage, 60% of the people on any given subway-train is doing something on their smartphone, 15% are playing a PSP and the rest are just staring at you :-)



Dtoid-robot in action:
[embed]177682:31095[/embed]   read


9:07 AM on 11.25.2009

Overcoming the 4th wall, the future of gaming...

I've recently become a beta-tester for Real-TimeRacing. For the purpose of this blog, I'll need to explain a bit what the idea is behind this game. Since it not just overcomes the 4th wall, it totally obliterates it...

RTR is a game developped by Simbin and iOpener Media. Simbin is known for its awesome GT(R)-series and Race On on Xbox 360. While iOpener media is a fairly new company. The idea is that you're able to join real-life races from the comforts of your own home. They do this by placing GPS-consoles ( developped by the European Space Agency ) in the racecars, which enables them to pinpoint their location on track up to a few cm's precisely. Then they send this data to their gameservers and render the virtual cars on those exact locations.



And not just the cars, weather-conditions, flags ( like yellow-flags, code-60 etc ) are also sent to your home so you have the same experience whether you're racing in real life or in RTR. Their latest demonstration was during the "10 Hours of Zolder' ( currently the only available track ) where they actually participated in the race with a virtual team ( while at home 5000+ players were also racing ). We were able to actually see the cars pass by on track as they were zipping along in the game on their demo-machines which was absolutely amazing.


here's a short video of the possibilities:
[embed]156103:25198[/embed]

The 4th wall is a real problem for them as they can't have the 'real-life' cars driving through virtual cars, so if a 'real-life' car is about to pass a virtual racer, their AI-system takes over for a very short time, makes the pass, then relocates itself on the 'true' location and passes control back to the 'real' racedriver. At the moment this is a bit hit-and-miss, sometimes the passing is done really really well, at other times the shit hits the fan and crashes occur, however they've only been in beta since late this summer so it will surely be perfected in the longer run.



I think this beta gives us an unprecedented view of what gaming can (and most likely will ) become in the future. This implementation is just the start I think. No longer will we be playing against other gamers, we'll be playing against the real-life specialists in most sportsgames with the AI filling in the gaps.



They could put these modules into player's helmets and the actuall football for American Football, the same with virtually ever other sport on this planet. The level of skill we'd get from opponents like that would be phenomenal! Of course there will always be gaps that need to be filled, but by the time this gets commonplace the AI-level will probably have become more then advanced enough to fill them.

Sure it won't really work for shooters and RPG's, but who cares about realism in those? I really believe this will be the next step for sports-games... I've been trying to beat the professional drivers in RTR and I'm having a pretty hard time keeping up with them, especially in the 'less then ideal' situations ( like rain or night-driving ). The great thing for sim-lovers like me is that they also show you great racing-lines, so I really hope this'll become commonplace in other racingtitles!

what do you guys think of this?   read


12:52 PM on 08.07.2009

EURONARP 2: It's coming and no-one can stop it!

The time is nearing... Gamers from all over europe will once again get the chance to join in for a massive celebration of destructoid and our gaming passions... What began last year as a cheap alternative to the PAX-meetup in the US of A has become a regular event ( although its only once a year a "BIG" one )... and it is time to celebrate the one year aniversary by having another BIG EURONARP!

So I want to invite you all to EURONARP2! Of course, as is the idea, at the same time as PAX, so we start on Friday the 4th of September and we continue until Sunday the 6th of September.



to give you guys an idea of what to expect, here's some recaps of the previous euroNARPs ( big and small ):

the recap of the first EURONARP:
EURONARP full recap



then we tried out what it would give to have a NARP dedicated to one brand (it was awesome and became the guiding idea for 'minieuronarps'):

NintenoEuroNARP

SegaEuroNARP

and we've got a dreamlocation for doing our NARPs, better known as "Teh Lair":
Teh Lair

Since we try to make the "BIG" EuroNARP an all-out-gaming-festival, we allow people to bring their own stuff, we've put up our website again where anyone can register that wants to come to the EURONARP and where you can register the consoles and games you're going to bring, so that we can provide space and power for everyone :-) Last year we had about 10 TV's and 50+ consoles :-)

So if you want to join in in the maddest NARP on this side of the Ocean, register at our site and join the thread in the forums for general discussions about the EURONARP ;-) EuroNARP-site

btw, since Po0ky is such a cool guy, he's released the NARP-site as Open Source, so anyone that wants to use it for their own NARPs can request the code from him!

So hope to see you all at the EURONARP!

Regards,
mistic   read





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