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vinny

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Just wanted to jump in here and say thanks to everyone. Appreciate the good vibes!

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vinny

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Monday - 12/14/2020

Whew. What is going on folks? Over here we've got all sorts of business. It's been about a month since we'd had one of these and I just have not been able to find the time. I just had a postponed shoot today which just freed up a block of my time so here we are!

Some interesting things are brewing. If you hadn't heard, we're moving our Game of the Year coverage to early next year. We're still deciding the dates and what form it will take, but so far it's probably been one of the best PRE Game of the Year planning discussions I've had in awhile. While nothing will be in person, obviously, and we'll still have to manage Game of the Year recording versus regular site content, I feel like we have a lot more options by getting out of December and when we to cram it all in as quickly as possible. We're still in discussions about the final format and what we'll record in the end, but I like where things are headed.

We also had a great test during our Destiny 2: Beyond Light stream where Brad, Jeff, and I sent Jan our gameplay feeds and he mixed them locally in VMix and restreamed them back out. It's a problem we've been trying to solve for awhile and Brad has done a lot of legwork playing with SRT streaming and testing. The next step is seeing what a full test looks like with "Everyone sends cameras and audio | I send gameplay | other people get returned my gameplay and everybody else's voices minus their own | I get everybody else's voices minus my own and minus my own gameplay audio." Normally that wouldn't be that big an issue but doing it all over the internet, with different latencies and connections speeds adds all sorts of hiccups. What appears to work for 5 minutes might not work for 90 minutes. Also, everyone needs to sort out how to send discrete gameplay audio to Jan that doesn't mix together any other desktop audio. For some setups this is easier than others. Well, we've had varying degrees of success when it comes to what plays well with different computers, even computers that should be virtually identical will behave in unpredictable ways and, as a small team, some isn't there to troubleshoot for you because they just installed this weird software you don't really understand on your computer you are kind of sunk. Better to see if a person can reach the destination on their own first in a way they actually understand, and if they can't then start pushing your own solution on them.

This week we've got some fun Premium streams planned.

If you've been enjoying Assassin's Creed Syndicate like I have I'll be playing more of that on Wednesday.

Last week, Brad and I tried solving some Scrap Mechanic challenges and as much I TRIED to get him to continue to the next one we might go for something a bit different this week. Look for that stream later on Wednesday.

Friday, we'll be testing out the new process I spent a whole paragraph talking about above this. While we're not ready to call it UPF, we'll be testing to see where it all breaks down in our Relaxed Friday Stream.

We're also trying to bank a few things for the winter break we get off between Christmas and New Year's Day. Trying to squeeze those recordings in is challenging (it usually means something else has to give), so can't promise anything but I will say, for fans of this here little post... I'm trying to convince Alex to sit for some KOTOR or KOTOR 2 and he's seems into it. We'll see.

Of course we'll have The Bombcast, The Beastcast, and The HotSpot so look for those.

Next week will be a short one so we'll be recording the Beastcast earlier than usually, probably Friday. We're also planning on doing a stream on Wednesday before we head into a week of trying to play games before GOTY talk.

Hope everyone is safe and thanks for reading/watching/listening,

Vinny

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Tuesday 11/10/2020

Last week was a lot. Not even counting what was going on outside of work, it was a decent amount to try and sort through here. The embargo schedules on these new consoles and the games that come with them have been a bit allover the place. That makes trying to communicate and schedule streams and videos... not ideal.

Don't forget to check out the Quick Look for Valhalla as well as the Extra Life archives hitting the site. Thanks again to everyone that participated (and continues to participate) and to everyone that has donate. If you'd like to still donate you can here: http://tinyurl.com/gbel2020

This week though, a little better for planning out. A little.

If you didn't catch it yet, Ben and I recorded a Quick Look for Bugsnax. I finally beat the game last night after getting all those little critters in my notebook, so more to say on this week's Beastcast.

I'm also playing the Crash Bandicoot game. Probably won't have anything to record this week yet, but as someone that was never really that into the series I'm enjoying it so far.

Abby and I recorded an Unfinished for Teardown today, that is currently up on the site. I really like it and am curious to see where it goes and what further tools I can unlock. Also, my dog is ok (you can hear him in the video). He was just being whiny at being alone upstairs. I really don't know how he's going to manage once we can leave the house again.

Alex and I also recorded a Quick Look for Yakuza: Like a Dragon. That will go up tomorrow morning (processing that now). I've seen Alex play a lot of Yakuza and this one seems even wackier.

Jan is on the books for recording some Fuser later this week, I'm very curious about that one as well.

We've got a pretty some launch day streaming happening on Wednesday. We'll try and cover anything we haven't been able to talk about up until now for both consoles. I'm told there's still more!

We're also looking to have a new Breaking Brad this Friday, so stay tuned for that!

Of course, Bombcast, Beastcast, HotSpot should all be normal time this week.

Ok, back to processing Yakuza!

Enjoy!

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Wednesday 10/28/2020

"You already have a perfectly nice, and expensive, bike!" was the answer I got when I asked my wife if we should get an exercise bike for the house. It's true, I do have a bicycle I bought when I used to ride to the office in Sausalito, which was a fantastic ride. It's also true we do not have the room to put another thing in this house. BUT, it is also true that I am turning into the human equivalent of mashed potatoes. Also true, as everybody knows, the only way to solve that problem is to buy something expensive and put all your hopes in that wonderful panacea. So after talking with a friend he clued me into indoor bike trainers! Basically, turning my bike into an indoor stationary bike. My wife found my compromise satisfactory though she is still very skeptical, and so this is the path I will be headed (or hopefully pedaling) down. We'll see how it goes! Hopefully in the direction of mashed potato to baked potato.

Right, it's Wednesday already.

On Monday Abby and I recorded the last Six Crazy Frights for this season. We were able to play some Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope and that was fun. I really like those games and what they do, especially in the online multiplayer mode.

Today we'll be recording the Quick Look for it. I'll be playing the Quick Look in single player and starting near the beginning again to avoid much in the spoiler realm. If you want to see it things go a bit further, and with the other perspectives, check out the Six Crazy Frights going up a few days later.

I had time on Tuesday to play both Transformers: Battlegrounds and Amnesia: Rebirth which felt great! Even though neither game really struck me, being able to sit for hours and just play and prep some games hasn't happened in a fairly long time. Now we just need some time to plug in those recordings. I'm not exactly sure where to pick up with Rebirth for the QL. Need to figure that out.

Abby and I will be doing some Sea Beasts today. I think I prefer the two-person bits of it because it feels like there's less milling about and I always have something to do.

Alex and Bakalar have recorded NHL 21 and that should be going up soon as well.

Brad and Jeff are playing with the new toys (consoles) and trying to manage the minefield of both console and individual game embargos.

We're also looking to do another Playdate of Deep Rock Galactic this Friday, so I'm looking forward to that... if I can make it. Lots of meetings still happening with very short notice.

Bombcast, Beastcast, HotSpot all on track or, in the case of the Bombcast, recorded!

Some bigger titles creeping up, especially from Ubisoft, so expect people to be jumping on those soon in the near future.

We also made a spreadsheet to figure out availability for this year's Extra Life streaming, so more on that schedule soon. Spreadsheets. So many spreadsheets lately.

Ok, enough for now. Enjoy the week!

--Vinny

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vinny

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Tuesday 10/20/2020

Ok, this week. Plenty of stuff keeping me busy off-camera this week, mainly how do you take account of and audit 10+ years of production gear when you can't go into an office. Answer? ______________________.

Go check out Jan's Quick Look of Mario Kart Live!

I've been playing that G.I. Joe Operation Blackout game, so look for a Quick Look of that soon. It's not great but I don't really have strong feelings about it. My Transformers knowledge definitely outpaces my Joe knowledge, but I'm not sure this is scratching much of a nostalgia itch.

Ben continues to play Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition so we should get to that this week also.

Look for Breaking Brad this Wed (unless things move around).

Alex should be drumming after the Beastcast.

We've got The HotSpot on Friday and instead of a premium show after we're looking to do a live Jackbox Quick Look, so stay tuned.

Filmed another spooky game with Abby today and that was fun. More positional audio in that one, though it's hard to keep quiet when you're trying to do something entertaining. Feels awkward.

We'll have more popping up so keep an eye on the site.

--Vinny

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vinny

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Tuesday 10/13/2020

I get nervous and anxious when trying to show off games that either have long histories, complex mechanics, or frantic action. The action ones I don't mind as much because what are you going to do, really? You might just have to stop talking for a bit or you might just bone up the action. That doesn't really bother me. It's the ones where I feel like I need to map out how I'm going to present a game, like Star Wars: Squadrons and what is necessary to dive into (do we need to go over all the power management and menus?) or just show off the action portions? I usually try to approach it from what I think is interesting (so yes, the power management). Ran into a similar thing with Baldur's Gate 3.

I find a lot of the divergences and ways Baldur's Gate 3 adheres to the 5e ruleset interesting, but is that worth sitting on a menu for 3 minutes talking about? How far into spellcasting do we need to go? What if someone is jumping in here as their first CRPG game? What if someone is jumping in here from Baldur's Gate 2? How much of DnD 5e's mechanics, classes, history, lore am I going to misremember in the moment?

My plan was to start from that interesting cutscene at the beginning (eye stuff), go through what's in the character creator, talk about what's not there and what fifth edition is, and then spend more time going into combat/dialogue/gameplay and showing it all off. Sometimes it's hard for me with things that feel complex to not go into tutorial-like explanation mode, but for a game like this it felt like that would be useless.

ANYWAY

Baldur's Gate 3 Unfinished should be up tomorrow (Wed) but enjoy this shot for now:

No Caption Provided

Other Stuff

Abby and I recorded another Six Crazy Frights and for a game I apparently played with Patrick around seven years ago. That was a bit of a "been a long road" moment for sure.

Going to try and jump in with Ben and record a Quick Look for Age of Empires 3 in the near future. Played the heck out of 2 but not sure I remember playing 3 a ton. It was a long time ago. I like RTS games where you can build walls, so more of those.

Abby is streaming Wednesday morning and then we've got more Breaking Brad in the afternoon.

Should have some more Breakfast n' Ben this Thursday followed by The Giant Beastcast.

Thursday is currently scheduled to wrap with some Alex drumming away.

Friday we've got The HotSpot and then the thing I'm most excited about... Phasmophobia with me, Abby, Ben, and Jan. Abby and I played a bit more today to test everything out with using just the in-game audio and to also get a better sense of the controls and yeah, it seems great. I died again. I'm not usually scared in games but that one does a number on me.

So tune in! Fun week coming up!

--Vinny

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#7  Edited By vinny

Tuesday 10/06/2020

I did it. I just finished the campaign portion of Star Wars: Squadrons. Not sure if it was exactly necessary to do that, but I really wanted to get through it before recording the Quick Look tomorrow. Going to spend time with the multiplayer now and see how that is. I think the campaign is... ok? The story didn't grab me, but as a device to introduce you to all the ships it's effective. After I FINALLY figured out how to boost properly (I think I am now... at least) and also how to manage the power on the TIE fighters it was more fun. Quick Look should record and go up on Wednesday.

Abby and I recorded a Quick Look today for The Solitaire Conspiracy which seems like a fun take on solitaire. Look for that soon.

We then tried to squeeze in another recording for Six Crazy Frights but ran out of time as I have to jump into a meeting. The setup and tutorial was a bit more than we were expecting so hopefully we can squeeze that in somewhere else.

There's also a Quick Look for Genshin Impact which I believe is being recorded tomorrow as well with Jan, Jeff, and Jason? People might change.

I believe Brad will have some BugSnax coverage later this week but no Breaking Brad. Taking a week off.

No Mass Alex tomorrow because we're planning on doing it live on Friday! Brad might even join us.

This Wednesday's Playdate is scheduled to be some Left 4 Dead with Abby, Ben, Alex, and Jan.

Breakfast 'N' Ben is on the schedule for Thursday morning as well!

And keep an eye out for more Clue Crew on Friday.

Bombcast / Beastcast / HotSpot all on track.

I'll hopefully get some time in on Baldur's Gate 3's early access stuff before the Beastcast if I can swing it.

Now, off to that meeting!

--Vinny

QUICK EDIT

I am TERRIBLE at multiplayer in Squadrons. That is all.

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Tuesday 09/29/2020

What happened to Monday? Don't know. I know the kids were off and I know I sat at the computer and I know I looked up and it was 10:00PM. There was some leftover Yom Kippur dinner waiting for me, and that was a treat.

I did record more Six Crazy Frights with Abby! That did happen. Check out the one we recorded last week for Slender: The Arrival!

I also know I was able to play some Iron Harvest, and maybe it was playing it after a long day but so far that game seems to move too slowly... I think I'm still ramping up but let's ramp faster please!

I know I still have strange issues with my audio, so I'm reverting some of it back to where it was... but some of it is hard to test, especially when I go from doing one thing that is fine and the next thing it's not fine and we're not sure on which end the problem lies... lays? might lay? Who cares. It's frustrating.

THIS WEEK

Alex and I are trying to see how much Mass Alex we have left. I'm thinking at least two longer episodes. We'll record it normal this week, but if I feel we're nearing the end maybe we do it live as special thing next Friday? TBD.

Sea Beasts! This Wednesday Abby and I are going back in to see how the waters are. While I like the full crew and the... tension it brings there's a lot of fun in when there are just two people on the ship.

Breaking Brad is back on Thursday after the Beastcast, I won't be there for it (editing said Beastcast) but I suspect he will beat the game.

Speaking of beating the game, this Friday is VinnyVania! Last episode? No idea. Honestly. I think someone said I'm nearing the end and the map in the game seemed to be at the top of something so we'll see.

Alex is looking to record a QL for Art of Rally

I'm looking forward to playing Star Wars: Squadrons. I really hope it's good... I think it's out this Friday. Please be good.

Podcasts are all on track, Bombcast, Beastcast, HotSpot.

Ok, I think that's it for now. Enjoy!

--Vinny

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#9  Edited By vinny

Friday 09/25/2020

Audio issues. That's where I'm at here. I installed some capture software on my PC recently and since then I've been having headaches with my audio. Even after uninstalling the (possibly) causal software I'm still getting sync issues, buffer issues, you name it. I'll probably roll back my PC to a previous backup if I can't get it all sorted out, but what a headache. And it's intermittent too! I hate inconsistency. Too hard to test. BLEH!

But I am happy it's Friday. Got a busy weekend ahead of me but should (hopefully) be productive! Gotta get busy fixing/building/cleaning things over here!

Have a great weekend, watch some of this great stuff below, and see you next week!

VinnyVania: Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2 - Part 03

The HotSpot - Episode 380

Clue Crew: Nancy Drew: Legend of the Crystal Skull - Part 2

Party of One: Serious Jeff Plays Some Serious Sam 4

Lockdown 2020: We Be Drummin'! 09/24/2020

The Giant Beastcast: Episode 279

Quick Look: Super Mario 3D All-Stars

Quick Look: WWE 2K Battlegrounds

Quick Look: Hades

Breaking Brad: Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels VII

Mass Alex: Mass Effect 3 - Part 24

Lockdown 2020: Rhythm Hell Fever - Part 9

Quick Look: NBA 2K21

Help Drew Raise Money for the MS Fundraiser 2020!

Giant Bombcast 653: That's Hot Soup!

--Vinny

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#10  Edited By vinny

Monday 09/19/2020

Meetings and a decent amount of them. They pop up when you least expect them and can chew up a good chunk of your day.

But that's not why I'm writing this, to tell you about meetings. I'm writing this because if I write down that I want to do a QL for Iron Harvest but... I haven't touched it yet it... and that makes me feel more guilty for not carving out the time.

Also, I'm pretty excited to get to the second half of that party in Mass Alex. If you've been waiting for the end here we are. I'm not sure how many episodes are left, but it can't be TOO many.

We're planning on more Breaking Brad and VinnyVania this week. Playing those things once week is hard enough, so sometimes it's best to keep trucking until it's done. I hope both of those games understand that.

Abby and I are trying to find a good spot to record Six Crazy Frights which should be airing soon as we lead up to Halloween. Look out for that in the future.

For Quick Looks we have Hades, Super Mario 3D All-Stars, WWE 2K Battlegrounds, and something in my notes I have written as "Anime Game".

Alex and I will also be looking to do that NBA 2K21 QL this week.

Annnnnd Bombcast, Beastcast, and The HotSpot!

Stay tuned and thanks for watching/listening!

--Vinny