Midnite Faery

Midnite Faery

Creator, Editor, and Writer for Epic Gamer Girl. Child & Youth Support Worker during the day; zombie slayer & dragon hunter at night! Lover of video games, conventions, photography, coffee, traveling, food, and of course my husband! My favourite games are Rock Band, Guitar Hero, Skyrim, and Left 4 Dead 2.

Feb 232013

I have fallen under the spell of tapping my index finger constantly on my phone. I refused to play games on my phone forever. I have an xbox, what did I need to use my phone for. Hmph…that all changed when I was in a car accident and couldn’t sit up long enough to play xbox but desperately needed to get my game fix.

Well no, that’s a lie. I was at work when I downloaded and played my first mobile “app” game. I was out for coffee with a resident and she couldn’t stop talking about this game called “Tiny Village”. She was eagerly clicking on all the coins and shops when we got wi-fi at Starbucks. This was about a week before the accident. So I downloaded the game and tried it. I created some houses, got villagers, and upgraded my Rock. I was moving up in the world of Tiny Village. I even got to the point where I could hatch dinosaurs from a pen (it only cost 250 gold for a random one). I was just learning about fusing dinosaurs when the accident occurred. What was I going to do without my inspiration from the resident. I downloaded this game so we could have something fun to chat about… and I’m a gamer 😉 I put the game aside for the first few days and then when I could stay alert enough to look at my phone, I started tapping again!

Tiny Village

So…after I started to feel fully addicted to my Tiny Village. I was taking photos and uploading them on twitter. I was amazed with how quickly I could progress through the game and how much there was to do. Silly little goals and instant rewards of gold and crystals! I think I spent about 80 crystals without even realizing it :/ I was just “tap” “tap” happy! Typically the crystals cost “real” money if you want to have an abundance of them. For my purpose, I didn’t care so I wasn’t going to start buying extras for a game I was newly addicted to. See, I have control over my addiction!

I leveled up!! – Tiny Village

That’s what I thought until a girlfriend of mine suggested that I download “Order Up” on the app store. It’s another free mobile game. The premise is that you take orders, prepare them, and serve them …all with a tap! Ahah, it was another game that I could feel successful at with my current state.

It didn’t stop there. Some of the goals for Tiny Village is to merely download and run a game to earn free crystals (remember you have to pay for them otherwise) …so I was downloading and running the games. But then, if you run them, you get new goals that will give you more crystals if you play the game to a certain level or prefer a specific action in a game. This is where it all went downhill, and I had no choice but to download all the “story” games (restaurant, fashion, bakery, dragons) …and Slots! I’m not even a gambler! I was laying down … tapping away on all these various games in order to push further in my initial downloaded game.

how can you resist the cuteness!?

Restaurant Story

…I’m not going to lie, now that I can sit up and play games on my xbox, my mobile games will have to take a back burner. I love my xbox and can’t wait to have more time and energy for gaming! That said, I can’t promise I won’t load my mobile games occasionally to tap on my coins and order items to sell (virtually). The addiction takes time to wear off!

Jan 212013

Monday’s are a beautiful day to get your rockage on. Today’s uploaded video is of me (@themidnitefaery) singing No Doubt’s “Underneath It All”. You will notice that Gwen can’t help but pipe in occasionally and my vocals are quite soft in comparison. Even though my microphone should have been on max and the game vocals down as low as possible. Weird eh.

Oh well …here’s to the start of something new.

Music Monday!

Jan 202013

So… you know when you love something, take for example, The Walking Dead graphic novels, and you watch it turn into mass produced media. Well that’s what happened from my perspective. I started reading The Walking Dead before the masses picked up on how awesome it is. The tv series started and I stood against it. Partially because movies/shows often ruin the story and also because I didn’t have cable so I couldn’t be bothered spending time finding it online. I was so in love with the graphic novels that I implemented them in my programming while working with youth. What better way to connect then through beautiful art and a fantastic story! Of course there was discussions about safety and what could happen …but I will save that for another post 😉

I got The Walking Dead. I had the demo ages ago and played through the start. I entered the kitchen and bashed that zombie lady’s head in (this is not a spoiler because it is in the demo and you bash through lots of zombies in a apocalyptic game). The demo was the extent for me. I wasn’t hooked. I figured I would wait for all the episodes to be released and then get it. So now you know how long I had been sitting on the fence about this game.

I typically don’t enjoy games that focus on cut scenes and that have amazing graphics during the scene but choppy game play. I just like to turn my console on and play. I even played the start of the 3rd episode at PAX and I wasn’t completely sold.

Then on Christmas Eve, I got a message from a friend on my Xbox. The first whole episode of The Walking Dead was free!! Wicked. I am a sucker for free games …who isn’t?!

I played the first episode and loved it. I was hooked on the characters (even though they’re different than the graphic novels). I loved the choices they had to make and the pace of the game. Plus, its got gorey elements if zombies being killed!

Check out a bit of Episode 2, which was on sale over the holidays.

I would highly recommend this game to anyone who enjoys watching a beautifully created video/game. You get to interact with the characters, kill zombies, and make life determining decisions (in the game of course!).

All 5 episodes are available now to download or purchase in the shops. Playing in sequence without a time delay is vital to fully immerse in the story.

You will play as Lee, an escaped criminal. You will find out what he did, as the story progresses. Your partner throughout is Clementine, a little girl who is searching for her parents. You will come across various survivors who will help and hinder your fight against the walkers.

I’ve heard rumors that you will be able to continue your story when the next Walking Dead game comes out. All the tough decisions that you make, will continue to impact what happens and your interactions with other survivors along your path.

These are MY choices throughout the game. Don’t click on the picture if you don’t want to spoil any of your decisions 😉

Jan 082013

I am following up after the stunning @LadyAether posted her Gaming Resolutions last week. I too have hopes and goals for the new year.

Achievements that I would like to complete:

I have to be realistic here, I am not capable of getting all the achievements in my xbox library, but I know there are a few that I can master this year.

I would really like to get the rest of the achievements on my Fable 2 and Fable 3 game. It is a fun adventure that I can handle playing over and over again in order to get them.
I currently have 42/66 achievements for Fable 2 and 34/60 achievements for Fable 3.
Oh yea, and I can’t forget the lovely new Fable: The Journey. I would like to get all the achievements for that game too! I have 19/50 achievements for Fable: The Journey.

My beautiful Fable games! 😀

All the LEGO games that I own. I know this will take me a really long time, but I think it will be fun and totally worth it. The games are meant to be played right? All the extras are there for a reason, so I may as well embrace them.

Lego Harry Potter: years 1-4. My current achievements are 11/36
Lego Harry Potter: years 5-7. My current achievements are 34/49
Lego Pirates of the Caribbean. My current achievements are 7/40
Lego Lord of the Rings. My current achievements are 11/48
Lego Batman. My current achievements are 2/46

**Lego Rock Band. I have 39/49 achievements. It depends on what I’m missing and whether I can get 100% or not. I am a sucky guitarist and drummer.

My Lego games <3[/caption] Games I would like to finish: Achievements not mandatory.

I want to finish Braid. It’s frustratingly difficult but I know that I can wrap my brain around the puzzles and figure it out.

…and on a similar note, I would like to finish Limbo. I can’t get past this horrid place of rushing razors and moving platforms. I may need something to calm my brain while completing these games. I think I rage the most while playing it.

I would like to finish the story for Dead Island. I will need some online friends to team up with to get through the story. I can’t handle all those zombies by myself. Is anyone brave enough to stand alongside me during the Apocalypse!?

[caption id="attachment_5616" align="aligncenter" width="249"] I will finish these!!

Skyrim would be a huge feat for me too. Not necessarily all the side quests, but completing the main storyline would be cool. I am a level 38 mage with a masters in destruction 😉

I enjoy playing the xbox arcade games, and I still haven’t finished Fez, Super Meat Boy, Alan Wake: American Nightmare, or Scott Pilgram. I would like to work through the challenges and story. I’m not too fussy about getting all the achievements for these games.

Gaming in Real Life:

Women in Games Vancouver. I want to attend all of the gaming meet-ups for women in games in Vancouver. I would also like to attend some gathering in Seattle (if there are any). I love meeting with women who are passionate about video games! Authentic girl gamers and creators are amazing.

Emerald City Comicon. I don’t know if I am hosting the Guitar Hero booth yet, but even if I just attend as Press, it is a must! Last year I was able to see the Weasley Brothers. I am the biggest Harry Potter fan and that was beyond cool. Plus all the awesome video game and comic book stuff 😉 I would love to dress up this year. Do you have any fantastic cosplay ideas?

Emerald City Comicon

Vancouver Fan Expo. This is when the beautiful @firedragon1087 returns to the city for a visit of epic girly geekiness! I miss her so much already so knowing that I will see her in April for geekasmic fun is brilliant.

Vancouver Fan Expo

Geek Girl Con. I love getting together with fantastic women that embrace their geek! I will likely try to volunteer and go as press again. It offers huge insight into what happens behind the scenes to make an event such as this EPIC!

The lovely ladies from EA at Geek Girl Con. With me on the right 🙂

Pax. I will likely attend this con again. I will have to schedule my time differently as I want to experience more of the gaming adventures and not the parties. I know, I’m lame like that. I like gaming. Who knows, I might even try some tabletop gaming!!

Another PC game that I must get! I’m so happy that I was able to play FireFall at PAX! 🙂

I wonder if I am going to have enough time to do all this gaming! It’s quite a list. I have Monday’s off work, so I can dedicate that time to gaming. Plus, I can do co-op gaming on the weekend with Julz. This can be done! I know it can. It is afterall,

My 2013 Resolutions.

What’s yours?!

Jan 072013

Over the Christmas holidays I had to make time for video games. Considering that is the whole purpose of a holiday for a gamer right?

I picked up a couple games. First was just before the holiday began. I got LEGO Lord of the Rings. I played through about halfway with Julz before I got distracted with the madness of Christmas.

Lord of the Rings is a fantastic LEGO game because it has voice overs, the characters are easy to control, and you get to blow everything up!

The characters actually communicate to each other through a language that makes sense! Instead of the grunts and groans as seen in previous LEGO games (exception: Batman 2, which I haven’t played).

Each member of the fellowship have their own special abilities that you can upgrade throughout the game. Plus you can forge specific weapons so everyone has access to them. When playing co-op, there are different experiences and missions that you get thrown into so that you can carry on working as a team. Frodo likes to do his own thing! Plus it requires team work to complete certain tasks. Personally, I like Sam the most. He can dig and light fires. Gandolf has awesome magic but he’s not a hobbit!

The reaction speed for the controller and your character are great. You press a button and you see an action. And last but not least, you’re in Middle Earth! I’ve personally been to both (in New Zealand) so I was really excited to explore and blow stuff up!! …anything I could hit, roll into, or pound on, exploded with beautiful studs.

The following captures are potential spoilers as they are from the game.

Introduction to Lego Lord of the Rings:

A bit of gameplay during a quest:

Adventures through Middle Earth

Dec 122012

If you live in Vancouver, or have traveled through Vancouver you will know that the homeless population is exceeding large. There are currently about 3,700 people in Vancouver without a place to call home. Homeless men, women, and children are sleeping on the streets, on a friends couch, or in temporary shelters.

The BC Government is starting to put money back in to social programs and the City of Vancouver just launched a “Vancouver Rent Bank” to assist people who are working and struggling to pay rent. It’s still not enough.

…but imagine this, in a city where the homeless population seems to be growing daily, a local video game company (Last Pick Productions) is stepping up to help. Coming in the spring of 2013 is a game that will spread awareness and help fund programs and advocacy groups to end homelessness in Vancouver.

The name of the game: iBeg.

The idea of the game might lead to controversial opinions. The name itself if rather desolate, but real. Gamers will play as a homeless person, in the form of an avatar. The gamer will experience real life situations in order to earn the means to survive. Some gamers might make a mockery of what it’s like to be homeless. Some gamers might enjoy watching their avatar shower in the street or panhandle in front of the liquor store. To be honest, I was hesitant when I first heard about iBeg. I was concerned that the game would lead to more ignorance about the real suffrage homeless people endure. I was even a little annoyed that someone would profit off creating a game about being homeless. That’s when I decided I ought to contact the designers and see what their real motivation and goals were. I was fortunate enough to connect with the founder of Last Pick Productions and the lead designer of iBeg, Chris Worboys. He expressed his passion behind the game and future goals to me.

So what’s iBeg about?

The main character is a homeless game designer who lost his job because of the reality of the game industry in Vancouver. Game companies are going to cities that have less tax, which leads to fewer jobs. Gamers will take care of the main character, a cute little avatar, and try to make sure he survives the mean streets of Vancouver’s East side. The hope is that by expressing empathy for their avatar, gamers will become more compassionate about the reality of homelessness.

You can find friends to raise money with!

As the main character struggles to find his way off the streets, it is the gamers job to try and keep him healthy, happy, and clean. In order to stay healthy, your avatar will need food and shelter. To do this, you will have to find ways to earn money. Panhandling, busking, bottle collecting and bartering are some of the skills needed. Also, you will need to ensure your avatar is happy. You can find happiness through social interactions and small purchases. Finally, hygiene is something to keep in mind while keeping your avatar happy. While it’s might be seen as distasteful to have a hygiene bar associated with a game about homelessness, the Sims have one and it showed how being clean actually affected their mental, physical, and social well-being.

Of course in reality, people who are homeless often have trauma, concurrent disorders and coping mechanisms that should be considered. If there is a demand to see more reality with various avatars and individualized life stories, Chris Worboys told me they would consider developing it.

The idea behind the game came from lead designer, Chris. He is a fairly new game designer and was inspired to create iBeg after looking out the window on his commute to and from work. He was able to see the poverty and homeless people on the Vancouver streets. Chris is hoping that iBeg will show people that commute with a phone in their hands, what is happening around them. He told me that “we wanted to take an issue we felt strongly about, and put it back in front of them in an engaging manner; a game that would make them look up from their phone and think twice about the person sleeping on the sidewalk, and the hardships they endure on a daily basis”. Once people are aware of what’s happening around them, hopefully they are more inclined to help.

In order to support the idea behind iBeg, I first needed to know what sort of “real” community supports were being shared with the gamers. I wanted to see iBeg used as an educational game. I was curious if iBeg had links to real community supports that could offer the player some real life information on supports. Chris Worboys assured me that the game uses current community supports; “In the game itself, we hope to also use real buildings of charities in Vancouver and showcase some of the services they provide. It would be nice to be able to have the homeless avatar be able to go and get a free meal in the game from a charity, or able to sleep in one of the downtown shelters provided for them”. By including real places and locations it will set forth an understanding of services available. Maybe iBeg will be able to include a list of links for local charitable organizations (food banks, shelters, clothing drives, medical services, free meals, legal advice, recovery programs, mental health services, and financial assistance).

iBeg will be released in the Spring of 2013. The purchase of iBeg and in-game purchases will directly help the homeless living in Vancouver. Proceeds of purchases go to local charitable organizations and homeless advocacy groups. Last Pick Productions isn’t profiting off a game about homelessness, actually they are requesting help with a Kickstarter to get the game developed and released on schedule. iBeg will help fund programs that directly support homeless in Vancouver, and the real-time stats for money raised and support provided for the homeless people of Vancouver will be accessible in the game.

The idea behind iBeg is close to my heart as I work in a safe house for women and children fleeing domestic abuse. I know what it’s like to connect with people who are homeless at no fault of their own. Over the past couple years I have seen the barriers and struggles that people go through to avoid ending up on the streets. I am pleased to say that after connecting with Chris and understanding the anticipated direction of iBeg, I think it is a fantastic game and I can’t wait to play it.

iBeg: A Game For Social Change Kickstarter

Last Pick Productions: creators of iBeg