Friday, August 30, 2019

No Man's Sky 'Not Starting' or 'Failing To Launch'? - Here's What Worked For Me [Notification/Tutorial]

[Text-Mode Only: This posting is being shared as Text-Only, to speed up the ability to share it, at this time. 
I may return to add helpful screenshots/diagrams/etc, at a later date.]


Update 1: Added link to driver download, for the version that worked for me (NVIDIA website)
Update 2: Oddly, the GOG version was working - but as of 09.02 neither game starts up at all


For the past week or so (since the BEYOND release) I've had a problem trying to get back into No Man's Sky to check it out... The game just wouldn't start/launch. I noticed that it was popping up in the Windows Taskbar but then it would 'close itself' or 'crash' - either way, resulting in the game closing up and I wasn't able to play and try out the new stuff!

After messing with it off and on for about a week, I finally figured out something that worked - No Man's Sky actually starts now, and I can play! Here are the things I tried at first:

  • Restarted PC/system
  • Re-installed NMS
  • Verified Cache (Steam version**)
  • Disabled Anti-Virus temporarily while running game (third-party AV, Windows Defender, etc)
  • Ran game as Administrator
  • Ran the Compatibility Troubleshooter for the game executable (Windows 10, did not affect result of game closing itself upon starting it)
  • Dusted out system and hardware (to help with potential overheating, corruption/errors due to heat and dust issues, etc)
  • Re-installed NMS to C: drive (Windows/main drive/partition, then moved NMS back to other SSD [I had it originally on], as it made no difference)
  • Re-installed GPU drivers (videocard 'system files that Windows uses to 'talk' to the hardware' [is how I describe "computer drivers" to others])
  • Ran Windows Update (there was an Update package, did not affect result of game closing itself)
  • Considered re-installing Windows 10 (then did not do it - this time - lol)

I tried a ton of other little things as well, like re-installing Visual C++ libraries for Windows (system files that are part of Windows that many, many programs utilize) - it had apparently worked for many people, and I saw this mentioned in a few different Game Support forums (eg. Reddit, Steam, GameFaqs, etc) if you want to try this, these can be found at the Microsoft website, here:

With all of these steps (many of them mentioned by helpful users on multiple forums online - most of them I knew and tried myself), at some point, they would 'get the game working' for many people. Sadly, not for me. I had to hunt around and 'hack away at the bushes of the problem jungle' on my own for awhile... Finally, I found something that got No Man's Sky working for me - here is what I did:

'Roll back' the GPU drivers (videocard system files that Windows uses to 'talk' to the hardware) to an older version, then re-install the latest version of the GPU drivers (non-'clean' install). BOOM it worked! 

Here is the steps I took that finally got No Man's Sky working:

  • Regress the GPU drivers [re-install older and older versions of the GPU drivers] until the game works (for me, that meant I re-installed older drivers over and over until NMS started 'fully and without issues' - for me, that was NVIDIA GPU Driver version 391.01 - this driver can be downloaded directly from NVIDIA's website, however, their own Search for Drivers does not go back that far... I found these older versions by going to Google and searching "NVIDIA driver 391", for example, then following a Link that goes to NVIDIA's Driver website [as opposed to other third-party websites, not that they are always 'bad', some are great, but I wanted the official NVIDIA drivers from them, for this]). If you want to try the exact version I found worked for me, the link to NVIDIA's release of that Driver is here:
    https://www.nvidia.com/download/driverResults.aspx/131443/en-us
  • Once game is verified as 'working without issues', re-install latest GPU Driver (version 436.xx as of the time of this posting) 'on top of' the currently installed Drivers [newer versions of NVIDIA Drivers 'uninstall' the older versions, but just do not chose the 'clean' install, where it deletes your Profiles, etc]. I found I also had to select to install the "NVIDIA HD Audio" and "NVIDIA 3D" options, as well...

That's it!

Although professionally I am a Computer Tech, I'm not a Developer/Programmer, so I'm not 100% sure why it got No Man's Sky working finally (but I can assume some things, like the game needing some older Windows System libraries that got 'corrupted' or lost, somehow, and other things that could have occurred) - but I'm just glad that the game runs once again. 

Of course, this may not be your specific issue with NMS not starting for you, my dear reader; but perhaps it can help the game to run for you, too. Good Luck with it - and a many-a-Good-Journey to you, Traveller! 





Addendum: As of 09.02, both versions (GOG and Steam) now do not start up (they do not run properly) - the game appears in the Taskbar for a moment, then closes itself. I shall try some Troubleshooting again, and if I find another 'fix', I will return to share it here...







**Oddly, the Good Old Games (now GOG.com) version, that I received as a gift a while ago, worked fine... Only the Steam version of NMS had issues... During the course of Troubleshooting the Steam version, the GOG version stopped working [lol] - then, after 'fixing' the Steam version, the GOG version was working once again. Possibly, the issues were related, but I am not sure. Hopefully, one of the steps mentioned herein (or my 'final solution' step [maybe I should rename that]) will work for you


Tuesday, June 25, 2019

No Man's Sky - How To Play The Game In 'Single Player Mode' [Tutorial Steps]


Playing some No Man's Sky again recently [which by the way, is a great game now, with Base Building, Underwater Exploration, more Quests and Factions and 'things to do'], I also saw a question in the Steam Discussion/Forum for the game, where 'playing NMS as though it was a Single Player game' was being talked about. Wanting to help, I took a Screenshot of the menu options that need to be configured, to set up the game as though it is Single Player (essentially turning off all Joining and Multiplayer Options). Here is what that menu looks like, configured as such:

Example, Unedited - How to set up the game to play as a Single Player experience
(Network & Voice Menu)
From my own Steam Screenshot, found at:

To get to the above menu, in No Man's Sky, just hit ESC (Escape key) at any time after Loading into your Game/Profile, then select the "NETWORK & VOICE" menu. Once in there, you will see the options shown above. Configuring it as shown, noone will be able to join your game and noone will be able to chat/talk with you in the game.

Personally, I prefer to play almost all games as though they are Single Player experiences (eg. World Of Warcraft, The Elder Scrolls Online, et al.) running around on my own, doing what I want to do at any time; but I do not mind Multiplayer and PvP games - I have played many in the past, such as Overwatch, League Of Legends, Starcraft and shooters like Planetside 2, Tribes Ascend, the Battlefield Series and older ones such as Unreal Tournament (1999), Quake 3 and more... I simply prefer to explore around at my own pace in most games, stopping to enjoy the sights and take Screenshots, listen to the wind in the trees and the animals around, and so on - I feel that stopping so often may hinder the experience of others that may in the game, so I usually play by myself; that way, 'everyone' is happy (mostly, heh). This post was created mostly for others like me, or those that just want to play without worrying about other people for a while. When I myself do play Multiplayer games, perhaps I'll see you in them, sometime.

HTH and take care. Good Journey, Traveller.



Saturday, June 15, 2019

Deals and Sales: Giveaway and Sale at GOG: Toonstruck for FREE - One Day Only! [Sales]



Did you know that Christopher Lloyd (Back To The Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit) was in a videogame?

It was called Toonstruck (1996) and it is an animated Adventure Game, in the vein of Day Of The Tentacle (2016 Remake, 1993) and it is being given away Totally Free at GOG.com right now, during their Summer Sale Festival - all you have to do is go there and Sign In - that's it!

Other games seen On Sale at GOG are:
  • The Witcher 3 : $20
  • Fallout 3, Game Of The Year Edition: $10
  • Grim Dawn: $10
  • No Man's Sky : $30
  • Vampyr : $25
  • Baldur's Gate II, Enhanced Edition: $6
  • Heroes Of Might And Magic III, Complete :$4
  • Diablo 1, with Hellfire Expansion: $10
  • Warcraft 1 and 2, Bundle : $16
If you live in the USA, these are Canadian Prices, so they will all be even a bit less!

Remember, GOG Games are DRM-Free, meaning you can play them anytime and install as many copies as you have systems in your household. The Blog here has over 100 Games and I plan on writing Reviews of them over time in the future...

Although this is not really a "deals blog", I do like to mention Sales when I see them sometimes; so I should quickly mention that HumbleBundle is also having a Sale, it's their City Builder Weekend Sale, with games like Planet Coaster, Rollercoaster Tycoon, Tropico and other Sim-Building Games on Sale.

So go and check out the Sales and get Toonstruck for FREE, now! GOGOGO


[Note: I am not affiliated or partnered with Good Old Games (gog.com) in any form, and have not, and will not, receive any compensation for writing about them here (it can be seen that there are no Affiliate Links being used in any of the Hyperlinks above). I am merely an enthusiastic gamer, who likes to help out others with tips and information, when I can.]

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

And More: How To 'Browse' Steam Screenshot Folders with PaintShop Pro [Fix / Tutorial with Steps]

After playing around with both Steam and PaintShop Pro recently, I have found a 'Fix' for an issue where PaintShop Pro was not able to see any Screenshots in the Steam-created Screenshot Folders, when trying to "Browse" within PaintShop Pro... Here is what it looks like in PaintShop Pro when trying to "Browse" to a Steam Screenshot Folder within the graphic editing application itself:


As seen above, the Browsing utility in PaintShop Pro says "No Files Found" [circled in Red] - but obviously there are files/images in the folder, as opening the same folder with Windows Explorer just below it (Windows 10) shows there are tons [I take way too many Screenshots, heh]

I examined the Properties of the Screenshots generated by Steam, but they are nothing out-of-the-ordinary, they are typical .JPG (JPEG format) image files. 
PaintShop Pro is able to "Browse" other folders I have with Screenshots, so perhaps it had something to do with Permissions [was my thinking]...
I ran PaintShop Pro as Administrator, but it seemed to make no difference. 
I then examined the Preferences of PaintShop Pro. I have been in there before, to change some of the behaviour of the editing program, namely Caching and Colour Correction/Import and Precise Cursors [I really prefer the Precise Cursors, I Recommend using them!]

In PaintShop Pro's Preferences, I found there are some Exclusions that were already in the program [built-in, on install] that, while helpful, interfered with where Steam keeps game Screenshots by Default.

These Exclusions, in PaintShop Pro, are located in:

File > Preferences > General Program Preferences 

In the Manage category, Excluded Items section, there is a button for Uncataloged Folders.

[These folders are not utilized by PaintShop Pro, and while I'm not sure why, I assume it is because they are large System Folders and may result in duplicates or 'garbage' images being read, which would take up time and excessive space for Thumbnails]

In these "Uncataloged Folders", I found a listing of
C:\Program Files
and Steam itself is installed (by Default, in Windows) to
C:\Program Files (x86)

It appears that PaintShop Pro thinks that "Program Files (x86)" is part of, or is, "Program Files" [due to the space in the former] - so it excludes that folder from use; thus, it is not possible to Browse those folders with PaintShop Pro [was my thinking].

Removing the "C:\Program Files" from the Uncataloged Folders, I tried to open a game's Screenshots Folder (unchanged, where Steam normally keeps them by Default) with BROWSE in Paintshop Pro...

It worked! 😁

That was it then - it appears removing that Folder (C:\Program Files) from the Uncataloged Folders category, is all that needs to be done and Paintshop Pro can then Browse and Catalogue [create Thumbnails for] those Folders.

In the image I created just below, there is an open Steam Screenshots Folder in the background, showing that Steam's Screenshot Folders indeed now work with PaintShop Pro.

Here is a large collage/screenshot showing what I found and how to change it [It looks a little busy/crazy - so I will explain it just underneath, heh]:


In the 'Tutorial' image above, I have indicated the following areas below on how to 'fix' this issue with PaintShop Pro:

» The Large 'Green Arrow' shows that I have a Steam Screenshot Folder open in the Browse/Manage are of PaintShop Pro [It now works! There are Screenshots seen in the background middle workspace] 
» The Smaller 'Yellow Arrows' are indicating the 'trouble folders' of "Program Files" and "Program Files (x86)" that PaintShop Pro seems to have issue with [These folders, generated automatically by Windows, hold most Programs and installed Applications. The 'x86' Folder is generally used for backwards-compatibility with older (32-bit) Programs] 
» The Red 'Roman Numerals' (I., II., etc.) indicate the Steps To Take to navigate to the "C:\Program Files" listing in the "Uncategorized Folders" section of the Excluded Items in PaintShop Pro 
» The Red 'Information Icon' is simply the Panel that must be opened, using these Steps, to see/edit the Folders to be discluded from the "Browse" capability of PaintShop Pro


Here are the Tutorial Steps, in order, to remove this Exclusion and allow PaintShop Pro to Browse/Manage Steam Screenshot Folders and Images:

  1. Click on "File"
  2. Select "Preferences"
  3. Go into "General Program Preferences "
  4. Click on the "Manage" section on the left of the Preferences panel that comes up
  5. In the "Excluded Items" section on the right, click on the button for "Uncataloged Folders"
  6. In the "Uncataloged Folders" panel, select the "C:\Program Files" listing and click on the Delete button
  7. Click Ok, above the Cancel button
  8. Click Ok, to close the Preferences Panel
  9. You are now back at the main PaintShop Pro interface

That's it!



Hopefully this finding can help others that want to use Paintshop Pro with Steam Screenshots, now easily Browsing them all (with Thumbnails being Cached for faster access/listing) with PaintShop Pro.


Hope That Helps!

~ Troy from The Game Tips And More Blog



[Note: I am not affiliated with Corel or Steam/Valve, and have not, and will not, receive any compensation in any form, for mentioning them here. I am merely an enthusiastic gamer who utilizes their products, and likes to share helpful information for others when I can]

Thursday, June 06, 2019

Personal Log: Sorry I haven't posted in a while (June of 2019 Edition)... [Editorial/Personal]


Personal Log, Stardate 201906.6 [I have no idea how that works heh]:


Just a quick Personal Note to say that I apologize to my dear readers for not posting much for the past few months... I seemed to have acquired a nice version of Influenza around Christmastime - and it has been a faithful and caring companion ever since...

This version of The Flu was quite kind actually, not having the usual can-do-nothing-but-lay-in-bed, produce-wonderful-amounts-of-phlegm-and-mucus, generally being messy and oddly smelly all the time. No this version was more of a sleep-at-crazy-times, be-more-sore (all over), not-sure-if-its-here-or-not version of Influenza. Each day I wondered if it was 'gone' - until the lovely symptoms hit me once again. This went on for the last few months... It was kind of like what I assume being haunted feels like..("is it gone?", "oh it's back!", "what happened?", "is that a body?")...

As I'm sure many of you know, from past posts explaining why I 'haven't been able to Post anything in a while', getting "Extra Sick" [that is, above and beyond my own ongoing illness of awesomeness] is a huge burden on this body - where "A Cold", which usually takes the average healthy person a day or few to get over - takes me weeks to get through... weeks. Where was I? [Losing your train of thought of part of this condition too..]. Oh yes... and-this-is-not-totally-copy-pasted-from-a-past-Personal-Log-just-because-it-happens-to-perfectly-fit-again-this-time:


As always, I have many Project 'irons I have in the fire', but have not been able to work on them much and/or Post about them much lately... Thankfully, I have been able to sit up and play games - mainly playing Fallout 4 [getting distracted from the Main Questline and having too much fun building up Settlements and doing Side Missions, heh]. I have also been helping out fellow/new players of Fallout 4 on the Steam Forums 'if I may' say so, which I enjoy doing... Hopefully I've given some helpful advice to some of you reading this here.

Don't worry, I'll be back to posting again, Soon™...

I might also try posting more small, 'Quick Tip' posts (as I have the last couple of posts down there..). Things that I am finding in games that might help others out - an idea mainly coming from reading questions I see in Forums. I will continue to work on the Longer Postings in the Background - the ones with a lot of information/data - but by doing these short ones as well, Posts can be short [easier for me to do due to my illness] and I can get Tips out there about Games that I have been playing, to help others - what I wanted this entire Blog to be about!


Overall, I will try to 'get back into it' here as I am slowly recovering now, Posting about games I am playing and Tips I am finding, as well as little Clips and Screenshots here and there (The Blog has a YouTube Account and an Imgur Account already, I also opened a Flickr Account and some GIF website accounts a while back..). Again, I am sorry that I haven't been able to keep up with [any kind of] Posting of late, I have also had some heart trouble - nothing serious, but irregular heartrate changes, that are currently being investigated [wow Specialist investigations take a while!].

.

For those wondering, the italicized text below is a 'pasted-and-lightly-updated' portion of a 'Personal Log' posting I made back in 2016, explaining my illness and what it is - it is the same as the post from then for the most part though, so if you already read it, just skip this next italicized section if you already know about my personal illness. If you are curious to know what's wrong with me (other than mentally), then go ahead and check out the slanted section below:


< Potentially Sad Talking About Sicknesses Follows, In Case Of Feels, Stop Reading, Play Game >


I've mentioned what I have or what I go through before, in an earlier Personal Log posting a couple of years ago, since starting this Blog in 2011.. I didn't really want to trouble people or put those thoughts/feelings on them, but I have had a few people ask me personally what it was - and I was looking something up recently about my condition (it's a condition I (and Doctors as well) are constantly having to learn about) and I read quite a bit about other similar stories, where other suffers were in much worse condition than me... They were literally bed-ridden... And while I was also like that for the first couple of years, I have improved slowly over time to the point where I can sit up, and even play games, and on good days work on an article and do things around the house as well...

My condition is medically termed Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, which is an infection of the brain and spinal column, which gives components of Chronic Fatigue [getting tired easily with a slow recovery rate (as in days) if I go to the store, etc] and Fibromyalgia [inflammation and pain in all areas of the body, like - you know when you get a 'flu' and are sore all over, how it feels like 'the pain is coming from deep inside of you'? it's that, all the time...heck, many of your Aunts or Mothers may have Fibromyalgia, so you may have heard about it..]. It is not a well-known disorder, despite millions of Americans having it.

Every year I learn something new about it or studies that have found out something new about it; but nothing is ever concrete on 'how to get rid of it', unfortunately. The only good part about that is, is that all Doctors I have seen have concluded that it is "something that goes away on it's own, but noone knows when"... Some people have it for a year or so and some have it the remainder of their lives. I am in my 10th year now as I write this, but as I have said in the past, I try to always see the positive in things and I have been slowly improving overall, slowly over the years...

I don't want to make anyone feel sad, I am sorry if this information does... I merely wanted to inform my readers that I may not be able to post some of the larger things I have been working on for a while longer... although I will try to bring back the "Can You Guess Where The Screenshot Below Is From" Contest - I still have many games in the old Steam Inventory and unused Keys at HumbleBundle to giveaway! [But if I do continue the Contest, I will have to do it off of the Monthly Schedule and on to a 'whenever I can' schedule (but which may be multiple times in one month, if I feel good enough!)] and of course there are even more projects that I don't want to mention yet - to keep them a 'surprise', heh.


I do enjoy writing my articles and posts here, helping others with the information I have figured out, found or collected, doing testing, giving tips of games and even Video Editing and showing effects of settings, including creating the Headers and graphics utilized here (they are all done by me)… I plan to continue doing this for a long time to come... I just realized there has not been much the past while and wanted to let you all know there may not be some yet for just a little bit longer ('recovering' from 'catching things', with this illness, everything takes far longer..).

.

Once again - thank you for your patience, my wonderful readers - and I hope that I can contribute helpful information again for you soon, in the near future and for some time to come...
[Until then, I will still try to pop into places like Steam Discussions and other Game Forums, sharing images when I can on Imgur, Gfycat, Flickr and more; as well as continue to work on postings here at The Blog]
Thank You for stopping by - and Take Care.


Sincerely,

~Troy from The Game Tips And More Blog


Thursday, January 24, 2019

Quick Tip: How To Run SimCity 4 in 1920x1080 (Widescreen) Resolution, as of 2019.01 [Tutorial]

Update 2019.03.14: Added Screenshot Example of SimCity 4 running in Widescreen (16:9/1.78 Aspect Ratio)

[Text-Only Mode - this is currently being posted in Text-Only Mode, to speed up posting as soon as was finished, to help others as quickly as possible. I may return here and add some related Screenshots... Soon™]


Recently, I've been getting back into game like SimCity (2013) and SimCity 4 (2003) [found on EA/Origin and Steam, respectively], having fun building up cities and looking forward to large skyscrapers filling the skyline, keeping my Sims happy as they churn through their little lives... Looking through a SimCity forum, while I was reading up a bit about Omega (which is 'new to me') I came across someone posting a Thread asking about 'how to run SimCity 4 in 1920x1080' resolution. I saw some replies from other helpful people, but oddly, none of the options/command-lines worked [as of the time of this posting], with typed-in options such as "-w" (for running in Windowed Mode) and so on... Wanting to help, I went experimenting in Steam's SimCity 4 that I owned and looked a bit more online about other possible solutions as well - and I eventually found out what works, as of today! Here is what worked for me:

  • In Steam, where SimCity 4 is listed in your game Library, Right-Click on the game name and Select (Left-Click) Properties.
  • In the center section, click on the button labelled "Set Launch Options...". This adds commands to the game that would be 'typed in and utilized', if the game was run in that type of interface.
  • In the box of Launch Options, type (or copy-paste) the following into the area:

    -CustomResolution:enabled -r1920x1080x32

    [be sure to include the hyphens and have only one space between the two commands]
  • Click on OK to close that panel, then click Close to close the Properties of the game in Steam

That's it! 

Running the game (and after the Introduction Cinematic/Movies play [if you have not disabled them] as they are rendered and play in a fixed resolution), you should find the territory/region screen gloriously taking up all of your screen space... Here is what it will look like:

Example of SimCity 4 (Steam version shown) running in Widescreen (16:9 Aspect Ratio) Mode in Windows 10,
after following the steps shown above [other steps found online did not work for me personally]



Have fun building up your Sim City! 

[Don't forget to take lots of Screenshots! heh]

~T

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Dungeons - How To "Sacrifice Gold" to The Zombie King ("Cash Cow" Quest) [Tutorial Steps]


[Text-Only Mode: This post is currently in Text-Only Mode, to speed posting of it, to help others as quickly as possible (after thinking of it). I will return to this post and add related Screenshots....Soon™]


Recently, I was playing DUNGEONS - the Dungeon-Keeper-esque 'make dungeons for NPC heroes to die in' game - the original/first one, from 2011 (Realmforge Studios/Kalypso Media Digital).

In it, I ran into having to 'send Gold' to your superior in the game ('your Boss'). Gold isn't the only thing you have to send/tribute with; but on one particular level, I ran into an issue where I could not satisfy the Quest - despite trying to do exactly what it wanted. I finally figured it out on my own, and wanted to Share the issue and resolution/fix here, to possibly help others...

I ran into this issue on the level "Sleepy Manor", where there is a Quest called "Cash Cow", which requires you to tribute ("sacrifice") 500 Gold to The Zombie King (your 'boss' in the game). Now, there is a pillar near your Dungeon Heart, that when clicked on, states "use this to send resources to your superior" - but not how to do it....

I walked my Dungeon Lord up to the pillar and Left-Clicked on it (which just brings up the popup information about it) and tried Right-Clicking on it (which did nothing except make a small noise) but nothing happened. The Quest (called "Cash Cow") was still listed on the left side of the screen in white text - despite my having more than enough Gold to complete this Quest... So, I looked around online a bit, in forums, etc. but did not find any specific information on this step and how to do it. I even looked at the Manual that comes with the game, to see if it listed how to do it. Nothing. Lastly, I asked in the usually-helpful Steam Discussions (Forum) for the game. There was no response for a few days, so I continued to 'Troubleshoot the issue'...

I finally figured out that you can't just click on the pillar, you have to first switch to First Person view mode AND THEN Right-Click on the pillar. There is no notification that it is completing the Quest, but it will be completed, if you have enough Gold. To summarize the steps, here they are, listed just below.


To help others, here is how you "sacrifice gold" to The Zombie King in Dungeons: 

» There is a pillar near your Dungeon Heart, which states to 'use it to send resources to your superior' (but not how to do it)

» You can't just walk up to it or stand near it and left-click or right-click on it, it won't work (as of the time of this posting)

» You have to switch to First-Person view mode (via the "Through The Eyes Of The Lord" Spell in your spellbook/toolbar) and then Right-Click on the pillar while in First-Person mode (which is actually just a close-up Third-Person with a fixed camera floating behind the player)

» To verify it was done/completed (there is no message/popup that tells you it was done), look at the left side of your screen, where the 'quests' are listed; the white text listing to do it (saying "CASH COW - Sacrifice 500 Gold...") should have disappeared

That's it!



Hopefully, this Quest will now be complete for you, as it was for me. I also posted this in the Discussion Thread at the Steam Official Forum for the game [that I had asked/started], to make sure that others running into this now know how to get the quest completed.

HTH!


Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Merry Christmas - And Happy New Year, from The Game Tips And More Blog [Wallpaper Greetings]


I just wanted to take a moment to say, no matter what you are celebrating at this time of year (or not), no matter what games you are playing (or not), no matter what you believe or who you are (or aren't), I want to wish you, my dear reader, a heartfelt Merry Christmas and All The Best in the New Year.

To celebrate at this time, I am going to share a Desktop Wallpaper I threw together last year [due to ongoing illness, not having much energy at the moment to create a new one, sorry]. It was captured in Planet Coaster, after taking some time to festively decorate King Coaster's 'Festive Funlands' Park (Gingerbread Night Scene with added Lights, Decorations and Greetings). Take care all - and See You In The New Year!



Sincerely,

Troy from The Game Tips And More Blog


~ P.S.
Don't forget to check out some Game Sales going on all over (Steam, Origin, Good Old Games (GOG), HumbleBundle, and more - even local stores/retailers - gaming is a great little break from any stresses at this time of year)! Have fun out there!

Saturday, December 15, 2018

And More: 'Should I have the "Turn on 7.1 Virtual Surround Sound" checkbox selected (checked) in Windows..?



I just wanted to share with you all, what seems like "The Official Answer" from Dolby Labs themselves - the answer to the question:


In the Spatial Sound tab of the Properties of my Headset/Headphones, should I have the "Turn on 7.1 Virtual Surround Sound checkbox selected ('checked'), or not..?


I found this question asked in a Steam Discussion earlier in the year, about whether or not the checkbox for "7.1 virtual surround sound" should be selected or not. At the time, I was sending emails back and forth with Dolby Support a bit, and got the answer of 'use whatever sounds better for your headset' - which does make sense; each model in each brand of every set of headphones has different capabilities and manufacturing limitations and can indeed sound different from the next.

While helpful advice, I had submitted a Feedback Comment at their website, that said that the Dolby App did not specifically address this checkbox in Windows 10 (and whether or not it should be 'ticked'). I looked recently at the Dolby App again just a couple of days ago [as of the time of this posting, which is near the end of 2018] and found that a diagram, showing the answer to whether the 7.1 Surround Sound checkbox should be selected/ticked or not, was now present; and wanted to share it with you all, here. 

Below then, is the Screenshot from the Official Dolby App in Windows 10 [and the "Spatial Sound" Tab of my Headset, how it was at the time, shown on the Right]:

The Dolby Atmos App in Windows 10, showing the "Turn on 7.1 virtual surround sound" checkbox suggested as "Checked", with my Windows 10 Sound Properties panel shown on the right (showing the checkbox unselected at the time)


It seems then, that 'the final answer' to whether or not this checkbox should be selected or not, is "Yes", as suggested by Dolby Labs themselves. 


[Edit: After returning to do more Testing with Dolby Atmos in Windows 10, I have found that the checkbox for "Turn on 7.1 virtual surround sound" now automatically becomes selected ('checked') when SPATIAL SOUND > DOLBY ATMOS is chosen/enabled (eg. when right-clicking on the Speaker icon [Sound] in the System Tray / Notification area of the Taskbar to enable it [near the Clock on the taskbar in Windows])]



If I may still add, 'juuuust in case', to try both ways still, with whatever headphones you are utilizing, taking a moment to listen to something with it checked then unchecked, to 'make sure' that you are getting what sounds the best, to YOU - as suggested by Dolby themselves [to me directly through emails with them]. Regardless, I hope this helps to clear things up a bit. 




Addendum:

While a Review of Dolby's Atmos surround sound for Windows 10 is out of the scope of this specific posting, I am slowly working on a short "Review" of the function/app, comparing it to other '7.1 Surround Sound' sources, such as Razer's "Surround Pro" and others, with some examples/recordings of the differences as well. 

Until then, to help, I will state a very brief 'first impressions' of this audio functionality/app [that Santa saw fit to give me as an early Present for Xmas] - that is, a point-form of my own 'first impressions' of Dolby Atmos in Windows 10: 

- It does sound good' overall, with the expected "Dolby Quality" that their products produce. Clear and Crisp and Boom-y

- The surround sound works very well, moreso in movies than games though; as in some games it can seem a bit 'muddled', where the surround directionals 'leak' a bit into each other [to my ears]

- Overall though, it has clear, crisp highs and nice booming/pounding lows
[the high end seems to be a bit over-accentuated to me, but it may just be that my ears are a bit more sensitive to that range. it is a common practice to enhance Treble slightly to increase perceptive audio clarity to humans]

- The only thing missing from the App is a configurable Equalizer (sliders that can adjust the strength of each frequency range, so that users can increase/decrease ones that they wish to adjust), but then, it is suggested in the app itself, that it actually adjusts automatically, based on the source and frequencies within the media itself (as their proprietary Dolby algorithms/functions do in movies,etc).

- If you don't have a Surround sound option with your headphones already
[a 7.1/8channel dongle/plug or option somewhere - for example, my Headphones from Santa one Xmas has a little box on the USB cable that has a '7.1 Button' on it, which works surprisingly well for emulating Surround Sound]the sound quality of Dolby's Atmos really does seem worth the $15 so far in my limited testing; however don't worry if you can't purchase it, Windows 10 now comes with its' own "Windows Sonic for Headphones" 7.1 Surround Sound emulation.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Fallout 76 - Stuck In Power Armor? Here's One Way To Get Out Again... [Tutorial]


[Text-Only Mode: This post is initially being Uploaded as Text Only, to speed up posting time and enabling it to reach people faster. I may return to this post and add some Screenshots for it... Soon™]


I personally ran into the issue of "not being able to exit my Power Armour" earlier this week - then saw that literally dozens and dozens of players have run into this in Fallout 76, after looking around online. Now, the game just officially launched Online only a couple weeks ago almost to the day, so I expect there to be some issues and/or bugs (not many Online game launches are 100% Bug-Free and Problem-Free). Bethesda does helpfully have a method posted at their Support Site for 76, but sadly, that method did not work for me personally. Here then, is my method that got me free of my 'Starcraft2-like-mobile-prison' of Armour - hopefully it can work for you too, friends:


(Taken from my original posting at the Official Bethesda Game Forums, reworded slightly)


If I may help, with something to do when this happens:
  • Stash or otherwise get rid of all Fusion Cores, except the one in the Armour
  • Deplete the FC until Zero (Power Attacks in the PA help)
  • DO NOT EXIT THE POWER ARMOUR once it reads "Zero, get the hell out"
  • Restart Game
  • Upon entering a new game, you should be able to Exit the PA by holding the key used to enter it

That's it! Now you should be free of your metal moving tomb and able to utilize Workbenches in the world, once again...

Initially, I had not found a solution that worked for me anywhere online (in Forums, etc) - and as those who are experiencing this know, being 'stuck in your Power Armour' impedes the game quite severely actually, as you cannot use Workbenches/Workshops at all and cannot even Repair your Power Armour (as you cannot Exit it, to Repair it in a Power Armour Station) - so, I opened a Ticket with Bethesda about it, a week ago. They were actually quite speedy to Reply, pointing me to their online Support Site, at their Knowledge Base, where there was an Article stating two things to try (one of 'just logout' and another of 'unequip pieces of armor and wait two minutes'), found at: 


As of the time of this writing, I see that they have also Updated the Article (just today), adding a slightly-modified version of my method above, that I submitted to them as a Reply (where I "found out a way that worked for me, which was not one of the other two helpfully-suggested methods") - that's fine with me if they found a repeatable method of their own; as long as others are helped in escaping their 'mobile prisons of steel', out there! 

Hopefully, the incoming December 4th Update of 76, will help with this issue, clearing it up for everyone. Until then, try out my method above - perhaps it will be the one that works for you, dear reader - and See You In Appalachia!



Sunday, November 18, 2018

Fallout 76 - One Way To Enjoy This 'Odd Fallout Game' More... [Editorial / Mini-Review]

[This post is currently Text-Only Mode, for now. I will be returning and adding some Screenshots gradually, 
but I wanted to quickly get this Posted, to help others that were initially disappointed, like me, possibly enjoy 76.] 


Before I even finish a 'First Impressions, From The B.E.T.A. And Beyond' post I am working on, I wanted to quickly post something here that might help those that are feeling 'frustrated' with Fallout 76... 'Disappointed' perhaps, as I was at first - although I couldn't put words to the feeling right away - all I knew is I was looking forward to this 'next fallout game' and thinking it was going to be "bigger and better than Fallout 4", only to feel... well, 'disappointed' is about the best word I can utilize really. All other words I would say, would come out of that feeling. The feeling that Fallout 76 gave me - a long-time player of Fallout games - having played every one in the series, spending over 2000+ hours in the Commonwealth of Fallout 4, building up Settlements and ignoring the Main Questline... it wasn't initially a good feeling, this game; and so I wanted to help other Gamers, here. Others that felt like I did. Gamers that enjoyed past Fallout games and really wanted to enjoy this one... #ReallyWantToEnjoyFallout76



While trying not to repeat too much of what I am putting into my 'First Impressions' posting, in progress, let me summarize what I went through - see if it is the same as you, my fellow Appalachian Vault Dweller [no big spoilers, some Game Concepts and Tips included]:


  • Start the game with wide eyes, big smile, drink nearby, ready to start exploring a huge, new Fallout world!
  • See the models/meshes are mostly the same as Fallout 4. That's fine, I guess. They are allowed to use their own assets over again. 
  • See the controls are odd, different for every 'category' of gameplay (such as Building vs Combat). Oh it was designed for Console first. That's fine, I guess. I'll get used to the controls over time. [I personally don't want to bash Consoles, I like them as well. Although it makes game developing companies 'hold back' a bit, to try to stay within the limits of consoles (as opposed to pushing the limits of what PCs can do these days); I think we should all try, as Gamers, to get along #GamersNoMatterWhat ]
  • See that there is not much to interact with in Vault 76. It seems not only 'abandoned' but 'dead'... That's fine, I guess. They want to push you out into the big world quickly. Here we go!
  • See that the world looks beautiful... even if a 'dated' still. Some aspects are fantastic, so pretty; but some seems to be rehashes of Fallout 4 capability. That's fine, I guess. Is it a new engine that can't fully utilize yet? Or is it the old game engine with a bunch of tape and gum and Band-Aid™'s on it - enough to make it look almost like a new game engine?
  • See that the animations and movement and combat are a bit... 'clunky'. V.A.T.S. is odd and doesn't slow down the game. That's fine, I guess. It can't slow down other players, due to there being some kind of PvP in this game, I heard, so that's fair I suppose. It's like a weird Aimbot really, one that only works if you have enough Action Points. That's ok.
  • See that 80% of the models/meshes are the same as Fallout 4 - along with the issue of "many Textures 'loading in low-rez versions' sometimes" - just like Fallout 4. That's fine, I guess. If it's their old engine, with the old texture problems... Maybe they'll solve that someday. It doesn't look bad on HIGH Textures Setting, even though it makes it 'choppy' or 'stutter' for me.
  • See that there are literally no other Humans, other than a few Players you bump into - but you don't see many, often. How many people are on this world? Oh, it's just one Server out of many? Oh, it's only about 20 people? That's fine, I guess. They can't put thousands of players on one server, I suppose. Still, I'm not seeing people that often. That one guy tried to kill me. That one person tried to Trade but it didn't work. Oh well, I'm going to play more 'solo' style anyway - I usually play that way.
  • See that the 'no Human NPCs anywhere' takes a lot of the 'fun' out of the game. There is no longer a purpose or reason to do all of these things, it feels like. It's fun for a while, but soon gets 'dull'... That's fine, I guess. They are trying to make it more of a desolate, isolated world I suppose. Trying to really make it feel 'dead' and sad... Aren't they? That has to be why. 
  • See that you don't seem to bump into other Players very often, other than at the very start, and when you do they either try to kill you or help you with one Quest then run off on their own. That's fine, I guess. I was going to play more 'solo' anyway. Oh, this House I can build (the C.A.M.P.) is cool. Maybe I'll leave these benches out in the open so others can use them. Oh, I can lock the door? Nah, I'll leave it open, so other Vault Dwellers can use my stuff and maybe have a pick through my garden!
  • See that you can only hold 400 'pounds' of items in your Bank/Inventory (called a Stash). What? It's already full and I'm not even Level 10! How the heck am I supposed to collect anything for Building, Crafting, Maintenance of Armor, Maintenance of Weapons, I have to Plant Food and collect Water... This 400 'things' limit is going to be rough...
  • See that the Quests are all given by Robots or Holotapes. See that the world is large, but it also takes a long time to get anywhere - unless you want to spend Caps to Fast Travel. That's fine, I guess. I'll sell some of all this Scrap and stuff I have, I'll get lots of Caps soon. Especially since I have to Sell so much, due to the '400 Stash Limit'.
  • See that the Vendors/Merchants are all limited to 200 Caps. What? That's fine, I guess. Fallout 4 had Vendor cash limits too, I'll just hop between different Vendors and clean them all out, which will also allow me to see what they all have for sale...
  • See that almost all the Vendors are 'linked' [by Faction] where you can't just 'go to a different Vendor and Sell more stuff'. What?? Only 200 Caps? And these guys are LINKED? How the heck am I supposed to get rid of all this Scrap and Ammo and things, without being able to Sell to different Vendors? This is getting wacked...
  • See that you can go far across the Map, to find different Vendors of different Factions, that will have more Caps to Sell to - but find that they too, are limited to 200 Caps. Also, see that it costs Caps to Fast Travel - and you can't Fast Travel while Overencumbered anyway. That's fine, I guess. You couldn't Fast Travel in Fallout 4 while Overencumbered. But I really want to Sell all this stuff I'm not using. Hell, I Scrapped those 16 Weapons from that last Quest alone...
  • See that your Stash is Full, you can't Sell to Vendors, everything takes up Space, while everything still has Value (to Build, or Craft, etc etc). What the heck?? I basically have to stop Looting...  Have to stop picking up things... in a Fallout game... this doesn't make any sense...
  • See that it is possible, that they are trying to force Players to interact. Make you Trade with others, selling or giving your stuff away, instead of Collecting to Build/Craft with and/or Selling to Vendors for money. That's fine, I guess. I also see that you can only build 'ONE HOUSE', which is mine (the C.A.M.P.), so that's ok I guess. I suppose I don't need all this building material. But still... this is crazy that I already feel like I 'can't pick anything up' as often. In a Fallout  game!


It was at this point, that I realized that this game is so different ('yet so much the same') that it required a change of state of mind. I was playing Fallout 76, 'like Fallout 4' - and was coming up against walls and limits and differences - and becoming more and more disappointed...



The world does seem huge, that's good. It doesn't look 'bad' but it looks 'wierd'. The graphics aren't too bad, but if I turn them down just one notch, they start to look 'ugly' really fast. That's a bit wierd. Also, things seem to be 'lumped together' somewhat. For example, Bump Mapping and Ambient Occlusion seem to be controlled as part of the "Shadows" Setting ('bumps on things made by shading' and 'shadows that objects cast on nearby objects', respectively). If I turn down "Shadows" even one notch (from ULTRA to HIGH), these elements look 'bad' quickly...[I'm not a Developer or Programmer, so maybe that's how those things are supposed to work - personally, I thought those elements fall more under "Lighting", etc].

As of the time of starting this Posting, if I turn everything up with the ULTRA Setting, it looks pretty good actually, but it's 'choppy' and 'stutter' is there, for me [kind of like how it ran for me when I tried the High Resolution Texture Pack in Fallout 4 - yet some Textures still load in 'low rez' (like Fallout 4 did) lol]. Oh well, I'll put up with that, for now. Maybe someday I'll be able to Upgrade and enjoy it with the ULTRA Setting all over again [I often do this with older games, going back to them and 'maxing them out', enjoying them all over again at their highest settings]. Since I play more 'solo' style anyway, I don't have to worry about it leaving me open to dying to other players nearby as much, or ruining other teammates' experience with my 'lag' (by being affected by the stuttering/lag due to graphical settings).


There are other players in this Fallout iteration - one of their main Selling Points - but I don't seem them too often... In the Screenshot above, there are actually a couple other Players in Vault 76, during the B.E.T.A. when this image was taken; but I seem to be the only one interested in exploring the Vault itself, playing with things and actually watching the Training Video [lol]. I don't mind that I rarely saw people in the game, especially when some of them are just trying to fight or kill me anyway. Come to think of it, why don't they make PvP servers and PvE servers? ARK, another 'open world, survival game' does this - heck, one of the most successful MMO games of all time, did this - World Of Warcraft. If they made different servers for each game type, both parties would be happier, I think. PvP'ers can attack and fight anyone at any time, something I think they wanted to do in this game (my personal idea is to have PvP Servers be "Always On PVP" - that means no Pacifist Mode! Isn't that what PvP is about?). PvE'ers can Explore and Quest on PVE Servers to their heart's content, not  having to worry about getting killed or their C.A.M.P. vandalized while they are away [I personally had some of my house destroyed by vandals already - oh, animals can attack your home? Maybe it was them, too - either way, in a fully-PVE Server, you won't have to worry about others wrecking your home].



I also notice that I am constantly stuck at 400 Stash Limit and opening my Pip-Boy everywhere I go, to play "Inventory Management 76" after doing anything... You can see just above, my Weight Capacity (carrying items on person) is 230 units at the moment, and the Stash is shown on the right (the 'bank'), and it is almost topped out at 400; and this happens very easily and is like that almost all the time afterward. It's getting pretty annoying, frankly. I am seriously feeling like I am 'not wanting to pick things up' - and that's bad, for a Fallout game... Doesn't everything have Value, even Junk, since Fallout 4?



Maybe, I thought, I have to change my approach this game... 



Playing Fallout 76 'like it was Fallout 4' is just getting me more annoyed and disappointed every game session. So, I took a moment to step back and look at how Fallout 76 operates (and how it is different than Fallout 4 - remember, it is a 'side step' or 'spinoff' of the Fallout Series - they even stated specifically that it is not to be considered "Fallout 5").


In Fallout 76, you don't build up Houses on end, entire Towns like you do with Fallout 4 (the Settlements, something I had a ton of fun building up for my little Settlers, keeping them happy). OK. Then I don't really need all this Building material/Scrap for that, now that my C.A.M.P. is pretty much complete.


I have a little Cabin, Water, some Food growing, some Turrets up on the roof, all the Crafting Workbenches I could build, my Stash and a Bed to Rest in. I'll leave my Door open/unlocked so others can use my C.A.M.P.; I'm pretty much set, anyway. I'll just try to collect less of Building mats now then. Maybe I'll Sell what I can to Vendors [that 200 Caps limit, ugh] and I guess... I'll have to Drop the rest. That makes me sad, but I guess that's the way it is in Fo76.

In Fallout 76, the game limits how much you can Carry (which is the same as Fallout 4, limited by your Strength) but 76 also limits your 'bank' or 'workshop inventory' (the "Stash" mentioned above). It is no longer 'Unlimited' like in Fallout 4 Workbenches, but capped at "400"... That's crazy to me, but maybe it's to force people to interact with other Players more. Sell stuff to them, or give it away to new players. Hmmm. I guess this means, I'll be 'dropping' a lot of stuff, since I still need Materials for Ammo, Armor and Weapon upkeep, Food and Drink crafting, etc. Literally just throwing stuff away will take some getting used to (since in Fallout 4 I could eventually Sell it all, somewhere or another..). Maybe I'll drop it near the Starting Areas, to help others out! That will help make dropping all that stuff feel better [to me, heh].


The world is huge. Not 'absolutely immense', but it does seem larger than Fallout 4 so far [I personally have seen less than half of the Map, but more than 1/4 of it, so far]. Fast Travel costs Caps, the farther away, the more it costs. I'm paying about 30 to get horizontally across the map, crossing two large areas... Okay, I'll have to walk more, instead of Fast Travelling (especially since I'm Overburdened after clearing out an area, or doing a Quest).

Capture by Bethesda

The world is also 'empty' feeling. I mean, it looks pretty good actually - the architecture, the surroundings, the visual effects - but this "No Human NPCs" thing makes the world feel pretty depressing... Why even do Quests? Who am I helping, doing them, since everyone is dead? I rarely run into Players, so it can't be them. There really is something psychological, to 'picking up' and 'turning in' Quests/Missions to human beings in games... Maybe they'll increase the number of Players on a Server someday. I dunno.


You know what? The huge, open world. The lack of NPCs - the only 'mobs' (mobile NPCs) are enemies, and they are kind of spread out a bit. The game seems to be more 'exploring' and less 'interacting with others' (as a 'Solo' style player). You know what this reminds me of? Minecraft.

With Fallout 76's huge, open world, the ability to 'fight' with other players if you really wanted to; but mainly the goals seeming to be Explore and Experience the world, 'open but barren' as it is - to me, this is indeed much like Minecraft, or even more apt perhaps, No Man's Sky [Now Including "Game Release Disappointment"™! lol BTW, No Man's Sky is more fun now, with Base Building and more NPCs and Missions and Shortcuts put in it]. Maybe I'll play 76 that way... Explore. Quest. Survive. [don't make Metal Gear: Survive joke... don't make Metal Gear: Survive joke...] Less like Fallout 4 and more like Single Player Minecraft, or No Man's Sky, yeah. A huge world to explore, mostly barren of other NPCs, save for Enemies. Think: MC or NMS...


You know what? After playing a while with this mindset; I am really enjoying the game more! 
It's weird, the less I play the game like 'Fallout 4' and the more I play it like Minecraft, more like a "Fallout Metal Gear: Survive" [sorry I couldn't resist] - the more I am finding I am actually enjoying Fallout 76! The more I play the game like 'No Man's Sky' [trying not to make the 'game release disappointment' joke again...], the more that I just Explore and Quest and kill the Enemies I run into along the way - and try not to think of Fallout 4 - the more I am actually enjoying this game.

Note: this thought concept (line of thinking) is probably geared more for a Solo-style player of the game. A PvP'er might have more fun thinking/playing it like Planetside 2 or even more so, Ark or Rust. I personally still think they should have separate PvP and PvE servers though - as it is, both parties are not happy with how they play together. PvPers can't start proper fights and PvE'ers are annoyed at the ones that want to fight... Beth, wouldn't separate servers that allow both parties to experience the game how they want, solve that?


Anyway, I've stated my point and now I'm rambling [well I guess I did call this an 'editorial' so it's sort of allowed, heh]: the less that I approached the game like Fallout 4 and the more I played the game like it was Minecraft or No Man's Sky, the more I enjoyed Fallout 76... They did say it was 'different', they did say they were 'trying something new'... So maybe we shouldn't approach this game like it was "Fallout 4.5"...

There are a lot of issues with the game, a bunch of bugs (insert Bugthesda joke here), a lot of changes that can happen to improve the game; but as it stands, it is not a total loss, even though the game does 'feel' quite despondent (lonely)... This is a different 'branch' of Fallout, a different experience. They've even stated that "this is not Fallout 5" and "the next Fallout 5, which will be Single Player" is going to come - which is fantastic and awesome for us Fallout Fans - but that also means that this is not it. The more I keep this in mind, the more I play this game like the open-world, exploration, survival game that it seems to be; the more I am enjoying it. At least, it has helped me. Perhaps it will help you, too. 



See You In Appalachia!

~Troy from The Game Tips And More Blog




Saturday, November 03, 2018

The 2018 Extra Life 24-Hour Gaming Marathon, In Support of The Children's Miracle Network Hospitals [Post Updated All Weekend, Extended Due To Illness]


It's that time again - time to try to play some games for a cause! In my case, due to being disabled by Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (an infection of the brain and spine causing Chronic Fatigue and body pain), I cannot play for 24 Hours 'straight' - therefore I play as much as I can through the weekend, totally up my Hours overall, playing through Saturday and Sunday - but playing as much as I really can - after all, it's a Marathon! As always, I will be playing for the Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation (part of the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals), not only because I was born and raised in the province of Alberta, Canada; but also because I was treated at these hospitals when I was an infant... so this Foundation, and the children they help, are close to my heart.

Every year seems to 'spring up' on me, heh. I've had to go to the Doctor a few times lately, eventually getting assigned my own Cardiologist, after they found an arrhythmia ('non-regular heartbeat') and some damaged heart muscle that "doesn't seem to be moving right" (it's being investigated)... I've been more tired [than 'my normal'] - but am still fighting and trying to help others, all along the way - perhaps it's because I have my own personal illnesses, that playing for this charity every year is special to me, and it's something I have tried to do every year since I heard of Extra Life and joined it, back in 2015.

If you would like to Donate to the Marathon - all proceeds going towards The Children's Hospital Foundation - you can Pledge/Donate directly to the Extra Life charity via the Logo/Image just below or through this link for 2018:

https://www.extra-life.org/participant/340932


And whether you pledge anything or not, feel free to just return to this posting for gameplay time Updates, Screenshots, some Video Clips from the weekend - and more!


As has occurred in past years - and stated above - I do not have the ability/energy to set up and maintain a constant Stream of some sort (through Twitch, YouTube and other streaming services); but what I do, is I share some details and Screenshots (and Videos if I can) of what I am able to play over the Weekend, in this post, right here at The Blog - an ongoing and updated post - one that I will be adding to as the weekend progresses (including Sunday Night, with a Grand Gameplay Total Of Hours Played), right here! Follow Along, checking back once in a while - and maybe See You In The Game!



This clickable image will take you to https://www.extra-life.org/ - the main Extra Life
Marathon Homepage of the Charity that I am playing for All Weekend



Update, Saturday 10:30 AM MST: Beginning The Marathon, with the initial post above and gathering snacks and drinks to start Playing For The Kids™!


Update, Saturday 1:00 PM MST: Started out with some Minecraft - oh, and as always, all Weekend I will play all games as "Just One Life" - that is, I will not be able to continue if I 'die' in any of the games I play [Lobby/Arena games exempt; for example League Of Legends, Heroes Of The Storm, Team Fortress 2, and similar games where it is based on 'maps/areas' instead of 'lives'].


I was happy to see that I started in a Forest Biome - which usually has lots of Trees and easier-to-collect Seeds (via the little tufts of Grass around). I even saw a few Animals, but they were in 'singles' so I didn't try to Eat any (yet); I usually wait until I bump into 2+ of any Animal, so I can Breed them later on.

I quickly got to work on a Garden [pictured above] so I can have some incoming Food. It didn't take long, but I had to stop playing for the moment. I also realize that I didn't start it in Hardcore Mode, haha - well, I will still only play my 'Just One Life' mode - and I'll start a Hardcore Mode later on this Marathon Weekend!


Total Gameplay Time: ~ 1.0 hrs



Update, Saturday 4:30 PM MST: Played some Rollercoaster Tycoon World - a game that was lamented and lashed when it was released, heh. Personally, I find it enjoyable, even though it seems more simplified, compared to earlier renditions of the series (my personal favourite being Rollercoaster Tycoon 3). That doesn't mean it is 'easier' mind you, as I have already run out of Money in the Story Mode level "Crash Course"...


Above, after doing the Tutorials for the Level, I laid out a nice, large Wooden Coaster; giving riders a bit of a 'tour' of the Park - but it tells me I do not have enough money to Open the Coaster! lol
I wish it would have told me as I went along, although I suppose this lets people 'build' what they want as they go and not be 'constantly interrupted' by the game. At least I managed to start up a little 'eatery' area (known as a "Food Court" in the area I live in, in Canada, eh) where my Peeps are seen gettin' Hungry and gettin' fed... [below]



I haven't played the game long enough to decide whether I 'love' it yet - I plan on writing a Review of it after putting many more Hours in... So far, I put in a couple more!



Total Gameplay Time: ~ 3.0 hrs



Update, Saturday 8:00 PM MST: Played some Friday The 13th, recently acquired during a Halloween Sale [although I felt a little odd, playing a scary/gore-y game for a Children's Marathon lol, so I might not play that type of game again during this].

The game isn't too complicated and kind of neat, seeing things from the actual movies (Licensed, currently in some kind of dispute, even). I was never 'into' Horror movies, I prefer just 'suspenseful' ones, or 'thrillers' maybe.

Anyway, I played a while, learning the ropes and either being the Big Scary Guy himself, or trying to help the Camp Counsellors escape from the Big Scary Bad Guy as he was...chasing them. It is pretty fun actually, running around trying to find items that will help you, as the Thunder and Lightning booms and the rain pours down around you. It's constantly Nighttime and the scary music that plays just makes everything together, well, pretty scary.

It is not a bad looking game too, if you can turn things up a bit. I mean, take a look at this 'scary looking house' below - isn't that scary just to look at..? I'm totally going to have nightmares, aren't I..?





Total Gameplay Time: ~ 5.0 hrs



Update, Saturday 10:30 PM MST: Played some more Rollercoaster Tycoon World, choosing to switch to Sandbox Mode, after running out of money repeatedly (yet not being able to take out a loan??) on a Story Mode Level - I'm not a quitter, I'll return to it later! heh

I created a long, flourishing Flying Coaster, with multiple hills, banks and even overturns - apparently though, this causes the Nausea Rating to go too high - so I tamed it down a bit and took out some banks and the multiple rolls. I still had one, long, slowly-spinning roll-over in it after re-working it some though; and that apparently kept the Nausea too high (it was 'workable' and Passed, but it was 9+ and I feared that noone would ride it, so I plan to keep whittling it down more, then Open it later on).

Below, is a small collage of some Screenshots of the roll-overs, some of the Ratings I went through so far; and interestingly, I have never 'zoomed in' on a Store before (Information Booth), so here's what I saw, as well, just in case you may not have ever done the same. Time for a break, but I might play more yet tonight - after all, it's a Marathon! Woot!





Total Gameplay Time: ~ 7.0 hrs



Update, Sunday 10:00 PM MST: Unfortunately, I woke up today with a Fever and am very sore all over... I have been sleeping off an on all day and have not had a chance to play any games yet today (Sunday). I plan on trying to consider tomorrow to be 'Sunday' and play games tomorrow, to try build up to 24 Hours, for the Gaming Marathon. I sincerely apologize to readers/followers of this Posting and I will continue tomorrow. Take care. ~Troy from The Game Tips And More Blog


Update, Friday, November 9th, 2:00 PM MST: Sadly, this entire Week was a Loss, as I was battling some sort of bug/sickness the entire time... Therefore, I would like to try Continue the Marathon THIS WEEKEND (Sat. Nov. 10th and Sun. Nov. 11th) - trying to 'gather up together' the entire 24 Hours of the Gaming Marathon! Please forgive me, my dear readers, as I continue what I started; playing as much as I can this weekend for the Extra  Life Gaming Marathon - hopefully seen in the spirit of the event and what it represents - pushing onward through personal illnesses, trying to not lose spirit or hope, through gaming; never giving up and staying filled with the positivity of looking towards the future... [wow that sounded good! lol]. Yes, I will try again, starting Saturday Morning; seeing if I can get up to the promised 24 Hours total - join me here again, if you wish, for little Updates and Screenshots and maybe even some Gameplay Clips, all Weekend!

Update, Saturday, November 10th, 11:59 PM MST: Sigh, again today I did not feel well enough to play very long at all. I tried to pop into Fortnite and played some Poker Night At The Inventory, but that's about it... Will try tomorrow

Update, Monday, November 19th, 5:00 PM MST: I played more, through the entire past Weekend! Slowly feeling better, even though I had a Dentist appointment, heh. Grand Total, Screenshots And More, to come...

Update, Friday, November 23rd, 6:00 PM MST: I apologize, I have not posted the Total Hours yet... I will try to get to this, this Weekend... However, as seen with the fact there is a Fallout 76 post; I did manage to play more and make it finally, to 24 Hours Total! Woot




[THIS POST WILL BE UPDATED CONSTANTLY, AS I CONTINUE TO PLAY 'IN MARATHON MODE', ALL WEEKEND]