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.


~Troy from The Game Tips And More Blog