19 April 2013 @ 07:16 pm

Kevin Werbach,For the Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business
What gamification is and how you can use it in businesses primarily, though other applications are also explored.
I'm hoping to learn more about how to apply these techniques to the classroom to make learning more fun. I already noticed that whenever little quizzes are included in exams students are wild about them and are really motivated not only to find out the right solution, but also really eager to get started on it - they rarely have this reaction to regular exams. I've included different ones in all of the simple tests I give them and so far, it's been working great.
Current Mood: okay
18 November 2012 @ 01:33 am
HL/Portal Mods  
After finishing the Black Mesa mod I've been playing a couple of Portal and Half-Life Mods last week. 

This is the most fun kind of fanfiction I have yet to experience. 

Minerva Metastasis )

Dear Esther )

Portal: Unity )

Portal: Prelude )


The Citizen )

Current Mood: bouncy
05 April 2012 @ 02:17 pm
Thoughts on Star Trek Online  
I'm a very casual MMORPG gamer who enjoys the RPG part of MMO experiences much more than the battles and this informs what I'm about to say. Also, I'm a noob. I'm not quite sure what to make of this game. I'm not that far yet (my character is level 14 a Lieutenant Commander), but it relies so heavily on space battles that I'm not sure I ever will. The battles (on PvE quests missions at least) which have been highly praised were, to me, rather underwhelming - you hurtle through space at snail impulse speed and circle each other to death, phasers blazing. Or maybe I'm doing it wrong, or it's just like that in PvE content and the real excitement happens in PvP areas, or I shouldn't be rolling a tankadin flying a Cruiser. 

The political situation is a bit weird. I am not sure I can buy all of the developments that lead to the situation in STO, but admittedly, my knowledge of the post-Voyager political situation is very, very foggy. The game is set in the original timeline in 2409, but due to numerous alliances you can fight any of the end-of-season bad guys TV Starfleet had to face. Occasionally you run into the offspring of canon characters, which can be fun, too. 

Still, it's the Star Trek universe, it's free, and it's fun to gambol about in a uniform- even though in STO, Starfleet has for some reason abandoned a fixed dress code, so you can make your Starfleet uniform whatever colour you like, and if you think the look would be improved by making your crew sport Slytherin colours, so be it. An odd choice, given who their fanbase are, but maybe some trekkies are heavily invested into which shade of mustard yellow their engineer's uniform are. 

What has convinced me to keep playing so far is the fan-made content, which has often been assembled with great care and an eye for detail. It's a nice place online to be an easily pleased trekkie in, and for now, this is good enough. 
04 February 2012 @ 07:48 pm
Humble Bundle and rec!  
Firstly, I'd like to recommend the HumbleBundle to everybody who likes indie games out there. It's an awesome concept - you purchase a collection of indie titles and support the bundle's developers as well as Child's Play Charity at the same time - at a price you set yourself. You can give as much as you want and get the games and support whichever party with an amount you can set yourself, too. According to the site most people give around $6, though the games purchased individually would cost about $25. 
This time, they're offering a bundle which includes World of Goo, which is a fun game with a very enticing art style and a cool physics engine. Since this is a game that 90% of its users play illegally I'm happy about this because it's bound to support this cool little thing and might make more people purchase it and support not only the publishers, but also charity! 

Secondly, I'd like to invite everybody to look at this, because it's amazing: 

The Prince's Tale - Animation
by *RandomMumble on deviantART

Now I'm going to bundle up in a blanket again and drink some more ginger water. Thanks for the recipe, Tetley, it's a miracle cure. 
Current Mood: cold
Current Location: Northern Ice Wastes, Germany
31 July 2011 @ 08:10 pm
Hunted: The Demon's Forge  
Since I'm house sitting, I have the fortune to peruse my brother's steam library, and this game was among them. There will be spoilers in this post, so if you don't want to read about the ending, please don't read this.

To sum up- the gameplay is repetetive and annoying, and the story - all you need to know about the priorities of this game with regards to story and fully fleshed, three-dimensional characters can be gauged pretty much by looking at our heroes: 

I mean, seriously. Read more... )
06 July 2011 @ 04:25 pm
Last day of school!  
So, today's the last day of school! Free time, possibly even warm weather, and even free LJ kisses, oh my!

What more could I ask for. I've got my big cup of cappuccino and I'm absolutely not preparing any lessons right now.

And of course I managed to get sick, but I'm used to that once the stress is gone, so I'm starting my holidays sniffling and sneezing once more. I'm not really in the holiday mood yet because I'm going to work on my thesis in summer and get to house-sit in Hamburg rather than going away somewhere, but it'll still be nice to have some free time, finally.

Apart from working on my concept I'm translating something for the charity that my neighbour runs and I'm contemplating which PC game to buy. Although that means I'll have to upgrade my graphics card sometime soon, because mine has been increasingly wobbly lately.

But other than being sick, everything's FINE.
Current Mood: sick and relaxed
28 May 2011 @ 12:38 pm
+1 on cleaning the kitchen.  
Taking to heart this TED-talk as well as Jane McGonigal's book and this ExtraCredits episode on gamifying education I'm working on ways to make my class more motivating next year. If all things go well, I'll be teaching an 8th grade and I'm going to try to apply some of the things they propose.

Researching this is fun, too, because through this I've discovered awesome things like: 

ChoreWars - a browser-based game in which you can enter an epic chore competition with your roomies

and - which lets others give you points for your RL stats.
Current Mood: amused
26 March 2011 @ 12:54 pm
Awesomeness over at BioWare  
You've all probably heard it already but I'm still slightly gobsmacked at the amount of sense written by this BioWare person (much better write-up over at ontd_p here and sf_d here).

What happened is this: they put out a game in which the fe/male main character can be romantically approached by both male and female NPCs. And everybody sees what's wrong there, clearly not enough content for exclusively straight males! But FEAR NOT, STRAIGHT MALE FANS!

One straight dude takes it upon himself to let BioWare know that they've neglected their main demographic, straight males (emphasis mine):

I'm not surprised, but what did floor me was the reaction of the company. Rather than say things on the lines of "but it's cheaper that way" or "focus on the F/F romance, it's hot", Daivd Gaider talks sense about privilege (with costliness thrown in, though, sadly):

Not that this makes me more likely to buy the game which still sounds pretty failtastic for various reasons, but this is nice.
Current Mood: sleepy
06 March 2010 @ 12:42 pm
«Portal 2 Announced»
Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Left 4 Dead, Counter-Strike and Half-Life) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today announced Portal 2 for shipment this coming holiday season.

Portal 2 is the sequel to 2007's Portal, which won 70 industry achievement awards.

19 December 2009 @ 11:40 pm
Frozen Halls  
On Wednesday, I went around my resolution not to log on during the week apart from on Friday night to have a look at the Frozen Halls, and oh, they were fun. They weren't over as quickly as dungeons are these days, we actually had to make sure and avoid pulling together the entire room and make sure we deal with mobs one group at a time. Fun times.

What made this all the more enjoyable was the fact that Recount decided to die on me and thus I could not even see potentially sucking as I plodded through unknown rooms and fought unknown bosses whom I had only ever read about. Of course we wiped, and of course I died, most annoyingly, because I wasn't quick enough to avoid Ick's poison nova. Twice. The best part about the second time is that I was battle rezzed by our druid just before we wiped. We did make it through the first two dungeons and did not dare doing the third. I did get a nice, shiny souvenir, though.

I've only attempted Halls of Reflection once so far, and I don't really know how anyone can survive that one. Our damage clearly wasn't good enough (me being the best DD with 3.3-3.4k damage -  we didn't stand a chance), and I am not sure how our healer managed to heal us without going OOM half-way through. I'm looking forward to doing this with a good healer and good DDs - it's pretty clear what people are supposed to be doing, I'm just not quite clear on how to get there, damage-wise.

Still, I do like this instance, even though it's only because I really enjoyed the Sylvanas sequence - I've had a soft spot for the Banshee queen ever since I first played WarCraft III (not so much a fan of her outfit, though. Even though I loved the new model when it first came out and still think she's very nice-looking, but I don't think her tummy needs to bare to achieve that. And don't get me started on the armour - it looks so uncomfortable).

Also, I love the random dungeon finder tool. I've never had so much fun in dungeons in ages, and it makes emblem collecting really easy. Only the time spent in the queue could be a lot shorter.Still, it means that I've finally got my emerald and ruby void achievement, doing this. Fun.

... And obviously, I like procrastinating as much as ever. I'll go have a very late supper now.
Current Mood: cold
15 April 2009 @ 12:54 pm
Non-work related stuff  
First of all, it was good to see that the sales ranks on have returned, but I don't really buy the explanation an employee gave, although that might be because I am too ignorant on how their categories work. It would make sense that a French employee who's come down with the stupid mixed up "adult" and "sexuality", but only if books like "Heather Has Two Mommies" were listed in the category "Sexuality" - which, as far as I can see, it isn't. Unless they used the tags, which, seeing as how they're user edited, would be downright idiotic.

But I guess that that explanation is the best we will get, so I'll have to be content with that, I guess. The whole affair makes me rather uncomfortable of Amazon, though. Why have sales ranks at all? Why filter anything? Why filter only non-"norm" sex? This entire thing remains highly dubious.

Second, Crocky is awesome at picking gifts.  A present from her arrived in the mail today, it's the first volume of LFG. <33

And third, some recent WoW endeavours. Feel free to skip - it's a way for me to keep track where part of my free evening went during the last days )

Apart from that, I am off to try and bake bread with fresh yeast rather than the dry variety I've been using. I love fresh bread, the smell, the taste, the feeling of the dough. I'm thinking about trying this bread
20 March 2009 @ 11:30 pm
Dungeons and Death Knights  
Given the entire purpose of MMORPGs it's rather strange, but I used to hate instances. This is why I didn't do them very often, which is why I sucked at them, which is why I didn't like going - especially with my Shadow Priest, because even though my DPS sort of sucked, I sucked even worse at healing, which I was usually forced to do, because, "Of course you'll manage! It's not that hard!" - which of course it was, especially in Ulda, where it's at times nigh impossible to see anyone and people kept running out of reach or not wait for the drinking casters, which is why no heals arrived, which is why they ended up dying a lot, which is why they got angry at me, which is why I avoided dungeon invites.
So - not really my thing.

Until I started going with people who know what they're doing, and until I started playing a class I enjoy rolling in a dungeon. Yes, I know, everybody loves them, they are ridiculously overpowered, they will be nerfed and stop being so awesome, but to my battered cloth-wearing little heart it is such a relief to be able to play a fierce and plate-encased imba melée class, it's bliss.

In other words I have just spent the evening on a different server than usual doing ridiculously fast Hellfire Ramparts/Blood Furnace runs with three other DKs, among them [ profile] niaseath, of course, and a Priest and Shammy, rounding it off with an stint into the Slave Pens. And I Had A Good Time.

My DPS didn't suck, either, but maybe that was just everybody else only having played their DK for a couple of days and in one case being two level below the rest of us. Still, during the fight with Quagmirran I ended up top of the damage meter for the first time ever, and seeing as this is about my seventh time in an instance at all, I'm rather pleased with myself.

Fun. Me. In a dungeon. Go figure. 

Current Mood: mellow
20 February 2009 @ 08:12 pm

I hit level 80 on my Death Knight today, which has become my main. Somehow, melee is a lot easier and a lot  more fun to play than I thought at first. I am torn between feeling guilty about all the hours that went into the game and feeling rather pleased. Some of my in-game buddies were even online to congratulate, that was nice. Now I only need to find someone to do those group quests with that I can't solo with my lousy green quest reward gear, everyone is off raiding. I'm also contemplating respeccing and rolling a hybrid rather than my "unholy only with some ice"-build.

In other news, I am procrastinating because I am scared out of my wits because of the appointment with the dentist tomorrow.
Current Mood: "accomplished"
01 February 2009 @ 06:15 pm
Welcome to Thor Modan. We hope you never tire of fighting iron dwarfs.  
Screw the quests there. They combine everything I ever found annoying about WoW quests. Come to think of it, screw pretty much all the quests in the western Grizzly Hills, I did not like those in the Drakil'Jin ruins, either, although Thor Modan annoyed me most - up to twenty iron dwarfs to defeat to get to the very back of the bloody canyon, and once you've completed the first quest, you get sent back in. Then, having procured whatever stupid item they sent you in for, it's, "Oh, we forgot to mention- we need some data. Please obtain it. From the very back of the cave."

WoW quests always were like that, of course, but I have never seen mobs respawn as quickly, so occasionally you have to fight your way in, then turn around only to find that everything's respawned and you have to fight your way out again. Thanks to the fact that the spaces are so confined, you can't even simply avoid and walk around mobs, you can't use your mount because it's inside, and of course those dwarves can stun you, so running is also out of the question.

I know, it's naive, but I had so hoped that they wouldn't include so many of the "kill number x of mob y and z" with the follow-up "get x items in the same area", and the final quest "kill the leader of y"-quest chains they always do to introduce you to new mobs. I do appreciate WotLK's new found phasing abilities (the entire quests in the Ebon Hold and the Battle for the Undercity quest chain are probably the coolest I've ever done) and quests where you can mount random creatures, even though my money might have been more sensibly invested in a single-player game, as I play it mainly for the quests, not the instances, or the raids, or PvP - I think I am not really cut out for MMORPGs which are really MMOPvPs and tend to place only little importance on the RPG part.

As far as real RPGing is concerned, my brother has been trying to talk me and Crocky into starting a group for table-top gaming. I liked that while I was doing it, and he's been curious for years. Crocky's intersted, too, but seeing as none of us are very experienced and we don't know anyone who'd do the honours of GMing, it will be difficult, as one of us would have to get so very familiar with our system of choice (so far, we're leaning towards D&D 3.5). Of course, we would start with with premade campaigns to get into things, but without anyone who knows what they're doing, it's doesn't really sound as though it's going to be that much fun. Quite apart from the fact that we're in different cities and would have to game via messenger and webcam and Gametable, anyway. I'm curious about how that'll go.
Current Music: Crocky's TR: Anniversary sound track
Current Mood: annoyed
Current Location: Thor Modan, Grizzly Hills
29 June 2008 @ 08:35 pm
Diablo 3  
I liked hearing about the third instalment, even though I doubt I'll ever play it. Diablo I was the among the first games I ever played, Diablo II was the first game I ever played online and together with my brother. I loved that game, even though the amount of monsters you have to kill to get through the game and the way in which they completely vanish once killed always bothered me somewhat. I loved the story, though, and the prettiness of the angels in the game.

Sparkly, shiny, tendril wings. What more can you ask for?

What does make me a little sceptical are the graphics. What I've seen of the game so far is not that impressive. Well, Blizzard have never been synonymous with pretty graphics, and it seems as though the graphics have barely changed from Diablo II - which will make the fans happy, I suppose, but I would have liked something ... more impressive. I am not much of a gamer nerd, but considering HOW much prettier HGL and D&DO are, prettier games seem to be possible. I am told that the game is good for a beta version and considering it's in third person perspective, and maybe that's true. Still.

Current Music: "Ich was ein chint so wolgetan" from the Carmina Burana
Current Mood: chipper
Current Location: Uelzen, Germany