Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Magic Abuse

Magic. We all love the idea of it, the use of it and the visualization of it in film and the description of it in books. It can make characters in games nearly invincible, turn the tide of battles into something momentous, and the saving of a life tear jerking.

But it fails miserably. Or rather, it fails due to the abuse of it by those who employ it. Be they the characters, the games masters / dungeon masters, the film makers and the writers. Why?

Okay, let's look at J.K. Rowling's brilliant (yes, I've read them all and love them to bits, and the films equally so :P) 'Harry Potter'; here we have an alternate society, possibly even an alternate universe, where things are magically created, controlled, repaired, healed and hidden (and the list could go on a tad longer).

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Destiny Video Update

Copyright © Bungie 2013

A must see if you liked the previous video about Bungie's new and upcoming game, Destiny. This video expands on what the game entails (so far) and gives an overview of what we can expect (again, so far) inside the Destiny universe. I really do love what they are doing with this game and what they intend for its ongoing development with a 10 year game plan - no pun intended.

Today's Song Is...

Copyright © TheProdigy

One of my ultimate training go-to tunes for blasting cardio/circuit endurance sessions. Energizing and total freak-out beats, this little number does the business - as does the majority of their music.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you The Prodigy and the track, 'Omen '... just mind the furniture ;)

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Superman vs Batman

Copyright © DC Comics

Really? Seriously? Sorry, but Superman is way, way beyond the ability of Bruce Wayne.

If it were a 'who has the most money' contest, or 'who has the best gadgets' contest, then Batman would win hands down. But in a 1-on-1 confrontation, Superman wins every time.

Sorry Batman, I think you're an epic kind of superhero, but nowhere near being the equal of Superman.

How this will translate into a feature film (especially with Ben Affleck playing the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman) that works, I'm really not sure?

If anyone has other thoughts or disagrees, then I'd love to hear why :)

Friday, 23 August 2013

The Book Thief... from words to film

Copyright © MarkusZusak

The Book Thief is an amazingly written novel, released in 2005, by Australian author, Markus Zusak. I've read this book almost a year ago now, and it is still fresh in my mind, which says a lot for this author's powerful command of the written word and how he weaves it into this brilliant tale of a little orphaned girl, death and her love of books, all set against the backdrop of Germany during the throes of the second world war.

An award winning author, Markus Zusak's first novel, ' The Underdog ' was published in 1999 and since then Mr Z has gone from strength-to-strength. But undoubtedly, ' The Book Thief ' has been his most successful book to date.

This wonderful story has now been turned into a film, and the casting looks to be spot on, with the excellent Geoffery Rush as the adoptive father of the main character, Liesel. So, without giving away too much and spoiling things for you, here is the official trailer for your viewing pleasure. If you have not read the book, then I strongly urge you to do so before thinking about seeing the film on release. You really won't be disappointed, this I can promise.

Today's Song Is...

Adiemus by Karl Jenkins - a fellow Welshman I'm proud to say :) and performed by lead vocalist, Miriam Stockley.

I first stumbled across this wonderful music when at university at Pontypridd. At the university leisure centre were numerous courses, one of which was yoga. I couldn't believe my luck and joined up, only to find I was one of two men in the class.

It was great! After nearly a year of yoga, I signed up to attend a yoga retreat in Cornwall. It was absolutely amazing. The retreat itself was, by all accounts, an extremely spiritual place and was the haunt of several ghosts. In the garden itself was an archeological dig site which had uncovered a small underground shrine and pagan place of worship - apparently not-so-nice rituals had taken place there. The site was subject of a prime time UK archeological program, so all the research had been very in-depth and detailed. To be honest, to stand in there for any length of time made you feel very uneasy and disinclined to stay longer than you wanted to.

In the yoga sessions we focused on inner meditation and breathing exercise incorporating posture and stances. It was the meditation that really hooked me; so-much-so I was extremely fortunate to experience what many would refer to as an 'out of body projection'. So amazing, yet so painfully brief :(

Adiemus was one of our meditation tracks, and the instant I heard it I was in love with the sound. I still have the CD today, over 10 years after buying it. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I still do.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Today's Song Is...

Copyright © SteamPoweredGiraffe

Now, love it or hate it, either way you can blame Jeremy over at Being Retro, as he posted this tune some time ago, and since listening to it, I can't get the damn thing out of my head - plus I think it's far better than  the original (only my humble opinion ~ dons flame-proof suit ready for the flaming  :P ), though I like that too - the original, not flaming.

I now have this cover version on my iPad and is part of my training music compilation having purchased it from iTunes.

What is it? It is a cover of Rhiana's 'Diamonds', by none other than Steam Powered Giraffe - by clicking on the link you will be taken to their official website, where you can find out all about them. So, without further ado, here is their version of 'Diamonds' ~ thanks Jeremy :)

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Destiny... Your end is coming

Copyright © Bungie 2013
This is for all you gamers and sci-fi lovers to 'get your geek on'. Destiny is being produced by the creators of Halo, and will, initially, be aimed at console gamers (*boo! hiss!*), and talks are going on about releasing it for the pc at a later date (*hooray!*).

When I first read about this my initial reaction was one of, ' Yes! Finally a game I can devote time to! ', and then watching the production videos just confirmed my initial joy - only to be downed by the console game only bit, but I can live with it... for now - the setting, the animation, the entire concept AND the fact they state the game itself will create unscripted situations/events just blew me away.

Copyright © Bungie 2013

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Today's Song Is...

Copyright © Kasabian 2004

Kasabian's ' Club Foot ' from their album 'Kasabian'. Why choose this particular song? It's a brilliant energizing tune to train to... or just jump about and be a little crazy - enjoy :)

Monday, 19 August 2013

Blade Runner, the game

A little while ago a blog friend of mine, Jeremy of 'Being Retro', posted about the film, 'Blade Runner' - which just so happens to be one of my all time favourite films to date.

In a comment I posted on Jeremy's site I mentioned the Blade Runner game from 1997, produced by Westwood Studios and published by Virgin Interactive Entertainment. Not sure how well it sold, but I love it, and it retains much of the mystique and atmosphere of the original film. So in order to share the experience, here is a clip from said game for all you Blade Runner fans and gamers reading this.

And apologies for the poor quality, but back in 1997 video graphics weren't as high in resolution as they are now.

Today's Song Is...

For today I have chosen this offering from Mike Falzone, someone I stumbled across on YouTube. I particularly like this tune for its satire/humour regarding internet-based relationships and the 'Advice from Batman' at the end (reminds me of Nicholas Cage, so funny) is priceless - enjoy :)

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Happy, happy!

Today I started my first day in a full-time job, after chasing so, so many with nothing to show for my efforts but frustration, rejection and disappointment.

Granted, it's not my 'career path' or ideal job, but it's a steady monthly wage and a boost to my self respect as a human being. Maybe now my mind can relax and once again return to being creative enough to begin writing, sketching and every other pleasurable past time I've shut down due to feelings of guilt, stress and worry.

Happy days folks - another plus we've sold our house!
It would seem things are beginning to pull together. Tomorrow I go to see a knee surgeon about the two tears in my right meniscus and set a date for surgery.

A poem ~ 'Here I am'

Copyright © 2008 - 2013 Mark Kelly
For those of a curious nature, the image is a screen shot from my old gaming days in Blizzard's online MMO, 'World of Warcraft '. Fun times and some really great memories. Friends now lost and forgotten.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Advice for New DMs ~ A Blog Post Revisited

Copyright © Mark Kelly 2013

Today, I have decided to revisit one of my earlier posts from my blog's early inception.

The topic is entitled, 'Advice for aspiring Game Masters / Dungeon Masters '. Like the majority of my early postings it received very few, if any, comments - mainly due to the fact I had virtually zero followers.

It is dated 6th April 2011 and falls under the tag of 'Advice for New DMs' (just in case anyone feels inclined to read any more of them).

I will admit, it is somewhat anecdotal with the aim of sharing and adding a touch of humour, combined with advice aimed at helping those fresh-faced and 100% green to the challenge of being a GM / DM for the first time, and hopefully not the last.

So, if curious, then please click on the link below to read the original post:

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

A Problem with Comments - A Trend?

Copyright © 2013 Mark Kelly
I thought I'd do a short posting about something I've found to be both frustrating and irritating at the same time: commenting on other bloggers' posts.

It's becoming a real pain in the arse! Why?

Namely Google+ and Disqus, and there are probably other formats too I've yet to encounter. If you are not joined to these sites and have an account, then when it comes to posting a comment it asks you to sign in.

Grrrr! I don't want either, nor any other, thank you.

Asides from that, I notice that blogs with these in place have very few, if any, comments. This makes me feel sad for the blogger concerned; not knowing if anyone is reading or even bothered with their blog. I could be very wrong. But not having the option to post via some other system is, to my mind, reducing comments and turning away readers who do actually enjoy posting feedback/comments, but whom do not wish to sign up to either Google+ or Disqus. I am of the latter.

Any thoughts on these methods of blogging? Do you use either, or both, or any other avenue? If so, what have you found to be beneficial in doing so, and have you noticed a decline in the number of comments on your blog posts since converting over?

Appreciate your input (if any) and thank you for stopping by :)

Friday, 9 August 2013

Genres: Fantasy vs Sci-Fi

In one of my earlier opening posts when I started this blog just over 2 years ago, I spoke about my first love: science fiction - anything and everything sci-fi I loved and fed upon as a kid. My two main loves were Dr. Who (the Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker era) and the original Star Trek.

Initial encounters with fantasy were met with a lack lustre 'meh' and then it was back to space ships, aliens and laser guns. I was a full-blown kiddy space cadet - hell, I even recall having Start Trek pyjamas, resplendent in Kirk, Spock and McCoy et al.

And now, decades down the proverbial path my shift is firmly fantasy; everything from animation, literature, gaming to art (and everything else inbetween). Please, don't misunderstand me, I still love sci-fi.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Artist: Tyler Jacobson

This particular gentleman is a great D&D illustrator, bringing the classic character classes to life and bringing a gritty, yet vibrant look to the fantasy world in which we gamers of rpgs love to frequent.
I would go so far as to compare him amongst the likes of the great Larry Elmore

Mr Tyler Jacobson is worthy of a visit if fantasy digital/traditional art is your thing, or if it's just the digital aspect you love. You will not be disappointed. So click on >HERE< to trundle over to Tyler's site. Enjoy :)

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Double the Fun: Big Bang and D&D

When I saw this episode on tv the other evening it had me in fits of laughter on several levels. Not only is it one of my favourite American comedy shows, 'The Big Bang Theory', but has the cast sitting down to an evening's Dungeons & Dragons session, GM'd (Game Mastered) by Howard Wolowitz a.k.a. actor Simon Helberg.

During the session, Wolowitz provides voices for various NPCs that the players encounter, and the clip below is just that. Actor Simon Helberg shows an amazing talent for voice impersonation as well as being funny to boot. So, for all you D&D and Big Bang fans, sit back and enjoy the moment :)

Monday, 5 August 2013

Keanu is Back... So Am I :)

Still coping with the dregs of the after effects of  my lumbar puncture but at least able to look at the pc screen without feeling my eyes are about to explode, I discover this beauty waiting for me; the latest film offering starring Keanu Reeves - 47 Ronin, due out in December 2013.

Basically, it's Japanese sword 'n' sorcery at its best, just the way I like it (outside of Anime & Manga).

So, for your viewing pleasure, and curiosity, I present to you the official '47 Ronin' trailer. I hope you enjoy :)