Sep. 25th, 2016 10:10 am
cumuluscastle: (Default)
My personal blog on Imzy is cumuluscastle. I have invites.

If this pushes fandom out of Tumblr I would actually celebrate. I could raise a drink to it, really.

Honestly, I am just liking the amount of gaming blogs I am seeing started there - not a lot of activity yet, though. Nice variety too - board game, tabletop RPG, and video game. Like, there is a point-and-click game community on Imzy.

I am really so tired of the way 'video games' becomes such a small subset of what actually exists in lots of fan circles. Honestly, I am sort of over Dragon Age at this point.

I'd love to discuss smaller games I have played recently like VA-11 HALL-A, Transistor, Read Only Memories, Broken Age, etc. But somehow most of the fan discussion wants to revolve around the same characters and the same experiences, over and over. Oh well.
cumuluscastle: (sparkly)
Have people seen this Chrono Trigger inspired Squeenix offering? I am pretty sure I won't ever play FFXV, but I might be interested in I am Setsuna.
cumuluscastle: (castle in the air)
“Time, it will not wait, no matter how hard you hold on.”

A reprise of an old art piece - same medium, same subject. I think it's kind of neat how the quote and the title reiterate the theme of me redoing an old painting. One thing I really do regret and I don't regret much about my life - throwing out old art work. So it's nice to have this comparison.

2016 (top image)
2008 (bottom image)
pencil on paper

Time Compression by cirruscastle on DeviantArt

Ultimecia by cirruscastle on DeviantArt
cumuluscastle: (flying sheep)
I was listening to this amazing thing yesterday and it inspired me to want to draw sorceresses from Final Fantasy VIII.

I have probably never said, but I think their over-the-top designs are pretty fabulous. Edea is actually probably the most subdued of all of the sorceresses. But I really love her. I remember watching that opening scene in the game and wondering who she was. Have I mentioned that FFVIII's opening sequence is likely still the best I have ever seen in a game, in my opinion?

Sorceress Edea by cirruscastle on DeviantArt
cumuluscastle: (Default)
Od Magic by Patricia McKillip

Mistral by cirruscastle on DeviantArt

Depicted above is my idea of the character Mistral. I really love this character and have used this name in all sorts of RPGs, MMOs, etc.

Patricia McKillip is a long time favourite author of mine. I will say right up front that her style of writing is not for everyone. It is dreamy and long on figurative language. I can imagine it being divisive.

Let's give you a little taste:
"In the Twilight Quarter, the magician's beautiful daughter threaded her needle with a filament the colour of blood. She knotted it, picked up a length of silk so light it fluttered at a breath, and began to turn a hem in a dangling edge. Illumined by fire and enchantment when Tyramin amused the crowds with his tricks, her bones were long and delicate, her body without a graceless movement. Her hair, a cloud of rippling black, glittered with the star fire of jewels and its own sheen; her eyes hinted of vision, wonders trapped within the warm amber. Such beauty tranforned easily into doves, colored fires, into air tiself and never changed, not even in the curve of her smile, when she became herself again. (McKillip 75).

The main character of this tale is not a woman. Brendan Vetch is a gardener, and has lived a quiet life, up until a plague sweeps through his village, carrying off both of his parents. In the aftermath, Brendan's brother moves away and Brendan becomes involved with a local girl.

When she wants to leave him due to his reticence and unusual behaviour, he suddenly feels a surge of power that momentarily roots her to the spot. When she leaves, she leaves running.

It is then that Od visits Brendan. She is a huge elderly woman who travel with a veritable menagerie and she invites him to be the gardener at her school in Numis. When Brendan chooses to travel there he gets more than he bargained for, including a concept of his own growing magical power.

I'm afraid I can't tell much of this story without spoiling it. Spoilers about the female character are behind the cut Read more... )

What I love about this story is the variety of female characters who are involved with magic. All of them insist on their ability to use their magic as they desire and refuse to be shaped by the king's desires of how magic should be.
cumuluscastle: (stubborn)

Laura Chant by cirruscastle on DeviantArt

The Changeover by Margaret Mahy

Laura Chant has a premonition one morning that something horrible is going to happen to her. She attempts to get her mother to let her skip a day of high school, but no one ever believes her about these premonitions. After school, Laura walks home with her little brother, Jacko and they stumble upon a tiny little shop full of curiosities. There's something very wrong about the proprietor of the store and when he stamps Jacko's hand with a disgusting stamp of his own wrinkled face, Laura knows the premonition has now come true.

She will save her little brother, but she will need help. She decides to visit Sorensen Carlisle, since she knows that he is a witch.

Behind the cut, there will be spoilersRead more... )

It's the best of young adult fiction, in my opinion. There are lots of nice references to fairy tales throughout. It's also set in New Zealand.

Unfortunately, I think it's still out of print. I bought a used copy online a few years ago for cheap. I'm, a little shocked it hasn't been re-printed as I think it holds up extremely well.
cumuluscastle: (castle in the air)

Heartbreaker by cirruscastle on DeviantArt

I added this painting to my discussion of the game, but wanted to post it separately in a new post.

I'm enjoying using a watercolour and acrylic paint mixed media approach. I really loved painting this one and feel pretty satisfied with it. Oddly, I much prefer painting on paper still. I am not sure why that is.
cumuluscastle: (castle in the air)

The Longest Journey by cirruscastle on DeviantArt

The Longest Journey by Funcom

"This is the first step of the longest journey of your life"

The story takes place in two worlds that exist side-by-side, Stark, dominated by technology and Arcadia, a haven for magic.

April Ryan, an art student from Stark, finds herself 'dreaming' of Arcadia, but the dreams are all too real. When her visions of the magical world begin to bleed into her ordinary life in Stark she finds herself recruited to save both worlds by restoring the Balance.

Game Style
It's a point and click adventure, so if you hate those with a passion it might be hard for you to get into. I have a lot of nostalgia for them, as I played some as a kid, but I also recognize their shortcomings. This one has several 'puzzles' that I found really difficult and ultimately cheated to complete. If you are really stuck, let me highly recommend this guide, by Alan Stock, which issues you hints and tips without a lot of spoilers.

The art style is actually pretty nice and dreamy for a fantasy game. I like the Arcadia landscapes best. It is an old game, however, so expect the people to look kind of horrific. In particular, their noodly arms never fail to weird me out.

April Ryan
April has been voted one of the best female protagonists in a video game of all time. Honestly, this is part of what drew me to the game in the first place. She doesn't disappoint, either. She is tough and ready for adventure. She has a witty tongue and a clever mind. She also has a compassionate heart (um, when she isn't pulling nasty tricks on people for the sake of the point and click plot mechanic, at least).

The rest of my commentary is behind the cut, due to spoilers.Read more... )

In all, the game has really fun world-building and some amusing puzzles, with a great main character. There are also sequels, Dreamfall and Dreamfall Chapters. I have them on my wishlist, but I haven't played them yet.
cumuluscastle: (sparkly)
So, I am going to try this out. I can't make any promises about completing it the way I've thought of it, but my plan is to do a series of posts exploring the female characters in speculative fiction that catch my attention or stick with me. By fiction, I mean to include video games, books, and anime - maybe an occasional movie. I also plan to add to this with a series of paintings/drawings, since lately my interest has been with this type of fan art.

Each entry will start with a pretty spoiler-free section and then I'll discuss spoilers behind a cut.

Heartbreaker by cirruscastle on DeviantArt

Let's get started.

Transistor by Supergiant Games

Red is a famed lounge singer, who lives in the futuristic city, Cloudbank. At the beginning of the game she has lost her voice. She was attacked following a performance, and her unnamed male companion intercepted an attack from a strange looking sword. At the beginning of the game, Red pulls the sword, called The Transistor, from the body of her friend. The sword speaks with the voice of Red's male companion and is capable of downloading Functions, which allow it to perform different types of defensive and attacking actions.

As the two begin to traverse the city, they are attacked by The Process, a collection of robot-like enemies in palettes of white, black and red, who attack on sight. Although they look like robots, all of the language discussing them is framed as if they are computer programs.

A mysterious group called the Camerata seem to be behind both the attacks on Red and her unnamed male friend and The Process itself.

Game Style
The game is beautiful. It is clearly inspired by the "Golden Phase" of Gustave Klimt, with its gold leaf, and rhythmic patterns.

The music is beautiful. The vocal tracks are instrumental to understanding Red's motivations and thoughts, since she cannot speak in the game. With her brilliant red hair, I wonder if there's any link to Ariel and Disney's Little Mermaid.

Red is such an amazing character. To me she is not just a cliché. Red is a lounge singer, and a celebrity in Cloudbank. It would seem that it is unconventional for citizens of Cloudbank to undertake creative endeavors. The songs she sings throughout the game also show that she has a revolutionary bent even before the beginning of the game.

She is beautiful and practical. She traverses the game in the costume she was wearing to perform the night was was attacked, with the gold mermaid skirt torn short so she can move around more freely and her male companion's black jacket on her back. She is feminine and tough. She pursues her goals relentlessly. She is defiant even though the city is crumbling around her.

I hope this sparks your interest in the game!

Behind the cut, there will be spoilers Read more... ) I love plots that are not afraid to leave some ambiguity intact. It leaves me food for thought. I've been mulling the game over since I finished playing it last night and I enjoyed considering it while I went for a run this morning and listened to the glorious soundtrack. But I know some people hate an ambiguous story. If you're one of those people, then the game may not be for you.

P.S. The game is on sale on Steam right now for $5.49 CAD and the soundtrack for $2.74 CAD.

The Transistor Wiki was a huge help to me in writing this little piece.
cumuluscastle: (sparkly)
Check out the gift I got for Christmas - a dragon cake pan. Here's my first try at a pound cake made in this baby.

From December 23, 2015


Dec. 31st, 2015 11:02 am
cumuluscastle: (fat pony)
Started to keep track of total km per month for running this year.

September - 97 k
October - 74 k
November - 105 k
December - 124 k

Her Story

Dec. 24th, 2015 08:19 am
cumuluscastle: (cicada)
I highly recommend Her Story if you love mysteries. It's an extremely cool game that starts you with an old school, computer desktop and a program to search through video clips from several days of police questioning to help you contruct a story for yourself. It's twisted and strange. It all fits together in the end marvellously. The acting, all by Viva Seifert, is superb.
cumuluscastle: (santa grinch)
I actually find it hard to believe I haven't posted pictures of these before, but that's because usually I just pack them all up. This year I felt I should document my hard work.

From December 23, 2015

We have Peppermint Meringues, Spritz Cookies, Coconut Shortbread (dipped in white chocolate with red dye), Gingersnaps, Peanut Butter Balls (with a little pretzel on top), Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles (with toasted walnut on top), Good Morning Sunshine Bars, and White Chocolate Haystacks.
cumuluscastle: (fat pony)
I may have started playing WoW again?

My husband bought a Vial of the Sands and now he is my mount all over Azeroth.

I thought it would be funny if my nature loving nightelf priest made a chain of peacebloom to crown him with and took him for joyrides.

Vial of the Sands by cirruscastle on DeviantArt
cumuluscastle: (fat pony)
I just got 3 new board games to play on our board game nights:

The Resistance: Avalon

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective

Dead of Winter

I'm looking forward to playing them. We have a board game night on Friday, this week.

I've played The Resistance before, so this version of it should be familiar - from a quick glance there seems to be a bit more complexity to this version. It's a bluffing game, primarily.

Sherlock Holmes, Consulting Detective can be played co-op or every player can try to solve mysteries on their own. It has 10 cases only and these are designed to be played in order.

Dead of Winter, a zombie apocalypse game that is partially co-op. Every player will have a main objective that is the same as everyone else's but they will also have a private objective that may pit them against other players. This is a mechanic that I haven't seen before and I am interested to see how it turns out.
cumuluscastle: (Default)
I had a lot of fun.

The players seemed to enjoy combat more than anything else, but next time I am going to try to give them some puzzles to solve.

Th highlight of the evening was probably the fight with the injured blue dragon. Two of the characters were downed and had to made death saves. The players are uncomfortable being left to interact among themselves, but they've never done this before.

I need to look into to dual-classing, as Riswynn is very eager to be a bard/ranger.

Next session is going to be the Bacon show, because he rolled 2 icon relationships! The pre-made campaign Blood and Lightning starts the characters off in a very dangerous part of the world - sandwiched between Drakkenhall and the Court of Stars. I decided to send the characters to Drakkenhall, but I am unsure about this. I suppose, I could have sent them to one of the small settlements nearby and made a whole town up myself, but I feel a little hesitant to do that yet!

So Drakkenhall it is. Thanks to Bacon's rolls he will have the help of the Blue's agents to navigate the city. Hopefully this is enough to keep them out of trouble before I can send them off somewhere a bit less intense. Riswynn's continued Dwarf King icon rolls could help with this. I have no imminent plans for the Dwarf King.

Details behind the cutRead more... )
cumuluscastle: (stubborn)
Tonight should be the first night of actual roleplaying in the 13th Age campaign I am going to GM. I am nervous and excited. I really hope the players like it. They're all new so I feel some pressure to get them hooked off the get-go so they keep wanting to play. Wish me luck!
cumuluscastle: (fat pony)
Have you witnessed the glory that is the Ballad of Nuggins? It's a codex entry from Dragon Age Inquisition. It will make more sense to you if you've played at least one of the Dragon Age games and are aware of the ubiquitous nug.
Read more... )
cumuluscastle: (cicada)
Tonight my sister and her husband are rolling their characters. After that I can start planning their campaign a little bit. I really want not to go overboard planning things, so I will probably just come up with ideas for their relationship dice rolls at the beginning of the first session and a few story hooks to get them headed out into the world after we get through the pre-planned adventure that comes with the core rulebook.

If anyone is interested in The 13th Age as a tabletop RPG, then check out this campaign GMed by Grimith: 13th Age: Grimith Takes on Europe. He's an amazing storyteller. I chose this system, because I had heard someone else using it as a tool to create a more story-focused game. Combat is fun, but I am not as interested in a game that is just based on characters bashing their way through hoards of monsters. 13th Age promises to be a bit less rule intensive as well.

I certainly won't be recording our sessions, but I might very well describe them here - it will probably be more notes for myself as I try GMing for the very first time and describe my successes and failures.

Also, here's a drawing I made of my youngest sister's ranger character, Adina

Adina by cirruscastle on DeviantArt

September 2016




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