Jul 23 2016

Learning Not to Suck at Overwatch: Accuracy Drills

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Time for something different! Today I go over practice drills I use to improve my aim and movement skills, with particular emphasis on headshots. I focus a bit on Tracer, because the skills involved in playing her well will carry over to almost any other character in the game, but these exercises will also help snipers or anyone else for whom accuracy is a big deal.

I hope you’ll find this useful! Likes and Subscribes will help spread the word, if you do.

For more in-depth treatment of these drills individually, see also:

Dibz’s “Drills For Kills” Tracer Guide: https://youtu.be/AvF57L6ytZw

Force Gaming’s “Improve Your Aim IN JUST 10 MINUTES”: https://youtu.be/MFIritvrMxY

Enjoy!

-The Gneech

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Jul 22 2016

Learning Not to Suck at Overwatch, Episode 04

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Inkblitzer and I succeed! And then we fail! So, yeah, business as usual.

-The Gneech

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Jul 21 2016

Agent Seeking and Self-Pub Pondering

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So far my efforts to get Sky Pirates of Calypsitania to market have not met with success. The rejections have ranged to form “not at this time” letters to more personal “not at this time” letters, but the net result is the same, i.e., “not at this time.”

I’ve been pretty carefully targeting my pitches to maximize their chances, but alas I am starting to run out of “top tier” possibilities and I have to consider what to do next. As this is my strongest book to date and what I hope will be the beginning of a personal “franchise” (to coin a marketing term), I don’t want to make any giant newbie mistakes that will come back to bite me later, but at the same time, I do need to start making some headway.

So I am now considering self-publication. It’s not really where I wanted to go with this book– my long-term goal for this one is “See it on the shelves at Barnes & Noble.” However, I also need to actually get books out there being read and making money, which they can’t do just sitting on my hard drive receiving rejection letters.

I think I’ve also started making headway on the next book, although it’s still quite vague in my mind, to wit: another book in the same setting as Sky Pirates. As much as I love Verity and Tanya and I want to know more of their story, they’re only two people in a much wider world, and they’ve earned a rest from adventure for a while, the poor dears. Plus, they’re getting out of the airships business (or at least trying to), but I’m still interested in following that thread. So that means finding someone else to write about!

So while what is probably the last round of agent pitches goes out, I’m going to hit the Scrivener corkboard and start plotting. If any of my writing industry friends have suggestions for getting the current book rolling, however, I’d love to hear them!

-The Gneech

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Jul 20 2016

Learning Not to Suck at Overwatch, Episode 03

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In which I need to learn to stand behind the tank, Inkblitzer isn’t indecisive, and Trixie has too much faith in Trixie. Warning for language.

As always, questions, comments, and suggestions welcome and desired!

-The Gneech

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Jul 17 2016

Learning Not to Suck at Overwatch, Episode 02

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Joined this time by LittleTrixie and Inkblitzer, as we first defend and then attack on the Hollywood map. Suggestions and comments always welcome. Enjoy!

-The Gneech

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Jul 16 2016

Actually, Yeah, I’m a Little Afraid of These Ghosts (and It’s Awesome)

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So I discover from my Twitter feed, much to my own surprise, that I had people specifically wanting me to weigh in on Ghostbusters before they decided whether or not to go see it.[1] Well, the answer to that is an unequivocal: Yes! Go see! Preferably opening weekend because that’s all Hollywood cares about, they consider anything not a blockbuster to be a flop, and we don’t want to give the assholes any excuse to say “See? Women in the lead, killed it!” Or, as I put it on Twitter:

GUYS GUYS GUYS GHOSTBUSTERS IS SO DAMN GOOD OMG

Now that’s out of the way, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of it a bit, shall we?

Gneech the GhostbusterAs should be obvious to anyone, I am a Ghostbusters fan. As such, my experience of Ghostbusters: Answer the Call (or simply “Ghostbusters 2016″ as I suspect it will generally be known) is going to be colored by that. All those fanservicey inserts? Those were put there for me. And reader? I squee’d.

I can’t address whether the mainstream viewer will enjoy it as much as I did, because mainstream audiences and I are from different planets. I mean, I think so? The ghosts are scary regardless of whether you get the connection between the subway ghost in this movie and the Scoleri brothers from Ghostbusters II, and the jokes are funny regardless of whether you notice the “Big Twinkie” ad in the background.

However, if you are a fan already, this movie is steeped in Ghostbusters history. The cameos are obvious and awesome, even if some of them were a bit shoved in. Bill Murray’s especially stands out as not only an important moment in the current story, but also as a sly commentary on Peter Venkman. But there are references to and elements brought in from just about every previous incarnation of the Ghostbusters, from the Extreme Ghostbusters-ish array of busting gear that Holtzmann dreams up, to the animated logo ghost from Real Ghostbusters, to a stinger at the end that references… [spoiler!].

However, of special mention and dear to my own nerdy heart, is that the entire thing is almost a movie version of Ghostbusters: The Video Game, which I was totally not expecting. And by that, I mean, the core plot of the story is the same core plot of GBtVG: “Evil genius using ghosts to power up ley lines and ascend to kaiju-hood.” In the Video Game, it was the ghost of Ivo Shandor using rivers of slime, deftly tying the original two movies and the game into a cohesive trilogy. In the new movie, it’s an internet comments section personified in the form of Rowan.

Between Rowan and Kylo Ren? Watch out, internet manbabies. Hollywood is coming for you.

But the biggest GBtVG moment, and one that is way too specific to be an accident, is the Macy’s Parade. The Video Game takes place on Thanksgiving, 1991, and originally had a giant parade sequence which had to be dropped in production. And while yes, it’s a perfect way to give [SPOILER] a cameo, it’s also a shout-out to a lost moment in the game. Given that Dan Ackroyd and Harold Ramis wrote the game, and that Ackroyd was a big consultant behind the new movie, I can’t help but think this might have been something he specifically brought to the table.

So yeah, as a Ghosthead, this movie definitely reached into my brain and pushed the Happy Button. It wasn’t absolutely flawless, but my quibbles with it are matters of emphasis rather than any serious objection. I would have liked Erin and Abby to be differentiated a little more. I would have liked a little more backstory on who Rowan is and how he ended up that way, as well as a little more definition of his personality in general beyond “creepy dude,” and honestly his big transformation at the end is a bit clunky and inconsistent– but that moment is short and it actually is kind of a footnote to the “real” ending, so you get carried past it quickly.

But these things are all minor clunkers in the overall result. I spent 99% of the movie either grinning or laughing, and came out of the theater already planning my trip back to see it again… later today.

-The Gneech

[1] The power! The raw social POWER! I AM GNEECH, MOLDER OF OPINIONS! *cough* Erm. Pardon me, got a little carried away. ^.^’

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