November 11, 2013

BLAG POST

A lot has changed since I posted last. I do new stuff now, and am expanding my horizons in the media side of the internet.

  • I now record video games on YouTube after procuring a semi-decent recording device, again mainly for fun. Hopefully I'll be dong more. Currently, I have four videos to work on and they will be up by the end of the year. Here are some of my previous recordings with my brother, and one with my flatmate.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMG7oL4LS8E - BIGBROlittleBRO PLAY BEN 10 PROTECTOR OF EARTH

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxuvKm5gBmU - STEE AND EIMEAR PLAY SOME GOLDEN AXE
  • I'm also trying my hand at streaming games on Twitch.tv for laughs, mainly terrible terrible games that are just awful in every way. This is out of boredom and I do have a lot of fun when I find glitches and stuff. 
Twitch channel: http://www.twitch.tv/steescribbles
LATEST BROADCAST: BUTTPIRATES - http://www.twitch.tv/steescribbles/c/3224412 (sound needs some tweaking)
  • I'm testing a manual corruption tool for video game ISOs which can corrupt the data inside video games. For example, I tested Tekken 2, and it started going nuts as soon as I went into a fight.
  • I have been asked to be sound producer of a mystery project.
  • I've now started to embrace the online gaming side of computing, mainly with free-to-play shit, mainly from participating in Bro Team Pill FIGHTS, which are the best craic ever sometimes.
  • I plan to record a Christmas song for Christmas.
  • I am now a contributor for a monthly Irish digital music magazine called Drop-d, (which used to be a music blog webzine but since has evolved.
So yeah, life is good. I post music from time to time on SoundCloud, including this one:


I also did an arranged version of A HUMAN SOUND.


UNTIL NEXT TIME
s.s

October 01, 2013

August 19, 2013

#slanegirl has to stop. Also, government still sucks.

"We've been thrown into an age where people can be degraded easily across the Internet via viral based social networking."

I don't know about you, but this is an incredibly frightening sentence. It's the fact that the power to ruin another individual's life is at the fingertips of every internet connected human being. Let's take this whole slanegirl hashtag controversy as an example.
She is an idiot, that much is clear. However, that does not give anybody the right to humiliate her on the internet. Consider this: does it really affect you? What massive impact does it have on your life that you have to demoralize a human being? Because if it doesn't, then you're a bad person. And another thing: did anyone consider the fact that she isn't the only person in that picture? The guy in the picture is just as idiotic as the girl, and has nothing to be proud of. Why is he suddenly "a legend" for receiving oral sex from a random teen? 
#slanegirl was trending last night. Worldwide. This was the most shocking part of it all. It really shows how much evil is in the world too. Especially in this country. How else would it have trended?

Let's look at another problem with this bullying. Nobody knows the age of this girl. The offending image is explicit and a form of pornography, whatever way you look at it. Technically, everybody who has got this trending, could be sharing child pornography, which is obviously frowned upon in Ireland. Before you post a picture of this, ask yourself: "why the fuck do I even care about this? Why is this such a big deal that I have to repost it so all my followers can see how evil and deranged I am?"
I was looking at Niall McGarry's (owner of the company who runs JOE.ie) Twitter to see if they would post the image on their website, and they blatantly refused to, which in my opinion, was an incredibly wise and well thought decision on their part. Their tweet was as follows:


Onto another pressing matter that is grinding the gears of Irish students and parents. Yesterday, The Irish Independent reported that more cuts would be made to the college grant. I left the following comment on their website:

"I'm seeing this as a devious strategy to have the parents of skint students fork out money to pay these ridiculous fees. It's outrageous what the government are doing to them. The government sees eliminating students from their educations as the best solution to the economic crisis while they drive their fancy cars and eat their fancy food and drink from their fancy Dail bar until they're pissed out of their skulls they can't come up with a fair policy. On top of that, the grant system, SUSI, with its consistent delays and teething problems leaving students in a situation of having to quit their course, simply because they can't afford to pay the fees or even live away from home due to not being able to keep up with rent. The grounds and circumstances on which they base their decision on who gets the grant is completely different from the VEC. They don't give a shit about what you pay, rather what you earn, which is unacceptable considering families have mortgages, as well as these water, household, property, broadcasting taxes, not to mention cost of living, which constantly on the rise. It's unfair. Students need a break from this bullshit. It's as if the government doesn't want folk to attempt to make something of themselves, by taking away what is necessary to survive in this economic shitstorm."


August 07, 2013

Giving Up The Fizz

This is a fairly personal blog post mainly to do with my health and self awareness.

"Level: BEARD"
About two months ago, I was diagnosed with a hiatal hernia, which is a stomach abnormality caused by a protrusion of the stomach into the thorax through a weakness in the diaphragm. This lead to believe that the several choking incidents that had occurred over the past three years were caused by this problem, along with something else, probably. Since my diagnosis, I have been told to cut out specific foods and drink until a suitable course of action is drawn up. Now, today, I feel a lot more healthier than I ever was, and that's because I have now been off fizzy beverages for an entire month, and I'm much more confident when eating food.

I had noticed that during both choking incidents, I had a fizzy drink, like Fanta or Club before dinner the last time it happened, which seemed to have a negative effect on my throat. The first time, it was Coke, along with some chicken goujons I think. First time was the worst. I had to get an endoscopy to remove the food blocking my esophagus. It seemed like cutting out fizzy drinks seemed like the best course of action. Since then, I've been drinking about 2 litres of water a day, rather than a can of fizzy drink, and if I'm ever tempted to have a carbonated drink, I pour it into a glass from a height, so the fizz would be a lot more flattened. I'm also off the beer too, for the sake of my health. Though it's a difficult sacrifice, I'm turning to a glass of white wine, or an alternative non-carbonated alcohol drink rather than a can of beer, if I'm tempted for an alcoholic beverage.
Still on the coffee though, even though its not recommended. Love that stuff.

As well as drinks, I'm trying my best to cut out highly spicy foods in favour for more milder foods, but it's not going so well. But in my honest opinion, cutting out the carbonated drinks and booze is a start. I'm still not 100% what the main cause of the choking is, but I'll know more before the end of the month. And if an operation is required, I'll gladly take it.

- Stee

July 16, 2013

Game Review: The Last of Us (spoiler-free)

There has been an onslaught of mediocrity in the world of gaming lately, from flops like Star Trek and Aliens: Colonial Marines, to the floppiest like Ride To Hell: Retribution and Fast and Furious: Showdown. Who will save us from these glitch-fests that assault our retinas. Naughty Dog, to the rescue, with a brand new IP: The Last of Us.

The Last of Us is a survival horror game which takes place in a post apocalyptic America, where infected creatures have plighted the cities. You play as Joel, a survivor whose job is to escort a young girl by the name of Ellie across the country, while fending for their lives from the plight of infected monsters that hinder their progress. Along with that, comes exploration, looting, creating weapons, tools and upgrading your weapons with tools. A fair warning: this is not for the fainthearted. As fun as the game is, the premise is miserable, and full of feels. Added to that is explicit gore, mainly from Joel's fists, and lots, and lots of throat-punching & curb-stomping. This is a game that will test you also. Some enemies can't see you, but they have enhanced hearing. This is where stealth comes in, where you must tread lightly and cautiously, using distractions. However, you can go in like a big action guy and kill them with the old shotgun and your vast artillery, but it wouldn't be wise. Each encounter has a number of ways to proceed, each with their own risks and advantages.

Let's talk visuals. I can't begin to tell you how amazing The Last of Us looks. The environments are beautiful, and populated with plants, rubble and buildings. Character models are detailed, well designed and carry emotional depth. Enemies look grotesque and monsterous. Gore looks realistic down to the last blood splatter. Everything about it is just extremely well polished and professionally designed. When playing, I found tons of places that, while they were not canon to the story, existed just to hold a few items. Each house, and room looked different, and just as populated as story areas.

The usage of Music in the game is minimal, yet very effective during cutscenes and tense gameplay. Guitar twangs and melodies are blissful, and emotionally driven by the storyline. As well as that, the voice acting
feels real and deep. Troy Baker pulls it off as Joel, with some incredible VO, as well as other NPCs, which are equally as good.

Even Multiplayer is well executed. The usage of Facebook adds a little realism to the mix, copying the names of your friends to the survivors. The main goal is to keep as many survivors as possible over a duration, while constantly sending supplies from the two game modes available. It's fun, and there are a lot of tactics involved. However, the addition of a Horde mode, or stealth orientated team based gameplay
would be ideal. More infected in Multiplayer, big time.

During my play-through, I barely noticed any kind of hiccup, bug, or glitch. Naughty Dog's usage of loading the entire game at start-up instead of loading during, is probably my favourite thing about their games. This allows for gameplay without breaking immersion during scenes with feels, or very tense action scenes. This should be used for all games like this, in my opinion. It keeps the action flowing, rather than taking two minute gaps to load in assets and sound.

The Last of Us is a must have in any Playstation 3 owner's collection. A massive story campaign, with some great multiplayer, and deep tactical gameplay. One for the books, folks.

JUDGEMENT
The Good:
+ Visuals are stunning, well polished and plentiful
+ Music is discreet, yet effective
+ Gameplay is deep and incredibly powerful
+ Voice acting is stellar and well executed
+ Multiplayer is excellent

The Bad:
- A few minor bugs here or there. Nothing major though

VERDICT
10/10
UNBELIEVABLE




June 17, 2013

A physical release? Up to you!

Hey folks,

I was curious as to whether anybody will be interested in a physical copy of "A Dismissed Future For All"? If you are interested in such a thing, can you click the link below, and like the status? It would be awesome to distribute this album in physical form.

http://www.facebook.com/steescribblesMusic/posts/582587221762098

May 28, 2013

OUYA - short review.

After a whole year of waiting, I finally received my OUYA console today. So, I decided to do a review of the console.

I'm after fiddling around with the OUYA for a while, and I'm pretty impressed with the build quality, for 70 euro for the lot. It's got a nice "first time" start up, and a smooth enough UI interface for the menu. It's simple but effective. All the games available are either free to play, or trials with full versions available in game, including Final Fantasy III (which has been ported to death). On a more controversial note, there are also emulators available, such as the N64, SNES and GBA consoles.

Inputs include HDMI, Ethernet, microUSB, USB 2.0 and the power adapter. It boasts 8GB (6GB usable) of internal memory (expandable via USB), with a Tegra 3 processor, along with 1GB memory, making the entire gaming experience smooth and bug free.

When first booting up the console, there was a bit of an overscan issue, causing things to appear too big on the screen when using HDMI, but it's a minor inconvienience, and possibly a problem with the TV.

The controller has a lot to show for. The black area in the middle is actually a touchpad, which allows a mouse pointer to be used. Tapping it confirms selection, like a normal laptop touchpad. It can be a bit buggy though. The face buttons, marked O, U, Y, A take a while to get used to, after years upon years getting used to the PlayStation controller. There is a D-PAD, two analog sticks, and four shoulder buttons, two on either side. The power button is in the middle, but also serves as a multi-functional button. It is used to sync the controller to the console via Bluetooth, quit games, and access the options menu in applications. The controller runs off two AA buttons, one underneath each of the two face-plates. These remain secure throughout use, but battery life is yet to be determined.

The most interesting feature of this console is probably the fact that it is easy to repair, and hack, and I'm going to see what this thing is capable of at a later stage. All I know is that it can be rooted, at the cost of removing access to the OUYA store, which at the moment, contains over 100 games and applications since December.

People say that "Oh, what's the point of another console, the PS3, Wii U and the Xbox are dominating." OUYA isn't trying to compete, all they're trying to do is bring a cheap alternative to console gaming to the user. This is good for indie game developers, as well as other software companies that may want to develop apps. XBMC support has been confirmed, which is famous for its media player functions, which will put that USB connectivity to use. It is possible to side-load apps via APK also, but is tricky to do so, apparently.

I don't regret backing this system as it does have potential, with the company's value-for-money ethos, and their mission to bring gaming to everyone. Currently, it's due to release on June 25th for $99, including $20 international shipping, which, in all fairness, is affordable, as it includes the system, and the controller. Now, if they could implement access to the Google Play Store, that would be brilliant, as I have a lot of favorites on it, like Google Music and Netflix.


May 08, 2013

A DISMISSED FUTURE FOR ALL - ALBUM STREAM NOW LIVE!



The full stream of my new album, "A Dismissed Future For All" is now available at http://steescribbles.bandcamp.com/


Also, download options will be available next Thursday with three bonus tracks, on a pay what you want basis (you can even pay ZERO for the lot, and I'll still appreciate it :) 
At the moment, I am in the process of readying the digital distribution of this album amongst iTunes, Amazon, Spotify via Tunecore.

Please share this amongst your peers, and comment what you think. And thank you :)



April 25, 2013

ALBUM UPDATE #2

Pay what you want, or pay nothing at all, for the new album "A Dismissed Future For All" when you download from Bandcamp from the 16th May until 1st June. Albums downloaded from Bandcamp will have an alternative album art, as well as some other bonus content, as a way of saying thanks. An option to pre-order the album will be available soon, which will bag you even more bonus incentives. After 1st June, the album will be available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Google Music, and all those other places.
This will be a digital release for now.
For now, anyway.

Also, one of my friends who works under the musical persona "A-Void" has began to preview his new EP, which can be heard here:



Looking forward to this release, you guys.

March 24, 2013

A DISMISSED FUTURE FOR ALL: New album details!



I am pleased to announce that my second album "A Dismissed Future For All" will be available from 16th May exclusively on Bandcamp, and then 1st June for iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify. Here is the official track listing:

  1. Dark, Cold and Feckless
  2. A Dismissed Future For All
  3. YAY, Doomsday
  4. Hallucinogenics
  5. Heart Shaped Replica
  6. All Our Role Models Are Dying
  7. A Billion Raindrops
  8. A Human Sound
  9. The World's On Tabloids
  10. B-Side To The Soundtrack Of Life
The picture used for the album art was taken at a student fees protest, organized by the student union of Letterkenny Institute Of Technology, and felt like it was appropriate, as it connected to the theme of the album, the fact that the futures of young aspiring people is being dismissed by the government by their unfair treatment against students with rising college fees, and constant delays of the grant, that is required for students to pay rent and other costs of living, which is causing people to drop out due to lack of funds.
It is a mixture of alternative kinds of music, from experimental electronic, to ambient, to instrumental rock. I really hope you enjoy the album when it's completely finished. More info about the album will be revealed in the coming weeks.

Stephen.