The hunt is on, again, for a new Machinima Premier Director now that SeaNanners (Adam) is a bona fide, honest to goodness, straight up employee of Machinima. Much in the same way that a Premier Directorship came up when Hutch was lured into full time employment at the House of Fun.
The Premier Director is selected from the list of existing Machinima Directors so it could be ANYONE!….
No it can’t be. And no it won’t be. Sorry to shatter anyone’s illusions here. Last time around I correctly predicted who would be chosen based on the workings of democracy. It’s a very simple equation to work from – the person with the most votes wins. That time around it was Tejb. Tejb had at least 50,000 more subscribers than anyone else in the running which meant that even if only half of his subscribers were active and weren’t porn bots, multiple accounts, or inactive then he’d win. And win he did – surprise surprise <_<
Anyone with a YouTube account and more than a hundred subs can work out for themselves that for the most part only 10% of the subscribers are 'hardcore' (meaning they watch, rate and mostly comment on EVERY video put out), about another 25% or so will view and thumb, and the rest will sporadically watch and/or participate. That's not counting the 10% of subscribers whose tally of subscriptions is in excess of 150 YouTube channels which means to me that they could care less what you do and are even less likely to watch any content you put out anyway.
By my reckoning most 'YouTubers' have between 20% and 35% of their total subscribers who actively participate in the channel. I could be full of da poop, but these figures are based off interaction on my channel and from looking at the number of thumbs and comments on other peoples channels so I've not just pulled the information out of my ass. However, if you have more reliable numbers then please let me know, because I love stuff like that.
Anyhoo, back to the point. SeaNanners announced the drive for a new Premier Director in his most recent video:
Now, here's where I got interested. Adam says it's not going to be "a popularity contest". But it is. It can't be anything but a popularity contest. The last "election" was a popularity contest, and any time you invoke the power of democracy it will ALWAYS be a popularity contest.
Here's how Adam has attempted to throw a spanner in the democratic works. There will be three current Machinima Directors chosen to duke it out for the mantle of Premiership. Two of them will be decided by being….. *ahem* most popular in terms of likes and comments. And the third will be a Wildcard chosen by the BananaMan himself.
That's a great idea, but it's not going to change the fact that if the outcome is being decided by the community liking, voting and commenting on the three finalists then the finalist WITH THE MOST ACTIVE SUBSCRIBERS will be the winner. It doesn't matter if SeaNanners plucks Jesus Christ himself (not Obviously Jesus) from the list of Machinima Directors, if his active subscriber count is not in excess of #1 or #2's active subscriber count then he hasn't got a hope in hell (and unless SeaNanners chooses THE most popular person on Machinima at the moment then he might as well not waste his time).
Sure the extra publicity will net the Wildcard some new subscribers, but that's it. Democracy is a popularity contest, asking the community to vote is a popularity contest, and putting a wildcard in there will NOT change the outcome. Unless they decide to use another voting system such as proportional representation….. but I don’t think that’s going to happen.
By the way, does anyone know who the most popular people on Machinima are right now? I unsubbed from Machinima a while back so have no idea who's who and what's what on there any more.
That is all.
Peas and loaves.
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Warning: the title of this post is a little bit misleading in order to make you want to read it. Much like the headlines for pretty much every news story on the BBC News website is sensationalised in attempt to make the stories seem more interesting than they actually are.
Talking of the news (quick off-topic) only a couple of days after Steve Jobs told people not to hold the iPhone funny, Apple announce that there is a fault in the way the iPhone4 displays the signal strength. I’ve seen videos comparing the problem on the iPhone4 with the iPhone3 and it is obvious that this “explanation” is bullshit.
I’d also like to point out that if Apple did not have such a fanatical following Steve Jobs would have been strung from a lamp post by his tongue by now for being so disrespectful to people with genuine gripes and questions about Apple products (Example 1:Q: Why are Apple products more expensive in the UK than anywhere else in the world? SJ: You need to educate yourself on the costs of providing products and services to the UK. Example 2:Q: Why does the iPhone4 lose signal when I hold it like this? It never happened with the previous model…. SJ: Don’t hold it like that then!) I like Apple, I cut my editing teeth with Apple machines, but Steve Jobs is a complete tosser.
But back on topic…. FPS on the Wii. I don’t care for the Wii very much. I get disappointed whenever I turn it on, although I did play Just Dance at Nintendo Fanboy Mike’s house the other week and it was pretty good fun, but I digress AGAIN. Now, Donncha has mentioned before that he played an FPS on the Wii and I can’t remember if it was World at War, or one of the Resident Evil games (I’m sure you’ll let me know, won’t you D?) and he really enjoyed it.
Now SeaNanners has posted a vid of his flawless gameplay of World at War on the Wii. He’s recently been posting some content of Wii games and has been looking for the oddest titles he could find. But so far the oddest has been Cooking Mama, which isn’t actually that odd – my daughter has it on the DS. If he wants to play a REALLY odd game then he should try Trauma Centre – Second Opinion. That is one crazy Japanese title that only crazy Japanese people can truly understand. And the acting is awful too. Maybe I should do a let’s play of it….
Anyway – without further ado…. take it away SeaNanners:
And the bonus clip. This isn’t my clip. It’s from Bobby TheMoodieSwede. I’m not going to say too much about it, I just thought it was funny, especially in regard to a game that Mike and I played a week or so ago (make sure you have the audio on for this one):
Peas and loaves
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Or Agony Aunt if you prefer. Whichever you prefer SeaNanners has been switching things up in his past couple of videos. I’m not on about the FS Tailslide Switch that he does in the Skate 3 Double Feature Machinima vids, I’m on about the commentaries on his last two Call of Duty vids. In the first one he’s commentating while drinking wine and cooking – a sort of Techno version of Keith Floyd without the alcoholism and much younger wife. In the commentary he touched on what to talk about, and went on to say that being able to cook is definitely a worthwhile skill to impress the ladies with (it is, and does).
So his most recent vid goes further. Apparently some subscribers had posted messages to him asking for advice on how to get the ladies….. Tell you what – watch/listen to the vid and we’ll come back to it. You need to hear what he’s saying to prevent me rehashing it and making this post in to ‘War and Peace’:
Watched it? No? Too busy eh? Okay, in a nutshell: “Don’t punch above your weight, homies” (cool, I turned SeaNanners in to some sort of Gangsta!).
Right, so he’s only talking about physical attractiveness. Fair enough. But you know what? He’s wrong, or at least misguided. It would seem that the people asking for advice are mooning after someone from afar and doing the “Oh, I wish they knew I existed….” deal (btw, ‘mooning’ in this context is staring at someone all doe-eyed and day dreaming – not chasing after them backwards with their kecks down, that’s just wrong on so many levels).
Really the advice should be: get some confidence, get to know them, and ask them out. Yes, it’s not necessarily as simple as I make it out there, but that’s it in a nutshell. Except on an incredibly superficial level, for most people looks are not everything and as cliched as it sounds, women like men who have confidence. I’d also chuck in there, don’t be afraid of rejection – it’s going to happen and it can be for many reasons not because you look like the Elephant Man.
I’m not the only one to respectfully disagree with SeaNanners, GoldGlove also gave his two cents and he’s sort of on the same page as me on the whole thing:
And that is that. Not exactly gaming news per se, but I thought I’d share my thoughts on it and give an alternative perspective. What are your thoughts on the subject?
Peas and loaves.
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There are certain milestones that people can aim for in the pursuit of fame and celebrity. The pinnacle being shot by a crazed stalker who is trying to impress Jodie Foster – you know you’ve arrived when that happens. On the lower scheme of things there’s the balance of fan mail and hate mail.
Pretty much anyone can become “YouTube famous” as OnlyUseMeBlade calls it. The Internet, and YouTube in particular can be a fairly nasty old place – practically full to bursting with keyboard warriors waiting to flame the weak. If YouTube was an imaginary place from a film, it would be Mos Eisley Cantina from Star Wars.
You'd better watch it - he's on twenty three block lists!
I got my first taste of YouTube hate on my channel yesterday – and I’m not even YouTube popular. It made me so happy 🙂 A little rainbow inside lit up with the knowledge that I was entering the realms of SeaNanners – not bad for having less than a thousand channel views. I’m obviously on the first rung of the YouTube stardom ladder!
So here’s the diddley-oh:
I’m old enough, and been around online communities long enough to deal with the denizens of Mos Eisley. In general it doesn’t bother me if someone attempts to be disparaging about me, or what I do as it can usually be turned into something positive – or amusing. But I’m not willing to allow behaviour like that go unchecked. Adding to the block list is the most effective way of dealing with it.
Back on the Topic topic….I’ve put together a quick check list to illustrate the level of stardom you (or I) may have attained at any given time. It’ll be useful for you if you don’t know whether you do need to book in to a hotel under the name of Pendergast, or wear dark glasses to go to McDonald’s:
Get first visitor(s)
Receive first comment(s)
Receive first subscriber(s)
Have more Subscribers than posts/uploads
Get first “hate” comment
First “FIRST!” comment
First defence from random person against “hate” comments
Dual Commentary/Partnership Link thing
Get featured somewhere
Hear people mention you offline
Get recognised in the street
Get shot by crazed stalker
*Hooray – you’re famous!*
They’re not necessarily in the order in which they’ll actually occur, but the more you can tick off the closer you are to fame. A word of warning though – if you are shot by a crazed stalker, you’re only famous if they are YOUR stalker – cases of mistaken identity don’t count.
So Battle Field Bad Company 2 has been out for…… 20 minutes or something like that. And the complaining has started already. Have a look at this vid – but to sum it up “boohoo hitmarkers, bullets not hitting, I get dead, Medic class needs to be removed or nerfed”:
So BFBC2 is the same shit, different title? Or is it more a case of same whingers, different title?
I have a solution however. To the many game developers out there who obviously hang off my every word – forget all this modern warfare type stuff, forget World War 2, forget weapons, perks and abilities and develop ‘Ogga Ugg Banga Whack Whack” it’s a Stoneage first person combat simulator where your character has the exact same abilities as everyone else i.e. none, and the only weapon is a tree branch. The goal of the game is to find your opponent, go toe to toe and bash each other over the head. There are also no campers as every time you stop, your character let’s out a primordial scream that attracts the attention of the hovering Harrier Angry Pterodactyl. Should you stay in the same area for more than five seconds a meteorite will hit you.
“Ogga Ugg Banga Whack Whack” should be available by this time next Tuesday. Maybe all the complainers will switch to playing that and allow those of us who enjoy diversity to continue enjoying our chosen games in peace.
Let’s get some caveats out of the way before we get to the main feature. These tips are what work for me. I’ve been playing FPS games for almost a decade on and off and have been rubbish at them. But thanks to the wonder of YouTube and the YouTubers who take the time to upload videos and share their tips I’ve been able to improve by analysing what I’m doing compared to what they’re doing. There are two users whose videos I’ve found to be most useful – SeaNanners and Sasbenjr. The reason why I use them as examples out of the 60-odd other people I’m subscribed to on YouTube is that in their videos they explain what they are doing (sasbenjr to a much higher degree than SeaNanners) and because they also use a tactical play style that is more suited to us older (I never thought I’d be calling myself old at 34…..) and slower gamers.
So on with the tips.
#1 – Handicap yourself
This tip is not for everyone. It can cause you to fall out of love with the game, reconsider your life choices and generally cause a complete crisis of confidence – so if you are of sensitive disposition move on to tip #2. In order to improve your aim you need to be able to aim to begin with. Any nugget can pick up a Scar-H or an ACR and be a demon in game. It’s easy when you use a strong recoil-less gun. But that’s a crutch, doesn’t help you improve, and it soon becomes boring using the same thing all the time. What should you do? Use this loadout:
Sleight of Hand
Whatever second perk you like
Steady Aim or Ninja
What?! The FAL!? Yes the FAL. It’s single fire which means that YOU will have to stop relying on spray and pray kills and actually learn how to aim properly. Think the FAL is too easy? Then use a pistol. Think the pistol is too easy? Then you don’t need to be reading a post about improving your aim. Using the FAL helps you get into the habit of #2…..
#2 – Make your targets come to you
Okay, there’s nothing you can do about someone zooming around the map using Marathon, Lightweight and Commando getting you in the back, but for everyone else you can pretty much control what happens if you are in the right position. In Modern Warfare 2 it can be difficult to hang back when everyone is running around like the sky is falling. But that’s what you’ve got to do – you already know the high traffic areas of the map (it’s where you die a lot) so your mission is to get a vantage point of that area that gives you a low profile to the enemy while allowing you to easily see them. You need to keep your crosshairs on the traffic area ready to get your victim. Always be looking straight down that corridor so that enemies are running towards or away from you – not across your field of view. It’s much easier to shoot a target when it is stuck in your line of sight rather than moving across it. I wouldn’t stay in the same spot for more than two kills (or a couple of minutes) – best move to another location that also gives you a view of your previous perch in order to ping the guy going for the revenge kill. Moving also prevents you from getting tunnel vision or ‘zoning out’ due to inactivity.
#3 Practice shooting stuff
Set up a Lan game and join it. It’ll be lonely as you’ll be the only one there, but it also means that you won’t spend your time being shot in the face while you attempt to improve your aim. Choose a target, or targets and practice shooting from one to the other. I like HighRise for this as one of the buildings has a clock above a doorway – I run around the corner and bring the aim up to that. If you do this for a couple of minutes before going online proper you should be a bit more prepared.
What you’re trying to achieve is the ability to bring up your sights and hit the target as soon as it comes into view. This skill will aid you when you spot someone while moving around the map. Also try shooting targets at varying distances – the exploding barrels are particularly satisfying targets.
#4 Make your aim true
Your crosshairs should always be where the threat is most likely. In buildings your sights should sweep the corners and then stay on the doorway as you move towards it ready for anyone coming through – apply this to moving through maps like Favela, Karachi and Invasion where there are many streets as well as buildings. When you’re maintaining a strategic presence (or camping) you should be sweeping the areas that the enemy are most likely to be coming from. Keep an eye on your mini map – unless your green triangle buddies start disappearing you should be looking in the opposite direction ready to get anyone who is attempting to flank. When you’re moving keep your sights up – if you find that you’re all over the place, move on to #5.
#5 Choose a sensitivity that suits you
Some people play on sensitivity 10 and treat it as some sort of mark of 1337ness. And good for them. Personally, I’m currently on sensitivity 3 on the PS3. When I had my Cheap Freaks on it was 7. Your level of sensitivity should compliment your playstyle and controller control. If you spend 12 hours a day playing and have the reactions of a rattle snake on speed then chances are that a higher sensitivity would suit you. Conversely, if you play a couple of games a day and are generally ham handed then lower sensitivity will be your thing. In either case you need to find what works for you. The only way to do that is to play – try the exercise in #4 – if you can’t hit the clock on your current sensitivity then try lowering or increasing it depending on your results.
#6 Choose your shots
I think it was Hutch that said “You’ll miss every shot you don’t take” which is true and is especially correct when sniping. But “Nothing gets you killed quicker than giving your position away” – that’s mine. If you are using an unsilenced weapon don’t blast wildly at anything that moves. If you miss, you panic and your aim gets worse, in the meantime the enemy knows where you are and is going to shoot you in the face. Load up a silenced weapon and add Stopping Power – then try it again. The silencer prevents you from showing up on the radar, and in my experience unless you’re standing right in front of the enemy they tend to get all jack rabbitty and hop for cover as they don’t know where they are being hit from instead of returning fire.
#7 Take a breath – relax
This is probably the most important one, at least it is for me. I noticed that when I saw an enemy I would get a bit tense and my aim would be all over the place. This is because that tension made my movements stiff and jerky. By relaxing, my aiming movements were smoother and more controlled. It made sighting running enemy a lot easier. Get into the mindset of “I’m gonna shoot you sucka!” rather than “There’s a guy, has he seen me, can I get him…?”. Make it so that as far as you’re concerned you’ve already won the firefight, the only thing left to do is pull the trigger.
#8 Prefire and burst fire
When just using the crosshairs you can swing around quick and easy, but as soon as you ADS this movement is slowed significantly – even on higher sensitivities (although it is also dependent on the weapon you are using). When you encounter an enemy at closer range who is an active threat (an “Oh shit!” moment where you’ve seen them and they’ve seen you) get your crosshairs over them and fire before bringing up your sights – that initial prefire can be the difference between your killstreak, or just plain being killed. When you are firing a fully automatic weapon ensure that you burst fire by tapping the trigger. This will create a narrower grouping of your rounds. This is especially important when using LMGs, the MP5K, Tar-21 and the F2000 (not that anyone uses that one anyway). Although the recoil can be useful for getting headshots, after the initial kick you’ll be shooting at the sky – and unfortunately you don’t get kills by doing that.
#9 The Strafe Fire
When I first started playing FPS I was given this tip by a guy who played Quake (never my thing). It’s what they would do, back in the day, during the ‘dance of death’. The what? I know, you don’t see it so much anymore due to the lower health and stronger weapons in most games. The Dance of Death was what would happen when two players find themselves toe toe with no melee ability. They would basically circle each other until one had managed to shoot the other to death. Although the Dance of Death is pretty redundant nowadays, the circle strafe technique is not. It’s useful for getting around corners where you suspect there is someone maintaining a stategic presence (yes, camping). So here is how you do it. Find an object like a barrel that you can move freely around. Now put your crosshairs on it, or ADS if you like. Once you’ve done that your task is to move around it in an arc keeping your crosshairs or sight on the target object while maintaining a set distance from it. In order to do this you need to push the movement stick in one direction and the look stick in the opposite direction. Start off slowly with small movements and then build up the pace. You should practice doing this clockwise and anti-clockwise. This is actually easier to show rather than describe…
When I get the capability to record I’ll make a video illustrating these tips.
And so, example videos. First, SeaNanners. There’s not too much commentary regarding what he is actually doing at the time, but he give some good advice on playing the game. Main thing to watch for is where he positions himself, how he moves around the terrain the way he moves from position to position.
Narrowing your profile to the enemy by using cover
Although he’s mobile he is not blindly running and gunning (ignore the Heart Beat Sensor). Watch how his crosshairs are always pointed at his direction of travel and where the enemy will be coming from – the pauses at junctions and minimising his profile to the enemy.
And now sasbenjr. This is the Rundown with M16 video. In contrast to SeaNanner’s video Geoff talks us through what he is doing and why, including cool little graphics to illustrate threat areas.
Graphics showing threat areas from sasbenjr
Check out the part where he is on the balcony facing the bridges which allows him to control the engagements while maintaining a lower profile with height advantage.
So that there’s no confusion, this is not really a review. Now that’s out of the way…
You may have seen the KontrolFreek FPS doo-dahs being pushed by everyone and their dog lately. This sudden ramping up of viral marketing can be put down to one of two things – they’re either the best thing since thumbs, or there’s commission to be made. Or maybe both. – Yes, I’ve linked to them, but it’s a direct link, no referal codes, if you go there I get nothing, if you don’t go there I still get nothing.
But on with the “review”. It’s only fair to point out that I do not have, nor have used the KontrolFreek FPS thumb dingles. I have read what other people including Donncha, SeaNanners, PyroPuncher and others have said about them. What interested me more is not whether or not they turn you into an MLG Pro player overnight, or turn your 26-3 stats into 75-1, I was into the physics of it. If it worked, how does it work.
But before we get into that, allow me to introduce to you the Cheap Freaks FPS*. It retails for no pennies and is available free in most homes.
*Some assembly required.
What’s in the box?
Well…nothing, but here’s what you’ll need:
A child’s drink bottle (or any that has those little plastic caps on top), your console controller, and some blu, or white tack – white is the choice of Pro’s.
First, take the clear plastic sealer cap from the top of the bottle. Place it to one side and then drink the contents of the bottle – glug, glug, glug. You can use the bottle for other projects as “Hydrogen Fuel Cells for Beginners” or “Fun With Hydro Rockets”, otherwise recycle it.
Now get your blu-tac, or Pro white-tac and roll out a small sticky sausage to fit the circumference of your analogue stick. If you want to be super precise you can use the following formula to work out how long that is: 2 π r
Once you have your sticky sausage, place it toward the outer edge of the analogue stick. You can now get the plactic cap and place it on top. You may need to adjust the placement, but the good thing about this is that you can place the cap to whatever is comfortable for you. And it will look something like this:
Ugly is not the same as useless. As long as something does what I want it to I’m not particularly bothered what it looks like. So does it work?
That really is the big question…..
Well here’s my experience. It didn’t help my k/d. In fact, it was worse during my testing phase of three games. So obviously that makes it useless right? Wrong! My k/d is bad because I’m a bad player, my k/d was worse because I was looking for engagements. To explain a bit more, here’s my conclusion:
The Cheap Freaks FPS does what it says on the tin in my experience. And if my crappy no-monies version works then the proper KontrolFreeks FPS must also work (but look better). I normally play on a Sensitivity setting of 2 or 3 when playing Call of Duty 6 – Modern Warfare 2. With my Cheap Freak attached I was playing on 7 (I incremented up to that). I could probably have gone higher, but didn’t feel the need as the concept had been proven to me.
They don’t make your game better though. No add-on will ever make you a better player – that is completely down to the individual. What it does is give you more control – especially fine control for tricky aiming. Having come from PC gaming this level of control is something that I have sorely missed. If you’re fine with your controller as it is, then these products will not be of benefit but if, like me, you find your aim is erratic then give it a go – either the Cheap Freaks if you don’t mind looking like a street crazy, or the KontrolFreeks if you like to video yourself playing.
Would I buy the proper version? For $10 yes I probably would because I noticed a significant difference when using my Blue Peter version. But since I live in the UK I’m not likely to buy them as I abhor postage charges, nor the $ to £ conversion that suppliers use (“$10….well, we’ll sell it for £10. No one will ever know…..”)
Hey! What about the Science bit?
M = Fd
Okay. How they work…..it’s all about leverage. The nubbins on the controllers are quite small so the shaft (lever) is short. This means that small movements of the nubbin/lever translate into large inputs. So when you extend the length of the lever the fulcrum/pivot relationship is altered in such a way that you have to move the nubbin more to gain the same amount of relative movement as before.
So when you run around the corner and get surprised, instead of wildly flailing and firing at the sky, your knee jerk reaction becomes a smooth arcing headshot. BOOYAAAH! as JunkYard would say.
Found this helpful? Good. Found it really rubbish? Well, you read this far so it can’t be that bad ;-p
After playing last night (Friday 5th March 2010) for over an hour the Cheap Freak went out of position due to the white-tac getting warm and through the pressure of use. White-tac or blu-tac is not designed for this purpose so the flaw is not in the material, but in my choice of material. The issue was a lateral shift which hindered my movement control. So I’ve removed the Cheap Freak and reverted to my old sensitivity setting of 3. In this test, for me, the concept of the KontrolFreek FPS has been proven and if I come across some of these for the equivalent of $10 then I’ll be investing in them.
“Put Your WING tags on” is actually a quote from Wings of Redemption. I had noticed that there were more positive comments regarding WoR on YouTube, mainly how his new videos seem more upbeat and “happier”. He even asks SeaNanners to unblock him and Junkyard129 to add him as a friend….don’t know if he was being ironic there, but it did seem that a new, positive and friendlier WoR had appeared. Until his sign off at the end of this video:
From my Wings of Redemption vs Ken Burton spoof video I have had numerous questions about what was said, well I didn’t see the original “I suck at sniping on xbox” vid but this seems pretty conclusive. I don’t know if it’s tongue in cheek or not. But there we have it.
Wings is a very good player, and despite being called a camper and getting some really uncalled for abuse because he doesn’t run around like he’s forgotten his Ritalin, you can’t take that away from him……Bah! I’m not even going to get into the camping thing. In fact, when I finally magic up the ability to make a decent gameplay recording I’ll make a video showing the real difference between camping and defensive play. Ying and Yang, people.
Okay, here are some new additions to my Modern Warfare 2 YouTube commentator list. The people listed are commentating MW2 gameplay in an interesting or amusing way and hopefully giving an insight in to better gameplay. So if you want to improve at MW2 why not check out some of these guys – and don’t forget to rate and/or subscribe to them!
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