Light-fire.net (Lightfire)
Portfolio on Light-fire.netArt on deviantART --->



Welcome to Light-fire.net!

This website is focused on comics, science fiction, and video games. There are blog-like news posts further down this page, and several separate sections to this site, including my portfolio and gameblog.

You can use the links near the header to explore the rest of my main site. Just click around and see what you find.



Random Thoughts

Space itself isn't very interesting, being vastly filled with "nothing". Instead, it's what could be within the confines of what we call "space", that makes it so exciting.

Ancient unexplored planets, fantastic displays of particles dancing, the birth and death of entire worlds, and other things we can only imagine. All waiting to be explored.




News:

04/05/14 - Saturday: "Space Engineers - 33% Off"

Space Engineers is on sale today on Steam as an Early Access game. Currently it is on sale for a limited time discount of 33% off. I recommend it to anybody who likes sci-fi and building things. This is the coolest game I've played that is remotely like "Legos in space" or "Minecraft in space". I guess you could also compare it to Spore's space stage.

You can build ships and then fly them, you can build space stations, you can add weapons, crash ships and watch them explode into tons of pieces and see the metal blocks bend, warp, etc. You can build ships and tow them, mine and refine resources from asteroids, dock with other ships, salvage materials, and more. Multiplayer has some bad bugs at the moment, but if you are worried about that, you could buy it now and play later (buy while on sale, then play once the bugs get fixed).

Keen Software House has been doing fairly regular updates to the game, which is much better than most other Early Access games in the Steam store. (If I understand correctly, they are doing weekly updates on Thursdays. This is in contrast to sporadic updates that are months apart, which some developers have been doing.)

Despite some bugs and the fact that some of the players aren't very considerate (e.g. crashing into your ship in a multiplayer game), the game is in a playable state and fun to play. It is also worth noting that it is a bit light on the sci-fi, apparently the goal for the game setting is realism based on technologies that we may have in the relatively near future, so implementation of FTL travel and laser guns are unlikely, but at least you can use missile launchers and gatling guns on your fighters.

>>> Read More / Comment

 

 

01/14/14 - Tuesday: "Legend of Kindara: RPG Maker Game on Kickstarter"

Legend of Kindara

Today marks two "firsts" for me. One is publicly announcing development on my first "real" video game, Legend of Kindara, and the second is my first Kickstarter campaign! Since I'm still a big newbie to actual game development (despite the programming and design classes), I'm starting simple and making the game with RPG Maker.

I know there are more worthy projects on Kickstarter that haven't received funding, but I also know there are projects that seem insufficient for the amount of funding and attention they recieve. So I thought if those projects could succeed, then there's no good reason that if I take my project seriously I shouldn't be able to. After all, my game will be much better than many of those other projects that somehow still meet their fundraising goals.

I've read posts by people complaining that most (if not all) RPG Maker games don't deserve any funding, but they never said anything about attempting a Kickstarter project themselves. All I can say is that if this is successful, then I'll be happily plugging away at a great game idea I had while they are off to whine some more on internet forums. And if my fundraising campaign fails, it won't be much of a surprise, and I'm sure I'll learn some valuable lessons.

If you are interested in helping me pursue this project, visit my Kickstarter project page. The minimum pledge is $2, which gives you a digital copy of the game when it's released. As per Kickstarter's terms, any pledges received will only be used if I reach my $12k USD project goal. Of course if I don't meet my fundraising goals, I won't be making the game.

>>> Read More / Comment

 

 

05/18/13 - Saturday: "How to fix PlanetSide 2 Windowed Mode"

How to make PlanetSide 2 work properly in fullscreen borderless mode:

PlanetSide 2 is notorious for hijacking the main monitor when in fullscreen borderless windowed mode, preventing you from "Alt-tabbing" to other programs on your main monitor. (Instead of acting like a normal borderless window.) Using another program, I managed to circumvent this, and would like to share my solution.

It's fairly straight-forward. First of all, the software I used for this is called "WindowedBorderlessGaming" by Hellstrong/GameplayCrush. This program allows you to make windows borderless for programs that often don't support it, and to make custom window sizes and what-such. It doesn't support every game, but it does work with a lot of them, including PlanetSide 2.

After installing and running this program, you'll want to load PlanetSide 2, right-click the icon (in the notification area) for WindowedBorderlessGaming, and click "Add Window". Then click back on PlanetSide 2 and press F3 (default hotkey). This will set a configuration for PlanetSide 2 which you can edit in WindowedBorderlessGaming (by clicking "Open game settings").

Next, open up settings in PlanetSide 2, and set the window mode to just plain Windowed Mode (not borderless). Set the resolution to the desired resolution. (e.g. If you have a 1080p monitor at 1920x1080, set it to 1920x1080.) Make sure the resolution is set properly in WBG, click Apply, then click Save. If it doesn't work right away, you can edit Game Settings in WBG, and of course try restarting the PlanetSide 2 client. Once it's set up properly, it should give you PS2 in a borderless window the way it was should have worked all along, allowing you to multi-task better.

(NOTE: You may need to recapture the window with F3 and reassign the resolution after each game update / patch.)

>>> Read More / Comment

 

 

07/29/12 - Sunday: "DayZ - Zombie Simulator Walking Game Thing"

DayZ is a sandbox zombie survival simulator. I mean game. I mean, it's been called an "anti-game". What does that even mean? In any case, it's a mod currently in alpha for the game ARMA 2, which is a somewhat realistic military simulator. You're not alone if you haven't heard of ARMA II before, it was released in 2009 with little fanfare. I say this mainly because I tend to keep up with video game news and didn't hear anything about it until DayZ rose in popularity, amazingly bringing ARMA 2 to the forefront of the Steam store in 2012.

In DayZ you play as a survivor in the zombie apocalypse that is taking place in Chernarus, a fictional landscape resembling a real landscape in eastern Europe, the Czech Republic, or some other place like Russia. Who cares. The point is, you are a survivor who starts out with only very minimal gear and you have to scavenge for items like food, drinks, medical supplies, and even guns, if you want to survive - that being the only real "goal" that is assumed for the game. Of course, the abundance of zombies and bloodthirsty or paranoid players mean this isn't particularly easy.

When your character (or "avatar") dies in this game, your character loses all their items and gear and starts all over back on the beach - the place where all new player characters start. Because your gear (and sometimes location) are about all that define your character, this is sometimes called "permadeath" of the character. Having such harsh consequences for your character's death has also been described as "hardcore" gameplay or "hardcore" mode.

The game is still in alpha, and has it's share of bugs, including slow loading times, glitching through walls, the occasional warp from server lag, ladder glitches that send you falling to your demise, doors that smash you to death, zombies that rubberband around to the point you can barely aim to shoot them, and even has some problems with hackers. But it still somehow manages to be fun a good part of the time. That is, the part of the time where you are actually doing something in the game other than walking, which currently makes up a substantial part of the game, since apparently most vehicles either wore out, were severely damaged, or were destroyed when the zombies took over, and the map is quite large and good loot spawns aren't common.

What makes DayZ tick is a central DayZ server that handles changes across all the community servers that have been authorized to run DayZ by the mod's creator. This allows your character to "persist" across servers they join, keeping all the same items and in most cases the same location on the game map, which makes it work very similarly to an MMORPG with multiple servers.

I found some YouTube videos that you may be interested in checking out if this game sounds like your cup of tea:

YouTube: Days After Infection - Day 1 - The Introduction (DayZ gameplay) - Part of a series of videos. (Day 1, 2, 3, etc.)

YouTube: ArmA 2 Dayz- Scariest Moment - I recommend start watching this one at 4 minutes and 10 seconds for best effect.

YouTube: DayZ Beginners guide - Learning the basics - Orientation video for beginners.

>>> Read More / Comment

 

 

11/24/11 - Thursday: "Best Thanksgiving Day Video Game Deals for 2011"

Some of the best game sales today are:

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion GOTY Edition (Steam) - $9.99 (Metacritic 94)
Mass Effect 2 (Steam) - $4.99 (Metacritic 94)
Fallout 3 GOTY Edition (Steam) - $14.99 (Metacritic 91)
Civilization V (Impulse) - $7.49 (Metacritic 90)
Fallout New Vegas (Steam) - $9.99 (Metacritic 84)
Sim City 4 Deluxe Edition (EA Origin) - $9.99 (Metacritic 84)
Brink (Steam) - $9.99 (Metacritic 72)
Nuclear Dawn (Steam) - $12.49 (Metacritic 71)
Duke Nukem Forever (Steam) - $6.79 (Metacritic 54) [should I even list a game with this low of a rating?]

Listed in this order: "Game title/abbreviation, Digital Download Store, Price, Metacritic Rating" starting with best rating.

>>> Read More / Comment

 

 

11/24/11 - Thursday: "10 Old PC games that desperately need a sequel"

Every once in a while there's a really great PC game, the kind that is unique and makes you want more. And yet for many of these games there's still no good remake after many years. Then there's the not-so-good games that had a great concept, but could have been so much more. Here's ten great ideas for follow-ups that would probably make good sales, at least if they're done properly...

  1. Freelancer (With: Freelancer 2, or Freelancer Online)

  2. Escape Velocity Nova [EV Nova] (With: EV Nova Online)

  3. Command & Conquer: Renegade (With: Command & Conquer: Warzone)

  4. Star Control II (With: Star Control "X", or Star Control Online)

  5. Star Trek: Klingon Academy (With: Star Trek: "X")

  6. Freespace 2 (With: Freespace 3)

  7. Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri. (With: Alpha Centauri 2)

  8. Anarchy Online (With: Anarchy Online 2)

  9. Baldur's Gate 1 & 2 (With: Baldur's Gate 3)

  10. Descent 3 (With: Descent 4)

It doesn't end here! For more great ideas on improving these games for said remakes, click on:

>>> Read More / Comment

 

 

11/24/11 - Thursday: "Vocals in Trance & Electronica"

It seems that the vast majority of vocals in trance and electronica make the music sound roughly 10x worse. I mean you have an amazing mix and suddenly a random voice comes in talking about something totally unrelated, it doesn't help the music in any way. They usually have such contrast to the actual music so as to nearly inspire a seizure.

I know there are plenty of exceptions and some of my favorite tracks have vocals, but again I'm saying the *majority* of voices that show up in electronica only bring the music down.

On a side note, a lot of the sessions I've heard on Digitally Imported tend to shift from epic-sounding music to completely awful all within the same session (and all-too-often, even within the same track/mix). You'd think there would be at least a little more consistency.

>>> Read More / Comment

 

 

8/13/11 - Saturday: "Video Games: More on Sale"

Digital download game stores continue sales with a few more popular titles for reasonable prices.

Some games currently on sale (as of this post) are...

From Impulse:

Section 8 Prejudice $7.49
Baldur's Gate Complete $4.99

From Direct2Drive:

Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood $15.95
Dead Space 2 $11.95
Need for Speed SHIFT 2 $14.95

Origin has also updated prices since their last sale, with many games from $9.99 to $19.99 (after being on sale for $4.99 last week).

>>> Read More / Comment

 

 

8/06/11 - Saturday: "Game Specials + Brink F2P Weekend"

A number of digital download game stores are having sales this weekend, including Origin, Steam, Impulse, and Direct2Drive. Electronic Arts' Origin website is selling a good number of titles for $4.99 for "this weekend only". Valve's Steam website advertises they are having a free-to-play weekend for Brink "now through Sunday at 1pm Pacific time". Steam also currently has some games on sale. Impulse, now run by GameStop (formerly Stardock), is having a THQ special with "new deals announced every day", as well as their other specials. And Direct2Drive, now run by Gamefly (formerly IGN), has some games on sale as well (see weekly sales here and value sales here).

Some of the games currently available (as of this post) include...

From Steam:

Fallout 3: Game of the Year Edition $22.49
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion® Game of the Year Edition Deluxe $12.49
Fallout: New Vegas
$14.99
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind® Game of the Year Edition $9.99

From Origin:

Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars™ $4.99
SPORE™ $4.99
Mirror’s Edge™ $4.99
Command & Conquer™ Red Alert™ 3 $4.99
SimCity™ 4 Deluxe Edition $4.99
Need for Speed™ Undercover $4.99
Battlefield: Bad Company™ 2 $4.99
Battlefield 2142™ Deluxe Edition $4.99

From Impulse:

Metro 2033 $9.99
THQ Ultimate Bundle $99.99
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II Retribution (stand-alone expansion) $14.99

From Direct2Drive:

PlanetSide®: Aftershock $9.95
Section 8: Prejudice
$5.95
Supreme Commander Gold $6.79
Borderlands Game of the Year Edition $11.95
SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition $6.78 (although this is currently cheaper on Origin)

I found an odd thing about a number of Impulse games. Some of their system requirements state "Requires Steam to Install & Play". I haven't tried Impulse since they switched from Stardock to GameStop, so has anyone tried a game like this? Is it a hassle?

>>> Read More / Comment

 

 

8/02/11 - Tuesday: "I Got a Prize!"

About a month ago I was surprised to find that I got a Hotwheels car in my cereal. (I usually avoid reading the marketing materials on the box.) It was fun to put the stickers on, but... that was just a normal prize. A lot of people expect something like that.

Well, I didn't know that they put prizes in spaghetti boxes, but I got one about a week ago when I was about to make some pasta for dinner. It was a live beetle. Needless to say, I don't think I want another surprise in my food. For those interested, I did check the box, and it has no advertisements about bugs in my s'ghetti.

I think I'll be buying the slightly more expensive brands of pasta from now on... and hope for less surprises.

>>> Read More / Comment

 

 

8/24/10 - Tuesday: "This is Not Fan-Art"

Lightfire Requested OC Art (By jadona, iScribble.net user)I found a website called iScribble.net a couple days ago while searching for a multi-user drawing program. The site is a flash-based art tool and chat tool in one. After checking it out as a guest, I promptly signed up. There's just too many cool things about this site.

Featured in this post is a picture by the user jadona (from iScribble.net), who was kind enough to sketch my original character Lightfire for me. Apparently this is a fairly regular event, where users gather together to share their characters and draw each others' characters.

It's not a place to get free art, though, it's about the community and the fun. Keep in mind you must always ask an artist if you can use their image(s) for whatever purposes you have. The artist gave me permission to feature this image on my site. Thanks again, jadona.

>>> Read More / Comment

 

 

 

 

12/22/09 - Tuesday: "Space Wallpaper"

Mysterious Space WallpaperFree wallpaper "Mysterious Space" is now available on the downloads page. You can also find it in my deviantART gallery. Multiple resolutions available.

>>> Read More / Comment

 

 

 

 

10/08/09 - Thursday: "Why I Didn't Comment"

I realize that some websites require users to register/login because they actally need more information to process orders, to protect themselves legally against damages, or simply to weed out spammers and other undesireables. But your blog is probably not one of those websites. (You know who you are.)

Right about now, you are wishing I left a comment on your blog. But I didn't. Do you know why? Because I'd have to register... to another... website... again... just to leave... my comment.

Oh great, now I can't even remember what I was going to comment about in the first place. I assure you, however, it was going to be awesome. Read More / Comment

 

 

10/07/09 - Wednesday: "Nutrition: Let's Be Reasonable"

While surfing the web, I came across this article that claims "billions of people (are) expected to die" because of something called "Codex Alimentarius", which coincidentally seemed to have the ring of a name of a cult of the damned. But upon further reading it was clearly just an inflated article about what seems to be a very minor problem, if a problem at all.

I know that health supplements (AKA vitamin pills) might be really valuable to some people, but I hardly believe that the inability to purchase a few excessive pills would just happen to result in the loss of billions of lives. Even if food standards became insanely strict due to something like this, it isn't like they can keep you from growing your own food, which provides what you need, and has done so since the dawn of civilization.

I honestly don't see how someone could actually be convinced that supplements are necessary for life, when they weren't even around for our ancestors... Read More / Comment

 

 

10/05/09 - Monday: "Dear Aion"

Do something about the Kinah spammers.

Aion Spam

Aion Spam

Okay, at least Aion is fun. I mean, you can *FLY*. You have wings... or do you?

Aion Flight

You can in fact "fly" in some parts of the game world... Read More / Comment

 

 

7/22/09 - Wednesday: "Ninja Wallpaper"

NinjaBladez WallpaperNew wallpaper available on the downloads page. It's called "NinjaBladez" and he does, in fact, have two "bladez". It's also up on my deviantART gallery. Sorry, only one size available (1280x1024).

>>> Read More / Comment

 

 

 

 

6/15/09 - Monday: "And something else"

I've added some of my portfolio work to my deviantArt page, as well as some exclusive artwork. There may be more coming there, too, as time goes on and I continue my attempts to draw something that looks like something. I've also got some more stable internet for the time being.

And as the title suggested, there is something else I've got to share... Read More / Comment

 

 

5/14/09 - Thursday: "Yeah... That... Stuff"

Once again my internet connection is barely working. I had to try for about half an hour to upload a single page. Wait, it's working better now. Oh nope, it was just playing a sick joke on me. Now it's back again. No wait, nevermind. Hey! I think it might work...

In other news, I'm considering making a new template for my website... Read More / Comment

 

 


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