Saturday, January 31, 2015

Left for Dead - A New Stage for Our Family

I checked this blog, and back in 2011, my kids used to watch my husband play Left for Dead. Fast forward to now, 2015. The kids are now 15 and 12 and as a belated Christmas present, my husband bought all of us Left for Dead for our various computers and laptops so we could play together. This has been quite the experience. Here are a few observations of mine.

1) I stink at this!

On our four-person team, I am definitely the weakest chain in the link. The actual photo of the screen below is proof. I think my problem is that I have visual-spatial issues. I hate climbing ladders or maneuvering through doors. I'm always walking into things or getting stuck. Despite my poor performance, my family still likes playing with me.

Mrs Peeps died thrice

2) We all have our favourite characters to play.

In Left for Dead, I'm Louis, hubby is Bill, daughter is Zoey and son is Francis. In Left for Dead 2, I'm Ellis, hubby is Coach, daughter is Rochelle and son is Nick. Why do we always pick the same ones? My girl says she likes to use the female characters. My husband likes the dialogue from his characters - when he used to play with his friends, he'd use Nick. I tend to take whoever is left but I'm used to seeing and following the others, so it's become habit.

I'm dead and watching son & daughter play

Me, still dead. Father and son planning their attack.

3) We work well as a team - sometimes.

We talk to each other while in-game using our headphones. Hubby tends to be our de facto leader, since he's played the game before. We've gotten a lot better at not hurting each other. (The only stat that I can regularly claim to have the best results is "least amount of friendly fire attacks".) However, there are times where hubby gets really frustrated with us. The worst scenarios are the ones where we have to collect items, like filling a vehicle with a certain amount of cans of fuel before we can escape. We won that one just once, by the skin of our teeth, after three attempts. Other scenarios have ended with "let's just not do this one, otherwise we are all going to be very grumpy".

We learned to use melee weapons around things that explode.

4) We feel successful, even when not all of us survive until the end.

Most of the times I play, I do not live to see the end. However, there's a real sense of accomplishment when we finish the adventure and at least one of us makes it out alive. Here's a photo example below where only hubby survived, but we still ended with smiles on our faces.

How can one survivor be considered good? When it's L4D
The nicest thing happened last night, when it was just the three of them playing. (I had too much school work to do.) It turns out that they were supposed to get on a helicopter at the end of the adventure to escape and my son actually sacrificed himself and jumped out of the safety of the helicopter to be with his sister, even though it meant his character didn't live at the end. That level of empathy and compassion makes my mommy heart swell with pride and happiness.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Gaming Projects - RPG Covers 8-10

This is an Edited Cross-Post from Monday Molly Musings (January 5, 2015) about Christmas Vacation Projects

Project #3 = Daughter's Superhero RPG Covers

About once a month or so, we play a role-playing game with the Peer family at their house. I've written about it a lot more on my Family Gaming blog. Because it's a super-hero game, my artistic daughter had the brilliant idea to immortalize each of the RPG adventures in a pretend comic book cover recap. She pencils and I ink and then colour a scanned reproduction. I have to say that it's very relaxing to trace lines and colour pictures. These three covers took about two evenings to complete. You can see the other seven "issues" here and here.

Project #4 = Son's Minecraft Book Trailer

My children received some nice presents for Christmas, including some Minecraft mini-figures as well as the novel Descent into Overworld  by Liam O'Donnell. This book is special to us because we had a chance to be "beta-readers" before it was published. My son and I decided to make a mini-video promoting the book using our iPad's StoMo software. It took a bit longer than usual because we accidentally filmed upside down and used Windows Movie Maker instead of iMovie to assemble the final product. It took a half-day to finish.

(The embedded video was in the last post from January 2, 2015)

Friday, January 2, 2015

Our Holiday Game Project

Thank you Liam O'Donnell for giving us this awesome book for Christmas. This tiny promotional video is our way of showing our appreciation (and gives us a chance to play with the Minecraft mini-figures some of us got as presents)!