All posts by Yogizilla

The Geeky Antics network is all about giving geeks of all backgrounds a chance to LEVEL UP. We strive to be a collaborative platform for free expression, fun, and growth: http://geekyantics.net http://facebook.com/geekyantics I am a gamer, game designer, entrepreneur, a "free thinker", marketing consultant, and freelance writer. Rather than doing the obligatory sharing of credentials and trying to impress you with my "mad skills", let's just start a conversation. If there is anything else you want to know, ask away! 8) Don't forget to check out my web sites at: * http://yomar.me * http://twtich.tv/yogizilla * http://youtube.com/yogizilla DISCLAIMER: My opinions and off-color remarks do not necessarily represent those of my employers, clients, and/or partners.. Though they may secretly agree. *grin*

GeekyAntics Extra Life 2016: Raising Money For Children With Medical Needs!

We’re doing Extra Life in a BIG WAY this year: as a TEAM!

Our goal is to surpass 20K in dollars raised to help children with medical needs.  The only way we can make that happen is if we have more people join our fundraising team, donating *TODAY*, or at least sharing our banners and link.  We have groovy promos like the one below on the official Geeky Antics Network Global fan pagePlease share these neat images and tag some friends?

promo-ash-vs-evil-dead-extra-life-geekyantics-900x600

This is for a great cause, folks, and all it takes are a few little steps to make BIG things happen.  Full details can be found on the link below.

If you’re ready to go now, make a donation through Yomar Lopez a.k.a. Yogizilla or any of our GeekyAntics team members.

The benefits of supporting Extra Life through GeekyAntics incude:

  • For the cost of a few cups of coffee you can make a BIG difference
  • We can play games, chat, and have fun for a great cause
  • It’ll be a huge boost to our team’s morale
  • It’ll make you feel better about yourself
  • You’ll be a big hit at parties
  • Seriously, it’s great for PR and brand exposure
  • All donations to Extra Life / Children’s Miracle Network are tax-deductible
  • Supporting the little people: small businesses, solopreneurs, and the kids
  • Donations will go to real kids with real medical needs
  • You will be a hero!

Will you be our next hero? (Click 4 Details)

EXTRA-LIFE-heroes-of-all-shapes-and-sizes-video-games.png

 

Visit Us At GeekyAntics.net

#TheGANG is in another castle.

We have a self-hosted site for well over a year now.  This is not our new site.  Why keep this up at all?  Well, call me a sentimental fool but I just can’t shut down this site completely… Anywho, we have the new GeekyAntics Network site over at GeekyAntics.net and, if you want your comments and posts replied to, that’s the place to be.  We’ll keep this one up as our “legacy site” but join our community on the new site!

You’ll definitely want to get over there as we’re doing our own Video Game Awards and we’re giving out free stuff like video games and hair brushes..  If you don’t have hair, which is the case with many of us, we have some silly hats left but you have to hurry over #RightMeow!

Any inquiries or requests?

Facebook Us:  http://facebook.com/GeekyAntics

E-Mail Us:  mail@geekyantics.net

Text/Call Us:  (646) 801-2149

Dear Friends, We Have Moved To GeekyAntics.com & GeekyAntics.net – Come On Over!

Hey GANG!

If you’ve missed our announcements on recent shows/podcasts, we are moving to a new site.  This site will remain, probably forever and ever (call me a sentimentalist) but we’ll be officially over at…

http://GeekyAntics.net

The beta site can be viewed now at http://GeekyAntics.com so come on over and take a tour.  I’m still tweaking some things with the help of Spathizilla but I think we may just YOLO-SWAG things and switch over to the new site soon.

UPDATE 6/21/2014:  The .net and .com domains now point to the same place..  So no more confusion for everyone (Obi)!

For our close to 200 site subscribers, THANK YOU!

I can’t believe that, with such minimal effort, we had word spread so fast.  This has been a test run and soft launch but now we’re ready to ramp things up.  Please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Twitch, and all that good stuff.  The new site makes it easier to connect and interact with us so we are SUPER excited to launch this beaut and share it with the entire geek community.

NOTE:  Some of the stuff on here may be incorrect or inaccurate.  Please disregard.  The official web site will be at both the .NET and .COM addresses, as linked above  We’ll keep the WordPress.com for legacy purposes.

We’re hoping to have the transition complete for Thursday’s shows, The Gaming Death Podcast and HorsePLAY! LIVE, on June 19th 2014.  Expect official announcements then.

We love you all!

Cake Is Still Better!

P.S. Flan is cake. Flan is the best. Cake wins.

Meet The GANG: Gaming Death Podcast & EP 100 Party On June 12th 2014! #E32014

We’d like to officially welcome the Gaming Death Podcast crew to the GANG, right here on GeekyAntics.net!  If you’ve been following HorsePLAY! LIVE, you know we plug them often.  We love what GDP is doing that we have cut back on the amount of news and releases we cover on HorsePLAY.  If you want unapologetic gaming talk that runs the full gamut of content, GDP is for you!

Chris Gannon, the GDP ringleader, shares this welcome:

Come join us on this magic carpet ride of rambunctiousness, liberation, and the occasional bag of dicks.

In case you missed it, we did a little HorsePLAY-GDP crossover episode to welcome them properly.  It was fun.  Obi joins in towards the end, too.  Crazy things happen when we join like Voltron, y0!

As you can see in the featured image, Transistor is kind of a big deal.
The GDP crew was amongst the first to cover the game before and after it’s release.  I highly recommend reading the Transistor review on GamingDeath.com – Chris Gannon, the GDP ringleader, did a fantastic job of capturing the essence.  Rapture?  Yes, please!

We’re honored to have such great content under the Geeky Antics brand.  If you haven’t caught GDP yet, here are some of the crew’s favorite episodes.  This is also a sort of GDP timeline, too!

Before I get lost in all my zeal, don’t forget to check out the coming Episode 99.5, which will air LIVE Tuesday, June 10th 2014 at 9pm (tentatively) EDT over at the GamingDeath and GeekyAntics Twitch channels.  This one is going to cover E3 Day 0 and 1, plus the obligatory predictions, I’m sure!

Don’t forget to join us June 10th 2014 for late-breaking E3 coverage and obligatory analysis – SEE ABOVE!

We’ve shared some of the episodes and articles you should check out.  I know you’ll enjoy them as much as I have.  Now, let’s look at the people that make GDP so special…

Continue reading Meet The GANG: Gaming Death Podcast & EP 100 Party On June 12th 2014! #E32014

E3 2014 Predictions And Why It Doesn’t Really Matter #E3Live #E32014

UPDATE:  Watching the Twitch E3 preview with @DJwheat and gang.  In just a few minutes, Microsoft is doing their Day 0 press conference.  There’s a lot of wishing and hoping for Fallout 4 (and a new Gears Of War).  That sounds AWESOME to me but I won’t hold my breath, simply because Bethesda has already shot down that notion and they’ll want to let Elder Scrolls Online marinate a while first.  The next Fallout won’t be for at least another year or two.  What do you guys, think?

In the past week, everyone has been asking me if I am excited about E3.  I don’t know how to answer without sounding like a bitter old man or being a wet towel..  Truth is: I’ve barely given E3 much thought.  Everything I want from gaming is here and now so it was not a big deal to me..  Then, during HorsePLAY! LIVE EP25, TCollins89 asked why E3 is on weekdays. It got me thinking:

E3 is not for the everyday or common gamer.  So what is it really about and does it really matter?

DISCLAIMER:  What you are about to read is an editorial.  This, like anything else on Geeky Antics, is the opinion of me, the author.  I may ruffle some feathers but I am being honest and open here.  Keep an open mind.  I am not trying to belittle anyone.  We can disagree peacefully!

As far as I’m concerned, E3 is a glorified trade show meant to hype up gamers who, somehow, can’t get enough content or want more fuel for the console wars. It is geared towards marketers, suits, developers, and journalists.  Think about this:

How many of the presenters actually PLAY games?  Are they gamers first or marketing/business people first?  I reckon the latter is often the case.

For most, E3 is just an excuse for a change of scenery or time off from work. I would venture to say the only way you are looking forward to E3 is if you want the social experience or are super hardcore about gaming (i.e. you have to play every single major game that is released).  This is wishful thinking but I think I’d care more about console gaming again if the entry points were more appealing, at least for the software itself.

That may sound harsh but I think I have finally converted back to PC for good. There are countless reasons but, for me, it’s simply because all my friends are sharded amongst different games and the PC offers too much bang for your buck to even consider dedicated console gaming. I can’t justify the cost or budget the time for a console right now.  As a family man, it does not help that my kids are growing up and playing games with daddy is no longer cool.  Without the bonding experience, console gaming is ho-hum.  I just don’t have the time or interest to do single-player games.

I love my XBox 360 but, for the first time in around ten years, I have let my XBox LIVE subscription lapse for more than two months. My video game wall of shame beckons yet I do not feel compelled to fire her up. I am satisfied by my options on the PC and I don’t have to worry about the hidden costs or suddenly finding that online support has been shut down.

Granted, I have been mostly playing Hearthstone, League of Legends, and SolForge lately but I have a library of games on the PC that excites me every time I look at it. With my consoles, I have mostly felt depression and regret for the past generation or so. I will eventually get an XBox One to play with friends but I do not feel left out of the water cooler conversations.

Now, I can already hear people saying that E3 is about electronic entertainment (hence the name E3 – Electronic Entertainment Expo) as a whole. That is true but it can’t be denied that the expo focuses on the gaming consoles more than anything. With that in mind, consider this fact:

During the transitionary period between console generations, we can’t expect fresh, innovative games. The developers will stick to the console with the greater install base until they figure out how to take advantage of the new framework.

I have nothing against Watch Dogs or Titanfall. I just don’t think they are system sellers for me.  They are the games that are good now because there is nothing else.  Besides, after how Microsoft botched up the original XBox to 360 transition, I think they will play it smart and keep the 360 going for another two to three years.

Glorious PC Master Race - Dirty Console Peasants
[ source: comicvine.com ]
I am no elitist but the future of gaming has been on mobile devices and the PC.. For a while now. $300-500 gets you solid upgrades for your PC and you’re good for a while. With consoles, you have the hidden costs of accessories, DLCs, micro transactions, macro transactions, forced annual releases, preferred server access, season passes, etc. Yeah, I am a smidge jaded and cynical..   But I am also hopeful, especially with so many brilliant small studios and indie developers paving the way (THANK YOU)!

Continue reading E3 2014 Predictions And Why It Doesn’t Really Matter #E3Live #E32014

The HONEST Way To Succeed In Twitch.. And Social Media

This is our legacy (read “old”) site.  Comments have been closed here.  Please leave comments on the new site and get to know #TheGANG, our awesome community of gamers, streamers, podcasters, creatives, and geeks! 

Http://geekyantics.net/blog

ATTN: If you’re applying to join our team, please read this first (DMs are fine BUT we are getting tons of them so be prepared for a wait):

http://geekyantics.net/forums/topic/attn-stream-team-apps-affiliatesponsor-opportunities-other-solicitation/

The #1 article on Google SERPs for “succeeding on Twitch” can now be found at http://geekyantics.net/get-more-viewers-and-followers-on-twitch – thank you all for your wonderful support and encouragement!  We’re glad we can help non-partnered streamers level the playing field and find advice that isn’t your typical canned messaging and tech talk.  There’s far more to streaming on Twitch than overlays, technology, and your games of choice, friends – we’ll continue this series over at GeekyAntics.net, too!

If you love what we have to say, please support our Twitch channels and other projects:

  • GeekyAntics – One of the FIRST channels to establish a podcasting stream team and do gaming talk shows. #TheGANG
  • TheWorstRadioShow – Literally THE worst radio show out there..  And we love them for it! #TheGANG
  • GamingDeath – One of the oldest REAL podcasts on Twitch.  Be sure to check them out as they are well-connected in the gaming industry and a hoot to listen to! #TheGANG
  • Yogizilla – People say I’m like Man Vs. Game but more engaging and better at the newb/scrub plays.  I’ve also been told I am one of the friendliest, most authentic streamers around..  That means A LOT to me! #TheGANG
  • Geeky Antics Stream Team – Support these folks because they are awesome, friendly, and engaging.. Yes, even that salty dog ObioneX2 is loveable and fun to hang out with, once you get to know him.

SHOUT-OUTS to some of my favorite streamers out there.  The people that care about other people and do things the right way.  Mnalicious, Maquannas, Poopybuttz, Obezianka, ShannaNina, and everyone else I can’t fit in one blog post (for the sake of brevity).  Keep on keeping on – you guys ROCK!  Tons of love for the collaborative souls out there!

With the impending doom that’s sure to come with the inevitable Google acquisition of Twitch, a lot of us in the Geeky Antics and AllGames communities are looking to step up our game on Twitch.  After all, if we can cement ourselves as Twitch partners and featured channels, why NOT do it on the “ground level”?  Twich streamers, like many social media enthusiasts, are looking for the magic bullet.

The magic bullet does not exist.

DISCLAIMER:  These are my opinions based upon my experience as a NISM-certified social media strategist (I sit on their board of advisors too) and personal observations.  I do not pretend to have all the answers nor is this guide the end-all on your quest for social media success..  but it’s a darn good start!  It’s also worth noting that I am not partnered on Twitch because it has not been the focus on my network BUT having the #1 Twitch marketing/growth article out there should lend some credibility. *smirk*

Sure, there are some shortcuts and tips but it all comes down to the basics.  We’ll get into that but here’s what one streamer recommends after becoming a Twitch partner in about a month’s time (this is very rare, by the way):

This is solid advice.  Obezianka, like many of us in the GANG, really believes in the value of authenticity and engagement.  Sadly, there is more to this puzzle than what is mentioned here because tons of people have high production value and consistency, yet they struggle to break 100 concurrent viewers; heck, some days 10 viewers is a blessing, amirite?

Let’s dig deep here.  We’ll go through the best practices and the tried-and-true strategies we have uncovered from analyzing top streamers and first-hand experiences alike.  Let’s do this!

Continue reading The HONEST Way To Succeed In Twitch.. And Social Media

What Google One-Billion-Dollar Twitch Acquisition Means For Streamers & eSports

Originally, this article was titled Watch Out YouTube – Someone Is Building A Better Twitch!, which is kinda interesting.  It seems fitting that I drafted this weeks ago and now we know that Google is going after Twitch.  There’s still no confirmation on the details of this deal but we know it’s going to happen inevitably.

Google can afford to buy out Twitch but they can’t afford to ignore them much longer.

In around three years, Twitch started as a dream and has become something of a big deal.  Even if you’re not a gamer, here is why you should pay attention to Twitch developments:

  • Twitch already surpasses Facebook and Amazon in peak usage..  In less than half the life span!
  • Success in Twitch is more about the message, personalities, and engagement thereof, whereas YouTube places more of a focus on production value.
  • There are countless niches and opportunities for partnership within Twitch; by design, Twitch allows even smaller brands to be discovered.
  • Gaming is surpassing the movie industry and Twitch is getting ahead of this curve or paradigm shift.

Twitch is a serious business.. and it’s seriously fun.  There are a lot of casual streamers but everyone has a chance to build residual income or even do what they love full time.  The Google acquisition of Twitch threatens this yet it promises the hope of badly-needed, long-awaited  improvements.

But what about eSports and competing technologies?

First of all, what makes Twitch special is the warmth and diversity of the platform.  Gamers with aspirations to be pro players can watch skilled players do their thang and borrow some moves from their playbooks.  Geeks looking to make new friends can find more engaging, authentic individuals to connect with.  There’s something for everyone.

Monkey In Striped SuitAnalysts with no real connection to the gaming industry beyond PR contacts and monetary interest are touting the purchase as a move for Google to break into the multi-billion-dollar eSports market and blah blah blah.  That’s fine and dandy but that’s not the real news here.  The Verge explains:

Twitch is said to believe that Google can help the company become what it wants to be — the definitive platform for watching and streaming live video gaming. The company raised $20 million from investors in 2013 and is likely to turn a profit this year. But capital isn’t enough to allow Twitch to scale its technology and infrastructure to keep pace with its growth. It had plenty of offers from venture capitalists looking to give it more money, said the source, but what it needs is a partner that can help it handle massive amounts of live and user-generated video on a global scale.

From a business perspective and for the benefit of the gamers, Twitch should be left as-is.  The media coverage leads us to believe it will be and Twitch only seeks to keep pace with it’s rapid growth.  That means we can finally get the features that we have long awaited:

  • Tools for smaller streamers and brands.
  • Commenting and native content engagement beyond chat.
  • Complete social media integration on an opt-in basis.
  • Easier video management, filtering, and showcasing.
  • More optimization for mobile and older computers.
  • Export options for audio and video files.
  • More stable servers – less connections dropped!
  • More consistent video stream quality – YAY!

The last one is the most important thing because, as much as YouTube stinks for the little guys, you ultimately keep your content and can take it wherever you want.  On Twitch, it can sometimes feel like your content is being held ransom and whored out (pardon the expression).  They’re getting better about that but you still have to get creative if you want to extend beyond their ecosystem.

Now that we have all that as a backdrop, let’s talk about the competition and what this all means for eSports.  I would say Twitch is in a class of it’s own.  There is a wide breadth of content, tons of third-party support, many helpful contributors, a receptive booming community, and so much more going for it.  In spite of the massive growth and scope, the community still feels very tightly-knit and everyone has a shot to help it grow and have a stake in the growth.  That’s huge.  YouTube can’t offer that right now.

MLG - Major League Gaming Pro Circuit 2010

So then there’s MLG.  I do not see this as a threat or a direct competitor.   There are lots of reasons for this but suffice to say GameBattles and the MLG have had plenty of questionable events (I’ve experienced this first-hand).  YouTube and Twitch should not merge but they should key off each other.   They should not try to be an alternative to MLG because they’re already something bigger.  We could all agree that Google+ should not be shoe-horned in either.  I feel Twitch has been so successful because of the fact that they balance pro and casual content.

The clueless monkeys in suits are saying that the merger of YouTube and Twitch would be a “synergy nuke”.  Stop it.  There can be a lot of great integration but to make Twitch and YouTube one and the same would kill everything that makes Twitch special.  MLG and countless other platforms can provide the pro-only focus but that should not be what Twitch is all about.

Back to business talk, let’s be honest here: a lot of games and tournaments are becoming more self-sufficient so the need for a dedicated broadcasting platform is not really there.  Twitch should continue to support and churn out new personalities that cannot thrive in any other ecosystem.  That is their sweet spot and their unfair advantage.

Rumors or not, this deal is happening.  Google has to make a move now before Twitch’s value sores any further.  It’s quite interesting that suddenly YouTube export is working properly.  There’s no doubt that this acquisition has been long in the making.  That said, at least it’s Google and not Sony, Microsoft, or any other megacorporation that would make Twitch into a self-serving noise machine.

We need to take this conversation over to HorsePLAY! LIVE and our other shows.  Get your thinking caps on,  geeks and gamers.  These questions still remain:

  • When will the deal be finalized?
  • How will it take shape?

What do you guys think about Google’s plans for Twitch and their 30-billion-dollar shopping spree?  Does it excite you or are you worried?  Sound off  on t poll and comments area!

 

HorsePLAY! Marvel Puzzle Quest Strategies With CaptinChaos & Yogizilla

In keeping with the #RetroFriday spirit, EP20 of HorsePLAY! LIVE delved into the simple little games that have us addicted.  Are games like Hearthstone and Marvel Puzzle Quest the real next generation of gaming we’ve been waiting for?  We think so.

Here are some of the highlights of the show before we jump into some Marvel Puzzle Quest strategies.  We did not quite get into Hearthstone as heavily as we wanted in the episode but don’t worry: we’ll be revisiting the game lots..  Yeah, I know: we talk about it lots here at Geeky Antics – we’ll convert you yet!

Obligatory News:

  • ARS Technica Steam game library usage and ownership stats.
  • Microsoft announces XBox Originals Channel.  New video games..  Sure, we’ll have those too..  Eventually.
  • Bungie veteran, Marty O’Donnell fired without cause.
  • Hearthstone Fireside Gatherings a flop so far… or are they?
  • Twitter changes have been rolled out – hello Facebook Junior!

Opinions & Discussions:

  • Dear consoles, please focus on GAMES..  We have enough videos and junk to consume as it is.
  • How Marty discovered Bungie years ago.
  • Remember the precursor to Halo?  Neither do we.
  • Macs have games too!
  • Imagine if Halo was an Apple exclusive..  YUCK.
  • The state of the gaming industry is pretty sad now BUT…
  • Tabletop gaming and indie games are on the rise – YAY!
  • Twitter, if you become craptastic like Facebook, FUCK YOU!

Don’t forget: if you want to join the conversation, perhaps disagree with our points or shed some light on things, leave us voicemail at (206) 415-4987.  Keep it simple and sweet, por favor – we will play them during our shows and discuss!

So, during EP20, we hit upon a lot of key strategies for newbies and players having trouble in Marvel Puzzle Quest: Dark Reign.  The idea is to prevent endless grinding and dropping money, which sucks unless you have tons of money and time to throw away.  Here are some of the things Chip Cella (a.k.a. @CaptinChaos)  of The B-Team Podcast, our resident MPQ ninja, suggested to keep the game fun and help you PWN (without making it into a lifestyle game):

  • Save Hero Coins for roster spots.
  • Focus your ISO on maxing your top characters, rather than leveling them all up evenly.
  • Keep “Fishnet” Black Widow or Amazing Spider-Man in your to keep your teammates healed.
  • During PvP events, farm newbies instead of going for difficult targets – use the skip button to avoid needless knock-outs.
  • If you’re just starting out, grind the campaign and AI battles to get easy ISO and Hero Coins..  Farm newbies too.
  • Do not waste Hero Coins on health packs – they regenerate once you go below a five count.
  • Remember: this is not Candy Crush..  MPQ is the match-three puzzle game for strategy lovers and deep thinkers!

Here are some other tips that I have found useful.  I will preface these tips by saying I avoid any scenario where I am playing for several hours at end.  I love this game and want to avoid burning out on it and making it a grind like I did with my previous mobile game of choice, Rage Of Bahamut (a.k.a. Mobage’s relentless money grab).

Original Black Widow (a.k.a. Fishnet)

Fishnet & The Support Crew

Original Black Widow, affectionately called “Fishnet”, is easily one of the Top 5 characters in Marvel Puzzle Quest.  She compliments any team you add her too, especially against teams that need black, purple, and blue matches to activate abilities.  Her abilities can best be described as follows:

Heals and steals.

Ideally, you want to place her alongside a higher-level, tankier (high life/hit points) character(s) with same-colored abilities.   This will prevent her from taking too much damage, which is good since she can be one-hit by certain characters (i.e. Wolverine).  Some good teammates for her include…

  • Storm
  • Moonstone
  • Venom
  • Bullseye

For heavy grinding sessions, I find the combination of Daken, Fishnet, and Moonstone/Thor/Wolverine works really well.  Daken adds stacking damage and tanks incoming damage while the third character provides the burst damage and “bigger body”.  Your preferences may be different depending on how aggressive you want to be.  Admittedly, Daken takes time to build up damage with strike tiles but his self-healing ability makes him great.

Marvel Puzzle Quest - Amazing Spider-Man - Spidey

Fishnet Black Widow is what I would call a support character.  If you don’t have her, there are other options for mitigating damage, whether you are healing or blocking damage.   Amazing Spider-Man is likely your next best bet since he can stun AND heal.  Here are some other solid picks:

  • Modern Black Widow
  • Bullseye
  • Yelena Belova Black Widow
  • Captain America
  • Iron Man Model 35
  • Iron Man Model 45
  • Magneto (ALL)
  • Loki
  • Moonstone

Support roles go beyond healing and stealing.  Characters like Yelena Belova (evil Black Widow), Loki, Magneto,  and Bullseye can create and manipulate special tiles, which can be devastating against opponent teams that rely on them.

Marvel Puzzle Quest: Captain America VS. Moonstone

Between Captain America and Moonstone, I feel Moonstone is the best pick.  Captain America feels like an under-powered Iron Man Model 35.  Here is why he sucks:

  • His powers/abilities take too long to ramp up.
  • His damage output is poop.
  • He is balanced and, by extension, not very good at anything.

Captain America does have more HP than most support characters.  He also has a stun ability plus the ability to cycle abilities but, if the countdown tiles get removed, his effectiveness is negated.  Cap is just not good for aggressive wins and, thus, using him becomes a grindfest…  Meh.

Moonstone, on the other hand, can manipulate the board, do massive burst damage (based upon how many red tiles are in stock), and she can stun opponents.  She is amazing yet she doesn’t get nearly enough love.  I love you Moonstone.

Ms. Marvel..  Or Is That Moonstone?

Continue reading HorsePLAY! Marvel Puzzle Quest Strategies With CaptinChaos & Yogizilla

The Infamous #HorrorFrog & Show Notes/Previews – Leave Us Voicemail – (206) 415-4987

A few of you have suggested that we post our show notes more often here to encourage more voicemail messages and such.  We’ve been doing that for HorsePLAY! LIVE and The Gaming Death Podcast but we welcome any and all kinds of voicemail.  Here are some of the things we’ve been discussing if you want to keep the conversation going:

  • Why Hearthstone is such a big deal
  • Tips and tricks for Marvel Puzzle Quest & Hearthstone
  • Is Hearthstone a pay-to-win game?
  • Greatest games of all time (The GOATs)
  • Our defining moments in gaming
  • What are the most random games you’ve ever played that you think most missed (and should play)?
  • Games that were great because they inspired new concepts
  • Games that are great because they are still fun years later
  • Why are Internet trolls so prevelant?
  • Drunken karaoke (thanks DekardC)
  • XBox Originals Channel – YAY or NAY?
  • Console gaming is dead – it’s all about all-in-one entertainment!
  • How close are we to drones delivering our goods?
  • Marvel Agents Of SHIELD vs. Arrow
  • Objectification of women and biases surrounding geek girls
  • The rise and fall of social games (a.k.a. Facebook SPAM)
  • The cardinal sings of League Of Legends players
  • Have we as consumers become too spoiled or impatient?
  • Broke Wars: Nintendo VS. Sony
  • Sony predicts 1.3 BILLION loss over fiscal year
  • Indie games are the future of gaming!
  • No, we’re tired of indie games.
  • No, we’re tired of big studio regurgitations.
  • We geeks are just jaded all around, amirite?
  • Transistor art style: beautiful or more hipster pandering?
  • Microtransactions VS. Macrotransactions
  • Popular games with the worst virtual economies
  • What defines the value of something?
  • Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare..  Does anyone care?
  • Capcom is bouncing back – Mega Man, PLEASE!
  • Can gardening be considered geeky?
  • Fantasy sports can be geeky..  Sports themselves, not so much.
  • How do you define a geek or nerd?
  • Labels suck..  But they have a purpose!
  • #RetroFriday VOTES for NES, Genesis, arcade, etc.
  • Sports games are games too!

Hopefully those snippets should provide some good talking points.  There’s a lot of gaming stuff there but anything geeky or random is cool, y0.   Speaking of RANDOM, on Episode 81 of The Gaming Death Podcast, they brought up the horror frog

Horror Frog Breaks It's Own Bones To Form Claws!

Yes, this is a real thing.

According to the NewScientist, the horror frog breaks his own bones to form claws.  WTF?  It’s the real-life Wolverine!  That is pretty darn sick.  I can relate, too, because my home life is often just as masochistic!  LOL..  Sorry, I could not resist!

Personally, I find nature so fascinating.  Here in Georgia we see all sorts of weird critters, like the paper wasp.  These wasps are comparable to hornets and are usually found down South, where creepy crawlers seem to be abundant.  The coolest thing about the paper wasp is that it builds nests out of a paper-like substance.  It creates this substance using harvested materials and it’s own saliva.  Kinda gross yet kinda neat.

Paper Wasp Nest In Yucatan, Mexico
WARNING: Do NOT approach a paper wasp nest.. They are VERY protective.

I had one of these things hang out with me in my house recently.  It was surprisingly friendly but that stinger was scary.  Lately the wasps here in Georgia fly really close to me, especially by my ears or the back of my head..  It makes me feel…. Violated. O_O

Anywho, on future episodes of HorsePLAY! LIVE we’re going to be returning to our roots in League Of Legends and cover more indie games (of course).  We’ll continue Hearthstone talk too since that’s definitely on rotation for years to come.  On EP22 or so, we should be wrapping up the #RetroFriday kicker series.  With that…

Tell us what your favorite moments in gaming are.  What made you a dedicated or hardcore gamer?  What are your G.O.A.T. picks for games, both tabletop and digital?  Are there any games you really love that you think people missed?

While we’ll be ending the #RetroFriday mini-series, we’ll continue to do weekly videos and streams.  Be sure to join our Steam community groups.  Simply look up #YOHTAI, #RetroFriday, and HorsePLAY.  The links are also scattered throughout the site. 8)

Do you have any fun stories or random thoughts to share?  Call us and leave a voicemail at (206) 415-4987 – if you don’t, Stewie will PEW PEW PEW you with his ray gun!  Also, take this poll, por favor.

Gaming Clan Leadership Basics & Understanding Pro Gaming

WOW!

It’s been over 7 years since I posted this piece on gaming clans and the conversation is STILL going over at my personal website, Yomar.me (a.k.a. Y3B)  – clearly, we gamers are on the same wavelength.  Being in a gaming clan is fun and rewarding.  It makes games more immersive or at least replayable..   But it can also be a lot of work so there’s good reason some people stay solo.

This is a conversation I’d love for us to have here at Geeky Antics, where it is a lot more relevant.  Think about all the stuff we as geeks do – podcasts, videos, indie games, gaming clans, or whatever tickles your fancy – how many times do flakey people and drama queens create more work for you?  The eSports scene is booming.  More and more gamers dream of being sponsored, championship winners, or at least winning some free stuff.

The reality is that maybe 1% of all “hardcore” competitive gamers are sponsored AND can make a living off it.  The cost for that may be losing your love for games.  Is it really worth it?  Well, it depends how competitive you are.

For me, being in a gaming clan is more about the social experience, collaborating on stuff beyond games, and getting more out of our video games.  Thing is, do your fellow clan members feel the same way?  If not, do they know just how much work goes into pro gaming?

The tournaments with the biggest prizes are highly-selective.  You’re lucky if they take in 16 players from any given region.  Of course, there are always local tournaments at hobby shops.  Those can be great fun and provide supplemental income..  Or maybe just street cred.  The point is that, no matter how good you are, you always have to consider there is someone with more free time and commitment than you.

Are you willing to pay the price to be a top-tier pro gamer?

Dreamhack Tournament Bracket For Starcraft 2

League Of Legends and Starcraft 2 may be the most competitive games out there today.  There are so many people playing and qualifying for the big tournaments is daunting.  Well, maybe SC2 doesn’t have quite the gameplay hours of LoL but the gap in skill between good players and awesome players is quite significant.  They measure that gap mainly in APM (Actions Per Minute) and, well, if you suck at multitasking and buckle under pressure, playing SC2 professionally could burn you out quickly.

I like the way Dreamhack handles tournaments.  They recently held a Hearthstone tournament with $10,000 in prizes.  This tournament was open to the first 128 registrants but, in other tournaments, there is usually a small buy-in.   This is fair considering there are prizes at every level.  What’s nice about it is that you can very well be the unknown, low-ranked player who pulls some upsets.  That makes for a great narrative.

The barrier to entry is certainly low here.  Now, you could argue it takes $200-300 to build a top-tier competitive deck in Hearthstone but you can reduce that cost by running a Hunter deck or playing more.  Also, compare that to Magic: The Gathering where you’re spending at least $500-700.  Just sayin.

Dreamhack is one of the biggest players in the pro gaming circuit.  These guys are based out of Sweden yet they are known throughout the world.  You may not play Starcraft 2, DotA 2, LoL, WoW, or even Hearthstone..  but chances are you’ve heard of Dreamhack.

Dreamhack Valencia 2012 - VLC 2013

Just look at the scene in the photo above.  Dreamhack really puts on a show.  Who wouldn’t want to be a part of this experience?  Dreamhack events double as massive LAN parties too.  By most standards, this is the biggest digital festival out there.

That’s great but how does this relate to gaming clans?

Well, I wanted to pain a picture about how competitive pro gaming really is.  Some people throw on a tag and think they magically become pro gamers.  There is a lot to it.  To me, there are not many gaming clans out there because loyalties lean towards the personal gains rather than the fellowship.   Most clans are what I would call competitive or scenario squads.

To be fair, it’s easier to manage smaller groups when competition is the main focus.  You need a personality fit above all because you can’t train that.  Skills can be improved but chemistry you usually either have or you don’t.

In any successful organization, there is unity under a single-minded purpose.  This is critical.  You can’t mix together casual gamers with uber-competitive ones.  If that situation develops, split the clan into sub-groups or divisions to keep things civil.  I mean, some gamers think that we all focus on one game for months or years at a time.  That’s just not realistic but those are the expectations at times.

Lord Of The Rings - The Motion Picture Trilogy

LOTR (Lord Of The Rings, for the unitiatied) is a great example of  the power of having a single purpose or goal.  This is the vision that binds us within a thriving organization.  In LOTR, lots of things happened but, ultimately, it was all about destroying the darn ring.  They succeeded because they had laser focus.

The frustration for people in gaming clans usually takes two forms:

  • You guys expect too much from me – I don’t have that sort of desire  or time/money to commit!
  • You guys are not serious enough – I’m tired of losing!

Often in coaching/mastermind sessions with clients and collaborators, I’ll talk about the importance of managing expectations.   It’s easy to join a clan but working together as a cohesive unit is a whole different matter.  As we hinted earlier, some people avoid clans all together because they feel they’re all about work and drama.  It doesn’t have to be that way.

NoF - Absolut Nipply
N-o-F.com – Since 1999 (Well, officially, at least.)

When we recruit people for NoF, we simply look for folks that are active and friendly.  If everyone gets along and we have fun together, what else really matters, amirite?  We’re not looking to be the next Team Solo Mid, Team Liquid, Gambit, or whatever..  We just want to have fun and meet new people.  It’s great that we can travel just about anywhere, online and offline, and meet local Nips for some debauchery, good conversation, and gaming fun.  Of course, if we detect someone is purely about winning and being “pro”, we kindly let go because we know the cost for that would sacrifice who we are at heart..  And gaming would become a chore.  Eff that!

How about sore losers?  Are they worth recruiting if they are skilled enough?

Well, you can’t play League Of Legends without running into trolls (see the featured image).  Sore losers LOVE to blame their teammates and fail to see they become part of the fail sauce due to their poor sportsmanship.  Avoid these types of players.  They are a plague to gaming clans and squads, especially once you stop winning most of your match-ups.  People will leave and, eventually, they will too so there’s no point catering to them unless they are truly willing to conform and compromise for the sake of the team.

We can go on and on about what makes a sustainable gaming clan thrive, not just survive.  Here are some of the things we discussed in the linked article and the comments thereof:

  • Leaders inspire, managers merely bark orders.
  • The servant-teacher is a type of leader that remains humble, learning as much from others as he teaches others.
  • The best leaders listen more than than they speak.
  • Squads and clans function for different purposes, though they share similarities.
  • Finding a gaming squad/clan is much like job hunting: all parties should make sure it is a right fit.

Go ahead and read the full article over at Y3B.  I’d love to see what you all think.  After reading the article, let’s bring the conversation back over to the Geeky Antics community.  Here are a few questions to ponder:

  • What is the biggest stumbling block for gaming clans or squads?
  • Does recruiting women add to the stability or instability?
  • What is the average shelf life for gaming groups of any kind?
  • Is there a sweet spot for the max size of a clan?

Leave us a VM at (206) 415-4987 and drop some comments in the spiffy area below.  This is a great discussion and I love hearing the stories everyone is experiencing in gaming spaces all over the place.

Don’t be shy..  Gather around the fire (hey, at least I did not say hearth) and join the conversation.

Yogizilla's Blankity Blank-Blank (Y3B)

*** NEW! You can find an updated article on the essence, importance, and benefits of social gaming clans by clicking here! ***

“Hey, look at all those nifty acronyms people have attached to their handles and screen names. That’s really cool – I want one too!” That is exactly what I think runs through the heads of many people that join or create a clan. People want to feel like they are a part of something bigger than them. It’s just human nature.

With the next-gen gaming consoles tapping into an online gaming market that has existed for many, many years on the PC front, gaming squads are arguably more popular than ever. For most, it’s just about hanging out with some people or being part of the most kick-ass team and getting some big wins under the belt. Whatever way you chop it up, people are in these…

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