Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Final Fantasy XV

(spoiler free. might be some hints of things in my screen caps that would come in trailers too)

I finally finished playing the Final Fantasy XV storyline. Wow. What a beautiful mess. Enjoyed it overall, but it could have been so much more...

For those who do not know, FFXV has been hyped for literally 10 years (fka FF XIII Versus in 2006). The final (rushed) product is a combination of a beautiful open world that consumed 5/6 of my playing time, with a messy story told in the short "second half" that felt extremely rushed and disjointed. That last part had so much potential, and after reading some forums, it sounds like a bunch good (and arguably necessary) story/character development and explorable areas got cut in favor of deadlines.

(On a side note, it's interesting to think about how game development and their deadlines parallels my own work environment. Like, the frustrations one feels when a bug goes through, or working with bad engine design, or dealing with new project directors)

Anyway. This game has consumed a ton of my social life in December. So, because I can, here are some of my favorite screen grabs from the game.

Group shot. Just one of many that the game prodded you to take. This was one aspect I rather enjoyed - it really felt like a road trip with your friends

Resting after a long day of riding a chocobo. Aww, now I want one...

The in-game snapshot mechanism grabs some interesting fights too

Altissia - fantasy worlds are rendered quite beautifully. I seriously want to visit this place

Beautiful cut scenes that they could have used a lot more of...

Again, this game was a beautiful mess

So eh, this is actually a glitch in chpt 12 - I fell off the train platform during a fight and couldn't get back up, so I wandered around a bit. Turns out this area was originally designed to be an exploratory area but got cut down to just the train platform fight. Shows how much potential that second half of the story had (especially in chpt 14 - really? no exploring at all??? sadness)

Now the music will be stuck in my head for weeks. Wheeeee this is why I stopped playing video games, because it takes over my life lol. But, I had fun with it. What am I saying, I'm still having fun with it.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Photo-a-day 2016.12.31 (fin)

Fireworks
New Year's fireworks from the Space Needle in Seattle, WA

Technically, taken from my new Sony a6000 camera (instead of the Sony RX-100 III of all the other photo-a-day pics), and technically taken after 12/31. Oh well.

Also, an announcement:  This will be my final photo-a-day picture. 
I have decided to close this project so I can focus my energies on other goals. This project is always fruitful because I can look back on the year and know generally what I was up to throughout the year. So while I will miss having that for 2017, I still have plan to keep up my photography skills, especially since I am still learning how to use my new mirrorless camera =)

Happy new year everyone!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Photo-a-day 2016.12.30

Lunchbox Laboratory
Custom burger at Lunchbox Laboratory. This is the vegan black bean patty with pepper jack cheese, grilled onions, fried egg, and avocado

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Photo-a-day 2016.12.29

Christmas tree reflection
From the lobby in my office building

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Photo-a-day 2016.12.28

5th Ave lighting
Holiday lights are still up on 5th Ave in Seattle, WA

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Photo-a-day 2016.12.27

Greetings from Austin
Greetings from my hometown

Monday, December 26, 2016

Photo-a-day 2016.12.26

Amaebi
Amaebi from Keepers Sushi in Sugar Land, TX

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Photo-a-day 2016.12.25

Peking duck
Peking duck for Christmas Day dinner, from Jade Garden in Sugar Land, TX

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Photo-a-day 2016.12.24

Retail decorations
As seen inside the Galleria mall in Houston, TX. Very festive, many other neat holiday lights throughout the mall

Friday, December 23, 2016

Photo-a-day 2016.12.23

Seafood roll sampler
Seafood roll sampler from Garbo's in Austin, TX

From left to right - crab roll, lobster roll, shrimp roll. Crab could have used a bit more flavor, but both the lobster and shrimp were really tasty and the bread was done really well.