Gaming for Fun and Community

I have been working on growing a small community of like-minded people by streaming on Twitch and posting videos to YouTube, and I’ve been really enjoying it.

At first, I thought for sure I’d be building my community wholly on YouTube because my schedule didn’t really allow consistent live streaming, but even just finding 10 hours that I am pretty sure I can carve out has worked well for me, to the point where I’ve sorta been letting my YouTube community down by not posting there as much anymore.

Anyways, for those that are interested, I am using the tag CanadianTitan for most of what I’m doing.
Check out my Facebook, Twitch and YouTube channels.

I’ve been playing a variety of games, and while this will never be my full-time job (I love my current job btw), I am enjoying the time I put into this and the people I’m meeting. And if somehow it ends up paying for my Internet someday, or for the games that I buy, all the better, right?

I should also note that other people in my family are also streaming. You can often find them through my Twitch channel as I host them when they are live.

Battle Royale Game I Want: Space Fighters Battle Royale

I play a lot of Fortnite: Battle Royale, and I really enjoy it, but I can’t believe that more types of Battle Royale games aren’t out yet!

I want a Battle Royale game done in space.

With one hundred people starting out each in a basic fighter in a large solar system with a dozen planets, thirty or so moons, two rings of asteroids, and eight large stations.

Your fighter is basic and has a mining weapon, a decently strong hull, and no shields. Everyone moves around the map, mines asteroids, takes and holds stations, builds deployable and defensive structures, upgrades their ship, and the last ship alive wins.

The Circle Mechanic
The circle mechanic can be tied to a story element of an Alien race closing in on the sun in the center of the map. As they close in a huge swarm of small ships circle the system and shoot the players in their captured zone. This lets players dip into the captured area of space risking being seen and attacked by the swarm, but also provides a potential short-term tactical advantage by risking entering that area.

Starting a Match
How do you start the match? Everyone gets in their ships outside of the solar system, you open the map and click where you want to drop out of hyperspace. As you travel in, two things happen, a destabilizing energy that snakes through the system, makes you have to either change course or not quite get to your selected exit location, and of course, you can change course like you do while landing in any other Battle Royale style game.

You have a certain amount of hyperspace energy, and once you start “jumping in” you can’t stop until it is all gone and you return to normal space where the battle for survival begins.

The Map
The planets, asteroid belts, and space stations can all orbit the sun, making the map change constantly as some have elliptical orbits, orbit at different speeds, and a few things orbit on a different plane. If you are within a certain range of one of those elements, you get caught up in its gravitational wake and travel around the map at the same speed, but outside of that close proximity, if you are at zero velocity, everything will seem to be moving both away from and toward you. The speed at which these things move around the map should be around eighty or ninety percent of the default ships maximum speed, as I feel that will make it more interesting.

If a planet is moving away from you, you can catch up to it, but it may take a while depending on how far it was away when you started to burn towards it.

Going to a planet provides more resources, but has little to no default defences. Asteroid belts are great for defence (hiding behind asteroids) and collecting material to build your own things, such as forcefield bubbles, defensive turrets, traps, mines, and small bases.

Space stations can be claimed by being in proximity for a period of time, and once claimed, they’ll shoot your enemies, though if you leave the station, they’ll quickly forget about you and go back to being neutral. They’ll also repair player ships over time, making them both a strategic advantage, and a risky option to approach.

The sun could be a really cool mechanic as well. When looking towards the sun, lens flares reduce vision. Getting too close to the sun causes heat damage that slowly destroys your hull. If you have solar rechargers, the closer you get, the faster your shields recharge. So too close, and your shields will charge fast, but your hull will slowly burn away.

Ship Improvements
Ship upgrades would include a speed boost, like an afterburner with a fuel amount, better weapons including missiles and some kind of long-range rail gun, better mining equipment, larger storage, more hull strength, better shields, deployable structures such as an energy barrier, small auto-turrets, mines, and small player crafted stations, a cloak that has an energy usage/limit, solar-based energy rechargers, and a super rare phase device that makes your ship untouchable for a few seconds.

Deployables
To limit abuse of deployable structures, there could be a CPU element and control distance element so that each player can only launch a few deployable items at a time, and if they are out of range, the deployable items power down. So you couldn’t just set up dozens of auto-turrets all over the map.

Rewards
I wouldn’t want this game to be pay to win so the idea of getting special paint jobs or weapon model designs based on winning or purchasing skins would be cool.

Some other things that could be microtransactioned would include forcefield colour when hit, deployable energy barrier colour, engine trail colour, player made small base model designs, hyperspace sound effect, mining beam colour, and more…

Round Length
I’d like to see it set-up in such a way that a round of this game would take maybe thirty minutes, as I feel that’s a good play quick game length for most people, including myself.

So, can someone make this, please?

Unique Soda Pop Birthday Experience Tradition 2017

This year, while in the US to go to the Destiny USA mall, we stopped at a restaurant on the way home and they had some interesting bottled sodas, and so I picked up some for Annie and me to try. It was something she did for my last birthday, and now it might be a yearly tradition.

For those that didn’t read last year’s instalment, please check it out -> Unique Soda Pop Birthday Experience.

We did this experiment over two days, and on the second day, my cousin, Kyle, was around to try some and provide his feedback as well. Enjoy!

Dang! That’s Good Butterscotch Root Beer

Imperial Flavors Beverage Company
Milwaukee, WI

Aroma
David: Very much like butterscotch candies, right away, but not much root beer scent.
Annie: Smells sweet, buttery, creamy. It smells good.

Sweetness
David: Not really that sweet. Not as much as the smell would lead you to think it would be.
Annie: Not overly sweet. I think this is a better butterbeer than anything else that markets itself as a butterbeer.

Flavour Profile
David: Mild taste, average carbonation.
Annie: Mellow flavour. Easy drink. Nothing offensive about it. Butterscotch flavour. I think Dang That’s Good is a good name for it.

Aftertaste
David: Short-lived, a little bit of a bitter caramel that remains.
Annie: Mild, and more in the back of the throat.

Overall Score
David: 2 / 5
Annie: 4 / 5

Sioux City Sarsaparilla

White Rock Products Corp
Whitestone, NY

Aroma
David: A bit of a weird funky smell that quickly disappears and then it is hard to “find the smell” again.
Annie: “Do I smell anything?” There is almost a plant smell to it.

Sweetness
David: It is almost bitter tasting. Not much sweetness at all. Sweetness disappears immediately on swallowing.
Annie: Not very sweet.

Flavour Profile
David: Almost like a lightly soured, watered down mug’s root beer. There is a hint of that root beer bottle caps candy taste, but it is very short lived.
Annie: The carbonation almost hides the flavour until the aftertaste. Tasting licorice when I breathe out. When it is in my mouth, I can’t identify flavours.

Aftertaste
David: Medicine-like.
Annie: That’s where I taste some sweetness and licorice as well as those root flavours in root beer.

Overall Score
Me: 2.5 / 5
Annie: 1 / 5

Moxie Original Elixir

Orca Beverage Inc
Mukilteo, WA

Aroma
David: Medicine smell. Very strong, with a hint of both bitterness and sweetness
Annie: There is a mint, cherry cough syrup.
Kyle: Smells like cherry dr pepper. Also, like old candies… the coke ones.

Sweetness
David: Not very sweet at all. Weirdly not sweet.
Annie: Needs to be sweeter to cover up the taste.
Kyle: Definitely bitter.

Flavour Profile
David: Ew… This is bad. Tastes like medicine and only gets worse and worse.
Annie: Cherry cough syrup. It is prickly and terrible.
Kyle: Tastes like dirt or from the ground. Tastes better at the start and then gets worse. Starts with a nice strong pop syrup.

Aftertaste
David: Bitter, like cranberry and medicine.
Annie: You swallow it and it gets worse.
Kyle: Bitter, very bitter.

Overall Score
David: 0.5 / 5
Annie: 0 / 5
Kyle: 0 / 5

Dumped out. Too gross.

Caruso’s Maraschino Cherry Cola

WIT Beverage Company

Aroma
David: Very cherry, smells like Maraschino cherries.
Annie: Smells like Shirley temple.
Kyle: Smells like Dr Pepper with lots of cherries.

Sweetness
David: Not as sweet as the smell led me to believe.
Annie: It is very sweet.
Kyle: It is mild, I like it, very nice.

Flavour Profile
David: Strongest cherry cola I’ve tried, but milder carbonation than other sodas I’ve had. Kind of one note though as it is just “cherry cola”, but done well.
Annie: Like a tang of alcohol. Like a slight hint when you swallow it.
Kyle: I like it, it tastes really good. Not as “cherry” as I thought it would be. I like it, and I hate cherries.

Aftertaste
David: Like a cherry popsicle that you finished a while ago.
Annie: Cherry with a hint of medicine. Definitely doesn’t linger much.
Kyle: Cherry, short.

Overall Score
David: 3.5 / 5
Annie: 2 / 5
Kyle: 4 / 5

Double Cola

The Double Cola Company
Chattanooga, TN

Aroma
David: Stinky feet.
Annie: Rotting vegetables. It is funky and not the good funky.
Kyle: Maybe smoky, dirty laundry.

Sweetness
David: Not very sweet. Hard to identify sweetness because of the taste.
Annie: Covers her mouth
Kyle: Not sweet or bitter. Like syrup and dirt mixed together.

Flavour Profile
David: That’s the grossest thing I’ve ever tasted as a soda. Tastes like I think a pop version of vegemite.
Annie: Tastes like grass and dirt. Tastes wormy.
Kyle: Definitely tastes like the ground.

Aftertaste
David: Didn’t last long, but I wouldn’t take another sip.
Annie: “Oh, ew…” The aftertaste is better than the drink itself. Grassy?
Kyle: Doesn’t linger too long. It’s not good.

Overall Score
David: 0 / 5
Annie: 0 / 5
Kyle: 0.5 / 5

Dumped it out.

Caruso’s Dark Cream Italian Style Soda

WIT Beverage Company

Aroma
David: Buttery smell with a hint of vanilla.
Annie: Caramel, buttery. This is making me happy.
Kyle: I like the smell.

Sweetness
David: Above average sweetness.
Annie: A touch on the high side of sweet, but good.
Kyle: Good sweetness, not too powerful or too weak.

Flavour Profile
David: Reminds me of a very mild melted grape popsicle. Weirdly enough.
Annie: Vanilla, caramel, maybe a bit of marshmallow, creamy, buttery. Pleasant. Makes me happy.
Kyle: Tastes like maple syrup to me in pop form.

Aftertaste
David: No bitterness that sticks around. Very nice.
Annie: Nice sweet, not too long of a linger. Cuddles your mouth.
Kyle: Pleasant aftertaste.

Overall Score
David: 3.5 / 5
Annie: 3.5 / 5
Kyle: 4 / 5

Birthday and Christmas Wishlist 2017

I am going to be thirty-five in a little over two weeks. How did that happen!? A month and a week after that is Christmas time. Every year that sneaks up on me!

I’ve updated my wishlist on Wishlistr to give people ideas of what I most want.

Some highlights include:

  • stories of me
  • keyboard and mouse wrist rests
  • size 13 socks
  • big johns beef jerky

And of course, if you are feeling extra generous, a donation to the Guelph General Hospital in memory of Lily and Anika would always be appreciated. Just don’t forget to let us know you did so.

NomadicGamersEh?

A friend of mine from high school recently asked what I thought about her changing her gaming/blog brand and that conversation progressed to me helping her make the switch. She chose a new domain name, after some great back and forth with me tossing ideas at her. I’ll list those ideas at the bottom of this post for anyone that is looking to pick up more domains or is also looking for a gaming brand they can use.

Anyways, she thankfully already had a WordPress powered website, so the transition was going to be very easy for me, as migrating sites is a big part of my job. After over a week of waiting for her host to help with various things, she decided to move her site to a new budget web host. I migrated the site, did some optimization, and forwarded the traffic from the old site to the new site.

Old Site Pingdom Test Results
Score: 85
Load Time: 2.74s
Page Size: 1.8MB
Test Location: San Jose
Link

New Site Pingdom Test Results
Score: 86
Load Time: 2.49s
Page Size: 1.3MB
Test Location: San Jose
Link

After Basic Optimization Pingdom Test Results
Score: 88
Load Time: 1.86s
Page Size: 1.3MB
Test Location: San Jose
Link

Just changing hosts saved an average of a quarter second per page load for her visitors, but after I did some no-cost optimizations, I was able to get the site to load almost a full second faster than it used to on the old host. Sometimes, it would load as quick as 729ms, but that isn’t consistent. The numbers above are pretty average.

Had she the budget to spend on the site, I could potentially have gotten the average to under 1.5 seconds, and if she was willing to switch to a more performance-focused theme, maybe under 1 second in load time on average, but I am pretty happy with what I was able to do without spending any additional money.

I think she is happy with the site as well. It was really nice to get a message from her one evening saying, “jebus the site is fast, lol.”

I really enjoy working on helping people optimize their sites. If your WordPress powered website loads in over 2.5 seconds according to Pingdom, it might be time to contact PressTitan. We can help you do better!

Update: I totally forgot to add the URLs that I thought up for her new brand. These were all available when I mentioned them to Steph.

installepic.com
oncrit.com
goodcrit.com
northgamer(s).com
ehgamer.com
keenergamers.com
looniegamers.com
klickgamer(s).com
looniecommunity.com
looniebound.com
looniesim.com
critloonie.com
critcanadian.com
welovetocrit.com
critrite.com
critright.com
thundercrit.com
critmaven.com
criteh.com
ehbound.com
ehgamerfamily.com
gehmes.com
ehcrit.com
ehquest.com
looniequest.com

What’s New?

Seeing that Annie is back posting on her blog, it inspired me to do a bit of an update on mine. The last time I posted was in July. Since then, I’ve settled in my job with David Krug, a long time connection on the web, and we are working together on PressTitan. I help manage almost sixty WordPress powered websites with regards to not only their hosting platform but also their optimization from a performance perspective. Over the whole network of sites, there are probably in the neighbourhood of five million page views per month or sixty million page views per year. It is immense to think about. Because of that job, I’ve been able to do a bit of coding here and there to come up with custom solutions to our needs. I’m always learning something new, and I’ve been really enjoying it.

Besides my work, I’ve had time to spend on putting videos on YouTube. I bought a new desktop computer, and it is pretty powerful, so with Annie busy doing school work and continuing to volunteer with 1 Million Teachers, I have a bit of free time to play some games. But how do I justify playing video games? Post them on YouTube for others to view and be entertained by, or that’s the idea anyway. I kept my YouTube brand similar to the company brand: Canadian Titan. Over the last month and a half, I’ve recorded and uploaded over 75 videos, so if you are interested in science fiction focused gaming, please check it out.

Annie and I continue to enjoy living in Kingston and get to see both her family and mine on a regular basis. We’ve been very fortunate in that respect as both Annie’s family and my family have been visiting us regularly which helps Annie feel less homesick. We haven’t had any visits from Annie’s friends yet, but if they do decide to come…we always have a decent pull-out couch and some air mattresses…

Other things I want to write about I’ll do so in other posts, as they deserve their own mentions. I really want to finish out 2017 by getting this blog to 1,000 posts, and I’m only eight away after this post.