Music is an emotional art form and because of that I form emotional attachments to certain stars. I never met David Bowie, but I loved him and who he was, even though complicated. I loved his music and movies and antics. He was a gift to life. I’m going to celebrate that instead and just list some of my favorite things about David Bowie.

  1. His ability to change.

2. His creativity.

3. Generosity. He was very charitable and he was always kind to other artists.

4. No Fear.

5. His private nature.

I am having a hard time writing this. It will be a while before this hole closes. May he rest in peace.

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Hey have you heard of NewCon in Portland? If not, it’s a nerdy culture convention. They have a little bit of everything happening at the convention. It starts on Friday. I will be there Saturday and Sunday volunteering at the Japanime Games booth. You should come see me!

At Kumoricon for Japanime Games!

At Kumoricon for Japanime Games!

We’ll be showing off Tanto Cuore and you can buy your very own copy of OKTOBERFEST! It’s really exciting and titillating. The new game introduces new mechanics which include alcohol levels and events that effect your barmaids. I’d be happy to run you through a game!

Tanto Cuore: Oktoberfest

Tanto Cuore: Oktoberfest

Kamikaze Games will also have Barbarossa there in association with Japanime Games. If you haven’t tried Barbarossa, it’s a strategic deck building game. You’re fighting through World War II Campaigns with sexy female soldiers! You should come give it a try!

Barbarosa

 

See you soon!

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In a Galaxy far, far away… Star Wars is bringing George Lucas great pain.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is bringing joy to so many people but a small minority of jerks couldn’t let everyone be happy. They had to post spoilers or in one case I heard about, they had shout the spoiler in an office full of Geeks who hadn’t seen the movie yet. Bad behavior is one thing.  This is just malicious. How can you delight in the writhing pain you cause people? It’s not funny. It’s not cute. You need to get a new brain because getting enjoyment from tormenting others is horrible. Learn some damn respect.

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The excitement around the new Star Wars movie brought out the worst in a small amount of the population. I guess  some people were never taught to let people around them enjoy things. Some parents are bad examples and can’t be happy if others are joyful and they didn’t get to be as well. Time never runs out to learn lessons in life.

Luckily in my life everyone has been really careful about not spoiling the movie for anyone. Kane and I were especially careful not to talk about what we saw unless we were sure everyone around us had seen the movie. I still debate over whether or not to post certain comics because I don’t want to spoil it for people who haven’t seen it yet.

Seriously though, why do people feel the need to intentionally spoil a movie for other people? This is literally what the internet looked like the day the movie came out to the general public.

Troll

Troll from Gnomes by David the Gnome

The fallout? People saw the movie anyway. Deal with it. If you don’t like, don’t bother watching it. If I don’t like a sport, I don’t go out of my way to make people who enjoy them feel emotional pain. Star Wars, or ANY movie or show should be held to the same level of respect.

Here are my rules for making sure you can keep your friends safe.

  1. Ask, “Hey, have you see this movie yet?”
  2. Don’t post long posts without WARNING people that there are Spoilers ahead.
  3. ASK. Some people don’t care if you spoil the movie because they have no plan, want, desire or need to see the movie.
  4. If you think something is awesome or hilarious think for a moment… will this ruin a key plot point for my friends and family?

These are pretty easy rules to follow. Also, hey…if someone hasn’t played Fallout 4 yet either, shut your mouth.

 

Last year I was a bad kitty. I didn’t keep up with the blog. This year is going to be different. There will be a new structure to the blog, with three weekly articles and a bunch of revolving monthly blogs. That way things are more consistent for you, the reader.

(Hope no one is offended by the graphic below.)

BadHelloKitty

Weekly

Wednesday – Life in a Box – Talking about geeky memories and emotions.

Friday – Card Shark – Weekly card spot light. How to use it, how it’s broken, or just how it’s awesome.

Sunday – Movie Time – Reviews, coming attractions, old movies

Monthly

What’s in the box?! – What we’re doing and where we’ll be.

Casual Time – Casual games I enjoy.

Brick by Brick – Talking about Legos… and sometimes Mega Blocks.

The Sandbox – Anything at all.

Toy Box – Toy reviews

Breaking Down 2015

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Some amazing movies and games came out this year. If you haven’t played Fallout 4 yet, or Santa thought you ordered Fallout 3, you are missing out. You need to save up the $60.00 and go get it. It’s $49.99 on the Steam Sale right now. They’ve made major changes that allow you to build settlements and craft items easier. You have a home base but it can be customized. It’s also work the investment to buy the guide, which was only $18.00 when I bought it two days ago. Animal Crossing also came out with a spin off game called Happy Home. It’s fun if you like grindy games with no end. I’ll write more about these two later. Rock Band 4 came out. We’re finally getting to play it tonight… hehe.

LEGO! How could you lose the TMNT license to Megablocks? Seriously, why did your stuff have to suck so much for that franchise when everything else was amazing. ( Side note: the Back to the Future car… also terrible.) Lego did a great job this year on their Friends, Elves, Disney, City and Star Wars lines but kind of dropped the ball on a few other licenses they were holding. The Jurassic Park sets were amazing but they had a hard time keeping up with demand. This left a lot of collectors flapping in the wind. The architecture line has been amazing the past few years but this year they didn’t do their big box of all white blocks. Color me disappointed. This is a Christmas time set that they release only in Lego stores. It wasn’t release this year but they did a smaller box. I have to give Megablocks their dues though. They came out with some really great looking historical military sets and Call of Duty brand Zombie sets.

Tanto Cuore, I love you. I will never leave you… EVER. I can’t wait for OktoberFest to come out. I had the good fortune to volunteer with Japanime Games this summer. It was amazing and I can’t wait for the conventions to start up again this year. Luckily they had demo sets to show people for Pre-Orders and Previewing. The game introduces a new mechanic, beer cards, which affect your ability to play certain cards. It’s going to be a lot of fun. If you want a GOOD FUN card game for 4-5 people, keep an eye out for it. They should be shipping them out in the new year. Also, they have an associated company called Kamikaze games. They produce Barbarosa, which is an irreverant, sexy, World War 2 card game. You really have to be a good sport to play this because they base it off real battles, so… you sort of play as an invading Nazi army, featuring chibi sexy Hitler. It’s a great game though. There is a version of the game that has historical photos instead of the Ladies if that makes you feel more comfortable. ( I like the Anime version.) They also have several other new games coming out. One is called Gods Gambit, which they let me try out when I was at Kumoricon! I’m looking forward to Gods Gambit so much. It’s an Uno Style game. It will be a great fast game you can play with your buddies at a party. The art is really interesting too. I have some photos, I’ll dig out later and write about it in depth.

Cell phone games… well… If you didn’t play Alpha Bears, go work on that right now. They have made so many improvements to the game. They added a VS mode. They added a better system of replenishing coins. They’ve added seasonal, special event content. Kudos to Alphabear for listening to their users. It’s amazing. They are also developing a new game for Android in 2016.

Movies were really great this year. Do I even have to mention Star Wars? Holy Carps. Holy, holy Carps.

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Crimson Peak, Mocking Jay part 2, The Martian, Jurassic World were all pretty incredible movies. I hope Hollywood keeps up the momentum because so far all I want to see in 2016 is Civil War and Dead Pool. Hopefully, it will rev up quickly and not be an off year for movies.

That’s all for now. 2015 was a great year and 2016 is going to be even better. Happy New year!

2015

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has some fantastic references in their show. Some of the show references are subtle, some are in your face blatant. Some of my favorites are references to the original My Little Pony but I’m going to talk about some of the pop culture references  that have appeared. They also name many of the episodes after movies and tv shows, like the Secret of My Excess is named after a Michael J Fox movie, The Secret of My Success.

These are my favorite episode references:

10. Three’s a Crowd (S4, E 11)

In “Three’s A Crowd”  there are to many references to mention. My favorite is when Discord turns into Raoul Duke from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. This is such an inappropriate reference for a children’s show but at the same time, they won’t know till their older. If you haven’t heard of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, it was written by Hunter S. Thompson. The story was based loosely off drug bings and experiments with LSD. Knowing Discord is the embodiment of chaos, it fits that he would turn into this particular character.

FearAndLoathingDiscord

9. Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000 (S2, E15)/ Slice of Life – (S5 E9) for Time Turner

There is a back ground character named Time Turner. The fans have dubbed him Dr. Whooves. He was so popular fans started writing Dr. Whooves fan fiction and animating their own cartoons. In the episode “Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000,” the creators actually let him turn the time piece in the competition between Apple Jack and the Flim/Flam brothers. The fan community went insane. They lost their minds! I was pretty excited myself. In Episode 100, he has a major part of the episode. It was adorable and he wore the Tom Baker scarf. There were so many Dr. Who references, including his lab!

DR WHooves FunkoDrWhoovesRedMIB TimeTurner and Companion

8. The Mysterious Maredowell (S2 E8)

Rainbow Dash finds herself

MareDoWell

7. Super speedy cider squeezy 6000

6. Cheese Sandwhich as the stranger

5. Rarity is Audrey Hepburn

4. The Diamond Dogs

3. The Big Lebowski ponies

2. Power Ponies

1. Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep

crimson-peak-poster

First, I’m not obsessed with Tom Hiddleston (Avengers, Only Lovers Left Alive), he just makes really good movies. It’s not my fault. Think about it.

Secondly, yes, I do see everything made by  Guillermo del Toro (Hell Boy, Pacific Rim), because he makes really incredible movies.  (Although, I haven’t made it through Pan’s Labyrinth yet. That movie is heart wrenching.)

Crimson Peak is the newest movie by Guillermo del Toro, staring Mia Wasikowska (Only Lovers Left Alive, Alice in Wonderland). It’s a reunion between her and Tom Hiddleston. This movie is a throw back to gothic romance novels. 

Edith Cushing (Wasikowska), is an aspiring author who meets a dark stranger, Sir Thomas Sharpe (Hiddleston). Edith falls in love with Sir Thomas and weds him only to be swept away to his home in Cumbria. Since Edith’s parents are passed away, her only connection to the outside world is her best friend, Dr. Alan McMichael (Charlie Hunnam). The house is in the middle of no where and is crumbling. Sir Thomas and his sister, Lady Lucile Sharpe (Jessica Chastain), are trying to hid the secrets of the old house. Who can Edith trust when she can’t escape the ghosts of the past?

SnowMiaCrimsonPEAK

I haven’t been so excited to see a movie since Only Lovers Left Alive or Brahm Stoker’s Dracula! I am a big fan of gothic romance novels. I’ve read all the classics like Moura by Virginia Coffman. I have a huge library of Dorothy Daniels, Virginia Coffman and Victoria Holt books. Maybe some day they will make a Moura movie. EEE! (Insert high pitched noises of excitement.) That would be dreamy. Until then, my Mother and I are planning to go to Crimson Peak together. We’re going to have some Mother/Daughter bonding over dreamy dark haired men. That is the formula you know? Wait you don’t?

Gothic Romances all have similar elements.

  • Dark haired, mysterious man. They can be ambiguously antagonist or protagonist or a switch.(Check)
  • An innocent but seemingly frail female protagonist making it through the world on her own. (Check)
  • Stern, tight lipped female antagonist, that is part of the family/manor/staff . (Check)
  • Supernatural element, either real or imagined or both. (Check)
  • Lonely isolated house. (Check)
  • A dark secret. (Check)
  • Long, nefarious family history. (Check)
  • A friend, attorney or other male love interest to help out, usually ineffectively. (Check)
  • The moment of realization, when the Strong Female Protagonist suddenly emerges after going through a harrowing series of culminating events. (Check)

All of the elements are there. One of the most popular and famous of the gothics is Jane Eyre. I adore that one. If you haven’t seen or read any gothic novels, I suggest Jane Eyre. I am a big fan of the movie version with Orson Wells. He is dreamy as the dark haired, mysterious man. Joan Fontaine plays Jane. She’s also famous for being in another well known gothic, Rebecca written by Daphne du Maurier, movie by Alfred Hitchcock. Joan Fontaine is incredible, strong and resourceful in Jane Erye. The movie/book are about an orphan hired to take care of Edward Rochester’s daughter. Watch it, love it, go by Moura by Virginia Coffman. Same plot except during the Napoleonic era.

Anyway, Crimson Peak is expected to be atmospheric and terrifying. Stephan King saw an early release and was quoted as saying, “Gorgeous and just f–king terrifying.” If that wasn’t an amazing endorsement, I don’t know what would be.

Crimson-Peak--Trailer

Return of the Reactor! After long last, I’m back. Mostly because their is just TOO MUCH GOOD STUFF to not tell you about it. So, here, in order of end date, are the Kickstarters that caught my eye.

Wayfarer Tactics ends September 28th. A toolbox miniature war game. Supports just about anything you want to throw at it.

Divinity: Original Sin 2 ends September 30th. Sequel to the award winning Divinity: Original Sin. Single player and multi player options. Heavy on the RP!

Mech Deck ends October 1st. Customizeable tabletop mech combat using dice, cards, and a hex based terrain system.

Burrows & Badgers Freelances ends October 5th. More anthropomorphic animal miniatures for a fantasy setting. An under served niche to be sure! This time, with a skirmish game.

Dark Age Outpost ends October 6th. A VERY reasonable price for some nice looking fortifications as well as historical minis.

Battle Chasers: Nightwar ends October 10th. I have to be perfectly honest. I have NO idea what this is based on. A lot of my friends are excited about it, though, and it certainly LOOKS cool. JRPG with action elements.

Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan ends October 20th. Sidescrolling action RPG inspired by African folklore. The unique setting is a great change of pace.

Warpath ends October 11th. Mantic. Sci-fi. You know what you are getting. Don’t know? Go download the free alpha at their website.

Battle Systems Urban Apocalypse Terrain ends October 18th. Modern/post-apocalyptic terrain for tabletop gaming. Easy to use cardboard punch outs. Excellent graphic quality!

INFINITY Role Playing Game ends October 18th. Tabletop sci-fi RPG in the same setting as INFINITY by Corvus Belli.

El Alemein ends October 20th. The latest deck building game from Arclight, makers of Tanto Cuore and Barbarosa. Published by Kamikaze. Arclight has a great history with these, so should be well worth it.

Pixel Noir ends October 21st. Retro inspired video game with JRPG elements. Reminiscent of Shadowrun SNES.

EXCEED-Card Fighting Evolution ends November 1st. From the makers of BattleCON and Pixel Tactics, a non-collectible, card fighting game for two players.

The Book of Starry Wisdom. This one has not actually started yet, but come October 1st, you should definitely check it out!

Almost two and a half years ago, a little project named Kingdom Death: Monster hit Kickstarter. Now, nearly two years late, it has finally arrived at my doorstep. Is it late? Yes, very. Am I mad? Not in the least. The campaign went far beyond the wildest dreams of the people running it. How big? Well, it was originally scheduled to be a standard enthusiast board game box, 12″ by 12″ of plastic and cardboard. It ended up being twice that size because SO MUCH EXTRA GOODNESS got added thanks to the overwhelming support. Not only that, they spent the extra time adding more art and content as well. Suffice it to say, it is more than anyone expected when they chose to back the project.

Now, I have not dived into the rules just yet. It just showed up on September 21st. But, here are my unboxing pictures. Enjoy!

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The Box!

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First thing inside. Thank you…bakcers? Oops!

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The back of the Survivor box. I ❤ Poots indeed.

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And inside the Survivor box? Many models.

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The game in the box in the box in the plastic wrap. The flash reveals the glossy logo against the matte box.

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The box without plastic wrap. Can really see that beautiful cover art.

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The beautiful back art.

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First thing inside the box.

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The flat bits and chits.

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Tiles and counters.

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The board. Its a tri fold as long as the box! Its BIG.

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Under the board. So many cards and pads.

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Character and village sheets with dice.

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The instructions. Note that it is matte black. That yellow on the left is the spine. Its about 1/2″ thick!

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Showing off the glossy logo without flash.

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And the logo/text with a flash to see the glossy details.

Its an impressive box! Well worth the investment and the wait. Looking forward to digging into this MONSTER!

Today is the first day of Fall. Time to start planning your Halloween Horror movies. I want to give you a few rare gems to get you in the mood.

dustdevilcover

On my bands first album we have a song called Dust Devil. The song is named after the movie Dust Devil. (If you are in Seattle come out to the Sea Monster Lounge at 7pm. Free Show! We are playing Dust Devil.) This horror movie was written and directed by Richard Stanley, the brilliant mind behind the videos for Fields of the Nephilim. If you haven’t seen it, take the time to find a copy.

He’s not just a serial killer, he’s much worse doesn’t even begin describe it. Wendy Robinson is being pursued by the Dust Devil because she no longer wants the spark of life she’s been given. The demon has sensed her willingness to cross over but she changes her mind. The winds of the desert stoke the fires as Wendy fights for her soul and the Dust Devil fights for his immortality.

Dust Devil is a cult classic worthy of hunting down.

 

Dream Come True?!

Dream Come True?!

Did you see Thor: The Dark World? Tom Hiddleston was amazing right? Well check this out.

Two vampires, Adam and Eve, reunite after Eve senses Adam’s suicidal depression. He wants to end it all and his human friend Ian, obtains a wooden bullet for Adam to end it all. Eve comes all the way from Tangier to Detroit to see her lover. After days of reconnecting, Ava, Eve’s younger and wilder sister, shows up to cause trouble. They start running and wind up back in Tangier.

This cast is like a dream. Tom Hiddleston plays the dark and brooding Adam. Tilda Swanson, who I have a huge crush on, plays Eve. Mia Wasikowska plays Ava. The always endearing John Hurt plays Marlowe. Anyon Yelchin plays Ian. Jeffrey Wright plays Dr. Watson. Look at that cast! Loki, The Snow Queen, Alice, Professor Bruttenholm, Chekov and Beett walk into a bar… It’s a fantastic cast. The Director is super quirky too. He’s directed, Ghost Dog; Coffee and Cigarrettes and Deadman with Johnny Depp. The movie is slow and has lots of scene that just set the overall tone for the movie, even if they don’t really affect the plot. It reminds me of Blood and Donuts.

 

Fallout-Shelter title screen

 

Fallout Shelter had a lot of hype as a game to keep you happy till Fallout 4 is published. In reality, it’s just Fallout Farmville. The game is a resource collection game. Here is how it works.

FalloutBegining

You start with a vault. Either you can choose a random vault number or name one yourself. My fault was good old 13. People show up at the vault doors. You assign them to work in room producing resources like electricity, food and water. You can take your shelter dwellers and put two in the living quarters to make more dwellers. You can also choose to have them go out into the wastes. In the wastes they can collect caps, clothing and guns. Over time you unlock more rooms, including faster, better versions of the resource rooms. There are lots of collectibles and random goals that can be completed as well.

The end game is just to keep your people alive. There is no “real” end to the game.

It doesn't matter

You can only have 200 Dwellers, which makes it interesting because there are special characters you can collect in the game. There also get a check list for costumes and weapons. The special characters are usually a higher level than the other vault dwellers. Population is capped by the number of living spaces you have. They get more expensive, the more you build. When you hit a population cap pregnant women stay pregnant and outside dwellers can’t enter the vault. So, it’s pretty much like real life.

FalloutPreggers

There are in-game purchases of lunch boxes and Mr. Handy robots. (The lunch boxes are a tribute to the Fall Out 3 special edition.) They both give you a bonus. The lunch boxes have random resources, caps, costumes, weapons and sometimes characters. The Mr. Handy robots will collect resources for you and help protect your vault. You can get lunch boxes by completing objectives. You can’t, as far as I can tell, get a Mr. Handy from playing. You have to purchase a Mr. Handy.

Protect them from what you ask? At random times you will be attacked by raiders. They come into the vault and steal your resources. Later in the game every time you open your vault door or the longer you transmit radio signals increases the chance of a deathclaw attack. Let me tell you something, raiders are like marshmallows compared to deathclaws. There are other random events that can kill your dwellers. Mole rats and rad roaches can appear at random or after a failed rush attempt.

OnFire!

Rush attempts are part of keeping life balanced in your vault. The vault has bars that monitor electricity, food and water. When something is in the red your dwellers become unhappy, they start to take on radiation or lose life. You can try to rush a room to produce resources but there is a chance you will fail. The game tells you what percent you have at failing. You can either have a fire, rad roaches or mole rats show up if you fail. The reason you want to rush the rooms is because it takes time to develop resources. Certain resources take a certain SPECIAL something. Strength, perception, endurance, intelligence, agility and luck are the special things you need.  The higher your stat, the faster your characters will produce a resource.

Strength gets you electricity.
Perception gets you water.
Endurance is used later on for the Nuka-Cola room.
Charisma helps vault dwellers mate faster and attracts more dwellers through the radio station.
Agility yields water.
Intelligence helps you make stimpaks and rad away.
Luck helps you with rush attempts.

Caps can also be used to upgrade rooms. Rooms can be made as big as three spaces but no bigger. The bigger the room, the more dwellers can work. Also, the bigger the room, the more resources can be produced. Plan your vault wisely. Other rooms include training rooms, which let you raise a single stat at a time for a single dweller.

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They did add in some weird things. Children are useless. You can’t tell them to do anything. They just wander around and take up resources. If they get injured, you can’t heal them either. Pregnant women run and hide from any dangers and they can’t be sent out into the wasteland. This posed some weirdness when deathclaws killed everyone in my vault except the children and pregnant ladies. After they ran through almost all the living people in the vault it was suddenly populated with only pregnant ladies and children. Let’s talk about death, it’s not necessarily permanent. You can revive people for caps but it gets expensive. The cost is based on their level and also on how many times you’ve had to revive them.

Fallout deathclaw

If you send someone into the wasteland, you can watch their progress. It’s kind of neat. They have pretty much the same encounters but the outcomes vary. I like reading through them as the different people run through and I often send more than one dweller into the wastes at a time. They can die while in the wastes. Paying caps will allow you to revive them and bring them back to vault.

Happiness is very important. This can be effected by having a dweller in the right or wrong room. You can increase happiness by having them make a child. Happiness is also affected by the balance of your resources. The radio station, which lets you attract other dwellers, also helps you increase the happiness of your dwellers. If your dwellers are sick from radiation or hurt from a an attack, they will let you know it. Keeping your people happy gives you a bonus because you have a daily report. At the end of a week you get a bonus based on your grade. If your people are unhappy, you are going to have a failing grade.

FalloutDizzy

The last thing you unlock through population is the Nuka-Cola room. This produces food and water for your dwellers and thankfully uses characters with high endurance. After that, at this time, there are no other rooms to unlock.

So, 200 dwellers, all the rooms unlocked, your only reason to play is to try to collect all the characters, guns and costumes. That is unless you have a great imagination.

I started a new vault. This vault is Vault 0. I’ve been giving all the new dwellers alphabetical last names. I started with just the letter A, then B, then C and so on. As they have children, I change their last name to show who their progenitors are like Sara AB. When Sara AB has a child with Billy NM, their child will be Johnny ABNM. That way I can keep track of what traits are passed on. Right now in Vault 0, all my residents have red or white hair. If they brown hair or are bald, I don’t let them have kids. It’s selective parenting. I’m curious to see what happens. I just had most of the women in the vault get pregnant by a male with a mohawk. I’m pretty happy with the results. The women with mohawks are super cool looking.

Red Heads

Hopefully, later on, they will have an update that adds content to the game. I would at least like an end game of some sort. I was hoping for an overseers room too.

Talking to my other friends, it’s easy to get bored by this game. I have to admit, I’ve forgotten about it from time to time myself. I think that’s why I have started experimenting with genetics. The game also seems to just be unbalanced. I was in the red for most of the time. Even after training my dwellers and expanding my vault, I was in the red most of the time. Whenever I put couples in the rooms to make babies, my resources went red. Really people, a little sex shouldn’t shut down your vault.

Although, I have my few petty gripes,  I still play this game all the time. My OCD make grinding fun. In WOW, I loved grinding and collecting. Eventually, I stopped running missing and collected items for potions. Then I would sell them on the auctions. Anyway, I digressed. I’m going to keep playing it. If I get any three-headed vault dwellers, I’ll let you know.

Out in the wastes, this is Three Dog, signing off!