Virtual Tourist – Assassin’s Creed Origins 6/28/20

Good morning!

News!

Last year I finished my first ever cozy mystery – Black Jade. (Set in Dallas in 1930 with a funky cast of characters.) This week I finished the second round of edits. So now begins the shopping phase! Hopefully, I can find an agent and once more try to shop something to the large publishing houses.

They say it is never too early to start getting the word out. 

Might this be the one that makes it? Only time will tell. Already gathering info for a second book in the Daiyu Wu Mysteries. Bwahahahahaha!

You can see pics and bits of the research over in the Black Jade Pinterest board.

Assassin’s Creed Origins

Assassin's Creed Origins - Desert and pyramidsOut in the desert after leaving Siwa on the way to Alexandria. Behind Bayek, you can see pyramids! 

Assassin's Creed Origins - Desert and rockThe unforgiving desert sun. You stay out here long enough, and Bayek will start seeing minor hallucinations. (The weirdest one so far was of a fish flopping in the sand, then diving out of sight.)

Assassin's Creed OriginsOne of the small farming villages near a lake. I love the attention to detail. I would guess these are drying circles for making bundles of fodder to feed the farm animals.

Assassin's Creed OriginsThe lush plants along the lake, and some dangerous elements. Crocodiles are rampant in different areas. They are not shy about attacking anyone. Some of these guys are HUGE!

Assassin's Creed Origins - Lost CryptA lost crypt by the water. 

Assassin's Creed Origins - sweeping view of ruinsSweeping view of the lake, the pyramids, and some ancient ruins. (Forgot to lighten the pics – sorry!) You can even see one of the unique ships of the time.

Assassin's Creed Origins - Temple of SekhmetThe Temple of Sekhmet in Yami. Impressive, no? The view is from the roof of a house across the street. Note the carpets and resting places. 

Assassin's Creed Origins - Hypostyle HallIs this place grand or what? Hypostyle Hall. The years and manpower it must have taken to build it is mind-boggling. 

Assassin's Creed Origins - Greek VillaA lakeside villa – notice the Greek and Roman influences. At this period, the Ptolemy line had been rulers of Egypt for close to 300 years. The Ptolemys were not Egyptian but Greek (Egypt was given to General Ptolemy by Alexander the Great – he was not Egyptian.) 

Assassin's Creed Origins - View of AlexandriaView of Alexandria! A center of learning and trade. At that time, the largest city in the world or second only to Rome.

Have a great week! Stay safe out there!

 

 

 

 

Virtual Tourist – Assassin’s Creed – Origins 6/14/20

Morning!

I hope you are all doing well. Life is getting more back to normal, yet it’s too early to drop all precautions. The numbers are still climbing for COVID-19. Stay safe!

Assassin’s Creed Origins

Assassin's Creed Origins - Mountain of the DeadOne of the rooms in the Mountain of the Dead near Siwa. Canopic jars and all sorts of treasures for the afterlife. 

Assassin's Creed OriginsCat mummies! The Mountain of the Dead has a room just for cat mummies! Cats figure heavily into the game. They love Bayek. I think I’ve had five gather around and follow him. No pet command in this game, but if you get the angle right when you crouch, he will pet them. Still, a room of cat mummies! I was so surprised. Lol. 

Assassin's Creed OriginsTwo essential things in this picture. First is the tablet. It will show up over and over in different tombs you explore. Each will give you an ability point. So it’s well worth searching for them. (The exploration itself is fun, too. Though not always easy! They get tricky!) The second thing is the boy next to Bayek. He’s got the old-style bare head with a ponytail! Heh heh.

Assassin's Creed Origins - starsThere’s a quest for Bayek that he is doing for his son. There are 12 constellations that have been recreated on the ground. It was his son’s wish to visit all of them with his father. Here is the first. 

Assassin's Creed OriginsOnce you find one, you will see the corresponding stars and then the image of what/who they represent. On the first one, you have a flashback of Bayek and his son talking about the constellations. It’s a very touching sequence. 

Assassin's Creed Origins - Temple of Amun EntranceWhile there are a lot of ruins and crumbling statuary, others are still in perfect condition. Say hello to Wanderer (aka Roach) Bayek’s camel. Camels, horses, chariots, boats, there is a myriad of items you can use for transportation. Using them in town can be a little hazardous. You will destroy property like fences, jars, etc. (DOH!) Much to my surprise; you can get an achievement for it. (Double DOH!)

Assassin's Creed OriginsOutside view of the temple we started from at the beginning of the game. It lies some miles outside of Siwa. Since we had to follow Bayek’s old friend out from there, I didn’t get a look at the front! 😛

Assassin's Creed Origins - first temple interiorSuch lovely detail! I didn’t recognize I’d been here until I got this far in. 😛 

Assassin's Creed Origins - Temple of AmunThis is the object that has brought such misery to Siwa. It is what lies beyond this door that has brought the calamity upon Bayek’s life. Yet, though it has been a year, his enemies still have not figured out the secret to getting it to open. I’m sure I will have to return here for that very thing later on.

Assassin's Creed Origins - Temple of Amun - upper areaTemple of Amun – upper temple area. Gorgeous! But also a place of tragedy and pain for Bayek. You can see the masked evil-doer right at the bottom. 

Assassin's Creed Origins - Bayek's TombModern Time – this is Bayek’s mummy, and that is Layla, the one using his DNA to look into the past. She’s built a portable Animus. Looking at all her files, they do some nice tie ins to the movie and some of the other Assassin’s Creed games. She’s fearless and a little crazy. Lol.

Assassin's Creed Origins - Bayek and Senu

Senu and Bayek. Aren’t they cute? 🙂

Stay calm, stay safe, stay optimistic!  Until next time!

 

 

Virtual Tourist – Assassin’s Creed – Origins 5/31/20

Morning!

Almost half the year is gone already. People seem to be losing their minds left and right. It’s mind boggling.

Assassin’s Creed – Origins

Speaking of losing one’s mind… I somehow did 8 instead of the usual 10 pics last time… Hmmm.

Assassin's Creed - Origins - SenuThis is a super important character – Senu!  He is Bayek’s companion. They have a psychic connection, so Bayek can see through Senu’s eyes. This helps Bayek map enemy locations and levels. Isn’t he pretty?

Assassin's Creed - Origins - SiwaSiwa – Bayek’s home town. The place where things went wrong. At the bottom, you can see the top of a pigeon tower. They were used for food, pets, and for delivering messages. I would imagine they also used them for fertilizer for crops? (Egyptians raise pigeons to this day!)

Assassin's Creed - Origins - SiwaA view of the other side of Siwa. Steep cliffs protect the town from desert storms.

Assassin's Creed - Origins - ShiledLook at all the detail! Isn’t his shield gorgeous? 

Assassin's Creed - Origins - Temple of AmunBayek just outside the walls of the Temple of Amun in Siwa. There are secrets here. Secrets those who destroyed Bayek’s life wish to find. 

Assassin's Creed - Origins - SiwaThe other side of Siwa. On the left life, on the right, arid death.

Assassin's Creed - Origins - DesertDesert as far as the eye can see.  

Assassin's Creed - OriginsA cave in the cliffs around Siwa.

Assassin's Creed - OriginsNighttime view of the encroaching desert. 

Assassin's Creed - Origins - SiwaView of Siwa from the nearby cliffs. 

Assassin's Creed - OriginsNight view of Siwa’s lake area. 

As always, stay safe! Until next time! 😛

 

Virtual Tourist – Seasons After Fall 10/13/19

Morning, all!

Fall seems to have officially arrived here in Texas. Weather flip-flopped, and we went from 100 down to the 70’s with one morning being a super chilly 54. But will it stay? 😛

Mini Movie Review

The Addams FamilyThe Addams Family – Super adorable and nostalgic film. Even better, they actually show when Morticia and Gomez got married and how Lurch became part of the family. Also, how they found their home. This helps build the neat two-mirror-sided plot of the film when, after 13 years of cutting themselves off from the world, the world pushes back in. The movie was a lot of fun. Rating: 3.5 out of 4 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price to See Again!) (No additional bits in the credits though.)

Virtual Tourist

Season After Fall

This is a super cute 2D game. Short duration (though I’ve not finished it yet), but super cute and something of a mystery.

Seasons After Fall - integration

I forgot to take any pictures of the energy seed into. DOH. This is where the energy seed (the player) gets integrated into a nearby fox. A young, mysterious voice is asking us to help it with a project.

Season After Fall

The integrated fox and seed. If you home in, you can see the fox’s eyes now glow. The area on the photo is where the energy seed came out. The four stones and the floor area seem to be all that remains of the ruins of the place.

Season After Fall

We’re heading off to the first guardian. I am to retrieve a piece from each one.

Seasons After Fall

A beautiful sea to look at on the way.

Seasons After Fall

There ate items to interact with to let you progress in certain areas. For this, you bark. This limb was coiled until you do so. Now I can make the jump! (Some things you run across look like something to use, but you can’t yet. There’s a reason for that. :P)

Seasons After Fall

Stone totems made by the first guardian. As you come near, their eyes light up. 

Season After Fall

The first guardian. Seems he sleeps a lot of the time. 😛

Seasons After Fall

When you get the shard and try to go back, you find you can’t get past a particular area. Something was said to you as a hint, and I was able to work it out. If you bark twice near the shard (it is an energy ball and floats – see the floating blue ball on the left?), the whole weather of the area changes to something else.  So we went from spring to winter! So you change the weather to affect things. A rather ingenious idea for a puzzle game. (The weird thing on the right previously looked like an empty, dead flower pod. Now it will gather and throw out a giant snowball, allowing me to reach the tree limb on the left!)

Seasons After Fall - Closed avenue

When I get close to our starting point, the way back towards the just visited guardian is closed.

Season After Fall - assimilation

Once we return to the temple ruins, the young voice has the seed assimilate the energy shard. Then we merge once more with the fox.

Have a great week!

Virtual Tourist – Tales of Berseria 8/18/19

Morning!

Well, August has been a big cluster of crazy. Made it down for ArmadilloCon then ended up spending all weekend in the hotel room. The drive tortured my insides too much so I had no tolerance for sitting in the hotel chairs at all. 🙁

Poor hubby ended up getting a kidney stone for his birthday. We think it’s finally out. He was super miserable for the last two weeks! Ugh.

I’d really hoped to make Animefest, but had to cancel out. Did buy a fancy chair to try to make it, but the chair didn’t work out, so that was that. (I’m canceling out of Fencon as well. Makes me sad, but better than having to cancel while I am there. Hopefully, 2020 will see me back in full swing.)

It’s not helped that work has been insane. After a typical grueling quarter end that left no time for trying to prep, we’re now in July close.  This is the first month everything was done in BOLO, so a ton of changes to pre-existing data so it maps to the new structure had to be done. BOLO is something of a prima donna and tends to do whatever it wants. Has made for some late nights.

The old saying totally applies: When it rains, it pours. 😛

Mini Movie Review

Fast and Furious: Hobbs and Shaw

Fast and Furious: Hobbs & Shaw – This film was a lot of fun. It has tons of action, super cool effects, and even emotional issues the characters need to working through. The whole frenemies relationship between Hobbs and Shaw was amusing. They even threw some twists into that which worked very well. Stunts are over the top, which is an F&F staple, but nothing so glaring it pulls you from the story. My only nitpick was when the good guys seem to forget all about the scientist guy. But overall, this was a fun ride! (Three extra clips during the credits! So wait to the very end!) Rating: 3.75 out of 4 (Hubby’s rating: Worth Full Price to See Again)

 

Tales of Berseria

Tales of Berseria - flower field

Is this an idyllic spot or what? That sky is gorgeous!

Tales of Berseria - dungeon hallway

Inside an ancient temple. (If I remember correctly.) The blue things are monsters waiting to drop on you as you walk past. 

Tales of Berseria - inside the church

A main hallway in the Exorcists’ HQ.

Tales of Berseria - Group photo

Group photo! We’re still missing one member of the group at this stage. How she joins and what she’s supposed to be doing comes later. 😛

Tales of Berseria - magic barrier seal

A magic barrier to keep people out of this particular temple. Didn’t stop the group for long. 😛

Tales of Berseria - giant temple

The temple we’re trying to break into. The seal is so large, you can see it from here!

Tales of Berseria - inside the Earth pulse

Inside the Earth Pulse. Power zones somewhat like ley lines. 

Tale of Berseria - jungle temple

Once we escape from the Earth pulse, we ended up in another ancient temple. 

Tales of Berseria - outside the ancient temple

Area outside the temple. I got lost in this zone for a while. lol. 

Tales of Berseria - demon

A weaponsmith turned demon. Not a happy camper. 

Hope August is going a lot better for ya’ll than it has been for us! lol. 😛

 

 

Virtual Tourist – Witcher 3 2/17/19

My apologies for anyone who went/is at ConDFW looking for ChibiChains and myself and did not find us there. Unfortunately, I’m still having the issues that cropped up after surgery in November. I’d hoped the last set of meds would let me go to the con, but alas, it was not to be.

I can go out for a bit, but sitting up straight for 8+ hours and the driving itself would have taken too much out of me. I’d thought about doing it anyway, but my family talked me out of it.

I can’t wait for them to figure out what is causing the mess and they get rid of it!

Witcher 3

Witcher 3 - Elven guardian

One of the comic book style sections. Citri and her Elven protector.

Witcher 3 - following Swallows trail

Geralt and one of his sorceress friends, following Citri’s trail. They are about to enter deeper into a set of caves used by her elven protector.

Witcher 3 - message from the elf

Pre-recorded message for Citri from the mysterious elf.

Witcher 3 - dead end?

The pictures of the Swallow are the crumbs to follow. This one, however, appeared to be a dead end.

Witcher 3 - elven portal

In reality, it was a magic portal. (And yes, that is one ugly piece of armor Geralt is wearing. lol.)

Witcher 3 - elemental guardian

The elf left some security measures in place. The earth elemental on the floor was cool looking and nasty!

Witcher 3 - a member of the Wild Hunt

I brightened the image as much as I could. This is one of the members of the Wild Hunt. One of the elves searching for Citri for her elder blood.

Witcher 3 - magic chamber

Magic flames. Nothing bad could happen here. Right? 😛

Witcher 3 - the end of the elf cave

Exit from the mysterious elf’s cave. Citri was not there, but we learned a thing or two.

Witcher 3 - Geralt

He sure is pretty! 😛

Hope you had a good weekend!

ConDFW 2019 Programming

Greetings, all!

Next weekend the 2019 conventions begin! First up is ConDFW – Feb 15-17, 2019.

ConDFW 2019

Final programming schedule came out – so I wanted to share what panels I’ll be in. 🙂

Friday

Programming 2, 4 PM

It Was A Dark and Stormy Night Panelists: Julie Barrett (M), Michael Baldwin, Patricia Ferguson, Gloria Oliver, T. M. Hunter

Whether a classic noir or modern day mystery, the weather must usually need to be accounted for. If it rained, footsteps could be lost or found. If it snowed, evidence could be missed. Our panelists debate the weather and how it affects shots ringing out. Saturday

Saturday

Programming 4, 1 PM

The mARTian Collaboration Panelists: Melia Dawn, Brad Foster, Frances May, Gloria Oliver, Mel White

They say if you ask a committee to design a horse, you’ll get a camel. Come see what happens when we team up artists and ask them to design a Martian, alien, or whatever the audience demands!

Programming 4, 4 PM

Fandom Pictionary Panelists: Melia Dawn, Brad Foster, Frances May, Gloria Oliver, Mel White Play

Pictionary or just watch as our artists compete. Come and see our artists face off against each other. Pictionary has never been this much fun!

Sunday

Programming 2, 1 PM

What is Taboo in History? Panelists: Chris Donahue (M), Charlaine Harris, Melanie Fletcher, Gloria Oliver, Frances May

When we look back at history, there are always parts that are not for the squeamish. There are issues that are controversial, and then there are issues that just aren’t talked about in polite society. Where are the lines? Are there any lines? Why are you crossing any lines? Our panelists discuss these ideas and others. Warning: May get political and/or heated. Please keep all prejudices at the door.

Main Programming, 3 PM

Blending Steampunk Panelists: Tex Thompson (M), Larry Atchley Jr., Gloria Oliver

Using two or more genres together can make something really pop in the imagination. Whether it’s combining with Japanese culture in Jay Kristoff’s Lotus War series or combining with WWI era noir with Larry Correia’s Grimnoir series, blending steampunk with another genre can be very effective. Our panelists debate this and other topics.

Won’t you come and join the fun?

Virtual Tourist – GRIS 2/3/19

Morning, all!

I am still recuperating. There’s some inflammation the doctor is not sure why I have, so I get to do a couple of weeks of steroids. I hope this does the trick. So tired of not feeling normal. 😛

GRIS

GRIS - Bird in Red

The bird is a recurring entity. Currently helpful, though later it gets hostile.

Hitching a ride

Here I am hitching a ride on the bird to go to a new area.

GRIS - Blue

We have arrived at the color Blue.

GRIS - Blue Forest

This is the forest in Blue. They do some really neat things in this zone as they merge wood and water elements.

GRIS - Waterfall tree

This is a waterfall tree. The shrub areas are made of water, though you can stand on them as if they were solid. It gets trippy as the cloak now has the power of turning us into a fish. You can swim up the thicker waterfall sections into the cube sections.

GRIS - fish!

That’s me in the middle. Take a look at the scary shadow in the back! Eek!

GRIS - Blue Statue

The girl statues are a major element and what the voyage is about.

GRIS - Blue full moon

Isn’t that a cool visual?

GRIS - Green

Now we are in Green. The farther we go the more complex things appear.

GRIS - Green and its beautiful flowers

Red, blue, yellow and now all sorts of colors appear. This section is gorgeous. Once we get the power to sing, we will make it even more so.

Have a gorgeous Sunday!

Happy Holidays 2018

Greetings to all!

I am still recuperating from gall bladder surgery, but I am slowly getting back to normal. I am hoping to get to a semi regular schedule again, soon!

But I did want to take a few minutes to wish all of you a very merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Stay safe, stay warm, and be happy!

Virtual Tourist – Deus Ex: Mankind Divided 1/22/17

Morning!

Year End work stuff has been messing up my schedule. Flip-flopping Texas weather has been messing up my sinuses. Between the two, I can’t get blog stuff done. Waaahhhh!

Dues Ex: Mankind Divided

The leader of the underground cult and a total brainwasher. He’s excellent at it.

He’s messing with my mind! I don’t entirely succumb, but it affects me plenty.

A podium with a microphone so his people can speak with him, except it’s not plugged in. He’s a nasty piece of work! lol. Need to get my inside’s fixed before I tackle the rest of this one.

Subway station. Love the movie poster. Hah! The place is segregated between naturals and augmented zones.

Inside the subway car/tram.  The sequence made me woozy, so every time I got on, I had to look somewhere else for a minute. Wheee!

Station on the other end. There are four or five locations you will take the subway to get to. Each is slightly different. This angle is from the Aug side of the station.

One thing I love about this game is all the awesome detail. Even the drink dispensers take sides. lol.

Outside the station. Gorgeous and so modern!

The plaque is about the incident resulting during the end phase of the previous game. It truly messed up the world. But could have been so much worse!

Totally loved this 3D ad for the store Tech Noir.

Have a great Sunday!