Sunday, August 02, 2020
Sunday, July 12, 2020
Last time I had shared with you my Pinterest Board for "Black Jade". I realized later I should have also included the Dallas in 1930s Board. DOH! Research pics on distinct places and things from the 1930s.
History can be very fascinating! Especially as not all the books out there read like the dry, boring dribble of high school history books! :P
Steam had a sale over the 4th of July weekend, so we bought two games. My original purchase had included A Plague Tale: Innocence which I'd had on my wish list for a while. Sadly, I had to return it as it gave me terrible motion sickness. I checked to see if there was a way to fix it, but alas, there was not. So I returned it. (The premise was original, and the skill set you have to develop is unique (slingshot), but though it was 3rd person, the moving/bouncing perspective just made me ill.)
So after looking at some others and getting rather down as the ones I got excited about had comments about motion sickness there too, I got lucky and ran across The Council from Big Bad Wolf Studios. The first "episode" was on Steam for free, so I could make sure it would work for me before committing. Yay!
It has an interesting premise, and your choices can change the direction or information during play. It's set in the late 18th century. Louis is searching for his mother (after the intro play) who's disappeared after having spent several weeks on a remote island owned by Lord Mortimer. Sarah, Louis' mother, is the head of the Golden Order in Europe.
You have to choose for Louis to be a diplomat, an occultist, or a detective, which will start the character with different skill sets. They also incorporate action points which you use when trying to use your skills. There are potions you can find to help with action points and with discovering character immunities and vulnerabilities as you go through dialogue choices. It's been fascinating, so far!
Yep, the characters are not pretty! Though still better looking than the ones in Skyrim! :P
The story begins, and in many ways revolves, around France.
Louis first look at Lord Mortimer's island. He sent Louis a letter inviting him to come as his mother has disappeared.
It is a long way from the docks to the house! Sheesh!
The front of Lord Mortimer's Mansion. Quite impressive!
Giant statue coming out of the wall over the fireplace on the main floor. Everything in the mansion is rather impressive. Psychology at play on those who come to visit. (This definitely becomes clear as you explore some of the bedrooms. Lol.)
Two of the paintings in the main hall. You may not be able to tell from this picture, but the work on the paintings for the game is impressive. They did specific textures to show they are oil paintings. Oil paintings have a certain look because of the paints, how they dry, and the canvas they are painted on. It is much more noticeable in the better lit areas. Kudos!
The tile work in the main hall. Implying his guests are but mice in a maze, perhaps?
Lord Holm - he plays host for Lord Mortimer in his absence. Quite disturbing in his powder and wig. :P
The invited guests are movers and shakers in the world. Here's Louis standing next to President George Washington. Duchess Emily Hillsboro is in the background. Napoleon Bonaparte is also one of the many guests, a force being groomed for the future.
Overall, they've done a great job with all the intrigue. Some hard puzzles here and there, timed responses, murder, the occult, politics, and a bizarre mystery. Booyah!
Have a great week!
Sunday, June 28, 2020
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
Out in the desert after leaving Siwa on the way to Alexandria. Behind Bayek, you can see pyramids!
The 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.)
One 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.
The 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!
A lost crypt by the water.
Sweeping 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.
The 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.
Is this place grand or what? Hypostyle Hall. The years and manpower it must have taken to build it is mind-boggling.
A 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.)
View 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!
Sunday, June 14, 2020
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!
One of the rooms in the Mountain of the Dead near Siwa. Canopic jars and all sorts of treasures for the afterlife.
Cat 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.
Two 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.
There'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.
Once 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.
While 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!)
Outside 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! :P
This 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.
Modern 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.
Senu and Bayek. Aren't they cute? :)
Stay calm, stay safe, stay optimistic! Until next time!