Tag Archives: crafting

Haven Editorial: Cosplay is good

Cosplay is to me a wholesome activity, that promotes creativity and fun. For people of all ages. Children love to play dress up, Halloween promotes it and we have a similar tradition in Norway, only with singing for candy on new years eve. Not to mention that people love to host costume parties and masquerade balls. There is also a lot more kinky ways to use a tantalizing costume. Cosplay is short for costume fun and that’s the main point.

However there are also several unintended benefits in the recent and increased popularity. A lot of old crafts was about to die out, due to mass production and few career prospects. It used to be a common profession to sew custom clothes, such as fancy, frilly party dresses and such. There is only so many tailors and seamstress the community can keep aloft, when anyone can buy a suit at a mall. Mass producing cosplay is virtually impossible. Since there are millions of characters to pick from and they all have something unique about them. Which is quite awesome indeed. There is an old saying that goes «If you want something done right, do it yourself». Creating a costume is hard work and a real mental challenge, that forces the one making it to think about the best approach. Both when it comes to picking materials and when it comes to assembly.

Let’s face it. Everything is possible on a 3d model, or in an animated show. Because it is not real. Creating cosplay is all about making it real. Which requires a sound mind and some insanity. Since it is a common fact that big shoulder plates will never stay in place and that female clothing is not designed to stay on. Personal I use the term practical problem solving. Challenges is a part of life, but creative crafting is a way to overcome that. Most costumes includes many intricate sewing patterns, fancy fabric and a lot of armour pieces. Due to the decline of old professions a lot of the knowledge needed has to searched for online, due to a lack of good mentor figures. Sure a lot of it can be searched for online, but for the most of us we learn by trying. On a side note, its a very common thing for people being too hung up on collecting reference materials, you know downloading a ton of character pictures onto a hard drive. Then to never interact with the pictures again. Anyhow, crafting armour, making weapons and intricate , all requires crafting. Which also teaches people to use tools and think for themselves. This in turn makes a person more independent. Apparently a lot of people does not know how to do minor maintenance at home, or own a hammer.

Another positive effect cosplay has on people, is the ability to make friends and boost self confidence. It is quite a challenge to walk around in a costume, where everyone will look and admire you. Meeting new people is also easier when one have something in common. It breaks the ice. Plus all the professional venues has a zero drug and no alcohol policy. let’s face it, many people have a very difficult time being around other people or initiate a conversation, it’s a surprisingly good ice breaker. Cosplay is also starting to become a viable way to sustain oneself. Such as winning price money. Live streaming the prop making progress. Which is what I do. There is also a market in selling products to people who lack the patience or the skill to do it themselves. On top of that there is a huge market itself in selling materials to create a costume from. Most of the more exotic martial I use is only sold online and shipped from abroad.

Personally I love crafting costume props and make them work. Which is why I stream the creative process several times during each week.

Njål Sand

Haven Editorial: Conan Exiles

Haven Editorial: Adventures is Exile

Conan exiles takes place in the magical world of Conan the barbarian. Which the Norwegian game company Funcom made another game in. Unlike Age of Conan, this is an open sandbox, with crafting, survival elements and full frontal nudity. Both genders can chose to be completely naked within the game settings. The same options can be set by the server host as well.

I started my adventure on a sour note, being accused of crimes I never committed. Some quite unsavory people knocked me out cold and left me dry and hanging. I mean honestly, who the devil crucify someone alive in the middle of a god forsaken wilderness? honorless dogs that is who. After a mighty struggle I managed to pry myself off the cross and found a note next to me, along with a waterskin. Something I consider a quite fitting contribution to my glorious conquest of these savage lands. All around me is a barren wasteland of a desert, sparsely populated with black ruins and a cobble stone road to traverse. Further down the path I ran into a flying fiend of sorts, that snarled at me before it flew into the distance. Eventually I found an oasis, with lush vegetation and a whole lot of water all over the place. As I was admiring the lovely scenery several vicious scaly beast ganged up on me and I died brutally. Eventually I re-spawned at the cross again. Death is apparently a slap on the wrist as long as I can reclaim my corpse and the loot I carry.

Long story short, Conan Exiles is an open sandbox survival game on Steam, that launched as an early access title. Which leaves rooms for a lot of patching. Despite some minor bugs and annoyances, the game is fairly addictive and a decent proof of concept. However there are some very nasty bugs and horrible loading time around the time this article is being written. Make no mistake, Conan Exiles is fun, especially with friends and comes with both PVP and PVE modes. Where people can host their own servers and modify the game mechanics. Such as day and night cycles and the experience gain. It’s also totally possible to play it solo and access the admin panel, which can create any object of desire within the game. AT one point I decided to summon an avatar of Yog. A 50 meter tall tentacled monstrosity, with the ability to penetrate the earth. Unfortunately it only last for a minute.

Crafting is fairly fast and straight forward. Gather the needed resource, go into the menu and click on the desired recipe. Each level unlock several new recipes. However they are best to divide between several players to maximize the effectiveness. One should focus on building fancy things, while the other player should work on making weapons. Eventually I learned how to make a lesser wheel of pain, rope and a blackjack. Three lovely items that allows me to knock someone out, string them up and drag them back to base. Nothing is more satisfying than to employ several highly trained athletic slaves. Knocking someone unconscious can lead to some rather gruesome mutilations. The game is bloody, brutal and uncompromising. Limbs will fly and blood will soak the sand. The sandbox of Conan Exiles is composed of 90% sand, which is quite an oxymoron indeed.

The wilderness is populated by various camps, vicious monsters and swarms of hyenas and toxic spiders. I can’s count the number of times I ran out of stamina, got crippled and was brutally murdered by fanged fiends. All in all a very fun, if a bit flawed game, which can only get better with time. Since long loading and optimization leaves a lot to be desired,





Njål Sand

Early Access: The Savage Lands


Over the last few years there has been an influx of survival crafting games on Steam. All of them went through their obligatory Early Access phase; a trend that many journalists have commented upon. It seems that this type of game simply can’t be made unless it graces the Early Access scene. Some of these titles have risen to high-ranking popularity. Gaining a huge player base and acclaim, games like ARK: Survival Evolved (ARK) and Rust are well known as being at the top of the genre. Other titles Have become infamous for just how bad they are. The Savage Lands is neither. Again, it’s still in Early Access so it could drastically swing either way.

Currently The Savage Lands is savagely mediocre. I haven’t playe2016-01-15_00013d many of these survival crafting games so I’m not sure how it stacks up against the others. I have played ARK though, and in that game you get a poop button. It’s a button that makes your player character poop right on the ground, or in your friend’s house; wherever you’re standing, really. The Savage Lands doesn’t have a poop button. So already it’s objectively worse. Let’s stop dwelling on what the game doesn’t have and focus on what it does. It’s got tiny dogs that you chop at with an axe. They give you sinew sometimes. That’s really the most important thing. You need it to fix that axe that probably broke as you chopped up the dogs. The game also has boar and deer as well, to round out the mundane creature list. Then there are several mythological creatures that you get to fight. 2016-01-15_00012You have skeletons, different skeletons, and a little tree man who is mysteriously absent from the in-game bestiary. He drops goat or boar meat when killed. Also there is one dragon.

The dragon is neat. It flies around and breathes fire. I built my house near it so I got fire breathed on me a lot. I feel like the game was really hoping that the dragon would carry it, since there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot else going on. The crafting menu is fairly small. You can build a handful of buildings and only one type of box. I think there may be at most 50 or so things to craft. Each crafting “recipe” only requires a few different materials, such as low quality metal ore (which is fucking impossible to find).2016-01-15_00005 My ass is overflowing with medium quality metal ore, but none of low quality. What the fuck is that? All rocks give you all ore, so there really is no need to go exploring for better ore deposits. I feel like there is no reason to explore at all. The entire map looks exactly the same and there is the same shit everywhere you go. It’s almost impossible to navigate. The terrain all looks the same and there are no usable features to guide you home. That’s why I built my house near the dragon. At least that’s something different. Perhaps these issues are the result of the game’s Early Access status, and it will improve over time. But judging from what I’ve seen and how long it’s been in pre-release, I have little hope for this title.2016-01-15_00015

Disclaimer: We received this game because we wanted to review it, and as such all views in this article our are own. No money has been exchanged for this review.

-Jordan Kamm-