Tag Archives: X

Tech Review: Facerig

review-facerigFacerig is a very unusual program where you can actually have a lot of fun. So much fun in fact, That I have literally spent a few hours alone on it, just talking to myself and learning the software so I can make some funny videos later.

However, I’ve found a few notable problems with the software and after a quick Google search I’ve learned that they are either still working on fixing them, or that the developers have stopped caring about fixing them.20131215151557-FaceRig_alpha-stage_03_-_Copy

When I first tried recording with the software, I was met with a loud hissing and static noise that made it impossible to hear my own voice. The problem was that the software doesn’t auto-detect your microphone/headset, rather it sets its own default (even if it’s disabled). This was odd, but regardless I set it to my headset and moved on. But even after doing that, recording with FRAPS was also pointless because it still detected the audio input according to the earlier settings.

But after trying LoiLo I was finally able to clear up the audio for recording and it was pretty great. I really enjoyed it overall, however after restarting the program I found out that the software does not save all of your settings and you must manually reset your microphone and headset each and every time you want to use the software.FaceRig Games

Now this is what I meant by the developers not fixing the issue yet after a quick Google search I learned that this has been a persistent problem for the software and even after a year you think they would fix it but they haven’t so far.

But let us move on to the actual software, it does have a lot of variation and once you do get your webcam working and microphone working for lipsync the animations you can do are incredible, however this all goes without saying that you got to make sure its all probably being detected by the software each and every time you use it.

Their exporting feature also for video and audio is a little disappointing which is the reason why I am relying heavily on using Loilo or FRAPS for the software to get better results, they even have a green screen feature for the software which is amazing for editing the images into other videos but if you are using AVS or other software it won’t be as good as you would hope.maxresdefault

All in all by its own right the software is remarkably fun and I have literally killed a bunch of time on it and the bugs I have encountered although widely known has not stopped people such as myself and others from using it.

I recommend you pick up the software and give it a try sometime it’s really amazing.

-Daniel Clatworthy-

Haven Review: XCOM 2

XCOM2TitleFirst up is our disclaimer. We received this game for review purposes only, and as such all opinions in this review are our own. No money has been exchanged for this review.

I was a computer network instructor for a major training company in 1994. My dial-up Internet was fast becoming a bore, so decided that a new game for my PC was in order. I stumbled upon a title called XCOM: UFO Defense (MicroProse, 1994). I brought home the packaged game, but for some reason never got around to installing it. The following year XCOM: Terror From the Deep (MicroProse, 1995) caught my attention. As with its predecessor it wound up being thrown into a drawer, never to be installed. Twenty years and a host of sequels later, I’m happy to report that I have indeed installed and played XCOM 2, developed by Firaxis and published by 2K Games.  X1What we have is a turn-based tactical simulator. Essentially, you lead a team of specialists into battle, position them where they’ll do the most good and then let loose their fire upon the enemy. Once this is done, the opposing team (a group of mind-bending aliens) gets a turn at doing the same to you. The mission ends when one side has obliterated the other. To make things more challenging, small sub-quests accompany many of the missions. Perhaps you must place an explosive device somewhere on the map, or hack into a computer console located deep in enemy territory.

X6As you assign orders to your soldiers, I find it helpful to think of the map as an obstacle-laden chessboard. Each unit has a specialty that works well in some positions; less so in others. The trick is to place your pieces out of the enemy’s line of sight, while capitalizing on their own best attack options.

X9At the conclusion of combat, you’re presented with a status report. You see the general condition of each team member. Green is good, red is bad, and dead is really bad. You can heal your wounded soldiers but you can’t revive those killed in action.X7 So if you’re the type of player who grows attached to your characters, you’ll be restarting missions often in this game. Also, don’t forget to use points earned in battle to promote your worthy combatants. High ranking squad members are sturdier and can out-perform lower ranking enemy counterparts. This is especially useful when aliens attempt to confuse your troops with their mind-control ability.

As your adventure continues, you’ll be taken to exotic locations all over the globe! The world map fills in as you reclaim each area, freeing our planet from the alien scourge!
X10As clean and time-tested as this series is, the game is not without its bugs. On several occasions one of my soldiers was standing point-blank before a foe, with an 80% or greater “chance-to-hit”. He missed. Granted, 80% is no guarantee, but it happened a bit too often not to suggest a peek inside the RNG calculator.

Without giving away vital story elements, it may be important to note that this game begins where another XCOM title left off…well, sort of. Games in this genre often have multiple endings, and of course players strive for the best and happiest. But that wouldn’t work here. XCOM 2 wouldn’t be much if it opened with an influx of bunny rabbits and rainbows. The notion is that XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012), the first to be offered by Firaxis/2K Games, concluded with the “bad” story ending; the humans losing their battle against the aliens. So now, here we are.X11a

XCOM 2 is a “Triple-A” title, and as such it’s priced on Steam at $60 (USD). Is it worth it? Yes it is. Of the many entries in this long-admired series, this is certainly the most refined and enhanced. Additionally, there are 50 Steam achievements to go for right now, with potentially more on the way via upcoming DLC.

I still have those original, unopened boxes from ’94 and ’95. I even have an old pre-Windows PC to play them on. Perhaps I’ll boot it up and give the games a try…that is if the data on those floppy diskettes is still there!
-Chris Roberts-

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Tech News: Direct X12 – Power Up!

Alright for those Tech junkies out there such as myself you have heard that Windows 10 will change things up a bit. More important in the graphics card area of things avoiding all the mumbo jumbo for the none tech people out there and what this could mean.

Currently those who have used Nvidia and or AMD based graphics cards in their gaming PC’s
could never use both at the same time as the two companies tend not to get along that well.
However with the new Explicit Asynchronous Multi-GPU Capabilities the graphics cards can now at long last get along.
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Essentially its like the Imperials and the Nords in Skyrim both going you know? Why fight!
We got beer and beer is good so lets go drink a beer. The Operating system with Direct X12 being the beer. AMD being the imperials and Nvidia being the Nords regardless of whatever side they are on they can now get along thanks to advancements in modern technology.

What does this mean for the gamers? It means increased frame rates, it means better visuals
and most of all it means the PC master race can keep doing what its doing all along innovating so the consoles can do something better when they aim for their next gen.

I for one am very much looking forward to the new DirectX although I believe I will need to change out my graphics cards again in the future and without a job I guess I’ll be waiting a while.

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-Daniel Clatworthy-