Sunday, November 29, 2015

What's on the Menu and the Blue Danube Meets Manic Miner !

Hooray ! November is here and I particulary like this month, because Mrs. A and I celebrate Thanksgiving. Even though it is not celebrated here in the U.K. I liked the thought of a Roast Turkey meal and a few days off towards the end of November. Mrs. A originally lived and was born in the United States before settling in the United Kingdom.
Roast Turkey with Cranberry Sauce and all the Trimmings

Lovely Yorkshire Puddings
In the Photos above, you can see some of the food that was eaten on our Thanksgiving Day. Yorkshire Puddings are so nice to have with any roast meal, particulary with gravy. Although, if you have too many, they can be quite filling. But so worth having !

Nerd Block :: ( November 2015 ) | Tis' the Season
Quite an impress Block for this month, especially the T-Shirt and 16 month Star Wars Calendar. Yes ! 16 months, the whole of 2016 and then some of 2017 for good measure. The National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation item is so funny !
Lego :: ( Let's Build )
This has been quite a creative month with two models, both are from video games. A golden oldie from the 1980's and a more recent one from my stable. Every model is created with the Lego Digital Designer and is essential if you don't have all those Bricks at hand. Once you are ready, you can always start off by ordering them from the Lego Pick-A-Brick section at Lego Shop Online or from Bricklink. Bricklink will have more rare and hard to find Bricks available !
Manic Miner has to be one of the most loved video game characters of the 1980's. It was one of the first platformer style type of game I played and ironically it was on the birthplace machine, the ZX Spectrum. The gameplay was easy to get into with some levels being more of a challenge ! I am not sure if the programmer Matthew Smith knew at the type how much of an impact the game would have on gamers back in 1983. This classic game was converted to most 8-bit platforms and even the Nintendo GameBoy Advance !
The above video shows the loading sequence and the game. Some of you may also recognise the title screen music ? It is of course The Blue Danube originally by the Austrian composer Johann Strauss. The popular science fiction movie 2001 Space Odyssey also used a composition of The Blue Danube.
From one iconic platformer video game to Bugsy, well ... to me he's iconic and to show my passion and pride, I present to you in Lego form ...
I am really proud of this build, I may modify a few sections here and there, but the overall look is quite pleasing. Normal straight forward, regular Brick builds okay. However, using different types of Brick are more exciting to build with. Once the Bricks are all chosed, you have the colour to worry about next. Some colours are rare, in the terms of cost per Brick. I stumbled across this great Colour Palette website where you can see what a rainbow of colours are available. Reddish Brown seems like a hard to get colour !

Preparing the December Wind Down ::
As December pulls up with it's random changeable weather, I usually prepare for my break for the up and coming holiday season. Our decorated Christmas Tree and some decorations are pretty much up and set. During November I missed out in doing two things I used to do for months, GameDev and a Gameplay. Part of this, is because of distractions in doing other things and allocating time. In early January, I had the urge to buy and play with lots of Lego, this has stayed with me all of this year. It has also opened up a new or buried deep inside my myself, a fascinating creative outlet. To buy a Lego kit is one thing, but to create something new is whole new dimension.
I do have a few goals for next year, one of which is to get back into GameDev and hopefully finish off the two current in progress projects : Office Worker Assault and Barriers. Even if I have to juggle tasks around, it would be nice to get back into the swing of things.
Until next month ...