Sometime ago, I ran a poll on my Twitter account asking people to choose between the two most popular gaming systems that I didn't already own. (I have a PC, and I've bought myself a Switch, so I left those options out). The choice was unanimous - Sony's PlayStation was the winner. I, however, am still not sure. Maybe, at some stage, I may be able to buy both. I have reasons why I like each of them.
For a start, the XBox One S has a special Minecraft edition, in which the box is made to look like a block of grass. The controller has a Creeper design, but you can also buy the Pig controller, which is pink and even has a curly tail at the back. Special editions are not unusual in the console world, but I've loved Minecraft since I first played it, so it would be special to have a console related to it.
Both consoles have their exclusives - games that can only be played on one console. But most of the games I am interested in are on both, so that isn't really a consideration for me. Perhaps in the future it might matter, if a game is released as an exclusive that I really want. Most games I like end up on PC anyway.
I am still thinking about it. I would like to stream games in the future, so a capture card will be another item I would need. So if someone could toss a million dollars or so my way, that would be great! Otherwise, what do you think? PlayStation or XBox? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.
Since it was announced that the Sims 4 base game would be free for a limited time, there has been a lot of uproar from people who bought it at full price. As I'm someone who paid for my copy of the game, I'd like to share what I think about it.
Firstly, from a business point of view, it is a clever tactic. Get people interested with free content, then they will be more willing to pay for more. It should be noted that, since its release, The Sims 4 has given players a bunch of free content in patch updates. You can watch [this video] from The Sim Supply for a extensive video of free updates to the game.
Secondly, I am thrilled that more players are playing the game I love. This has opened up the game to a diverse range of players, some who haven't played The Sims before due to the restriction of price. This can only be a good thing. As the developers of the game, rely on the opinions of its players, more players means more ideas, more opportunities for things that have never been in the game before to be added.
If you have read this far, you can see I think The Sims 4 being free for a limited time is a good thing. I am not disappointed that I paid for the game and others have it for free - this is common with video games, giving codes and keys to YouTubers or streamers to play and promote their game. Which of course was part of the reason The Sims 4 did it. I enjoyed The Sims 3 so much, that I was always going to buy The Sims 4. I'm not the only one. I don't regret it at all - The Sims has introduced me to a bunch of fantastic people, and given me priceless experiences. I wouldn't change a thing.
Today marks one year since the creation of WomANZ. If you are not aware, WomANZ is a community for women in Australia and New Zealand, who are a part of content creation and esports. It started with a single Tweet by Naysy.
Since then, it has grown. The primary form of contact for the community is a private discord, which you can apply to become a member of [here]. There is a stream team on Twitch, and images for member to put in their panels under their stream, to show they are a member.
The community is not limited to Twitch streamers, however. Anyone female, whatever their experience, is welcome. It's aim to for members to support each other in their careers online.
My only in person encounter with the members of WomANZ was at PAX Australia last year, where they had a meet up, and gave some fanastic prizes away, I admit I felt uncomfortable at first, as I hadn't streamed in ages, and felt like I didn't belong. But I could see that others felt uncomfortable too. No one was mean, or bitchy, or competitive. It was very warm and supportive, and those ladies make me so proud to be a member of the community.
In my opinion, we need more women online. All kinds of women, and particularly in games. The online world could always do with more diversity, showing that anyone can be a gamer, and have a gaming career.
I've kinda disappeared from the Internet over the past few days due to computer trouble. On Saturday, my computer was beeping, and I tried everything I could to fix it. Nothing worked, so I decided to buy a new one. I had my computer for over two years, and I guess I was in need of an upgrade. My shiny new computer arrived on Tuesday, and what would you know? It worked! I turned it on to check I hadn't left anything in the CD drive - something I tend to do a lot. When I put it on, the beeps were gone. I connected a monitor, and everything was fine. I've since taken everything of use from my old computer, and reset it to default, so I can sell it second hand. I'm currently using my new computer. Hopefully I'll be able to stream over the weekend. Fingers crossed!
As some of you may know, I have two vlogs up on my YouTube channel. I am current getting some ideas together for a new channel centred around The Sims, in particular The Sims 4. I have a huge list of challenges that I want to do on the channel, which I hope people will enjoy. But right now, I'm trying to come up with a name for it.
I watch a few Sims channels on YouTube, and a lot focus on building and Create A Sim videos. If I'm honest with myself, I'm not very good at either. My buildings start out square shaped, and usually stay that way. I have no sense of style, so the Sims I create ain't much better. But I am really good at the gameplay, and that is what I enjoy.
I really like doing challenges in The Sims, you know, the ones that have rules and restrictions that you have to follow. However, these sort of "Let's Play" style videos have been done on YouTube before. I want to do something new, and innovative.
I have noticed that people like to do Machinima, which is where they use the in game camera and video modes to make short movies. A common one is to recreate music videos in the Sims. While I find that an interesting angle to make a video of, I'm not sure if I could do that.
I do want to give viewers a personal connect to the Sims in my challenges. So I wondered, what if they made vlogs? Where they talk about what's going on in their lives and what they're thinking? Maybe that would be an interesting thing to do. So now I just have to come up with a unique name. I'm finding that the hard part.
Once I am ready with full details on the new channel, this website will have all the info you need, from the challenges to the videos. Any ideas on what I should call it?
I was searching gaming news on Google when I came upon an article which suggests a cheaper Switch model could be launched by June this year. The article [link here] goes on to suggested the current Switch would be "upgraded" later in the year.
If this is true, I personally think it would be fantastic. I know a lot of people who would love to buy a Switch, but they just can't afford it. Apparently the cheaper model would remove things like the vibration feature as "there wouldn't be many games released using the full benefit of it", according to one of the Wall Street Journal's sources.
I'd like to point out that the sources are unnamed, and Nintendo declined to comment on the story. So we have no idea if the claims are valid or not. The sources pointed to an announcement in June, at E3, with the retail release to follow. For now, we just have to wait and see.
So some time ago I bought myself a Switch. It was cheaper as I traded in all my 3DS games. (I couldn't trade in the actual 3DS because I was missing the charger for it.) I love the Switch, mostly for its portability - I have not plugged it into a screen, just played it on its own, and it does great. Here are the titles I have in my collection:
I've decided that people like lists. So I'm going to blog about the conventions I would like to go to the most, and the reasons they interest me. The first convention I attended was PAX Australia in 2016, thanks to a three-day pass that I won on KryticZeuz's Twitch stream, I'm now one of his moderators, and have attended PAX AUS in 2017 and 2018. So here we go -
As I write this, a group of very lucky content creators and gaming influencers are getting the world's first look at the gameplay of Borderlands 3, the latest game in the Borderlands series made by 2K. I hope that I will be able to have a similar experience myself one day. You can follow the adventures of these Australians and New Zealanders on their social media accounts. To help you out, I'll list them below:-
Note the above names are also their Twitter handles. They should also lead you to other social media accounts of these fine peeps. More people to follow on Twitter if you're looking for Borderlands 3 news:-
@2K_ANZ - The Australian and New Zealand account for 2K, who make Borderlands, but also NBA 2K, Bioshock, Civilisations VI, XCOM and WWE.
Use the #Borderlands3 hashtag for tweets and accounts associated with the event.
Special shoutout to @Pez_Bro who works for 2K, but is just a top bloke.
Some of you may know I am a member of a special community. WomANZ offers support for women in Australia and New Zealand in content creation and esports. Everyone from Twitch streamers to professional esport players are welcome to join. You can apply to be a part of the community on their website.
Today WomANZ announced that they had partnered with HyperX to give away a Quadcast Microphone. Just recently released in Australia, it retails for $189 at JB Hi-Fi, and is compatable with PC, Mac and Playstation 4. An all-round microphone for someone wanting quality sound, whether it's for podcasts, recorded video or live streaming. It's open for everyone to enter here.
If you've been keeping up with this blog, you'll notice I haven't posted in a while - since my birthday in fact. I planned to make a vlog, as something different, but I kept putting it off. The sore throat didn't help, and my room is a bit of a mess, but these were all just excuses. So finally, today, I recorded a video. I show how my desk cleaning is going, and two things I got for myself online. You should also notice the website has a new Video tab. So far, there are just two videos - my The Nicole Experience vlog series. The second one is the one I recorded today - the first one was recorded almost a year ago. I decided I wanted to record videos and stream, to gain more confidence in myself. But I kept coming up with excuses not to do it. To be honest, I was scared. Scared of what people would think of me, that I wouldn't be good enough. But, now that I'm being honest and more of myself through this blog, those excuses don't carry weight anymore. One of my best qualities is the fact that I am unique - I've never felt the need to copy the crowd. So what people think doesn't matter so much. If you're reading this though, you've taken the time to read what I have to say, so you do matter, and I appreciate your support. Anyway, enjoy the video, comment on my YouTube channel and so on.
After a whole bunch of internal debate, I decided to purchase a planner for the content that I want to create. I managed to find one online - this one. It hasn't arrived yet, however they sent me a template to use for the month of April.
My biggest hurdle at the moment is procrastination. I have a sore throat, which started yesterday, and I am using that as an excuse not to make videos or start streaming. It's a fair reason, but deep down I feel kind of scared to put myself out there again.
I've made a few videos which I've uploaded to Twitch. I have also streamed a few times, playing Minecraft, Sims 4, Sims Medieval and Stardew Valley. They are all games I would love to play again.
Here are the ideas I have for videos so far:-
As you can see from the image above, tickets for PAX Australia 2019 went on sale at the Early Bird discounted rate. So what does that mean? Well, obviously, the discount means it's cheaper than the full price rate. Does that mean you should buy your tickets now? Personally, I think that depends on a combination of factors.
Out of all the types of tickets available, the one that benefits most from the discount is the 3 day pass. In my experience, it is definately the most popular, selling out the quickest. Once they sell out, buying tickets for the individual days turns out to be more expensive.
However, not everyone has the money for the 3 day pass. Does that mean you should miss out on PAX? No way! Buying a one day pass is still a great way to enjoy PAX, without the full on-ness of 3 days in a row. There are pros and cons, though.
Choosing which of the three days to attend, I honestly don't have a favourite. I have had 3 day passes at all the PAX Australia's I've attended and enjoyed each day equally. If you can only have one day, you want to get as much in as you can. However, at this early stage, there is no schedule for the panels and other events. As for how busy it gets - all the days are equally busy, but more families come on Saturday, as that's the best day for their kids. So really, the choice is yours.
If you are an International guest, I totally recommend the 3 day pass for International visitors. There are conditions attached, but it separate from the 3 day pass for residents. Having travelled so far to get to Melbourne, especially if you came just for PAX, it would be a shame not to enjoy all the fun the event has to offer.
A reminder though - you don't need a PAX pass to enjoy the fun in Melbourne. The week before is Melbourne International Games Week - a celebration of gaming and technology with events all over the city. Find out more here. Buy your PAX Australia 2019 badges here.
On Monday the dates for this years' PAX Australia were announced. Having been to three PAX Australia's so far, I'd consider myself a veteran (of sorts). So here are my tips for enjoying PAX Down Under!
I'll see you there!