GamesLucasarts
16. October 2022

Originally, this post was going to be a lament that I have Return to Monkey Island in my Steam library but couldn’t play it yet because my graphics card isn’t good enough. Which was actually true until last weekend because the AMD Radeon 6850 I’ve had for a while was just a tiny little bit too old. DirectX 12 turned out to be the culprit as expected, but I wasn’t really in a hurry to get something better. But now I did something about it and managed to snag an AMD Radeon R9 270X on eBay. It took a while to arrive because of the long weekend but now it’s here and yesterday I operated on the computer again… and now I’m back on Melée Island!

Return to Monkey Island has turned out to be an absolute marvel. I have already completet the first act, exploring a familiar, but also slightly different Melée Island once again. It feels like 1990 again, only on a huge cinematic screen in high definition instead of slighly blurry pixels on a flickering 14″ tube monitor. The heart and spirit of Monkey Island is very much present and you can feel that this game is a labour of love much like Thimbleweed Park was. Ron Gilbert, Dave Grossmann and their team have hit the right spot perfectly. I will probably write a full review sometime, but now I’m just enjoying the game a lot and will play through it without any hurry.

It wasn’t altogether simple because I also had to put in a second harddrive and install a separate new Windows 10 system on it, but it worked. My concerns about the old Athlon X4 II 640 CPU were thankfully wrong and the new graphics card did the trick! This computer with its more than 10 year old components in a 20 year old case is now not a gaming potato anymore! Many other games now run much better and some that didn’t even start before are now working.

But for now it’s back to the Caribbean and see what shenanigans Guybrush Threepwood is up to!

Category: Games, Lucasarts
GamesLucasarts
27. August 2022

I totally forgot that Gamescom is happening down in Cologne… and that means this week we found out the release day of Return to Monkey Island! Everyone expected it to be sometime in November or even for Christmas, but Ron Gilbert and his team are having a laugh again and chose (of course) Talk Like A Pirate Day on September 19. That is less than a Month away!

Unfortunately that means that this will be the last thing I’ll be writing about the new Monkey Island adventure for a while. I’ve had a look at the system requirements and as expected it doesn’t look good for me – I need at least a new graphics card, but hopefully the old AMD CPU will still work. This computer can run Astroneer and Planet Zoo for example, so it can’t be that difficult.

I’m still going to preorder the game, of course – it’s only €23 and that is a really reasonable price. Maybe it still runs, but I suspect DirectX 12 will be my nemesis – but I have patience and I’m still only into Part 2 of 5 of my Tales of Monkey Island replay!

[UPDATE: As expected… my computers are not up to it, even though the system requirements are really really low – but the minimum required graphics card is a Radeon HD 7750 while I only have a 6850 at the moment. Missed it by that much! Next month I’m going graphics card hunting on eBay…]

Same island, different age.

Category: Games, Lucasarts
GamesLucasarts
20. August 2022

A new trailer for Return to Monkey Island dropped in late June and it’s wonderful. And the game website has been updated too with more exciting information that looks very promising! Stan trying to sell the game! Guybrush narrating his story in the trailer! The return of Dominique Armato, who became the voice of Guybrush Threepwood 25 years ago! A hint of a new story! A first look at the characters in motion! A full-blown orchestral music score! It’s all very fun and nostalgic and refreshingly new.

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Category: Games, Lucasarts
GamesLucasarts
30. April 2022

It was April 1st a couple of weeks ago and given the current state of affairs nobody was really in the mood to make April Fools Jokes anymore. Even when games designer Ron Gilbert, who surprised everyone with Thimbleweed Park a few years ago, made a seemingly lame joke about a new Monkey Island adventure on April 1, nobody thought much of it.

Except it wasn’t a joke! Three days later the adventure gaming world was upside down after an official announcement confirmed with a short trailer that RETURN TO MONKEY ISLAND is in fact real. Apparently Ron Gilbert has been working together with Dave Grossmann, his old friend from the Lucasfilm Games days, for two years on the project in complete secrecy!

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Category: Games, Lucasarts
24. December 2021

I’d like to wish all family, friends, regular readers, commenters and all other visitors Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, A Happy New Year or any other Holiday Greetings you prefer! As usual, I prefer Happy Newtonmas because Isaac Newton was born on December 25th, but I’m very democratic in that respect and let everyone celebrate the the holiday they like.

Soooo. 2021. It started on a sour note, muddled along during Spring, got a little better during the Summer and then went completely to hell in the Autumn and Winter thanks to Corona. Even our extended family got hit by the virus in time for the holidays thanks to the still not closed down schools. Still, we’re all double, if not triple vaccinated except the kids and we’re all as careful as possible. We’re not even in a proper lockdown like last year, just a muddle of 2G and 3G restrictions with vague promises of further ones along after the Christmas holidays, which could be too late to prevent it getting much worse. What will happen in 2022 with Omicron gearing up is anyone’s guess, but it will be neither fun nor pretty. The only thing we can do is be careful, get vaccinated and not take any risks.

There were still a few good things happening for me in 2021, but they mostly all can be filed under self-care to stay as happy and healthy as possible in a bad situation. I actually acquired two new guitars this year which I always wanted to get but was never able to afford before – I’ve actually got a blog post about my various guitar adventures in my drafts which I will probably complete soon. And I already wrote about the fun I’ve had with the Lego Space Shuttle this summer, the building I even documented in a series of Youtube videos. There were also the surprisingly successful CosmoQuest Con and Hangoutathon, with me even appearing on screen in the second one! Of course I still had a lot of fun with my photography  and even though I haven’t taken as many photos this year as before, I still have enough to post my usual couple of shots over on the Photography Blog – and the Camera Store I work for part-time is also still very much alive.

Fortunately, I was once again able to make it safely to my family in Berlin thanks to an inexpensive first-class train ticket. But as mentioned above, due to one of my cousin’s kids catching Covid in school, visiting the extended family has been made almost impossible, but keeping us all safe from Corona is more important.  The weather is cold, partly grey with some occasional sun and a threat of snow – not good for taking photos, but I already took a quick round of photos I’ve already started to post. And there will also be an attempt of analog photography too if I really get around to it – at least I brought my late mom’s trusty Praktica.

While it’s going to be quiet here on this blog now for at least mid-January, of course I’m always posting my usual round of daily photos over on my Photography Blog and you can also follow me on TwitterFacebook and of course Instagram – although I have abandoned MeWe because there was just nothing going on there.

Have a nice end-of-year holiday, everyone – and thank you especially to everyone who helped me to get through this difficult year! You know who you are and it would have been much more difficult without all of you!

MERRY NEWTONMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Category: Blog
CosmoQuestScience & Astronomy
23. October 2021

After the Con is before the Hangout-A-Thon!

It feels like we only did the CosmoQuest-A-Con in July yesterday, but it’s been three months – and that means we’re ready for this year’s Hangout-A-Thon starting today! This weekend our team of scientists, science communicators and artists will science for their supper and we invite you to come along for 36 hours of space discussion and edutainment! The schedule is is still in flux, but all information will be provided later today on the Hangout-A-Thon page!

We will have lots of guests, giveaways and surprises – our theme this yeare is COUNTDOWN TO FLIGHT featuring the history of rocketry and spaceflight from the first ancient fireworks to modern spaceflight today. We will even build a rocket park in Minecraft for which you can already sign up!

Our goal is to raise $40.000 in 36 hours, but you can already go to the donation page right now to help us fund our running costs and feed our small team.

Tune in TODAY on Twitch at 16:00 UTC for the opening ceremonies!
ALL EVENTS ARE FREE TO WATCH!

You are not obligated to donate if you are not able to, we know times are difficult at the moment but we still appreciate any form of support even if you are just spreading the word!

UPDATE: Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we were able to match our funding goal and the future of CosmoQuest has been saved once more! It has also been an amazing show, the CosmoQuest Crew worked so hard over the weekend.

And a short disclaimer because I’ve been asked this before: I’m an unpaid volunteer for CosmoQuest and I will not receive any money or other compensation from the fundraiser. I will be participating in the stream on Sunday around Noon to help out with the overnight shift and helping out moderating the chat, but that is the limit of my involvement.

CosmoQuestScience & Astronomy
16. July 2021

There are 106 sessions scheduled, we’ve got a full list of guests, half a box of LEGO, it’s dark out, and we’re wearing sunglasses. Hit it!

Yes, we’re doing it again! After our first digital online convention last year, CosmoQuest is back with another Con – and this time we have a theme! We decided to go retro and since many of us grew up in the 1980s, we’re calling it an 80’s Space Party! We are going to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the first Space Shuttle launch, Voyager 2 arriving at Saturn and much more.

There are over 50 awesome guests ranging from scientists to artists, musicians and gamers – the full list is on the Convention Page and there will also be contests, exhibitions and many other events. Visiting the main stage on the CosmoQuest Twitch Channel is free, but because this is also a fundraiser we’re also offering access to more content on a dedicated Discord channel for $30 or $100 tickets you can still purchase right now!

I will take part in a pamel on 80’s gaming on the Discord server on Saturday too and I’ll be around the Twitch chats and the Discord server all weekend. It’s going to be a lot of fun – having grown up in the 1980s myself, this is going to be a fantastic journey back in time!

Tune in today on Twitch at 21:30 UTC for the opening ceremonies! 

6. June 2021

I’ve never made it a secret that I love Lego a lot. I grew up in what was possibly the golden age of Lego in the early and mid-1980s when it was all bricks, few special parts and lots and lots of fun sets from big houses and castles to little inexpensive things that were perfect in-between gifts. I must have had some Duplo when I was very little, but there is no trace of that anymore – although there was also the short-lived Fabuland series that still exists in my posession. I had a lot of Lego back then, which was mixed with Playmobil too… and as I got older, sometime in the late 1980s when the first computers came around, I naturally lost interest and everything was packed up and put into storage. Fortunately, we never got rid of most of my childhood toys, especially the Lego – it was just boxed up and put into the cellar.

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Category: Lego
11. March 2021

I haven’t had much energy or time to write here lately and I apologize in advance because I’m only writing about Corona… which happened because 2020 has really managed to take the fun out of almost everything and 2021 has continued the same way. After a relatively hopeful summer and early autumn the situation had turned so bad that two weeks before Christmas Germany was staring into the face of a complete lockdown again – which is still going on right now three months lare. All because people are idiots and politicians are too corrupt and squabble too much to make rational decisions.

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Category: Blog
24. December 2020

I’d like to wish all family, friends, regular readers, commenters and all other visitors Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, A Happy New Year or any other Holiday Greetings you prefer! As usual, I prefer Happy Newtonmas because Isaac Newton was born on December 25th, but I’m very democratic in that respect and let everyone celebrate the the holiday they like.

2020 was… crazy beyond belief, and that’s perhaps still an understatement. How to describe it? The year started quiet and nice in January, began to get strange in February and in March literally all hell broke loose! I don’t think anyone had the Corona Virus on their 2020 bingo cards, but that’s what’s been dominating this year all the way non-stop. Back in February, which now seems like a lifetime ago, everyone was still joking about that new virus, but then it all became quite literally deadly serious – and now we’re back in the second ‘hard’ lockdown right in time for the Christmas season!

The strangest thing is that for myself 2020 turned out quite well, with a good new job that came around despite the pandemic and everyone in my family still healthy. I even made it safely and carefully to Berlin over the holidays – we’ve taken every precaution and the train ride was not even remotely crowded, so there was no chance of cross-infection from Mülheim to Berlin. Of course the weather is rainy and grey instead of snowy and bright so there’s no reason to go out, but I’m sure I’ll e able to do at least a little photography around here soon. Maybe I’ll even get around to write something for this blog as well, who knows?

But as always, I’m still posting my usual round of daily photos over on my Photography Blog and you can also follow me on TwitterFacebook and of course Instagram abd I’m also still crossposting my usual things on MeWe these days.

Have a nice end-of-year holiday, everyone – I’ll see you all around the Internets at some point or other! :-)

MERRY NEWTONMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Category: Blog