Watch as Ray Comfort explains in 20 minutes the reason and the cure for school shootings and murder.
Watch as Ray Comfort explains in 20 minutes the reason and the cure for school shootings and murder.
Lego City Undercover is an extremely lite GTA style open-world game for computers and consoles that proves it is possible to make a popular family friendly open world game that is still fun but without profanity, prostitution and excessive gore. In addition to this, the main playable character in Lego City Undercover is a police officer. Yep. That’s right, you play as a cop (Chase McCain) and actually have lots of fun and adventure in the process.
There are many fans of GTA that will always defend what it is. They will say it would never be possible for a similar game to exist that could be as fun unless the profanity, gore and prostitution exists. I have long believed however that this claim could be proven wrong if only the game existed. (By the way, I believe it’s actually the profanity and prostitution that is being defended from GTA games rather than the exploration of the beautifully rendered game world.
Lego City Undercover nearly achieves the objective of “fun to explore”. Note I said nearly. The world of Lego City has adventure and extensive exploration including flying helicopters but remember, the vehicles, aircraft and characters are made of computer generated Legos. There is no blood and gore here just broken Lego bricks which is fine for what it is. The sandbox open world style of Lego City Undercover is fun to explore even for adults like me but imagine if this world was not Legos but was a living breathing world complete with realistic looking people and vehicles. (Imagine if there was an actual train horn for the trains…. something Lego City Undercover is inexplicably missing.)
I believe the concept and story found within Lego City Undercover is brilliant and should be developed into a realistic looking game world. Even though Lego City Undercover is amazingly fun as it is with Legos, a realistic looking version of it (including a working train horn for the trains) would create a whole new game for me (and others) to play and completely accomplished without prostitution, profanity and excessive gore.
Will we ever see a cleaner GTA looking kind of game? As of this post, one game to keep your eyes on is Police 1013 currently in development.
Last time we took a look at Cities Skylines in 2018. Today I want to discuss a few mod’s (modifications) I enjoy which serve to make Cities Skylines better and also we will look at some essential upgrades I think Cities Skylines needs “out of the box”.
Let’s first look at making Cities Skylines better with mods. I use a few basic mods but am limited by what my computer can handle. This is also true when downloading assets (buildings, vehicles, trees, etc) that have been created by the modding community found in the Steam workshop. The more assets one downloads for the game the slower your game will run. (my system specs are located at the bottom of this post for your reference)
Loading Screen Mod – One way to help speed up the loading times for Cities Skylines is by using a great mod called Loading Screen Mod by thale5. Thank you thale5 for this great addition to Cities Skylines.
Find It! – If you are going to be using assets in Cities Skylines, The Find It! mod by SamsamTS is an essential addition to help you quickly locate assets while in-game. Very useful. Thank you SamsamTS for this great addition.
Ambient Sounds Tuner 2.0 by BloodyPenguin – Want to turn off or control individual volumes of sounds in-game? This mod will help you do that. Thank you BloodyPenguin for this fantastic addition to Cities Skylines
Kra’s Realistic Ambience Sound Pack by KraIstGerecht – And better sound pack to remove and change some annoying default sounds from Cities Skylines. (Ambient Sounds Tuner by BloodyPenguin list above is needed to use this pack) Thank you KraIstGerecht for this great addition to Cities Skylines.
Chirpy Exterminator by simssi – Essential mod if you want to remove the Chirpy from Cities Skylines. Thank you simssi for this great mod.
Slow Speed by Scott – Don’t like unrealistic speed of the vehicles AND people in Cities Skylines? Other mods may allow control over the speed of vehicles but this mod slows the speed of the people too! Thank you Scott for this essential mod.
Emergency Light Changer by boformer – Necessary mod if you want control over the color of lights on emergency vehicles from blue only to red and blue (American style). Thank you boformer for this essential addition to Cities Skylines.
American Road Signs 2.2.0 by Judazzz– Want the American green looking signs in your game? This mod does just that. Thank you Judazzz for this amazing mod.
Daylight Classic by BloodyPenguin – Essential mod for removing the default yellow color from default Cities Skylines and giving the game a more realistic sunlight look. Thank BloodyPenguin for this great mod.
Automatic Bulldoze v2 by mexahuk – Makes bulldoze management easier and automatic in Cites Skylines. Thank you mexahuk for this great mod.
Road Options a.k.a Crosswalks Remover / Road Colors Changer ++ by TPB – Essential mod if you want to be able to quickly have control over your road colors and more. Thank you TPB for this great mod.
Advanced Vehicle Options (AVO) by SamsamTS – Essential mod to allow some control over your vehicles in Cities Skylines. Thank you SamsamTS for this great mod.
Improved Public Transport 2 by BloodyPenguin – Great mod for allowing more and easier control over your transit system. Thank you BloodyPenguin for this great mod.
Traffic Manager: President Edition by LinuxFan – Necessary mod if you want control over intersections, roads and more. Thank you LinuxFan for this fantastic addition to Cities Skylines.
Building Themes (Green Cities) by BloodyPenguin, boformer, SamsamTS – Great mod for controlling your district styles in Cities Skylines. Thank you BloodyPenguin, boformer, and SamsamTS for this great mod.
These mods are some of the best mods that simply help Cities Skylines be more accessible to the average user without adding the need for dependencies (except the sound packs) into your game. These mods play nicely with each other too (no conflicts as far as I know) and are easy to install/uninstall through the Steam workshop.
If you are interested, here’s a complete list of mods and assets I have subscribed to in Cities Skylines
It is my opinion Cities Skylines could be an even better game by doing a few simple things.
Seasons. The game needs Seasons by default or at least a Winter/Summer change (snow/no snow).
District Names Overlay On/Off Toggle. The District Styles feature is lacking already in Cities Skylines but it really needs a simple ON/OFF name toggle to allow hiding/unhiding of districts name overlays that appear directly on your city while in-game.
Better default Anti-aliasing and Optimization. This game seems to have memory problems and doesn’t graphically look that clean by default. The edges on buildings, roads and well just about everything are jagged even on high settings without a mod. In my experience any mod (such as Dynamic Resolution to counter the anti-aliasing problem only slows down older computers and seems to make my game look worse).
An American Overhaul. This is more of wish than anything but without mods, Cities Skylines doesn’t look American as SimCity accomplished quite well. Semi Trucks with 3 trailer wheels? Railroads with catenary lines everywhere? Of course the emergency vehicles sirens are not American either and the overall look of buildings and houses don’t look anything like the kind we see in the United States.
Better Road Building Tools. At least one that allows for sharp junctions and more control over where they can be placed. Mod’s fix this but why not the vanilla game?
While Cities Skylines has weaknesses, it is still a great city builder and simulator especially with mods.
Do you play Cities Skylines? What do you enjoy about Cities Skylines? Let me know in the comments!
Heres a quick look at my computer system. Yes I told you it was old but surprising Cities Skylines still runs okay (without many assets). Microsoft Windows 10 Pro System Type: 64 bit AMD Phenom(tm) II X4 945 Processor x4 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti 4gb ram)
Image source from my in-game screenshots
Today we revisit Cities Skylines, the city builder simulator/game (for computer and now consoles). Remember? It’s that game that tried to replace SimCity 2013 and for many of us, was successful for the most part. I have reviewed Cities Skylines in the past but there have been quite a few expansion packs and mods released since then so I figured it’s a great time to get a fresh look at the game and what I think about it in 2018.
While I do not hesitate to recommend this game especially for you who enjoy computer city builders like SimCity, I haven’t shied away from noting some frustrations with the game as well. And at that time, the primary feature I have needed to force myself to overlook is the non-American influence and look of the in-game building models, vehicles, signage, road and track styles (Cantenary lines), etc no option to change them without mods. Of course, since this game was made in Europe I can kind of understand the European influence but this isn’t always the case with games no matter who makes them. (Police 10-13 for example is being made in Australia and as far as I can tell, appears to be quite American.)
Now it’s 2018 and Cities Skylines remains the only city builder for computer that has withstood the test of time and in my opinion has only gotten better. There are expansion packs and DLC which enhance the game. I will only be commenting on the expansion packs I have installed.
There is After Dark, which brings a few night related policies and styles to the game. Snowfall, which brought snow-covered maps to the game, including trams for any map but did not bring us seasons, more on that later. Match Day adds a Futball/Football stadium, which in America we refer to as Soccer. There is the Mass Transit expansion which notably adds some more transportation options, such as Blimps, Large Airport, Taxi, Monorails, Cable Cars suspended from a cable (not to be confused with San Francisco cable cars) and ferries. The final expansion pack I have installed as of this post is Natural Disasters. The Natural Disasters Expansion features as you might assume naturally occurring ways to destroy your city (then rebuild it), such as flaming Meteor, Earthquake, Tsunami, Forest Fire, Building Collapse, Sinkhole, Lightning strike and Tornado. In addition to some disaster related buildings and options, this expansion also adds helicopter air support including police patrol, fire, search and rescue and medical choppers to the game. Green Cities is the most recent expansion pack to be released which I can’t comment on since I don’t have that one, yet.
In my opinion, all of the expansion packs offer something important to enhance the overall game-play of Cities Skylines. For example, in the Snowfall expansion pack the included trams are a necessity if you want to build a proper city. SimCity 2013 included trams by default so SimCity fans will love having trams from the Snowfall expansion. Mods will let your download custom trams (such as this awesome cable car from San Francisco by stockjr97) which enhanced the city experience. I recommend picking the Snowfall expansion pack up on a sale (either Steam or the Paradox website). Also as the title suggests, snow is included but not as a season. (boo hoo)
Neglecting seasons or at least Winter/Summer city building on the SAME map is a mistake because even the Sims 3 has snow and summer on the same map. Right now, with Snowfall, (without mods in the game) a Winter map must be chosen in order to see snow and to enjoy some included winter parks such as an ice rink, ice sculpture park snowman park, sky lodge, curling, snowboarding, Christmas tree and more. Water line heating has also been introduced with this expansion but I have not experienced it as a necessity on a non Winter map.
Mass Transit expansion is a must for the added transportation options it brings to the game even if you don’t want to use them all at the same in your cities (but we try, right?). Why wasn’t trams included with this pack? I’ll try to understand, it’s about marketing.
In my opinion, the Natural Disasters expansion is fantastic simply for the helicopters which get added to the game! Random disasters can be turned off in the options menu and just as in SimCity, any disaster can be summoned at will whenever—if you so choose. (Although I have noticed a curious increase in tree fires in my city since I have installed this pack). However if you do unleash a disaster or two, remember you might want to save your city first. (by the way Paradox, we want Alien UFO’s and a large monster to eat the buildings)
In the After Dark expansion, I am not totally sure all that it does but it will include a prison, prisoner transport van, nice hotel, casino, and some policies as they relate to tourism and leisure especially after dark. Oh I get it, After Dark! (by the way, the day/night cycle was already included in the game for free in an update.)
So is Cities Skylines better in 2018? The short answer is an obvious yes but mostly because of expansion packs and mods. The modding community has been busily creating more great content and in my opinion necessary content to the game. I may need to do a post about that soon.
Do you play Cities Skylines? What do you enjoy about Cities Skylines? Let me know in the comments!
Image source from my in-game screenshots
If you have the Natural Disasters expansion pack for Cities Skylines it’s pretty simple to wreak havoc on your city with say, a tornado, an earthquake or a meteor strike (or two or three) without actually losing the hard work you put into building your town. That is, assuming you save it first.
Besides simply saving your city, there are a couple of things you must do to preserve your city or town if you want to for example, watch that Tsumani flood your town. But before you watch any natural disaster level your city, if you don’t want to permanently lose your city you will need to also disable AUTO SAVING of your game and disable random disasters. Disabling these two options are very important if you don’t want any surprises later.
In the options menu (on the main menu) or within the gameplay menu while in-game you must uncheck all the entries for automatically saving your game (such as to save a game automatically every 10 minutes or more). Why do this? Doing this insures you will have full control over your city before and after a disaster strikes. You don’t want the game to overwrite your city with an auto saved destroyed copy of your city by mistake! You will also need the make sure the Random Disasters option is unchecked too.
When you are sure the appropriate options are disabled (not checked), you can build your city and prepare your city for its impending doom. (If you have a created a city already that want to see a disaster strike, load that saved city and just remember to make sure all the options I have mentioned above are disabled before you unleash any disasters!)
If you haven’t already, you can add some of the buildings to your city which are included with the Disasters expansion such as an evacuation bunker, early warning system, helicopter depots and radio antenna if you so choose. It’s up to you what you do before you destroy your city just make sure it’s manually saved if you want to access it later.
When you are satisfied with your saved city, you are ready to pick a disaster.
The destruction caused by the disaster can be pretty devastating on your city but no worries because if you did everything correctly you will always have an untouched saved copy waiting to be destroyed again, and again if you so choose!
Obvious but important note: Do not save your city after a disaster (without renaming the destroyed city first) if you want have access to your original untouched city in the future.
Image source from my in-game screenshots
Image is ingame screenshot from the Crew wild run
The typical house cat has been incredibly designed with two front paws. The front paws may seem ordinary as they aid the cat in walking, running, climbing, playing and of course catching birds and mice but they do even more. What is not as commonly recognized, even among cat owners, is what a cat’s front paw does for you.
The helping paw as it’s more widely known, is used to assist the owner or owners in various activities and chores around the house, farm or workplace. It’s true your cat’s helping paws come in different colors and markings but their purpose remains the same.
For example, your cat may use his or her helping paw (or paws) to help bring a glass of juice on the table, closer to you. This applies to most any beverage including mugs of coffee, latte cups and cappuccinos as well. Of course, once the cat uses his or her helping paw to assist you, the end result may not be what you had hoped for and usually isn’t. Not to panic though. With the aid of the helping paw, naturally your juice may spill onto the table, your homework paper or even onto your favorite book and ultimately onto the floor but it’s important to keep perspective in this situation. When such an event occurs (and the odds are probable it will if you own a cat) you must not to take your anger or frustration you undoubtedly are most likely going to feel, out on your cat! Remember that your cat was only trying to help you, otherwise they wouldn’t have used their helping paw in the first place!
It is also important to note how entirely difficult it can be for a cat to use their helping paws to help–simply because the paw isn’t a hand. This may seem obvious to you but to your cat it probably isn’t. The average helping paw doesn’t even have fingers for grabbing objects so the next time your cat knocks over your glass remember it is their attempt at helping you rather than the end result!
Besides using their paws for moving a glass of juice closer to you, your cat may use it for tugging at a string or a thread in order to play with you–which of course is meant to help you. A prime example of this is when you need help (or not) in tying your shoes. Your shoelaces are simply irresistible to your cat so let them “help” you tie your shoes, but don’t forget about those claws!
Your cat who is seeking to help using their favorite helping paw may attempt to help you in other ways as well. Suppose for moment you are using yarn to knit or crochet a blanket. Your cat may very well use their helping paws to aid your work. Don’t be alarmed if your fabric gets snagged a little by a hidden claw or your cat tries to “grab” at the yarn. Without a proper hand with fingers your cat won’t be able to “grab” anything (aside from a snag) but remember it’s the effort your cat is making to help you complete your masterpiece that counts!
Not only does your cat want to aid you in finishing that sewing project, your cat may put their best helping paw out while you are reading a good book. I generally like to think it’s common knowledge that helping paws are not only great at trying to turn pages in a book but in communicating with you. Helping paws work great in reaching out to say hello as you walk by your cat sitting in their perch. (Again mind the claws!) And let us not forget the effort your cat goes to, thanks to their helping paws, in catching or trapping that nasty bug so you don’t have to!
In addition to the creation of helping paws, God has also given our cats two hind paws to be used in jumping. These paws are longer and stronger than the standard helping paw. With jumping paws your cat is able to make great leaps onto tree branches, fences, perches, your lap and even onto your bed with minimal effort! Of course without the essential jumping paw, your cat would not be able to jump the four or five feet into the air it takes to catch that fluttering butterfly. And then there’s that mighty leap and pounce, courtesy of the jumping paws, onto that streaking grey rat trying to get away!
And finally, there is your cat’s tail. Ever wondered why your cat has a tail? I know I have. The tail is better known as the balancing tail and for good reason! Your cat uses their agile balancing tail to balance like a tightrope walker as if he’s walking on a highwire while your cat gingerly runs across a tree branch or effortlessly balances with four legs on top of the neighbors fence. As far as I can tell the balancing tail is used in conjunction with the jumping paws (and helping paws). When your cat leaps into the air to catch a menacing moth or scampers up a green sprouting tree trunk, the balancing tail is constantly working to keep your cat from falling on his nose!
All in all, the cat is wonderfully made and fully equipped to help you. Whether he’s using his stellar hearing, penetrating eyesite, amazing jumping paws or agile balancing tail, just remember helping paws are important too.
images are mine own thanks to Tuna the cat
If you have Windows 10 on your computer, chances are you have seen your computer crash, freeze, hang or have some other undesirable behavior especially after performing feature updates. I have seen my computer refuse to boot into the Windows desktop after the Anniversary Update released in 2016 after several attempts. This freezing phenomena again occurred just recently after receiving the Creators Update released in the Fall of 2017. The reason? Fast Boot (which Microsoft apparently recommends) was automatically enabled after the feature update (I had disabled it before). (And in case you are wondering, I have seen this freezing issue related to the Fast Boot enabled on at least three separate computers. Why Microsoft doesn’t address this issue I do not know. )
So, if you are able to get to your desktop or your computer hasn’t been frozen entering the desktop, the first thing I recommend is to disable the Fast Boot feature ASAP which is found under Power Options. (Note: If you know your Fast Boot option is enabled and you have never had any issues with booting into the Windows 10 desktop, by all means feel free to leave it on!)
1. Navigate to Power & Sleep Settings in Windows 10. (Type in Power in the search bar or icon located at the on the taskbar at the bottom on your desktop.)
2.Click on Additional Power Settings (Usually located to the right or towards the bottom of the Settings window under Related Settings)
3. In the Settings window that opens, click on Choose What the Power Buttons Do option located to the left of the Power Options window. (Note: this will be part of the Power options found in Control Panel)
4. The window System Settings will open. Four check boxes will be listed with the Fast Boot options listed first. Usually it is grayed out and the box has been already checked. To uncheck it, simply click on Change the settings that are currently unavailable.
5. Uncheck Turn On Fast Boot (Recommended)
6. Save the changes. That’s it! Making sure this little hidden nugget from Microsoft is unchecked has fixed a lot of startup problems on my computers. Hope it can help you.
Images are screenshots from Windows 10 on my computer
In today’s world an internet connection is required to play many modern games or even use popular social and production applications such as a Microsoft Word, Facebook or Youtube. We refer to these products as being cloud based and it usually works wonders. However, this access to your game or application on the “cloud” (which is really just a connection to computer servers locked in some warehouse or undisclosed location) does have its drawbacks. But many people today might be surprised to know that any cloud-based drawbacks that might occur today didn’t always exist.
For sake of a better phrase, I will call those days the good old days–a time when one could play a game or use a word processor without going online. In those days the user actually own the product they bought and wasn’t at the mercy of any internet connection or online servers. Of course those days are gone for now but there are reasons why being connected to online play or production simply to type a letter might be a good option but for this particular post I will focus on why cloud based software and gaming is actually a horrible idea for the consumer–and I believe time will bare this out.
When your online connected game or subscription is working things are good. We get to play our game or write our letter. Take for example, the Crew. It’s a massive open world multiplayer car-driving game. The playground is open for exploration and this “playground” is a condensed version of the United States mountains and deserts included. When the game works, it’s a blast especially the Monster Trucks but I digress. However, like many games and services, this game requires players to login into an online server. In this case the company who controls the server is Ubisoft. Nothing against Ubisoft as a company but when their servers are down for maintenance or other reason, the player doesn’t get access to a game they have paid for. (Speaking of down time, I write this post as I wait for Ubisoft’s services to return. The good news, my blog service Word Press is up now! )
Now had such a game as The Crew been downloadable or installable on ones personal computer not relying on another’s server for access later as games once were, there would be no down time. We would also be able to own the product instead our being involved in a sort’ve lease agreement with the game/software developer and the product. Maybe you remember the days when Microsoft Word was a standalone product that could be paid for one time and installed on your home or business computer? Now Word is called Microsoft 365 and it is an endless subscription service rather than a standalone product. Google Docs and anything Google is cloud based. Many other company’s have gone the same way because in this cloud-based system we as customers don’t require a physical drive for storage and our account is always accessible across many devices. This is a convenience when it works. Internet connection not working? Too bad for you. Your online based report isn’t getting done today. Game or application company server down for maintenance? The only thing to do is wait until it’s up again to get access to our service. Yes, this is the future. And unfortunately it’s the only future many adults and kids will ever know.
I believe we have lost our way when it comes to our dependence and reliance on cloud based computing and subscription services. This system works in a developers favor to be cloud-based because of the control they have. They control when the customer gets access or when they don’t. They get our money regardless of our access to the product or satisfaction of it and maybe most importantly they get paid for however long we want to use it! Brilliant plan for them, not as great for the user. If you have Windows 10 running on your computer you may have noticed that Microsoft has been pushing for users to use the operating system online rather than having a local only account. Why the push for online use of the Windows 10? Because we get access to our data on multiple devices? Okay, sounds great but that should be my own business if I wanted such a convenience or not. I believe the push truly comes because someday soon everything we use related to computer will be a subscription. YouTube use to be free and it still is, kind of. Currently adverstisments abound but ever heard of YouTube Red? It’s Google’s way of shoving users away from unlimited free access (with adverstisments) to a product only subscription service. Software developers are brilliant and we customers will pay–literally.
Now, perhaps it’s true that the company or developer who starts selling software again that can be owned once and installed once, without the need for a subscription will become famous again. Of course, it would take a major breakdown of cloud-based services for this to happen but by then the world might be completely gone.
But there is Hope. And it’s not based on the internet’s or some software developer’s reliability or security. His name is Jesus. Of course, one would need to know the need for Jesus in order to be really concerned. Have you consider it?
images are personal in-game screenshots from The Crew except Ubisoft Maintenence Notice
Ubisoft image source