16-bit Dad is the blog written by Gareth Torrance, covering Parenting, and Retro Gaming. With everything fromSNES and PS2 games to which Disney dress would be best for your daughter, there's something for everyone!
It’s quite incredible to think about the amount of video games that are released each year. Now that Steam has opened the floodgates, allowing many games on their service without much in the way of moderation at all – it’s easy to see just how many games are added to the service each day. In the last two years, Steam has gathered more titles than in the entire progression of years leading up to that.
Gaming and nostalgia go hand-in-hand. However, we’re also about to enter a new decade, hand in hand. For that and more, let us consider what great games, released in the last ten-ish years, are absolutely worth your time. It’s quite amazing to see just how far things have come, and yet how many excellent design ideals have stood the test of time. On top of that, games we might have once considered rudimentary, such as PayPal Casino options, are now replete with fun and enticing experiences.
Have you played any games in the following list? If not, let’s explore them together, and help you discover them anew:
Pillars Of Eternity
Pillars of Eternity is a classic-styled cRPG developed and written by Obsidian Entertainment. You might know the studio from Fallout: New Vegas, and the upcoming ‘The Outer Worlds.’ The game is heavily inspired by classic pen-and-paper influenced computer role playing games such as Baldur’s Gate and Planescape Torment. Those who are familiar with that system will immediately know what they’re getting into – but let us explain this to those who might not. cRPG’s, or Isometric RPGs as they are otherwise known – are top-down, party-based, heavily narrative-led experiences. They’re often set in fantasy worlds, and Pillars is no different. Often, these games are celebrated by their massive amounts of dialogue, and your ability to choose your responses throughout the story leading to many different events, shaping the story as you go. This kind of personalized experience was celebrated deeply when games such as Mass Effect were released, but many new gamers do not know that variance in narrative was first explored by BioWare in Baldur’s Gate.
Pillars of Eternity started life as a successful kickstarter project, and became one of the first and most exciting stories of success the crowdfunding website had achieved. But what sets Pillars apart from others in this vein? Well, the level of craftsmanship and polish is incredible. It has a cohesive and exhaustive internal lore, something that’s worth digging deep into. It also has a careful and measured approach to its gameplay, teaching you the basics carefully, as these games can look quite overwhelming to newcomers. On top of that, the story is incredible. If you’re not a fan of the stock hero’s journey fantasy – we would also recommend Tyranny by the same studio – in this game you play the advisor to an arch villain sweeping a land. Pillars of Eternity has an incredible value for money, and with the sequel (Deadfire) celebrated and still getting updates, now is a great time for those who want to sit back, and experience a classic formula revolutionized for modern gaming. It’s also very important to note that thanks to the limited demand of a graphical nature – Pillars can be run on most machines, even your laptop without a video card. To us, that’s a great advantage for a game to have.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
We’re all aware of Deus Ex, and how much of a cultural revolution that game spawned. Video games that offer you various paths around an objective, the ability to spec your character how you like, perfection in finding secret area paths and uncovering a deep conspiracy – all of this is worthwhile to experience to this day. While games such as System Shock and others might have started this new perception in regards to video games – Deus Ex certainly perfected it.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution, then, is a new title in the series, one that both takes the timeless excellence of retro game design and brings it to a modern audience. Playing as Adam Jensen, a security chief for Sarif Industries – a biotech augmentation firm, players delve into a complex web of conspiracy and misdirection that the series is known for. Choosing stealth, combat, and dialogue routes all have their advantages – and the more you explore a location, the better you see how interconnected and smart the level design is.
This is one of those great games that can influence you to check out the older games of the past, namely the original Deus Ex, the System Shock series, or perhaps new titles such as Prey and Dishonored – who all owe their roots to this franchise.
The Witcher Series
The Witcher was and is originally a series of short stories and novels, written by author Andrez Sapkowski. Thanks to the video games that have come since, it’s become something of a worldwide phenomenon, with Henry Cavill playing the lead Geralt in the Netflix series to be released soon.
The Witcher is a series dedicated to a high-fantasy setting based in Polish folklore. Geralt, the protagonist and the titular Witcher, is somewhat of a mutant, who is paid for slaying the vile monsters of the land. The stories chiefly deal with betrayal, intellectual discourse, violence, hatred, humor, and folklore. The Polish flair, now translated by David French, gives it all the more vibrance. However, while the books are fantastic to read to give you more context for the games, jumping into the video games to begin with isn’t a bad idea. The Witcher series, developed by CD Projekt Red, is known for its variance in gameplay, its realistic worlds and atmosphere. If you’re looking for an excellent RPG, this is the series for you.
The first game might not look as impressive, but for those of us who needn’t the most modern graphics to enjoy a title, it works fine and is incredibly engaging. The second title was an incredible step up for the series, and boasted much in the way of incredible writing. The Wild Hunt, the third title and DLC, has received over 200 awards for innovation in game design. To see more about that, watching Danny O’Dwyer’s NoClip documentary goes into the development history of the studio and the intense labor of running a development studio. It’s fascinating to watch for those who like to see behind the scenes.
Metroidvania games, that excellent genre that sprung out through certain design elements known to Castlevania and Metroid, are coming back in strong fashion. Chief among all of these, perhaps with the most impressive stature, is Hollow Knight. Found on any modern console or computer storefront, the price for value here is incredible. Not only have the development team offered expansion after expansion, time and time again, but the game on its own sports around 40 hours of playtime, and that’s before the added content.
But what is Hollow Knight? Well, it’s a highly stylized, incredibly impressive restoration of old metroidvania titles, but with its own incredible soundtrack, highly distinctive visuals, and incredible gameplay loops. So much detail has gone into the world it’s quite impressive to consider. From intelligent writing, to extremely well paced level design, to true surprises around every corner – this is one of those ‘must-play games for any fan of the genre. Again, this is one of those titles that will require little processing power, allowing remote laptop play to become a distinct and worthwhile possibility. To us, that’s incredibly impressive.
Celeste blew the minds of most players in 2018. A game so innovative, interesting and deeply emotional in its writing that it launched to the top of many GOTY lists. But why is it so worthwhile? Each puzzle is precise, requiring great agility and timing to pull off. However, because the penalty of death is so minimal, and accessibility has been refined to a sharp point, that anyone can pick up and find some value in it’s screen-cleaning, strawberry hunting goodness.
On top of that, the game itself sports an incredible story relating to mental health and the courage we need to sustain it. This is a gem worthwhile of being in anyone’s digital catalog, and a quick listen to the soundtrack can prove that too.
The Red Strings Club
The Red Stings Club is another game influenced by the art styles of the past, but has its own story to tell. Mixing drinks for clients that come in according to how you wish the conversation to flow, you can come to many new insights and sets of intrigue regarding your outreach. Anyone interested in a great story, one set in a dystopian cyberpunk future (who doesn’t love that?) would be well catered to here. Thankfully, the game is also short, leading to a comforting and relaxing means of pick-up-and-play.
We hope that in this list, you find something worthwhile to play. After all, great games should be celebrated by anyone interested, not just those who spend time exploring niche titles.
Just over 2 years ago, I listed 7 of my favourite moments from the Final Fantasy series (you can read that very old post here). However, that was entirely based on how much I adored that scenes and not specifically the effect or reaction that they created.
So, I wanted to do an updated post of a similar idea, but this time, looking at the scenes in the Final Fantasy series that either blew me away or made me say “oh my god”.
Warning: this post contains spoilers for Final Fantasy Tactics, Final Fantasy IX and Final Fantasy XIV!
4. Tietra’s Dramatic Scene – Final Fantasy Tactics
I actually mentioned this scene in my previous article, but it deserves a second mention here. The fact that it had a bigger impact on my than that Aerith scene says a lot in terms of Final Fantasy.
The struggle to get to her was far more drawn out than simply travelling to a specific place and then watching the scene. The battles you had to push through to get there, at least for me, made you far more emotionally invested in saving her.
Don’t get me wrong, though. I really liked Aerith and there was certainly a lot of depth and character development for her. However, the build up and “pay off” just didn’t have the same effect for me.
Fighting through a really tough, end of chapter battle in Final Fantasy Tactics, only to see Tietra get shot with a crossbow, was heartbreaking. The fact that it was your supposed ally who does it makes it even worse. Then, you have to fight and kill your ally, but that’s still not the end of it. Delita (Tietra’s brother and your best friend) runs to Tietra only for the building they are standing in front of to explode, consuming them.
It was such a memorable scene because you also played an active role in it. It’s one thing to watch as a character is taken from you… It’s something else entirely to actively try to save them and fail.
3. Kuja’s Trance – Final Fantasy IX
Next up, we have a scene that doesn’t get talked about enough, even though it is from one of the most popular Final Fantasy games. Through Final Fantasy IX you find yourself chasing down Kuja, the main antagonist of the game.
His intelligence proves to be his greatest strength from Disc 1 to 3, manipulating everything around him, from politics to war. Kuja outsmarts you on almost every occasion.
However, after travelling to the planet Terra and learning the truth behind main character Zidane’s origins, you also learn about Kuja’s history. In fact, so does he. Having found out that he was created to serve a single purpose and has a limited lifespan, the fear of death consumes him.
On a side note, Kuja’s fear of death is in direct opposition to Viva’s acceptance of it and will to make the most of life. I’ll definitely cover that in more detail in a future post!
Unable to accept that the world (or worlds, in this case) could exist without him, Kuja experiences a rush of emotion, gaining the Trance ability that you have been using throughout the game. This transforms him into a far more powerful version of himself, with the ability to cast Ultima, which he immediately does.
What follows is a cutscene of Ultima tearing the world of Terra to pieces, destroying ever tree, building and area of the planet. In a few short seconds, Kuja effectively commits genocide out of his inability to accept that the world would live on after he dies.
At the time, I was just a young teenager when I first saw this scene. It shocked me greatly, but the real impact didn’t hit me until I replayed the game a few years later. Seeing Kuja’s fear-induced rage lead to him destroying to his home planet and wiping out the majority of his own race really does blow your mind!
2. The End – Final Fantasy Tactics
There’s a reason why I call Final Fantasy Tactics the Game of Thrones of the Final Fantasy series. It features some of the most shocking moments I have seen in the franchise. That’s also why it appears on this list twice.
Typically, the ending of a Final Fantasy game (or 99% of games in general) makes you feel happy. The final scenes fill you with a sense of victory and reward. Final Fantasy Tactics does the opposite and that’s part of the reason why I love it so much!
As you finally force your way to victory in a grudge match against the final boss, the battle ends with the boss exploding, consuming the entire battlefield and all of your characters.
From there, we cut to the a scene with the princess (who you have spent so long protecting) and her husband (Delita, having survived the previously mentioned scene). They talk about life and then the princess (Ovelia) raises the fact that Delita has been using her. In a fit of rage, she stabs him. In retaliation, he kills her before succumbing to his wound.
Then, as if that wasn’t enough, the history of your character (Ramza) is altered by the Church. You are marked as a heretic and the records of your deeds in saving the world are banished away. The person to have made those records, who is also a good friend of yours, is then burnt alive by the Church.
Final Fantasy Tactics breaks the chain in terms of endings by having you succeed in saving the world, but at the cost of every character you have come to care about, and your own legacy.
1. Estinien’s Fall From Grace – Final Fantasy XIV
I really didn’t think that an MMORPG could have one of the most memorable moments in Final Fantasy, especially one that made me sit back and say “oh my god”. Yet, that was exactly what Final Fantasy XIV’s expansion, Heavensward, managed to do.
Estinien, also known as the Azure Dragoon, is one of the main characters of the story outside of your own playable character. He is a huge part of the journey that you go on through the expansion, with a massive amount of character development. He is a character of honour, although largely blinded by it at the beginning.
However, over the course of the storyline, he grows and becomes a truly central part in trying to end the Dragonsong War. Then, as it looks like you are finally making headway in the way, having gained both of Nidhogg’s eyes, he gets consumed by Nidhogg and loses complete control of himself.
I had fully expected him to die, as that is basically the go-to thing for bringing up emotions. However, having someone who had become a trusted ally and friend to you suddenly be consumed and controlled by the enemy shocked me. Sure, it’s not the most surprising or new plot device… But for Final Fantasy to do it and in such an incredible manner took me by complete surprise.
And That’s All Folks
Those were 4 specific scenes from the Final Fantasy franchise that blew my mind. To this day, when I think of them, I get the same feeling of utter disbelief. That is the sign of great storytelling, something the series is known for but that these scenes really showcase.
What were your most shocking Final Fantasy moments? Let me know in the comments below!
Are you looking to get your mobile game out and into the market? Is it a challenge for you to gather dedicated players for your mobile game?
You may not be doing your mobile game marketing strategy right.
Mobile games are the fastest-growing and most accessible gaming platform. Since most people have a device of their own, it reaches the most devices and most people. This is most likely a reason for the rise of mobile games that are comparable to traditional video games.
You already have the advantage of accessibility for your mobile game. What you need now is the marketing strategy that will fit your brand best. Below, we’ve got a list of marketing tips on how to market mobile games.
1. Do Your Mobile Game Marketing on Podcasts
Many gamers’ media preferences include podcasts. The reason is that they could do active playing and passive listening at the same time. They can listen to news, reviews, and updates about games as they play.
The hosts of podcast channels are also likely to give fair reviews of the games there. If they have guests who have tried your game, you’re likely to get a review about your game brought out by that guest. You as the game creator can get a guest spot for an interview to give your game more exposure.
This is why gaming companies try to get their games featured in podcasts. Reach out to a video game podcast even if you created a mobile game. Speak with the people in charge and see if they are open to working with you.
2. Get Influencers to Market Your Game
What is an effective way to reach a certain demographic? If you want a demographic to play your mobile game, get an influencer popular to that group to promote your game. Influencers have the ability to reach certain demographics.
If you can get influencers to support your mobile game, you’re on the right track. If you can get a game influencer in particular to do a Let’s Play of your game, you’re one step closer to success. Take note that Let’s Play videos have added commentary and may spoil the content of your game.
Your influencers don’t have to be big-time like Pewdiepie, Markiplier, or Jacksepticeye. Still, it would be more effective for your mobile gaming marketing strategy to have them. The thing to remember is your aim, which is to appeal to a certain demographic via an influencer.
3. Promote Your Gaming Brand with Videos
Video marketing is one of the best things you can do for your mobile game promotion. It allows you to show your game in a desired and controlled light. Videos are also a more effective medium to showcase how the game works in actuality.
That’s not all you can do for your mobile game with videos. If your game has character backgrounds, you can release these videos to promote the game. You can also create short films and use them to build upon the lore of your game.
Treat your mobile game like a big project and document its creation process. Once your game gets recognized, you can release shorts on its concept-building process. Film interviews with creators and concept artists.
Testimonials videos are great to use for video marketing too. Allow actual players of your game to share their opinions on the game. When other people watch these videos, they will be able to see that you’re willing to listen to your audience.
If you don’t know how to create videos like this, turn to professionals. Sites like https://digitalshiftmedia.com can help you identify your digital marketing needs. They can help you with video marketing and more.
4. Reach out to Review and Gaming Websites
It’s not enough to rely on the user reviews and ratings from the app store. Submitting your game to popular gaming review websites is also a big step in mobile game marketing. It can prove to be a tedious task but it will be worth it when users notice the presence of your game in these sites.
Game review sites will put up relevant information like memory size and permissions. They’ll also note down the unique qualities and interesting features of your game. This will be very helpful, especially if you are up against many other competitors.
Note that review sites will be fair but reviews of your game may vary. You want some variation on the pros and cons that each reviewer site sees in your game. Having too little or too much variation in their reviews can lower the playing potential of your game.
There are many sites for game developers and indie game developers to submit their games to. Some examples of mobile game sites for preview or review are Pocket Gamer, Android Guys, Another Dungeon, and Android Authority. If you’re an indie developer, submit your game to GOG and/or Indie Mega Booth.
5. Market Your Game through Social Media
Social media networks are powerful marketing tools. As of the 4th quarter of 2016, more than one billion Facebook users accessed the social network via a mobile device. It’s no surprise then that so many marketers use social media for marketing.
Establish your presence in at least one social media platform. Set up a Facebook page, Instagram, or Twitter account for your studio or game. Promote your game by posting often and by being active on the social media channel.
Try out each social media channel to see which one works best for your brand. Start with popular ones like Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram. Analyze which one is the most profitable and invest more in that channel without leaving the other channels behind.
Even if you only had one channel, you can still market your game well. The key is to create interesting posts about your game. These can be anything including quizzes, short videos, or raffles/giveaways.
It’s also a good idea to start teasing your game pre-launch on social media. This allows you to create hype for and for people to bring hype to the game even before it launches. Upload storyline previews, game graphics, or countdowns till launch.
If you already have a game launched, you can still tease it on social media. In this case, information about events and updates are what you’ll most likely be posting. If you’re planning to add new characters or game modes, you can upload teasers for them as well.
6. Bring Your Audience to Your Blog or Website
You have social media pages and you have influencers promoting your brand. It’s time you make use of home territory to get people to enjoy your game better. Now, you bring people to your website or blog page.
Your website will be from which people should be able to get the most information on your game. This is where you place screenshots, logos, banners, and bios about your game and your studio. It’s also important to place your contact information and links to your social media here.
For this to happen, you will need a website first. You can have anything from merchandise to a blog on this website. Many popular mobile game sites write game guides and lore on their websites.
Statistics say content marketing creates three times more leads than paid search advertising. Among content or blog post formats, the listicle format is the most popular one. This means you’re better off writing articles rather than paying for search ads.
Make blog interesting posts like who the best characters to play are for certain game modes. Create a forum within your site to allow players to create a community for it. This is also where you can address issues and/or questions about your game.
7. Continue to Refine Your Game
The best kind of video game promotion is continuing to polish a good game. Even if you weren’t marketing mobile games, if your mobile game is good, people will still love it. In essence, this is you, the creator, letting the game speak for itself.
There’s no doubt that being able to create a good game alone will take time for the game to make it to the mainstream. Still, this would be better than using good marketing for a terrible game. With a good game at least, you have a chance of true success.
When you don’t know how to go about polishing your game, listen to what your customers are saying. They might have technical complaints about your game. They might be looking for other traditional playing styles like PvP or PvE.
Notice how popular mobile games are always updating their games. Notice how they find ways to fix bugs or issues. Sometimes they nerf or buff certain playing characters to make the gameplay better.
The bottom line here is to keep on improving your mobile game.
Effective Marketing Makes Your Mobile Games Go Viral
That’s our guide on 7 great tips for an effective mobile game marketing plan.
Remember, the goal of marketing is to get your target audience engaged in your game. You want to create a lasting impression for your game before players play your game.
If you want to see more guides on other digital marketing tips, feel free to check out our website.
Marketing is an extremely complicated world; what worked just a year ago is quickly ineffective in the next year. This makes a marketer’s job difficult, as they have to keep pace with the industry to ensure success.
If you’re struggling to market your company effectively, then you might want to look into predictive marketing. In this article, I’ll discuss what predictive marketing is, how it works, and how it can help you.
What Is Predictive Marketing?
Predictive marketing is where you use data analytics to make smarter marketing choices. That way, instead of taking a shot in the dark, you’re making an informed decision.
The main type of data science predictive marketing uses is artificial intelligence (AI). No, you don’t use sentient robots; instead, you use machine learning.
Machine learning is a type of AI that uses specified algorithms on huge sets of data and looks for patterns. For instance, these algorithms can determine the path of actions your customers take before they convert and give you the path they take the most. They can also determine the path prospects take that lead to the lowest conversions.
How Does Predictive Marketing Work?
You can perform predictive marketing by using your own sets of data gathered through both prospects and clients. But sometimes, that may not be enough, especially if you’ve just started your business.
If you need more data, then you can go to second and third parties that’ll sell you their large quantities of data. Ideally, you’d like to buy sets that overlap with your target audience so you get a demographic as close to them as possible.
Your data scientists can then use these sets of data in your machine learning algorithms to determine better courses of actions to take in your marketing.
This website shows you how you can utilize predictive marketing through a platform.
How Does Predictive Marketing Help You?
The most important thing in business is the customer. You can’t really help your customers if you don’t know what they want or how the behave; predictive marketing can help with that.
Since this type of marketing utilizes whatever data you feed it (whether it’s owned or second/third party), it can extrapolate that and create a better forecast. While marketers previously had more guesswork, they now have more control with predictive marketing.
When you can more accurately predict what your customers want, this has two main benefits: not only do you satisfy their needs better, but you also get increased return on investment (ROI), and therefore, less waste.
Try out Predictive Marketing
As I’ve said, the world of marketing is always changing. If you don’t keep up with it, you risk falling behind, which can cause your company to fail.
With predictive marketing, you can improve on the customer journey, which will boost your business as a result. Give it a try and see your ROI increase!
Want to learn more about promoting your brand? Then check out the marketing section of my site!
Welcome back to this series of articles on how to start a gaming blog, and do it in the right way! In the last entry, we looked at getting the basics of your gaming blog setup, so that it could hit the ground running once you publish your first post (which you can read here).
Now, it’s time to do just that! So, let’s get started and see what you need to do for your first post and how you need to structure it.
Choosing Your First Topic
The very first thing you write about on your blog is both the most important and most insignificant at the same time. That needs to be stated before we go any further.
What I mean by this is the following two points;
Your first post denotes how you see your blog in terms of overall topic. For example, if you write about your favourite AAA games from the current console generation, that shows potential readers that you’re likely going to focus on big budget games and latest releases. Therefore, it is really important.
In all honesty, very few people will ever read your first post. It sets the groundwork for your blog, but don’t expect people in the future to navigate back to the first ever thing you published. Therefore, as almost no one will see it, the post can be seen as insignificant.
However, it is only insignificant in that people won’t really read it. That means that, if you aren’t happy with your blog following the direction of your first post, that’s alright. Very few people will ever get to that post anyway.
I would recommend, however, that you try to make your first post follow the overall topic that you want your blog to cover. It just makes things like growth easier in the future.
With that said, you will need to choose the topic of that first post and, whilst I can’t recommend one to you as I don’t know which niche you are going for, here are some to avoid!
“Hello, this is a post introducing me.”
No offence meant by this, but honestly, no one is going to care who you are to begin with. They don’t know you as a “gaming expert” or anything. So do yourself a favour and steer clear of this type of post.
My all time favourite games
Whilst this sort of post is good to show the types of games that you like, letting people know whether they can relate to you, starting off with it will likely alienate potential readers, as you haven’t build up any level of trust or rapport with them yet.
Why Chrono Cross Is Better Than Chrono Trigger
Just because this is how I feel about these games (for example), doesn’t mean it is the same for others. In fact, it is a somewhat controversial opinion. You want to avoid writing Unpopular Opinion posts to begin with, until you have built an audience around your content.
Basically, you want to try and stay away from any topic that could alienate people until you have already build an audience.
So, how do you choose a topic? Well, something like “7 of the best PS1 RPGs” could work, as you aren’t saying that those 7 are the best games ever and that’s it. Instead, you are telling the world that there are a large number of great games and those 7 are just part of this list.
Structuring The Post
Right, so you’ve gotten your post’s topic and title ready, but now you need to write the post and it’s proving difficult. Part of this difficulty is likely caused by the way you have structured the post.
When it comes to a blog post, there are certain guidelines to follow in order to get the best results, including aspects for both SEO and your potential readers. Let’s take a look, shall we?
A Strong Title
The very first thing that anyone is going to see when it comes to your blog post is the title. It is the headline of your article and, therefore, needs to be able to explain the post and sound interesting at the same time. That, being honest, is very hard to achieve.
You need it to act as clickbait, without sounding like it is clickbait. To try and explain what I mean by that, here are a few examples;
7 Games So Awesome That The Bank Don’t Want You To Know About Them
This is 100% a clickbait title and you can guarantee no-one is going to read the article.
7 Top Games That Will Make You A Better Person
This is a bit better, but still very clickbait focused.
The Top 7 PlayStation Games Ever
Now we’re getting there! This is a good title for a list post (which is also a great type of post to get readers), but it also invites negative comments, as you are claiming that the games you listed are categorically the best.
7 Of The Top PlayStation Games Ever
This title is much better, as it builds intrigue around the list, but also says that these games are some of the best, not the only ones.
The Right Hook
With the title sorted, the next step is get the best hook that you can. This, in effect, is the introductory section of your article. You should explain what the list is (even though the title says it anyway) and give a short bit of background around why you are making the list and what sort of games to expect on it.
If you’re not doing a list post and, instead, focusing on a specific game, aspect of game design, or news about the gaming industry, then the introduction should give a brief overview of that item. Effectively, think of each article as an essay. In school, we were taught that the introduction to an essay should summarise the essay itself. Your hook introduction should do the same thing.
Moving on from your introductions, no matter what type of post you are writing, it is going to cover a variety of different things around the subject you have chosen. For example, if you are reviewing a game, there will be various aspects of the game that you’ll want to talk about (gameplay, graphics, soundtrack etc). Each of those will form a separate section of the post.
For each of those sections, you’ll want to make sure that you have a Heading. These act as markers, signalling the start of the next section, as you can see in this very post.
Not only do these help readers to understand the structure of the article, but they do the same for the likes of Google. This means that they are really important when it comes to your blog post’s SEO. In that sense, it is also really important that you get them structured correctly. In order to help with that, here’s a rough guide on how to use them;
H2 – These should be used as the main separators between sections. In this article, you can see that I’ve used them to mark off the sections about choosing a title, structuring the article and the conclusion.
H3 – These act as subheadings for when you need to breakdown a section even further. For example, this bit about Headings sits under the “Separated Sections” H3, which itself is part of the Structuring The Article H2.
In practice, it is unlikely that you’ll ever need to go beyond an H3. However, should you decide that you need to, H4 and upwards work in the same way as an H3, only that they are subheadings of the previous level.
So, we’ve cover the basic structure of the post. That means that the next thing on the list is an ending (or a conclusion). These can be as long or as short are you want, but they must round off what the reader has just finished reading. They need to act as a conclusion.
I tend to keep mine relatively short, as the reader will have already invested time in the rest of the article if they have reached the Ending section. However, it is entirely up to you how you sign off an article.
Mix Up The Text
The final aspect of a post, in terms of the written content, is the make sure that you mix things up. No one wants to read a wall of text, and no one will. However, as we are looking at blog posts, text is the large majority of what we have to work with.
With that in mind, you need to find ways to break up the blocks of paragraphs to keep things moving and interesting. For example, in this post I have also included a number of bullet points. Even though these are still text, the change in formatting can trick a reader’s brain into feeling that there is a variety to the article’s structure. Make use of this as much as possible, but only when it is warranted.
Get Some Imagery
The very last thing you’ll want to do is add some imagery to the article. I would recommend that this is the last step you take when composing a gaming blog post, though. The reason behind that is simply because you can get lost in trying to add the perfect image that you have in your head.
After a small amount of the game in question has been played, and you have written out your blog post entirely, that is when you should look for images. Imagery makes the post stand out and flow much better for the reader.
And That’s All Folks
That concludes the third part of this guide on starting a gaming blog. Now that we have covered how to structure a blog posts, especially your first one, the next step is promotion. We will look at ways to promote your gaming blog post in phase 4 of this guide, so keep an eye out for it!
How would you structure a blog posts? Did this explanation help? Let me know in the comments below!
Gone are the days when the home was a woman’s domain. It’s 2019: loads of men elect to clean up after themselves and the kids. But even with the best intentions, chances are you’ll come up against a few housekeeping chores that nobody ever showed you how to do. These tips will help you get laundry down to a fine art.
Get Your Head Around Wears-per-wash
Dad sanity announcement: you do not have to launder every single thread of clothing after you’ve worn it once. Take your everyday jeans for example: feel free to wear those bad boys until they start to look grubby. The denim won’t mind the hard-wearing between washes, and unless you’re wearing your jeans for sweaty work, they won’t get smelly. Use your common sense to judge how many wears you can get away with before a garment should be chucked in the wash.
Let’s start with the one-day wear items. Underwear, socks and T-shirts all fall in this category. Wear it, take it off, and throw it straight in the wash basket. Next, you have your button-down shirts and woollen jumpers. You’re looking at roughly 1 to 3 wears per wash, but this is largely dependant on the weather, the fabric and how snug the item is. Linen clothing is breathable, so you might get away with a few bonus wears before a wash is required. Sometimes an airing is all that is required. When in doubt, have a quick sniff around the armpit area and make your decision. Towels and bedclothes should be washed every week. Two weeks, you’re pushing it, but the laundry police probably won’t come for you.
Read The Label
It is a truth universally acknowledged that men don’t read the instructions. Don’t let that be true of your laundry practice. From water temperature to drying instructions, you won’t go wrong if you take ten seconds to check the label on an item of clothing before throwing it in the wash. And it’s not rocket science: washing instructions are usually so simple even a child can understand them. Hell, there are even pictures! After a while, your laundry skills will be so sharp that you won’t have to read the labels anymore.
If you want to go down the rabbit hole of optimal laundry sorting, feel free. There are a million different ways to sort laundry: by fabric, colour, use—you name it. But let’s be honest: most guys aren’t going to bother with more than a simple, logical sorting system. Colour should be your starting point. In an ideal world, you want one pile for darks, one pile for lights and one for whites—that’s actual white whites: no prints, beiges, or whatever. And when you’re short of time—or just aren’t too fussed about the whiteness of your whites—you’re fine with just darks and whites/lights.
If you have more washing per pile than you can do in one wash (see the next section) you can sort your piles into fabric type. Don’t worry: there is a logical reason for this. Light-weight fabrics, like undies and shirts, dry faster than heavier-weight things like jeans and towels. Keeping fabrics with different dry times separate means you’ll spend less on energy.
Don’t Overload The Machine
If now and then, your house looks like a laundry bomb exploded, do not panic and try to get everything in the machine at once. Keep calm and do one load at a time. Just like in the dryer, you want the clothing to be able to rumble around in the washing machine to ensure it gets washed effectively. You can go by feel, by sticking your hand in and ensuring the clothes aren’t packed too tightly, or if you want to be scientific, have a squiz at recommended load sizes for your washing machine. (Hot tip: if you’re looking for the instructions, they’re often on the inside of a top-loader’s lid).
Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff
There have been books written about the best way to set and run a laundry cycle. From water temperature to a smorgasbord of detergent types, colour-safe bleaches to cycle length, you can fuss over every little thing if you really want to. But with advancements in washing-powder technology these days, a cold wash on a regular cycle is suitable for most things. (Again, check the label.)
Whether you’re a housework hero or are just dipping your toe into the world of chores, mastering the laundry is a good investment for a dad. These tips will help you do your bit.
Gaming has come a long way, so much so that no one could have predicted how far we’ve come in technology advancements and that can be said for pretty much everything that technology has had an influence over. So how has gaming changed in the last decade?
Graphics Have Improved
To point out the obvious, graphics are certainly not what they used to. It’s gone from the simplicity of Pacman and Space Invaders to games like Assassin’s Creed and Skyrim where you have to blink twice to check that the characters aren’t in fact, real people. This has certainly changed the love of gaming, and these graphics make gameplay even more exciting than ever before. Even games that were released five years ago have been updated and revamped in newer editions that surpass expectations. It’s always an exciting period when a game’s trailer is released, and the graphics are more jaw-dropping than ever before.
Virtual Reality Is Going Mainstream
It’s certainly been in the pipeline for a while, even though virtual reality has been around for a while now. But it’s only a matter of time before it goes mainstream, it’s just who’s going to make it functional and successful first. VR headsets are now available in a basic form where you slide your phone in to watch VR compatible content. You also have the same but in a more advanced format with controls. However, immersive gaming using virtual reality is only going to become more advanced, and it’s only expected that it transforms dramatically within the next ten years.
Gaming Has Broken Out Of Its Traditional Playing Format
Gaming was once merely considered as a hobby that players would play in their bedrooms, basements and living rooms. However, since the world of gaming has advanced into such high-quality gameplay, it’s somehow turned into an official sport. Gamers from across the globe gather at arenas that contains thousands of spectators who all watch or stream from home, a competition to see who comes out on top. These gamers can earn millions from winning a match, and it’s truly mind-blowing to see how competitive gaming has risen the ranks to become a form of mainstream entertainment.
Technology And Spec Has Improved
Before gaming PCs really came to fruition, gaming was often played on desktops that weren’t designed to keep up with gaming. However, as gaming has grown in general, so has the machines in which they’re played on. The spec of geforce rtx 2080, for example, is the latest generation in what is the fastest operating piece of equipment on the market. To get the most out of your gaming experience, the better the console or desktop is, the more fulfilment and enjoyment you’ll get out of it.
Who knows what the future holds for gaming but it’s clear from the last decade gone by, that it has no signs of stopping where it’s at now. It’s an exciting time to be alive and to be a gamer in 2019!
Over the years, there have been so many different controller variations and designs. Some have been a success, and others have been downright weird… I’m looking at you, Nintendo 64 controller.
However, as I have made clear so many times on here and on Twitter, I adore experimentation when it comes to the video game industry. This extends to controller design as well. So, I thought it would be interesting to look at 7 of my favourites controllers throughout the years. Let’s take a look, shall we?
Dual Shock 2
We are going to start off with the controller that got, by far, the most use in my gaming life. My PlayStation 2 has had a lifespan from launch until now, with the Dual Shock 2 controller still seeing very regular use.
Sony’s Dual Shock 2 was a great evolution of the controller.
Whilst it didn’t really innovate or change anything significant from the original PlayStation’s Dual Shock controller, the sensitivity added to the various buttons makes it stand tall. Rather than just having sensitivity on the analogue sticks themselves, the Dual Shock 2 actually had it on the face buttons as well.
For example, when you were playing a racing game like Gran Turismo, you could lightly press Square to brake gently, or you could push it down all the way to brake hard. That was revolutionary to me at the time. Since then, I’ve loved the controller, and it is still one of the best iterations of the Dual Shock design to this date.
Super Nintendo Controller
Jumping back a couple of generations, we’re moving on to one of the most beloved consoles in history; the Super Nintendo. Whilst it may not have had the minimalist simplicity of the original NES controller, the added buttons and dog-bone style shape made it infinitely more comfortable to use.
Simplicity and comfort reign supreme
The SNES controller sits really nicely in the palm of your hands, with each button in easy reach, meaning you don’t know to strain your fingers in order to press them. On top of that, it is really lightweight, making it far more comfortable for long gaming sessions.
In short, the simplicity of the design compared to more modern controllers, as well as the comfort it provides, makes the SNES controller a wonderful piece of kit! Even with the release of the SNES Classic, I still find myself loving the controller design. And whilst a lot of people would prefer to have wireless controllers these days, I still like having a cable, as long as it is a good length.
Dual Shock 4
Next up, we have the first of only 2 wireless controllers on this list. It is also the grandchild of the controller that we opened with; enter the PlayStation 4’s Dual Shock 4.
Evolution goes one step further.
Now, obviously, I was going to like the Dual Shock 4 as it was an actual improvement on the Dual Shock 2, unlike the Six Axis for the PS3 as I didn’t really get on with the motion control aspects of that. The PlayStation 4 controller took the best bits of the Dual Shock 2, included the comfort and base design, before reshaping it slightly to make it feel thinner and sit in your hands better.
Adding the touch screen was a work of genius and I use it on a very regular basis. Plus, they actually managed to make motion controls work with the Dual Shock 4. For example, I won’t ever forget the first time I was playing inFamous: Second Son and had to turn the controller sideways and shake it in order to get a spray can ready to use in the game.
6-Button MegaDrive/Genesis Controller
Skipping back a few generations again, which is understandable as this is predominantly a retro gaming blog, we have the controller for the MegaDrive (or Genesis). Specifically, we are looking at the 6-button variation of the controller.
Not the popular choice, but I love it.
Whilst the 3-button controller is iconic amongst Sega fans, and I did really like it at the time, it was the 6-button variation that stands the test of time for me. Sure, not all games supported the 6-button layout, but I actually preferred the smaller A, B and C buttons and the addition of the X, Y and Z buttons.
Even now, with the admittedly very low quality AT Graphics MegaDrive Flashback (you can read my review of that here), they still chose to use the 6-button MegaDrive controller layout. I know a lot of people won’t agree with me on this, especially since the 3-button variation is so popular, but I just really like it.
Nacon Revolution Unlimited Pro
Funnily enough, the next controller on the list is the most modern. It’s actually also my go-to controller for the PS4 and the PC now. The Nacon Revolution Unlimited Pro is, to be fair, a rather pricey controller that is mainly designed for eSports players.
My go-to controller for PS4 and PC
However, the controller is so insanely comfortable to use! From being able to adjust the weight to suit you to altering the thumb sticks and playing around with the sensitivity, you can make the Revolution Unlimited Pro exactly the way you need it. It also works with a bluetooth USB dongle, so you can have it wireless for both the PS4 and the PC.
If you watch my retro gaming streams on Twitch, you’ll notice that I even use it when running games through an emulator. Out of all of my controllers, and I have a lot, this one gets the most use at present.
Switch Wired Controller
The penultimate controller in this list of my 7 favourite controllers is actually my latest addition; the Wired Controller for the Switch. I have the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild variation of the controller, and it looks outstanding. In fact, it’s probably the more visually appealing controller that I own.
One of the most beautiful controllers I’ve ever had.
But that’s not really overly important in the grand scheme of things. What is importable is how it feels to use. Now I, personally, have never really been a fan of the Xbox and Dreamcast thumb stick layout. That is, until I got the aforementioned Revolution Unlimited Pro. Since then, I’ve found that I don’t mind it at all.
The Wired Switch Controllers use that layout, but the overall shape of the controller is what really makes it work. It’s a rather compact controller, but not too small that it creates discomfort for my big hands. Instead, it sits neatly in my palms and feels really nice to use. It’s a shame I can’t use it for the PC as well (unless there is a way that I don’t know about yet). But for the Switch, it means that long gaming sessions of Breath of the Wild don’t take a toll on my hands.
Finally, we have the controller that has been my personal favourite ever since I first used it. Nintendo have tried out so many different controller ideas and styles over the years, from the SNES controller mentioned earlier to the WiiMote and the Switch’s JoyCons.
Sleek and slim make this so comfortable for long gaming sessions.
However, none of them have come close to the original GameCube controller for me. Whilst I never had one of the wireless versions, the original controller’s design, look and feel stood out to me immediately.
The thin handles and almost floating layout of the D-Pad and C-Stick meant that I never had to strain when using it. In fact, largely due to Resident Evil 4, I found that it is the best controller for me when having to do quick button presses for Quick Time Events.
There is a reason why it is still used for a number of controller releases across a variety of Nintendo consoles; it’s just a great controller. And that’s why it takes the top spot for me, even after all these years.
And That’s All Folks
Well, there you have it. Those were my favourite video game controllers of all time. Sure, they won’t match up with everyone’s, but I love each and every one of them.
What are you favourite controllers? Let me know in the comments below!
Have you been looking for the perfect dog to become your child’s next best friend? Finding a dog that’s compassionate and gentle is as important as finding one that’s playful. To help you narrow down your decisions, we’ve listed five of the best dog breeds for families.
With one of these dogs, you’ll have a companion for life. It’s time to find the next member of your family.
Golden Retrievers are considered the ultimate family dog because they’re one of the friendliest breeds around. This means they’re sociable with other dogs and they’re also fantastic with kids.
On top of this, they’re incredibly active, so you or your kids can spend hours playing with them. It’s a great way to encourage your entire family to get exercise. When the workout is done, these dogs love to cuddle. They’ll return your love in abundance.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
You might be surprised that we included Staffies on this list because they were originally bred for pit fighting. The reason we’ve included them is that with the right training and care, they’re actually extremely gentle and affectionate.
Staffies prove that even dogs with bad reputations can be perfect for children. These dogs are highly loyal and will protect your children from danger as long as they’re treated with love and respect. Pitbulls and Staffies’ reputation for kindness has even earned them the nickname “nanny dog”.
If your child has allergies, a poodle is a wonderful option when it comes to picking a dog. Their fur is hypoallergenic which means they don’t shed or cause irritation. They’re also intelligent which means they can be trained easily and even taught to do tricks.
Additionally, standard poodles have gentle temperaments and even toy poodles are kind dogs if trained properly. Check out the page Pride and Prejudoodles to see how sweet and playful these dogs can be.
Snoopy is one of the world’s most beloved dogs so why not consider getting your own beagle? They’re perfect if you’re looking for a smaller dog that’s still playful and intelligent. Despite their stature, they’re sturdy so they’ll enjoy many games with kids.
Beagles are also compassionate and calm when they’re resting. They love the outdoors which means that they’re the perfect companion for family adventures.
Labrador retrievers are the most popular dog breed in the US. Spend five minutes with one and you’ll see why. These dogs are the whole package. They’re compassionate and gentle while being playful and intelligent as well.
Labradors do need daily exercise to stay healthy but once they’ve bonded with you and your kids, you’ll have a companion for life.
Although we’ve deemed these breeds the best of the best, no matter what dog you get, as long as you raise them with love and compassion, they’ll be a valuable member of your family. Consider checking out your local shelter to find a new family friend.
With a dog, your house will become a home. Which breed is your favourite?
I’ve been a PlayStation guy for years. Not in the sense that I would bash the people who liked other consoles, but only in the sense that the PlayStation had the games that I enjoyed the most.
My first long term console was the original PlayStation, and then the PS2, and so on. I mean, I own all of Sony’s home consoles, including the PS One, and having both the PS4 and PS4 Pro. So, naturally, my gaming experience since the 90s has largely been around those consoles. I have owned the Gamecube, Wii and the original Xbox too, but they didn’t get anywhere near as much play time.
Now, however, I have finally added a Nintendo Switch to my collection. And you know what? I love it! In fact, I actually prefer it to the PlayStation 4 in a few ways.
I would put the two current generation consoles on the same level, as the PS4 has so many of my favourite games from this generation, but the Switch has some functionality and usability improvements that work so well for me. Oh, and it also has some great games, too! So, let’s take a look at why I have fallen in love with the Switch.
The Portability of the Nintendo Switch
One of the biggest things with the Switch is the fact that you can dock it or use it in a sort of tablet mode. That really isn’t news for anyone, since the console has been out for so long. However, I’m only just getting to actually use that functionality, so it is still new to me.
As a parent, I don’t get that much time to go away and sit down in my game room to play something. This is especially true when you consider the fact that my daughter needs a lot of care and attention, even when she is in bed. So, sitting down in front of the PS4 for any period of time can be difficult.
Sure, I do it when I stream on Twitch, but I don’t do that until my daughter has been asleep for some time already, so that I know she is going to be okay.
That’s why the Switch is so good. I can put it in “tablet” mode and sit in the living room or lay in bed, playing a game whilst being able to listen out for whether my daughter needs anything. The portability of the Nintendo Switch is perfect for parents.
The Nintendo Switch Library
It still makes me laugh that Nintendo were viewed as the “children’s game company” for so many years. In fact, some people still think that and I really don’t get why.
The Nintendo Wii had games like Silent Hill: Shattered Memories and Fatal Frame IV on it, for example. Those are certainly not games that are suitable for children. Even Resident Evil 4, Zero and the REmake came out on the Gamecube first. So, there have been some really adult, violent games on the Nintendo consoles for years.
The Switch is no different. So far, I only have a handful of games, but I’m playing through Breath of the Wild at the moment, as well as Child of Light (yes, I know it is multi-platform) and I’m loving it. There’s also Xenoblade Chronicles 2, which I am planning on getting in the near future. Oh, and of course, you have the likes of Octopath Traveller as well.
Basically, for an RPG fan, the Nintendo Switch seems to really be a wonderful console. And I know there are great RPGs on the PS4 as well. However, when you combine the RPG library on the Nintendo Switch with the fact that it is easier to find time to play on as a parent, that creates a very strong formula for success, in my eyes.
The Comfort Of The Nintendo Switch
The last thing I wanted to talk about was how the Switch actually feels to play on. Before I got the Switch, I always assumed the tablet mode would be uncomfortable to hold. However, that was surprisingly incorrect.
Laying in bed, I’ve found that using the joycons on the side of the screen to be a lot more comfortable that I had expected. On top of this, the screen size actually doesn’t give me any problems, which is also not what I expected. I honestly thought that the small screen would be a strain on my eyes, but it hasn’t been, at all.
Add to this the fact that the Legend of Zelda Pro Switch controller sits neatly in your hands, feeling secure and extremely comfortable. The buttons have a really satisfying resistance and feedback when you press them, as well.
And That’s All Folks
In the end, I still adore my PlayStation consoles. I always will. But considering the fact that I bought the Nintendo Switch purely for a handful of games, the quality of both the console and the library has been a very big surprise for me. As I stated at the start of this post, I would consider both the PS4 and Switch to be equal in my eyes.
The PS4 has more power (and the Xbox One X has more than that), a host of great games and a wonderful design. The Switch has the usability for a parent, also has a tonne of great games, and is so much more comfortable to use that I really thought.
I’m really looking forward to getting more games for the Nintendo Switch, moving forward.
Do you have a Switch? What do you think of the console? Let me know in the comments below!