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Games and Gaming

Fallout 4!

This was a big day for me as a gamer: Fallout 4 has officially been announced! The long wait is about to be over!

Fallout 3 was released in 2008, and Fallout: New Vegas in 2010. For five long years we’ve been waiting for more Fallout. Over the years, there had been some cruel hoaxes, some unsubstantiated rumors and just plain wrong guesses about what we could expect for Fallout 4. Bethesda got everyone’s attention early in 2015 when they announced a press conference for June at E3. Then, about three weeks ago (this would be early May 2015, for those reading in the far future), some buzz started that looked like it might have legs.
Sure enough, just a couple of days ago, Bethesda launched a website which showed a “Please stand by” card, like one used to see on television when things weren’t going well. Over this card was a countdown, which ended at 07:00 this morning, PDT.

Here’s what the card turned into:

Amazon also went live with a pre-order link. Fallout 4 – Xbox One

At the moment, when we have seen the trailer, and before Bethesda’s press conference, which is where the rest of the reveal is rumored to be unleashed, pretty much all we can say for sure is that the game takes place largely in Boston, which is known in the Fallout Universe as “The Commonwealth”.

Hopefully there will be an estimated release date before too much longer.

In any case, I am really excited about this news, and will be scheduling some time off from work as soon as the release date is confirmed!

I have not written much about this, but the fact is, the Fallout series is absolutely one of my favorite fictional universes of all time. I am a sucker for post-apocalyptic worlds, and Fallout‘s is unquestionably interesting and addictive. If you’re unfamiliar with it, here’s the premise:

In the year 2077, there was a one-day nuclear confrontation that involved all of the world’s nuclear powers, which included the USA, the USSR and the People’s Republic of China. Needless to say, that day changed the world in a big way. Post-apocalyptia isn’t exactly a novel idea, of course. I’m pretty sure it’s been around at least since the Manhattan Project, but with the Fallout universe, Interplay, and then Bethesda Softworks have added a certain whimsical quality to the end of the world. The pre-war version of 2077 is what you might imagine if a 1950’s imagining of the future had come to pass. There are clunky robot helpers, big cars with huge tailfins, laser guns and all sorts of vacuum tube-based convenience items. When the war happened, people poured into vaults built by the Vault-Tec company in the hopes that they cold survive. Some did, some didn’t, and interesting things happened to both. This is where the world really gets going.
The events of Fallout 3 occur 200 years after the war, and Fallout: New Vegas is set four years after that. In the intervening years, the people who made it into the vaults had one set of experiences, and those who remained outside had another. That’s all I’ll say about that for the moment.

Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas were the iterations for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 generation, and they were the games where I jumped on the Fallout bus. Both of these games offered enormous open worlds, with plenty to do in seemingly endless locations that were away form the main story line. This is the kind of intensely immersive experience that is really attractive to me. I really don’t want to think about just how much of my life I have spent in these worlds, but I must admit, I’ve always had a great time.

Eventually, I played through both of these amazing games and all of their associated DLC. I played first on PS3, and when that was done, and they had both hit bargain level on Xbox 360, I bought them AGAIN and played through them on the other console (it didn’t feel right having them missing from my Gamertag profile on Xbox Live!).

Now, of course, the rumor mill has been set aside, and we have only to await “official” information. I’ll also have to give careful consideration to whether I should start with PS4, Xbox One, or maybe I should finally build a gaming PC!

Games and Gaming

Space egg on my face? Nerd rage and obscure world records...

Space Eggs title page

When I was a teenager, I was fortunate enough to live through what was inarguably one of the greatest eras in video gaming. The early 1980’s was the epoch in which the video arcade was born, as well as the very beginning of console and PC games. In the pecking order of the day, the . . . → Read More: Space egg on my face? Nerd rage and obscure world records…

3D Printing

3D printing software tools: OpenSCAD

For many people, there is something of a “honeymoon” period right after they’ve finished building their first 3D printer. You’ve got everything working, your printer is nicely tuned, you’ve gotten calibration shapes to come out jus like you want them. Congratulations! Youmagine and Thingiverse have become your favorite websites, and your’e spending hours just looking . . . → Read More: 3D printing software tools: OpenSCAD

3D Printing

Review: The Prometheus all-metal hotend from Distech Automation

Every once in a while, in any field of endeavor, something comes along that really re-defines the paradigm. For reasons I won’t be going into here, I don’t like to use the term “Game Changer”, but that’s really what I’m talking about. The RepRap world in particular, and the 3D printing world in general, . . . → Read More: Review: The Prometheus all-metal hotend from Distech Automation

3D Printing

Check out my Facebook Page!

I’ve set up a Facebook page specific to 3D printing. I think this will make it a lot easier to make small updates that don’t seem to warrant a full blog post. Check it out!

Zennmaster’s 3D printing on Facebook

3D Printing

Makerfarm i3v review - initial impressions:

So it took me a while, but recently I fnally got around to assembling the Makerfarm Prusa i3v 3D printer that had been sitting in my “to do” stack.

The i3v builds upon the successful Makerfarm Prusa i3, by replacing the traditional system of smooth rods and linear bearings with beefy OpenBeam extrusions and . . . → Read More: Makerfarm i3v review – initial impressions:

3D Printing

RepRap 101: Activating Marlin's EEPROM functions, and what that does for you.

I’ve been asked about this a few times, and it seemed appropriate to put together a quick post on the topic.

In my humble opinion, one of the most useful features of Marlin is the ability to save a bunch of settings to what is essentially a non-volatile area memory that exists on the . . . → Read More: RepRap 101: Activating Marlin’s EEPROM functions, and what that does for you.

3D Printing

RepRap 101: Calibrating your Extruder, Part 2: Fine-Tuning.

At this point, you have most likely done some basic calibration on your extrusion. If not, please check out part one of this series:

Once you’ve got that done, you’re ready to move to the next step, and dial in that calibration just a little bit more finely.

The method I use is a . . . → Read More: RepRap 101: Calibrating your Extruder, Part 2: Fine-Tuning.

3D Printing

RepRap 101: Calibrating your extruder, part 1: E-steps

So you’ve got your printer built, and you’re ready to start spitting plastic. Maybe you get a few test prints done, which turns out to be just enough to demonstrate that something isn’t quite right. In any case, you’re going to need to make an initial calibration of your extrusion.

This is also something . . . → Read More: RepRap 101: Calibrating your extruder, part 1: E-steps

3D Printing

Review - E3D all-metal hotend

For the last couple of months, I’ve had the chance to use two different versions of the E3D all-metal hotend on two different printers. I’ve been running an E3Dv5 on my Makerfarm Prusa i3, and an E3Dv4 came with my MendelMax 2.0.

Both of these hotends, of course, are all-metal. If you’re interested, you can . . . → Read More: Review – E3D all-metal hotend