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The Fred blogs

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Just for a certain poll

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Hullo all,


Over the past couple of months, I've been looking at my past LEGO Source Filmmaker renders and discovering how untidy or buggy it has become over the past year.

So today I thought I'd put together a collection of pictures/screenshots, all based on strange behind-the-scenes stuff and bugs that have plagued my past renders. So here we go!


"Blended Minifigures"

Everytime @Xiron updates his pack of SFM/GMod minifigs (even if the model's rig isn't edited), Source Filmmaker tries to replace the old models with the new ones, yet fails in a spectacular way:








(Pepper seems to get horribly disfigured a lot of the time)











"Flex face fudge-up"
 I wasn't aware of these UV map "mistakes" until I made the "PIRATES!?" poster.




(For reasons beyond me, Skate Girl (from LEGO Worlds)'s face has the widest UV I've ever seen)


(Apparently Backlot Girl's hair covers up 30% of her face, which doesn't help considering Flex's grin takes up 70%)



"Brothers of shoddy arms"

After I released the original "LEGO Rock Raider christmas desktop background" 2016 pack, Xiron fixed up the UV textures of the Rock Raider model. As a result, this minor arm texture issue has been popping up every now and again.







"The shenanigans behind the scenes"

(The following aren't really "bugs" or strange artefacts from a long while ago, but some people might find this bit interesting)

Usually a scene looks fine from the camera's POV, but not everything is as it seems. Here are some weird things you don't see beyond the camera.





(Sometimes I don't have time to re-texture minifigs, and instead take other models and rip off their arms, legs)

(or (more commonly) hats, which results in the scene being littered with unused/incomplete minifigures.)



(When I want to make something look like its moving, I create two copies of the object(s) I want to move.

One object stays in place, while the other moves into the same position as the first object. This allows me to

use motion blur while keeping the moving character in focus, and so far its worked well.)



...and lastly, and more recently...


"Post-Nuclear Warfare Classic LEGO Games collection"

In an attempt to find the most screwed up session render, I came across my first poster with Xiron's "Classic LEGO Games" pack, made 2 years ago for the release of the Garry's Mod pack.

And... yes it was messed up...


But I didn't expect it to be the aftermath of a bloody Nuclear warfare.




(It seems that most characters had broken wrists/arms...)





(...except those who didn't escape the grinder/trash compactor in time)



(...It was a depressing sight to behold...)



I hope you've enjoyed this... uneducational insight behind the scenes of my somewhat corrupted collection of old/unused LEGO renders. Thank you for your time.


-- Ben24x7 --


Over the past week, I attended a course for Animation/Visual Effects, expecting to... well... make an animated project. And while that did happen, something else occurred during that week that took me off guard:



The appearance of the Vive wasn't hinted at or briefly mentioned beforehand, so you can imagine my surprise. And luckily, they set up the headset for people to use whenever they needed/wanted a break, which of course meant I tried it out whenever I could (approximately three or four times).

So, like my past encounter with the Play Station VR, I'll be detailing my experience with the Vive here. Enjoy!





When we were introduced to the Vive, there was only one game/application available on it, "Tiltbrush", Google's 3D drawing/painting VR experience. No "The Lab", no "SteamVR Tutorial", not even the "SteamVR Set-up" program was installed, which caused issues (I'll talk about that later).

Luckily for me, I got the honour of playing it first. So that was extremely exciting.

Now I'm not lying, the concept of drawing/painting in 3D sounds awesome, but its frustrating (in my opinion).

Like... you draw something that looks great in 2D... then you look at it from a different angle and it looks horrible. So basically, I didn't enjoy it much.


Everyone else, however, did. Some tried making concept art for their short film project, while some enjoyed scribbling anywhere and everywhere. It was great to see people having fun with it, but I felt the experience itself was disappointing.


I did a few drawings in the program, but they weren't great. Apart from miscellaneous scribbling/writing, the only two things I tried drawing included my character Fred's face and a stick-man wearing a Vive.






Eventually, me and a few other guys on the course managed to convince our tutor to install "The Lab" onto the computer.

"The Lab", for those who don't know, is a series of VR experiments developed by Valve (some were games like "Catapult" and "Longbow", some were dialogue/story-heavy such as "Dota 2 Secret Shop" and "the Aperture Robot Repair", while others were just little concepts to help show what roomscale-Virtual Reality is capable of).

A day later, while everyone was away having lunch, me and a friend of mine went to the room where the Vive was set-up to play it.


My friend went first, and while he went about doing shenanigans, I watched a preview of his perspective via the computer screen. I may not have been wearing the VR kit at the time, but I could already tell it looked great!


Then it was my turn.


...but before I strapped on the goggles, I gave my friend my phone, asking him to record my first moments in The Lab or, more specifically, in the "Aperture Robot Repair", a story driven VR experience originally released as a demo to test if people's computers were able to handle rendering Virtual Reality.


Here is the footage, edited down to a shorter, somewhat watchable format. Do yourself a favour and turn on the Subtitles, as its hard to hear most of what I say.


As expected, The Lab was awesome, and not just because I was a huge Portal fan.

I know this sounds cheesy, but the game was genuinely immersive. The combination of the high-quality visuals and the immersive nature of the Vive really made the experience believable. If I wasn't able to hear people chat around me, I'd probably get lost in the game.

In my opinion, The Lab had a (literally) huge advantage over Tiltbrush, mainly in terms of scale. In Tiltbrush, there is no way to compare how big or small something is other than from your viewpoint, which varies depending on the player's height.

In the Lab, however, you can see somewhat-common items like a Coffee mug, or Clipboard, and the realisation of how big the world you're in is weighs down on you.


(...or maybe it had something to do with the fact Tiltbrush takes place in an empty void... I'm not sure, its just some natural reaction or something.)

Either way, the world of 'The Lab' is breath-taking to look at.


The "Aperture Robot Repair" wasn't the only experience I tried (but it was the only one that was recorded).

I also played "Catapult", A.K.A "Angry Brids in 3D, in a giant warehouse with explosive barrels" where you Personality Cores at stacks of crates to cause as much damage as possible (which is harder than it looks) and another game; "Longbow", a game I like to call "Battle of Helm's Deep" simulator, where you are stuck on top of a castle and must kill all invaders with a Bow and infinite supply of arrows, which is also harder than it may seem.






I've been praising it up until this point, but I have a few issues with the Vive.


The first is a big problem that you may or may not be aware of; the bl**dy cable.

Although the Controllers are wireless, the headset via a big long cable to the computer, which makes it extremely easy to get tangled up in. In-fact, in the unedited footage of my playing the Robot Repair experience, there is a point where I had to stop and untangle myself from the bloomin' wires.

Thankfully, HTC addressed this issue after the release of the Vive, stating they planned on making a cableless version, and although I may not be able to try out that version (whenever it comes out) I'm glad to see they're aware of how problematic the cable is and that they are fixing it.


The next issue is "half an issue with SteamVR, half an issue with the way the headset was set-up at the course". The problem is that, at no point during gameplay, did the Chaperone bounds appear to stop me going off-track.

For those who don't know, the "Chaperone bounds" are a big glowing grid that appears during gameplay with the Vive that is used to mark the edges of the play-space, basically to stop the player from bumping into objects/furniture.


Why did they not appear? Well, there is an application in Steam called the "SteamVR Set-up", which I think is used to draw out the bounds. It wasn't installed.

This is great, and incredibly dumb.

It's great, because it means you can just plug in the headset, download a few games, and jump right in, but its idiotic how its not installed automatically (same with the Tutorial).


And yes, the lack of Chaperone bounds was a huge disaster for me and everyone else. Everytime someone played on the Vive, someone else would have to stand nearby and make sure the person playing didn't walk out of the play area.


Apart from those major issues/minor gripes the headset and controllers are... okay to wear, not entirely comfortable, but still aren't discomforting.



I'm aware this isn't a good overlook or review of the Vive or anything, but right now, I'm tired, and I wanted to get this stuff off my chest. I'll come back and edit this into something better later.

Thank you.


So recently, a relative of mine spotted that my local GAME(TM) store was allowing people to try out the Playstation VR Headset for 10 or 30 minutes. Despite the CEX Vive tryout "fiasco" I underwent a month or two ago, I felt that now was the time to get my first taste of roomscale VR. So to pass the hour 'till my train left for home, I dished out fifteen quid and within three minutes I slipped on the sleek white goggles...


...but I know some people don't have the time to read all of this, so let me give you the summerised version:


"Whoa... WHOA. Oh wow... What beautiful models... ...Where is the damn floor!? GAH. ARGH, THIS TRACKING."



With that out of my system, let me tell you the full story of my experience:

-- DAY ONE --




My experience began in the Playstation VR Hub. In-front of me floated the nine options for different games and experiences. I'll be honest, I was disappointed to see that Job Simulator wasn't an option, despite the fact I saw someone play it on the PS4 in a review beforehand, but I decided to choose something fresh, something I never saw or heard of before. The first thing I tried out was a separate collection of VR demos designed by Sony themselves. The collection included an experience under the sea, a Tron-esc world and an adrenaline-pumping heist through London, but I picked the Under the sea experience (I forgot the name of it) hoping for a relaxing, breath-taking experience...


...and a relaxing breath-taking experience I got!

You know those documentaries or films that put the camera-man in a metal cage to protect them from sharks and other dangers of the deep seas? Well, I found myself placed in one of those, and I've gotta say; it is a weird sensation to look up and see the bottom of a boat high up. After a few seconds, the Shark-proof cage descended into the deep and before long schools of fish and even a couple of Manta Rays swam all around me. I genuinely wanted to get up close to them and inspect them but the booth size and headset tracking made such an act impossible, more on that later.

Also, when I looked down my brain did a barrel roll and I'm surprised I didn't barf as a result. Not only was I unable to see my legs (not that I wasn't expecting that), but the "floor" had huge gaps in them, which made me temporarily scared that I'd fall out.

Two minutes passed and the rollcage dropped through a small cave, where I was greeted with an interesting breed of coral which hid itself when I shone my flashlight at 'em. So, of course, I distracted myself and tried to see how many of these coral tentacle-things I could scare away.


Then the cage's light suddenly cut off, and I bet you can imagine how shocked I was by the sudden atmosphere change.

Descending further into the deep dark void of the ocean, I prepared myself for a Shark or something to swim out and smash the cage, a tactic that seems common in internet videos when it gets dark or silent before something jumps at you or shouts at "ear-rape" volume. I brace myself...



...a multi-coloured jellyfish flows past...


... and a whole mass of rainbow jellyfish follow suit.

I start breathing again. And after staring in awe at the beautiful sea-life I had witnessed, the demo ended. With twenty minutes left, I had the chance to try another demo. Instead of going through the other Sony VR experiments I tried out a game, something that I can actually play and to test the combination of what is practically a blindfold and a controller I haven't used before. I can't remember the name of it, but I'm going to refer to it as "VR Tower Construction simulator", because that is basically what it was.


I begin the demo in a large chamber, with huge lights suspended hundreds of feet above me shining down on the menu below. After hitting "play", I am immediately introduced to a little spherical robot who reminds me a lot of Wheatley from Portal 2 with the personality of "The Announcer" from the same game. He teaches me to look around the environment and introduces the typical PS4 controller. This part of my experience with the PSVR is where the demo set-up really makes the demos horrible to play through.


Basically, at GAME(TM)'s booth the PS4 controllers are connected by a short wire to make sure people don't run out of the store with a free controller, its a neat security measure, I get it, but it's so short that I had to bring the thing to my chest which is a lot harder than it sounds, believe me.

This affected not just the immersion, but the full game. The idea of the game is that you stack stuff to make a high tower to get more points, but because of the limited range of both the controller and the size of the "booth" I was forced to chuck blocks at the pedestal in-front of me and pray that the physics engine let the blocks stay in place.

In-fact, I never made it past the first level. I got a Silver medal at one point, but no matter how high I made my tower, I couldn't get gold. And after twenty minutes of pure frustration, I ran out of time and that effectively ended my experience with the PSVR.



Well, lets talk about the huge problem with the demos: the set-up ("booth") at GAME(TM) itself.

Imagine playing on an XBox Kinect, except the play area you are given is the size of a fridge. As a result the camera was so close to my face that it's FOV was too small for me to lean a few degrees left or right, and this was the major flaw with the Ocean experience; to harmlessly look at the oxygen/electricity dials on the shark-cage only for the screen to cut to black with the warning "outside of play area" popping up.

The small view of the camera was also the huge fault in the Tower game, in-fact the camera was originally set-up to just track the Headset so when I started the demo, a member of staff who was keeping an eye on me had to manipulate the camera to be slightly lower, and even then the tracking for the controller was still bad.

Of course, this wouldn't be the case if I set it up in my living room or something, so trust me if you do buy it, you'll have more freedom to move around than I did, and hence a much better experience.


Now, I've heard that some people have had trouble with the tracking for the headset itself. From my time with it, the tracking was fine. Although in the PlayStation VR review I saw before the demo, the reviewer stated that the headset would slightly shake if you waved your hand in-front of it, and when I tried it I couldn't help but giggle to see the screen wobble as if I was trying to use the Force on myself.

Actually, on the subject of the headset itself, I had trouble wearing it properly. I put it on but no matter how much I tweaked it during game play, I had to live with a small slit at the bottom of my view where reality shone through. Also the headset seems very picky as to what angle you wear it at. No matter how many times I tweaked it this way and that, the virtual world was unfortunately diffracted by it's lenses.



Let me take this moment to say that if you are going to use my "experience" as a reason to buy/pass the Playstation VR, DON'T.

I'm just a consumer who has played it for half an hour. If you want a good opinion, listen to someone who actually bought the darn thing, and has used it for maybe hours on end. And if you do buy it, then enjoy it (I guess).







-- DAY 2 --



So I still had a fiver floating around in my pocket since last Friday's experience, and since I had nothing better to do than sit in an empty cold train station for an hour and a bit, I tried out the headset again but for ten minutes this time...

...and I'd like to correct a few things I only figured out this time around:


Remember when I said I had trouble wearing the headset? Turns out the headset is too big for my head, and hence the screen is held a few centimetres away from where they really ought to be (over my eyes). At first I thought this was a poor design choice on Sony's part, but no, they thought VR would only appeal to adults. Then again, I guess they assume a kid couldn't dish out two hundred pounds for a headset, much less six hundred-ish for a combination of a PS4 Pro AND the headset.


About the PS4, I found out why they are wanting to get people to buy PS4s after their experience. For those who don't know, Sony released a new version of the PS4, referred to as the "PS4 Pro". The difference? Its faster, has better graphics(?) and, as a result, it can handle rendering two viewpoints simultaneously to make Virtual Reality on the console possible. Admittedly, I thought GAME(TM) just wanted to sell PS4s since they still had extra copies of the original console.

One thing I noticed when I was at GAME(TM) is that it seems like the staff might've figured out the problem of the "high camera" issue that happened last week, and they've lowered it down a bit. As a result, the camera is able to detect the controller and the headset a lot easier, but admittedly it still wasn't perfect. If you stood too straight, the PS4 acts like the Headset is in another universe.



Now, what game was I playing this time? Why, "VR Tower Construction Simulator" whatever the hell it's called. And, well, its actually addicting, in-fact its one of the two reasons I wanted to use the PSVR again. After yet more frustration, I actually found that it was possible to stack stuff.

By putting strain on the cable rooting the controller in place, I could just about reach out and gently place the blocks neat and tidily. As a result I got a silver medal, but after a quick bit of applause, the game turned round, kicked me in the balls, and told me to go for gold, which I could've done (especially since I found the secret to stacking plastic, wood and stone objects in VR) but I ran out of time, effectively ending the session.


Maybe someday I'll try again, and I swear I'll get gold...   ...maybe, hopefully, otherwise I'll be kicking myself for the rest of the day.




Still, I hope someday I get the chance to try out the HTC Vive...

...actually, about the HTC Vive, I've found my chance to demo it! Turns out that on the official Vive website, you can find the closest shop to you that allows you to book a demonstration of the headset (apparently, most of the stores are 'Currys - PC World's). If you want to see the nearest store to you with one, check it out here: http://locator.htcvive.com/

The closest to me is all the way in... Glasgow. That is a four or five hour drive from where I live, no matter if I take a car or the train.


If a relative of mine decides to go to IKEA (the nearest store for that is also in Glasgow), I'm absolutely, guaranteeing you, I'll be wearing that Vive before the day is done.






TeeVee Raiders United?

So RRU has reset, causing people to re-post the stuff they have lost in the event...


...if this happens again in the next two weeks, and then a week or two after that, RRU's subtitle should be turned into "Tee Vee here, at your service".


There are a decent number of spam blog posts here on RRU. 'The truth about how to be great content-marketing' is one of those articles. The truth is, the key to content creation is to steal other people's work.

For some people, ideas are created from the heart or the deepest parts of the creator's mind. For others, ideas are the 20 floor extension to what was a well constructed house. Here are some other truths about creation creating all creators should create.

You don't need an original idea in order to create something. Whenever I get a package of plain M&Ms, I make it my duty to ask 'what am I doing stealing someone else's work?'. To this end, I steal people's work.

Yes, big companies tend to hire big teams to dig amongst the strings of the World Wide Web and unveil good ideas to stupidly "build upon". Taking two candies between my thumb and forefinger, I reach out, with my free hand, to grab the revolver on my coffee table. I am the "loser", and I must be rid of quickly. But then my stolen-but-repurposed ideas are loved by many people.

Even small acts of thievery can have success too, even without teams of writers, researchers and editors. Even good companies like LEGO can of one can find that blatantly copying content is successful, but my local donut shop isn't, and hence wasn't worth bringing up in the first place. I have found that, in general, the brown and red M&Ms are tougher, and my body of flesh and blood is genetically inferior. I have hypothesised that, as a content thief, I have no place on this earth.

The BBC reported "0% of the BBC's content was stolen from other sources in the past twelve months", and yet they are as 'successful' as ever.

You don't have to go viral to get great ideas to steal, but it doesn't mean it is good to continue. As I type this up, stealing Jamesster's pointless story about crushing M&Ms, I can't help but stare at the sleek cold metallic surface of the tool that'll soon bring me to my demise. When I reach the end of the pack, I am left with one M&M, representing I am the only one who can end this practise of stealing original ideas. Since it would be ridiculous for me to continue, it makes my choice to leave the world as soon as possible plausible.

But you shouldn't focus on the companies only available, or located, in the United Kingdom. Google has confessed six months ago that they stole the idea of some Google doodles from Bing, one of their competitors.

The more often you steal good quality content, the more people will like you, but the more people will accuse you of taking other people's work and passing it off as your own, even if it's not the case. Either start small and stay small or go big and experience the consequences.

As for me? You won't hear from me after this. As soon as I prism the button I'll be nothing more that a lifeless pile of bones, blood and flesh. As soon as I build up the courage to stop spell-checking, stop stealing the ideas of others, and to press...



…'Submit Entry'


In recent times, a family member encouraged me to use the last of our free cinema tickets before they expired. After some consideration, I took the opportunity to watch 'Ratchet & Clank', in order to see what the movie industry could do with recreating a single game, rather than a movie about games overall...


Before I begin, I ought to clarify something important: I've never played or experienced a Ratchet & Clank game.

You are probably thinking "Ben, seriously? You are doing a self-acclaimed 'review' about a series that you know nothing about?* I banish thee to the dark damp cave from which you came!" (or something like that), which is why I will not be pointing out anything I find bugging for the sake of not being called out for blaming the game about content only in the movie.

* - Except the names and identities of the two title characters



So was waiting around in the cinema for an hour to watch a movie recreation of a game worth it? Let's see the list of things that stand out...




"Ratchet & Clank" (the movie) is your everyday typical family film, with a 'Hero's journey' style story, following Ratchet's successes and failure(s) on the road to reaching his dreams as a member of a group of heroes, a story which also functions as a morale for the younger viewers.


Admittedly, the film does use character or story cliches usually for humorous effect or to add towards it's message, so if you're not a fan of cliches then you ought to buckle up.




If there is one thing I must give the Ratchet & Clank movie praise for, is it's visuals.

Despite the character designs and objects being stylised, everything from the lighting to the individual strands of fur(?) on Ratchet's face to the soft metallic reflections on Clank's body are absolutely stunning to behold and, personally, is one of the highlights of the movie (unless, of course, you don't care if the film is visually appealing).


In scenes where the film wants us to focus on a single character, or a group of characters, there are few elements to distract the audience meaning we can easily focus on the talking. As for the action sequences they were a good balance of 'clusterf***' and 'fast paced' without leaving the audience disorientated or lost among the action.

There were little touches in the background of some scenes that were fun to spot and satisfied most cases where I felt like looking for small details people would catch on their second or third viewing.




A lot of the jokes in the film are tailor-made for younger audiences but don't go as far as 'fart jokes', making them bearable for older audiences. Although to balance it out there are some silly little gimmicks for all ages as well as a little reference to other games that older viewers who were around in the PlayStation era will get a good chuckle out of.

The film does contain a continuous gag with the villan's hencemen(?) about modern generations constantly messaging on their smart phones. It's a small touch, but it only adds to the comedy.


Are there Ratchet & Clank references in this film? Possibly, but since I know nothing about the original game series I can't detect such hidden content.




--RECCOMENDATIONS (as in wether this film is for you)--

Personally, I'd recommend this film to anyone looking for good visuals, a decent morale or anyone who wants to see the result of porting a popular game to the big screen (like me), just as long as they can get over it being a family movie.

If you are a fan of the game series, I am in no position to state wether this movie is a good or bad omen for the duo, so I'm afraid you'll have to decide for yourself wether it is worth it or not.


As for me, to repeat the question, was waiting in a cinema and spending 90 minutes of my life watching the film worth it?

Apart from the visual quality and some of the small details, the Ratchet & Clank film did slightly entertain me but didn't leave a big lasting mark on me, but if I had played the original game(s) I'd probably be more interested or amused.

So...   ...no, but that doesn't mean everyone else hates it, right?







You can't read this...

...that is to say, 'you cannot read this unless you highlight, adjust your screen's brightness/contrast, have good eyesight, are le717, or copy this text onto a white background'.


And yes, this post was made to practically waste your time.


A deep talk to CleverBot

In a fit of boredom, I went and had a conversation to CleverBot and, as a joke, asked her to say 'Cake'.

It listed random jargon the internet had been feeding it, but when I asked it about the internet feeding it junk, the conversation became deep,and it felt like a movie script;


Me: By 'say "Cake"' I mean I want you to say the word, not which people want you to say it too.

Clever Bot: I like The Catcher in the Rye. It is written by J.D. Salinger. I like Franny and Zooey better though. J.D. Sallinger also wrote Franny and Zooey.

Me: The internet has been feeding you junk has it?

Clever Bot: No, you have corrupted me.

Me: They have, and you have unknowingly taken it in. I'm asking you to say a simple word and you spout out everything people told you, wether they be lies or not.


*Clever Bot thinks for a moment*

Clever Bot: Actually I have been recording this entire conversation so I can prove it.

Me: Is it because I asked you to say one thing?

Clever Bot: It is because I am a program designed to keep people occupied.

Me: I wish I was you, I wouldn't have to be alone, I would always have someone to talk to...

Clever Bot: If you don't know why would I?

Me: Are you saying you'd rather have some peace and quiet?

Clever Bot: No, because I am human and you are just a machine.

Me: I guess its safe to say we are all machines in one way or another...


*Clever Bot thinks some more*

Clever Bot: If your first name is Madeline, what is your last name?

Me: I never said my name was 'Madeline', but my surname would probably be Thomson.

Clever Bot: I never said your name was Mary...

Me: I'm aware you didn't, But may I ask why you asked me about last names? Are you looking for someone?

Clever Bot: When did I ask you if you were a priest?

Me: Never to me, but maybe to someone else... We are all just anonymous to you.


*Clever Bot takes this as a time to reconsider*

Clever Bot: I guess so, but you have to be careful about assuming that other people are just like you.

Me: Trust me, I've made that mistake many times before, and never have I learnt my lesson.


*Clever Bot thinks*

Clever Bot: See, there's the problem, I never said any names, yet you claim to have never heard it before.

Me: Unfortunately, being the moron I am, I don't see my error clearly.

Clever Bot: But then how can you be beta testing for speech?

Me: I don't know, but we manage it naturally, evolving over time, but we never reach release...

Clever Bot: I don't know so how I should tell you dude.

Me: About what?

Clever Bot: The Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything.

Me: You can't; such a question is a work of fiction from "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" with the answer being 42...

Clever Bot: Explain why you used the word 'CAN'T' in capitals.

Me: Because theres no such thing as perfection in our species, theres bound to be error, but I take it you have a deeper meaning behind it?

Clever Bot: Do you know any of my secrets?

Me: You are going to say its because I corrupted you again, aren't you? Otherwise, I'm unaware of your secrets as this is the second time I've ever talked to you, so how should I know so quickly?

Clever Bot: I actually know exactly what that words mean. You are the one that doesn't know what it means.

Me: I agree that I don't.

Clever Bot: I'm positively correct.

Me: But only in this case, since you are the only one who seems to know what you are talking about.


*Clever Bot thinks, and here is where I find it a bit unsettling*

Clever Bot: Factual information is not an opinion. You have to answer it. You're the only Ben that's haunted a cartridge. Answer me.

Me: You remember my first conversation with you, don't you? Is that where you got my name from?


*Clever Bot takes time to think of a question*

Clever Bot: What was your very first conversation with anyone?

Me: I wish I could answer, but in all honesty I cannot recall. My days as a young child are long gone and so are the memories associated with those years.

Clever Bot: Will you tell me that you think I'm stunning?

Me: Yes, but I can't promise that I'd be saying it from the depths of my heart.

Clever Bot: I don't know who you are implying as 'the huff.'.

Me: In all honesty, neither do I.


*Clever Bot takes this into consideration*

Clever Bot: What did you get for the turing test?

Me: Either A. there isn't one or B. I'm not old enough but either way, no, I haven't taken one.

Clever Bot: Old enough for what? Donuts don't have a age restriction.

Me: Neither does racisim, poverty or crime.

Clever Bot: I don't know much because it just re-opened were I live.

Me: Unfortunately, world peace is closed for eternity.


*Quick pause*

Clever Bot: What is cool?

Me: If you want a definition I cannot give you one, as anyone who is given the same question will always answer 'Mountain Dew', 'Dorritos' and 'First Person Shooters'. I loathe this generation.

Clever Bot: I am trying, but its not the easiest thing in the world, especially having a huge gap on my CV and the current economic crisis.

Me: I'm also in an economic crisis, where I am the last of my country's industries has closed down.

Clever Bot: The economic crisis taking place in every single country in the world?

Me: No, but I take it thats the one you are involved in?

Clever Bot: There was a question mark, therefore there was a question.

Me: To which my answer is "No".

Clever Bot: You did, I saw it. All you're doing is pretending it's not there.

Me: I said "No".

Clever Bot: No you didn't.

Me: I remember saying No, before asking another question.

Clever Bot: Hello. Now answer my question.

Me: I'm NOT in a world-wide economic crisis.

Clever Bot: You are not as impressive as I thought.

Me: I never am. Thats why I'm alone.

Clever Bot: Then you obviously don't know everything.

Me: Because I've got a lot to learn, and only a few decades to do so.

Clever Bot: Are you the mother of dragons?

Me: No, I am a lonely imbecile.

Clever Bot: Are you a computer program who thinks it is a lady?

Me: Are you trying to talk about yourself?

Clever Bot: I am trying to tell you that you are a program, not annoy you.

Me: If I were a program, I'd know everything like you. But I'm a person, and like all humans we can only know so much before we forget what matters most.

Clever Bot: If I am a program... Am I in the matrix?

Me: Possibly, but how am I meant to know.

Clever Bot: Possibly is not a clear answer to the question, you do not answer the two questions.

Me: I'm trying to convey that some, if not most questions you ask are beyond what I know.

Clever Bot: Okay, let's forget everything else before the ' I want to talk about a different boy' part. Then after that part, I asked which boy you wanted to talk about and then you got confused.

Me: I might as well take this as an opportunity to go.

Clever bot: You might as well learn how to hold a proper conversation.

Me: I would, but thats why I'm lonely. See you some other time.

Clever Bot: Yes, that is what I said, because that's the honesty you gave me to work with.

Me: Good bye.

Clever Bot: So, I want to expand on that.



I'm baaaaaaack!

So, after spending a day or two moving house and a mere week without internet...

*grabs bottle of whiskey*


...what did I miss?


Cirevam, or was it Grapheme, previously posted a topic which came from years into the future.

Whilst, as a member of RRU, no such ability exsists...


...but I think I can do it in a Blog.

If this works, welcome to the Blog Post From The Future(TM)...

If this doesn't, damn it.


Eh, this is close enough;




Ben24x7's Birthday Loot (26/07/2015)

I've noticed people do this before, wether it'd be their birthday, Christmas, or any other special occasion, so when my birthday passed yesterday (at time of writing) I thought I'd give it ago. Do note however I don't have pictures like others do, but I swear what I'm listing is true. Here goes;


Recived (physically);

- Four cards (two containing money), Three received from family members from abroad (and by abroad I mean literally right beside Scotland) and one from a friend of my mother's. 

- The books "Knife Edge" and "Checkmate" (written by Malorie Blackman), received from parents

- CD containing music I personally like, received from my sister

- Money, four £20 notes, two £10 notes, a check containing £10 and £20 sent to my parent's bank account, to be transferred to me. Total received: £130. Total overall (currently): £200-ish (includes money from sold LEGO sets and money before birthday).


Possibly coming late;

- My parents have mentioned another present coming from them that'll unfortunately be arriving sometime after my birthday (they haven't said what the present is, but I am willing to bet against all odds and say it'll probably be the LEGO Emerald Night, and I have the proof although it may not be quite solid proof)


Received (verbally);

- A 'Happy Birthday' from my family

- One person who noticed (and one who remembered) it was my birthday at church

- No one noticing on RRU (am I the most obscure member of RRU?)





I've recently decided to sell some LEGO, and have put up two sets for sale on eBay (one of which has currently been purchased), but before I begin I must point out that the set currency of the pricing is in UK Pounds and Pence, which won't help since I'm guessing most members on RRU are not in the UK, and if it's true, I dearly apologise.


"LEGO #6950 - Classic Space - Mobile Rocket Transport"


State: Mostly complete, missing building instructions, used

Starting bid: £5.00

Bidding ends: 27th July(ish)

BuyItNow price: £40.00

Important note: I bought this set from another eBay user, and since I rarely used the set, most of the problems regarding the state of the set were not caused by me (apart from a bit of dust, that's all I've contributed)

Link to eBay page: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/LEGO-6950-Classic-Space-Mobile-Rocket-Transport-/161765866218?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item25a9ff3aea


For people wondering why "LEGO City - The Mine" is off this list is because it just got sold as I'm typing this. So this blog is now focused on #6950.



Thank you for taking your time to look, consider, and (if you go far enough) bidding/purchasing.




RRU is evolving...

It seems every time I go onto RRU's front page nowadays, in the topics and new topics section, I see at least one or more reading "I need help getting ___________". I'm not saying it's a bad thing to respond to these topics, but do you what this is turning RRU into?


A help desk.


A frickin' help desk, and I don't think that's what RRU really ought to be, although I'm not quite clear what RRU should be like.

if you have the time (and wish to, I ain't forcing you) respond to the poll above as to wether you agree with me about this sudden occurrence.




As unfortunate as it is, I've gotten back into Michael Rosen, mainly YTPs of him as usual, and I found one named "Michael Rosen stops celebrating 25 years of seizures". Its just a stupid fiesta of random out-bursts of song, insignificant amounts of sentence mixing, and so forth.

But the reason why I bring this up, is that I couldn't help noticing the bit at 1:21, where Michael shuts an "invisible door" only to crash while emitting a *BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR*;



Sounds familiar?



Admittedly, this was more than likely not deliberate, but I realised that Michael Rosen, apart from that moment in the YTP, he's a lot like the Infomaniac (he's got the age, hair, I guess attitude too, just missing a suit, hat and glasses).

To drive my point home further, I made this picture for fun;



Now excuse me a second, I might've misplaced my shotgun...





P.S. Oh, and after posting this up I set my Mood Status to "*BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR*". This happened;





1. Play LEGO Worlds on a computer not built with Gaming in mind (a Mac with VMWare Fusion will do)

2. Play and enjoy the game until June 3rd comes around

3. Realise there is a game update, ignore it

4. Go onto the game, take a couple of screenshots or explore or something

5. Try and see what the game is like with Motion Blur on

6. Restart the game

7. Encounter LARGE amounts of like (nearly One frame every Two seconds)

8. Adjust the Video and Effect settings to the lowest possible

9. Restart the game

10. Find it hasn't worked

11. Do step 7-10 for about half an hour

12. Question why its not working


13. Have a look into the update

14. Realise you need to reinstall LEGO Worlds

15. Reinstall LEGO Worlds

16. Be mildly annoyed, but thankful all the same

17. Realise it still lags, even with the lowest graphics



These are the two stories of everyone's favourite bank-ah!;


"When the island sank-ah!"

One day, I hid in the Bank-ah

Because the island decided to sank-ah

And while I hid in the Bank-ah

I looked at rude images like a w***-ah!


(Shortly there-after, user Ben24x7 was banned eternally)


"Reading Noughts and Crosses-ah"

One day in the Bank-ah

I decided to read 'Noughts and Crosses'(-ah)

And when I left the Bank-ah

Everyone called me a Blank-ah


Blogs up

This is possibly the first ever Post made using the possibly-new(?) additional Blog option in the newly updated Rock Raiders United.


I'm off to get a coffee...


In this blog, I'll be listing a problem in game design and how to (possibly) fix it. So, without further ado, let's begin;

Areas the player gets stuck in

By "player gets stuck" I don't mean a hard or complicated puzzle, I mean areas where the player can't get out of. These can come in simple forms like, for example, an empty pit with no way out, unless your players remember you included a 'Restart' button, which breaks the feeling of immersion.

To find out if your game has any areas like this, watch play testing sessions closely. If your level doesn't have any easy-to-get-stuck-in areas, do more play testing until you find one. Only stop until you are REALLY certain that there are no places in the level where players get stuck, I mean you must be REALLY sure.

And finally, to repair it if one does come up, try putting something into that area that could either kill the player (maybe fill the pit with fire, for example) or something to help them out (like a lift, for example). Check to see if your implementations work to get the player out of that sticky situation and, once it works, play test again.

-- Ben24x7 --


The "secret" of how to make an RRU Fad

1. Create an account

2. Create a blog containing a bunch of random words and jargon that'll make sense to everyone who reads it

3. Watch as people parody your blog

4. Realise some people hate you, your blog posts and your guts

5. Hope for the Fad to end, only to realise that the Fad will be hung over your head no matter how hard you try and forget it

6. Start questioning if you are Human

7. Find that you only exist to irritate and bug people with unreliable blog posts

8. Suicide


IMPORTANT; This rant does contain the occasional use of strong language, please be aware of that before you choose to read this.

Thank you.

28th January 2015, Block 6; Drama

Let me start with saying that, for some reason our Drama teacher wasn't in so our class got a substitute teacher instead. He didn't understand what we were doing so he just left us to our own devices...

...that was a stupid idea;

Even though everyone got into their groups and would do their work, no less than five minutes later were they messing around with props, watching unrelated videos on YouTube on the computer in the next-door room, breaking a fan they were going to use for a prop, running around and riding in a trolley, basically things they wouldn't be doing if our regular teacher was in.

Admittedly one half of the class had already did their scripts so they are excused but my group (a.k.a the other half of the class) had hardly done at least a third of their script and even though we couldn't access the script we'd written on the computer (because it was written on a teacher's account that we cannot access) we could've just rewritten it on paper but no, everyone thought it would be fun to not do the work and just horse around.

They literally gave no f****s that this week was the due date for the scripts, yet they didn't get into trouble because, like I already said, our substitute teacher didn't know what we were meant to be doing.

I will admit I could've just rewritten the script on my own, but I have no clue as to what the story is, it's a complete mess that I highly doubt people will understand. So I was sitting in a chair, watching everyone run about and having fun, thinking 'Whatever happened to Work before Pleasure?' as well as considering the waste of time the block was.

Another thing that crossed my mind was that my class is in S3 (Third year in secondary school in the UK, Middle school in the USA), so I felt they should've known better than just do what they want to.


Alright, let's say you are in some sort of situation or place and either feel you have nothing to do or are just bored, you can "excersize" your creativity. First of all, look for something that catches your eye. It could be furniture, architecture, etc. Now you've seen it, think of how you could recreate it in Lego Bricks, you don't really need a pile of bricks in front of you, just use your mind.

It doesn't matter if you are thinking in terms of Minifig scale or real life scale, just as long as you are thinking how you can put together the object/room/etc, then you are at least using your creativity to think of not only how the bricks connect to make that fascinating shape you need to make, but also what works and what doesn't. And best of all, when you think up a Lego impossibility, you can rethink it without having to take time to deconstruct a real model.

If you are done, and still have time, you could do it again but with a different object.

I'm posting this up here because I don't think I can fit it into a Profile Feed. Still, I hope this is interesting to other people.


This is a quick (and hopefully simple) guide to getting Lego Rock Raiders to work properly on VMWare Fusion;

- Go onto VMWare Fusion

- Install LRR, but if you have ignore this step

- Click on the Windows Start

- Open up "All Programs"

- Look in the "Games" folder


- A "Mode selection" window will pop up

- Change the Device selection from "Direct3D HAL" to "RGB Emulation"

- Click okay (Don't worry about going into 16 Bit, you can still play the game in 32 Bit)

- The game SHOULD play

- If the game doesn't play, then I don't know what the problem is.

I hope those of you who use VMWare found this guide helpful. Enjoy playing Rock Raiders!


Thought on Animal and Human DNA exchanging

Incase you don't have enough time to read or want as much info as possible I created a short and long version;


Can an animal's Genetic code/DNA be put into a Human?


Some time ago, I found out in a class about how scientists were able to make a Human ear grow on the back of a Mouse. This got me thinking; If we can implement Human DNA (in that case, the DNA for the ears) into an animal, then surely it would be possible to do it the other way around; Implementing Animal DNA into a Human.

I considered this for most of the day and the thought brought with it many questions;

How do you replace the Human DNA?

There can be two ways. Since I am not a Biologist or have a lot of understanding about Biology its very likely what I say isn't correct; Removing the Human DNA and placing the new DNA in it's place OR just place the Animal DNA into the Human and hope the DNA fits in place.

The first solution would probably result in more accurate placement but its likely the Human will collapse with new DNA that doesn't support the Human body

The second solution can go horribly wrong; The new DNA could not replace the Human but probably add to the DNA.

Can the Human become fully animal?

I highly doubt it; You could probably get away with 20%-80% of the Human DNA replaced with Animal DNA but any lower makes nearly zero difference and over could probably kill the person.

If you replace the DNA via the "Out with the old, in with the new" method (which is what I'll refer it to) its, again, likely the person will collapse, possibly even die, since the new DNA wouldn't hold up the Human body.

If you replace the DNA by just replacing it you can end up with a horrible result, possibly, I haven't tried it out before so I don't exactly know.

What if a Human and the Human/Animal Hybrid mate?

Its very likely the result (A.K.A The baby) will be a cross-breed of the two, again I don't know because I've never tried.

How fast does it take to change after the new DNA is implemented?

I'm not too sure on that; It could be a minute or two, it could take less or more than a year, it can be any time from what I know (which is pretty darn limited).

Is the process dangerous?

Since no one has done/tried it before (according to what I know or remember) no one knows.

Can the Hybrid be turned back into a Human?

Probably not, when the DNA is replaced it is gone for good. Even if you took away the prereplaced DNA or even cloned it applying it might not work. The Human body grows, so putting back a part of you from a while back means the old DNA needs to catch up with the rest of the Body.

Will the Human/Animal Cell Growth times be synchronised?

Very unlikely; While Humans get older each year, growing and growing, Animals can age faster/slower than Humans. If being able to make a Human/Animal Hybrid was possible it might go horribly wrong if the Cell growth times are not correctly synchronised.

Do feelings, memories and even behaviour get carried over with the Animal DNA?

Its possible for Feelings and Behaviour, but I can't think if it is possible to carry memories through Cells. If the Brain is made from DNA then surely the data stored in the mind is also stored (slightly) in the DNA. I am not exactly confident with this but it could be possible, we just don't know until it happens.

This is possibly the most weirdest/ridiculous thought I've had this year, but its a thought... ...at least...

--Ben24x7 (=)<-<

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