Monday, November 17, 2014

Around the World with batgirl

Around the World with batgirl

The two screen shots above are from the latest of my legs in my round the world flight to help usher in support for our troops stationed around the world during this holiday season.  The idea came to me as I was looking through the what to watch section of my youtube account.  For some reason there was a video from Frooglepete in my list.  I watched it and suddenly had the bug to start flying Flight Sims again.

Star Citizen has been my main focus since getting back into gaming.  It offered so much and still is my passion, however, with the game so far away, I needed to find something to pass the time.  I searched my house up and down.  Tore open boxes, riffled through drawers and to no avail, just could not find Flight Simulator X.  Then after reading about the performance of FSX I decided to do something different and I purchased X-Plane 10.3 from Steam.

In the days before Star Citizen, the days before WoW, the days before Everquest, I was a Military Flight Sim, GA FlightSim, Space Sim addict.  The first game purchased of my Amiga 500 was Flight Simulator by Bruce Artwork and Associates.  I remember the feeling of loading that game up on its one double density floppy drive and playing it for hours.

From flight simulator I began to play games like Falcon, Birds of Prey, Sub Logics ATP and then all of the titles from Microsoft.  Then one day I read on line, yes there was internet back then, about someone that was flying around the world in Flight Simulator 2002.  I downloaded the same aircraft he did and started along the way.  It was a Cessna 182 and I was taking it on the longest virtual journey of my then Flight Sim career.

I made that rip around the world in 11 different aircraft, each time mixing up the airports I would fly into.  But then, someone enticed me and guided me away into the MMO world.  I was led a stray and my flight sim career seemed to disappear as did my real life flying.

I played WoW for years, raiding and leveling in a never ending addicted can't stop playing haze, but then, it all ended.  It ended with one game being announced, Star Citizen.  StarCitizen put me back on the right track.  My love for all things Sim was returning.

So on to this flight.  I couldn't find FSX, purchased X-Plane and Prepar3D and began flying in sims again.  So what made me think of this whole flight around the world thing.  It went something like this... Wow, wouldn't it be cool to do that again?  Yes I will, and i'll document it on youtube and try to bring attention to our nations men and women serving in the military around the world.

I kind of jumped the gun as soon as I thought that up.  I purchased a new aircraft from, the one pictured above.  It is the Diamond DA-42 and it is a beauty.  The next thing I did was so bad.  I was so committed to starting on Veterans Day that I started without understanding the new aircraft, the ATC operation in game and the avionics in general in X-Plane.  now that I have 4 legs down I think I am ready to be serious about this trip.

I aks youth viewers of this series to help me find charities to bring attention to that help the men and women that serve our nations military or the survivors of those that gave their lives serving in our military,  I am also looking to bring attention to all service men and women around the world.  So please help me do this right.

So I begin this blog with 3 legs down.  Leg one KRYY to KFFA, Kennesaw, GA to Kitty Hawk, NC.  Leg two KFFA to KNYG, Kitty Hawk, NC to Quantico, VA.  Leg three KNYG to W05, Quantico, VA to Gettysburg, PA.  I expect to have about 50 to 60 legs on this trip.  The DA42 is amazing but the  150 kts cruise speed will make some leg really long so I am trying to shorten my legs and just add more of them.  If there is anywhere any of you want me to fly to just comment here.

That is it for this prologue of my already started journey.  I hope to report as much as I can here.  Next leg up is W05 to KPNE, Gettysburg. PA to North East Philadelphia.  I'll bring you more then.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

StarCitizen DFM Reveal Impressions

Did it surprise me that there were so many issues with the DFM Reveal?  Absolutely not. You see I am a realist and I understand how large the task of building the Star Citizen PU is. With feature after feature announced over the last ten months I just knew that this game would be in development for quite a while. CIG have themselves in a place uncharted. They are being transparent and need to show off their work.  The big issue is, Ot's not ready yet... Or is it?  I think the reveal was a success amd here is why.

Elite Dangerous is set to release this year.  It also has been crowd funded, however, with far fewer supporters. That is mostly due to the large investment needed to get Into the alpha, 200.00 UK pounds. Still the game has been able to meet deadlines and put out a working game to test with few problems. Elite, however, is not being built to push the limit of PC Gaming.  It is being built to be fun.  So as the beta of Elite is set to begin how I see the Star Citizen DFM reveal as being a success, it is simple.  It worked.  While bugs plagued the presentation the game worked and is one of the most beautiful games I have seen even with the graphics optimizations not in place.

Star Citizens DFM had a much higher bar set,  CryEngine, FPS, kick butt graphics and the ability to put in multi player ships at some point all needed to be in the code even though not all things are implemented now. They proved it could be done. What was displayed was something akin to a blind man hitting a barn from a mile with a BB gun, now is the time for CIG and team to step up and squash the bugs and deliver a workable game the Alpha Testers can begin testing. I have faith in them. After visiting the Santa Monica office in early March I realized the passion Chris has for delivering the Best Damn Space Simulator Ever resonates within every employee at CIG. Failure is not an option for them. 

While watching the reveal and seeing the DFM in action I made some notes. The HUD needs to be configurable so when in combat some of the information disappears. It would be perfect if it happened automatically but here is what I thing. Three configurations, Navigation, Communication and Combat. Each with there own set of information displayed. That would be amazing. 

Targetin... What was with that flying in from off screen into the reticle?  It was cool to watch but that has to throw off situational awareness during combat.  I think that the reticle should have the marker inside it the whole time. 

The flight model looked amazing. Watching them fly around started to quell some fears that every battle would just be a turning nightmare.  I've been playing flight simulators and space simulators since my very first computer. The first game I purchased for my Amiga 500 was Flight Simulator. So flight models are important. One of my favorite online games now is War Thunder. Dogfighting in Realistic Battles is a real test of knowing your planes strengths and using them against your opponents weaknesses. Also, in AIR combat altitude is key. Altitude means energy which means you can keep turning on your opponent by diving and zoom climbing. There is also the ground. The Ground is credited with more aircraft kills than any pilot. So many mistakes end with pilots meeting there death in a smoking hole without ever being hit by an enemy. 

In space combat there is no air and thus no energy concerns. Newtonian physics make it more a game of who is better at pirouetting and turning and turning and turning. As boring as this sounds it actually looked fun. I think the reveal changed my mind about how space combat will be in Star Citizen.  That is my big success. They changed my opinion. 

With the issues seen in the reveal it is unlikely we will be seeing the DFM, Arena Commander, for 30 to 45 days. The bugs seemed to be more server related and on Chris' end, running the Presentation and DFM on the same computer.  This means network tweaking and code adjustments need to be made.

There was also some bugs where the ships were not able to be controlled. Those I feel will be squashed sooner that the server issues. I am not worried. I know they will be releasing us the BDSSE. It is time that we will all need to get used to passing as this is not ready for us now. 

So... What now?  It is time to build that PC and start picking a HOTAS. That will take the better part of my next month as I try my best to figure out which,what and how of this process. 

Gaming?.  What games will I be spending my time in?   That is easy and this will be listed in order of game play. 

War Thunder. I love flying

World of Tanks. I hated this game and got sucked in

Elite Dangerous... Um.... I played Elite for 28 hours once before my mom took away my computer for a week. I loved that game. 

Civ v.  Great to pass my time. 

So that is all I have. Be safe out there, you never know what's going to creep up on your six!  

Saturday, February 22, 2014

What's my Brand?

The story goes like this.  A while back I had a podcast called The Addicted Gamer that was pert of  It ran for 20 episodes and then all hell broke loose not only with me, but the team of podcasters there.  It all ended with Brent, Jonathan and myself disappearing from regular podcasts.

Over the last few years just making enough money to pay for an apartment and a car was hard and my game play and my enthusiasm for generating content just did not exist.

Over the last two years as life started to settle down and I started to find time I started to game again. Gaming eventually led me back to creating content and thus my YouTub channel was born.  At first it was just a video about Kerbal Space Program.  I picked that game up in the Summer Steam Sale in 2013.  KSP led me to Star Citizen and the recreation of The Addicted Gamer.

Somewhere along the way I lost focus on the fact that I like many games and renamed the channel Star Citizen AA.  It worked, SCAA is my most successful playlist, however, it leaves me with a small problem.  When I am creating content for other games, they just don't fit on the StarCitizenAA channel.  What am I to do?

I've owned for some time now.  All of my videos right now are in some way associated with that by having the AA in their name.  Kerbal Space Program AA, War Thunder AA, Star Citizen AA and what will be Elite Dangerous AA when I get the money to purchase that Alpha.  So I propose a change in my channel to The Addicted Gamer or something like that.  It has no effect on my Star Citizen playlist, it just helps me to build a brand for myself that is not a brand owned by another entity.  Absurd as it sounds, if Star Citizen were to fail (not likely at all) where would I be then,

So if you read this blog, let me know your thoughts.  Send an email to with suggestions, thoughts, support or objections.  I'll see where this leads me.

Saying all of that, I just want to thank the 620 people that have subscribed.  You have all humbled me and caused me to dig deep and learn all of this, be better, and produce a much better show than the first few episodes.  It only gets better from here.  Thank you.

Monday, January 20, 2014

A New Home for the Show

Thanks to a few members of the SCAA community we have a new home.  Our website is about to open at On the new site you'll not only have links to the show, our organization, The Enablers and to our new forums.

The Enablers will be launched along side the imminent release of the Organization System.  The Enabler's site will feature our as yet unfinished Organization Charter and announcements of Events and Organization member of the Week!

With that said, please stop by the new website and sign up and get talking in the forums.  Oh!  And please help get the word out?


Saturday, January 18, 2014

What Now?

The show has been steadily moving forward as has the progress on putting the organization together.  It is, however, a lot of work to get it all together.  That is why I am writing today.  I am amazed with the fans of the show and the members of the show and how quickly they band together.  They all deserve a very big thank you!

with the interview of Sandi now behind me I look forward to who's next.  David Haddock is on my calendar for next week with a first week of February scheduled release.  We do know, however, that the releases will sometimes fall behind due to scheduling.  David is the lead writer for the Star Citizen universe.  He is the grand master creator of all the history and past events in the Star Citizen universe.  While the ideas flow from the Mouth of Chris Roberts, it is David that puts them into engaging stories, com-link articles and Jump Point submissions.  I look forward to meeting the man behind the pen.

I have a vague acceptance from Wingman, he is very busy right now, and sights on Rob Irving.  I'm trying to get in these three interviews before I travel on business to LA. While there I will have one day free where I can visit the Cloud Imperium Games HQ in Santa Monica.  I am psyched.  I am not sure of interview opportunities, so I'll have my camera just in case I am given the time.

The next few weeks are scary for me.  I was able to interview Sandi and Chris and now it is all on me to provide rich engaging content.  I know that as long as CIG keeps putting out the info I will be delivering the content, what happens when it slows down.  For this I am continuing to expand the Chris Roberts Games AA and Kerbal Space Program AA series with a fourth called Steam Games AA coming in the next month.  I think I'll be able to bring content and with the interviews I've done already, draw in other developers from other games as well.

That is all I have for now.  Thank you all for continuing to watch the show, read my blog and follow my tweets.  And now... a FB Page.  Here is the link.

I am leaving the donations button live as I now have a purpose for it.  The funds will be used for three things, Continuing the cast and procuring needed equipment, obtaining give aways for the show, and helping to provide transportation and expenses for shows like PAX East and West and the cons like Dragon Con.  I am very grateful to this that have already provided generous donations to the show.  So far I have upgraded my Camera, Mic, Mic Stand and have obtained 2 Hard Drives 1 2 TB and 1 3 TB and have filled the 2 TB with videos for the first 13 shows.  Next purchase is $299 and is a Wireless Lapel mic system.  After that expenses for the first conference.

Here are the links to the places to find me on the web

Twitter: @StarCitizenAA

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

An Epic Show An Epic Edit Session

I was fortunate enough to have Sandi Gardiner join me Friday night for a 30 minute interview.  She was wonderful and fed all of us fans shovels full of info we crave so much.  I initially wanted only 15 minutes of time, however, she was so eloquent and accommodating that we ran over.  I am grateful and want everyone in the SCAA community to make sure Sandi gets a very big thank you for appearing on SCAA.

Sandi Gartiner on on Star Citizen AA Episode 3

Chris Roberts on Star Citizen AA Episode 3

As the interview was ending Sandi calls out, "Chris! Can you come her for a second."  I was floored.  Stammering and trying to keep my nerves I tried to think quick.  The first question came out of my mouth, "What to think is the most exciting thing coming out over the next three months, besides the Dogfighting module?"  Ugh!  Did I just say that?  Really?  Well, Chris just rolled along, laughed with me and answered the question.  Before we were done 8 minutes had passed and what I expected was just a hello.  I have to thank Chris and everyone at CIG.  They surely understand how important we the backers, future player, fans and passionate supporters are.  Thank you CIG for everything you do for all of us that share the dream that Chris envisioned as a boy.

After the interviews I was ready to hit the pledge store and throw what little money I have left at the screen of my computer, but suddenly I remembered that in order to play this game I will need to purchase a new computer.  So maybe the Queen needs a fundraiser or even better, a Substantial increase in subscribers.  So, if you watch the YouTube Channel help me in getting me to 5,000 Subscriptions.  I'm at 420 now, 4,580 to go.  Tweet, FB, Tmblr, Share, Like and use word of mouth.  Help the queen get to 5k Subscribers so the Queen can build a killer rig.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year from a Slightly Ill Nikki

The holiday season and the long hours of work proved too much for me.  Now, I sit here watching Game of Thrones and typing this blog with thoughts of what is to come in 2014.

I never thought that I would be back to blogging and podcasting in the gaming genre again when this year started.  It is not that I left gaming, it's just that my life was in a much different place the last six years.  Money, time and rest were not something that was in abundance.  Now, with some help from my best friend I have all three.

My original thought was to learn enough to be able to help my sons stream and record their Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty games.  Then the summer Steam Sale came about and I acquired Kerbal Space Program.  I started watching videos by Scott Manley, HOC Gaming, OperationDX and Pixelstache.  I fell deep for this age and actually began streaming and then posting a video on YouTube.

Then Scott Manley posted this video Before Star Citizen - Chris Roberts Presents Wing Commander .  At first I decided to skip it.  I din't look at the description, I just thought thatChris Roberts was starting a space tourism company.  Then I would up clicking on it.  Weeks later but just in time for Games Con.  When I saw the video I immediately searched for the game.  The first video fought me.  It was the sizzle reel.  Then the 300i commercial.  I was hooked from then on.

My Star CitizenAddiction took over.  I watched every video, read every blog and frequented the RSI website until my addiction reached out and started purchasing ships.  By the week the Hangar Module went live I had my Aurora MR.  It was beautiful.  The hangar dark and dingy just like you'd expect in a low cost hangar.  I wanted to remember the moment so I downloaded FRAPS and shot a video of it.  That was the beginning.  FRAPS led to OBS and OBS led to twitch and then I began to sit down and map out a show that I could do.

Resurrecting The Addicted Gamer was my first thought.   The first episode I posted was under this title.  The Addicted Gamer, however, was a podcast I did years ago and it was not exactly what I was looking to do.  I wanted to show off all parts of Star Citizen in a complete way.  The Addicted Gamer did not accomplish this so I changed the name to Star Citizens Admirals Club.

Star Citizen Admirals Club lasted one episode.  The name almost got it but it didn't include everyone.  It all came together after I entered the Den for the first time after choosing to subscribe with the Imperators Package.  I started a thread named I Beginning to Get Addicted. A.K.A. Star Citizens AA.  That thread is now the largest in the Subscribers den.  But it was more so the inspiration for the title of my Videocast.  Star Citizens AA.

When that happened my vision became clear. My show would show off not only Star Citizen but also the other games that i love to play.  So far SCAA and KSPAA are the only shows that I have.  In the future others will join the list.

SCAA will highlight the development of the game, the people that play it and the developers and others that work for CIG.  As time goes on there will be game play  videos along the lines of the ones I've released for KSPAA.

KSPAA will continue to be produced when I have the chance.  I love this game and enjoy it very much, however, with my skill level being what it is it is purely for my own love of the game that I'll be producing this show.

The rest of this is something that I just have to wait and see.  I like the old games from Good Ol' Games that I have been buying, and Steam has no problem feeding my addiction with a slew of new games.  My list is vast.  I think that you'll be seeing WoW, LOTRO, SWTOR and Civ5 from time to time also.  I am looking to make the channel a place where people can come to see all the past favorites and see the new gems in all their light.

With that said.  Happy New Year to all of you!  may all your wishes dreams and resolutions come true.  Remember, I start this year off with a bang!  Sandi Gardiner from CIG will be my guest for an interview next week.  From there, who knows.  So I'll see you all in the verse next year!