Killing Floor 2 Gameplay: Guts are Awesome

killing floorDuring this year’s Steam summer sale, I surprisingly didn’t get a lot of games. Mostly because I have a long queue of games that I have still yet to play, and that this summer’s free time is significantly less than previous years. I did, however, get Killing Floor 2. And it’s awesome. Gory pics ahead.

If you’ve played the original Killing Floor, a lot of mechanics in 2 will be the same. They still use the arrow guidance system to get you to the trader (except now, the traders are no longer actual human NPCs), you still get to choose your class, and the perks that come with it. But now, it’s so much more satisfying to kill zeds. Be prepared for blood and guts everywhere.

232090_screenshots_2015-06-23_00002

It’s been pretty fun playing 2 player rounds, but playing in bigger groups is better in my opinion. With a bigger group, although it scales to be harder in terms of the monsters you get, you get more sides covered. Also, there’s these really annoying crawlers that forces you to look down at your feet instead of focusing your gun on your usual head level enemies. So every once in a while, you’re realize you’re losing health, and that you have to shoot at that thing at your feet. Really annoying. In a bigger team someone else almost always picks them off you so you don’t have to do that. It’s much easier for them to aim at your feet than for you to switch what you’re looking at to purposely look down.

And OH MY GOSH the stalkers are so annoying. Not even because they’re invisible, but because they feel the need to do crazy kung fu moves in front of you to show off, THEN proceed to bash you on your head.

232090_screenshots_2015-06-22_00001

I may be complaining about these zeds, but honestly I love the game. Don’t get me wrong there. Me hating them makes killing them that much better. Plus, the slow mo shots black and white moments are really cool (but sometimes dumb when it happens at inopportune times and you’re just reloading in slow mo).

This game is early access, but it feels very much complete in terms of gameplay. There’s a few bugs here and there (me, and a teammate from a random game both realized even though we pressed on the button to refill our ammo, our ammo didn’t actually get refilled, so we were screwed for the next wave).

232090_screenshots_2015-06-22_00004

Bad things? Currently, there’s only four campaigns. And one boss, which is that guy up there who’s surviving on pumping Mountain Dew directly into his veins.

– Karen

FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada

I bought last minute tickets to the FIFA Women’s World Cup game that happened yesterday. Literally last minute, as we closed the Craigslist deal an hour before the game. We still had to print out tickets and get there, so we ended up being late for two minutes or so. We had planned on going, but we wanted to wait till someone was desperate to sell them at a lower price. We got center seats in the end for $100 each, which wasn’t the cheapest, but given the prices we were seeing yesterday, it was pretty good.

IMG_1125

Canada was off to a rough start. Englad was aggressive and managed to get two goals in within the first 15 minutes. It was plain to see that the team was a little demoralized, and the crowd was also getting unhappy. Nonetheless, Christine Sinclaire managed to get a goal in at around the 42nd minute. The team livened up again, and smarter plays were made. Sadly, it was the only goal we got and it wasn’t enough to tie us or make us win.
IMG_1132Honestly, I’m still very proud of the team. We came very far— just one game away from the finals :( The team did us proud. I’m super happy when I see young girls being inspired by the women’s team, and jumping up and down, trying to get a team member to look their way. The team stayed around after the game, and were very accommodating to fans! We got to snap a few pictures of them, and they even agreed to do selfies!

The turnout was really good and you could see seas of red everywhere. It’s really touching to see everyone congregating to support the girls <3

IMG_1120One thing I didn’t like was the weather. Sure, there were blue skies and it was summer, but the heat was crazy! On the bus, we sat across from a guy who was literally towel drying himself (not just his face. Anywhere he could reach that could pass as being proper in public) on the bus every 5 minutes, and another guy just sat there dripping sweat. Wearing red also didn’t help cool me down.

IMG_1139

Anyone going to the finals? Anyone got free tickets? I’m broke. But I want to go. Quite sad Canada won’t be fighting for the cup, but hey, we got far. Keep on trooping Canada’s women’s team :) Keep inspiring!

– Karen

THREE DOGS IN MY LIFE!!!

Today, I got ridiculously happy when my boyfriend told me that he’d have two dogs sleeping over. He also has a dog, so there would be THREE dogs in my life today.

I knew I had to go get dog treats for them somewhere. I happened to recall a dog bakery along Main, so I headed there right after work. This place was Three Dog Bakery — WHICH NOW I REALIZE IS SO PERFECT. Because there’s three dogs at our place today. Only now do I realize this. Sigh.

IMG_1076I ended up getting a bunch of goodies. I got three rawhide braids for them (beef flavoured), three donuts, and an extra cookie for my boyfriend’s dog because I heard he was getting a little jealous from all the attention that now went to the two other dogs. I couldn’t have little Rascal feeling left out. The guy who worked there was really nice and also gave us a little baggie of their oven baked treats as a sample :)

IMG_1078

I cannot believe I wasn’t buying this for myself. There’s no chocolate here, just carob. They look so good!

IMG_1084

LOOK AT THEM ENJOYING THEIR TREAT (I didn’t get a picture of them eating the donuts because I was too excited watching them). I have no idea if the treats were any good, but they pretty much gobbled it up. Like the guy at the store’s response of “basically all of them” when I asked which of the treats were fan favourites, I think dogs will eat anything.

Anyway, a little later on, we took them for a walk so they could do their business. Ollie (the brown & black dog) was quite a handful, but she was my responsibility because Tommy (the jet black one) would be too strong if he bolted after something, so my boyfriend took his leash. My boyfriend’s mom took Rascal…and I didn’t want to compete with her because Rascal would get hurt if she walked somedog else.

SIT

SIT!

IMG_1093

I need more dogs in my life.

– Karen

Car Free Day on Main Street

Hey guys,

It’s summer, so Car Free Days are popping up around Vancouver, with blocks being closed off from traffic to accommodate for street festivals! My boyfriend lives near Main street, so we decided to spend the Sunday with the other folks who decided to give up their car for the day. Ironically, we drove to Car Free Days. But in our defence, we were busy in the morning, so in order to have ample time at the festival, we had to drive there. I drove a car share car though, so maybe that makes it a little better? :P

IMG_1043

I can’t remember if I went last year. You know? Sometimes these festivals kind of blend in with one another. Italian Day, Car Free Days, Khatsahlano.. eh. But honestly, I don’t care, because I love being amidst the crowd in the lively streets.

As with any street festival, the main priority was quenching our thirst and not getting a heatstroke. We started off our walk at Broadway, making our way up Main from there. Which meant the conveniently located Tim Hortons was our first stop, in which we got an iced capp. It was gone in about maybe 10 mins? Maybe less.

Kids and dogs crowded around Homesteaders Emporium's chicken

Kids and dogs crowded around Homesteaders Emporium’s chicken. They had fun homestead living ideas you could takeaway on postcard pamphlets!

The festival was busy enough, but definitely not as busy as Italian Day last weekend. Lots of food trucks, artisan foods and crafts, second hand apparel, and activities for kids scattered around the twenty or so blocks on Main Street! There were also live music performances every few blocks to make sure it felt like a party.

IMG_1047

I ended up getting a henna tattoo, FINALLY had a slavic roll (pretty good, but pretty expensive. $6 for one), tried shaved ice from Cloud 9 (always wanted to try their cotton candy, which is what got them famous in the first place, but on a hot day, something cold is too enticing). The guy there also gave us free samples of mini donuts (baked not deep fried!) :D

It’s well into Summer, but there’s other street festivals to check out! If you’re in the Vancouver area, you still can make it to (dats for 2015):

– Khatsahlano (July 11th)
– Canada Day (July 1st) or at Granville Island (went last year, and it was mediocre at best)
– Carnaval Del Sol (July 11th-12th)
– Caribbean Days (July 25th-26th)
– Powell Street Festival (August 1st-2nd)

I really want to check out Carnaval Del Sol and Caribbean Days. Both I heard great things about back when I did promos for companies at my last internship. I guess we’ll see if I end up going :) I do want to take the Seabus again so Caribbean Days will most likely be a go!

– Karen

Unfi Saturday Market: Healthy food and brands for cheap!

Hey guys,

So my co-worker told me about this mysterious healthy grocery sale behind the Home Depot parking lot, that I now know as the Unfi Saturday Market. I tried to wake up for it last week, but alas, the alarm lost its battle and I didn’t wake up.

IMG_1014

This week, I managed to wake up at 7:30AM on Saturday along with my boyfriend, and we drove to the parking lot. We had no idea where to go. My co-worker’s instructions were super vague, but honestly, looking online revealed nothing about a sale either, so we drove around in circles. He did tell us that we should get there at 8:30AM though if we wanted the good sales. That gave us time to wander around aimlessly.

IMG_1003

Then we saw it. People started forming a line outside a warehouse. We weren’t quite sure if it was the right place (12757 Vulcan Way, Richmond), but most of the people in line were either in yoga gear, or were old asian grannies who looked like they could spot a good sale. So we decided to park the car and stand in line. We felt inadequate, with our one reusable shopping bag. People had carts, cooler bags, crates, and were basically standing at the ready. At 9AM, a super tall guy (who we now know is called Lars) opened the door, and people ran in.

IMG_1010

Lars, the giant who can solve any problem you may have at the market

Lars, the giant who can solve any problem you may have at the market

The sales were pretty good. Okay, so if we’re talking about regular canned Campbell soup which you can basically get at 70¢ a can, then it’s probably expensive. But we got five bags of Happy Planet soups for $7.50. They’re usually $6 a bag, so those are huge savings. Some items weren’t as cheap, especially if you don’t buy in bulk. E.g. Terra chips were $3 a bag. We bought a Camino chili and spice chocolate bar for $2 because we were curious about the flavour. Granted it probably would’ve costed more if we bought it outside, but again, the savings weren’t insane. We got 20 bars of the almond and cranberry Camino chocolates for $10 though (they were $1/bar, if you bought a box of $20, you get half off and thus $10). Again, buy in bulk for best savings.

Here’s was our haul for the day:

We regret not getting more of those cookie chips that’s prominently displayed in the first pic. We went home, opened it, took a bite and regret flooded in. Those Hannamax chips were pure cinnamon goodness. It was $2 a bag, and if you see it, I highly suggest you try it. They had other soup flavours there as well (butternut squash and something else), but to get the bulk deal they had to be of the same type. And we didn’t think we could finish 10 bags of soup by Monday.

We got so little compared to people who wheeled away carts of food. They would get 10 boxes of pistachios or something. It was quite a sight.

One thing to note is that you should check the expiry date on all the items. Our chocolate bars didn’t expire for another year, but we knew that our Happy Planet soups would expire in about 3 days. Same went for that roll of brie cheese we got. The expiration dates vary, so make sure that you’re able to put the food to use within the allotted time.

It’s worth checking out if you’re willing to wake up early on a Saturday. It’s out of the way, so I highly suggest bringing a car!

– Karen

Room Escape Games – G.U.E.S.S. HQ Review

Hey all,

Screen Shot 2015-06-14 at 11.37.10 PM

Last Wednesday, I went with my co-workers to G.U.E.S.S. HQ. I was excited to be spending some off-work time with my colleagues, but not so excited about another escape the room, live-action game. I was pleasantly surprised at how well done this one was! There’s a lot more tech, room (as in space for you to play in), and creative puzzles to beat compared to other ones! This was because (as an employee explained to us) the CEO behind G.U.E.S.S HQ was a past waterslide amusement park designer. He then tried out other escape the room games, and found them to be lacking. He came up with the idea to hire tech, video game, and set designers to create a game that he thought to be better.

IMG_0989

Located off Gastown, G.U.E.S.S. stands for the Gastown Underground Secret Society Headquarters. Even before actually starting the game, you get immersed. Your email came with a secret password, and they won’t buzz you into the premises without it. After we gave our password, they briefed us through our task to come, and made us sign some waivers.

We chose to do The Heist, one of the two missions available for a G.U.E.S.S. agent. Our goal was to break into a vault, and along the way you’ve really got to work together with your team to manoeuvre your way out successfully. Sadly, we didn’t make it all the way, but we were close.


IMG_0990

What was the interior like? It was easily five times as big as the usual escape the room games in Richmond. They also feature a lot of tech, like laser tripwires. You know in films when you’re like “how did they not see that laser beam?? It was so obvious.” It turns out laser beams are actually really hard to spot. We learned that the hard way. We did purchase a “detecting spray” to help us through, which was basically compressed air and water that can momentarily reveal the red lines that are not usually visible to the naked eye. But even then, it was hard to detect all the lasers.

There were also mechanized keypads all around the rooms, as well as motion sensors. Not going to give anything else away, but it was a pretty cool experience. The whole game lasted about 45 mins, with 15 mins on top of that for briefing and intro. They have small lockers to put away your phones and electronics, but it’s not big, so keep that in mind when you go there.

IMG_0988

One really neat thing about G.U.E.S.S is that once in a while, you can win $1000 if you make the top score after finishing their rooms against other competitors. That’s something that really gets the competition and stakes going! One downside is that G.U.E.S.S. is more expensive than the usual escape the room games. For example, the more popular ones in Richmond are going for about $120 to $142/6 people, whereas ours was about $189/6 people. We bought an online deal, which lowered it to $79 though, so keep your eyes peeled.

I remember when I first when to an live escape the room game at EXIT Canada. Man things have changed.

– Karen

Maker Faire Vancouver 2015 at the PNE Forum

Hello all,

Last Sunday I was at the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire! It was the first time I had been to a Maker Faire, despite it having been ran in Vancouver for quite a while now (the last five years!). For the fourth time, it was held at the PNE Forum.

IMG_0943 copy

I was actually there on behalf of Pinshape, the startup that I’m currently working at. It was a great experience and I got to check out budding tech and inventions! I also talked to lots of people who were interested in 3D printing— which is what Pinshape is associated with. Although we don’t sell 3D printers, nor do we print out models for people, we’re a community marketplace for 3D designers and makers! There were lots of 3D printer companies there, and 3D604 was also there with great makers showing off their printed stuff, but we were the only 3D marketplace there :)

IMG_0971

I met lots of interesting people, mostly through those who approached the booth to talk to us. I was surprised to learn that quite a number of people own 3D printers, and that they varied vastly in age. Some other startups talked to us, I walked over to the 3D604 peeps to meet some of our community’s designers (John Biehler, Dan Steele, amongst others)— it was basically a day with lots of talking.

Around the faire, crazy stuff was happening. It wan’t the biggest of faires, but there was plenty to look at. Classes were going on (learn to solder, build your own motorized race car, etc.), you could buy neat stuff from stalls, and look at new inventions.

A brother and sister duo came up to our booth, and I had great conversations with them. They were unbelievably talented. Don’t trust me? Google them up: Jessi and Joshua Langager.

IMG_0980

I ended up visiting them at their booth too, where their recent creation was displayed. They had made a lego NXT robot, and demonstrated how it was programmed so that it did all sorts of fun things! They were probably my favourite people at the faire.

IMG_0981

At the Vancouver Maker Faire, there was also an outdoor area where more makers displayed their arts, and you could also grab some food at the food trucks! I ate a whole pizza because I was exhausted.

Hoping I get to go again next year! Have you ever been? If not, pen it down in your calendars for next year! Especially if you have kids. There’s so much learning going on, and I know for some (like my boyfriend), it was the Maker Faire that inspired them further on down the road :)

– Karen