Dynames Productions Blog

A blog to showcase my creative and technical work. Talk about what I like to talk about.


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Video Game: The Suffering Ties that Bind

Hey everyone,

Today I bring another video game recommendation all the way back from when I first took a serious interest in gaming. The game is “The Suffering: Ties that Bind” by Surreal Software, and published by Midway Games.

Details:

  • Name: The Suffering: Ties that Bind
  • Genre: Action/Adventure/Psychological Horror
  • Platform(s): Windows, PS2 & Xbox
  • Year released: 2005

Game Summary (From the box): The City has it’s demons…but so do you. An inescapable enemy taunts and beckons Torque, even as he fights to rid the horror from the streets. The dark heart of the city can seem very much like a prison, if you let it.

Lead Torque on an all-new battle through the mean streets of an urban nightmare.

Customize your insanity: use good or evil rage mode to destroy your enemies.

Dozens of new monsters and a few old favorites await your wraith.

Use anything from pipes to rocket launchers to exact your revenge.

Why I recommend it: If you’re one of those first-person/third-person shooter fans who like fast paced combat with at least a mediocre story thrown into the mix, you’ll like this one.

As the box said, you can use anything from a lead pipe to a rocket launcher for combat and that is true. There is both melee combat as well as some pretty good gun play involved. The environments aren’t too bad either in the opening levels. But they can seem repetitive quite quickly later on into the game due to it’s bland colors (it is an urban city after all that is meant to be shrouded in gloom).

The enemy designs, some of which were done by the Stan Winston Studio are great. On top of that, Torque’s rage mode designs for all the affinities (good, neutral or evil) are always a treat to see in action. One of the best things about the rage mode is that every affinity carries a different set of powers. To get your status within the good or evil scale, you are usually presented with a choice to help someone (good), leave them be (neutral) or kill them (evil, even if it is by accident).

As you may imagine, the different affinities will result in different endings, and openings once you’ve achieved an ending once in the game.

One thing to note is that since this is a Midway game, they have used disc protection that makes it difficult to get running on Windows Vista or higher. XP or below is fine, but others are a no go. Your best bet in that case will be to download a digital copy. I’m unsure on this but you maybe legally able to obtain a digital copy since Midway went out of business and some of their games have been put up for legal download.

So if you like fast paced combat with a psychological horror esque story, then this maybe the next game you may want to try. Below are a few screenshots to get a quick look at the game:

Catch you all next time!

~ Mohit

Note: If you enjoy the content here and are interested in more serious discussions relating to depression and motivation, please consider checking out my other blog. Follow this link (https://lightexistenceblog.wordpress.com/) to get there.

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LightExistence App Blog

Hey everyone,

After finally finishing the free motivational LightExistence Android app, I prepared a new blog to help promote it as well as discuss some topics on there that I won’t on here.

The topics I’ll talk about on there will relate to mental health and motivation primarily as the goal is to help those who are in need of motivation. To help those who feel empty inside, find that they have difficulty again finding the passion they once had.

It would be fantastic if you would take a minute or two to pop on over there real quick and perhaps drop a follow. Not only will that help the blog grow but also help grow the awareness for my free app, and potentially help more people that way.

Link to LightExistence blog: https://lightexistenceblog.wordpress.com/

Thanks,

~ Mohit


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Manga: Doubt

Hey everyone, I come back to you all with another manga recommendation. This is for a manga that has been a rather surprising read for me from the first time I read it. The manga’s name is “Doubt”.

Details:

  • Name: Doubt
  • Author: Tonogai Yoshiki
  • Genre: Horror/Mystery/Psychological/Tragedy

Summary:There is a rather popular but somewhat secretive game being played around Japan known as “Rabbit Doubt”. All the players within the game are considered “rabbits” within a “colony”, and one randomly chosen player is considered a wolf in disguise. Every round the wold will kill a rabbit, then the group will try to gather as much evidence as they can and investigate as to who the wolf could be.

This game can be played online or sometimes some meet up in person to make things more interesting. Yuu, Mitsuki, Rei, Hajime, Eiji and Haruka are a group of players who agreed to meet up in person to execute the game. But something goes very wrong when one of them decides to take on the mantle of the wolf, and has already killed once. Now it is up to the rabbits to figure out who the wolf is while fighting for their very survival.

Why I recommend it: If you’re a fan of thriller, mystery and horror manga then you’re bound to enjoy this. And don’t let the first few chapters fool you on what this manga is about. It may seem like run of the mill slasher manga, but after a few chapters things will start to heat up. This manga seems to play quite a lot on the reader’s assumptions and pulls a twist on just when you think you’ve got the identity of the murderer.

This manga is great for anyone who loves to apply their mind to engaging mysteries and at the same time read about them. Below are a few images to let you see the manga’s art style.

Thanks for reading, hopefully this gives you something new to read!

~ Mohit


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Video Game: Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven

Hey everyone,

I’m back again with another video game recommendation for you all! This time I bring an open world mafia themed game. This was quite a popular game back when it first released and garnered several glowing praises from critics. The game I’m talking about is “Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven” by Illusion Softworks (later re-branded to 2K Czech).

Details:

  • Name: Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven
  • Genre: Action/Adventure/Open-world Sandbox
  • Platform(s): PC, PS2, Xbox
  • Year released: 2002

Game Summary: Mafia is a 3D action crime epic set in the seedy underworld of the 1930’s. Rise from the lowly but well-dressed footsoldier, to an envied and feared Made Man in an era of mob hits, car chases, and bootlegging. Earn a reputation as a tough enforcer, daring getaway driver, and deadly hitman in your quest for respect and power within the Salieri Family.

Why I recommend it: This is again a game I remember most fondly and not for graphics. I’m sure most would agree that this game has aged by today’s standards but this game has something most game nowdays don’t. It has a unique style of gameplay and a whole lot of high quality content in it. The only other game I could see beating this one would be Grand Theft Auto III or above.

The focus of the gameplay is to be more realistic, you crash your car in someone else’s car, then your health will be teared off quite a bit. Most games either don’t add such a damage feature or only take of small chunks of health. But not this game, this one is willing to go to town with you on this.

The law system is also some of the finest I’ve seen in any open world game that I’ve played. If you speed, you get a ticket. If you run a red light, you get a ticket. Run over or kill someone, you’ll be arrested. If you resist to any of the actions, then you could find yourself being hunted. Although such status can be evaded after hiding from the cops for a period of time. This law system actually encouraged me to drive within the speed limit and drive properly within a video game. That has never happened before ever.

The gun play also feels heavy, the guns have a good amount of recoil adding to the realistic feeling of firing a gun. And this is from third person! A perspective that is said to be tricky to have proper gun recoil feeling with. Yet a game made in 2002 manages to do this so very well.

The open-world though is nothing to brag about. It is a city where you don’t have much to do, you have two options within the game. One is to play the story where you don’t have opportunities to explore the open world as you’re focused on the story. Or the second from the main menu is to play free roam where you can drive around, shoot other mafia blokes and get in trouble with the law. That’s basically it for the open world aside from little things like refilling the gas on your car and what not. You do also have the opportunity to ride other types of vehicles around town (you don’t control them) to get to certain destinations quicker.

But once you immerse yourself in this great adventure, the open-world can seem interesting. The main gem of this game is the story though, a good story can make or break a game. The story here is fantastic taking you on a variety of objectives.

If you like mafia themed games set in older times (ie. 1930’s), then this game may just fill your hunger. Below are a few screenshots for the game:

Thanks for reading. Catch you all next time!

~ Mohit


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Manga: Aria

Hey everyone,

This time I thought to make a manga recommendation. As with the video game one I decided to focus this on one I hold very close to my heart and has perhaps helped teach me a great many things. If you’re an avid manga reader then most likely you will have come across the term/genre “slice of life”. If you enjoy reading manga that is purely slice of life, then you’ll definitely enjoy this one.

Details:

  • Name: Aria
  • Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Slice of Life
  • Brief Summary: The basic story follows Akari’s adventures on a terraformed Mars set within the city of Neo-Venezia (based on the Italian city of Venice). She goes to Mars to fulfill her dreams of becoming an Undine, those that navigate water gondolas through the streets of Neo-Venezia for many different roles. These roles can include, making deliveries, running small errands for others, but the prime role is that of a taking tourists around Neo-Venezia with an enlightening commentary about the city.

Why I recommend it: This is one of those pure slice of life stories that has a certain magic to it. Whenever I finished a chapter, I always finished it with a smile feeling that warm fuzzy feeling inside. This manga also has so many concepts and lessons in there that can be applicable to our life, this is a great manga to teach kids about certain topics. Plus the easy going nature, no violence in there what so ever, everyone just having a grand old good time appreciating what they have right now, and going on small adventures or sometimes making their own adventures makes for a fantastic read.

I would even argue that this manga can perhaps help change your life like with any good story telling. This manga has that feel to it that you would not find in the mainstream mangas that are more focused on action and telling a big story most of the time. This one is for those who want to kick back, get lost in the world this manga presents and the people within it. And trust me, if you fully engage yourself with this manga you’re bound to get lost in this world and come out happy.

I remember reading this non-stop in one sitting once. While that was a bit taxing, it was still a worthy read as every time I go back to it I learn something new from it. I give a standing ovation to the mangaka of this manga for she has done the slice of life genre justice. Mangas like these come along so rarely, but the great thing is that they will still retain their magic because they’re so rare in this day and age.

Below are a few pictures from the manga itself:

I hope this gives you something to read and that it affects you as positively as it did to me.

~ Mohit

 


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Android App Dev: Thoughts on Android App Development

Hey everyone,

This post is more geared towards those who may wonder what Android App Development is like. You may have questions such as:

  • Is it easy to get into it?
  • What sorts of hurdles are there?
  • Can I just pick up my laptop and get started?

I’ll take my time in answering these questions later on down the post. But first my own opinions. Android App Development like any software development can be time consuming and sometime even costly depending on the resources you need. For example: If you’re creating a social space app, you’ll most likely need servers to store user information and display information. Renting those servers can cost quite a bit of money, the amount can only increase depending on the popularity and number of users within your app.

The costs can also play a role in hiring developers if you are not able to code and design the app yourself. But keep in mind that with developers it is not a fixed cost all the time, it can vary from person to person. Sometimes the cost may also scale up as the work goes on. And if you plan to run any paid promotions for your app (marketing is important), then that will factor into the costs as well. So unless you plan to design and develop an app yourself, and use free marketing tools, you better be loaded on a pretty reasonable budget for your app idea.

Now to answer the questions I asked before.

Q: Is it easy to get into?

A: The development bit, yes. The bit where you try to make money from it, not really unless you are sitting on a goldmine idea. There are loads of app on the Play Store, meaning loads of competition. Pretty much every trending category has been saturated from what I’ve observed. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make any money, just don’t go in expecting trucks to drive up to your house with boat loads of money.

Q: What sorts of hurdles are there?

A: This depends on your competency with app/software development. If you’re comfortable designing and programming your own app, then congrats you’ll save some money! But you’ll also be able to work on your own schedule and keep on track more easily.

If you’re comfortable with marketing, great you’re another step closer to having your app reach out to many people. If not, either do your best or hire someone to do it for you which will only add to the costs. But social media is powerful and free to use (unless you run ad campaigns), so utilize it.

The major hurdle that may stand in your way is publishing the app. You need to get a developer’s account and setup a merchant account (if you monetize your app). However setting up a merchant’s account from my experience so far has indicated that Google really wants to cater to those who are in it for the long run, who are serious about this and treat it as a business. But that doesn’t mean that an independent developer can’t make a few bucks on the side. There are always ways to overcome hurdles.

Then of course another hurdle would be submitting your app for review and hope it gets through. But that is something everyone has to go through, so it is more like part of the procedure than a hurdle.

Q: Can I just pick up my laptop and get started?

A: Yes, the great thing about Android Studio (development environment) is that it will work on Linux, OS X and Windows. It is not restricted to one OS unlike XCode (iOS Development). So as long as your laptop or computer is capable of running Android Studio, and optionally an emulator to test your apps on the computer (else you’ll need a physical Android device), you should be good to go!

Every platform has its pros and cons and Android is certainly no exception. But I’ll say from personal experience, Android seems to be more open as far as entry barriers go. Hope this post helps someone out. Catch you all on the next one!

~ Mohit


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Android Dev: What I’ve been up to

Hey everyone,

For the past 2 months or so I had been working on an android app. Though due to various circumstances that app was split into 2 apps for monetization purposes, one will be free while one will be paid. The two apps I’ve been working on both tackle depression with a  very specific aim in mind.

This aim is to motivate the users of the app again and to learn through a three step process form their depression. When we experience depression, we tend to lose our motivation for all things, sometimes that can include life itself. Having gone through this process myself I can say it is quite a sad thing to go through, but at the same time important for it adds to our knowledge and experience.

Through the usage of various media forms, and a mini-guide I wrote, I hope to help the users of the apps overcome their depression. But it should be kept in mind that these apps will never be a replacement for professional medical aid as I’m no certified doctor :). I’ll probably create another blog soon to specifically promote the free app. On there you’ll be able to see the app’s features and its value to you as a user.

Link to blog: https://lightexistenceblog.wordpress.com/

Hope you all have a great day!

~ Mohit