Archive for the ‘gift’ Category

What’s a birthday without a gift? CoffeeWithGames turns 4!

August 30, 2013
CoffeeWithCupcakes…coming soon? Maybe in my stomach.

Coffee Beans
What’s a birthday without a gift? If you have been wondering if my coffee supply ran out and I went into a deep sleep because of it and that’s why I haven’t been posting, I can say that has not been the case! I have been doing some CoffeeWithGames related things behind-the-scenes, even though I haven’t been posting.

At the end of June, I decided to get all of the Nintendo Channel data I had recorded during the final week (EVERY. SINGLE. WII. GAME!), before Nintendo took the Nintendo Channel offline, into a nice spreadsheet form. I spent my spare moments doing that for about 3 weeks, from late June and into July.

I have enough game-play data recorded from Wii games, that I could continue doing the Nintendo Channel data stories for another 10 years, at my usual pace. While I can tell you the Wii’s most played game in the United States, as well as the Wii’s least played game in the United States, I have decided to refocus and change the type of consistent content I deliver.

Instead of focusing just on past Wii games, CoffeeWithGames will now focus on more current games and systems. Here are a few things CoffeeWithGames will be doing on a more regular basis now:
1) Reviews! Reviews will now be happening on a more regular basis, and game reviews will have a slight twist from the normal method most sites use when reviewing games today.
2) Interviews! I have done interviews randomly in the past, but not on a regular basis. There will now be at least one interview a month (that’s my goal), either from developers, publishers, or people within the industry.
3) Videos! I enjoy creating and editing videos. I’m a bit detail oriented (see: OCD) when it comes to things though, and can spend way too much time editing and creating content (not just game related). So, I will now do more standard gameplay videos now of games I’m currently playing, and/or that the Beans are playing like what I did with Mutant Mudds Deluxe.
4) Opinion pieces! I don’t do these often, but I am looking to change that. An example of what these may be like, would be what I wrote about and wished for the first Wii U update to fix, before the first system update was released.
5) Coffee Shop! I browse Amazon.com pretty much every single day, for a number of reasons. One, is checking for any incredible deal I might not be able to pass by, another is more data related. So, I will be doing more Coffee Shop posts to share games deals, at least once a week.
6) CoffeeWithGames Game Nights! I enjoy playing games online. Call of Duty: Black Ops II is my most played Wii U game because of the online multiplayer. Instead of just playing by myself though, I will now try and schedule at least on CoffeeWithGames Game Night a month, and announce what game I’ll be playing and when about a week in advance. Hopefully, this will make it easier for some of us game together, and of course, recording the footage and doing a video of it might be possible as well.

While these things should provide a decent amount of content each month, there will also still be the random pieces from time-to-time like the “Critics vs. Customers!” pieces, Sales Ranks Analysis pieces, and maybe even the random Grounds for Celebration! piece(s) will make an occasional return.

Now, what about that birthday gift? Hit the jump and keep reading to find out!

The Brew
While I mentioned in the section above what I plan on doing moving forward with CoffeeWithGames, here is some history and things about (and, because of) CoffeeWithGames that have happened over the last 4 years since I started it:

  • Including this post, I have published 716 posts on CoffeeWithGames in the last 4 years. Considering reviews and general news haven’t been regular features around here, I don’t think that’s too shabby for mostly original content. It works out to be about 180 pieces a year, and about 15 posts a month on average.
  • I believe I have typed every, single, word written in the posts on CoffeeWithGames, and not done a “copy/paste” of them. When I originally started using Blogger, trying to “copy/paste” text would mess up the font type and size in posts, and so 4 years ago I just started typing each and every post fresh, and have continued. I do use other posts as examples, but never copy/pasting actual text. I’m still not sure if the “copy/paste” issues have been resolved, as it’s not something I even try now.
  • Almost every single photo, in every single post I have done for at least the last 2+ years (maybe longer), was edited and/or created by me in some fashion. I try to not only keep the content original, but also the images when I can. This means I have probably edited and created well over 200 images for the site that have been published, and many more that have been edited or created, but never used.
  • Because of my coverage of one game in particular, not just on CoffeeWithGames, but a number of sites, I was contacted by the developer/publisher and asked if I would be interested in helping them when they were porting the game to the mobile platforms a few years after it originally released. Not only was I able to provide them feedback and help provide them footage of particular things they needed, I was also fortunate enough to get my name put in the credits!
  • When I originally started doing the Nintendo Channel data stories, I would take the pictures of the data by standing in front of my television with a digital camera. I originally bought a video capture device, not to actually capture gameplay video, but instead to use it for recording the data from the Nintendo Channel. Data nerd? The image quality definitely changed, for the better though, and I have enjoyed using the video capture devices.
  • I have been contacted by developers because of my coverage on certain games and topics, sometimes “off-the-record”. Even when the discussions haven’t been “off-the-record”, I rarely published them, as I enjoy communicating with developers and enjoy them not having to be concerned about a site flaming out something they did/didn’t say.
Now, what about that birthday gift? As many birthday gifts probably are (and should be!), this one is a surprise, and I’m giving it away. What do you need to do though, in order to to be entered to receive this birthday gift? Simple, join the party! Do so by leaving a comment on this post and let me know what you have (and, perhaps haven’t) enjoyed on CoffeeWithGames over the last 4 years, and what new features you’re looking forward to the most!
I’ll give this post about a week for comments and feedback, and then draw a winner who follows the guidelines later next week.
Question
Did any of you do a double-take when you saw this post pop-up, and then the new look for the site?

CONNECT WITH COFFEE!

Wii U update(s). Five things to be fixed, or improved, but not yet mentioned by Nintendo.

April 17, 2013


Coffee Beans
Nintendo is set to release the first big Wii U system update next week, with a second big system update planned for the summer.

What will this first Wii U system update fix? Well, Nintendo released a video in March showing the update should improve loading times when exiting from Wii U games to the system’s main menu.

Other than improving Wii U loading times though, Mr. Iwata just addressed some other features that the Wii U’s “Spring System Update” will address when it releases next week. In a Nintendo Direct this morning (April 17th), these are some of the features said to be addressed with the update:
1) Adds ability to copy/move data between two USB HDDs.
2) Download and install software in the background, while playing games.
3) Download and install updates, even when the system is off.
4) Software updates can automatically start downloading, without having to start the game.
5) Holding the B button when turning the system on, will jump you straight to the Wii U’s Wii Mode channel.

Also, Mr. Iwata said the Wii U’s Virtual Console service will become available next week, the day after the system update. (I’m guessing next Thursday, April 18th for the Virtual Console, April 17th for the system update?)

While these five updates are nice, what are some things that I think should be patched to make the Wii U a better system overall? What are (at least) five things that Nintendo hasn’t mentioned the Wii U patch(es) will address, that I think could/should be? Brew yourself some coffee, and let’s take a look!

My Trine 2 Wii U data, so far…

The Brew
1) Sharing “Daily Log” Data – I could tell you that my Trine 2 “Play Time” is 49:20, and that I have “played” it 64 times. Or, I could show you my Trine 2 Wii U data like the image above. Nintendo doesn’t like the Nintendo Channel (and, several other Wii Channels they’re getting rid of), but does that mean I shouldn’t be able to post my recorded Wii U game-play data to Miiverse? Apparently, yes. While the Wii U tracks how many hours and times you play a game (or, use a particular application) in the Daily Log channel, you can’t post that information to Miiverse using the sytem’s photo capture option like some games offer. While I doubt Nintendo will introduce a Wii U Nintendo Channel like the Wii has (or, soon to be had), I think it would be nice if Wii U owners could post Daily Log images to Miiverse. It would allow Wii U owners to share their most played/used games and apps during a month, and if a game doesn’t provide the number of hours played on the save file, it could be a good way to get an idea of the average hours played for a game.

Possessive. Not descriptive.

2) Freezing – Winter is over, but my Wii U console is still freezing. Sure, it’s only occasionally, but even as I typed this, it was sitting frozen. I hopped on Assassin’s Creed III Monday morning to get my save file stats, and posted them to Miiverse. Upon attempting to exit Miiverse, my Wii U system froze, again. The Wii U system freezing up would not be such a big issue to me, IF the system functioned as it’s supposed to function when it freezes. It doesn’t though. Still having to unplug my Wii U console when it freezes is annoying (and slightly concerning), when I should be able to simply hold the “Power” button for a few seconds to fix the freezing problem instead. Mr. Iwata did not mention the Wii U freezing issue in the Nintendo Direct a few months back when he mentioned Nintendo was working on improving the loading speeds and he didn’t mention it in today’s Nintendo Direct, so I’m a little concerned that this issue might not be able to be patched. I really hope I’m wrong, for a number of reasons, but I just find it odd that Nintendo would wait until this patch (or the summer one) to make the Wii U function as it should have when it released.

Room for keyboard shortcuts?

3) Copy/paste/keyboard options – The 100 character limit posts in Miiverse might be tough to use sometimes when trying to answer a question, or post up some thoughts on a game. One thing that would make this limit not so bad though, would be a simple copy/paste option for text. Let’s say you type out your full Miiverse message, and the text gets grayed out that is over the 100 character limit, but you have an option to “copy” some of it. You would simply copy the text over the limit, and post a new comment pasting the additional text to it. I’m surprised the copy/paste option wasn’t in the Wii U’s original Miiverse OS, because it is an option in the Wii U’s Internet Browser. Speaking of the Wii U’s Internet Browser, a GamePad keyboard update that would be an improvement I think, would be adding a “.com” button to the Internet Browser keyboard. Sure, it’s only a few extra taps on the GamePad, but I think little things like a “.com” button, and perhaps some other keyboard shortcuts, would be appreciated.

Nintendo needs to copy/paste the Copy/Paste Browser buttons to Miiverse.

4) The “Energizer” disc drive – I mentioned back in November, in my “Caffeinated Thoughts on the Wii U” post, the freezing issue and the disc drive issue. The disc drive issue, like the freezing issue, still has not been addressed. If you don’t know, the Wii U’s disc drive is constantly is reading/spinning the game disc when one is in the system. It doesn’t matter if you are just using the Wii U for Netflix, Amazon Video, or any other non-game application, if there is a game in the Wii U’s disc drive, it is spinning. It’s like the Wii U’s disc drive is an Energizer Bunny of sorts, in that it just keeps going and going, or spinning and spinning in this situation. I know some Wii owners had disc drive issues, and I received my PlayStation 3 from a friend because the disc drive had stopped working. I really hope that Nintendo updates the Wii U so the disc drive is not constantly reading/spinning the disc, when non-game Wii U applications are being used such as Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu, or even the Internet Browser. The Wii’s disc drive does not constantly spin if a disc is in the system and Netflix or another non-gaming Wii Channel is being used, so I would imagine Nintendo can patch the Wii U for fix the issue.

Give yourself these Wii U eShop games, as “gifts”!

5) Gifting Wii U eShop games – Did you know you could give Virtual Console and WiiWare games to other Wii owners as “gifts”? Did you know that you cannot give Wii U eShop games to other Wii U owners as gifts? I think it’s odd that Nintendo didn’t include the gifting option right from the beginning. I hope they make “gifting” Wii U eShop titles a new feature, as I do like to give things away from time-to-time on the site, and I can think of a few eShop titles that would be at the top of that list right now: Toki Tori 2 and Trine 2.

Gift options shown for WiiWare games. One already owned, one not.

Questions
Are there any other Wii U system improvements you would like to see Nintendo address with the first big system update next week, or perhaps in the update planned for the summer?

If you’re into programming, is there any reason Nintendo can’t address the Wii U’s hard reset option (holding the Power button for a few seconds to turn the system off), with a system patch? Like I mentioned above, I just find it odd that has not already been patched.

CoffeeWithGames Turns 3!

August 30, 2012


Coffee Beans
Time flies when you’re having fun? Well, something is another year older today, and that would be the site! August 29, 2009 was the first day I posted an article on the blog, “Analyzing the Wii Manufacturing Costs in 2009“. Today marks 3 years of posting for me on CoffeeWithGames, with only two months being absent of any posts at all over the last 3 years!

If you have been reading the site since I started it back in 2009, you probably have noticed the slight, but hopefully better, changes to the data stories I do on a regular basis. You might even remember when I changed the background to the coffee beans that are currently still there, shocking you awake each time you visit. If you are new to visiting and reading CoffeeWithGames though, you might wonder what you have missed since the beginning.

Brew yourself some coffee, and take a look at some things you might not know about CoffeeWithGames.

Here are some things about CoffeeWithGames from over the last 3 years that you might not know, or may have just forgotten:

  • CoffeeWithGames.com started off as CoffeeWithGames.Blogspot.com, not an official “.com”.
  • The current banner at the top now was made a reader, Araknid, who also made the coffee mug that is standard in data report images as well. You can see one of the first CoffeeWithGames banners I put together with my terrible skills, HERE.
  • I was contacted by Nintendo’s PR firm after I broke the story on Metroid Prime: Trilogy no longer being published or shipped; which I thought was odd as they offered nothing in return for wanting to know how I “broke” the news that they had told me. Terrible PR is terrible PR, and Nintendo I think has a clear history of having terrible PR.
  • I have participated in podcasts on sites like Nintendo-Okie.com and WhoBurnedMyToast.Blogspot.com over the last 3 years. My first podcast was with the guys from WhoBurnedMyToast, and you can see my point on it HERE.
  • Keith, of RespawnAction.com (in hibernation), and I started up our own podcast that lasted I believe for 2 weeks…MAYBE? It was called Tornadoes in Alaska, and you can check out the first podcast we did HERE.
  • I have written only one “new” official review of a game for the site and that was for Max & the Magic Marker. You can read the full review for it HERE. Though I have only written one review since forming the site, I have provided lots of coverage for other games; some very detailed coverage, such as THIS.
  • My first review was with Interplay, about their DSiWare game, Legendary Wars: T-Rex Rumble. You can read that interview HERE.
Caffeinated Thoughts
How long will CoffeeWithGames continue to be active with posts? I’m not sure at this point, but I am working on a few ideas for future features such as the “Critics vs. Customers” one I posted up 2 weeks ago. Counting this post, I have gotten up 604 posts over the last 3 years, and most of them have been original data stories that aren’t really found anywhere else. While I have enjoyed blogging these last 3 years the biggest enjoyment hasn’t been just doing the posts, but the conversations, friends, and readers I have met because of it. It seems I have connections all around the U.S. now, and even around the world now, because of starting up CoffeeWithGames 3 years ago.
Thank you all for the comments and discussions you have provided over the last 3 years on the site, and I hope to provide more stories and coverage of the “coffee” and “games” industry to provide more conversations going forward. Being that today marks CoffeeWithGames’ third anniversary, or birthday, what is an anniversary or birthday without a gift? Well, let’s not have to answer that question!
If you leave feedback to the questions below, I’ll put your name in the coffee container next week and draw it for a coffee and/or game related giveaway. Keep the coffee brewing, to help keep your eyes peeled for more contests/giveaways over the next month!
Questions
If there was one new feature on CoffeeWithGames, be it regular reviews, a podcast, coffee talk, opinion pieces, or even just game-play videos, or something totally different, what would you like to see? Do you have a favorite post on CoffeeWithGames, that you enjoyed more than the others?