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NPCC @ MAGFest 2017!

Sadly enough, MAGFest is over but that isn’t stopping us from reminiscing about our favorite moments.

MAGPOST

If you were following us on facebook or using the hashtag #npccmag you may have noticed we were scattered quite a bit around the convention. For those of you who are unfamiliar with MAGFest, it is “an annual festival held in the Washington metropolitan area that celebrates video games and video game music, as well as their surrounding culture.” – Wikipedia

This was my second MAGFest (Some members 5th and 6th) and it was an amazing experience. People come from all over the world to nerd out about the things they love and share the passion for those things together like a family.

Since it was a MUSIC AND GAMING FESTIVAL the NPC Collective definitely did the musics. We had 4 main stage sets between the collective, played the Mega Man-athon from 5-10PM on Friday and were scattered through probably 10 other sets between main stage and underground.

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Mega Ran, Creative Mind Frame, K Murdock, DJ Cutman and Sammus speaking about different ways they monetize their music

But the true fun was partaking in the convention itself, going to panels… playing in the arcade at 3AM and just hanging with people talking life. If you want to catch some of our performances you can head over to the MAGFest youtube page and Mega Ran also set us up a nice little Spotify playlist for the NPC Collective!

Below is a video with some of the collective’s thoughts on the con!

 

“A Not So GRAND Theft”

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So my wife was gracious enough to let me get a PS4 last month, and I say gracious because admittedly I got a baby on the way, my first due top of 2k15, and I been forewarned that budgeting moving forward is a must so the room for pleasantries like NEW game consoles is scarce to none 😉 Now, not only did i grab a PS4, after trading in my PS3, PS Vita and a bunch of games I was lying to myself about ever finishing, I also managed to coax my wife into letting me restart my subscription to Gamefly– which for a guy like me is a must-have in the churn of today’s game cycle, AND again who is also budgeting his dollars these days.

I been using Gamefly since 2008 and love it, especially since it allows me to play games without that 24-hour return squeeze that a service like Redbox enforces and it alleviates the pressure of committing to dropping $60 on something that I may not like or play past a couple weeks. Since I was so backlogged on games I wanted to play since top of this year, I decided I better work backwards before I get into what’s current so I filled up my GF queue with some games on my personal radar that I felt were in the wheelhouse of what I liked which is stealth-action/adventure games like the Assassin’s Creed and Hitman series; Been hooked since the first Tenchu on PS1 in the late 90s- Rikimaru was my ninja 😉

So to sate my stealth jones, I wanted to give the game Thief a good play through albeit I heard it sucked and after a few days with it… well it kinda does! I remember tracking this game via IGN and Game Informer when it dropped late winter and in hindsight coulda let it pass like a thief in the night; To sum up my experience…

Graphics = dark, which I get as it’s game veiled by night and some ominous disease thats infecting the population but damn, EVERYTHING is tinged grey, which makes the game seem so lifeless and bland much like the main character Garrett who just seems like he was auto-generated from a game archetype machine!

Sound = I admittedly turned down the background music from the options screen as I know this game is all about ambience and making sure you stay vigilant while sneaking around; But after my time with the game, I wasn’t blown away by the music or sound design as it was pretty standard.

Gameplay = While I do like the fact the game rewards you based on how you play, be it more like an assassin taking our guards or pacifist just looting for treasure and using environmental elements to supersede obstacles, after a few hours of repetitious stealing of platinum spoons and gold coins which aren’t worth much, I was bored of being a thief; And unfortunately sedating enemies is no fun as Garrett’s takedowns are pretty lackluster so it basically becomes how fast can you get through an area hiding in the shadows for your reward… which is… yep, more of the same. Nah, funk that!!

Ok, so I know there are other factors I could review about Thief but the bottom line is this game just isn’t good; I never played the other Thief games, as I believe they were PC-based and I’m more of a console gamer, so for me the draw was the stealth gameplay advertised that ultimately wasn’t engaging enough to allow me to keep Thief beyond a weekend of playing; And I got to the 4th chapter/mission but just felt at the end of my time as I dropped the Gamefly sleeve back in my mailbox to ship back, I was the one left robbed… of my time.

In closing, it’s honestly not even worth putting in your Gamefly queue to rent, just be patient and wait for the nent Assassin’s Creed installment!

 

K

NPC Collective – Sound Samurai Approved

I would never pass up a chance to catch up with the stealthy sound samurai himself K Murdock. I personally got to meet him almost two years back (at the same show I met Random at) and every time I run into him he greets me like family. Extremely talented producer and a super stand up dude – get to know him a little bit from the NPC Q&A below! 

1. What are you nerding out on currently?

Apps! For my iPhone, for my desktop Mac, I even found some for my Playstation… and I’m so friggin’ organized, like I spend hours (literally) organizing my apps then I barely wanna use them after. lol

 

2. What’s your most recent game played?

I’m still hooked on Mass Effect 3… its like my 3rd play through but this time I’m finally playing ALL the DLC as I’m very much a perfectionist on stuff I like. Other than that, Hitman GO for iOS is phone, it’s like a turn based strategy game to get Agent 47 to his mark… its dope!

 

3. What music is on your playlist?

I listen to a lot of beats music playlist and most of those are about classic hip-hop from the 90s or synth-pop/R&B from the 80s. I have been hooked on artists like jazz vocalist Gregory Porter and Odd Future’s The Internet a lot too. Also the instrumental trio BADBADNOTGOOD as I also am always listening for new dope beats for my instrumental podcast.

 

4. What do you do in your downtime?

Video games and listen to audio books or podcasts… Also i love me some binge watching when theres a new series I’m into.

 

5. Any past/present involvement in community activities you’d like to speak about?

I used to do weekend tutoring and workshops for inner city junior high kids when I was in college and that sparked my passion for eventually trying to teach and give back. Whether its speaking to kids at a local school or mentoring a young student… Lets go! Most recently, I helped engineer a remake of Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On” for The DC Humanities Council commissioned with a group of young adults; Very proud of their message in lieu of the Ferguson incident… So timely! Here’s a link

 

6. What are you trying to learn to do right now?

How to play chess and effectively manage my time better to be more productive!

 

7. What should Nerdy People of Color get out of our website and collective?

Let it become a haven for people who are also nerds of color and think “Geez, no one can relate to me.” We have an array of entertainers and personalities from different walks of life, and thats dope to me as it not only shows the beautiful spectrum of us NPCs but also that the content we produce is fresh and positive too.

 

8. Favorites: (I don’t deal in absolutes)

a) Movie? Big Fish

b) Food? Pizza

c) Website? thats too open, website for shopping, downloading torrents, generating memes? I mean I need more specification! lol

 

9. What’s upcoming for you?

Finally starting the follow up to Hero Muzik… In time for a certain 20th anniversary of one of my fave RPGs next year! That and working on a new project for my main group Panacea too!

 

10) Talk about a person or event who made you who you are today.

Easy. My late uncle Melvin Lindsey who was the originator of the radio format “The Quiet Storm” in the late 70s. I grew trying to emulate him, went to the same university and tried to follow his path but my road took me down the technical side of audio. But to be honest there would be no “Sound Samurai” without him. He was a great influence to me and others on and OFF the air!