Ninja Turtles Funko T-Shirt and Ghostbusters DVD

I read in the news that shipping bottlenecks are uncomfortably poignant this year. It’s like every time we get some new way to make things faster, the system gets flooded by shoppers. I wondered even if I should order anything at all. In the process of doing some gift shopping, however, I saw I could get some more stuff for free shipping. So, I picked up this Funko Pop Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cardboard turtle van packaged t-shirt. And because they had it, I grabbed a DVD of the original Ghostbusters film DVD for $5! I don’t do many unboxings here, but I could start. Enjoy some pictures and a bit of brief commentary.

Unboxing Ninja Turtles Shirt and Ghostbusters DVD

Thoughts on Boxes

It’s pretty exciting to see pop culture icons from my childhood on products like these. The van looks perfect, and the outside art on the Ghostbusters DVD is very suitable as well. They’re practically kindred pop culture spirits in a way. I’ve seen the classic slime cover for the DVD in the past, but for some reason, I never thought to get a copy until now. Pro-tip, I have a Blu-ray player, but I’ve learned there is almost no difference in Blu-ray for movies that were filmed before this technology even exists, so this DVD is probably the best you can get, but there may be benefits here and there to blu-ray; it’s up to you.

Look at all the features too: “Filmmaker’s commentary, Deleted Scenes, Making-of-Featurettes, and Storyboards.” Heck yeah! All for $5! I used to always watch this kind of content on DVDs, and why not again with the line-up cast of this particular film.

As for the shirt. I like the packaging and concept. I am not really fond of the Funko POP graphics on the back of their T-Shirts. The graphic is neat, and actually, it’s the neat graphic that inspired this sentiment. This is my second Funko POP t-shirt, the other one was BB-8. I’d love the Bebop and Rocksteady shirt, but I think it is the same.

Both items are 5 stars as gifts! Basically, they were gifts, from me, so thank you, Dave Pizza. You’re welcome Dave Pizza.

That’s It

I’ve been contemplating doing some flash fiction up here on the site. I wasn’t sure that this unboxing would be enough for a standalone post, but, there’s quite a bit here. Also, I’ll probably return to the flash fiction idea. If you are interested in Ghostbusters check out my remastered game article here: Ghostbusters Video Game Remastered: Freaky Switch Review.

In the meantime, thank you so much for reading Mr. Dave Pizza. If you liked this article please have a look around, leave a comment, and stop by again. I really appreciate you taking the time to read this. Have a nice day!

Space Games & Casual Blog Stuff 🍕

When I first started blogging in a format similar to this, it was probably a decade ago on a very short-lived Blogspot that I abandoned after the purpose it served was fulfilled. I really wanted to start this specific blog to rekindle that sensation, the writing part that is. I’ve figured out that I can write about games nonstop and if I really want people to read more, it’s not that hard. At some point, I might try to even advertise outside of social media, if it seems the right thing too. You guys have been so awesome in helping me start this dream though, so I have a pretty decent-sized and quality list of followers and readers. It is amazing to experience. Okay, let’s mingle some site changes and a recent passion: space games.

Space Games, the Final Frontier

space games star wars squadrons

Stumbled onto a healthy recommendation for you guys. Not exactly under the usual umbrella of indie games specifically, but in general an earnest creative game that’s loads of fun. Y-Wing, Tie-Fighter, what have you, I’m talking about Star Wars: Squadrons.

When I first played this game, it was kind of fun but hogged my computer resources in a kind of not-cool way. The most recent version, however, runs excellently. I didn’t update my graphics card, but the graphics seem to look even better than before. There have been a few changes, one of the major ones being an upgrade to an SSD drive, but also my Bluetooth controller was causing issues with my Wi-Fi. Both have been remedied. I really think the game has been patched for epicness though because it runs as if it wants to be the best game I’ve ever played. I admit I am still a little perplexed about the story mode campaign. This might be the pivotal moment when I start taking more time with my games.

What’s up with Mr. Dave Pizza?

I just realized that this is a golden opportunity for me to talk about some things at this site that just don’t fit into the regular review. So, as you might guess, I am able to keep track of how many people visit the site since I own the domain. I noticed that when I post a review every day, I get bonkers numbers. That’s good. Unfortunately, sometimes this makes me go bonkers. It’s not that I dislike it, but cutting a portion out of every day to spend multiple hours reviewing a game is HARD! (Er, actually, sometimes it is quite easy and it is usually enjoyable, but committing to it every day rustles my jimmies, and they’re still rustling.) If you are starting your own blog, consider this reality.

This is one reason I like the Pizza Post format I started. For some time, I have been able to just write off the top of my head without thinking about it too much. I learned how to do this in college. Also–ironically–I sometimes find it easier to play a game longer than I do for these reviews. There’s less pressure and I can take my time. Plus there’s usually more to talk about. I quite enjoyed doing the review for Surviving Mars, because I played it for around two hours with no rush. Also, it was a darn fine game, but either way.

If two hours plus time to write doesn’t seem like enough, perhaps you see my point. It’s just me here, although I would never beg for views or anything, if you like what you see just stop back now and then. Luckily my internal dialogue is bursting after a couple of days, so I could never go too long without saying something.

Write Pizza Write, Space Games Inferno

One thing I’ve wanted to start doing with this site is providing game news. Good thing my nerddom hasn’t dropped pressure over this 15-word sojourn. As I had mentioned on my site and Twitter recently, I am spending some time focusing on one of my lifelong passions, which is space exploration. Space games, or games about space, are a really nice way to explore this topic without having to, you know, become an astronaut or something.

While some media in this genre or topic certainly is heavy on engineering and math, it is the science-fiction aspect that deals with the human aspect of space exploration. I’ve spent time on Genesis Noir, a quantum physics noir detective story, and Surviving Mars the other day. I have some more games lined up. But let’s take a moment and check out some space games coming out later this year that are SUPER INDIE and still part of the topic I’m working on. This post’s mana is full.

Intergalactic Pawn Shop

Trading sims are one of my favorite genres. Honestly, I haven’t played a lot of them which seems to upend that, but shopping is fun, especially in space. So, Intergalactic Pawn Shop is my bag. It also has some excellent story-telling aspects it looks like, and the pixel art is right on. I’ve got my eye on this one, and I’ll be certain to try it out. The steam link below for your wish list and more info:

Solar Echoes: the Star Legion

I can’t believe it. A new space exploration visual novel scheduled for release. I thought visual novels and I were going to be taking a break for some time. If you didn’t know, I love visual novels. Honestly, this looks like so much fun. And, since there’s a demo, you’re probably not going to have to wait too long before I try it.

Okay, That’s Good

That felt great. A real blog post with no rush and flowing topics. I will try to include game topics like this in the future. It’s easier than pumping out a full review but is also something I should be doing anyway.

Thanks for reading my site MrDavePizza.com. If you came for the games, they’re everywhere. Read as much as you like, it is free!

Drawing + “Patchless” PizzaPost 🍕

drawing goblin
drawing practice goblin

As I’ve been writing about, I’m still in some brainstorming stages of a visual novel. I saw a post on Reddit about spending 15 minutes a day practicing, with a disclaimer that after 15 minutes you’ll want to draw all the time. That’s one thing I’ve always liked about drawing, it’s a relationship between you and the sketchpad but between you, you can create worlds. Same for writing really.

Anyway, I started off with this dude on the right here with the hat. I was feeling kind of rusty so when my attempt at drawing hair went awry, I decided to take my original intention and convert him into a spinning Gurdjieff dancer. If you don’t know what that is, seriously don’t worry. It’s a spiritual practice in Hungary that I used to see mentioned a lot of places until I sat down with a video. You might find some examples on YouTube if you’re really curious.

Drawing for 15 Minutes

drawing gurdjieff
drawing practice gurdjieff

After 15 minutes, I was pretty proud of myself. It looks crude and kinda weird but for 15 minutes not so bad! I did attempt to go overboard and color him in in Aseprite, where I drew it, I soon realized it was going to take more of a commitment than I honestly had to it. I know these drawings aren’t amazing, the process is what I want to share though.

Next up, I just did this guy in the middle. He sort of went from a Scandinavian fella into a half-goblin, or Roger from Doug if you want to get real. Anyway, in this one, which I drew in Gimp with my tablet (as all of these), I decided to draw a cross over the face. I’ve seen a lot of good artists do this so I decided to try it out. It really helped me balance out the features and stay on track. I will definitely be using that technique again. I did not spend much time on him either, I just wanted an example. The lapping fabric beneath his chin was my attempt at a scarf, it could be anything though.

Also, I decided to add this drawing on the left. She’s probably the closest connection to my VN story that I’ve worked on in recent times. Notice the heart glasses. She looks kind of Nickelodeon style herself, but I do not mind how she turned out. Kind o fun to look at. I keep drawing bolo ties too, I don’t know why, but it’s a nice personal item to add that will stop me from drawing neckties.

drawing heart glasses sketch
drawing practice elf

Bonus Indie Game: Patchless

Patchless is about how I feel when I play any game that frustrates me to no end because of inconsistent mechanics. Fortunately, this is intentional in this game. I don’t really have much to say on it; the 8-bit music is good although a little wonky, glowy black screen background which reminds me of level 5 in Super Mario Bros, which is enchanting in its own right. This is kind of what you might expect from a game jam in some experiences. It’s pretty good. Simple, but satisfactory. Unfortunately, it wasn’t simple enough for me because I got really confused after about 5 minutes.

Try it out though: https://sushidev01.itch.io/patchless

That’s all, thanks for reading MrDavePizza.com. I am loving doing these PizzaPosts, but there are tons of other sources of entertainment throughout the site. Thanks.

Visual Novel Dev Resources (PizzaPost) 🍕

I’ll just share a few moments with you and drop the beat on some visual novel dev stuff. I’m having a lot of fun with these Browser games on Itch.IO. Just open the link and play, it’s a good format. This morning I tried one called “This Is Your Life Now.” It’s a simple sidescroller where you play a character from birth to old age. As you progress along the platform to the right you have opportunities to try or reject new things. Depending on your choice certain outcomes either manifest or do not later on. It’s a little depressing but pretty unique in concept. Although, I admit that this is a hyper-simple version of another game I have some time with called The Life and Suffering of Sir Brante.

I’m always in awe at the deep existential themes that can occur in video games or any story. I think it proves that this is a serious medium. I am on an empathic vibe for the past week for some reason, so as is normal recently I felt an insistence to be receptive. Nobody needs to do that though, here’s a link to the game and a gameplay video below:

https://more-mountains.itch.io/this-is-your-life-now

The game takes 5 minutes. The result for me is I have a house, a car, 99 problems, freedom, inner peace, and that’s about it. Figures.

Visual Novel Dev: Character Customization

Other notes for today, did some preliminary research on visual novel creation using Ren’Py. This seems like it’s going to be the way to go. If you’re wondering, Ren’Py is a visual novel creation software. I investigated GoDot because I have some minimal experience in that so far, but apparently, Ren’Py streamlines a lot of those ideas into a fully-contained software. There are certainly tutorials on it, but not as vast as for engines like Unity. Anything, if it were to be something purchased for the game, would be a voice-over. There is much you can do with a blip and bloop sound though in my research!

As far as graphic art, I’m not the worst artist and could probably create most representations with interesting stock backgrounds and my Wacom. There are some pretty interesting character creators on Itch.IO, like these ones below, and one doesn’t need to look too far for backgrounds that can be manipulated and contorted for whatever need, although I’m pretty consistent in confirming copyright after scared straight sessions in college. I’d like to create something meaningful with one of these, who knows though maybe I’ll get 99 problems. Whatever, I’m just here to have fun, mostly.

I realize this is pretty basic information, although maybe it will help you. I will post more as I learn more.

Thanks for reading MrDavePizza!

PizzaPost: Wait, Another? Game: Kraft and Slash 🍕

Here’s quick gameplay of Kraft And Slash from Purejam Games on Itch.IO. Link: https://purejamgames.itch.io/kraft-slash

This post’s game is called Kraft & Slash. An in-browser game with a cute crafty aesthetic, decent tune, and solid gameplay. Not sure the motivation behind Kraft & Slash, but it appears it’s done its job in the look good feel good, please distract me into playing vibe. I am fond of this style because it reminds me of crafting field trips I used to take when I lived in the PNW. This would fit right in at a local artist shop or something of that nature.

My Visual Novel

I took the foundational steps in thinking just a little bit about how my visual novel idea might go. Several years ago I wrote a novel about an alternate history coming of age story taking place in the 2000s. What might have happened if nation borders were deprecated and you could go anywhere, whenever. Just an environment for the story really. I worked hard on it, with several versions and revisions.

In one revision I had this idea of making all the characters basically these fashionable hipster types. I’ve been obsessed with the idea of hipsters long before the invasion of them. Some of that has to do with my lifelong interest in how society works and the people in it. As I went for my walk today, I realized that this visual novel adaptation of it could come to fruition in one major way, character art.

A-Ha Take on Me Music Video Screen Capture

I’ve always been pretty fond of the character art in that famous Norwegian band A-Ha’s “Take on Me.” It’s kind of pencil sketched and comic-like, yet it emphasizes lines for expression. I’ve been working on my drawing more, I really need to look into portraiture, but I have this other crazy idea.

Patterns. No, not Pattern Recognition by William Gibson, although that might have some influence. “Fashion Patterns.” They’re around, and there are probably millions of them. What a wonderful idea to work with though. I’m not really sure what decade or what style, but it’s enough to push the wagon a little further.

That’s it. More to come.

PizzaPost: More Personal Posts; “Cactus Mayhem” 🍕

Greetings, friends! Welcome to this introductory post about a new posting format on MrDavePizza. I currently need a more efficient type of post to use this site as a writing outlet as it was originally intended. I will write for about 30 minutes and include a gameplay video with a description in this new format I am calling PizzaPost. Most of these posts will focus on a variety of topics including but not exclusively about games or hobbies. This is as much for my mental health as well as the quality of the website.

P.S. I’m going to still review games in each post, but with a varying production scale depending on what seems appropriate. For example, here is an awesome dev project I played today on Itch.IO from Malerouille (https://malerouille.itch.io/cactus-mayhem) I really like the illustration in this. And here’s some gameplay

What Are You On About, Pizza?

We’re heading out of Winter and into Spring, and as the ancient pizzas knew, this is the season for new toppings and crust varieties. No, but really, as the grass turns green, the world shifts into a new era. I realize that I almost never make personalized posts on this website, but I feel I need to uncage the ‘za.

You see, I have been writing personalized pieces of writing since the beginning. And the word was ‘za. I enjoy writing about games, and they’re certainly is no shortage of them. Every adventure I’ve tried, however, seems to lead me into the contemplation of whether or not I am fulfilling my purpose. I feel I can go only create at the rate at which I feel purpose in what I create. This perfectly normal human concept has been sitting on my chest so heavily that I must act.

I’m not expecting you to read my personal posts if they don’t interest you. There is a person behind this site though, and it’s a one-man team, so it’s about relevant as it could get.

Go Pizza, Go Pizza, Go

So, anyway, don’t panic. MrDavePizza is not shutting down or anything. It’s just I am getting tired of the robotic posts that I toil over every day all day for questionable rewards. I just want to write. I love writing and it is why I started this site.

That said, I have developed a very strong base in writing about games that certainly must continue. I think this will all depend on how much interest I have in spending a lot of time with them. So, yeah, I’ll still be writing about games, I’m taking a break from the one-man IGN scenario I’ve had going on for the past couple of months though. As a side note though, my readership has gone up about 500% in the last couple of months, WOW, thank YOU!!

Usually, there is a video included in posts and some images in my posts so from now on, I will show you some things I’ve been spending hobby time with or enjoying, like the Flagstaff rail cam up above that occasionally erupts with Z-train on my second monitor. I just want to have fun, and I want you to have fun.

It is so cliché, and frankly realistic, for a blogger to burn out after a few months, but I’ve been going at it since last fall trying to prove that cliché wrong. And I’m glad I did! You all deserve to see the Dave Pizza which has been buried under layers of code and image editing though.

One thing I’d really love to create, and I don’t know how, it’s a regular content creator community. I belong to a few discords now and I love them. I get it jelly when I see one of my idols casually ask their audience a question and people actually respond. I’ve never even gotten one normal comment on this page that hasn’t been spam for something horrible. I’m going to work on that.

Welcome To The Pizza Net

You might see some shifting around over the coming weeks of content. I will not delete your game dev review don’t worry! I’ve put so much time into these reviews and I want everybody to be able to find them. I’m going to be spending more time on art, crafts, visual novels, writing, radio, and maybe even some Mario!