So it is the end of another year. A lot has happened this year. I graduated from university. I created and completed my first (not so brilliant) game. And most importantly, I managed to keep my blog going for SIX months! That is a very long time, especially considering how many times I tried this in the past.
I have also enjoyed lots of stuff this year. Everything from books to TV series and anything in between. I haven’t played as many games as I would have liked to this year but hopefully I can change that next year. In this list I am just going to write everything I have liked over the past twelve months. Some of this is not new (some games I have enjoyed have been out since 2009!) but that does not mean I am going to exclude it from my list. So here is my list in no particular order.
Stuff Dutch People Like
Being from Netherlands, this book is a must have. Pure brilliance. And so very true. I learned new things about myself which I never considered was the norm of all Dutch people.
Art Fundamentals: Color, Light, Anatomy, Perspective and Depth
I have been trying to improve upon my art skills this past year and this book has been a tremendous help. Even though my art skill is still not the best, this book has helped me raise it to a whole new level. The good thing is that I have not finished this book yet so hopefully my art skills can continue to get improved.
This is the only game this year that I have played more than 50 hours on (that is more than all the other games combined this year). It is a big improvement over Pokémon Ruby (the last Pokémon game I owned/played) and I have enjoyed playing it pretty much every since it has been out. People who have been playing every generation since Pokémon Blue/Red will not find much of a improvement in the gameplay as it still is based on the simple formula of capture, train and battle Pokémon. But if people buy only every second, or third, generation of Pokémon that is released they will enjoy it that much more. This can also go for Call of Duty since I have not played it since Modern Warfare 2 but I have tried out Ghosts and enjoyed it.
This guy made a game. It took him five years to make. He released it for FREE. And to top it off, the game is brilliant to play. It obviously has not got the best pixel art (still much better than mine) but the gameplay is fun and enjoyable. It is a stealth/action game where you can steal, hack and shoot. One of the most fun aspects of the game is that you can destroy the walls of a building in a level. It is not as sophisticated as Red Faction: Guerrilla but the game reminds me of it every time I play it.
Grand Theft Auto V
I only got this game after my birthday, but it is already one of my favorite games EVER! For everyone who knows me, they know that I love my sandbox games and no one does it better than Rockstar. The reviews were perfect, the game was praised universally and it had the biggest launch for a entertainment product ever. This game is also the first ever game where I bought the collectors edition (it was worth every cent). All I can say is go out and buy it. Buy it now!
The Marshall Mathers LP 2
I was ready to be let down by this album as soon as Eminem announced the album title. How can someone make a sequel to one of the greatest albums made in my life time. But I was surprised when I listened to it how great it was. It exceeded my expectations by miles (even though I did not expect anything good to happen from this). One of the best hip hop albums that came out this year.
7 Days Of Funk
Only Snoop can go from Snoop Lion to Snoopzilla in the same year and bring out such a funky album. I streamed the album expecting it to be up to par on his recent releases. But to my surprise, this is one of the better releases this year. It has got that feel good vibe about it when you listen to it. Keep it funky!
Magna Carta… Holy Grail
Jay-Z is still creating hits at the age of 40+. This is obviously not better than his earlier work but with songs like FuckWithMeYouKnowIGotIt and Part II (On The Run), I was listening to this album a lot more than other releases this year. Not a classic but one of the better releases this year.
This is one of the best pixel art tools I have ever used (and I have used lots over this year). It is simple to use and portable. This means I can just stick it on my usb memory stick and carry it around with me. Some things can be improved upon like being able to select a custom palette when Aseprite starts or being able to import sprites properly without the need to change the color. But since it is open source I cannot really moan as I can make these changes by myself if I really want to.
Google Web Designer
One of the best tools to quickly create HTML5 advertisements. I use it to create animations such as interactive coming soon pages. It is responsive meaning the advertisement/animation will look the same no matter what device the user is using. Only thing I am worried about is big corporations using these. Once they figure it out that means Adblock Plus will be of no use (for a little while until someone figures it out on what HTML elements to block).
Hatfields & McCoys
I know this three-part TV series came out in 2012 but I finally managed to watch all of them last week. Immediately after watching the series I felt it deserved to be added to my year end list. The settings and actors make it felt like I was really there during the feud. And because it was based on the real Hatfield & McCoy feud in the 1800s, I learned a tremendous amount such as how the feud started, who killed who, and many more things. I believe this is a must watch for everyone once in their lifetime. That is how good it was.
That is my list for this year. I have enjoyed lots more stuff this year which I have not included on the list. Next year I will keep track of what I have enjoyed instead of putting a list together on the last few days of the year. Did you enjoy something this year which you believe I will enjoy? Then leave a comment or hit me up on Twitter and let me know.