Singapore is hot and humid – news at 11

Arab Street, Singapore, on a rainy day

I was aware of this even before I came to Singapore, but I would nevertheless like to take a moment just to restate the obvious: Singapore is hot and humid. Not only is it hot and humid, it is also full of ants, spiders and cockroaches – a combination that in theory should make this a less than ideal location for me to live, yet in practice, it’s not too bad. The ants are out of sight and mind as long as things are kept neat and clean, the spiders (brrr, spiderssss) mostly stay hidden in moist, dark corners, and the cockroaches are… well… intimidating, but thankfully only encountered rarely.

Aside from these minor issues, there are many things about Singapore I love. My wife being from Singapore and also living here is one such thing. Supermarkets (and other establishments like cafés, restaurants, fitness gyms) that are open 24/7 and can be found within 10 minutes walk from where I live is another. A huge contrast compared to my home village/island/municipality back in Norway, where the only thing open 24/7 is a soda-vending machine outside our local gas-station. A seemingly endless variety in food – whether from local hawker stalls, fast-food places or restaurants, there’s always something new to try. Okay, so I’m not the most adventurous person in the world when it comes to trying food, but even so, I have tried a whole bunch of different foods in Singapore. Not everything has been equally great, but that’s okay! Internet speeds are insane. Singapore had the highest average peak Internet speed and third highest average speed in the world, in 2016. Fiber everywhere!

I can get anywhere I want in Singapore within 50 minutes tops (and usually much less), due to the MRT trains and bus-routes that criss-cross the city, combined with taxi-services like Grab/Uber. While I miss driving a car of my own, I don’t like driving in city traffic; I prefer the less crowded, open country roads. Also, cars in Singapore are insanely expensive. Not sure how anyone actually affords owning a car here. 

Mass Effect 1

In my spare time, I have been playing some Mass Effect on my laptop – for the first time ever. Just finished the first game a couple of days ago, after installing a fan-made mod (MEUITM) that updates many textures in the game with high-res version (looks great, highly recommended for anyone who wants to replay this game or play it for the first time, like me). Apart from the planet exploration being a bit repetitive, it was good fun, and I like the story, and dialogues with my various squad-members. To boost the visuals in the next couple of games in the series, ALOT for ME2 or ALOT for ME3 can be used. I’m currently about 25% done with ME2, and I plan to play ME3 next, followed by Andromeda. =P

Random ranked match I played in Shadowverse. I lost :(

Another game I’ve been into recently, is a Japanese digital, multiplayer card-game called Shadowverse. Build a deck of cards from one of the available classes, each with a slightly different play-style, and battle other players for fame, fortune and glory! Unlike my experience with Hearthstone (shortly after its release, so cannot say anything about its current state), it seems possible to build highly competitive decks without spending any money, and the opponents I am matched against seem closer to my level than was the case in Hearthstone. After playing through the tutorial missions and spending the free “card pack tickets”, I already had enough cards to build a nearly completed deck that in theory could be used to compete at a high level, and by “liquefying” cards I didn’t want/need into “vials”, I was able to create (using vials) the missing cards I needed to complete my deck. Any card in the game can be created using these vials, which you can get from destroying other cards or completing single-player story missions or achievements. The only cards that cannot be created in this manner is the animated versions of each card, but since these have no benefits over normal cards other than looking a cooler, it’s not a big loss. Each card can also be evolved in-game to a more powerful version of itself, through a limited amount of such evolve-points every game, and this also changes the visual appearance of the card somewhat.

The overall art-style of the cards makes it rather obvious that the game is made in Japan; you’ll find no lack of scantly clad/cute looking anime-girls, though they are also accompanied by dragons, unicorns, trolls, and all sorts of other mythical creatures and/or characters from legends around the world. Overall, it’s a fun game to play every now and then, and I play it on both my phone (if I’m out or about) and on Steam (if I’m at home).

Animated Oathless Knight from Shadowverse
Animated Squall Lancer from Shadowverse
Animated Bahamut from Shadowverse
Animated Fen Sprite from Shadowverse

This post is starting to become a bit long-winded, without really having that much interesting content, so I will end it here. Stay tuned for some game development related updates in the near future, though.