Announcing The 35s! A Jog-In-Place VR Game

The 35s is a small game that I built from the ground up around one of my favorite locomotion styles in VR to date, jog-in-place. And what better way to stress test a locomotion system than to be chased by an ever growing mass of… creepy doll monsters? That’s the basic premise of The 35s.

Locomotion is one of the most fascinating problems VR faces today. Over the course of the last 5 years or so we’ve seen two major camps form in the locomotion interface landscape, teleportation and smooth locomotion. Each have their own set of trade-offs and each have an equally vocal base of advocates more than happy to explain why they find it the most suitable option.

Teleport tends to be the most comfortable option, it also can encourage players to physically engage with their playspace as more finite movement tends to be a little easier and takes a little less time. But it’s also a very unnatural locomotion style that isn’t cohesive with the way humans move through a space.

Smooth locomotion works like most traditional first person games; push the analog stick and your character will start gliding around the world. This movement style tends to feel more immersive as we can explore an environment in a much more natural way. It has a major trade-off though in that it can cause a lot of user discomfort in the form of motion sickness. There are tricks developers have found to mitigate this effect, like occluding the user’s peripheral vision during movement (what I use in the 35s). Also games like Echo VR have found a 1:1 motion with your arm and flinging yourself around a zero G environment can be surprisingly comfortable. The other and I think more concerning issue with smooth locomotion is that it tends to discourage user’s from physically engaging with their playspace. Our instincts drive us to solutions that require the least amount of energy to achieve a certain goal and in the case of movement, it’s a lot easier to stand still and glide your way closer to something, than it is to take a physical step forward even if that step forward would be more immersive or satisfying, like for instance stepping out from around a corner to take a shot in Rec Room paintball.

Jog-in-place is a method of locomotion designed to bridge that gap. The core concept is to listen to the headset’s positional movement in the Y direction (up and down) to derive when the user is jogging and how fast they are jogging and slide the character in tandem with that. The effect can be surprisingly convincing and it has a couple of advantages over the main two methods. We’re tying motion to a physical action which can feel more comfortable and the jostling of the inner ear helps mitigate motion sickness slightly. We also can now explore an environment in a more natural way while still engaging with our playspace physically.

Jog-in-place isn’t without it’s own tradeoffs though, namely, we are assuming when the headset is moving that the user must be jogging when they could be enacting a myriad of different actions. This means we have to filter out unwanted headset motion noise, and this isn’t an exact science, there are certain motions that are hard to distinguish between jogging and something else. Luckily there’s a lot we can do to mitigate this issue. There is another issue with jog-in-place which is that it is not compatible with disabled people, or people who simply prefer to play VR sitting down. There are work-arounds for this using a technique called arm-swinger which can be used as a fall-back system and further still you could fall back to a slowly ramped smooth locomotion (similar to Mirror’s Edge).

I hope that this, admittedly derpy attempt at a game might inspire other developers to consider adding jog-in-place or other similar more physically based locomotion methods to their VR experiences because I think it can add a lot of value for players who appreciate the physical aspect VR provides as a medium.

You can download and play the game for free here.

Thanks for reading and stay safe out there travelers!

Sprint Vector: A Solid Start with a Ways to Go


As someone who’s found an appreciation for fast paced, flying games like Eagle Flight and Windlands, I charged headlong into Sprint Vector with sky high expectations. With people hailing it as the “Mario Kart of VR” you would not be totally at fault for imagining a level of quality that very few games ever reach. While Sprint Vector does eventually find its stride, to say it ascends into the genre defining heights of Mario Kart is a pretty generous overstatement in my opinion. Sprint Vector does provide a fun, motion controller-centric thrill ride and does so with style and a lot of heart. So without further ado, let’s get this show on the road.


In SV, as the name suggests, you move through the world by swinging your arms in a sprinting motion while pressing the respective trigger in time with your swings, sort of like ski poles. It’s a bit of a mental exercise, but you get used to it pretty quickly and it smartly frees up your hands for other interactions when the time calls for it. When you start building up your rhythm and hit that max speed, moving through the world feels great and being driven by your body’s natural movement makes the motion disconnect a little easier to handle for motion sensitive players.

The game employs a snap turning feature by tilting the right analog stick for reorienting yourself, and there’s a little graphic on the floor with an arrow pointing toward the front of your playspace. You can also turn on a field of view reducer if motion sickness is rearing its ugly head. As someone who is moderately susceptible to motion sickness, beyond a few gut wrenching moments as I struggled to learn the controls and occasionally during drifting, the game is surprisingly comfortable.

The movement system is also a tremendous arm workout, just today I put in about 2.5 hours across two play sessions and burned 1200 calories according to my Apple Watch! :O


Overall, I found SV to have bitten off a little more than it can chew mechanically speaking. In a game like this, finding that perfect balance between simplicity and complexity is a real challenge, and I’d say Sprint Vector slips into the overly complex category. You’re keeping track of your arm swinging pace and hand position, your double jump, glide boost, break stomp, many diverging paths, items to collect and use accordingly, and tons of obstacles to avoid. Keeping track of everything takes a lot of mental and finger dexterity. After playing for about 4 hours or so I had just started to get a good feel for all of it and it wasn’t a particularly enjoyable 4 hours as you’re pretty much running into things the entire time. I suggest playing through all of the tutorials first thing, and then some of the challenge courses where it’s less stressful and more open to experimentation to really help nail down how to move.

So with the comparisons to Mario Kart you might think a race is composed of 3 laps around a course. That’s not the case, there’s a definitive start and end point with multiple checkpoints in between. It feels a little bit like SSX or similar downhill type game in that regard. The problem with this style of race within the battle context, is that your traps have a less significant role to play. In lap based combat, as the race progresses, players will naturally create more hazards lap after lap making it more chaotic and interesting. Here, once your opponents are past your trap, that’s that; which leads me into the power-ups in general, they’re pretty generic. You’ll find your typical arsenal of speed boosts, things to shoot at your opponents, and traps to lay. They get the job done, but don’t have much character or variety to them, either activate the speed boost, or point and shoot the projectile/trap. Having quirky and interesting power-ups could have inspired more emergent gameplay opportunities. Give me a grappling hook that flings me past an opponent, or helm a super fast mutant dog sled team, or a boom box that spits out sound waves knocking players away from you, or a remote that teleports every racer to your location, these are probably terrible examples, but ideally the items would be brimming with as much personality as the rest of the game.

By far, the most frustrating thing about SV is that activating power-ups requires double tapping either trigger… you know, the thing you’re hitting over and over again as you swing your arms. The power-ups can feel pointless at times because it’s likely you will accidentally fire them off before you find a desired use. And when you don’t have a power-up, double tapping the trigger fires a little energy ball that can deactivate certain traps. So if you see an obstacle incoming that could be disabled, but already have a power-up in hand, you have to figure out how to avoid it, which is occasionally impossible because some of these traps are gigantic. For these reasons, the triggers feel overloaded with responsibility.

And then there’s the AI. Over the races I played I’ve seen characters get stuck on walls or ledges, just stop running completely out in the open, or even turn around and run the wrong direction. At one point I thought I was going the wrong way because two characters ran past me going the other direction. Because there are no difficulty modes, I’m guessing the system is trying balance the race on the fly and this is the result. Sadly, it comes off too algorithmic and can feel disingenuous when you place well. Once you get a better feel for the systems and can power through the courses without too much trouble, the AI does start to feel better in single player. In multiplayer, the AI are basically just set dressing as you’ll be much more engaged with the other real players.

Single Player

In single player you can progress through and unlock all 12 races to enjoy at your leisure a’ la carte and a series of challenge maps too. There are a few different settings like turning off the AI opponents or turning off the power-ups. Sadly there is no Grand Prix mode, that goes for multiplayer too. The game feels structureless without it, just you racing with no definitive goal beyond reaching the finish line so you can do it again next race. Hopefully they can add this mode in a future update.

Due to the lack of a Grand Prix mode and the aforementioned AI issues, single player is little more than a practice mode to sharpen up your skills and learn the tracks before heading out into the wide open web for some multiplayer mayhem.


I’m happy to say, it’s here that the sneakers really meet the road. Having actual opponents that don’t give a toss whether you can keep up or not really gives perspective on how well you’re doing and following opponents can be a great way to figure out the best routes. The drama in multiplayer is also amped up. On the straightaways at the end of each level, hearing the sounds of your opponents as you all furiously pump your arms to try and pull just a little bit ahead is devilishly exhilarating. It can make wins feel hard won, and there’s usually some laughs to be had when it’s all said and done. I did notice a few network connection issues and even a full on crash in multiplayer, but nothing so frustrating that I gave up trying to play.

Design and Feel

The cast is colorful and interesting. The entire premise of the game is sadistic and silly. The music nails the style it’s going for. The UI is clean and intuitive. The art style feels like something out of a bubblegum ad, bursting with blobby, juicy colors. The only gripe I have is that the two announcers, from the moment the game loads up to the moment you quit, are chiming in with these little advertisements from their ‘sponsors’. They’re pretty funny, and they play a crucial role in conveying a deeper sense of the world, but you’ll have heard all of them after a few hours of play. I can already tell it’s turning from cute to annoying, just like real ads! And I am learning to tune them out, just like real ads! Perhaps limiting when and how often they trigger would help extend their longevity.


Overall, despite a solid first try at this subgenre, I found Sprint Vector has a ways to go before it takes home the gold. A vanilla power-up selection, overburdened control scheme, and shallow single player, trip up its otherwise compelling locomotion, great multiplayer experience, colorful characters, interesting world, and a great workout to boot. There’s still plenty of fun to be had if you dedicate yourself to learning the systems, and I’d consider it to be a must-play for anyone interested in a fresh racing experience built from the ground up for motion controllers.

That’s all I’ve got, stay safe out there travelers; hope to see you at the starting line!

Why Fallout 3 Should be Getting VR Support Instead of Fallout 4

Hey oh don’t cha know, cup of coffee and the day doth go. Saddle up cause the sun’s gotta be shining somewhere. Welcome travelers, if the fires aren’t burning the birds’ll be a chirping so let’s get to it.

If you care about VR as much as I do, then you’re probably aware that the 2015 blockbuster hit Fallout 4 is getting the VR treatment this coming October. It’s a huge move by Bethesda that shows confidence in the medium and serves as a shining beacon for other major developers as they slowly make their way into these vast unknown waters. For these reasons, I am very much excited at the prospect of Fallout 4 in VR, but there’s just one problem…. con flab it, it should have been Fallout 3!

Let’s break it down, shall we?

  1. Cross compatibility with PS4 would be very attainable. As of the time of this writing, there have been no plans for Bethesda to bring Fallout 4 to PS4, and many are concerned that performance demands would require some serious reworking of the game’s engine components to function well on the device.
  2. People may be tired of Fallout 4. Anyone who came into the franchise with Fallout 4 may be waiting for a good reason to dive into more fresh Fallout content and anyone who’s played 3 would, at this point, probably appreciate a revisit to it’s hallowed halls.
  3. Due to the nature of Fallout 4’s dialog system, conversations with NPCs were very much shunted. Fallout 3 on the other hand had a very robust conversation system and I think it led to a deeper connection with characters and more realized ethos and culture, things that feed back into immersion very well.
  4. Where as Fallout 4 is a shooter with RPG elements, Fallout 3 is an RPG with shooter elements. VR is a lot to take in and the slower paced action of Fallout 3 would actually be more suitable. The long hours demanded by Bethesda titles could prove very tiring in VR and slower action could allow users to stay in VR longer.
  5. The Capitol Wasteland would be more interesting and more powerful a place to visit than the Commonwealth. This could just be personal preference, but the thought of watching a skirmish unfold in the confines of the Capitol building, or gaining access to the Washington Memorial to set up a satellite array for Three Dog, or fighting off the Super Mutants holding the Lincoln Memorial. There are many iconic locations dipped in a thick layer of post-apocolism that just beg to be explored. How about the VR inspired mission, Tranquility Lane? Talk about getting meta. How about trudging through the foggy swamps of Point Lookout, what has been lauded as one of the finest examples of game DLC to this day?

Of course I’m just a fan gallivanting ideas here, but to me Bethesda missed an opportunity to bring awareness to a game that has receded beneath the ocean waves of time. A game that deserves another chance in the spotlight, and VR would be the perfect vehicle for such a resurrection.

Impressions: Huge Robot’s Freedom Locomotion System

George Kong of Huge Robot recently released a video detailing his solution to VR locomotion. The demo he references in the video can be downloaded from here and I would highly advise checking it out when you get some time. The system seemed very compelling to me upon watching and I was eager to check it out. It was developed and designed for the Vive, so not everything works perfectly with the Rift, but the piece I was most interested in trying still works fine. It’s called CAOTS, a form of locomotion in where bobbing of your head translates to movement speed.

Also to note, I’d say I’m moderately susceptible to motion sickness,  the most intense style I can handle is free movement with snap turning, sometimes even those can get to me if there happens to be a lot of vertical traversal in the level design.

Things That Worked

The system really seems to hit its sweet spot when you’re jogging or running. In fact, the way it incorporates your hands into the mix creates a very compelling sense of motion. There was a point in the demo where I was running along a zigzag pathway. I was at a decently fast jog pace, and actually felt a wave of presence hit me. My brain was totally fooled into thinking I was actually running along the path!

When this video first released, reddit user hotvrz smartly pointed out that the bobbing head movement scheme would be a detriment to moving smoothly and tactically in a game like Onward. I spent a fair amount of time sneaking around the town level and found that tactical movement was very doable. Steady movement can be obtained with a very slight motion of the head. Take this with a grain of salt though, it would be hard to say how much of an impact it would have until you actually implemented it in a highly competitive scenario like Onward.

Now this next point could be a bit of contention as to whether it’s a positive or negative, but using CAOTS definitely gets your heartrate up and breathing pace increases. For whatever reason, I’ve always thought fitness and video games would never be able to co-exist but in VR, the physicality contributes to the overall experience for first person games.

Things That Didn’t Work

While jogging and running are great, CAOTS struggles with the most basic of human movement, walking. When I tried to use a relaxed, gentle pace, my translated movement speed was way too slow to be useable. This is due to most of the motion being in my feet, not my head. So you end up using this jazzy jive movement and that’s about as close as you can get to walking. It’s not terrible, but it takes some getting used to and doesn’t feel totally natural or comfortable. Strange side note: I noticed myself timing my bounce pace with the in-game music and that was oddly satisfying.

Another downside is, because movement is dictated by your head moving up and down, if I were jogging through town and I suddenly crouched to take cover behind a car I would lunge forward in the game world. The same is true if you are crouching and jump up to a standing position, you’ll fly forward a good 10 yards or so. It also happens to a lesser extent when you suddenly look up or down while moving.

Another use case of incongruent real motion to game motion is when you come to a stop after running. My running pace has a more controlled bounce pattern to it, and as my legs relax and break to stop, the bounce becomes more aggressive. This results in odd sudden jerks forward. Conversely, if you release your movement button as you reach your destination, you will immediately stop with no period of deceleration. This is very jarring and usually leads to throwing off your balance.

After a couple different play sessions, I think overall, it does help fight motion sickness albeit probably not enough. My first play session was about 40 minutes long and I felt just a little bit woozy afterwards. That could be attributed to me simply adjusting to a new locomotion system though. My second play session I did much better. Going up and down steep inclines seemed noticeably less averse in particular.

My wife graciously agreed to try out the system as well. She has a more timid walking/running style and couldn’t get the system to really move as fast as she wanted.

What This Means For Locomotion Going Forward

The one thing this experience has driven home for me is that, if we want a more complete, natural feeling locomotion system in VR, we need to better understand what is going on with our feet. In the long term, I still think something like Telaria VR’s solution would be more natural and intuitive. But given the current state of VR hardware, this system does an admirable job and brings us closer to a more ideal locomotion system for first person games.

Thanks to Huge Robot for spending time and effort on this issue and sharing your results with the community; I can’t wait to see what games you create with it. Thanks to all for reading! Apologies for bad grammar, it tends to go out the window when I excitedly type. Let me know your impressions of CAOTS if you’ve given it a spin, and feel free to share thoughts on VR locomotion in general. 🙂

Building the Cheapest “VR Ready” PC




The Cheapest VR Ready PC


Inspired by the article posted here wherein it loosely states that you will spend a minimum of $1000 to build a VR Ready machine, I was curious to see just how cheap you could get away with, while still technically meeting the recommended specs provided by Oculus and Valve.


First we’ll make a build directly adhering to the Oculus Recommended specs (the more demanding of the two), and then build, no dignity spared, the cheapest possible VR Ready machine. As a note to that, just because it is the cheapest doesn’t mean you should actually build it. This is more just for fun, and I’m making a lot of sacrifices that I personally would not make in my own VR build (e.g. SSD instead of HDD, more expandable motherboard, AMD vs Intel, ect.).


Recommended Specs and Bundles

Turning first to the recommended specs, let’s see what kind of price you can get away with on these components.

  • Motherboard: BIOSTAR B85MG Ver. 6.x $45
  • CPU: Intel i5-4590 $200
  • RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 8GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 $27
  • Storage: WL 500GB $30
  • Graphics: Nvidia GTX 970 $250
  • Power: EVGA 100-B1-0500-KR 500W $40
  • Case: DIYPC MA01-G Black/Green USB 3.0 Micro-ATX Mini Tower $20
  • OS: Windows 10 $100

The total comes out to $712 before tax and shipping. Not too unbearably pricy, but ideally we’d want to get the price down to around the cost of an xbox one or PS4 ($400).

Oculus have also partnered with a number of different companies to bring VR ready machines to market. You can find them here. The cheapest option available this way is the ASUS G11CD at around $800. Also interesting, Cyberpower has a VR Ready PC listed at $674 on Newegg, considering you wouldn’t have to build it yourself, this might be the most convenient option out there right now.

And without further adieu,


The Cheapo VR…o Build

  • Motherboard: MSI 760GMA-P34 $45
  • CPU: AMD FX-6350 $130
  • RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 8GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 $27
  • Storage: WL 500GB $30
  • Graphics: AMD RX 480 $200
  • PSU: EVGA 100-B1-0500-KR 500W $40
  • Case: DIYPC MA01-G Black/Green USB 3.0 Micro-ATX Mini Tower $20
  • OS: Windows 10 $100

The total comes out to $592….. Not. Very. Cheap. x___x


Some Final Thoughts

All in all, you’re realistically looking at a $1500-$1600 for a headset and a PC to power it… I’m thinking, people have a hard enough time justifying the price of a new gaming console. Desktop VR makes that seem like chump change.

That being said, when you take that cost and compare it to the current, mid tier iMac model, which starts at $1500, the price could be seen as more reasonable. The potential utility of VR far outweighs the formidable iMac for roughly the same cost. But the problem is, VR really isn’t that useful just yet. It’s main focus has been entertainment, but it’s the practical everyday use cases that will really sell VR to everyone. When we start to realize that VR breaks the shackles of typical window viewed applications and opens up whole new ways of processing and interacting with information.

Rant done, hope this was somewhat informative/entertaining. Stay safe travelers.

Creating A Compelling Story Line in Multiplayer Heavy Games

Hmm…. think, think… How do we tell a compelling story in our multiplayer only game?

     Hey there travelers! Doctor Bambi here, back with another nugget of info to get those nerd juices flowing. With the new generation of consoles settling into their rightful place upon our tv stands, I thought I’d take a moment to reflect on two of the biggest titles to hit next gen platforms and one common complaint shared between them both. The titles are Titanfall and Destiny. The complaint? Story line.

     First thing I’d like to say is that if you haven’t played either of these games, go do it. They are awesome and totally worth your time. BUT, if you were to go parooz the internetz for the reviewz, you’d find most people complaining about the shoehorned or impersonal story. So, how do you tell a compelling story in a game designed specifically for multiplayer?

     Titanfall tried to answer this question by creating the multiplayer mode Campaign. You’d get a short cut scene before each match began and then during the match, the characters would chime in with dialogue attempting to make you care about the moment to moment events. Of course it didn’t work… at all. When I’m wallrunning hundreds of feet in the air about to rodeo a titan and headshot that sniper off the roof, my last concern is the gabber that’s coming in over my radio. It’s like going to a movie and someone pulling out their phone and start gossiping about last night’s pottery class. It’s just super annoying. The dialogue should reflect the situation. Call of Duty has done this well for quite some time. Tell me pertinent information, like when there’s a sniper nearby or if a titan is about to crush my body like a rollie pollie. By forcing that story content into the heated gameplay, you make it near impossible for me to pay attention and I stop caring.

     Destiny does the same thing too. It tries to give you crucial information to the plot when you’re mowing down waves of enemies. This is not the time nor place. Plot moments that are epic in scale need a place for the player to really sit down and take in that moment.

     If you think back to half-life, when there was something of great importance that pushed the plot along, the game would essentially confine you to a small space where there was no threat of attack. This gave you the freedom to pay attention to the story unfolding before you.

     But of course these are multiplayer games, and when you’re with your friends, you’re less likely to be paying attention to the story anyway. Perhaps a truly multiplayer game like titanfall doesn’t need a campaign in the standard sense of the word. You have a gathering of real people, nothing will ever be more compelling than other humans. Give them the ability to make the story their own. Perhaps when you enter campaign mode, you are paired with a collection of people. There’s an area where you can all talk and get to know one another, make it personal, give this sense of being part of a team about to embark on something incredibly dangerous. Then have a branching path depending on whether you loose or win certain matches. Let the environment give a basic framework of the story, but let the system and the players discover their own unique moment to moment story along the way.

     More and more we are seeing the power balance between player and developer level out. In this new space where computing power holds few limits on our imaginations, game design cannot be constrained by factors taken for granted just a few years ago. With more time, developers will start to take better advantage of our connected world and build compelling content around that space. When we do get it right, it’s going to be awesome.

     Here’s to the future and what we make of it. Stay save travelers.

Can a Camera be Functional on a Smartwatch?


If you’re interested in the smartwatch scene, but not sure if the time is right to jump in, you might want to wait a little longer. The recent release of the Gear 2  kept the tradition of the original Samsung Galaxy Gear in that it kept the outward facing camera. Many have criticized the camera as being a gimmick and awkward, and I’d have to agree. So you may consider the other model of the Gear 2, the Gear 2 Neo which is basically the same device, just without the camera.

But what if there were some functional uses for that camera? What would convince the general public that they need the model with the camera? I think the answer is quite simple. The camera just needs a location adjustment. Instead of facing outward, you need to put the camera on the face of the watch, facing toward the user. Once this is done, the functionality of the camera becomes quite a bit more interesting.

The first and most interesting is that, the front facing camera would make video calling a snap.

Speaking of snap, Snapchat, nuff said.



Display brightness control.

More gesture controls.

From there the sky is the limit.

I’d be curious to know what tech people would like to see in a smart watch that would make the purchase more appetizing. So if you feel inspired by this article, leave a comment and be safe out there travelers!

So You Want to Build a Gaming PC

Doctor Bambi’s back with yet another tech tip to knocks your socks off and keep your toes warm.

So, you think you’re ready to enter the dark and mysterious world of PC gaming. You’ve had a laptop that’s gotten you through school, but you’ve never been able to seriously game on it. The world of Steam, Origin and other services are vast lands of untapped territories ripe with fresh gaming ideas. Gaming on PC really is a new frontier if you’ve been on consoles since you were in diapers.

I recently built my first gaming PC and the purpose of this post is to talk about all the things you’re going to need and some helpful pointers I wish I had known going into this process. So with that in mind here we go! Take notes and get ready to embark on a quest many console gamers will never take. The desert is far reaching, but the promise land is waiting on the other side!

Parts you’ll need: First things first

  1. Motherboard
    1. The foundation of any good pc. Everything branches out from the Motherboard.
    2. Keep in mind your case specs and your CPU format and brand.
  2. CPU/APU
    1. The brains of your pc. You’ll want to find something with a spec around 3.5 GHz for processing speed.
    2. An APU is a CPU and a graphics card integrated into one chip. This makes setup easy and space efficient at the cost of processing power.
  3. RAM
    1. Your computers ability to multitask. You’ll want no less than 8GB to keep up with the latest games.
  4. Graphics Card
    1. This will make your games look pretty. You’ll probably want, at least 1GB of VRAM. Expect to drop some money on this. I’d spend no less than $150 if you want to perform on par with the current generation of consoles.
  5. Cooling
    1. This one is going to take some research. You need to make sure you have, at least, one fan directly on your CPU (Your CPU will usually come with one) and two other fans somewhere in your case. One will pull air into the system, and the other will push air out of the system. Some cases come with fans already built in.
  6. Blu-ray/DVD Drive
    1. They may be on their way out, but you’ll still find a need for a good disk drive. And they’re not too expensive these days.
  7. Storage Drive
    1. For storage you have two options, HHD or SSD. HHD is cheaper but slower, SSD is faster but definitely more expensive.
    2. Make sure to get one SSD drive for your operating system. This will help keep your computer running smooth.
  8. Power Supply
    1. Gives your computer the ever needed life. I would find something with around 500 Watts. You want to make sure you have enough power to run everything smoothly.
  9. Case
    1. Pretty self explanatory. Make sure it matches your motherboard size. I would suggest getting a bigger case with lots of room for expanding.
  10. Operating System
    1. I would go with Windows 8, but you can also do Linux or Steam OS.
  11. Other Equipment you may already have.
    1. Monitor (keep in mind your TV can be a monitor)
    2. Keyboard
    3. Mouse
    4. Speakers

And that’s all you should need to get up and running! But here are some things I learned after building my machine.

There are basically two routes you can go, AMD or Intel. I personally feel that you get more bang for your buck going the AMD route. Go ahead and kill any concepts in your mind of building a compact desktop PC. I tried to do this and as a consequence, I have already run out of space for expanding my computer’s abilities. Custom built PCs are modular in nature and they’re are not space efficient. Chances are you can find a nice corner for it where it’ll be out of the way anyway. I went with an APU for my setup. I thought this would save me some money, but it ended up biting me in the butt. The integrated graphics are not enough to game on today’s level. Don’t be afraid to use HDDs. SSD are SUPER expensive. It is not feasible, at this point, to build a machine on only SSD, find a harmony between your SSD and HDD. You will run out of space faster than you realize. You can expect to spend about $800 to build a quality machine. is your best friend, get an account and sign up for their newsletters. They have deals all the time.

I think that about sums up this tech tip. Hope it’s been helpful for you. Leave a comment if I missed something. Stay safe travelers!