The HDH Starcraft 2 Invitational

HDH Invitational
Credit: HD Starcraft + Husky

In a little corner of geekdom, Starcraft 2 is now in open beta, and two Starcraft fans have been taking it to the next level. Where there are games being played on Battle.Net, these two will be commentating on the games, each with their distinct personalities and machine gun quips on what’s happening on the screen. I played the first Starcraft and have always been interested in the lore behind the games, but these guys make watching people play computer games pretty darn good fun.

Why I’m writing this shout out, is because I’ve been following both HD Starcraft and Husky for more about 4 months, and I’ve seen how their average video views have jumped from under 10,000 to anywhere between 70,000 – 100,000 views each! And while Starcraft 2 is a great game, and you could say they’re riding on the game’s content, their improvement to their own craft has improved so much, I hope they’re on the way to becoming professionals.

Over the months, I’ve seen them improving the quality of the videos and commentary, revealed their faces, incorporated green screen to their DIY videos.. and have perhaps perhaps become the unofficial faces of Starcraft 2, and brought a community of fans together.

Perhaps the greatest compliment is that they’ve organised an invite only tournament dubbed the the HDH Invitational, that features 16 players from around the world and have actually managed to get US$2,450 in prize money from their sponsor, iRip, and the games only in beta!

This is very impressive because, these guys aren’t professionals, I think HD Starcraft just finished university and Husky’s going to enroll soon, they basically built this operation from the ground up out of their homes! Talk about dedication!

Well, I just thought I’d do this shout out, because I enjoy their videos, and if you’re a Starcraft fan of any level, I’m sure you’ll enjoy their videos too!

Here’s the first match between InControl Vs. Nazgul. The audio quality is usually better than this, and cheesy as the intro video is, hey.. remember, this is a ground up operation where they got community members to help out. When was the last time anyone did anything for you like that? And I actually do happen to like B-grade action movies, so this is still fun for me!

Find out more about more about the HDH Invitational here. –> Link
HD Starcraft’s YouTube Page –> Link
Husky’s YouTube Page –> Link


Lifehacks: DIY Pedalboard

This session of How Things Work features John Maeda‘s first two laws of simplicity:

Law Number One: The simplest way to achieve simplicity is through thoughtful reduction

Law Number Two: Organisation makes a system of many appear fewer

I’ve been playing bass for quite awhile, and over the years I’ve been getting into stompboxes. They’re little boxes of electronic magic that can transform your bass’s tone into something else, or totally destroy it. Anyway, I amassed quite a collection, and housed everything into one of these:

Nuclear Launch Sequence

That was in 2008, when I was at the height of my stompbox collection. However, as time passed, I realised that I didn’t need such a complicated setup, and when you have less equipment, less things can go wrong too. That’s when I started to strip my rig down to its bare essentials. In the end, I found myself constantly playing with only three stompboxes, and still, I was carrying a large flightcase that had only three stompboxes.

It was because of this observation that I seriously considered making my own pedalboard, in an effort to simplify what I needed to bring for rehearsals and gigs, and to concentrate on playing bass itself.

Cost of project: Less than $20
Materials bought from: Art Friend, Bras Basah Complex, 132 Bain Street
Materials: A block of wood, Velcro, A pair of scissors

DIY Pedalboard

Step 1: Lay out your stompboxes, so you can decide how to place your velcro.

DIY Pedalboard

Step 2: Stick the velcro (furry side) to the piece of wood like so.

DIY Pedalboard

Step 3: Stick the other side of the velcro to your stompboxes. It helps to remove the stoppers from the stompboxes if there are any.

DIY Pedalboard

Step 4: Stick your stompboxes to your board.

DIY Pedalboard

Step 5: This is additional, but you might want to stick something on the underside of your board to prop it up.

DIY Pedalboard

That’s it!

The beautiful thing about this board, is that it fits perfectly into my 13″ Manhattan Portage Messenger Bag, and I can probably fit my macbook in there as well.

DIY Pedalboard

The next thing I have to do is probably decorate it. Any freelance illustrators / painters want to give me a hand? I can’t pay much, but maybe we could work something out? I also might have screwed myself because maybe I should have primed the wood first.

If you would like to feature artwork on my board that will be seen when I play live shows, please email me at litford[at]gmail[dot]com