Event Review: Sci-Fi Weekender 2013


Sci-Fi Weekender banner

Introduction: Why We Went

I am relatively new to conventions. I dislike crowds and noise, so they aught to be the very embodiment of a place where I would not want to be under any circumstances. However, I actually find them to be quite fun. Once or twice a year, I “let down my hair” and attend gatherings of geeks and Guests, partake in Workshops, listen to Talks, play games, watch films, and generally have a good time.

I had heard a lot of amazing things about The Sci-Fi Weekender, and I decided that, in all my capacities as fan, journalist, and photographer, I absolutely had to attend this year.

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DEFIANCE: Xbox 360 Beta Game Review



Defiance is the future. It is a unique, groundbreaking concept; a television series with a computer game crossover that is a multi-platform Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game that is not “based on” the series, but is directly effected by it, and vice versa.

Yes, you read me right. How you (and your fellow gamers) play the “MMO” effects the television series. This has never, ever been done before.


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It has come to my attention that I have not posted an update to this Blog in almost an entire month, the longest drought in my writing here that I have had in a long, long time.

The reason being, as I have posted on my FaceBook about, I have encountered a complication in my personal life due to a health emergency that has taken me aback and thrown things quite off balance.

However, I have been continuing to write, though not on this Blog.

As some of you may or may not be aware, I have recently joined two external websites as part of their writing team and have been contributing to those.

  • Indie Retro News is a website dedicated to independent and retro or retro-inspired computer games, and as such, all articles, interviews and reviews relating to those topics will be posted there EXCLUSIVELY now.
  • Thanet Star is a Thanet-based news website, and as such all Thanet (Margate, Ramsgate, etc) related articles, reviews etc shall be posted EXCLUSIVELY there now.

Also “on the cards” is the website redesign which I hope shall be launched within the next week or two, and many interviews and reviews that are currently being prepared for publication.

So, keep watching this space! Things may be a little quiet, but I am still very much continuing writing and photographing, and the website redesign is going to have more than one surprise in store for you all…

Thank you for your continued readership and support.

Further Reading
Indie Retro News: Wreck It Ralph Review
Indie Retro News: XBox Live Recommendation Of The Week – Game Room
Indie Retro News: Xbox Live Recommendation Of The Week – Beat Hazard
Indie Retro News: Xbox Live Recommendation Of The Week – Hydro Thunder Hurricane
Thanet Star: Toby Carvery Westwood Cross Review

Joining Forces…

As aforementioned in my New Year’s Resolution Posts, I have been in talks with several external websites to join their writing teams.

After much discussion and brain storming, I have now joined forces with Indie Retro News, a website dedicated to independent and retro gaming.

Anything related to either of those topics will now be posted EXCLUSIVELY there. You can expect interviews, reviews, and an ‘Xbox Live Recommendation Of The Week’ every Saturday.

So, head on over to their website, ‘Like’ their FaceBook Page and Follow them on Twitter to read my Posts as-and-when they are posted, along with those written by the rest of the team.

I am one step closer to my goal

Good News!

My internet connection is finally being installed at my new residency on Thursday 04th of April, only three days left to go. This means that I can at last return to regular posting, so expect to see lots more interviews, reviews, news and photography here very soon…

Defiance Xbox 360 Beta: The Follow-Up


I recently had the opportunity to Beta Test the brilliant “transmedia” Defiance game on my Xbox 360 console, weeks before its launch, and posted an indepthtual article and review about my experience which has been drawing in a lot of interest.

I received a thank you email (sent out to all participants) from Nathan Richardsson, Executive Producer of the game, with a few words about how the Beta test went, plans for the future of the game, etc, and I have decided to write a follow-up to share this information with you.

According to Nathan, the console version of the Beta test actually included a lot of bugs that had already been dealt with as a result of feedback from the PC release, atop which the feedback for the console Beta has been vast, so they claim that the final release will be much, much less faulty.

“Now we look forward to showing you the real, more polished game while we act on your feedback to deliver continuous updates that improves our obsession. That’s the beauty of a server-side game – constant updates that are fast like whoa.”

Even now, post-Beta, he included a link to continue to send feedback about our experiences. They really do seem to be working hard to make this game work.

“We look forward to living up to expectations and to delivering new missions, weapons, challenges and more. Free. Over and over again.”

Not only that, but the email was surprisingly humorous, personal, and geeky, as you can see from the quotes. He referred to himself as “proud member of the 150-person Defiance team” and spoke of the game-television hybrid as an “obsession”, which tells me that the creators are actually really nice people and fans of the genre, rather than just money-makers, who treat the viewers and gamers with respect.

watch first 14 minutes of defiance

Click to view the first fourteen minutes of the television series Pilot! (Geographical location restrictions may apply)

I am pleasantly surprised, and impressed.

I am really, really looking forward to getting my hands on the full version, which can be Pre-Ordered now for your platform of choice released on April 04th, and of course, to watching every episode of the coinciding television program, due to air on April 15th/16th (depending on location).

Remember, you can watch exclusive Behind-The-Scenes footage, trailers, clips and more from the show and game on the official YouTube Channel and the Videos section of the main website while you wait, and there is an exclusive, world premiere of the first fourteen minutes of the television Pilot available to watch as well.

WANTED: Your Housing Experiences And Opinions

Housing is becoming a big problem within the UK. There are more people than there are homes, a ridiculous amount of people claiming Housing Benefit to claim their rent, record numbers of homeless living on our streets, “slumlords” and Estate Agents cashing-in on people’s desperation, and of course the Housing Benefit restrictions now coming into play.

I want to write about all of these things, and more.

I want to spread awareness of the positives, and more importantly, the negatives. The aim is that people will read the facts, figures, and opinions that I will be writing about, and they will be inspired to take action, partaking in charity campaigns, signing petitions, etc, to try and fight back against the difficulties I will be writing about.

I have been inspired by my own recent experiences and those of my friends and family, changes being made to the system, and by fellow journalist Lord Matt of Thanet Star (see ‘Further Reading’ below) who recently blogged about housing problems in Thanet, where we reside.

I can really see this being a series of articles, rather than just one. There are a lot of things to be covered!

I am writing an article regarding landlords, estate agents, Housing Benefit, council housing, etc, etc, etc, and I want YOUR experiences, YOUR facts and figures, YOUR opinions, YOUR say.

This is going to be a big project, I am going to be speaking to members of the public both employed and on benefits, several councils about their housing policies, estate agencies, etc, etc, etc.

Please, if you have anything at all to say on the topic, no matter how small, no matter where in the UK you live, no matter your circumstances, let me know.

Comment, or email me (contact at illisia dot co dot uk, or via my FaceBook) in confidence (nothing you say will be used without prior consent).

Thank you in advance for your help.

Stamping Out Rogue Landlords In Thanet
Is Thanet Ready For The Immigration Of People On Benefits?