my ideal harry potter game

Hi.

So recently, I’ve been on this app called Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery.

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Screenshot of my flying lesson with Madam Hooch.

So far, it really hasn’t been terrible. In fact, there’s some cool aspects of it (learning wand movements, picking up random bits of trivia from other characters’ dialogues) and a fairly engaging storyline, but sadly, it wasn’t what I expected, either. I really like the graphics and the fact that you can create a personalised avatar, plus the quests are usually quite interesting. Also, the fact that you can sometimes find ways to interact with background objects in the environment is pretty cute. I appreciate that they put a lot of effort into creating this whole thing, and since it’s only a Beta version for now I’m sure a lot of improvements will be made.

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Honestly these little pop quizzes that come up are so stressful??

Its main drawback (and probably main moneymaking point) is that it requires you to spend energy to complete tasks. I’m sure a lot of us are familiar with that style of game. Complete just 1 quest and you’ll be totally drained, meaning you’re basically powerless to take any other meaningful action for a long time after. Currently my energy replenishes at a rate of 0.25 units/min (meaning it takes 4 min to replenish 1 full unit), so you can imagine the wait time to get just 10 units back. And I’m sorry, but even with my current lifestyle (unemployed and doing nothing but waiting for the results of my Uni applications) I just don’t have the time or patience to wander around a digital castle for hours. Honestly, that’s the most off-putting bit of an otherwise pretty good game.

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Meet Roan! In a very ideal world, this is me! I ended up going with Slytherin because it’s my Pottermore house, although I’ve always wished I was a Ravenclaw.

Unfortunately, however, I haven’t yet come across a Harry Potter game on either the computer or the phone (which are the only two platforms I have to access games on) that really tickles my fancy.

Actually, scratch that. I did, years ago, when Pottermore was still in its original form. Back when you could chat with your fellow housemates, get points for your house, buy a pet, duel, collect ingredients to brew potions, kind of attend lessons… that was as close to my ideal as I have ever gotten.

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My current Patronus and wand.
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Love how every wood is important and special in some way. I think I read through the entire “compendium” (I guess you could call it) of wand woods in one very long sitting.

I guess J.K. Rowling had a good reason for revamping it so much, and yes, the whole thing with the Patronus and Ilvermorny houses is cool, but I really miss that feeling of actually being an active student of Hogwarts. 

My ideal Harry Potter game is something of a cross between the old Pottermore, the current Hogwarts Mystery and- now hear me out– Yandere Simulator.

I would love to be able to create a personalised avatar complete with name, which is something we couldn’t do on old Pottermore. Instead of a point-and-click style adventure, I’d like to be able to wander around in first person perspective, collecting items and speaking to NPCs. Am I just describing every first person adventure game at this point

I also really liked being able to visit Diagon Alley and purchase all my school supplies, including a pet (which I would like to name) and a wand. The wand quiz is brilliant, but if there were something afterwards that allowed us to wave the wand around that would be really cool.

After being assigned to our houses via Sorting Hat, I’d love to be able to chat with other players, perhaps in the Common Room. Having a bed and bedside drawer to store items we find could be cool too. Also, a common notice board on which one could pin notices or pictures would be cool.

I would also like to not see the usual troupe of “Oh, Snape hates me I am special student blah blah” because it’s just everywhere. I think a more refreshing storyline would be that you come into the school as a normal student, then distinguish yourself by the actions you take throughout the school years (which seems to be the way Hogwarts Mystery is set up). If there was an option to choose whether you were from a wizarding family or a Muggle family at the start, that could somehow affect the way the game went, who you met, what you learnt etc.

I’d also like to be able to join clubs, especially if they could make the Duelling Club a thing again. Students could duel either against the computers or other players and level up their skills/earn House Points from there. As one goes through the game and collects spells, the duelling could be arranged such that each wizard has to recall and draw certain wand movements on the screen to cast the spell. The greater the difficulty, the more complicated the wand movement. There could be different levels of duelling:

  1. Beginner
    Player can simply click on the names of spells to cast them.
  2. Advanced
    Player must make the wand movements from memory of with the help of an encyclopedia which they can refer to if they have time during the duel.

I’m pretty sure some kind of duelling gaming subculture would develop if this were a thing, with actual world championships and such.

If the library could have digital copies of the textbooks mentioned in the series, that would be a dream come true (well, they could at least have abridged versions). Students could choose to study and take tests to boost certain skills they have or their reputation with teachers. This could be a way of allowing a student to develop a “talent” for certain subjects, which could be useful as the game progresses and also affect the way the game progresses.

Speaking of “reputation”, this is why I mentioned Yandere Simulator which has a similar mechanic. The way a player’s story unfolds could be affected by their “standing” in the school, which teachers like them, which students like them, and which people don’t.

That’s probably most of what I wanted to say, and it’s 0126 right now, so goodnight!

EDIT: Also if students were each given a personalisable notebook at the start where entries appeared whenever the student witnessed something happening/did something important (Outlast camcorder style) it would be a good way of injecting both trivia and essential information into the game.

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why i am loved; how i should love

I was reading this Valentine’s post from Jessica’s beautiful blog and I just felt inspired to write out a list of the reasons I know I am loved.

I don’t think we can remind ourselves too often about how much we are loved by our Father, and how that should inspire us to love those around us. If I could be the vessel by which someone else feels the love of God- that is truly the highest honour I can imagine having on earth.

1) I am fearfully and wonderfully made by a perfect, perfect God.

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
– Psalms 139:14

“I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well”. (v. 14)

I can’t get over how beautiful those words are. How can I feel inadequate when I remember that we, too, are shaped by His own hand, made after His image, and so undeservingly yet so dearly loved by Him.

Reflections from a sermon on Oct 2, 2016:

A baby is precious simply by virtue of its very existence. Why should the definition change when we get older?” Learnt quite a lot at church today, and that sentence stood out. Our self-confidence is linked so closely to what other people think of us and our appearance that we often let it become the yardstick by which we measure our self-value. Although it is inescapable that we live in a world of judgement, God calls us to be in but not of the world. We just need to remember that we are all made by Him and we are precious and beautiful in His sight, not for anything we’ve done but because of His love for us. He loves us simply because we are. We don’t have to try and live up to anybody’s standards or the world’s standards, because as long as we walk with Him we have the assurance that we are beautiful and that we are loved.

2) I am valued by Him.

“But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life.”
– Isaiah 43:1-4

I posted part of these verses on my Instagram spam account (v. 2-3a) when I was having an extremely hard day. I’d had a bad water day (which in canoe-speak means I had a really terrible training). Plus, I’d just been assigned the role of captain of canoeing, but instead of feeling honoured and determined to do my best, I was just filled with terror and self-doubt, especially since I’d never actually held any leadership position and had basically lived my Secondary school life with perpetual feelings of inadequacy. I was so terrified my team was going to do badly because of me, and I never actually got over that feeling. But looking back at the passage, maybe what I should have been reading is the second bit:

“I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life.”

H E  L O V E S  M E  S O  M U C H .

He gives Egypt as my ransom. He gives empires in exchange for my life, because we are precious in His eyes, and honored. “And I love you”. And I love you. Such a powerful statement. No conditions attached. He loved me when I felt like a failure. He loved me when I felt the most alone. He will always  love me so much more than I could ever, ever, ever, evereverever deserve to be loved by anyone, least of all Him. Yet, I call Him father and friend.

Self-doubt, trepidation, inadequacy are still are there. But in the midst of it all, the words of the Lord stand as the most beautiful promise He could have ever made- I love you. It would be worth so much, so much to be able to go to Him, kneel at His throne, and hear him say those words directly to me. And I will know I am home forever. Loved for an eternity by my God.

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”
– 1 John 3:1

“I have called you by name, you are mine”. Thankyouthankyouthankyou

3) Christ has paid the ransom for our sins, and we will one day be with Him. 

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ- by grace you have been saved- and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
– Ephesians 2:4-7

Enough can never be said about Christ’s sacrifice, and the overwhelming love for the Father that prompted Him to save those so unworthy to be saved.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

John 3:16 used to seem super cliché, but things become clichées for a reason. This verse holds the most fundamental truth of the Bible, upon which the entirety of our faith is built. If John 3:16 was not true, there would be no reason for me to believe myself loved. And, having felt God’s presence in my life, that truth is, for me, unassailable. I am and will forever be so grateful for the love and mercy shown to me, someone wholly undeserving, that enables me to love myself and others around me. That He could love the unlovable is something which used to blow my mind, but which now simply makes me thankful, thankful, thankful.

4) He has promised me an eternity by His side. 

“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.””
– Revelations 21:3-4

This verse (ironically) makes me tear up sometimes when I read it. To imagine such a perfect world is completely beyond comprehension, but then again, so is God. Forever is an extremely long time to be happy.

He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.” This promise is so inexpressibly beautiful, and the words themselves seem to breathe peace into my soul.

走到祢的门前,听到祢的声,
与我说:”入来我的囝!”

That’s my favourite line from the song “牵我的手”. Just imagining walking into Heaven to hear God say those words- it makes everything seem so worth it. “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” My grandmother is eternally free from pain. All the Christians who have suffered unspeakable tortures rest at his feet, exalted and as certain of his love in the life eternal as they were in this one.

5) As I have been loved, so I must love others.

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
– 1 John 4:7-8

One of the things about knowing you’re loved by God is that you immediately want to love others. God’s love is not a selfish, exclusive love- it’s a love that demands to be shouted from every mountaintop and shared with every single person on the street.

God is love. God is love. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. How can I hate others when God loves me? How can I see others as unworthy of my sullied, imperfect love when I’m basically drowning in His perfect love for me every single day?

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
– John 13:34-35

By this all people will know that you are My disciples. 

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
– Colossians 3:12-17

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Anyone else on Duolingo?

Right now I’m concentrating on Russian, and I’ll probably move on to French after about a few more months when I’m more familiar with Russian. I wanna learn Polish and Ukrainian as well (can you tell I have a thing for Slavic languages), hopefully moving on to Dutch at some point in time as I learn German in school. It would be interesting to attempt Hebrew, but we’ll see. currently speak fluent English, as well as semi-fluent Chinese (my Mother Tongue).

I find that, to use Duolingo (it’s an app as well by the way!), basic knowledge of grammar (things like conjugations, gender of nouns, adjective endings etc.) really helps maximise your learning experience. I definitely recommend learning a little grammar before using duolingo. Also, for languages that have a different alphabet to the language you’re familiar with (e.g. Russian which uses the Cryllic alphabet), you should learn to pronounce/read it first.

I really recommend this for language enthusiasts, because it provides not only resources to practise and learn new languages, it also means you have a community of fellow learners who can help you with any difficulties. It’s just nice to have company when you’re trying something new, y’know?

#randomupdatebecauseican