New Year’s Resolutions

My New Year’s Resolutions is more of a list of things that I want to accomplish this year … I want to have a good variety for the entire year of different things to try.

  1. Do one 15-page comic
  2. Participate in a fundraiser
  3. Donate to charity
  4. Pay off a debt completely
  5. Learn to cook something yummy
  6. Try a new craft
  7. Complete a simple amigurumi
  8. Make a necklace
  9. Take more pictures of US! (me, husband and dog)
  10. Take a lunch walk at least 2x a week
  11. Move without too much stress
  12. finally … more money, less problems!

Anyone else? :)

Starbound: A Farming Quick Guide

Farming in Starbound

Farming in Starbound

Note: Starbound is currently in Phase 1 Beta, meaning that things can change and this may become outdated … so this will be updated as new things come along.

Finding yourself needing more than just BBQ’d meat after ravaging a native planet? Tired of spending money at the food seller for wheat? Take a look at this quick guide for farming in Starbound.

 

First thing: do you have seeds to farm with?

You’ll randomly find plants on different worlds, and some you can collect. Press [E] while walking over them to find out.

You start out with a handful of basic seeds, but can find more while exploring different planets.

Stone Hoe

Second thing: you need some kind of a hoe.

You can make one at your crafting table with 10 cobblestone and 25 wood planks. Not too bad of a price to pay to farm. It’s straightforward to use: left click on any grass, dirt or sand tiles and the tile will change. You can’t till things like cobblestone, obviously.

Starbound - TillingAfter you till some land, you’re now ready to plant those seeds that you’ve gathered.

Third thing: plants don’t need direct sunlight to grow.

I’ve had underground farms, above ground farms, and tiered farms like you see above. These grow at about the same rate, so whatever is best for your needs.

Final Fantasy XIV ARR – A Review! (after a few months)

I’ve been meaning to do a review of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn but have just put if off … now I have time, and here it is! 

aurie_menderEver since beta, I’ve been playing A Realm Reborn almost non-stop, even playing it while I was on a business trip. Every night I would load up the game as soon as I got home, load up Google Hangout with my hubs, and begin playing. It’s a game that really allows for those of us who get tired quickly of typical MMOs to keep on going when we get bored of one aspect of the game.

A big change over other MMOs is that you can be every single class and do every single craft. One fault that has been aggravating time and time again is the fact that they tend to pigeon hole you into one or two classes, and two crafting classes.

Where’s the fun in creating multiple characters to try everything out?

By getting to try everything, you find what really works, and spend a lot of money attempting to do crafting. No complaints though — it’s a lot of fun to go out and chop down trees, or just cook as much as you want in Limsa Lominsa.

Since your level is reset every time you grab a new class or craft trade, you also get to enjoy leveling up and grabbing a variety of different skills, and borrow those skills in other trades or classes. So your time leveling those other classes aren’t for naught, my friend.

The beginning of all of this was a bit bumpy, but has really improved since then.

At the beginning, it was incredibly difficult to even get into the game. Initially you wouldn’t even be placed into a queue to go into the world: it would just kick you out and force you to attempt over and over until you’d finally get into queue. Now it just places you into a queue if the world is full.

A lot of patches and fixes were also put into place at first, but the amount of downtime and additional downloads have really leveled out to what you would expect for an MMO. Once a week fixes and sometimes the occasional quick fix.

I’ve personally been going crazy over crafting because there’s just so much to do, so much to make for myself, and so much to just sell overall.

The price for FFXIV isn’t as bad as other P2P MMOs, either: the base game is $30 and the monthly price for a single character is $13 a month after the initial month free. You get a game that has good graphics, great environmental sounds and typical FF music, and an MMO that sticks to the FF theme. What’s better than owning a chocobo? (Kweh!)

With everything together, this is something that you definitely have to at least give a shot. It’s a lot of fun!

Don’t Starve

Don't Starve

Do you like … roguelikes?

Do you like … dying?

Do you like collecting random crap and making it into stuff?

I saw my hubby playing Don’t Starve a while back and really wanted to try it for myself. Finally got the chance when it went up for sale on Steam (two for one! can’t beat that). It’s been as fun as I thought it would be.

First of all is the art: it really adds to the ‘weirdness’ of the whole situation. The characters are unique, the animals are odd (jackelope?) and it all ties into the ‘going insane’ thing. Music in the game completes the environment.

Secondly, it’s a complete pain in the ass. Which is what make roguelikes both frustrating and fun. Some other fun roguelikes along the same line are FTL: Faster than Light and Dungeons of Dredmor. You die. You try again. You ragequit. Wash, rinse, repeat. In my opinion, the fact that you gain XP when you die and unlock new characters totally makes dying worth it.

Third, I like building crap. I enjoy hunkering down a base and making farms all over the place. It’s incredibly fun to go out and find materials to make new things, while trying to kill dangerous animals without dying. And — oh — the great thing is that sometimes when you die, it’s not permanent. Spoilers. :)

If you have the money, you have to buy this game. LOOK AT HOW MUCH I’VE PLAYED SINCE I GOT IT.

dont_starve

That may not seem like a lot, but I’m also juggling my time between my comic/art/screenprinting, Guild Wars 2 and daily living things. Jeeeeeze!!

You can buy it on Steam or go to the site. Have fun dying~

Game Maker Quicky: Move Object from A to B

I made a post a few weeks back about Game Maker: Studio and found myself really liking the program … so, when the whole entire studio was 50% off (yes, the entire thing, including all the add-ons!) I opted to just jump at it. Pretty glad I did! This is a lot more awesome now that I don’t have to worry about limits, and certain things are available to me now. :)

 

Anyways, I’m a grade A newb. I’ve been learning JavaScript and Java while I’ve had some extra time, but the language Game Maker uses is its own. Sooo … I’m relearning.

 

I’ve been trying to create a clothing closet game. The first rendition I was able to get working using a master object and slave object. By clicking on the master object, the slave object would appear on the doll. So — click on the master shirt (in the closet), and a shirt shows up on the doll. There’s some extra code to make sure you can’t make a bazillion shirts on top of each other.

 

However, I thought of a different idea. Why not have the piece of clothing move onto the doll when you click on it? This halves the number of objects needed and would lessen the amount of code needed. I like simplicity.

 

Here were my two ideas:

On Left-Click (Action)

if (obj_hat.x == X-POS) && (obj_hat.y == Y-POS) {

  Instance_destroy();

  Instance_create(X2-POS, Y2-POS, obj_hat);

}

else {

  Instance_destroy();

  Instance_create(X-POS, Y-POS, obj_hat);

}

However, that didn’t work. In this code, if hat was in X, Y (the closet) and you clicked on it, then it would destroy itself and pop itself into X2, Y2 (the doll). Then when you click on it and it was at X2, Y2 (the doll), it would pop itself to X, Y (the closet). That was my thinking at least.

 

Here was my second:

shirt2pos = instance_position(X,Y, ob_shirt2); //This is checking the position of Shirt 2

if (shirt2pos==false) {

instance_destroy();

instance_create(X,Y, ob_shirt2);

}

if (shirt2pos==true) {

instance_destroy();

instance_create(X2, Y2, ob_shirt2);

}

The variable would check the position of the shirt. If the shirt was at those coordinates (the question is true), then it would destroy itself and go to the other position. Then vice versa.

 

I went to the forums in an attempt to answer my question. They were pretty helpful — although not exactly what I was looking for, I got basically an answer to why this didn’t work. Basically, it was attempting to be in two places at once … or something to that effect. It didn’t work. :)

 

Here’s what actually did work though:

if (ob_shirt2.x = X) && (ob_shirt2.y = Y) {
ob_shirt2.x = X2;
ob_shirt2.y = Y2;
}

else {
ob_shirt2.x = X;
ob_shirt2.y = Y;
}

Then I felt a bit embarrassed because it was so simple. KISS.

Review: Trader Joe’s Orange Chicken (Frozen)

Trader Joe’s, let’s start over. We haven’t had a fantastic relationship.

I know that I may be a picky eater. I know that I won’t like everything that you offer. However, there really hasn’t been much that I’ve liked from your store. Pre-marinated meats? No thank you. Snacks? I’ll forgive you for the great movie theatre and kettle corn popcorn, but those soy ice cream bars and banana chips … maybe I should’ve known better at “Soy ice cream bar.”

Last night, I found something I liked from your premises though: Mandarin Orange Chicken.

 

Mandarin Orange Chicken (Img from Cook TJ)Mandarin Orange Chicken (Img Source)

A $5 bag comes with two servings, and each serving is enough for two people. The chicken looks to be pre-deep fried. You just cook it an additional 8 to 10 minutes on the pan (or … in the oven, I guess) with some oil until it cooks through. I warmed up the sauce in another pan on the stove, then sploshed it into the pan with the chicken. It’ll sizzle a bit, but be quick to move the chicken around so it’ll get coated in the sauce.

Basically, this stuff is hard to mess up.

5 Things I Learned About: GameMaker Studio

1: GameMaker is available on Steam.

I saw GameMaker: Studio originally in a PC Gamer article I saw a few months back, where they showcased some indie games and what they were built in. Fast forward to now, where I have some more free time (I was doing 4 hours of travel everyday for a while in December!!). I found that it’s now available on Steam and there’s a light version that you can just play with … getting it through Steam also means you can submit to Steam.

So my 8-Bit Clothing Closet and Space Shooter! Ultimate Deluxe Version can be updated and subscribed to for anyone on Steam who wants to play. It’s a super nifty option and gives *you* a chance to take a look at what else is out there.

 

2: Start with the Tutorials…

Definitely take a look at the two starter tutorials that they have available: the clown tutorial and the scrolling shooter tutorial. These will get you settled with the program.

 

3: … but take time to break away.

I found that there were some things that didn’t make sense to me in the tutorials that could’ve been done quicker and simpler. So, I did that. Breaking away from the tutorials with the “Why don’t I do it like XYZ?” is a really great learning opportunity! It also gets you more familiar with the Drag n Drop buttons.

 

4: Read the forums.

The GameMaker forums should be one of your first stops for questions. If you have a specific question, go to your Google search and use this: ” site:gmc.yoyogames.com question” — basically search the forums for your question to see if it’s already been answered somewhere else.

There’s a LOT of really good information on the forums, seeing as they’ve been around for quiiiite a long time.

 

5: Just Play!

Make games. Get frustrated. Read answers. Play your games, play other games, get ideas. :)

 

Screenprinting Happy Time Fun – Getting Started

It’s been a long while since I made a post … that really had any content, anyways! I’ve been moving and working and making that moolah while trying out some different hobbies. Sewing isn’t much of my thing, but I have two sewing machines and a serger sitting about … they weren’t expensive and I got one for free. Carving stamps is a totally different issue. Fun, but time consuming and pretty difficult. No access to a laser printer makes it harder.

I finally found a hobby that combines my love for drawing! Screenprinting. It’s fun and educational, and you have a product you can enjoy afterwards — then sell. ;)

Having a job that can at least fund some basics was the best part. I’m breaking my experience up into different posts so they’re easier to read.

 

Starting Off

You have to have some kind of funds … maybe around $200 to start off. We went with a kit because we had a 50% off coupon for Michael’s. This kit was the Speedball Ultimate DIAZO Fabric Screen Printing Kit and was around $75. You can get it on Amazon for $78 w/ Prime shipping.

It does mostly come with what you need in order to print. Emulsion, squeegee, light source w/ bulb (our bulb broke during the first exposure though!!! and 250w is SUPER hard to find), the screen and the inks as well as two transparency sheets. You could probably buy these cheaper separately … depending. Here’s a list of stuff you will need if you don’t want to shell out for the kit:

  • Diazo Emulsion Kit: $20 w/ Prime — This comes with enough emulsion for over 7 screens. It’s bigger than the one that comes in the Screen Printing Kit. You mix the sensitizer into the emulsion. There are other emulsions out there you can use.
  • Screenprinting Screen: ~$20 — You can find screens at Michael’s but they will be smaller than what you can get online. I got a Speedball 10×12 at Michael’s and used a half off coupon to get it cheaper. For a first screen, try getting a screen with around 150 mesh size. More detailed work needs a higher mesh, and things like sparkles apparently need under 100. I found larger sizes at local shops for the same price.
  • Squeegee: $10~15 — I went with the closest one to the Speedball kit. Go with about an 8 or 10 inch squeegee to start out with.
  • Screenprinting Ink $5~$20 — Depends on how many colors you want to print. The speedball kit that I linked has 6 different colors, which means a wide array of colors for you to use. (Or you can just go with how many you need … maybe just black.)
  • Shirts & etc to print on! If you have shirts already, then that’s great to practice on. Although at this point you can’t get into wholesale pricing, you can get shirts from places like Jiffyshirts. The lower priced stuff feels like swag but this is for practice anyways — there’s no point in wasting American Apparel or more expensive tees if you’re starting out.
  • Heat gun $20 — I went with a heat gun that goes up to 700F (low) or 900F (high). The most you’ll need is 350F to set the plastisol.
  • Shop Lamp w/ 200W+ bulb — You can use what you want to expose the screen… be the sun (unreliable) or a shop lamp or tie pin lamp.

 

Then you can think about where you want to set up your equipment … the emulsion can have a chemical smell but can’t be put out in the light or it’ll expose. So those are some things to really ponder!

 

Next time (hopefully): doing emulsion.