Aug 10, 2015

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3DS Max

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            3DS Max is probably my favorite piece of software that I use at work on a regular basis. It’s a 3D modeling program that my team uses to block out in-game areas and levels. By this point, I think it’s pretty much an industry standard for game design. It has a full suite of features and really provides everything I need to make a functional mock up. Plus, if there’s anything you ever want to do and find that the program isn’t optimized for it, it allows Python scripting to make your own customized scripts. This makes the functionally virtually endless and I think it’s a great feature that more software should integrate! I also like that it allows you to preview any changes you’re thinking of without actually making them. It really lets me see if it’s a worthwhile change without compromising what I’ve already been working on. It also has an automatic crowd generation function, so I don’t have to waste a lot of time modelling a bunch of people in the early stages of development.

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Aug 10, 2015

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Sleek Cintiq

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            Today’s tech isn’t something I work with on a daily basis, but I came across it at work today and it was too cool not to share. I was working with some of our animation artists on a new character model earlier and noticed that one of them was working on a very sleek looking tablet – definitely not the standard issue model at our company. After talking with him for a while, I found out it was the Cintiq Companion 2 by Wacom. After a little more talking, I got up the courage to ask to try my hand. Now, I’m no artist by any means, but this tablet made even my shaky stick figures look good. Of course, I could never justify buying one for myself, but if you have enough talent to make use of it, you should check one out!

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Aug 10, 2015

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Cat Toys for Geeks

Because sometimes you just can’t be bothered to get off the couch to torment your cat.

Because sometimes you just can’t be bothered to get off the couch to torment your cat.

This post is on behalf of Onyx, who I’m sure, if she could talk or type, would be meowing the praises of the cool new toy her owner got for her. Enter: the micro mouse.

This toy basically operates like a remote controlled car, zooming this way and that at your command while your kitty zig zags wildly behind it. The perplexed cat has a ball trying to hunt down what it takes for its most natural enemy who has the audacity to step inside its domain, and the owner tries to quietly stifle laughter as they control the small fuzzy menace that inexplicably eludes the cat at every turn! Fun times had by all. Here is an approximation of what my living room will look like tonight.

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Aug 10, 2015

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Sony Eclipse

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Although it’s still in the conceptual stages right now, the Sony Eclipse looks like a really cool innovation and it’s definitely something I’m saving my coppers for when it’s released. It’s basically a music player (and so much more) with bluetooth connectivity and a solar panel back that trickle charges the battery so you’ll rarely have to worry about interrupting your toons to charge it up. It has built in speakers and will also be able to display things like weather, social media updates, and other types of content. I picture sticking it to a kitchen window with the suction cup back and jamming out while I cook dinner, or maybe on the bathroom window while I shower or get ready for the day. I can’t wait until it comes out!

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Aug 10, 2015

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Tiles!

            I can be a bit…forgetful sometimes. I guess that’s whyone of my loving family members got me the Tile for Christmas last year, and I’m glad they did! (Thanks Amy, if you’re reading this.)Tile is basically a little device that you can attach to your phone, wallet, keys, TV remote, or anything you have a tendency to misplace now and then. You can connect it with your Android or Apple smartphone to help find what you’ve lost. The Tile itself emits a bluetooth signal up to 100 feet. When you go into the app and tell it you’ve lost something, the Tile starts ringing, and your phone shows how close you are by tracking the strength of the bluetooth signal. This signal can be picked up by anyone with the Tile app, so if your stuff is really properly lost, you can send the word out th

Tile_V2-5_220pxrough the app and anyone who finds it will know how to return it to you.

This has really saved me time in the mornings when I’m in a rush to get to work and can’t find my keys (so Amy, my boss thanks you too.) I’ve even used it in my luggage for a bit of peace of mind when I’ve travelled by plane. Luckily, my bags weren’t lost, but it made me feel better to know I had a much better way to find them again if they had. You don’t have to worry about charging or anything, as the battery lasts up to a year. Here’s what it looks like: Pretty sleek, I rarely even notice it on my keychain anymore.  If you’re a bit forgetful like me, you can check out the company who makes them here.

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Aug 10, 2015

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Lifestyle

            I guess I should tell you guys a little about being a game developer. This is something that people ask me about all the time, often with overtures of amazement and/or jealousy. Yes, it is an awesome job, but no, I don’t “just sit around playing video games all day”! There’s a lot more to it than that.

I’ve wanted to become a game developer since I was a teenager. In those days, I spent a lot of time online playing games with friends of mine who lived in several different countries. I always found it so amazing that these games gave us a chance to become friends when otherwise we would have had no chance of meeting each other. As we played more and more different games, my friends and I would compare them to each other, talking about what we liked or didn’t like and how it could be changed. Those conversations are where I first got the idea that I could do this for a living.

 

Yoh-Toon-blammo-FinalSo, when I’m at work, myself and other members of my team are basically responsible for drafting new video games, and what that entails exactly depends on the day and where we are in the creation process of any given projects. Sometimes we will be brainstorming ideas about characters, storylines, and plot, while other days we will be designing levels or maps and tweaking the gameplay experience. There is a fair amount of actual gameplay involved in the later stages, as every time we make a change we have to play through it to make sure that it runs well and enhances gameplay, then get other people to play through it to see if they agree. Sometimes the best ideas on paper just don’t translate at all when you’re actually playing the game, so that’s why a lot of in-game testing is important. Progress is often slow, and the work you do one day can be edited over and over again to the point where some days it feels like you’re taking one step forward and two steps back. It takes a lot of time and effort to design video games, so you have to really love the whole process to commit to doing it day in and day out!

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Mar 30, 2015

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Network downtime more expensive than thought

Western companies are sacrificing an average 750 per year because of this of network failures, of £54, in accordance with a brand new review in to the effects of network downtime executed for provider Avaya.

According to the study, blackouts and conventional community weaknesses are creating much greater difficulties than many CIOs know.

With one in five firms saying they had terminated a worker for decreasing the community form apparent fiscal influence, network breakdowns can adversely affect business growth as well as lead to job losses.

More frequently than not, problems produced while making modifications at the community key were accountable, with 81% of IT specialists surveyed stating human error had pulled them offline.

Human error’s effect went far beyond the network area, with several organizations stating they experienced disruption towards the supply-chain, a drop in worker output and delays to different IT projects.

Postponed upgrades and complexity
The review also revealed that Western organizations waited on average 29 times to produce alterations for their corporate sites.

Considering that firms make around 13 changes annually, this could mean waiting for over a year for upgrades to occur, with the scenario worst in Italy and best-in Malaysia.

Merely a 2% of firms mentioned they never needed to watch for a maintenance window that was suitable.

In reality, the contrary happens but although “Many firms delay longer for maintenance windows in a effort to reduce system errors.

“This may continue being a self- perpetuating difficulty until these businesses may proceed to an even simpler more automatic and versatile system setting, Brookes, scalp of EU marketing was explained by ” at Avaya.

Furthermore, the data demonstrates system complexity badly affects almost all companies limiting their arrangement choices, with productivity, document management and protection tactics that are mobile every area poorly suffering from this element.

“Bottom range, system complexity increases delay occasion; margins affect and lowers ITS power to offer a competitive advantage to the business,” added Brookes.

Only more than 700 IT pros in companies with increased than 250 seats enjoyed from Spain, the Nordics, Portugal, Malaysia, Italy, Spain and also the UK.

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