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Two Great Artists… Two Great Shirts!!!!

Adding to my Once Upon A Time shirt collection is a whole lot of fun!  I was cursing having to work a little overtime last month, but it did allow me to splurge a little… and purchase these two lovely treasures.

Check out Midstorm’s awesome The Evil Queen’s Poisoned Apple shirt, (which I chose to get in dark red).  I might not agree with Regina’s actions all the time, but she makes for one interesting figure on a shirt.  I can wear this when I’m feeling a little… evil! ;-)

Now, direct your attention to Riskpig’s fabulous Rumple’s Dagger shirt (which I was going to get in dark red, like how she has the dagger on the pillow design, but then I saw the lovely coloring of the dagger’s hilt and decided to get it in Purple.  Not only is Purple my favorite color, but really highlights her great coloring scheme already on the design).  “I summon thee, O Dark One… Dark One?  Oh well, at least I have a very snazzy shirt!” ;-)

Ladies, for some reason, Tumblr isn’t letting me put in links, so please re-blog and provide links to your stores and your other amazing items!  Worth every penny!!!!!

My Treasures: Books!

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With all my entire savings for this month, I was able to splurge on two hardbound books – one of which I had been on the lookout for so long – and no regrets were made! 

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A few months after The One’s release, I was still not able to grab a copy due to the absence of money, so right then and there when there was no decision making used, I bought it with so much gusto. There was only one copy left on the bookshelf at Fullybooked’s, and I knew it was just my hands it was all waiting for to be held on. My Php649.00 was, for me, very worth it. Two more series – The Selection and The Elite — on hardbound copies to go!

The best part was lurking through the pile of books for sale, and was I glad to find a good book entitled Drifting House in exchange of an extremely drop-down price. From Php1,040.00, this book went on sale down to only Php200.00! Also read some good reviews about this one, so I think this one will soon be on my read-asap list.

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Soon, my bookshelf will be swiped away clean of all the old bargain books I scrounged before. Time to say thank you to all the wonderful adventures I’d been through with them, but my shelf is packed already and I needed to make some space for new books to come.

Nonetheless, I am very happy with this. No regrets at all! 

Boston Festival of Indie Games: A PostMortem

Blood Alloy: Reborn has been in development for almost 1.5 years now, and this years’ BFIGS was our first public showing of the game. 

Here’s a brief rundown on how I prepared, how the event itself went, what kind of feedback we got, and what I’d do differently next time.

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Preparation

So, we actually showed off Blood Alloy not as part of the digital game showcase, but as a Sponsor - at the time of submission, we just didn’t have a high enough level of art polish (the entire level was a graybox), but I wanted the playtest feedback so I splurged $200 on a Sponsorship table.

This meant that physically, we were going to be slightly removed from the Digital Showcase games, as Sponsorship tables were in their own cluster of tables about 50 feet away from the Digital Showcase, but it was better than nothing.

Here’s a list of things I brought:
Laptop with a playable build and an mp4 video
40” LCD TV
Two mice and a mousepad
Surge protector
HDMI Cable
Wired Xbox 360 USB controller
500 business cards - Game art, title, and website address on one side, personal contact info on the other
Self-standing “How to Play” placard made of folded poster board
Water bottle
Printed banner with the Game’s logo on it

Setup

The actual BFIGs festival happened on Saturday September 13th, but they allowed exhibitors to come in to do a preliminary setup between 4-7pm the day before, the 12th. Setting up the day before the event was amazing, as it enabled me to verify that I actually had all my equipment and that everything worked appropriately while still giving me a good time window to fix any problems that arose. I originally planned to just come really early day-of, but man am I glad that I did the Friday setup instead.

Everything set up great and functioned without a hitch.

I got some tutorial level art in really, really late on Friday, and I honestly was too exhausted to implement it, so late Friday night I just disabled
the playable tutorial, thinking that between my presence and the “How to Play” placard, people would be fine. This was a huge mistake. More on this later.

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Day-of - Execution


So I was the only one demoing the game - the entire development team works remotely, and nobody else could make it up to Boston for the day.
This turned out to be murderous. By the end of the day my legs were jelly, my voice was a raspy whisper, and I was ready to simply collapse and die.

Even if you have to pay a friend to exhibit with you, do NOT exhibit by yourself!! I lucked out because my wife decided to show up and just hang out at  the booth and play her 3DS - this meant that at the very least, I had someone to watch over my stuff while I took bathroom/water/lunch breaks.

Because the Sponsorship area was somewhat removed from the Digital Showcase, for most of the day we saw much lower traffic than the rest of the festival. To try to combat this, I actually turned my TV about 45 degrees so that the screen was that much more visible if you were in the Digital Showcase area itself, and that seemed to improve foot traffic.

It seemed that I’d either get really enthusiastic individuals who’d stay and play for 10 minutes or more, or groups of 5-8 people at a time who’d all
watch while one person played.

Without a playable tutorial, I wound up personally explaining the controls to everyone who played. For the most part this worked okay EXCEPT for explaining my boost mechanic - “Hold down on the left stick so you’re crouching, then hold LEFT trigger. No, left trigger. Yeah! Now WHILE you’re doing that, you can press RIGHT trigger to shoot”… yeah, it was terrible. Many people contented themselves just with basic jumping and shooting, and with younger kids I’d just show them how to equip the sword so they could just whomp on enemies with the sword. Which itself is something to consider - consider having different segments or elements of your game easily accessible by people with lower skill levels. If there’s even a very minor, but easy-to-perform gameplay loop that’s satisfying, showing that to lower-skill people will make them happy and satisfied.

When foot traffic died down, I’d pause the build and alt-tab the laptop to a looping trailer.

Right in the day when I got the hungriest for lunch - about noon to 2pm - was the busiest foot traffic. I was starving and had no choice but to put up a “Lunch break” sign on the booth, put the looping trailer up, and go get myself some food, and in doing so I missed out on a big chunk of potential players. Luckily, it turned out that the whole time people were grabbing and taking my business cards, even if they didn’t get to play.

Overall Game Feedback


It was an enormous, enormous relief to see that I wasn’t stone-cold-crazy, and that my own personal thoughts of “I.. THINK my game is fun to play” were not unwarranted. People were genuinely excited to see the game - they loved the swordplay and the art, but teaching people how to boost and how to fire the charged hyperlaser always resulted in cries of “Oh shit!” “Awesome!” I had a huge box of 500 business cards going into the event, and at the end of the day that number was halved. I made sure to tell as many people as possible about the Greenlight page, and so with some media push in the next couple weeks hopefully we’ll see some dividends in that regard.

I also gleaned some great feedback about the game, including:
- I STILL need to improve the camera code, as it still swings pretty wildly and can get the player right up to the edge of the screen.
- The act of crouching and THEN holding left trigger to BLAST along the floor is fairly complicated. I’ll have to either look into a better
tutorial system, or possibly investigate simplifying the controls.
- Of course a few invisible collision bugs made its way into the demo that I’ll have to fix
- The UI was simply not visible or noticeable enough - I’ll need to implement some sort of color-flashing to make it more attention-grabbing.

What to do differently

  • Have a playable tutorial that teaches players each movement and attack mechanic and gradually stacks them. The structure of my game is currently an arena-score-chaser (think Geometry Wars or Luftrausers), but given the complexity of possible movement and attack, I really need to implement a mandatory training mode to ensurethat players have an opportunity to practice basic movement without getting slaughtered by an immediate onslaught of enemies. 
  • Don’t show a game without having at least two people throughout the day to man your booth. 
  • Bring a snack so that you can push through the lunch-hour/afternoon rush and survive until a late lunch. 
  • Drink even more water throughout the day.
  • If at all possible, have some merch to sell or give out. People love pins, tshirts, and posters, and having that stuff available gives your booth “credibility.”

Overall, it was a great experience, and I’ll definitely be showing off the game more in coming months!

Thanks for reading, and if you’ve gotten this far, I’d love it if you could check out our Steam Greenlight page
and give us a vote!

Follow me on Twitter @FraynkWash

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RETAIL THERAPY

Here as I sit back in my bed in nothing but my underpants and a pair of (new!) librarian brogues, this is my view

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(nope didn’t clean for you, but I did pour some bourbon)


This is the first desk I have ever paid for (I have always conveniently inherited something), and I bought it tonight, with my own money, and it just so happens to be in New York.    

The desk, even though it’s a necessity and not, by definition, a splurge, feels like a splurge because I’m perpetually pretty broke (and because I could just do everything in bed with a clipboard, right?), and has me thinking about retail therapy.  In the past few weeks, I have bought a few things after my most recent paycheck, and while I should be buying blackout curtains and flights home for Christmas, I just wasn’t in the mood.  So I got these other things instead.

1.  Hella Sephora Makeup

Read More

How do you guys eat healthy for a long period of time? I can’t eat healthy for one day it’s pissing me off because I want to see results yet it’s so hard because there is so much yummy food at home, at school and at work. It’s so hard to say no! And yea I get the old “treat yo yourself” thing but it’s not even me treating myself! It’s a full on splurge at the end of the day, usually after dinner. It’s really getting me down because I’m not even hungry, it’s this awful habit that I have! Do you guys have an advice?

fitclassyfabulous said:

Hey. I've recently joined SA! I spent a long time really thinking about being a SB and whether it would work for me. I took the plunge anyway .. There are soooo many men who have wrote on their profile that their net worth is say $1million. and their income is WAY lower than that but they are offering substantial amounts! Am i right in thinking they are fakes and should stay well away ? or am i just looking too in it? thanks!!xo

A 1 million dollar net worth is not a lot, anyone who makes 100k a year will have that net worth after about 10-15 years easily. There are sd’s who make 250k a year yet are willing to splurge 5k on their sb, just as there are sd’s who make 2 million a year who will only spend 3k max on their sbs. It’s more about the individual tbh, although I prefer millionaires!

Goodluck xo

These backpacks will make you hungry, make your day… and half will make you broke!

This is backpack heaven! We love how you can never really outgrow backpacks. You start using them for school as a kid, and as an adult you might choose to carry them for their ergonomic design or street style appeal. The more backpacks you look at though, the more you start seeing how big their price spectrum can be! We pick out 5 backpack styles below for you to create cool OOTDs with. Watch out though, half of the bags will make you broke! 

1) Florals

Kendall & Kylie for Madden Girl Floral Backpack - Rock a little bit of that Kendall and Kylie style with this adorable floral backpack! It’s on sale for $26.98 too, that’s 50% OFF!

MSGM Purple Floral Print Canvas Backpack

2) Heritage Chic

Herschel Supply Co. Canvas Collection Survey Backpack

The Cambridge Satchel Company Raw Cut Leather Backpack - Satchel look on a backpack? Uhh, yeah! Get it while it’s hot from Farfetch.

3) Black & Gold

Nasty Gal Hats Off Backpack - This edgy piece from Nasty Gal has a gorgeous drawstring closure, and a REMOVABLE CAP! How cool is that?!

Stella McCartney Falabella Faux Suede Backpack

4) For the Foodie Fashionistas

Sweet Lord O’ Mighty Happy Meal Backpack

Moschino Logo Branded Backpack - You’ve seen and lusted for it. There is only 13 left. Don’t let it slip away. Get it now.

5) Graphic Cuties

Vans X ASPCA Backpack - But, but, but the doggies are just too cute! Exclusively available at PacSun.

Tokidoki X Ju-Ju-Be Be Right Back Backpack

Which ones were your backpack matches? Hopefully you didn’t just choose the pieces with sky high price tags!

Wantering Tumblr

 
Want Tip: Getting Dressy with Sneakers

Anytime you wear a full suit, or combo a blazer with jeans or casual trousers, the look is completed by a pair of nicely polished dress shoes. But what about for times when your feet just want to be walking in something more comfortable and casual? Go for a pair of sneakers, of course! Cardinal sin? We think not. You just have to know how to mix these casual kicks with more tailored looks. Read this Want Tip and learn.

The Issue:

Dress shoes are essential, yes. Loafers, oxfords, derbies, we love them. Undeniably though, there will be times when you want to walk on something more comfortable than the hardened soles of these classy shoes. For these occasions, don’t be afraid to wear sneakers with your tailored outfit. Just take care that you don’t end up looking like a cheesy 90’s / early 2000’s pop singer in baggy pants, a blazer, and low-cut sneakers… there’s a difference between looking nonchalantly stylish and just plain immature.

The Tip:

Before you get dressy with sneakers, keep these 4 tips in mind:

1. Consider the occasion
Sure you can wear sneakers with a blazer or full suit for certain events, but remember that this style pairing is the exception, not the norm. If you’re going to a formal occasion, important business meeting or function, or a wedding, stick with the classic dress shoes. On your days off, or if you work in a more casual, creative industry, then you can get away with the pairing.

2. Wear with slim-fit jeans or trousers
Tailored yet casual is the look you should be going for; so, stay away from baggy bottoms— in general, you shouldn’t even have baggy pants in your wardrobe. Wear pants that taper near or just where the tongue of the sneakers end. If the jeans or pants you’re wearing is creating horrible looking folds when it hits the sneakers, they are either too baggy, too long, or too big for you.

3. Make sure the kicks are clean
Just because you’re dressing down the outfit doesn’t mean you have permission to look like a slob. Make sure the sneakers you’ll be wearing with your sharp outfit are clean as well. You polish leather dress shoes, so make sure you clean the dirt and mud off your casual kicks as well. 

4. Classic and low-key sneakers work best
There’s a reason why most sneaker-suit pairing is with Chuck Taylors; classic shoes work well for this look! Low-key sneakers can be easily be paired as well. Go for shoes with slim forms, basic and neutral colors, and not too much patterns or designs. Say no to athletic shoes; leave the highly cushioned basketball shoe for the court. Avoid fat high-tops with thick collars and tongues, while a few brave fashionistos can pull off the pairing, not everyone can successfully look dapper with these chunkier sneakers. 

The Looks:

Men's Dressy Sneaker Looks

(photos from: 1/2/3/4)

The Gear:

Dressy Men's Sneakers

Splurge: Maison Martin Margiela Leather Slip-On Sneakers
Save: Vans Slip-On 59

Dressy Men's Sneakers

Splurge: Common Projects Achilles Low-Top Sneakers
Save: Adidas Originals Low-top

Dressy Men's Sneakers

Splurge: Bally Olir Perforated Leather High-Top Sneaker
Save: Nike Black Blazer High VNTG Sneakers

Dressy Men's Sneakers

Splurge: Kenzo Blue Leather Low Top Circuit Sneakers
Save: Converse Chuck Taylor Low

Have a better idea of using sneakers to dress down an otherwise super dressy outfit now? Put your new found menswear knowledge to the test, and pick out stylish men’s sneakers on Wantering to create a not-too-casual-not-too-dressy outfit for your next night out!

wantering (wantering) on Twitter

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