valued object

Super detailed questions about your OCs

1. What’s their full name? Why was that chosen? Does it mean anything?
2. Do they have any titles? How did they get them?
3. Did they have a good childhood? What are fond memories they have of it? What’s a bad memory?
4. What is their relationship with their parents? What’s a good and bad memory with them? Did they know both parents?
5. Do they have any siblings? What’s their names? What is their relationship with them? Has their relationship changed since they were kids to adults?
6. What were they like at school? Did they enjoy it? Did they finish? What level of higher education did they reach? What subjects did they enjoy? Which did they hate?
7. Did they have lots of friends as a child? Did they keep any of their childhood friends into adulthood?
8. Did they have pets as a child? Do they have pets as an adult? Do they like animals?
9. Do animals like them? Do they get on well with animals?
10. Do they like children? Do children like them? Do they have or want any children? What would they be like as a parent? Or as a godparent/babysitter/ect?
11. Do they have any special diet requirements? Are they a vegetarian? Vegan? Have any allergies?
12. What is their favourite food?
13. What is their least favourite food?
14. Do they have any specific memories of food/a restaurant/meal?
15. Are they good at cooking? Do they enjoy it? What do others think of their cooking?
16. Do they collect anything? What do they do with it? Where do they keep it?
17. Do they like to take photos? What do they like to take photos of? Selfies? What do they do with their photos?
18. What’s their favourite genre of: books, music, tv shows, films, video games and anything else
19. What’s their least favourite genres?
20. Do they like musicals? Music in general? What do they do when they’re favourite song comes?
21. Do they have a temper? Are they patient? What are they like when they do lose their temper?
22. What are their favourite insults to use? What do they insult people for? Or do they prefer to bitch behind someone’s back?
23. Do they have a good memory? Short term or long term? Are they good with names? Or faces?
24. What is their sleeping pattern like? Do they snore? What do they like to sleep on? A soft or hard mattress?
25. What do they find funny? Do they have a good sense of humour? Are they funny themselves?
26. How do they act when they’re happy? Do they sing? Dance? Hum? Or do they hide their emotions?
27. What makes them sad? Do they cry regularly? Do they cry openly or hide it? What are they like they are sad?
28. What is their biggest fear? What in general scares them? How do they act when they’re scared?
29. What do they do when they find out someone else’s fear? Do they tease them? Or get very over protective?
30. Do they exercise? Regularly? Or only when forced? What do they act like pre-work out and post-work out?
31. Do they drink? What are they like drunk? What are they like hungover? How do they act when other people are drunk or hungover? Kind or teasing?
32. What do they dress like? What sorta shops do they buy clothes from? Do they wear the fashion that they like? What do they wear to sleep? Do they wear makeup? What’s their hair like?
33. What underwear do they wear? Boxers or briefs? Lacey? Comfy granny panties?
34. What is their body type? How tall are they? Do they like their body?
35. What’s their guilty pleasure? What is their totally unguilty pleasure?
36. What are they good at? What hobbies do they like? Can they sing?
37. Do they like to read? Are they a fast or slow reader? Do they like poetry? Fictional or non fiction?
38. What do they admire in others? What talents do they wish they had?
39. Do they like letters? Or prefer emails/messaging?
40. Do they like energy drinks? Coffee? Sugary food? Or can they naturally stay awake and alert?
41. What’s their sexuality? What do they find attractive? Physically and mentally? What do they like/need in a relationship?
42. What are their goals? What would they sacrifice anything for? What is their secret ambition?
43. Are they religious? What do they think of religion? What do they think of religious people? What do they think of non religious people?
44. What is their favourite season? Type of weather? Are they good in the cold or the heat? What weather do they complain in the most?
45. How do other people see them? Is it similar to how they see themselves?
46. Do they make a good first impression? Does their first impression reflect them accurately? How do they introduce themselves?
47. How do they act in a formal occasion? What do they think of black tie wear? Do they enjoy fancy parties and love to chit chat or loathe the whole event?
48. Do they enjoy any parties? If so what kind? Do they organise the party or just turn up? How do they act? What if they didn’t want to go but were dragged along by a friend?
49. What is their most valued object? Are they sentimental? Is there something they have to take everywhere with them?
50. If they could only take one bag of stuff somewhere with them: what would they pack? What do they consider their essentials?

Sun through the houses

Sun in the 1st house:  With the sun in the first house, great effort is put into creating and maintaining a good self image. The way you are perceived by others is paramount to first-house sun people. Accept that you need to be a leader or an innovator, and go for it, but be careful not to be overbearing with others. A sunny disposition is generally attributed to this placement and a positive confident attitude is normally displayed. 

Sun in the 2nd house With a second-house sun, a person’s identity is developed and expressed by defining personal values and accumulating objects of value. You have the ability to attract money and resources, but you can’t always hang on to it or it doesn’t bring you the happiness you expected.   Avoid over-identifying with what you have. Take pride in the solid and secure foundations that you build, as well as the lasting relationships you aim to maintain, while being careful to avoid possessiveness.

Sun in the 3rd house: Gemini, the natural ruler of this house, gives Geminian overtones to all traits. You is driven to learn, explore and enjoy their immediate environment.  You have an uncontainable desire to acquire knowledge. You relish in taking various pieces of knowledge and putting them together like puzzles that need solving. You’re observant, optimistic, flexible and you’re a superb communicator, able to relate ideas clearly to others. You would make make an excellent teacher, lecturer or writer.  

Sun in the 4th house: The chart holder with a fourth-house sun is not happy unless their home life is happy. Because the fourth house can be deep and emotional, the sun here has to work extra hard to liven and inspire things. They thrive and excel in a home that is active, alive, open and loving. If they aren’t in this type of home environment, they will not feel invigorated about their life. They will strive to make the changes necessary to give them the home and family life they need. 

Sun in the 5th house: The sun is comfortable in its own house. In fact, it is driven to shine here. At its best, it creates a chart holder who is confident about who they are and how they affect others. You want to be noticed for your unique and special qualities and your creativity. You are happiest when you are expressing yourself in a special way and attention comes your way as a result. You have a flair for drama and/or sports. You are proud of your fun-loving attitude towards life. As you demonstrate your ability to shine, avoid grabbing center stage all of the time.

Sun in the 6th house: The work that you do, and the services that you offer, are very important to your sense of identity. In order to feel good about yourself, you need to be busy with daily activities and to produce work you can be proud of. Focus on finding a suitable and rewarding avenue for expressing this part of you, being extra careful to choose an occupation in which you can express yourself. You are sensitive to criticism about the work you do, and you work best when you can create your own schedule.

Sun in the 7th house: Libran traits are accented with the Sun in this house. You take pride in your ability to negotiate, and to establish harmony in your relationships. It is important to you to have a partner, as you feel incomplete without one. You can be fickle about partners because new partners inspire them and allow them to see themselves in new ways. You’re self-confident, popular and have favorable dealings with your superiors. You’re good at public relations, sales and promotions.

Sun in the 8th house: You have a great urge to go farther or deeper into life every step of the way. You want to experience more, and your desires are both powerful and intense. It is hard for you to find satisfaction in common experiences, and you have magnetic power if you choose to use it wisely. You are fascinated with what lies under the surface, and at some point in your life, self-improvement is a big interest. You are attracted to unexplored or taboo areas of life, and you avoid all things superficial.

Sun in the 9th house:  You have a deep need to understand the world around you. You have high ideals and you have your eye on what’s on the horizon. You are looking ahead, and at times can seem quite restless. You are proud of your knowledge and of your morals. Be sure to avoid self-righteousness in your enthusiasm to share your knowledge. When used correctly, you are a tolerant, adventurous, and curious person, and you want to see the best in people and in life

Sun in the 10th house: The traits of Capricorn are much in evidence. Your career takes on greater than average importance. You feel the need to improve your career and is usually successful and involves your whole personality, possibly at the expense of your marriage and friendships. You’re ambitious and intrigued by power, which may make you too authoritative and dictatorial. You’re a leader in whatever you do and people pay attention to you. You may become arrogant or rebellious if you let that attention go to your head.

Sun in the 11th house: The Aquarian traits are stressed here and you simply want to do your own thing. You have many clear-cut objectives and usually achieve what you set out to do. You have a strong desire to gain recognition through mental achievements and inventions. You have strong organizing abilities and are usually a leader in any group you are involved with– societies and groups are an important part of your life. You’re apt to be a humanitarian with concern for universal human dignity and brotherhood

Sun in the 12th house: You have a tendency to be introspective and need some space and seclusion in order to pull up your strength. You may avoid the spotlight, and if you do find yourself in a public role, you tend to hide your true self behind that role!  However the sun sheds his light on this house giving the native zero worries under stressful situation. No matter what the problem is, the native will sleep sound, and will be able to see all the secret dealing happening behind or against him or her. This also can take a native to foreign lands.



Fe: Empathetic and warm-hearted. Other people are one of the most important things to me and I find it hard not to care about them or to want to keep them happy. I’m a lover of people

Fi: Emotional and opinionated. I have strong feelings about who/what I value and what is truly right, so I let my personal values influence myself more than anything else. I’m an idealist

Te: Driven and responsible. If I want to get something done, I’ll quickly find the most efficient way to do it. I’m a go-getter

Ti: Rational and independent. I love making logical sense of what I don’t know and figuring out how things work to solve problems or just for the hell of it. I’m an analytical thinker

Ne: Very stimulated by ideas and concepts. My mind is always energised by interesting thoughts and connections between them. I’m a visionary

Ni: Detached from the moment by itself and perceptive of the bigger picture. My 5 senses only take me so far, I’m mostly concerned with intangible possibilities and hidden meanings behind things. I’m a contemplator

Se: Spontaneous and highly in tune with my surroundings and happenings in them, which I’m almost always confident in experiencing and interacting with. I’m a realist

Si: Quite in touch with information I’ve gained in the past. My memory is very strong and I’m constantly comparing what I experience in the present to things I’ve experienced in the past. I’m a traditionalist



Fe: Highly values peace and harmony.

Fi: Is very in touch with their emotions and their sense of right and wrong.

Te: Takes charge to organise their environment and accomplish objectives in it.

Ti: Thinks logically and analyses information as objectively as possible.

Ne: Has an active imagination when it comes unrealistic/abstract ideas and possibilities of what could be.

Ni: Has clear plans and goals for the future along with a good idea of how to realise them.

Se: Sees things as they are and has no problems with improvisation or immersing themselves in the moment.

Si: Lets past experiences guide them and influence how they see the world.

When needed, I can…


Fe: Be gregarious and charming to get others to like me or to keep a social situation running smoothly,

Fi: Remind myself of my emotions and ideals of right and wrong,

Te: Do whatever it takes to complete a task or solve a problem,

Ti: Step away from emotions and make sense of things rationally,

Ne: Consider multiple possibilities and play with novel ideas,

Ni: See beyond my senses and pay attention to the intangible and to what could become of something in the future,

Se: Indulge in sensory experiences and be open to spontaneity,

Si: Thoroughly compare an experience or an idea to one that’s in my memories,

but many of my faults come from…


Fe: Not being very empathetic or sociable and not fully understanding how to properly act in some social situations.

Fi: Being too objective and not being able to foresee what feelings certain things can provoke in myself and others.

Te: Being reluctant to ignore my personal values and consider objective measurements of value and achievement.

Ti: Placing too much value on my own and other peoples’ feelings and not enough on objectivity and rationality.

Ne: Not being very open to novelty or uncertainty.

Ni: Failing to plan for the future or to perceive what my senses can’t.

Se: Being uncomfortable with living in the moment or interacting with my physical environment.

Si: Being bored by constant routine and predictability.

Car Stolen at EFNW

Hello everyone, I’m sorry that I don’t have any new art to share with you all. Unfortunately my tablet inside my car, along with most of my worldly possessions were stolen Sunday night at EFNW. The hotel, the con staff, and the police have been very kind in helping with this situation.

I am asking that if any pony con goers or anyone else who may have seen anything suspicious between the hours of 6PM Sunday and 8AM Monday at the doubletree hotel by the seatac that they contact the seattle police immediately at (206) 625-5011. The car was parked on the north side of building 3. It is a dark grey 96 Honda civic, 2 door, with a Wyoming license plate. The passenger side mirror is tan.

Thank you for any kind thoughts, reblogs, retweets: or information you may have.

I know that my friends are wanting to put together a gofundme, but at the moment I’m still holding out hope that something may be found. The car is fully insured but as I am moving and between homes for renter’s insurance, my possessions were not. Not that they were worth much, as most of what has been lost is largely sentimental in value.

When you fit everything you own into a single car, you realize what objects have value to you, and those are not the expensive or the flashy things, but what is most associated with your memories:

The clock which sat on my grandfather’s mantle.

The table he made himself before he passed.

The key to a long torn down shed at my childhood home.

A small green rock I found in a riverbed as a kid.

A note and signature from a voice actor who perked up my spirits on a bad day.

Birthday cards from my grandmother, father, mother, and aunt.

A letter opener purchased on a school trip.

A heavy sheepskin coat which, unpractical as it would be to ever use, smelled like home.

Not the merchandise I sell, the prints, scrolls, and cups, not the money, not the art books, tablet, or clothes. Not even the car. I don’t want any of that. I would like my memories back. In time, without those little nothings, I am afraid of forgetting how I became who I am today. Forgetting my family. My friends. My experiences.

Please, if you know anything, please, speak up.

Crafting in Fallout
  • 3: Found blueprints, found parts, weapon is not as good as regular guns/grenades
  • New Vegas: Crafting weapons, ammo, equipment and food out of specific components that I've scavenged, player sees value to specific objects with varying degrees of rarity
  • 4: I built a wall out of 10 pencils, I can melt down and perfectly shape cans into fully-working gun parts, I made an advanced medicine syringe out of a pair of scissors and a tube of 200 year old toothpaste
When Emotions Fit the Facts


  • A significant goal is blocked or an activity you desire is prevented.
  • You or a loved one is attacked or harmed by others.
  • You or a loved one is bullied or threatened by others.
  • The integrity or status of your social group is offended or threatened.


  • Loving a person, place, or animal enhances your quality of life.
  • Loving a person, place, or animal enhances the life of a loved one.
  • Loving a person, place, or animal supports the achievement of a goal.


  • You’ve lost someone or something permanently.
  • A situation doesn’t meet your expectation or desire.


  • Your life or the life of a loved one is threatened.
  • Your health or the health of a loved one is threatened.
  • Your well-being or the well-being of a loved one is threatened.


  • Something you’re touching could poison or contaminate you.
  • Someone you strongly dislike is touching you or a loved one.
  • You’re near someone who could harm you or a loved one.


  • An important or desired relationship/object is in danger of being damaged or lost.
  • Someone is threatening to take away a valued object or relationship from your life.


  • Someone else gets or has things you don’t have but want or need.


  • You will be rejected by a person or group you care about if something about yourself or your behavior is made known.


  • Your behavior violates your own values or moral code.

Source: (x)

Like a breath

Raising her head skyward in frustration, her eyes glide over a choppy, crystalline sea. The only sky the Forager has ever known, as if the air itself ruptures into a tumultuous gray just above the mountains. With her limited understanding of the world, she used to assume the atmosphere a physical thing, that thinned out as it approached the ground. Up there, she figured, the air was like a mighty ocean.

Sighing, she digs her hands back into the muck below. A thick, shapeless assembly of dirt and clay – all that remains of whatever structure once stood here. However old this building was, and whatever import it held, to her it was merely something to be dredged. An unspecific mass incarnadine, to be hopefully panned for gold.

The cracks along the ground were filled with this rubbish; great splinters through the earth at the bottom of unimaginable gorges, into which all the works of civilization came tumbling down into. A single split like this had the potential to contain centuries of progress – countless artifacts and trinkets, buried within the rubble. Their individuality now faded, together they lie as a great amalgamation, and a monument to inevitability. If she were to grab hold of something – some old keepsake or remain – it may well be all the we would ever see of a certain snapshot in time. To the Forager, it meant an exchange and a meal.

Indeed, it is hard to say how many priceless heirlooms and invaluable relics she had herself broken in search of a more easily quantifiable trade.

One false step and she herself could be swallowed by antiquity.

To say the history of the objects she held in her hands had ever crossed her mind would be a half-truth – a lie to flatter the ghosts of whatever world she trudged through. Only the immediate past of a given object – how pristine it appeared – ever factored into her thought process. After all, “worth”, and especially human worth, is an invention. Despite lofty connotations, the scrap she neatly folded and tucked away now carried with it a newer, more objective value than what previous generations might deem it to have.

With an ache of pain, the forager arcs her neck skyward. Long before her time, vainglorious scholars waxed poetic about the idea of the convergence. In the now, the reality, the word had lost it’s meaning. She had never known her celestial body as a singular identity – only as a part of the twisted amalgamation. Everything had been drawn inwards, you see. As the universe drew ever closer to its inevitable conclusion, it’s satellites and travelers were dragged towards its center. It was like a great homecoming, in a sense. Every atom was called home, to be reunited in their single point of origin. In time, it would all be crushed together – every star and every world. There would be a great unification before the end. Out with creation, and in with destruction. Like no more than a breath, with another perhaps to follow.

But for now, and for another trillion years, this will be the shape of things. A tumorous mass, growing larger by the century, and then shrinking into nothingness.

And all sentience throughout all time would amount to - this final stage of evolution – is rats on a ship. Hungry and cold, rummaging through the trash of their forbears.

With her head held high, the foragers eyes glaze over the continent of another planet. Her peers, also raising their heads, might look at her own. It gave her solace, before she got back to work, imagining that she herself was to others a similar, tumultuous sky.

anonymous asked:

Well, there is a difference between dogs and spiders. Namely, dogs pretty clearly have emotions, whereas spiders almost as clearly do not. Then again, I'm not sure that's really material to the point at hand, which is that killing things 'cause you don't like 'em is not a good habit to get into.

Certainly there are differences between dogs and spiders. There are differences between most things. But assigning objective value to those differences is where you go suddenly careening off into philosophical questions that I don’t think anyone is really prepared to answer. How do we determine whether or not a non-human creature experiences emotions? Do emotions only matter if they are similar to our own, and if so, do they still count if they are not expressed in ways that we can easily recognize? What about people who experience the wrong emotions, or do not express them in ways you can understand? Is the ‘worth’ of a thing only in relation to how immediately useful it is to us?

And true, the pressing question was whether or not feelings of hatred or disgust are acceptable reasons to harm something that is not trying to harm you. But if you’re going to claim that some creatures have objective worth over others, I expect you to have a satisfactory answer to some pretty complex and divisive questions.

the parent trap // archie andrews

The Parent Trap (1/12)

words: 1k

Summary- Archie and (Y/N) separate, splitting their twin daughters between them. What happens when ten years later, the pair seem to be reunited in a twist of fate at summer camp?

masterlist next

“I’m so so so sorry, Archie. I can’t do this anymore.” she glanced up at him. His eyes pleaded for her to stay but he stayed silent, not daring to miss a single second of her as she was.

“Y-You can’t split the twins up. They belong together.” Archie protested as he noticed his girlfriend take a step further away from him. “Amelia needs you. I need you. Hell, I probably wouldn’t be able to cope without you.”

(Y/N) shook her head, ignoring the internal conflict playing through her mind, cradling her daughter for one last time, before she said goodbye to Archie.

“I love you, Archie Andrews. Never forget that. You’re a good father, we’re both so young but you somehow managed us. You take care and take care of Amelia too. Make sure you remind her, her mum loves her.” (Y/N)’s accent was strong and filled with sadness. She didn’t want to leave but she knew it would be the best for her daughters. Her brother stood at the door, watching his sister try her hardest not to break down as she planted a final kiss on Amelia’s head. Aria in his arms, fidgeting around to catch a glimpse of her father, almost as if she knew of the events that were occurring.

“Let me say goodbye to Aria, please (Y/N), its all I ask.”

With a swift nod of her head, she watched as Archie strode over to her brother, tears filling her eyes again.

“Jug, please let me hold her.” Archie pleaded “It might be the last time.”

“Arch, she’ll be back before you know it.”

But he was wrong. She never came back and he never got to hold Aria again.

“Dad, why are you forcing me to do this?” Amelia groaned “You know I hate going to camp.”

“Because Melia, you barely leave the house. Camp is a chance to make friends.” Archie crouched down to be eye level with his daughter.

“I have friends, I have Jess and Charlie.” Amelia protested, causing her father to chuckle at her.

“Why couldn’t mum come with you to drop me off again?” Aria raised her eyebrow at her uncle.

“Because Aria, your mother needs to have this dress made for your auntie Josie’s launch party and shipped off to Riverdale in three days time.”

“You know, you and mum always talk about Riverdale and promise to take me,” Aria spoke as she watched her uncle unpack the car boot. “You both always say, you’ll take me when the time is right, but it seems like the time is never right.”

“Ari, your mum and I grew up in Riverdale and you were born there, but somethings happened and she still has a hard time coping with it.”

“Is it because my dad still lives there?”

“Come on, lets get you to one of the camp counsellors.” Jughead said, glancing down at his niece, not knowing whether (Y/N) would be okay with Aria knowing about her father in detail.

“She talked about him once, you know Uncle Juggy.” Aria noticed her uncle’s change in behaviour. “She told me that she believed he was the one that got away. You know, I think deep down she’ll always love my dad, but whatever he did to cause her to leave her home town must’ve been really bad.”

“Why are you exactly like your mother?” Jughead groaned “You could’ve at least taken after me, the better sibling.”

Aria let out a giggle at her uncle, she loved her uncle to great lengths. She grew up with his presence around. It was her, her mum and her Uncle Jughead. Ever since she could remember. Occasionally, her auntie Josie and auntie Betty would come over from Riverdale and talk about how he was coping. Her two aunties and her uncle were always careful about saying her father’s name around her. She knew she got her vibrant red hair from him. On her fifth birthday, her mother gave her half of a ripped picture of her father. Ever since then, it was her most valued object. On her mother’s birthday that same year, her auntie Veronica gave her mother a locket. Inside was a picture of her father and herself as a baby. Veronica uttered the words ‘so they’ll be right by your heart.’ to her as she put the necklace on (Y/N).

“See you in six weeks Amelia.” Archie smiled at his daughter. “You too, Charlie. Look after her.” He winked at Cheryl Blossom’s son.

“Don’t miss me too much, Ari.” Jughead teased her, nudging her slightly. “Remember to write to me and your mother. Your mother might have a meltdown if you don’t.”

“This is the longest I’ll be away from the both of you, uncle Jughead. I’ll most likely be the one to have a meltdown.”

“Welcome back, Melia!” Counsellor Carlie grinned at the young red head “You too, Charlie. Are you two ever apart?”

Amelia rolled her eyes at Carlie, making Carlie chuckle slightly.

“Hi, I’m Aria.” the girl greeted the people sharing a cabin with her.

“Don’t play with me, Amelia. That accent you have on? It’s terrible!” the unknown girl said, taking Aria by surprise.

“Sorry, do I know you?”

“Honestly, Melia, you can stop now.”

“Stop what?” Aria paused for a second before smirking “Wait, who’s Amelia?”

“Give it up Tara, maybe she isn’t playing.” the dark haired girl muttered. “Maybe that isn’t Amelia but some girl who freakily looks identical to her.”

“Okay, if she doesn’t know the answer to this question then I’ll believe her.” Tara grinned, a hint of mischief flashing through her eyes.

“Who’s the cutest boy in Riverdale?”

Aria eye’s opened in shock. “Wait, you guys are from Riverdale?”

“She’s definitely not Amelia. Her hair is long. Plus I was with Amelia, like, two seconds ago.” a voice piped up from the cabin doors. “I’m Jessica, it’s nice to meet you,”

“Oh, I’m Aria, good to meet you, Jessica. So, who’s Amelia?”

anonymous asked:

Based of your recent post on leveling where you explained everything that was wrong with the said system, could you go into depth about what makes a good leveling system?

This particular topic can be a real rabbit hole, but let’s try to keep it to the basics for today. At its core, a leveling system is a series of goals and rewards for the player. The player plays the game, reaches certain pre-determined requirements, and obtains discrete new rewards for doing so. Because this is a system that dispenses rewards to the player, it needs to meet a few criteria:

1. The rewards must be meaningful

There has to be some sort of tangible benefit to rising in level - the authorization to use better equipment, a new power or more currency to buy/improve powers, etc. This builds anticipation - leveling up should be something that the player looks forward to doing, and that isn’t possible if leveling up doesn’t actually do anything. A good leveling system will excite players and encourage them to keep playing - they want to get one more level, because they get something good at level N+1. 

Consider Dungeons and Dragons, the tabletop game. Each character level is a really big deal in D&D - you get significant choices to make at each level that will (usually) greatly affect your character’s power. On the opposite side of the spectrum, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night for the PSX had an almost-useless leveling system. The primary methods of gaining power in that game stemmed from collecting useful items from defeated foes, while leveling up provided small incremental amounts of HP and magic power. The character level in that game was practically vestigial. Nobody who played that game looked forward to leveling or cared what level they were.

One of the biggest things that a system designer has to do when creating a leveling system is to come up with a variety of rewards for the player to look forward to. Stat improvements, authorization for new equipment, new or improved powers, new visual effects, and opening up new areas to explore are the most common rewards for leveling, and it makes sense because the player should naturally be interested in obtaining these things. Furthermore, there has to be a good variety of rewards to leveling up, or else the player will get bored. More HP and MP at each level without any other benefit stops being appealing really quickly. If you vary the rewards and keep them interesting enough that the player will look forward to them, you can keep interest for a lot longer.

2. Rewards must arrive in a timely fashion

A good leveling system must take timing into account. Earning a level should be a fairly uncommon experience - players need time for the anticipation of the next level to build or it won’t feel meaningful. If a player gains a new level every few seconds, that player will quickly grow indifferent toward leveling because of how often it happens. On the opposite end of the spectrum, we designers also cannot let the player go for too long without a reward either. If a task seems too difficult, troublesome (especially if it lacks a reward befitting the effort), or like it takes too long, players will tune out and won’t bother with or pay attention to it. The reward must be delivered somewhere in that sweet spot between, where the player feels like they have accomplished something, but not so far away that they feel it isn’t achievable. This time length is informed by a number of factors - the type of game (e.g. leveling a champion in League of Legends vs leveling a character in WoW), the platform (mobile vs console vs pc), and even the length of the game.

3. Rewards must be earned by player action

Rewards exist to encourage players to do things actively in the game. Experience points are just smaller rewards that build up to earn larger ones (levels). The designer uses these smaller rewards for completing in-game tasks, like defeating enemies, completing objectives, winning matches, and so on. The nature of experience point rewards does two things - it provides a sense of scale for the value of each action/objective relative to others, and gives the player a sense of progress towards the bigger goal of leveling up. If the player just passively earns experience by standing around or is disproportionately rewarded for completing repetitive tasks (e.g. grinding), it can short-circuit the sense of accomplishment that they would get by playing the game as intended. It’s important to keep this in mind - a good leveling system preserves the sense of player accomplishment by rewarding different player actions.

So how do we actually bring all of these concepts together practically?

Design principles are all well and good, but how does this actually translate to designing an actual leveling system? This is where system design’s mathematical nature kicks in. We start by asking ourselves questions and choosing answers for them. As we start answering them, we can start building up a mathematical system to generate the specifics. Here are some of the questions we need to ask ourselves:

  • How many levels do we want at maximum? 

This decides how many different level rewards we have to create or assign.

  • How long should it take to reach maximum level, on average? 
  • If this is a single player game, at what point in the game do we expect the player to reach maximum level? How many hours do we expect that to be?

These questions combined with the other question above determine how long we expect each level to take. If we have 30 levels distributed over 60 hours of gameplay, then we expect each level to take two hours on average to earn. That might feel a bit long, so perhaps we can make 40 levels and a new level every hour and a half instead, assuming we have enough rewards. This gives us a target levels per hour (or LPH) value to earn X levels in Y hours. 

  • How many LPH should the various activities provide?

Remember, we have a specific target value of LPH in order to reach maximum level by the end of the game. We can decide that breakdown here. Maybe killing things is the most efficient means of leveling. Maybe it’s completing quests. Maybe it’s exploring. What factors might affect this? In World of Warcraft, for example, grouping up will split the experience earned from kills among group members, lowering the LPH from killing things. We have to make sure that we tune the LPH of the various activities in aggregate to match the target LPH for the full game. We can then break down the components for the activities… traveling, interacting/talking with NPCs, fighting, etc. as well. Having a target LPH can also be used to check for efficiency - if an activity has a higher LPH than average, it can potentially be used to advance faster than we expected.

Let’s assume we have a 40 hour game with 40 level rewards to distribute, we can expect one new level roughly every hour. This means that our level-appropriate activities should add 1 LPH. If we want a quest-centric game, we could make quests provide +0.75 LPH and the mob killing associated with it provide +0.35 LPH (and have most of the quests require killing stuff), so the player can do both at the same time. If we wanted to emphasize the killing, we could make quests only +0.2 LPH and the killing 0.9 LPH. We can adjust these ratios as we like in order to direct the gameplay experience that we want for the player. You might have noticed that I had these examples add up to over 1 LPH at perfect efficiency. That’s intentional - we don’t expect players to be perfectly efficient, so we build in a bit of buffer for them. 

If we decide we want 1000 experience to gain a level, this means that we’d want quests in a quest-heavy game to provide 750 experience per hour and killing things 350 experience per hour. If we then extrapolate that to mean that we expect the player to complete 10 quests per hour and kill 70 things per hour, then we can figure that one quest should reward 750 / 10 = 75 exp per quest, and killing 10 things should yield 350 / 70 = 5 exp per kill. We can then try these values to start with for our playtests and see how they feel.

You may have realized that what we’re basically doing here is working backwards from our goal to calculate what the exp reward values should be. That’s no coincidence; it’s the core of systems design. We’re starting with the sort of play experience we want the players to have on a macro level, and breaking it down into systems and formula by using math. This is what systems designers do - they look at the large scale goals and the experience that they want the player to have, and break it down into a bunch of numbers and formulas that will take the players to the goal. Unsurprisingly, this means that there’s often a lot of spreadsheet work involved with these calculations. The actual math here isn’t particularly difficult, but it can be very fiddly because of all of the potential factors involved. The math also is not the end-all and be-all of it. It gives us a point to start with - tools with which to work. Once we’ve built the foundation with it, we can then play with and tune them until the experience feels fun and engaging. That’s a critical part to it too. It’s like constructing a cyborg - you need both the mathematical robot aspects of it as well as the human feeling parts to make it really live.

Got a burning question you want answered?


The Secret of True Love Paul Newman & Joanne Woodward

They met in 1953, were cast together in “The Long Hot Summer” in 1957, married in 1958, and remained blissfully happy together for 50 years, celebrating their golden anniversary just months before Paul’s death in 2008.

Paul Newman’s letter to his wife on his wedding day:

 “ Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens. A good marriage must be created. In the Art of Marriage, the little things are the big things. It is never being too old to hold hands. It is remembering to say ‘I love you’ at least once a day. It is never going to sleep angry. It is at no time taking the other for granted; the courtship should not end with the honeymoon; it should continue through all the years. It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives. It is standing together facing the world. It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family. It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy. It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways. It is not expecting the husband to wear a halo or the wife to have the wings of an angel. It is not looking for perfection in each other. It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor. It is having the capacity to forgive and forget. It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow. It is finding rooms for things of the spirit. It is a common search for the good and the beautiful. It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and obligation is reciprocal. It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.”

Kuroshitsuji MBTI~

Sebastian Michaelis [ENFP] ~The Champion

While commonly mistyped as ENTP, ESTJ, ENTJ and ESTP, read more in depth here on why he is an ENFP and not any other type. 

versatile // adaptable // charismatic // quick-witted // seductive // manipulative

Ciel Phantomhive [INTJ] ~The Mastermind

While Ciel actually has a good chance of actually being an unhealthy ISFP, I put INTJ because it is the most plausible and to play it safe.

discreet // logical // argumentative // analytical // calculative // deliberate // confident 

Undertaker [ENTP] ~The Debater

Many type him as INTP and that is wrong because while Undertaker is often by himself, he has no problems talking to anyone (such as outright strangers) while INTPs tend to be much more shy. ENTPs are ambiverts. 

resourceful // enterprising // contemplative // independent // charming // cunning // observant 

William T. Spears [ISTJ] ~The Duty Fulfiller 

He could also be an ESTJ.

integrity // direct // honest // responsible // abiding // efficient // reserved // prudish

Grell Sutcliff [ESFP] ~The Entertainer 

flamboyant // vain // flighty // fun // outgoing // romantic // wild // a little shallow 

Agni [ESFJ] ~The Caregiver

ENFJ could be argued but Agni has too much Si (letting his past teach him how to live his current but just ended lol life.)

motherly // nurturing // sensible // practical // loyal // warm // encouraging // vulnerable // worrywart

Ronald Knox [ESTP] ~The Doer

Now Ronald is a blatant ESTP; not Seb like so many people claimed.

bold // daredevil // insensitive // cannot always read the atmosphere // blunt // risk-taker // impulsive // impertinent // flirtatious

Soma [ESFP] ~The Entertainer

self-centered // showy // colorful // warm // out there // comedic // fun // flaky

Elizabeth Midford [ESFP] ~The Entertainer

Lizzy is impulsive, puts a lot of effort into her looks while secretly being smart and strong is so ESFP.

vain // go getter // sensitive // erratic // warm // affectionate // loyal // grounded in a way 

Joker [ENFJ] ~The Protagonist

No other type can be said about Joker other than ENFJ. He is the ultimate leader without being cold and calculating like an ENTJ. His Fe is too strong.

charismatic // tolerant // reliable // altruistic // idealistic // sensitive // struggle to make tough decisions

Beast [ISFJ] ~The Defender

Beast is a sad and defeated ISFJ. A healthy ISFJ is one of the sweetest and most selfless types. 

affirming // supportive // shy // well organized // imaginative // committed // inflexible // self-depriving 

Snake [INFP] ~The Healer

I saw Snake being typed as an INTP and was like lol no. Snake, while does not display a lot of emotions on the outside, is bothered by many things on the inside that would not otherwise concern an INTP.

dreamy // sensitive // idealistic (of his family) // lack objectiveness // value harmony // dislike conflict and confrontation

Doll [ENFP] ~The Champion

She is the light (healthy) side of Sebastian as they’re two sides of the same coin.

naive // idealistic // friendly // charming // flirty // playful // empathetic // independent

Balalaika is the Perfect Strong Female Character: Part 1


There’s a reason I used the softest portrait of Balalaika for his essay that I could find: for all the talk of what a “badass” she is, she owns her femininity. She neither plays up her sexuality as a “vixen” nor downplays it as a “tomboy.” She wears her hair long because she wants to, and it doesn’t get in the way. She has long, well-manicured nails because she wants to have them, and they don’t get in the way. Anyone who makes the mistake of making assumptions about her sensitivities as a woman quickly finds out that she…thinks it’s completely irrelevant.

In essence, I think that’s what’s great about Balalaika as a female character: she just is who she is. She values her objectives above anything else. She doesn’t try to prove anything to anybody, because she stays so focused that she doesn’t have to. 

Plenty of people call her “fry face” or “that Ruski bitch” behind her back, but never to her face. That’s not because they think she’ll take personal offense, or even that one of her male subordinates will kill them to “defend her honor.” It’s purely because if you’re the type of person who would say that, you’re on unfriendly terms with her. If you’re on unfriendly terms and you see her or one of her subordinates face to face, you’re already dead. Nothing she does is ever completely personal. She is ruthless, but never malicious or spiteful. 

That’s not to say that she’s emotionally flat pragmatist robot. She clearly has a rich inner life. She often feels compassion for her enemies, and has real friendships with outsiders like the members of the Lagoon Company. In keeping with such complexity, she’s not opposed to random acts of kindness. 

The same woman who got discharged from the Russian military for saving a child in Afghanistan here…

Is the same woman who looks a child assassin (who tortured one of her subordinates to death) in the eye as she has her snipers shoot them in the leg. The show doesn’t show it in real time, of course, but apparently it takes him several minutes to slowly bleeds to death in the clip below. In both cases she did what she did because it would be “shameful” to do otherwise in a way that has nothing to do with her sex or gender. 

It’s no wonder the subordinate in question that the child murdered cried out for his “Capitán” until his last agonizing, grizzly final breath. 

Balalaika deeply respects and cares for her subordinates as much as hey respect and care for her. That becomes very apparent towards the end of the clip when she converses with the snipers who shot the boy about how emotionally difficult the entire ordeal was. If you don’t have the stomach to watch, I’ll spoil it for you now: it’s her right hand man who says “that was hard to watch.” Balalaika sincerely apologizes. 

There wasn’t a single moment of the scene in which she felt good about any of it.She simply calculated that such a method was absolutely necessary to honor the dead and maintain the reputation of Hotel Moscow, the crime syndicate that quite literally keeps Roanapur from collapsing in upon itself.

There are several moments throughout the series and OVA in which Balalaika seems outwardly calm and collected in moments of emotional turmoil. She will  will freely admit to feeling grief, regret, and/or hesitation about a ruthless action she has taken or is about to take. However, Rei Hiroe has written her win a way that never lets you think for even a second that she’s afraid to cry or express her emotions, and it is glorious!

Balalaika is so pragmatic at her core that she is more inclined to kill a rival mafia boss because their men are generally unruly rather than of any real threat they pose to her operation. She says as much to her right hand man while observing a yakuza beating Rock in an attempt to get attention from Revy. Her ire is raised not by the attack on her ally: she simply cannot stand to see “soldiers” misbehave. Both she and Sergeant Bosco (her right hand) say they wish they could wipe out the entire yakuza based on that unruly scene alone. Of course, no action is taken. She remarks upon it and moves on so as not to compromise her larger objective. 

I wouldn’t rule out possibility that she “breaks down and lets it all out” in private, and it certainly wouldn’t change my opinion of her. Given her position as the head of Hotel Moscow (and the most powerful person in all of Roanapur), those private moments are so few and far between that we never get to see them on the page or screen. Alternatively, she may be one of those people who doesn’t express sorrow with tears. Either way, you never get the sense that she’s struggling to “keep it together,”  in public, even when we know she feels emotionally devastated. That has nothing to do with being a woman: it has everything to do with being a good leader.

Unlike Berserk’s Casca, with her frequent emotional breakdowns on the battlefield over her commander/love interest, in front of her male subordinates, that gets men killed on more than one occasion…nobody feels the need to baby or defend Balalaika’s her. They respect her. They don’t treasure her as “their only flower.” (Sorry Judeau, but that line makes me cringe every time.)

Carefully observe the body language and positions of Balalaika and her subordinates carefully in this short clip.

She leads her men into battle. No henchman is ordered to handle the man who’s been running around town calling her a “fry faced Rutsky bitch,” and plotting to assassinate her. No subordinate dares to insult her by trying to handle the man himself. She doesn’t need them to because she can hold her own physically and mentally in a fight as well as any of her subordinates. 

If you pay attention to the overall context of the scene, it becomes clear that she didn’t come down there to kill him personally because she was offended by what he said about her. She felt it was necessary to maintain her relationship with Dutch and the Lagoon Company: a critical neutral party in her territory that she can’t afford to alienate. Balalaika is a very good friend to have indeed.

She’s a true leader that knows it’s her duty to protect and maintain order amongst her subordinates and the territory that she calls her own. In a better world, that would be the gold standard for leadership regardless of the sex or gender identity of the leader. 

That’s why I call her The True Goddess of War.™

Originally posted by warriormonk-devildog

NOTE: I titled this “part 1″ because there’s a lot more I want to write about her as a character. This started out as a much longer essay, but I decided to break things up for the sake of clarity and readability. Expect more Balalaika worship in the days and weeks to come. ^_~

Screencap source: Apres Moi Balalaika tribute AMV.

Special thanks to @opinionatedashellblog, @odilekuronuma (who wrote 2 of the 3 Casca analyses I linked to above) and @murasakihime. I wouldn’t have been inspired to write about any of the female characters I have from Black Lagoon thus far if it weren’t for you.

anonymous asked:

so i dont know if this opinion is valid or w/e but like, i feel like tumblr really dismisses the fact that anne boleyn ordered for mary to be abused. she was only seventeen when anne became queen, and was beaten and sworn at by the others at hatfield on orders from anne. i just think anne isn't as lovely as people make her out to be, and although i find her v interesting, i just think she is romanticized and made out to be some sort of angel? it seems as though the abuse mary got affected her.

i agree and acknowledge that the abuse mary endured at hatfield affected her; but i’m not certain it was at anne boleyn’s behest. i haven’t been able to find any primary sources that attest to that. from what i’ve read, what seems more likely is that it was at the behest of henry viii.

understandably, at first glance it seems logical that lady shelton, given that she was anne boleyn’s paternal aunt, may have been acting at her command. however, i find this less likely given that the two didn’t seem to like each other very much. if anne truly did encourage madge shelton (the lady anne boleyn-shelton’s daughter) to be the mistress of henry viii, as is speculated, her mother may not have taken too kindly to that! later, shelton is one of the ladies that attends on anne in the tower of london, and it was reported that anne said it was “a great unkindness in the king to set such about me as i have never loved” (the cited source for this is cavendish, and other than wikipedia i’ve been unable to find a more direct quote)

when henry visited the household of hatfield in january 1534, mary was ordered to stay in her chamber. thomas cromwell and the captain of the guard instead went to mary to urge her to renounce her title; which she refused. she asked to see him again; and was denied. instead she went out to the terrace at the top of the house as he prepared to leave. he bowed and touched his cap in response. however, he didn’t see her again for over two and a half years and it’s important to remember that he is the one that made that decision; not anne.

it was henry that ordered mary to serve elizabeth at hatfield as a punishment for refusing to publicly accept the acts of appeal and succession. it was henry who deprived mary of her personal staff, henry who denied mary permission to attend the funeral of katherine of aragon and refused to let her have a few objects of value from her mother.

lady shelton was, in fact, ordered to deliver this message to mary by henry viii, according to chapuys:

“The King, for his pains, told him he was not loyal to him, and that all he said was in behalf of the Princess’s desire to go to her mother; but he would take good care not to send her thither, for, the Queen being so haughty in spirit, she might, by favor of the Princess, raise a number of men, and make war, as boldly as did queen Elizabeth (Isabella) her mother. There was no thought of the King seeing the said Princess or sending her a word of consolation. On the contrary, word was sent by her gouvernante that he had no worse enemy in the world than her, and that she was the cause of mischief to the greater number of Christian princes, and the King declared publicly that her conduct was calculated to encourage conspiracy against him.

according to chapuys, anne even wrote to lady shelton herself asking to cease any ill treatment that might have occurred (or basically, at least not to push her further) and relates a copy of anne boleyn’s words:

Mrs. Shelton, my pleasure is that you do not further move the lady Mary to be towards the King’s Grace otherwise than it pleases herself. What I have done has been more for charity than for anything the King or I care what road she takes, or whether she will change her purpose, for if I have a son, as I hope shortly, I know what will happen to her; and therefore, considering the Word of God, to do good to one’s enemy, I wished to warn her before hand, because I have daily experience that the King’s wisdom is such as not to esteem her repentance of her rudeness and unnatural obstinacy when she has no choice. 

By the law of God and of the King, she ought clearly to acknowledge her error and evil conscience if her blind affection had not so blinded her eyes that she will see nothing but what pleases herself. Mrs. Shelton, I beg you not to think to do me any pleasure by turning her from any of her wilful courses, because she could not do me [good] or evil; and do your duty about her according to the King’s command, as I am assured you do.

the only source i’ve been able to find that’s said mary’s placement in hatfield at all was anne’s choice is alison weir’s the lady in the tower, saying anne ‘vindictively insisted she wait on her’…unfortunately, like a lot of weir’s nonfiction work, it provides no citation or source for this passage.

what makes me think that the mistreatment stemmed from henry is that it didn’t lessen after the execution of anne boleyn, but in fact worsened

“On 15th June 1536, King Henry VIII sent members of his council, led by Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, to visit Mary at Hunsdon. The aim of the visit was to persuade Mary into accepting her father as supreme head of the Church in England, and acknowledging that she was not the legitimate heir to the throne. However, their idea of persuasion amounted to bullying. Eustace Chapuys, the imperial ambassador, recorded the visit of the council members in a letter to Emperor Charles V:

‘To induce her to obey his commands and accede to his wishes, the King sent to her a deputation composed of the duke of Norfolk, the earl of Sussex (Robert Radcliffe), the bishop of Chester (Roland Lee), and several others, whom she literally confounded by her very wise and prudent answers to their intimation. Upon which, finding that they could not persuade her, one of them said that since she was such an unnatural daughter as to disobey completely the King’s injunctions, he could hardly believe (said the interlocutor) that she was the King’s own bastard daughter. Were she his or any other man’s daughter, he would beat her to death, or strike her head against the wall until he made it as soft as a boiled apple; in short that she was a traitress, and would be punished as such. Many other threats of the same sort did the said deputies utter on the occasion, assisted in their task by the Princess’ governess, who happens to be the same as before, having then and there received orders not to allow the Princess to speak a word to any one, and to watch over her so that she should never be left alone by night or day.’”


the opinion is certainly valid, mine can mainly be summed up here. 

it’s rumored that instructions were given to lady shelton to ‘box mary’s ears’ if she refused to obey, and chapuys accredited the words to anne. but otherwise; i’ve read nothing to confirm it. 

because i’m aware of ives’ potential for bias (he greatly admires anne boleyn), i even looked for opinions from historians that seem to dislike her. g.w. bernard, who theorizes that anne was actually guilty of adultery, still says:

“all these accounts of humiliations and pressures that Mary was subjected to are readily believable, but whether Anne’s part in the them was quite as independent and as decisive as Chapuys suggested is open to some doubt: Henry may have been as responsible as Anne, perhaps more so.

i certainly don’t think anne is a saint; i know she had a lot of flaws. and it’s okay to find find her interesting but not necessarily like her– there are plenty of figures i, personally find interesting without necessarily liking…

anyways! i am curious about the sources from which you read mary ‘was beaten and sworn at by the others at hatfield on orders from anne’. if you’d like to come off anon, i swear i don’t bite– and i’d be interested to read them if you’re interested in sharing!  ❤️

New Years Resolution Inspiration


  • Be able to run a mile/5k/10k/half marathon
  • Run without intervals
  • Walk 10,000 steps ____ times a week
  • Go to the gym/run ___ times a week
  • Be able to lift ______kg/lbs
  • Lower resting heart rate 5/10/20bpm
  • Beat best time at running/cycling/swimming
  • Get on a team
  • Do physiotherapy every day
  • Squat/lunge/do sit ups every day 
  • Be able to run up stairs without puffing 
  • Eat 5 portions of fruit/veg a day
  • Don’t eat sugar 2 days a week
  • Eat breakfast every day
  • Eat no/one/two packet meals a week max 
  • Give up meat/animal products/junk food 
  • Forgive yourself if you accidentally eat meat/animal products/junk food
  • Sleep eight hours a night 
  • Wake up at 8am 
  • Quit smoking
  • Don’t drink more than one caffeinated drink a day
  • Don’t drink alcohol for a week a month/two days a week
  • Drink 8 glasses of water a day


  • Meditate every day
  • Pray every day
  • Read every day
  • Read 50 books this year
  • Read 10 classics 
  • Find new music you love
  • Make art once a week
  • Write down something you’re grateful for every day
  • Take more photos of things that bring you joy
  • Take time to be with yourself 
  • Write a journal every week
  • Create a blog
  • Write every day
  • Listen more
  • Make five new friends
  • Go on a date a month (while single obvs)
  • Stay off your phone for an hour a day
  • Learn to say no
  • Grow a plant from a seed
  • Don’t be judgemental
  • Cut down your belongings
  • Love yourself


  • Maintain GPA/grades
  • Get a 3.6+/4.0
  • Get ______ at GCSE/AS/A Level
  • Get into university
  • Read an academic paper per day
  • Hand in all homework on time
  • Start coursework before the day before it’s due
  • Do all of the reading 
  • Talk Spanish/French/Mandarin/etc every day/week
  • Give up what you procrastinate with (eg TV)
  • Get 1000/5000/10000 followers on studyblr
  • Post every day on studyblr
  • Join a society at uni become involved etc


  • Do laundry regularly
  • Keep your room/flat tidy
  • Hoover once a week/month
  • Wash up immediately
  • Save £50 a month
  • Don’t shop just to make yourself happy
  • Bring a pack lunch to campus 
  • Change sheets every two weeks 
  • Get a job 
  • Get an interview for _________
  • Get LinkedIn 
  • Find free things to do in your city 
  • Learn to cook 5 basic meals
  • Learn to cook to a standard where you can have people over for dinner
  • Cook from a cookbook once a month
  • Throw a dinner party 
  • Make a budget (and stick to it!)
  • Make bed everyday
  • Make a bujo
  • Make a todo list every day
  • Learn how to contour

Little note: obvs all the numbers are super changable I just like goals that have objective values

anonymous asked:

I'm applying in the industry right now as a Gameplay Programmer, and one thing I have a hard time providing for companies is code samples. I mean, as a game dev, you never want your code to be too complex because it then becomes harder to debug, right? So what kinds of code samples are they looking for? What types of projects should I work on that would help produce those kinds of code samples?

Code samples are kind of a weird thing, because it’s often difficult to give one piece of code and get enough context to learn enough about the programmer who wrote it. Most of the engineering hiring managers I’ve talked with about this subject prefer to give self-contained programming tests instead of asking for code samples for this reason. That said, to understand what kind of code samples they’re looking for, you need to understand what they hope to learn from the code samples.

#1. We want to see you solve a non-trivial problem

We write code to solve problems. Some of it is fairly rote automation of stuff, and that’s something pretty much anybody can write… that’s not what the hiring manager is looking for. The more interesting samples involve solving a problem where there are multiple potential answers, and some of them are clearly better than others. If the problem can be solved in O(n log n), then the hiring manager will be disappointed if you solve it in O(n²). The best answers are fast, clear, and elegantly handle failure. Show us a real problem that you solved in a fast, clear, and elegant way.

#2. We want to see your mastery of the language and architecture

When programming in any language, there are going to be little optimizations of the language that can add up over time. In C++, for example, declaring variables of the same fundamental type together saves memory. Passing const references to objects is usually better than passing an object by value. You should know these kind of gotchas, because it shows a better overall view of code - we want to see that making little optimizations like this are second nature to you.

#3. We want to see your code’s legibility

You’re looking to join a team, and that means working with other engineers. At some point, somebody else is probably going to have to pick up code that you wrote and you’re not going to be around to answer questions about it. Maybe you’re on vacation, out sick, too busy, or have moved on to another project but, eventually, somebody else is going to have figure out how your code works by looking at it. You should imagine that this somebody has severe rage issues and will come after you if you force her to read difficult or awful code.

This doesn’t just mean “comment your code” either. While commenting code is useful (and I encourage you to do it), the code you write should be written with clarity in mind. The entire architecture of your code should be intuitive and clear. The function name should clearly state exactly what it does and it should return something appropriate. The parameters passed in should be easy to use correctly and hard to use incorrectly. A new programmer who comes in and looks at it should be able to understand what it does. A new programmer who just looks at the declaration should be able to figure out how to use it.

Overall, hiring managers want to see that you can solve problems in an efficient and elegant manner, that you understand the language and its idiosyncrasies, and that the code you write is good in a team environment. This is what your code sample should show us. If you don’t have something like that lying around, give yourself a relatively small-scope coding challenge (like writing a text-based checkers program or a program that solves a boggle board that’s just an N by M array) and come up with your solution for it in the given language. Review it. Show it to other programmers and ask them to nitpick it. Re-review it, and make sure it is code you can feel proud of.

Got a burning question you want answered?

sarcastic, bright, lost. the most beautiful smiles i’ve ever seen. don’t know their own strength or their own value. kind to those that they care about.

cruel sometimes, unbelievably stubborn and extremely kind. uncompromising, bad with change, willing to settle. good taste in music, great taste in people.

needs reassurance often, always willing to help someone they know. hard workers, strong, athletic, intelligent. never trust that the people they love are going to stay.

withdrawn when worried, the brightest thing in the room when happy. bright laugh, naturally downturned lips, issues with expressing emotion. silver tongues but terrible at keeping friends.

golden like the sunlight, blinding like the sun. kind but harsh, perfect hair, willing to work for what they have. beautiful but sometimes unapproachable.

awkward but sweet, never seems to sleep, loves animals. hard to pin down emotionally, mentally, or physically. strong, capable, unwilling to sugarcoat anything for anyone.

athletic, fierce, independent. when they fall in love they never really fall out of it. a great friend, beautiful smiles, odd taste in food. when they stop something, they tend to not start again.

intelligent and determined, all hard edges and uncompromising ideals. physically fit, likes to help other people, animal lovers. extremely close to their family and friends.

strong pillars to lean on, supportive of others, good teachers. polite but not overly kind, caring but not overly involved. independent, gorgeous, extremely capable of doing basically anything.

sometimes too much to handle, extremely caring. always put themselves first. feel things deeply. strong eyebrows, bright eyes, big laugh. values material objects and family.

dislikes people as a whole, loves select individuals fiercely and unfailingly. harsh, very smart, materialistic. lazy but once they decide they want something they will go to the ends of the earth to get it.

dramatic, loud, fills up the whole room with their presence. bad days are really bad, good days are really good, there is not often an in between. lover of philosophy, deep thought, and beer.

—  the signs as i know them -(me)