Inspiration hunt

Inspiration has been hard for me to get hold of lately. I tried different ways to push me back into the momentum of the inspiration wave. I have also read different ways from article to article to help me open up the creative side of me.

I found that when I work on something harder and harder, my frustration increases and makes me stop being inspired. I start new drawings to relieve the frustrations then when I return to the drawing, I seem to lose the creative momentum and often give up as the new drawing overrides the past ones.

However, I read in one article, it mentions that being in the same environment can make one lose creative juices however, finding a new environment starts pushing new visuals.

During my recent holiday, because work was not on my mind for a week and a half, drawing stuff and being more creative about stuff began to flow naturally than forced. Forcing creative stuff just hurts my head a lot and I start rethinking whether drawing is what I want to do as a hobby.

I also read that spending only one hour a night doing something you love doing pushes one to create great things. But these “great things” aren’t to the full 100% extent of the creation as it feels forced than natural.

As I look at my drawings, I noticed that most of them consist of either frustration or sad types. Every time, I draw a smile, I seem to always rub it out and end up giving the character angry or sad emotion.

This definitely shows my emotion through life.
It is either work related or just life as a whole. It does not sound great however, when I release them on Social networks, I feel a slight relief upon how people either like or comment on it. There are people who mentions that they can relate which makes me feel better.

There was one drawing that was produced which consists of a smile and that one made me smile too!

The next few drawings I have produced I feel like the colours and emotions have been altered in such a way upon how I feel so I hope you enjoy them when they are released.

So I guess what I want to really push out to all you creative individuals is not to always be in the same place. If you feel like you are slowing down as a creative person, remember to get out of your comfort zone or the place you are “trying” to be creative and try work somewhere else to have a bit more of a view. It doesn’t have to be a holiday or somewhere magnificent… It could simply mean that you can go to a coffee shop (preferably one you have never been to) and work there. It seems rather simple but it helped me a lot to think out of the box.

What do you guys think? IF you guys have solutions to getting more creative, please leave a comment! I would love to get some new ideas to think creative!

Realization…

There are many things that I think about on a day to day basis but the one thing that really gets to me is the career path.

I spent a few years collecting experience and spending half of my life in an office and I felt like I was trapped. A place with high pressure just cannot make me think very well but more importantly, problem solving becomes harder! Solving problems does not feel as good as it used to and maybe the reason for that is the repetition of the same issues arises becoming nothing more but a chore.

I recently jumped into a new job where things are constantly changing, consistency is slowly integrating and unlocking new areas I have not experienced before… It feels like I am finally leveling up and it feels great.

One thing that I have felt confused about lately was mixing the hobby and work to improve my quality of life! So when I was thinking to become a games developer, I would have created the illusion of being excited to go to work everyday! It feels like it makes perfect sense… to me anyway.

However, there is a slight problem when trying merge a hobby with work

The way I define a hobby is an activity that I like to do and it creates a nice distraction that allows me to escape the work environment. Work, on the other hand, brings an environment where things need to be done at a certain time generating a thing I like to call “unnecessary pressure”. The reason I call it this is because the pressure is pushed by someone else but does not benefit anyone else but the person who owns the company!

Getting the pressure from individuals who may not care about the project and only cares about the payslip makes the other begin to dislike the entire operation altogether. The way I see it is that if it is supposed to be something you enjoy, how could you truly love it if you are being pressured to do it?

Don’t get me wrong though, there are some areas that do not deal with this kind of pressure.

So with me, I am a web developer in the day but a games developer as my side quest. Web development is a broad area and it equally gives the same frustrations as a games developer but the key difference between the two is the fact that the development patterns are different which gives that extra challenge.

What I am trying to get at is that creating two environments for one thing you enjoy most and the other being a job is the ideal thing to do if you want to continue enjoying what you want to do…

It is not to say that jobs are boring but people are pressuring to finish things where you want to be perfect aboutJobs are also a place to learn! If you don’t learn something new in a job, you end up being bored.

For me, the way to really fix this is just to keep my games as personal projects and my web life as work. This keeps the game development as a stress-free environment.

Maybe this is not an ideal way for some people but I feel it is the right move for me. One way or another, I’m glad I have some sort of direction once again

My new found hobby…

It has been a while since I have written a blog and the reason for this is that I have recently got into a new hobby… Digital Art!

I never really saw this as a hobby… As a matter of fact, I never really saw myself having such a creative mind to push my drawings onto paper. Purchasing the Samsung Note 3 (yes I know… Not the latest model but whatever!) made me realise that I can finally put all the small doodles I have had in my notebooks and push it into the digital space.

So far, as you have probably noticed a few blog posts with drawings instead of my writings and although this has been a change of pace, it has been great and it still continues on! Although the drawings have been at a basic level, the idea is that I am learning by doing. My drawings are looking simple for now but maybe down the line, the skills will hopefully progress so with the amount of images I post up, it will be my log to look at and check upon how much I have grown

I remember discussing with a friend once about a website called Illustration Friday (illustrationfriday.com). This website basically gives illustrators the opportunity to post their illustrations onto their website with the sweet allowance of giving traffic back to your website! One inspiration that I really appreciate from this website is the weekly topic. This one small feature gives me a challenge every week to think about what to draw on a weekly basis meaning that it builds improvement towards my digital drawing journey! To those who are looking for inspiration to draw again, I urge them to give it a try! (No promotion intended :p)

But wait, I hear you wondering “I thought you wanted to be a games developer?” Now that is a perfectly good question and one I can explain!

At first, I found that development gives me such an exhilarated feeling when either problems are solved or better yet, the end product is complete and looks precisely how I want it! One problem about it is that these small victories are becoming a little too small and now my exhilaration fuel needs to be fed in another way! Analysing my life in this aspect is rather disappointing which led me to discovered my low point. This low point began to increase again when I started writing blog posts and with this, I began to feel the victories again! With this, it became a necessity to write more and improve my writing! During this point, I started doodling on paper and began wondering whether there were ways to post this digitally. This is where my inspiration for doodling and drawing became my next thing to do! So ultimately, I will never drop my dream of being a games developer but these “victories” or accomplishments are segments of my proudest achievements and will continue to keep my skills balanced! In other words, I will bounce around to different things when inspiration kicks in, whether it is a game idea, a drawing I want to show the world or even a story I would like to write!

So I suppose my point for this post is whether you graduate in being a developer, it does not necessarily mean you will stick to it in the end and more importantly, it is never too late to switch around what you really want to do. If you feel like you want to do something new, don’t feel like you don’t have time or you don’t have money to do it. There are so many things out there that can lift you up to make these aspirations change into reality!

Don’t give up… Think positive… And never look down!

How the new life is so far…

It has been months since moving from UK to Australia. It has been crazy busy from when I moved and until now, I believe that I have come to a stage where it has kind of calmed down that I can sit back to write an update blog. It has been a while but lets go!

So what’s changed? I started off with a bit of cash so the minute I landed, I was a little unstable but good thing that I had a place to stay so that was a huge benefit for me.

With no time wasting, I immediately went job hunting. This initiated with a quick portfolio website for companies to see and whipping something up and looking for work, I felt like the portfolio was the key part of it all. Finding time to do it was difficult but eventually, it was complete… After an extra few days, companies started to call me and several initial tests were sent for me to do. Long story short, it came down to 2 choices where one company was interested and the other still in deciding mode but with a bit of thought, it became clear that I decided to choose the company that suited me best… So 1 month and a bit later, I was in the working life.

So now the job was clear and out of the way, it came back into looking to find time for my projects, which were put on hold for so long. This became a little difficult as I gave the job priority. It was rather hard to find time since I did a few late nights and stuff but recently, my weekends have now freed up opening time for development.

My progress now lies at a point where a new project that I thought of a while back can now jump into motion. At the same time, I have given more thought into a web project in collaboration with my brother so with that, I will be busy for the next few months. This is a great feeling as personal development starts here!! This deserves a smiley :).

In another topic, networking is starting to look better. I am beginning to see a clearer forecast of friendly people to hangout with and stuff. Although this is still a small number, it should rise if I let loose but like I said, it’s only been a few months so let’s see in another fe months to find out where I get to…

The games part of me have played a bigger role lately. Specifically, the Wii U is the console played most. I suppose I never really saw the potential in the beginning for the Wii U but with the recent games especially Mario Kart 8 (and of course, the multiplayer experience), it changes my whole opinion about the console itself. Maybe I am living in the good old days where play games next to people just makes a game 10 times more enjoyable. Whatever the case, it creates a great diversion away from the world.

Moving on to a social topic, I ran into a few friends down in Melbourne to see how they were in the weekend. They were friends that I have known for years (since secondary school) and we all decided to redezvous in Australia! It was pleasant seeing these faces again and we had a great time just catching up and hopping from bar to bar. I guess I haven’t really had one of these nights since London but it was sure a good feeling that I was experiencing my first time in Melbourne with these guys! So if you guys are reading this, thanks for that weekend! It was awesome!

So to sum up my entire time over in Australia, I guess I have been enjoying my time over here so far. The people are pretty nice, work environment is a splendid place to work in and the general networking is slowly happening making everyday a moment to remember. I did start off a little scared moving from a space I was once very comfortable in to an entirely new life but it is growing on me…

Thanks for reading guys and I will try post more often. Until next time…

One push in the right direction…

It has been a while since I have written about myself and quite frankly, it’s all building up in my head that I need to release some of it on this blog so I can discard the thoughts and think fresh.

So what have I been up to?

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My attempt to accomplish my projects is just laughable. They seem to be increasing more and more! The thought of just how many there are makes me a little pissed off. Why haven’t I been doing it? It’s the overwhelming fact that work is draining my energy altogether. My sleeping pattern have completely changed and the motivation has decreased. There was one motivating day where it gave me the mental push I really needed.

I don’t usually go to salons to get haircuts however, my last experience was cosy and thought that I would try it again seeing that the barbers are always full of people and although the price is twice as expensive, it was definitely worth it and I am going to explain why…

So firstly, I had the most amazing head massage and made me feel at ease. This made my thoughts gather all at once and made me think clearly once again, as though my mind was reset to null. After this awesomeness, it was time for the main haircut. So I had the privilege of getting my haircut from the owner of the business. It started with a conversation from what I currently do. Then it went on to telling him my thoughts on what I really wanted to get into: Gaming. That’s where it started to get interesting.

We went on to discussing this one guy who basically had a life with people doubting him however, he ignored all those people and continued becoming one of the most successful people in the world. I relate to this because I spend my time just caring about what other people think and end up forgetting my idea.

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Continuing on, the conversation moved swiftly to pinball machines. So we discussed about how there were a small audience in the world where people are just so into these things and I must admit, I was surprised. I suppose I have been in my own world that I guess I never really analysed the world enough to even consider what is happening and just the thought of this small audience just means that there are plenty of other small communities waiting for the next big thing to be released for them.

Finally, the conversation ended with gaming. We started speaking about how game ideas just pop up randomly, EVEN if it is just a small bug in a game, the bug can be altered to create a great game. The trick is to just create whatever you feel like creating and you will find even more inspiration. Like they say, ‘learn by doing’.

After exiting this salon, my motivation was on high and I was just excited to get home and start developing.

Now I’m going to explain why these 3 points of the conversation fired me up.

‘The doubt’ of others can be really off putting and although you can try convince yourself not to do things because of the one or several comments you received were negative, the inner troll embedded in your head just keeps poking at you and eventually crack! The result? Give up. I suppose my best method to stop being put off from my projects is just to keep it to myself and just do what I feel like doing and not speak a word of it until it is finished.

‘Pinball machines’… What made me wonder is that even though the biggest ideas are taken, it doesn’t necessarily mean that all is lost. In other words, these small communities are hoping for someone to create something for them and they will throw good words to their friends and families if proven worthy of it. The motivation actually pushed further and made me want to fulfil these small holes we have in this world.

Lastly, the ‘game talk’. I suppose the gaming part of me have always been there and whenever someone asks me what my dream job would be, I immediately imagine myself wanting to strive in the gaming industry or better yet, having a small community just talking about a game that I was somehow involved with.

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So there you have it! A great conversation that happened for one whole hour (or more) but what makes this one conversation stand out from all the other motivational conversations I had? I guess it all just dumbs down to the hook of the conversation. He backed up all his answers in such a way that really got me putting myself in the situations. I suppose it is just the way he expressed his words. He seemed rather regretful since he mentioned how it is too late for him to be the successful man he wanted to be. For that reason, I would like to thank him and probably try even harder to accomplish all I have… Before it is too late…

Photo Credits:
.reid. via photopin cc
stargardener via photopin cc
ktpupp via photopin cc

Too hard to choose between tablets or laptops

So it has come to my attention that laptops and tablets are now rising in the market and the thing is that although a laptop signifies the possibility of graphical edge, it does not suit the portability crowd however, finding the perfect portable device (tablet or ultra thin laptops) means that it will lack processing power and the usage of graphics will be shared with Random Access Memory (RAM).

So the question is: Should I buy a laptop or a tablet?

The bigger question is “What will you be using it for?”

Here is my opinion on this:
Laptops with high specifications hold a great deal of components meaning that when running games or applications that require a big mass of math calculations, it will run smoothly however, if you are the type of person who uses these types of applications a lot, I would recommend a desktop… The main benefit of a laptop which is why we all want one is so that we can take it around with us.
A tablet, which nowadays hybrids are being introduced, are mainly to carry around and optimised the battery long enough to use away from a power supply. Also, the touch screens make it easier to navigate rather than the little touch pad laptops provide…
Moderate users who do use a mixture between just browsing, typing up documents, watching films or requiring a little photo editing, an ultra thin laptop or even a tablet will suffice.

Shopping for these devices are quite head aching and there is no specific answer to it. Just comes down to personal preference.

A way to choose your device

Pricing is a whole new story. Given all the online stores, it is a radical difference. Tablets being almost the same price as a very high specification laptop however, tablets currently carry a low end specification but handles day to day activities excessively well. But as the diagram displays, its up to you where you want to be.

Laptops are a hard choice! Tablets can even be difficult… So it boils down to weight, price, size and keyboard.

Here are my top 3 choices of laptop hybrids:

Microsoft-Surface-Pro-2 Acer-Aspire-P3 Sony-Duo-13
Microsoft Surface Pro 2 Acer Aspire P3 Sony VAIO Duo 13

And then my top 3 choices of portable laptops:

Sony-Vaio-Pro-13 Samsung-Series-9-Notebook Asus-UX31
Sony VAIO Pro 13 Samsung Series 9 Notebook Asus UX31 Zenbook

But if you were to ask me which one I would choose, I choose a hybrid laptop. It completes both worlds for me which is what I’ve chosen to date today!

This post is for those who are confused. I hope this sheds some form of light towards your problem…

What’s with all the haters?

What’s with all the haters?
So here is what I gathered. Haters are basically individuals who like to put their point of view towards a certain someone who they disagree in whatever they are doing. In other words, these people like to be the ones who like to put other spirits down when it is not necessary to.

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I suppose it is quite nice for someone to be honest and give out their opinions but too much of it can make one feel like they should give up.

I guess this is a two way street:
– The person who is being hated should stay positive and not let it bother them
– The person who is hating should let their opinions out but at least with a valid reason

When an argument starts in regards to this matter, it occasionally gets ugly and starts making the other person think twice about what they are doing. If it is an argument, that just means that the two people have different views and have a 30% chance of getting them to agree with each other. Why spend that time trying to get your point across when the conversation can move onto something more positive?

We, humans, cannot control ourselves when it comes to firing our mouths off when it’s not necessary however, in some cases it is a good thing to hear, taking it too far is another story.
Now this post was not just a random one… The reason for this post is due to the fact that whether the person is a musician, an actor, a director or whatever, there comes a point in their lives where they end up in the news or articles with one of their pitfalls in life and for this very same reason that fans stop following them and begin hating on them. They believe that they are supporting the stuff read on the news when buying their product in the shop!

A little silly don’t you think?

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Here is an example. When we buy an album, we are simply supporting their passion, not what they have done in their lives! Haters would ask “Why did you buy their album? Don’t you know what he/she did!?” Gossip is not what gets me to decide to buy an album… It is the music and beat that I look for.
I suppose what really triggered me to write this post was the YouTube comments I disagree with and also, artists who really deserve a lot more credit but ends up with no attention because of their history.

I suppose I can’t change how other people feel as they are who they are but I just want to send out my view to the world.

Stay positive…

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Programming in today’s world…

Here’s a brief history about my experience in programming. I walked down a path of many different programming languages where I got to adapt to platforms that were unfamiliar to me… I went from Visual Basic, to Java, then to PHP with MySQL, and then finishing with C++. Programming languages are amazing in my opinion and rather interesting. However, nowadays, it seems like things are getting a lot simpler for people to develop programs. Sometimes, you don’t even need to write a single line of code! Seeing as that is the situation, with the right documentation and tutorials, creating games or applications has become so simple to a point that anyone can do it. All it requires is patience and motivation.

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Creating applications can be quite fun since everything is laid out for you but there are other times when it is better when you have that flexibility to create particular objects yourself. These third party solutions have led me to decrease my skills in development and I am forced to develop programs from scratch to keep myself up-to-date.

The last thing I created with a third party tool is a game written in C++ called Marmalade. They gave the opportunity that you can port your games or applications from C++ to any mobile device on the market. For my case, I was able to create 2 simple games and release it on the Apple App Store. This did give me the advantage to ease myself into C++ and use object oriented programming which was rather fun to code in.

Now that I am a web developer, I am forced to develop random stuff in my spare time so I do not forget the basic principles in programming; although I am aware that it is at the back of my head somewhere.

Not long after this development, I discovered Unity which was based more of a drag and drop development and minor effort of programming however, they do give you the option to code in C# which is rather nice. The good thing is that if programming is at its minimum, it just means more creative games will be released with minimal effort which is good and bad. Good that it creative ideas are shown quickly for others to see but bad because programmers such as me cannot appreciate the programming of the game, like the good old days…

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Speaking of programming, it seems like the books are slowly disappearing from our ways of teaching. Books were a great source and now it is taken over by the internet. Don’t get me wrong… The Google search bar is an excellent tool and I probably use it at least once every day and it is free so why spend money if you can get information for free? It is the same question as why do we prefer internet news instead of magazines? It is because we don’t like to be using our screens all the time and our eyes need to divert to something else. Also, stumbling across something that you don’t know is highly likely just by flicking pages in a book… I believe books still have a big role at this present day so book stores… PLEASE DO NOT CLOSE DOWN!

To summarise, this is not me complaining about the way how things are, I am only just specifying how I used to program and learn and it has changed quite a big deal! Quick development is great but slower and optimising the code to every angle is a great accomplishment and truth be told, I haven’t had that kind of feeling in a long time. Maybe some point when I actually complete a project is where I will feel that sensation once again but I suppose time will tell…

For those who want to develop games or an application, there are loads of tools out there… Just search for them……. With Google….

Quick update…

It has been a long while since I have written a blog post however, now that I have installed Evernote (http://www.evernote.com) on all my devices, I can finally share across all platforms so with this, I will probably write more posts…
So I want to start with my development progress since I have been hard at work recently. I have been working on securing a virtual server which I recently purchased from Linode.com. This is the first time I have ever used this and I spent quite a bit of time doing this. My aim is to use this virtual server to keep all my future developments here so I can monitor precisely what is going on. Although it does require a bit of technical knowledge to get around to places, but it was rather fun just getting to understand it. The server seems to be stabilised and now moving forward to creating my web servers onto it. I have 3 in total so I need to secure those. This server has the capability to do much more and I plan to use it to its full capacity!
So lets move onto movies… After a lot of waiting around, I finally sat down to watch the entire Fast & Furious collection (only the 5 movies… The 6th one is on hold until the DVD is released)… I think it was a good set of films but the fact that it was rather a messy transition between 1-3 but went back on the story at 4-5. But 2 was more of comedy and 3 was just a whole new story with new characters which rather put me off the whole collection altogether. In my opinion, I think the 5th was probably my favourite one.
Moving back a bit more, so I went out to purchase a tablet, Acer W700, and I need to put my opinion on this bit of kit. So this device holds an Intel i5 3rd gen processor, 4GB RAM and Intel HD 4000. The 11-inch screen grabs an impressive HD resolution with pixel perfect display. Nowadays, this tablet is my complete replacement of my Mac Mini and it accomplishes more or less my day to day activities on a computer. One downside I would probably mention is the heating and the noise that comes out when a bit of activity is being processed on the tablet… Besides this, I believe it can sit side by side with a low end laptop but just with the touch screen controls…
Finally, gaming… Resident Evil 6… The game I bought on the first day it came out and completed 2 campaigns but need to finish the last one. The game is pretty good with the storyline and all but one problem is the camera angles. It is very frustrating when the camera just moves around a lot and also, it is too close to the body that the bottom is not visible. If these issues were fixed, this may actually reach a 8/10 but unfortunately, I would give it a 7/10
I hope to work more on my blog so I hope you enjoyed this one.