Posts Tagged ‘gaming’

IMG_1075Want to start Perler Beading as a hobby?  You’ve found it all right here!  I will walk you through all the supplies you will need – resources – etc for you to get started creating whatever you dream up!

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Perler Beading – Who Does It?
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I’m thrilled your interested in perler beading!  People who perler bead come from all different walks of life.  Maybe your a “gamer” who saw some cool 8-bit art work made out of Perler Beads.  Maybe you’re a kid who has a friend that made a unicorn and you want to make one too.  Maybe you’re a mother who is trying to occupy her children some something other than turning on the TV.  Maybe you’re elderly who just wants to find something creative to do with your time.  If any of these people describes you Perler Beading would be great!

I’m a husband in my late 20’s with a young daughter and I love this hobby!  I was drawn to it because I could recreate 8-bit video game artwork of Mario and Sonic.  Check out my other pages to see some of my other perler beading art work.  So if a grown man enjoys this stuff – I’m confident anyone else will!

Is this an Expensive Hobby?
Not at all!  In fact if you would like to just give it a try before committing a lot of money to it.  You can just go to your local Walmart, Target, Micheal’s, or Joe Ann’s Fabric and pick up the “Perler Tray Of Beads” for around $10.00 That comes with 4000 color coded beads of 16 colors and an idea book as well.  That’s what I did.  I just wanted to make one thing then I ended up buying another pack… and another… Pretty soon I realized that the things I wanted to make required a larger range of color.  That’s when I committed $70 to about 40,000 beads numbering roughly 38 different shades… But that was a few months ago and I still haven’t run out of any color.

The reason I wanted to go ahead and get as many shades as I could was so that I could create more dynamic art.  The more color range you have the better you can give the illusion of shading and a 3D effect.  That’s what I decided would be good for ME. You may only want a few extra shades.  So Lets Walk Through What you’ll need.

Basic Supplies
Here are the absolute basic supplies you’ll need to get started.

  • I would recommend getting “Perler Tray Of Beads” for around $10.00 That comes with 4000 color coded beads of 16 colors and an idea book as well.
  • You will want to buy at least one square peg board (They sell them in a lot of different shapes but try to find the square ones because those are the only ones you will later be able to connect to other square board to create a larger canvas to work with.)
  • Wax Paper – this usually comes with either the large bead kit or the peg boards.
  • An Iron – The iron is how you “fuse” the beads together.
  • A Perler Graber – I don’t actually know the real name – but it is a green little tool for about 3 bucks that helps you pinch up the beads out of or onto the board when your fingers might not be able to reach it.  VERY useful for when a bead lands onto the wrong spot.

That’s it!  Once you have these supplies you’re ready to go!

IMG_1098Organization is Key! 
When you are dealing with such tiny beads it is important to be organized.  If you get the starter set it is easy enough to keep them all in their little spots.  Resist the urge you or little ones may have to dump them all out into a single bucket for whatever reason pops into your mind.  When I got the extra 38 shades of color (1000 bead packs each for about 1.99 or 1.69 per pack.)  I knew I wasn’t going to be able to use them straight from their bags.  So I went to find some containers.  I went to walmart first thinking I would find something cheap there.  I paid 20 bucks for a decent sized plastic box with different draws and had something like 25 spaces to put beads in.  Then I went to Micheal’s and hit the jackpot!  Micheal’s has these bead boxes with 17 compartments but only $2.00 each!  So I bought 8 boxes of them and now all but one of them are filled with beads.

How to “Fuse” your beads together
This can take some practice – as well as some trial and error.  These beads are plastic and are respond quickly when heat is directly applied to them.  This is where the wax paper comes in.  Here are the basic steps.

  1. IMG_0753Plug in your iron and let it heat up for 2 minutes.  Set it to medium heat.  If it is too low the beads won’t melt and fuse.  If it is too high you risk burning the paper.  Medium is perfect for almost all irons.
  2. Set your finished bead pictures (still on the peg board you crafted it on) on a hard flat surface.
  3. Put the wax paper over the beads
  4. Set the iron on top of the paper and slowly slide the paper in both a clock wise and counter clock wise motion – this will help the small amount of plastic fuse together more easily.
  5. Do this for about 30 seconds without removing the heat.
  6. Take off the iron and very carefully pull off the wax paper from one end to see if the beads have fused together.  If you lift the paper off but see a bead or two that has not stuck to the picture – reapply hear in that area or the whole picture for another 15 – 20 seconds.
  7. Once it is one piece – CAREFULLY take the beaded picture off the peg board and turn it over onto a hard surface and repeat the process.  If you don’t fuse both sides it will break very easily.

The first time will be a little nerve wrecking – so i suggest you do something small that didn’t take long to get the hang of it.

IMG_0715It is possible to fuse the picture so much that no holes are present leaving a smooth surface.  This is a great for coasters like I have posted here.  This process takes a little longer – but not much.  Heat time will vary but for me it took between 60 – 120 seconds to get a completely flat surface.  I also was applying a little more pressure as I tried to smooth it out and get all the little holes to go away

A word of warning – if you are trying to achive a surface with no holes a few things to remember

  1. IMG_1103Don’t press too hard.  The harder you press the more likely you will actually melt the beads shorter – which will cause the pegs they are resting on to stick up and poke holes in your picture – because the plastic is melting down due to the presure.  This creates holes which you will be un able to fix.  Take your time.
  2. Don’t move the wax paper if you don’t have to.  If you keep lifting it up – each time you take up the wax paper it may leave indents in your melting plastic.
  3. Don’t do too large of an image.  I created an epic nintendo sign which took something like 2,500 beads and 2 days to finish.  I wanted to get a perfectly smooth image but because I had to melt it a section at a time the picture got very warped.  Pegs started popping through – and now the biggest creation I have made sits in my closet… ashamed… lol.

I’ve included the Nintendo sign I made here showing what I mean.

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Getting/Stealing some great ideas!

Don’t try to come out of the gates creating stuff on your own.  Find something someone else has already done online and follow their picture peg for peg.  This will help train your eye for how to do this particular kind of art work.  If you try to do something yourself – you may get frustrated very quickly.  Everything I have created so far is pretty much peg for peg off of someone else’s picture I’ve found online.  It is still immensely satisfying because I created it with my own hands.

If your kids are the main ones using this – try to give them direction – if they are really small just tell them to make different shapes.  If they are a little older tell them to make SIMPLE objects like a tree – a spoon – a bat – or something along those lines.  If you tell them to make a person (or they try to) without having something to follow they will likely be disappointment with what they created and determine this is too hard.  It’s not too hard – people just have to adjust to the medium of the art work, that’s all.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this “Getting Started” Article on perler beading.  Please lead a comment or follow me on facebook and I will be sure to reply with any questions.

To see my other creations please check out the link on the left side column titled “#25 Perler Beading”

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On the road right now, but I wanted to throw up a Perler bead I did of super Mario world spring. Pretty sweet. I hope to make an entire scene out of these beads one day but it will be one object at a time. This is a great hobby to kill some time and let your creative juice flow. Great for adults or kids. Pretty sure it’s suppose to be FOR kids, but I don’t want to grow up. Cheers!

tabletopMost of us have played Monopoly, only to flip the table in a fit of rage because your bleeding money left and right.  There is always that one player, who you land on their property – you don’t have the money then you end up making some twisted deal with the devil so that you can get out of paying.  But within 3 turns you go bankrupt anyway.  I don’t know about you – but I hated board games growing up. They were either way too simplistic, winning completely by chance, or Monopoly.  After one particular family game night turned into “The Night of Horror” which ended in everybody expect oldest my sister crying – I swore off board games and stuck to video games.

Fast forward 12 or so years and my oldest sister invites me to a game night with her and her husband and a few of her close friends along with my girlfriend.  I was so nervous… I hadn’t played a game since “The Night of Horror”.  But the game we played was unlike anything I had ever seen.  I’d never seen the game in Walmart, Target, Toys R Us.  It was called “Betrayal at House on the Hill”.  Great… But as the rules were explained and we started playing… I actually was having fun.  It was unlike anything I had ever played before.  From that day forward I began to play more board games.

Turns out there is more to life than Monopoly, Life, and Sorry.

Let me break down for you the different type of board games you can play.

Games of Chance
These are, as the title suggests, games they require a HIGH amount of luck for you to win.  Games like Sorry, Life, Pirates Cove, Uno, Go Fish, etc.  These are great games for gamers and people who just want something casual.  These are the games available at most retailers for whatever reason.

Games of Cooperationshadows
You won’t find these games in your local store.  You’ll need to go to your local hobby store or comic book store – even Barns and Nobles are starting to carry these types of games.  Games like Shadows over Camelot, Betrayal at House on the Hill – These are games where you are (mostly) playing against the board game.  You are collaborating with your team mates to overcome some great challenge.  You all win together or you all lose together

Games of Back Stabing
These games are a ton of fun for people who enjoy deception as a gaming element.  The most basic form of this would be poker.  However the board game forms are the two games mentioned above.  Shadows over Camelot for example is a game where all the players are trying to save Camelot together. However there is the possibility of a TRADER among you.  This introduces amazing new game play elements are you are now trying to determine if the actions of a player are helping the team or hurting the team.   The closer to Victory and Failure progress so closely to one another it is hard to tell until it might be too late IF there is a trader among you – its also possible there isn’t.

risk-board-game-strategies-21294771Games of Strategy Against other Players
The most common example is the classic game RISK.  You have an army and your goal is to take over the world.  This game is great fun for competitive people.  You can have the perfect strategy, overwhelming armies, but if the dice don’t fall in your favor you will be at the mercy of your friends – hence the name “RISK.”  Other games are Munchkin, Magic the Gathering, Axis vs Alies, etc.

 


TicketToRide-closeup1Games of Strategy NOT against other players.
This is an important category.  Many people actually enjoy strategy – but don’t like going head to head with several other friends.  Ticket to Ride (which is probably my fav game right now – which I have convinced dozens of my friends to also buy) is a great game where you are trying to connect train routes across the U.S. However as the game progresses your route and other players routes might get in the way of one another.  There is never any hard feelings though because no one no’s where anyone else is going – so it’s not your fault if you cut someone off.  Great game because it never gets old.

So Why Do I NEED to Buy a Board Game? Because not all games are like LIFE or Monopoly.  There are TONS of games out there that are a TON of fun.  Over the next few weeks I will be reviewing all the board games my wife and I have in the hope that you will decide to buy one of them as well.  If you have any games you recommend I buy and review – please leave the name in the comments below!

Not many people review demo’s.  But this Demo had such an impact on me I felt it was worthy of a review.  Just so that you understand the weight behind my words you’ll need to know a few things:

  1. Monster Hunter 3 has been my most anticipated game on the Wii U
  2. I’ve never played a Monster Hunter game before and was excited to jump in during the HD versions.
  3. I was excited about these worlds to explore and hunt monsters.
  4. I have been convincing my fellow Confident Gamers to pick up the game as well so we can get some 4 player Co-Ops going!

So when Chris told me that the DEMO was available on Wii U, I couldn’t wait to get home and download it.  2 FULLY playable quests?!  Count me in!  Once it was downloaded and installed I ventured into this unknown land.  I’ve spent about 2 hours with the demo now and I can sum up my experience in about two words: Utter Disappointment.

The purpose of the Demo is to give players a tease, a taste of the cake, give them just enough to get them to go out and pre-order that bad boy.  Show off the possibilities!  Demo’s are meant to please fan boys until release and convince the rest that they need to buy this game.  Demo’s are suppose to make you feel confident, teach you some basic’s about the world and draw you into the folk lore.  Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate Demo fails to do this on all counts.

Presentation
It’s no secret that the graphics are stellar.  Details and textures are pretty low, but I knew that going into the game.  I wasn’t playing this for the graphics, I was playing it for the challenge and fun of hunting and killing monsters.  The menu system is very CAPCOM.  Very arcade style.  Player and monster animations are great.  You really get the sense that you are fighting some wild creatures.

Game Play
Ready… GO!  That’s what happens in the demo.  You are dropped in the middle of a camp and told you have 20 minutes to kill everything that dares to cross your path.  20 minutes?  Well… okay.  I poke around my came for about a minute trying to figure out what to do.  I accidentally drink about 3 potions while trying to determine the button scheme.  Finally I decide to just head off into a direction to explore…. Then it happens. “Loading” 3 seconds later I appear in another area… I wrote it off as leaving camp to go into the main hunting grounds.  So I walk around and head off to a mountain I see in the distance “Loading”  WHAT?!  Then it hits me.  This map is divided into 7 sections.  None of which connect very well.

This was especially troublesome as I fight the bosses.  More often than not The bosses like to fight right at the entrance to another area.  I accidentally leave the fight several times while trying to dodge an attack.  The monster will not follow you so you have to go back to the area you were fighting in… “LOADING” – BAM – you get hit as you re-enter the first area.  But don’t get too comfortable in any particular area.  After a few hits the monsters will run away and you have to track it from area to area.  The demo explains nothing to you.  I had to figure out that I needed to sharpen my sword after every fight.

The classes were decent.  I only played three.  The bow was not fun to play at all.  I tried a long sword class but he was slower than I had time for.  I ran out of time twice trying to kill this guy due to the speed of my guy.  Finally I tried the sword and shield guy and he managed to get the job done.  Upon beating him the game simply said I completed the quest and thanks for playing.  Over.  That was the easy quest.  I have not managed to beat the “hard” quest because I repeatedly keep running out of time.

Swimming and fighting under water is not fun.

SoundMusic is forgettable at best.  The two little creatures who tag along make the most annoying sounds over and over if you stand still for too long.  Monster sounds are okay.


Conclusion
This is one of the few demos I have ever played that have convinced me not to buy this game.  To me it is fairly arrogant to not take the time to craft a demo for people who might not know anything about the game.  The map is split up into 7 – 18 different area’s which requires load time for each is absurd.  Not allowing you to customize your character AT ALL in the demo is another missed opportunity.    The only enjoyable thing in this demo that I found was going up to my little helpers after a monster ran away and kicking them repeatedly.  If this demo is an acurate reflection of this game – I would highly recommend not buying it on day on – if at all.  Very disappointed Capcom.  For a demo to turn an eager first time fan into a cynical critic is a unique skill that you shouldn’t be proud of.

I give this demo a 4 out of 10.

IMG_0786Here is a Perler Beading I did of the chickens in the Zelda 2D games by Nintendo.  In case you didn’t know, if you hit the chickens repeatedly they go crazy – turn red – and all of them start attacking you and are more than capable of killing you unless you find shelter!

If you want to make this yourself, simply follow the pattern you see here!  You’ll need at least the colors black, red, grey, white, yellow, and orange.  Have fun – took me about 15 minutes to make.

We all know both the new xbox & PlayStation are going to be annouced very soon.  In fact Sony is set to announce PlayStation 4 this week!  This is a very exciting time for the gaming industry, however, there is an equal amount of uncertainty.  I’m a HUGE 360 fan.  I had a PlayStation 3 but ended up selling it about 2 months later because I simply did not play it.  If a game came out for both consoles I always got it for 360 vs PS3.  All that to say, this current gen I have been a HUGE Microsoft fan.  However… as more and more rumors are starting to be revealed as very possible truths, I think it may be time for me to jump ship to the PS4.  Here are my reasons:

The New XBOX May REQUIRE Constant “Kinect” Signel to Operate The Console.
This may not seem like a big deal at first.  It won’t actually cost you any money because apparently the new Kinect will be bundled with the system.  Many 360 users are use to having a Kinect now sitting on top of their TV…. even though most never actually use it.  So at first glance it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but consider this horror:

A constant connection means Microsoft can monitor you not only while playing games, but listening to music, watching next flicks, surfing youtube, anything you do on their console could not be monitored for THEIR benefit.  Microsoft had also apparently submitted a patent request so that they could charge families based on how many people are consuming the media.  Think of it like a movie theater – the theater makes money based on how many people they sell tickets to.  But at home they have to just sell the content to the home for a flat rate.  This new patent could allow Microsoft to charge you based on how many people this “new” kinect sensor can see.
If you unplug it, or try to put a blanket over it, its very possible the console might pause until you’ve “fixed” the problem with your kinect not being able to see you.  It is very unsettling and I don’t want Microsoft staring at me in my living room.  As I mentioned before yes I have a Kinect, but it is always unplugged until I’m using it for a game (which has been well over a year at this point…)

XBOX LIVE is still going to be around.
Now, back when Xbox live first came out, there was no stable way to play multilayer games.  Live was primarily a paid way to ensure you could have a stable server to play halo, call of duty, etc.  Over the years they have vastly expanded the service to include many other things.  But 50 bucks a year for something that PlayStation has been offering for Free since the beginning seems like a bit much.  If they try to charge for LIVE with this new generation of consoles I def will not be buying it.

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Some more Perler Beading!  Super Mario this time.  Feel free to use this patter to make your own!

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IMG_0767Hobby: Perler Beading.  Leon from the Resident Evil Games.

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IMG_0775Love my perler beading hobby!  Great little thing to do to pass the time.

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IMG_0753 Samus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Very Relaxing.  Love Perler Beading.  Makes for a great hobby.  This would be Samus from Metroid, nintendo.  Took about an hour to do.

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