Schedule method alternatives?

If you know me personally, then you know I can be quite lazy. Unfortunately, there’s a tough and cruel world out there. To be more productive, mommy gratefully created me a schedule. However, lately it seems I haven’t really been following it. So this week, I wanted to talk about some other ways I might be able to stay productive. 

The first method I wanted to talk about, is the one I’m using right now. Something like this is good on normal days where I have nothing to do. Everything happens at a set time and nothing changes. So once you do it enough times, it becomes habit. For example, if I have math from 10 to 11 then that’s when it always happens. Unfortunately, there are also a few downsides to this kind of rigid structure. Sometimes, I just oversleep and I can miss several parts of my schedule. I could always shift things around to make things work out, but that defeats the entire point of the schedule method. 

This leads me to my second idea, which is very similar to the schedule method. I call it the checklist method. Just like the previous method, you do all your tasks within set times. For example you commit to two hours of math, you’ll eventually do two hour of math by end of the day. There is not set schedule, instead there’s a checklist with tasks you need to complete and the amount of time you need to commit. This method is a lot more flexible, but at the same time has more disadvantages. Because of how this is set up, I might end up pushing everything to the very end of the day. You see, I’m not very good at organizing my schedule. So although this may be a viable method in theory, it probably isn’t for me. 

The next idea I have, is simply called alarm. It’s quite similar to the reminder system Kalen and I had a long time ago from music practice. The reason I don’t use the reminder function instead, is because the constant pop ups become really annoying. So annoying I tend to ignore them these day. It’s kind of like pop up ads, you just have a habit of getting rid of them. It also doesn’t help I don’t do music anymore, and I still occasionally receive these reminders on the mac downstairs. In the end, I just thought it would be better to ditch the reminder system all together. Instead, I’ll use the alarm feature. It’s kind of like the reminder feature, but instead of reminding you it plays a blaring loud ringtone. It also helps I take these alarms quite seriously. If I didn’t, I would be late for school. 

Out of these three methods, I guess the schedule does work best on paper for me. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to at least attempt the checklist or alarm method. In fact, I could likely use the the alarm method in conjunction with one of the other two methods. Maybe the checklist method really will work, I just have to try and see what works. 

New Laptop

Recently, my old laptop has been replaced. So in this blog, I decided to describe how my experience has been with so far, what I normally use it for, and the changes I don’t really like. 

To start off, my experience with the laptop has been fairly well. Right now, during summer break, I’ve primarily been using it to consume media and write these blogs. However, I have also been using this laptop to do my Blender practice. Previously, renders would take around five minutes. Now, those renders feel much faster. However, there is one strange thing that has been catching my eye. Sometimes a small black bar will appear on the left side of my screen for no apparent reason. It does partially bother me or affect me because it last only maybe two seconds, but it’s still weird. Aside from that little annoyance, my experience has been pretty good so far. Some of the new additions I personally fond of is the speakers and the clearer screen. Now it feels like the sound is coming from the laptop and not underneath the keyboard. I also appreciate the cleaner screen, but maybe that’s just because it’s new and hopefully it stays that way. 

Sadly, there are more than a few personal changes I don’t particularly like. For example, the keys are really low. Unlike my last laptop, it feels like you’re practically typing on nothing. It can sometimes get annoying especially when I’m typing something or when I want to play a quick game of Tetris. However, I’m sure I’ll eventually get use to the new feel. Another change I don’t really like is the touch bar, although this is me just being use to it. It’s really cool, it’s just I’m not use to switching between all the different layouts. For example, I usually use the layout with the fast forward and pause button. The reason for this is because this layout is the most similar to my previous laptop. However, the problem with this is that now I’m missing the the escape button. Like the keyboard, I think I’ll eventually get use to it, but I still kind of miss my old layout. The last change I don’t really like, is the fact it only has one USB C if you don’t count the charger. Even with my last laptop, I found the lack of USB port annoying. An example of this is when I had to transfer data from one USB to another. I also don’t particularly like the idea of having to carry a dongle around. However, I guess it’s going to happen eventually with the way technology is progressing, so better start getting use to it now. 

Overall, I really do like my new laptop. Aside from typing on the keyboard, everything I do is faster now. Now, my laptop doesn’t take forever to load websites. It really makes a big difference, because now it doesn’t feel like your wasting time. By the start of school, I hope I’ll be ready to use this laptop to the best of my ability.

Phantom Bullet

For the past two days, I’ve been playing another Switch game. With my play-through of Fire Emblem Three Houses coming to an end, I decided to get another game. So, in this blog, I’ll be talking about this new game. Like usual, I’ll be talking about general game mechanics, my experience with the game, and my thoughts. 

Alright, the game in question is called Phantom Bullet. As you can tell from the name, it’s a shooter. More specifically a 3rd person shooter, meaning most of the time you’re looking over your avatar’s shoulder. The goal of the game, is to go through the story. The plot is that you start off at a low rank and then gain a reputation while looking for specific items. Not a very interesting is it? Well, the further you go into the story the better it gets. As you progress, you’ll have to fight multiple bosses to get access to new locations, not including multiple area bosses. Without any DLC, I believe the game has five in-game areas. I don’t really know how the game will end, because I haven’t reached it and I don’t really want to be spoiled. 

As far as the mechanics go, it feels pretty standard for a 3rd person shooter. Although, my only complaint was that the joysticks were really sensitive. This can sometimes make it a pain to shoot enemies as I always miss the target. I ended up going into the options menu and turning the sensitivity down to its lowest settings. Another thing that the game could improve upon, would be the maps. I knew going into this game I shouldn’t have expected much in terms of graphics. Still, it doesn’t mean I would’ve like seeing a bit more life. While travelling through all five areas, I don’t think I saw a single tree. There are monsters and building, plus the geography isn’t bad either. I just wish, there was a bit more life in the maps. 

In addition to the single player aspect, there is the still untouched multiplayer. Unfortunately, like Puyo Puyo Tetris, I doubt I could find a lobby. The reason for this, is because of who the general audience is. So unless you’re playing with friends, I don’t see anyone using the multiplayer function anytime soon. The only way I can see the multiplayer aspect drawing any attention, is if it’s some sort of battle royal. Even if that was the case, I don’t think I’ll be really interested. Unlike Kalen, I don’t really care about battle royal games. The only exception being Tetris 99. Still, I think I’ll likely just check out the multiplayer and not go any further than that. 

In the end, I’ve been having a lot of fun with the game. Like I said before I still think there are a few things the game could improve on. Unfortunately, with how long the game has already been out, I don’t any changes are going to be made. Still, it’s doesn’t mean I won’t enjoy the game any less. 

Blender Modelling

I’ve already talked about Blender in a pervious blog, but I didn’t really go into detail. In that blog, I pretty much just gave my opinion. In this blog, I just wanted to expand on that and go through the process of making an object. 

Whenever I’m trying to make something, I first get rid of the default cube. More often than not, the object I’m trying to create does not look like a cube. Next, I grab an image of the object I want to create. The best images are the ones that just show one face and are not taken an angle. The reason for this, is that the image will serve as a template and will only appear at certain default angles. You can create an object without a background image, but is a lot harder. For example, I didn’t really want to get an image of a vase. Instead, I just made the vase from my own imagination and in my opinion, it was pretty decent. 

After getting an image, I select the best mesh for the object. For the, vase that would be the cylinder mesh. Then I change the amount of faces on the object. Usually the less faces the better. If it looks a little rough, you can just fix it latter. From that point, I scale the object to the relative size of the template. It doesn’t really matter if it’s not the exact size you’re looking for. You can just scale the object back down when you’re done. 

Now, you’re at the most time consuming part. By moving around points and adding new ones, you create your object. However, sometimes shaping a mesh won’t be enough. Sometimes you might need to extrude to get the desired shape. An example of extruding, might be the handle of a mug or cup. At this point, it should still look really rough. To fix that, you can add on the subsurface modifier. From what the tutorial guy said, it works by electing the closet three points then smoothing it out. If that’s not enough, you can look up smooth shading and apply it to your object.  

With your object finished, you need colour. To create colour in Blender, you use a node system. Basically, you connect a bunch of nodes to create different colour. For example, if you combine red gloss and white mat, you get a mat pink with some gloss. However, Blender has recently changed this system, so I have to relearn how to use the node system. 

After adding your colours, you should be 100% done. Now just press render, and then after a bit of patience, your object will be there. Personally, I felt really happy after I created my first even if it was a tutorial. However, that feeling of satisfaction only gets better when you start making you own objects. 

Fire Emblem Three Houses

For the last few days, I have been playing the new Fire Emblem game. It’s my first time playing a game in the series, so in this blog, I would like to give a brief explanation and share my thoughts on the game. 

The general concept of the Fire Emblem games is that you complete the story by clearing stages. Each stage contains a map and many enemies. To defeat these enemies, you use different units with skills determined by their class and unique passive abilities. This means no matter how hard you try, each unit will be different in some way. Another feature that made the Fire Emblem some what unique is the addition of permanent death of units. The meaning of this is when a unit HP hits zero, that unit is gone forever and you’re unable to recover without restarting the stage, reloading, or in the more recent games, using a limited skill to go several moves back. As a first time player, I was unaware of this and now one of my units is gone forever.

Besides the permanent death, the most unique feature for me, is the amount of customization you can put into your units. I don’t know how it worked in pervious games in the series, but in Fire Emblem Three Houses, you can switch classes very easily. For example, if you really wanted to, it’s possible to turn an axe wielding warrior into an arcane mage. Of course, the characters still retain their personality due to story elements. Still, fun to play around with the different classes, plus, it’s always good to have some variety in your army. I also find it amazing how the game forces you to use all your units, or at least rotate through them. As you may have guessed, with the permeant death feature in place, levelling can be some what risky for my units. To level properly, you need to be within five levels of the enemy. If your level is too high you won’t get enough experience, too low and you’ll be instantly killed. Remember, once units are gone, they are gone. In the end, you are forced to use all units periodically or risk them falling behind. I don’t know if this was an intended feature or not, but it gives me a chance to try out all the units. 

As for the story itself, I’m finding it quite enjoyable right now. As the name implies, there are three houses or factions. The names of these faction aren’t too important to this blog, so I won’t be mention them. I also don’t want to spoil any of the major plot characters in these houses, which why I’ve been avoiding names so far. However, what is important to mention is that all of these factions have clashing ideologies and values. This will be important latter on, that is because the game is split into two parts. The first part, which I’m currently in, is the school phase. In this phase you act as a teacher, guide students (levelling units) in the skills they want to learn and leading one of the factions. Think of it like Harry Potter where you have have the different houses. The second phase, is the war phase. At some point in the story, which I haven’t reached yet, there will be a five year time skip. After which a war will ensue between all three factions. This is where the house you picked comes into play. There are four endings in the game, three of them depending on the faction picked. The last path is a neutral path, which only happens if you decide not complete a certain quest (Spoilers which I don’t even know). 

So far, I have really enjoyed the game. Right now, the story is slowly but surely ramping up. I’m willing to guess the time skip is about to happen any second now. As for the war phase, I’m looking forward to seeing what ramifications my actions in the first stage have on the story.