Category Archives: Video Games

Video Game Charities to Help Children

I hate news.  I try to avoid watching the news on TV and keep up with most things simply by glancing over the headlines on yahoo.com.  Yes, I want to be informed, but at the same time I’m the kind of person who will remember a disturbing picture or story for years.

Some things of course are simply hard to just pass over, like what happened in Boston yesterday.  It’s saddening and infuriating and frustrating that something like that could happen, and that a child was one of the people who died.  I work with children every week, and children hold a very special place in my heart.  I know lots of little 8 year olds. My friend has an 8 year old daughter who runs and jumps into my arms every time she sees me.  To think that she could have been killed…it’s horrible and sobering.  And then a facebook friend posted this picture:

Thank you, Mr. Rogers.

So, we move forwards, and we help.  There will always be crazy bad people in the world who do bad things, but there will also be helpers.  I want to be a helper.  My BF had recently told me about a children’s charity for video gamers, so I looked it and a few others up.  Gamers, here’s how you can be a helper!

Extra Life Charity (My BF is doing this! If you would like to help sponsor him, you can here.)

From their website: “For the last four years, thousands of gamers have joined together annually to play for 24 hours for Extra Life – a gaming marathon in support of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals®. Gamers rally friends and family members to sponsor their play. The funds they raise go to help save and improve the lives of kids at the CMN Hospital in their community.

Since 2008, our incredible players have raised more than 4 million dollars, and this year, on November 2nd, 2013 we believe they will outdo themselves yet again.

We’d like YOU to join our lifesaving fight.”

Child’s Play Charity

From their website: “Since 2003, we’ve set up and organized Child’s Play, a game industry charity dedicated to improving the lives of children with toys and games in our network of over 70 hospitals worldwide. Over the years, you as a community have answered the call and come together to raise millions of dollars.

Child’s Play works in two ways. With the help of hospital staff, we set up gift wish lists full of video games, toys, books, and other fun stuff for kids. By clicking on a hospital location on our map, you can view that hospital’s wish list and send a gift.

Child’s Play also receives cash donations throughout the year. With those cash donations, we purchase new consoles, peripherals, games, and more for hospitals and therapy facilities. These donations allow for children to enjoy age-appropriate entertainment, interact with their peers, friends, and family, and can provide vital distraction from an otherwise generally unpleasant experience.”

Get Well Gamers Charity

From their website: “The Get-Well Gamers Foundation was founded in 2001 with the goal of bringing video game systems and games to children’s hospitals. Video games are an effective and proven pain management tool and provide needed entertainment during long hospital stays.

The Foundation currently serves dozens of children’s hospitals across the U.S. in an ever-expanding donation network that has already brought much-needed entertainment to hundreds of thousands of children each year. The Foundation services all kinds of hospitals, from small local facilities to larger regional medical centers. Although some of these hospitals are on the cutting edge of medical research, all too often their pediatrics units are lacking for entertainment options. The Foundation seeks to fill these gaps by providing hospitals with free video games, systems, and accessories.”

If everyone took even just one day of their week to be a ‘helper’ in some way, imagine what a wonderful place the world would be!

How To Recolor Sprites in Gimp (A Very Simple Guide)

Ever wanted to change the color of a sprite character’s outfit, their eyes or  their hair? It’s very easy and simple to do using an art program (such as Gimp which is free) and even beginners can make nice color changes!  Follow along as I turn Elli’s dress from blue to pink:

1: Open up your sprite in Gimp and zoom in about 800%.  You want the sprite large enough that you can easily see the pixels.

2: Using the Select By Color Tool (it looks like a hand pointing to a bar colored blue, red and yellow and is generally in the top right hand corner of your toolbox) select the lightest color of the object you want to change.  It’s important to start with the lightest color as you can then easily darken the color bit by bit for the shading.

3: Using the Paintbucket tool, fill the selected areas in with the color of your choice.  You can quickly fill in all the areas by holding down Shift while selecting one of the highlighted areas – this will automatically fill them all.  While this is a great time saver, sometimes you will have to select each area individually if the color is used in other areas you want to leave as-is.

4: Using the Select by Color tool, select the next darkest area of the object you’re changing.  Then, using the color selector, pick a color that is darker than your original color.  Make sure it’s the equivalent darkness to the shade you are replacing – if it’s too light or too dark, it will look odd.

5: Repeat the process to fill in all the remaining shades until you have completely replaced the old color scheme with your new one.  The most important thing to remember is to match the shades that you’re replacing, otherwise the shape and shading will look off.

6: Zoom back to normal magnification and see how your sprite looks now.

7: There, she’s looking pretty good! Now I’m going to quickly repeat that whole process to change her bow to a more fitting color to match her dress:

8: Now let’s compare our original Elli next to her new version:

And there you have it! You can use this method to change any color on a sprite, but be aware that the more colors you are replacing, the more attention you have to pay to replacing the shades exactly.  Hair is one of the most difficult things to change because there is generally so many shades to replace and often the color of the hair is used elsewhere on the character, meaning you have to be careful exactly what you replace.  Elli has the same brown color of her hair outlining her face – changing her hair would be quite a project.  The easiest color to change is one that isn’t used elsewhere on the character – for example, Nami:

Her red hair is easy to change because the colors don’t blend into her face or outfit.  So it’s easy to make her, say, a blonde (with purple eyes, no less!):

Finally, remember to save your work often!  If you successfully change the color of a character’s shirt, save your work before you try to tackle another object.  That way if you mess up, you won’t have lost all your recoloring work.

So I got a skin for my 3DS

Remember that red 3DS my boyfriend got me for Christmas?

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You can just see the reflection of my Hello Kitty iphone case in the screen…

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Happy New Year and OMG LOOK WHAT I GOT FOR CHRISTMAS!!

A gamer’s best friend…

This reminds me of somebody I know…

New Coding Book! (and my latest coding project)

Ugh so I’ve been pretty sick with a horrible cough this last week, spent most of the weekend on the couch watching I Love Lucy and The Flying Nun (because I’m so hip!).  Feeling better, but still not 100%.

BUT I have a new coding book and I’m very excited! :D It’s HTML5 Games: Creating Fun with HTML5, CSS3, and WebGL
by Jacon Seidelin.  I can’t wait to start working on it, it looks fantastic.  I can’t believe how out-of-date my HTML knowledge has gotten (vintage 2008) and I only recently learned about all the new additions to HTML and CSS.  Canvas! ContentEditable! Audio! Smart phone support!  I mean, it’s so sci-fi now! ;)

I’ve been working on a text-based online roleplay  which is how I realized my coding was so out-of-date.  The RP is basically going to be a Harvest Moon fangame (no surprise there) and I was working on some code to make it more interactive than just players writing everything out.  Hopefully players will be able to milk their cows and grow multiple crops by the time I’m done :)  It’s going to be based in Tumblr and I’ll post more info on it as I get a better idea of what it’s going to be like.  Right now I can tell you it’s going to be based in a unique Harvest Moon village and have a central plot of saving the Harvest Goddess’ garden.

And now I have to get to work because it’s 8am Monday morning…

I hate Scumbag Sony.

Okay, so I don’t really hate Sony.

I just freakin’ hate the Playstation Network.

Because I am no longer lucky enough to own a working PS1 with which to play Harvest Moon: Back to Nature (remember my goal of playing all the Harvest Moon games in order?), I was delighted to find out that you can download the game to the PS3.  We just so happen to have a PS3 (it was a birthday gift for my brothers a few years back; it lives on the TV stand as little more than a glorified DVD player) so I decided to buy it.  Well, the internet at our house is lame so none of our consoles are hooked up to it.  Every so often I decide to hook the Wii up to the net to download a game.  It does a quick update and then I just select the game I want to download from the store and BOOM, I’m done.   I hooked up the PS3 with the same expectations.

First there was an update, I was expecting that. Then I had to download the store.  Then I had to install it.  Then it wanted to update the store that it had just downloaded.  Finally (about an hour and a half after I started) I got into the store and found the game I wanted, and added it to my cart – when I was then informed that I had to make an account to continue.  They wanted my age, my full name, address, zip, email (WTH all they going to do with all this info??).  I had to click through two pages of user agreements.  About halfway through all this I had to leave to do something else (because I, you know, have a life) and when I got back the session had timed out and I had to start from the beginning with entering my info.

FINALLY,  around two hours after I started, I got my account made and found the game I wanted.  I also decided to buy two other games I’ve been meaning to get (Harvest Moon: Save the Homeland and Innocent Life) because there is very little chance I will ever be hooking the PS3 back up to the net.

It can just sit there with it’s out of date system and feel sorry for itself.

Crocheted Kirby (more old projects)

So I also found some of my older art projects while organizing my computer files.  This is the Kirby I made my BF as a birthday gift last year.  This is NOT one of my original patterns; I got the pattern for it here (so go make your own! :D)

My Harvest Moon blog on Tumblr

So yes, I started ANOTHER blog a little while ago, this time on Tumblr.  I’ve never spent much time on Tumblr because it’s kinda like a blogging site on acid in my mind, but I decided to be adventurous and give it a whirl.  I’m still not quite sure what makes Tumblr that much different from other blogging sites except that A: you can edit all the code for your blog which I LOVE, and B: apparently you’re supposed to re-reblog what other people have already reblogged.  And hope someone else re-re-reblogs what you’ve already re-reblogged.

Anyway, my Tumblr blog is Harvest Moonatic, and is all about my love for the Harvest Moon games.  I’ll be posting all my musings on the subject and pointless updates about my progress as I replay the entire console series (nearly done with Harvest Moon 64) so check into it often! :)

Time for a 3DS…

So you may know that I’ve been very happy with my first gen pearl pink DS that I’ve had for…like 7 years (my god, has it been that long???).  The new DS versions have never tempted me and I have been content playing my chunky old school DS.  But now the time has come to get a 3DS and I have two very good reasons why:

1. They now come in pearl pink.

2. Harvest Moon: A New Beginning (only for 3DS) was released on the 6th.

Seeing as I had a crazed Harvest Moon fan moment and PRE-ORDERED the game already (it was just shipped and will be here any day!) I now need a 3DS.  This is when having a gamer boyfriend at during the biggest gift-giving time of year comes in handy <3

So, seeing as I’ll be getting a 3DS pretty soon one way or another, I’ve been browsing what else it has to offer.  And wow, there are tons of games for it now!  Last time I browsed 3DS games it was last Christmas when I pre-ordered Paper Mario: Sticker Star and Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon for my BF’s Christmas gifts (all of you who also pre-ordered them can laugh along with me at the fact that neither of these games have YET to be released even a year later! Seriously, WTH Nintendo?)

One of the 3DS features I’m most excited about is being able to download older gameboy games to it!  That is super cool, and I’m hoping to get to play a lot of old games I don’t have the consoles for anymore.

And I’ll finally be able to get some of those cute accessories that don’t work with my chunky first gen DS, like the Princess Peach Case!

Is that the cutest DS case or what? ;)

 

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