Nerdy News: Maker Faire 2014

Hello everyone!

Over the weekend I got the chance to visit the Maker Faire – An event to show off robots, 3D printers, electronics, and other technological creations. It was also a chance for the creators to talk about their skills and advancements, as well as their future plans.

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I checked out all of the 3D printing tents. There was a lot of competition because there were so many different types and brands of printers for sale. Each tent had items being printed off for demonstration. It was really cool to watch, and got me excited for how the printers might be implemented in the near future. There were figurines, vases, bottles, game pieces, and many other cool items being printed. The printing process takes a decent amount of time, but the cost seems to be less than what you buy most of the items for online. One of the companies were offering custom printed fashion dolls, with pieces that you can pop together yourself. Easy to assemble, and for a price of 15-25$. For a custom doll, which is completely pose-able, and larger than a Barbie doll, I think it’s a pretty awesome grab. Speaking of awesome grabs, I managed to get myself a little 3D printed octopus… for free!

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You can see the lines of each layer. Depending on the printer, or the material used, certain items are smoother than others. What I was really interested in was the ability to 3D print clothes and shoes. There were some awesome examples of this, and the pieces really had a custom look to them. Besides the 3D printing, I also got to meet some really cool new robots. One example is the InMoov, a completely 3D printed robot, that is also open source. I was able to watch it tell a person to come closer so that it could hear them, and then shake hands with them. There was also one that was connected through an Oculus Rift. You could put the Oculus on and see through the robots eyes, and it would move its head as you moved yours. A pretty cool experience!

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Speaking of Oculus Rift, there was some gaming going on using the virtual reality headset. One of the stations even had a moving platform under the players feet, to make it feel more interactive. There is still a lot of development to be done with these headsets, but I believe it’s a crucial step forward in awesome virtual reality gaming. This event was a great way to see all of the people who want to keep our future moving forward, and inspire the creation of innovative and just plain cool creations. There was so much stuff to see, that I can’t even sum it up in one blog post. I’ll definitely post some of the videos on my upcoming Youtube channel (yes, Slash Frag N’ Teabag is going to have a YouTube channel!!)

You will be able to check it out HERE!  It will also include playthroughs, reviews, and other fun stuff!

And here are some pictures from the event. Enjoy!

( 3D Printed Headphones)

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( 3D Printed Dress )

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( 3D Printed Robot Figure)

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Landmark: Underneath It all

Hello Everyone!

So I was playing Landmark (Beta) over the weekend, and I ended up having a strange question come to mind. How deep does the world actually go, and what’s underneath it all?


Landmark is a game that involves mining resources, and building stuff. That’s the simplest way to put it. I realized that some players had dug extremely deep squares of the earth out on their claims (player owned plots of land), but the claims have a limited height and depth that you can build or dig.

**You can apply for Beta or check the page out by clicking this image. You can also get Early Access on Steam for this game.**

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I decided it was time for an adventure. I needed and answer to my question, and I was going to get it no matter what. So I grabbed my Founder’s Pickaxe, and started digging. I dug a small tunnel straight down into the earth. I was really disappointed that as I got further down, the layers never changed. Maybe I’m just too used to Minecraft. The entire trip, I was stuck looking at brown dirt. Not much sightseeing on this trip. Although, I did get a few rare items out of the dirt. I even got a Legendary crafting item. But, mostly I got dirt. Lots and lots of dirt. 184,671 dirt, to be exact.

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After digging for what must have been an hour (I didn’t time the trip, which I probably should have) the air started looking foggy and had a slight green tint to it. This encourage me to keep digging, even though I was nearly at the point of giving up. I had seen too much dirt at this point, and figured I would start dreaming about dirt if I went any further. I kept digging, and the fog kept getting thicker. Finally I reached a point where the fog was so thick that I couldn’t see my character. I couldn’t even see where to dig. I knew this was probably as far I would get. The whole trip had taken more than an hour.

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I will admit, I was hoping for something more exciting. Maybe an underworld with scary monsters, and lava, and giant spires of doom? Maybe just falling into nothing and watching the world above me get further and further away until I’m either brutally murdered by darkness or forced to respawn to safety? Ok… maybe I’ve been playing too much Minecraft.

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Until next time,

Game Hard!

Minecraft: A Mineful Community

Hello Everyone!

Today I just wanted to write a short post about my recent experiences with Minecraft. I love relaxing and playing Minecraft on single player. You can build what you want without worry of opinion or griefing, and you can play at your own pace. I’ve been on a few public servers, and I just wasn’t feeling it. There was either too many players on to keep track of, or barely any people on to talk to, so I pretty much just gave up. After I gained a little more confidence in my building skills, I decided to join some of my friends on a server that they were building a town on. There were rules, and permissions that kept the town safe from unwanted visitors, and the community seemed pretty nice. There weren’t always a lot of people on, but there seemed to be mostly cool people on the server. Having a group of people all working on one town is a pretty awesome experience.

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After getting comfortable on one server, I decided to check out another. I jumped into a world where you start at a builder status and move up in the ranks, allowing you to build in more parts of the world. I was immediately greeted upon logging in, and people started conversations with me and shared advice for my builds. I felt extremely welcome on the server, and the admins and higher ups always kept a watch on what was going on. Everyone treated each other equally, including different ranks.

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Whenever I needed help, someone was there to assist me. I had never had such a good experience on a Minecraft server, and it really changed my opinion. A good community is something a lot of games are lacking these days. It’s hard to keep all the poisonous people out, considering they can play the nice guy act for awhile, and then suddenly turn on you or your server. I believe a game like Minecraft can really benefit from good communities. It can make creating large builds easier, with lots of cooperation. It can make the game, and towns in the game, more immersive. The feeling of logging in, and having people that you can call friends, and being able to chill out and have quality time is priceless.

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Sometimes we forget that those little pixel people, are still people. It’s like going to a masquerade – you can act like a totally different person when no one knows who you truly are, and you can treat people differently because they won’t know. You can leave and come back in a different outfit and mask, and start off totally differently, and no one suspects a thing. Having a “mindful community” in Minecraft makes the game a whole new experience, and can remove some of those masks. I remember the moment I ranked up on the server, I was congratulated and people started conversations with me out of curiosity. I logged in the next day, and people who remembered me were congratulating me. It made me want to come back and build connections with these people.

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Friends, family, neighbors? It can be the same as real life, if you can build a community of people who look behind the masks. Don’t get me wrong, role-playing a character with a different personality is fun, but sometimes treating people how you would in real life makes it easier to build relationships. I’m going to check out a few different servers, and give them a chance. I hope to find more wonderful communities out there.

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Honorable mention servers:

Pwego-Insomnia and Shaboozey

 

Until next time…

Game hard!