Tuesday, 23 November 2010

uk etsy ok!

Union Jack Pin Cushion / Stuffie
Union Jack Pin Cushion by darlingdillydilly

i loved it when folksy arrived on the scene to allow us british crafters to buy and sell stuff in our own country and currency - but i have to say that the majority of my buyers still come through etsy, whether they're from the USA and elsewhere in the world, or from the UK. so it's with much excitement that i can pass on the news that etsy is making things way easier for UK craft fans to buy more UK craft!

local search is the big thing i've been wanting for ages as a buyer myself - if just because you know that if you buy things from just down the road, they'll get to you in the post a whole lot quicker than having to negotiate the choppy unpredictable waters of international airmail and customs. so that's just made last minute disorganised christmas present buying soooooo much easier :D

the other thing etsy are working on is currency. they've already given people the choice of what currency to see prices in (with paypal's exchange rates and currency conversion fees built in, just like on ebay) so you don't have check xe.com every five seconds - but now they've also given sellers the choice of what currency to list in. so now i'm torn... do i keep things in $USD since most of my etsy fans are from america, and UK customers can always buy in £GBP from my folksy shop? or do i switch over and hope that more UK people will find it easier to buy now? i'd love any feedback on how this affects you as an internet shopper if you want to get in touch :)

anyway, in honour of the new features, and to stop from pimping my own stuff for once (or as a not so subtle hint at what to buy me for christmas ;) here is a treasury featuring some of my favourite uk crafty gamers that i think you might like too :) and the plus side is that you still have time to order any of this stuff to get it before christmas!*


*which reminds me, on the subject of last posting dates - they're now up on both shops and the OMEGAZOID fan page on facebook - basically if you're in the uk, you've got til the 20th December for first class post, but shop earlier and save yourself the stress!

Monday, 22 November 2010

a very rupee christmas and a starry new year...

shiny things :), originally uploaded by spugmeistress

...and coins for anyone who doesn't celebrate either! (wouldn't want you to miss out on displaying your 8bit love to the world)

i've been playing around with the larger (well, normal sized to everyone else) hama beads recently to come up with some new christmas tree decorations / holiday hangers in time for the impending festive season. if you don't have a tree, they also look good in windows where the translucent beads really catch the light nicely.

you can get a super mario star, super mario coin, red rupee or green rupee (or both!) or one of each in a super retro videogame christmas decoration gift four-pack. of course, they're also available on folksy for UK people, and as always i'm happy to do things in different colours, combinations or quantities if people ask nicely :)

i'm also always up for suggestions or requests - festive 8bit videogame sprites were a bit thin on the ground as i was researching, even from the snow-laden super mario levels, so i ended up going with generic shiny things in festive colours. maybe 5 gold rings from sonic the hedgehog would be a good next project? but if you can think of any christmas-themed videogames of a suitable era, let me know! either here, or on the OMEGAZOID facebook fan page and if you come up with a good enough idea, i might make you a prototype!

if you like the look of these, but want something a little bit more wearable, i've got some jewellery/accessories lined up ready to be listed so look out for those soon...

Friday, 5 November 2010

game city 5 and other such distractions

Pac-Notts - 6
Pac Notts originally uploaded by Game City

wow, it's been nearly a year since my last post... since then i've changed jobs at work, joined a roller derby team, broke my wrist (yes those last two are connected...) and there's been another Game City festival in Nottingham, which was just as awesome as last year's! the photo above shows us playing pac-notts - live action running around pacman on the streets of nottingham, controlled by frantic mobile phone directions and a non-GPS enabled custom map back on laptops at HQ - run by the very lovely and very fun people from Pac-Lyon. too many other highlights to write about, especially as i was too busy having fun to tweet half as much as i did last year, but you can see some more about the week (and hunt for familiar faces in photos) here:


apart from catching up and testing whether this thing still works, i just wanted to check in to say that i'm currently working on restocking both the etsy shop and folksy shop in time for the holidays, and if you want to join the Facebook page for (hopefully more frequent) updates, you can Like OMEGAZOID here :)

Thursday, 10 December 2009

free games for free(?!) time

there's been a slight slow down again round these parts due to the usual pre-christmas insanity, but also exciting things afoot in the future of crafty/gamesy/internetty stuff - you'll hopefully hear more soon :)

in the meantime, i thought it might be good to provide some flash game links to distract everyone from the lack of blogging:

Small Worlds is an exploring game. some people have said that it only takes 30 mins to complete, but as someone who is sadly lacking in the basic videogame skill of jumping, i've obviously gotten more value out of it and still have only seen 3 of the gorgeously pixellated worlds that lie through the mysterious teleports.

Continuity is a weird one - it's like they took a really simple game and watch level and turned it into one of those slidey puzzles (which, for the record, i hate. i absolutely suck at them and still haven't completed the ones in professor layton, even with walkthroughs.) it's immensely clever, although takes a while to realise the nuances of why exactly you aren't allowed to go through the wall to the next screen yet, and soon ramps up the difficulty - just wish it had a save game.

but mostly i've just been playing Wii Picross. now i've finally completed Picross DS, and 3D Picross isn't out over here quite yet, this completely free website is keeping me more than occupied - I'm addicted to the daily puzzles and their advent challenge is proving quite interesting this time (is it sad to realise i've been playing this site long enough to remember the last two years' worth of christmas specials?) i bought a book of puzzles recently to carry round but the majority of them are logically incomplete, full of mistakes, or plain broken, which makes me appreciate wii picross even more. have to say i much prefer to use it on the pc than to the wii browser though.

and finally... not exactly a flash game, but i downloaded world of goo recently as part of their 'pay what you want' promotion - at first i was most intrigued by the experiment, and to be honest i still haven't got round to installing the mac version. however, they've also gone on to offer the first chapter as a free demo on wiiware, which *did* hook me in, and i finally got round to realising what i suspected all along: it's ace fun :) highly recommended, and yay for wiiware demos!

Saturday, 5 December 2009

i've got the key, i've got the secret

collection of keys

collection of keys, originally uploaded by spugmeistress.

it's quite disgraceful that i've been trailing this for over a year, but look, new collection! these keys are taken from various 8bit nintendo games (well, mostly legend of zelda, but one random mystery one in there too) and put on a necklace in order to make cheesy jokes like 'you've got the key to my heart!'. Link would be proud of such a chat up line, i'm sure...

i've always wanted one of the keys from the latchkey project, not only because they look so damn cool, and each one is unique, but also because of the unknown story behind each one - the mystery of knowing that a key must belong to an item that it unlocks and trying to reunite the two. is there a super secret prize at the end of the quest, or is the joy in the journey (that to be honest, i doubt many people have ever completed. but i'm not sure that's the point...)

on the subject of games and puzzles and fun with almost pointless point scoring, i just found out about noticin.gs and it looks awesome. just like with wii fit or singstar - the points/games/rules help give the experience some sort of legitimacy against time wasting, but they're really only a framing device for the real fun - such as shedding inhibitions with friends, interacting with the world around you.

anyway, if you want a key, they're available here:

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

the best things ever

photo borrowed from angelsk's flickr
*before we start: the blue wig is there for a reason. we were on our way to a hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy party and i dressed up as a hooloovoo (i like to think being a hyperintelligent shade of blue quite befits my personality ;) )

best umbrella ever: by squid london

i do like smart textiles. so when i saw this
hydrochromic umbrella, i *had* to have it. the silhouettes start off white and change colour when they get rained on, kinda like those kids water painting things :) a couple of days after it arrived (in a package with butterfly print packing tape and some wallpaper samples by my *favourite* wallpaper designers - how did they know?!), technabob kindly pointed out that the umbrella owner can't actually see how awesomely colour changing it is when they are underneath it, but i don't care - at least everyone else gets to see and know that my umbrella is better than theirs :P it doesn't hurt that it has a london skyline on it either - manchester would have been nicer but at least it's not MK (not that MK really *has* a skyline...)

best watch ever: by nixon

i love my watch. it's not new - i've had it probably nearly 7 or 8 years and it's currently sporting a paperclip as a strap loop, but it's still the classiest watch i've seen. i'm pretty sure i was influenced towards the nixon rocker by its inclusion as a 'create a skater' option in one of the tony hawk's pro skater games (maybe 3 or 4?) but i can't for the life of me find out which one. even recreated in pixels it looked amazing, and then even more so when i realised dave grohl had one. cedric diggory sports something looking remarkably similar in the lake scene in harry potter: goblet of fire too, but i'll let him off ;)

best live band ever: muse

nothing more really needs to be said. but i will anyway ;) as much as i love radiohead to bits and they are probably my favourite band of all time, muse don't half kick their ass. went to see them for the 7(?)th time at the 02 in London a few weeks ago, and they rocked so hard that i almost don't care that i never got to see queen live. utterly ridiculous, utterly sublime and i've already bought tickets to see them again next september at wembley. cannot wait :)

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

small* duck update

blue duck necklace

inspired from the duck hunt wall friezes i blogged the other day, we get back to the usual etsy stylings with some wearables again :) the mini hama bead versions are about half the size of the big ones, so just the right size - although i did have to slightly redesign the sprite, so duck hunt purists are warned that these aren't *exactly* canon ;) here's the duck necklace for the girls, and the duck pin for everyone to enjoy - they can come in any of the three colours if you have a particular outfit/wallpaper in mind that it needs to match ;)

*count all the different meanings of small in one short post! ;)

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

hunting ducks

flying duck hunt

so here you go: you saw the work in progress concept a few weeks ago, and now i can show the final product: the flying duck hunt wall frieze! (on etsy and folksy)

i have to make a confession: flying ducks have always reminded me more of coronation street than nintendo's duck hunt - the NES was just a little bit before my time. but there is perhaps no better amalgamation of videogame sprites with good old real northern life than hilda ogden's trio of ducks recreated in glorious pixel form.

i think it's interesting that videogames are often seen as quite an immature and young industry or artform, and yet we already embrace nostalgia - especially if you're as into 8bit retro pixels as me. obviously there's something in the basicness of it all that makes us yearn for simpler times, when you only had one or two buttons to mash instead of a whole control system to learn, and games were short, straightforward and (in my opinion) often a lot more fun for it. i guess the wii is getting back to that kind of thing, especially as the industry realises that my overcomplicating things, they lost a huge chunk of the casual market along the way, which i guess is why we're seeing a lot more of these vintage titles appearing on things like wiiware.

i don't know if it's for these reasons, or just that he *really* likes ducks, that a friend from the mktweetup group (who, incidentally, makes awesome custom arcade cabinets) commissioned a special single colour duck trio for his very own wall. if anyone else fancies one, get in touch with me via the blog, flickr, etsy or folksy and i'll see what i can do :)

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

game city's last stand - day 5

Brickstock Continued... - 03

so I got no sleep friday night... :( horrible stinking cold from being too sociable, talking too much and generally being on holiday, but i wasn't about to let it get in the way of rocking out!

in the big tent @gamecity watching the world's first lego rock festival \m/, hope i can still sing with a stinking cold

they set the giant tent up with astroturf, deckchairs, umbrellas and lots and lots of lego, with giant lego bricks on stage and raina lee being incredibly enthusiastic and lovely. but whilst i waited for the rest of my band to arrive, there was a small matter of matsuraa-san's keynote in the ballroom to go to. there was live music, live playing of brand new rhythm games, lots of general excitement and margaret robertson doing an excellent job of interviewing landing exactly on the right side of the fangirl line.

waiting back stage for our brickstock performance @gamecity to a crowd of thousands (of minifigs ;)

but now it was time... after already hearing quite a few renditions of bryan adams and bon jovi, we decided to give the crowd a break and go for walking on sunshine by katrina and the waves. possibly not a wise choice as it goes on for*ever* at the end with bits i didn't know how to sing, and a bass player who had never played the game before, let alone in public! but we had fun, and rocked out, and Omegazoid seemed to go down well with the crowd :) definitely the highlight that i've been telling people about the most :D

finished rocking out to lego rock band in time to go see jonathan smith ballroom bricks @gamecity, lego alex james is uber cute!

and then straight after playing the game, had to run back to the ballroom to see the lovely jonathan smith talk about lego rock band. i like how the songs were picked to be ones that would make you feel awesome :) i also like how they've managed to take out most of the annoying bits and made the game even more fun, rather than just a change of song list. he told us afterwards that previous rock band DLC will work with lego rock band too which is pretty awesome (dependant on family friendly-ness, understandably, the Lego corp probably don't want their characters singing dodgy stuff). one of my favourite things has been the character design though - lego blur are adorable; i always had a crush on alex james and his lego'd up floppy fringe is incredibly cute - and lego queen follow quickly behind with the immensity that is brian may's curly lego mullet. the whole thing is tempting me horribly into the murky (well, seemingly expensive) world of lego minifig modding...

Also TT are working on lego harry potter! :o going to be aaaawesooome :D next year @gamecity?

*how* excited am i about this?! it seems it had already been announced and so wasn't new news to anyone but me, but yay! i wanna do magic spells with my wiimote with the same ease and pure joy as lightsabre fighting in lego star wars. and then, that was it... hometime for me, as i'd not booked a hotel room for saturday night due to not realising there was another party that night, and to be honest, the cold was getting the better of me anyway. would've loved to stay and get dressed up with professional makeup to do Left For Dead: Live, not to mention to see how they were going to manage StreetFighter: Live (something like this maybe?) but it was sadly not to be...

til next year :)

sadly having to leave @gamecity before The End party (bah illness n lack of sunday trains) but thank you for an absolutely brilliant week :)

p.s. one of my tweets is in Edge! check out their gamecity round up (slightly more concise than mine, but not half as interesting hopefully ;) in the christmas issue out now :)

pixels and parappa at game city day 4

and day 4 of gamecity starts like this...

just about to head into town for more @gamecity, anyone know when live @onelifeleft is going to be? Do i risk going to curry sessions?

the answer was yes. gotta love mystery twitterer (although he wasn't entirely sure what i was on about) and the status updates from two of the OLL presenters saying they were still on the motorway, but yaaaaay, it was so worth making it to the final curry session - all worked out to be timed quite nicely in the end :)

The pixel ani curry session w/spiteyourface & alaskanmilitaryschool @gamecity was ace, want to go get out the lego and gameboy camera now :)

alaskan military school are the genii behind the 15 pixel gamecity idents (play the game, see how many you can guess!) which i absolutely *love*. spite your face are the genii behind the whole lego stop motion animation phenomena, and the dudes who did lego camelot which appeared on the monty python & the quest for the holy grail dvd (2nd favourite film ever). one of the spite your face guys managed to 'play' music from the gameboy chunky camera which wasn't exactly a pop sensation but nonetheless impressive. i still have my [sister's] gameboy camera somewhere...

i love how both of them managed to distil such vast things into pixel form (either literally, or in lego pixels) and still be so recognisable and powerful. simplification of pixel art seems to bring out the sheer quality of things sometimes i think. but then i would say that with my hama bead obsession ;)

is sat in front of jonathan smith watching @onelifeleft @gamecity :)

it's quite bizarre seeing one of your favourite podcasts being recorded live, but i was glad i finally got the chance after missing them 2 years ago (when i was yet to be a listener, but had just heard about it from ste curran's talk). even bizarrer to turn around and see jonathan smith from TT games (mr lego everything) sat behind you, enjoying the show! i wonder if he's started work on lego sweeney todd yet...

really enjoyed Mr matsuura's majestic march @gamecity - much fun with kazoos and now i *need* to play vib ribbon :)

this was the warm up for masaya matsuraa's keynote the next day, but was possibly actually way more fun. we got given kazoos on the way in and practiced warming up a bit by going through every sci fi theme tune we could possible remember (old school star trek and stargate themes probably worked best out of the bunch - imperial deathmarch does not suit the kazoo and super mario bros is too hard...) the reason for all of this was two-fold - first he was promoting his new wiiware game, Major Minor's Majestic March, which looks hella fun to play. matsuraa-san is the king of rhythm action games (i learned) as he was behind stuff like vib ribbon and parappa the rapper (both of which i should really hunt out and play properly sometime), but i really like how he's managed to evolve the gameplay when so many people seem to be doing the same old thing. the majestic march doesn't require you to stick to a pre-determined beat and test your accuracy - it lets you keep your own tempo, and change it according to the needs of the song. way more like real music performance than mere karaoke :)

the second reason we got kazoos was for our mass performance of hey jude together. brilliantly smily moment, harkened back to when i got linked to this hey jude lyric flowchart diagram when i got back (absolutely genius)

Watching gamers dance to chip tunes is funny (i fully include myself in this)

nerdiest party/night out i think i've ever been to, but at least there *was* dancing, which i wasn't entirely expecting! i have to confess i'm not the hugest fan of chip tunes, but syphus was pretty cool, sabrepulse played the blockbuster theme tune and i had an excuse to boogie :)

fun times partying with @onelifeleft @gamecity, dancing to knights of triforce muse/zelda mashup was immense :)

i think this is the closest i can find to the song in question, but i'm sure the version @byronicman played was far more remixy/mashup than badly played guitar cover. if anyone can find it, link me up - i *need* that mp3 in my life :D