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    I had my first dance lesson yesterday. My fiancee wouldn't accept that me winging it for our first dance would be good enough (but, but... the worm!), so now we're doing something real. :p

    It went alright, no toes were crushed.

    But the real ordeal of the week was finding suit pants which fit someone who doesn't skip legs day! Nothing, nothing in any trendy shop fit without looking like lycra compression pants on me. I was trying 40" pants at mj bale when i have a 34" waist and they were jamming on every lumpy part of me.

    Eventually i succumbed, upped my budget, and got properly sorted, but dammit i want to shop where the people do!

      I've had similar issues over the years, I used to be 150kg+ wearing size 50-52 waisted pants, and while I'm now much lower, I still have calves like tree trunks, so quite often I'll be trying stuff that fits my waist, but also looks like the aforementioned compression pants.

      Fashion is a lot of the problem here - "skinny fit" is all the rage in men's fashion at the moment, which is fine if you're you're 6ft and weigh 80kg, but for everyone else it sucks.

      It's such a shame that proper bespoke tailoring just isn't afforable anymore.

        Also mens' shoes that come to a point at the toe. I had to wear them for a wedding and I was always feeling like the toe was getting caught on something as I walked. Not sure why witch's shoes are popular in mens' fashion these days but I'm not a fan.

    Morning all!

    Do you read? Awesome. My real name is David, and I write stuff:

    AFTERGLOW is now available for Amazon Kindle. Apologies it's only digital. I'm working on that. Regardless, I am pretty darn proud, think it's a super read and will be following it up with something even better later in the year.

    Thanks in advance, friends.


      welcome! I'm not personally much of a reader (except of nerdy stuff like manuals and other non-fiction stuff) but we've had a couple of writers in the TAY community over the years. Occasionally they might pop their head in, but mostly they're present on twitter these days. I'm sure you'll find someone who's keen to have a read of your stuff! There's plenty in here who do love their books!

        Indeedy. I've been slowly discovering the different communities. And thanks :)

      Congrats on getting a book done, not an easy task.
      Is it available on anything other than kindle?

        Possibly if I can strike some sort of deal with a second book later this year. I'll let you all know.

    So I can confirm, even while drunk, that Space Jam is not a very good movie.

    But I can confirm, even while drunk, that Space Jam is 90's as fuck.

      I prefer the Space Jam Expanded Universe. Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden is a masterpiece.

      Space Jam is not a very good movie.

      I don't think we can be friends any more.

      You're not alone. I stand with you. I just don't get the hype around that movie. I've tried to watch it a few times, but every time I end up just thinking "Meh".

    Well Tiglet had her birthday party over the weekend and I might have to brag a little. I think it was the best party I have put together. Hired a local community centre that had a bunch of toys and stuff for the kids to play with so that was good.
    Tiglet's favourite show at the moment is Wallykazam so we went with a Wallykazam theme. The only really thing I wanted to do that we didn't have time for was food labels, but oh well.

    Pushed myself a little in terms of the cake, first time trying a checkerboard style cake and the first time I had tried to use fondant. Was really happy with the end result. We went with her favourite character BOBGOBLIN!!!!
    She was able to recognise him which was a good start and was talking about her bobgoblin cake when she went to bed so I count that as a win.
    The cake itself
    The very centre was slightly undercooked but cut around that so don't think people noticed. Got lots of comments about the checkerboard which was nice

    Other food that I was happy with was Stan of the swamps Mud pies which were chocolate custard, with sour worms and choc ripple crumble for dirt. I also did some fresh strawberry custard for the strawberry and pickle pudding. Along with assorted chips/slices/fruit platter and other party food. Including fairy bread.

    We had a friend who has been doing professional face painting for over a decade, who did it for free for us which the kids loved. Tiglet had previously only had it done on one had but loved it so much that she got both hands and both cheeks done. She also did some painting of my hand herself, including lots of sparkles. She was also super excited that Granma and her got matching lions on their hands.
    We also had an arts and craft table with colouring in and Magic stick creation. The kids loved making the sticks, with stickers, fabric ties and wallkazam character stickers. I don't think Tiglet was without of for most of the party.
    She scored some cool gifts, there was minimal tears and I think everybody had fun. Was a wonderful afternoon.

    Alright, I've finished a few games over the last month, so this may be long.

    First game, Lost Odyssey. Putting this off for too long, I decided to finally play this. The story and those optional stories are as amazing as everyone has praised about. The gameplay is really strong and a lot of the boss fights were some of the most challenging I've ever had in a JRPG. I don't mean just one or two, almost all bosses were really difficult and took several tries. Despite the praise it did have some draw backs. One being that once you reach the part where you can travel anywhere the game becomes a whole lot easier. Probably because since you can go anywhere they had to design all battles and bosses more evenly since you can do them all in any order.

    Second a lot of mechanics of the game are all really good, but since they're being shared among so many none of them can reach their full potential.

    Also I really hate the 'find all treasures' achievement. I went around the whole world like, 20 times and I could not get that achievement. I spent hours and hours just looking, following guides and videos. I found so many missed items but I still didn't get the achievement. Really frustrating.

    Next game was Ratchet and Clank: A Crack in Time. A game I started in 2011 but never got far. Went through it all again (twice). Found some enjoyment in the game but one thing I did notice was how hard it was trying to be funny. Characters randomly throw up funny lines or quips and all of them fall flat. It's not as bad as the god awful R&C1 remake, but it did push home that the series is known for its humour when really it was never funny to begin with, the original trilogy were just fun games.

    Went on to Resistance 3, started in 2012. The variety of weapons and enemies were fun, although I became annoyed discovering that getting all enemies to use the alternate firing mode for their weapons was an unlockable cheat and not part of the game.

    Heart of the Swarm, I really enjoyed Wings of Liberty (despite the last mission) but I didn't find this expansion to be as enjoyable. I realised what the problem was, Kerrigan herself. Since for a majority of missions she's a 'hero' character that's really broken and unbalances the game. She regularly wipes out units with little effort and with how quick Zerg can be created the game wasn't really that challenging. The missions I enjoyed were the ones where she was absent and I had to rely on the Zerg. Even the final mission was just a limited steamroll where I had the ability to just summon up a giant flying behemoth to blow up bases.
    I enjoyed the story though, it was a revenge story that doesn't pull some crappy plot twist out of the air in the last second. It ends how you think it will end.

    After Infamous: Second Son disappointed me a bit I tried Infamous 2. While it did have some game elements that I felt was missing from the third game (mainly that traversing the city is fun) I thought I would have enjoyed the game more. But the main problem were the enemy types you fight. Aside from basic military all enemies were friggen annoying. So many of them had knock down effect attacks that leave you open to the same attack that juggle and kill you. The first type is a melee monster that rushes you down but can't be knocked down or away, so you just spam your strongest attacks. They get replaced by a monster that just rushes you down and explodes, which is annoying in this game with regenerative health. One monster type teleports every 2 seconds, so once you're aiming at them they're already gone. A behemoth monster fires a collection of explosive goo that knock you down and leave you to get hit by the same attack, which knocks you down etc. until you die.

    Despite that I really enjoyed how they did the whole 'locked off from the city' cliche from like GTA3 or something. You can go to any point on the map but those areas don't have power, so you can't replenish spent power.

    Played Wild Guns, pretty fun if really difficult. Really needs more than 1 person to play though.

    Finished Legacy of the Void and found it much better. Rather than having a hero on map your battleship off-screen can provide bonuses/attacks for power. So there's a bit more strategy involved in knowing when to use it. Which also made the final mission more intense as your ship is attacked and prevents those abilities from being used.

    Then I played the epilogue missions which I didn't really enjoy and didn't really enjoy how they wrapped up the whole story.

    Then I played the Burial at Sea DLC for Bioshock: Infinite. I didn't think I could have hated Infinite more than I did but the DLC proved me wrong. Just breaking their own universe and Bioshocks universe in the process. I'm surprised that they didn't try to shove in System Shock as well.

    Also been playing a whole lot of Frontier Defense for Titanfall 2 and just having so much fun.

    I started a new job, stayed there for 1 week before coming in monday morning and quitting. There was nothing wrong with the job, just that my wife put in a fairly strong argument to have me come work for her, help set up her webshop and stuff properly. As well as give her time to work by dealing with our daughter. It's a fairly relaxed lifestyle so far, its awesome.

    I did a game jam just before I started the job, sadly the other team didn't finish, I was really looking forward to comparing the two. But all the same, pretty happy with the results, game jam buggyness and all (personally the weird bugs add to the charm I recon). I hope I'm allowed to post the link here, but if I get banned, its been fun.

      Welcome aboard! You won't get banned for posting the link. I would normally jump at the chance to try out something like this, but you kinda lost me at stealth. Never been much of a stealth fan. Still, I will likely give it a try just to try and give you some feedback. I used to work in game dev, so I understand how handy feedback can be some times :)
      Great to see that you at least managed to get something completed! That's a hell of an achievement in itself :)

        Yeah stealth wasnt my first choice either, but had to go with the team on that one. You're right on the feedback, you either hear nothing or just "yeah", makes it hard to gauge.

        They are doing another game jam in a few weeks, only 3 days this time instead of 7, still trying to decide if I want to do another one yet (although kicking myself, I had Ludum as a goal all year, and missed it due to timing)

    Christ, poor Gearbox...

    GB: "Hey, we're releasing a new moba-esque hero shoo-"
    Blizzard: "Here's Overwatch!"

    GB: "Hey, we're working on a new 1v1 shooter with CCG elemen-"
    Valve: "Here's Artifact!"

    So it's been something like 3 months since I last touched an energy drink. Which for me is quite a feat I used to drink one 500ml can of something a day or 2x 250ml, normally going to work of an evening. Now I don't even think about wanting one, & I can't recall the last time I had soft drink. I've even been trying to limit how much sugar & other shit I have.

    I think I feel better for it, but i've only started doing that last few weeks. I've always been aware how much excess sugar & salt is in a lot of stuff today, I just never really cared too much about it.

    I don't know why the sudden change, but I think it's been a long time coming with me. I've had a bit of an attitude adjustment over the last few years, started out by weeding out the friends who were nothing but parasites, that made me feel better, then I got back on my feet by getting the job i'm currently in & i've been enjoying the activity of it all, some days i'm walking up to 20km just at work, which is normally no more than a 7 hour shift, usually a lot less.

    Went to that "Beers on the Bayou" presented by Stone & Wood at my mates bar last night. Fuuuuuuuuuck it was so good. I felt like I under paid for everything we got. Upon entry we got 2 free pints of whatever Stone & Wood beer we wanted plus the other 3 that came with the 3 course dinner, which was amazing.

    We had:
    -Soft shell crab in Pacific Ale beer batter with some kind of southern style dressing & salad, with a pint of Pacific Ale. (everyones fave Stone & Wood beer)
    -Cape Byron Angus beef short ribs with sweet potato fries & house made bourbon bbq sauce & a midi of Jasper Ale (my new favourite Stone & Wood beer I think), the beef was so tender that when I picked up the rib my fell off completely heh.
    -Date & Banana loaf with fresh caramelised banana, vanilla bean ice cream & a Stone Beer molasses, which came with a midi of Stone Beer. The Stone Beer was what I had been wanting to try all night, a very rich in flavour dark ale, similar to Toohey's Old, but with more character, I ended up scoring a 2nd free one, which I downed pretty quick.

    I ended up with more beer than I was going to have cause my mates girlfriend isn't a beer person, but she put in a fair effort & someone at the table next to us wasn't a beer fan either. They also had a pilot batch on tap which was an East Coast IPA, I was gonna have one, but by the time I thought that I had had a few too many, considering it was around 6.2% & a lot of the other beers i'd had were well over the 5.5% mark and we had only really been there 2 hours ha.

    There was live entertainment from a local blues artist, he was awesome & my mate who is the owner/chef of the fine establishment got up & jammed on the harmonica with him on a few songs, cause he's also an accomplished musician.

    Would do again, I'm hoping Balter do an event there again soon, would love to meet those guys. The guys from Stone & Wood were chill & nice to chat with, just some guys passionate about good tasting beer something i'm more than happy to support. Also had to laugh one of the guys told me VB is very very hard to recreate, i'm guessing they've tried to brew it ha.

      Sounds great, man. Where's the bar? Also, was the food part of their regular menu or just one off for the event?

        In Coolangatta, it's called Eddie's Grub House. Normally the food for these events is a one off, well depending how much they make/order. I know one time after the event Husk Distillers held there, there was shredded jerked chicken burgers on the menu that weekend, which would've been awesome cause that chicken was so damn good.

          Bit far for me in Sydney :) I've got a mate lives up there though, he has a knife sharpening business. I'll ask him if he's ever been there.

            Yeah, bit far for a burger & beer. I mean they're epic burgers, but I dunno if i'd go that far for one haha.

    Hi everyone!

    Long time reader, not much of a poster but just wanted to put something out there for like-minded people. Although not sure if we're allowed to advertise personal projects here.

    I recently made a game in my spare time, mainly for my own personal use but thought other people might enjoy it so I threw it up on the android store. It's based on minesweeper but with a bit of a cyberpunk aesthetic and played out on a near infinite grid. Turns it into a bit of a zen experience. Haven't put it on the iOS store yet but might do in the future if I get the funds for a developer license (it's a bit more costly than the android one).

    If anyone's interested, and if I'm allowed to put a link up let me know. It does cost a whole dollar but that's more to get funds for the iOS version if enough people are interested.

      Feel free to link away. Can't guarantee you'll get any purchases, but there's no rules against posting links (as long as it's not to malware or something illegal)

        Cool, thanks for that. Here's a link to the play store site:

          lol my phone clearly sucks. Not compatible. Not too surprising though I guess. I've always been way behind in phone capabilities. Mostly cos I don't really use my phone for anything except calls, sms and occasional 2FA apps.
          Nice to see that you aren't requiring a bunch of permissions though! So many apps I've seen in the past want access to everything.
          I am curious though, what does full network access actually allow? I'm assuming it's required for your app, but as I've never developed for android, I have no idea how it works in that sense. Care to enlighten me?

            I actually built it on the IDE I use for work, which isn't terribly optimised for games. It's what I know though and I really just made it for myself and thought I'd try putting it on the store for shits'n'giggles.

            Pretty sure the full network access is just for normal internet access. I was looking at putting in a leader board and such but it's currently just used for the in-app purchase I added for extra lives. Although there's in-game currency that can be used for that too, so not required. I've been playing it for quite a while and haven't run out of lives yet.

              Cool cool! Sometimes the terms they use are a bit vague, which leaves me wondering specifically what they do, but never known anyone who's been in a position to know before :)

                Part of the problem is the labels can be a bit dramatic on Android. If an app just wants to save state to your phone's storage, it ends up prompting for access to 'Photos / Media / Files' which sounds a lot more risky. It'd be nice if they broke some of them down a bit further, or created an implicit isolated app storage area that would let apps save state without access to the rest of the file system and without needing to ask.

                  yep! my thoughts precisely! Most of them I understand as logically they make sense to my tech wired brain, but it would be nice if some of them gave a clearer description of exactly what they're going to access, and why.

              Please tell me it's not Eclipse. It's not Eclipse, right? It's IntelliJ or something right?

              ...I might have a thing against Eclipse.

                Lol, no, not eclipse, had to deal with that in uni and that was enough for me

    Hi all

    I'm currently in the midst of cosplay making - really looking forward to PAX.

    This year we're doing:
    Breath of the Wild Link (in the blue tunic with Master Sword and Hylian Shield)
    Breath of the Wild Great Fairy Cotera
    DC Bombshells Wonder Woman

    So I have lots to do. :)

    What else is new?

      Sorry if this is a dumb question, I've only ever really looked at the end result of cosplay and not so much the process. What materials do you use for the non-cloth parts of a costume? Like, the stuff that needs to be rigid or bear weight. Is cardboard a thing or is it usually done with heat-shaped material like plastic or rubber or something?

      I'm curious what process and materials non-professional cosplayers use. Also sorry if you are professional and I assumed otherwise!

        Good question - I'm definitely not a professional, just an enthusiastic amateur. I mostly use cosplay as a way to practice my sewing and learn new dressmaking techniques, so I tend to favour costumes that require sewing over armour-type things.

        But generally, when a bit of armour or leather is needed, I have been using EVA foam (aka craft foam. It's light, easy to shape, and it sticks together great with hot glue. There's also a lot of tutorials on youtube on how to work with it (I really like Kamui Cosplay and Lost Wax).

          Thanks, I'll look those two up. I don't think I could do cosplay myself but I'd love to learn more about how people get into it.

            My bible was the work by Punished Props- he's written literal books on foam work, super handy.

            FWIW, at the start of last year, I'd never made armour- I'd done a very small amount of foam crafting to make a pip-boy, but I didn't even own a dremel. You can get into it very simply- the first proper one I did was Raz for PAX 2014, and that was mostly buying things off the internet and a very small amount of hand stitching

              Can you get the foam to look realistically like other materials (eg. metal) or does it always have a foam appearance up close even with paint on? I guess you could coat the outer surface in something to help the material realism too, once it's shaped right.

              I think if I were to try something like that, my problem would be that I'm a perfectionist. I'd never be satisfied that it looked good enough.

                There are tricks, yeah, primarily through paint. For the N7, I wanted it to look like carbon fibre, so the paints make it look like that. I've coated Geralt's breastplate in pleather to get that leather look, it depends what you're making.

                What would you be considering building?

                  It's just daydreaming really, but if I were to build anything it'd be something overambitious, like Fallout power armour or Warhammer 40K space marine armour or something.

                  @zombiejesus well, advantage of both of those is there are a lot of resources around, lots of people have done them

                Also, obvious, but: The best cosplay is the one you're wearing. You improve each time- there's stuff I am doing atm that 12 months ago I wouldn't even consider. The other real improvement I've made over time is I plan better- I know precisely what each component is going to be constructed from

        EVA Foam is cheap and rigid enough to do most armour, with the added benefit that it's super lightweight- the N7 armour I'm wearing in my pic here is entirely EVA made from floor mats bought from Costco. Cut with a standard Stanley knife, cleaned and carved with a Dremel and shaped with a heat gun, and that's pretty much all you need- by layering the foam you can build pretty elaborate shapes. I'm currently working on Geralt, which has some other bits to it, but I've essentially used the same technique to make his breastplate. You can also do things like embed dowel in the foam if something needs to be extra rigid

        For other bits and pieces, Worbla is a cheap (ish) and manipulable thermoplastic that's quite popular, it's good for fine detail bits but I've not used it.

        The other option that some people (such as @tech_knight) use is pepakura, which makes 3D models into foldable paper models- good for complex designs and angular geometries- you see this techniques used a lot for Halo armour, for example. You then use fibreglass or similar to make it rigid and hardwearing.

        Short answer is: There's lots of tricks and resources you can use, and it is indeed possible to do it cheaply if you're willing to invest the time. The N7 armour was, discounting the fact I had to buy some tools, probably less than $250 of materials and that included paint, foam, straps, undersuit, and boots. Geralt will be a little more expensive but probably about $350 of material

        I'm a huge fan of cardboard, double sided tape and sticky velcro dots. But mainly because I'm cheap and take more of a macgyver approach of cobbling things together with whatever I can find around home/op shops/spotlight etc, than hunting down expensive specialised materials.

    Nioh update - reached Way of the Wise (NG+++) last night; the epilogue mission gave me surprisingly little trouble. Now to think about whether I want to continue - can't upgrade my gear any further due to ridiculous soul matching costs above level 200, so I'll need to replace basically everything. Might feel out the drop rates on ethereals and see if any of the new set bonuses are an improvement on my current setup.

    Also started playing Hollow Knight over the weekend - not my usual fare, but really enjoying it so far.

      Geez, how many NG tiers does this thing have?

        It started out with just NG and NG+ at launch, but they've added a new one with each of the DLCs thus far, so now it's up to NG+3... and the final DLC will probably add another in a couple of months :3

        NG+2 added some buffed enemies to every mission (enemies that hit harder, move faster, steal amrita on hit, have fire/water/wind/poison/paralysis/etc -imbued weapons, have higher defense, etc), and NG+3 looks to have mixed DLC enemies into the original missions, as well as given some of the harder enemies new attacks.

      Woo! Might not need to replace all my gear after all - turns out I'm 200+ hours in and I've been misinterpreting how the upgrade system determines cost. Each time you soul-match an item to make it stronger, it updates an internal counter... the higher that counter, the higher the base cost to upgrade again - I just figured it was based on the level of the item. Ethereal gear can roll an affix that resets that counter if you use it to upgrade another item. So it's just a matter of finding throwaway ethereals for each slot, re-rolling their perks until I get that reset affix, and using those to upgrade my gear.

      Got my swords upgraded last night, and feel much more comfortable with my damage output. I'm still getting one-shot by basic enemies, tho, which is not fun... I really hope I'm not forced to move away from light armour just to be able to take a light attack from a basic enemy... That said, I've found a bunch of gear with weight reduction perks... that might work.

    Do I buy:
    a) Prey
    b) Horizon Zero Dawn?

    Been stuck on the fence with both all week.. (can pick either up for around $30 locally currently)

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