Start your Virtual Farm with Hay Day

Farming. The world elicits images of big tractors, the beating sun and sweaty vegetable pickers hauling baskets of yummy produce to market. Farming is tough work, and those with any experience in the field know that, in some cases, an air-conditioned paper-pushing job sitting behind a computer is much more comfortable.

However, the lure of growing a field of turnips or cultivating the perfect flower is embedded deep in some souls, yearning to get out from amid the smoggy bus-rides, cramped airplane flights and unbearable long-distance road trips. Well, SuperCell has released the next best thing to really farming — virtual farming on mobile with Hay Day.

You may ask, “Hay Day on mobile?” Well, the first Hay Day game might not have been a blockbuster seller, but those who got hooked on creating their own little plot of goodness in a wasteland left by a deceased relative have a lot to be excited about in this to the Android and iOS smartphone and tablet users — and those new to the title are simply missing out.

Hay Day hack is has similarities to the previous other farming simulation games tools, which have been around for years with a nearly underground fan club. In all of the games, players take on the role of a newly made farmer, who must take the land left to him by a deceased relative and turn a rocky, barren landscape into a thriving farm, complete with farm animals.

This game will contain several new tools for use on the fields and with the animals, and a new inventory system will let players carry around four tools at once (as opposed to the first game’s two tool limit). Additionally, new animals will be added to the game, and new minigames promise to add plenty of replay value.

Players can cultivate their own garden using a variety of flowers and herbs, and even the town has been expanded to let players walk around talking to the inhabitants, rather than just jumping from place to place as like in the first game.

You might think we’re making too big a deal about a game that makes you water, weed and hoe plots of land, or even go out and feed cows, brush horses and collect eggs from chickens. But if you haven’t tried it, don’t scoff — few things are as rewarding as creating a thriving farm that will last generations. We can look forward to starting our farm with Hay Day.

Boom Beach, A Futuristic RTS losing its Charm

It had to happen, eventually: With the number of Clash of Clans clones being produced in the US and abroad, someone had to hit upon the modern approach as a theme. It’s not a bad era to recreate, most people have some knowledge of what they believe the future is about, spurred no doubt in many cases by Hollywood’s dedication to the genre. The folks at Supercell, publisher and developer, have also apparently seen a lot of RTS games.

Boom Beach Hack as a game tool is pretty easy to describe: It’s a modern Clash of Clans clone, using stereotypical futuristic units. Players will gather wood, gold and food; create bases; build up a military; and accomplish the various goals laid out in a mission. If you’ve ever played an RTS in this resource-based genre, it’s a no-brainer.

The level of difficulty in the missions is actually pretty steep; even on the easy setting, good RTS players will be challenged in later missions. How challenged? Probably to the point of frustration, as the enemy always seems to be one level of technological advancement above that which you’re currently allotted. And with a 100-unit maximum, it’s easy to bump into the top level of population and still have your armies slaughtered by superior numbers. Precocious RTS fans won’t be rewarded for expanding their mission goals and taking on other enemies; instead they’ll more than likely be stomped by the US Army forces — or once they complete the level there will be no mention whatsoever of their exploits.

As an RTS, it’s a terribly modern one, nothing more like those made prior to Age of Empires II. The unit AI is quite good — units will is good at pathfinding. Formations can walk right through each other, which is great, but at the same time will take amazingly arcane routes from one point to another, usually taking precious time. And the routes gatherers take when chopping wood or hauling gold are often completely inefficient; in the later levels, when there are fewer resources and more harsh time pressures, this really shows.

This game would have a seriously different feel had it been produced with great care to quality and detail, because as it stands now, it’s way too close to that nebulous border of racism that most publishers fear. The units and voice acting follow numerous simpleton stereotypes that someone would find offensive if a US publisher were to make this product.

As a concept, a futuristic RTS is certainly attractive, and when we first saw the demo of this one we were certainly hooked — but as you play Boom Beach and get deeper into the actual gameplay and story, it quickly loses its charm.

Emarker – A thing of Future or the other way around?

Normally, we’re big fans of just about everything that Sony does. In fact, we’re hard pressed to remember the last time we didn’t actually like a product from the beneficent megacorp. The eMarker represents one of the very few times where we simply turned up our noses at something Sony has done. In a nutshell, the slightly-too-large-for-a-keychain gizmo is the ultimate evolution of American consumer mania; all your $20 gets you is a faster route to spending even more cash. Essentially, the eMarker helps you buy music you’re not really sure you need. Whenever you hear that one song on the radio that you really like, press the button on the eMarker, connect the unit to your computer and you’re given the option to instantly buy CDs from the artist or group that you’ve marked. You are very, very confused if you buy this products.

Have you ever thought to yourself, “Gosh, I like this song, but I don’t know its name. If only American radio wasn’t populated by puking morons who spend their airtime thinking up clever ways to say the words ‘boobs’ and ‘penis’ and instead had helpful DJs that would do their jobs and actually back-announce songs?” If so, the eMarker may have a place in your pocket. However, if you’re able to wait the 10 minutes for the DJ to finish with his boring, unfunny schtick, you should be able to cut out the eMarker middleman by simply using your noodle. The concept behind the eMarker is that with a press of a button and a fast link to the magical world of the Internet, you’ll be able to not only find out which band plays the song you like, but also discover which album it comes from, hear a few other tracks from the album (in some cases) and then buy that album immediately online.

In our world of microwave-friendly, fast-forward consumerism, this must have sounded like a great idea to a bored VP. One gets the sense that, much like Divx, the thankfully dead great Satan pay-per-view DVD format, the concept behind the Sony eMarker was dreamed up by a lawyer or marketing type. Clearly a soulless device intended to do nothing more than strip you of cash in a more efficient manner, the eMarker leaves a sour taste in our mouths.

The eMarker doesn’t use any high-tech wireless wizardry to mark songs. The unit itself is little more than a glorified egg timer that records the time and date whenever you press the button. The magic doesn’t begin until you connect the eMarker to your PC and register on the website, whereupon it will be able to call upon your preferred radio station playlists, compare the time, and tell you that your song was actually from Papa Roach, not Godsmack (or LeAnn Rimes, not the other hot little country chick, etc.). Ideally. In practice, however, we found that the eMarker was averaging 50/50 in accuracy.

We set up three favorite San Francisco radio stations: Live 105 (alternative), 104.9 (’80s/’90s New Wave/Modern Rock) and KFOG (an unholy mix of rock ‘n roll genres). The eMarker was pretty much dead-on with Live 105’s playlist, but comparing our marks to 104.9’s listings was entirely wrong. Instead of helping us to buy The Cult, Blondie and The Church, the eMarker told us that we were listening to Third Eye Blind, Dave Matthews and matchbox 20. That’s not only wrong, but it should be a criminal act. What if we had accidentally bought a matchbox 20 album instead of The Church? Talk about trauma. To give the eMarker props, it did identify a new Radiohead song for us we didn’t recognize and then let us listen to a sampling of Kid A, the new album, which is a sorta cool feature.

Of course, the misidentification of the songs was not actually the fault of the Sony eMarker itself, but looked like it was a problem with the data service used to correlate radio playlists with the device’s timestamp. Song information is provided to the eMarker by Broadcast Data Systems, the “world-leading provider of off-the-air music recognition for the record and radio industries.” Unfortunately, this world-leading information is usually entered by flunkies working at each radio station, which means that one inattentive college intern falling asleep while typing can screw up the song lists for an entire day. Heavy must hang the head that wears the BDS crown within the radio station. In other words: don’t blame the eMarker if your list doesn’t quite match up to the songs you heard.

We could understand if the little doodad was given away free at Wherehouse, Tower or Sam Goody’s with every purchase, but the idea of forking over $20 for faster consumerism is appalling. Twenty smackers may not sound like much, but we’d rather pass that Jackson across the counter for an actual CD, not for something that makes it easier to identify Backstreet Boys tracks.

Underwater Octopus – Fast and Easy Sketching

They say sketching and painting an octopus is hard, but we will make it easier with this tutorial. is .We begin by sketching the general shape of the little head, and the body. It is rounded on the bottom, and let´s draw also the tentacles.Once we have the general sketch, we can start refining the forms. To do this, as you see I hold the pencil closer to the tip,to have more control. Very good! And a tentacle is going to be over here as if it were scratching its own belly. And the other ones on the side at down here. Excellent!

I´m using a blue pencil on blueish, carbon paper.The list of materials is in the description under. We begin doing some texture and tone. On the upper part it has some wrinkles. While the bottom part, is pretty smooth. Let´s start doing some shadings so, it begins to have volume. And coming back to the octopus, we do two roads of suction cups on the tentacles that are seen, let´s say from the bottom. I like octopus, they have a lot of personality and they are very intelligent too. I remember at time when I saw a documentary, in which an octopus was placed inside a glass bottled, he observed how the led was screwed tight and intermediately from the inside he unscrewed it and escaped.

Scientists believe among the animals with no bones, the octopus is the most intelligent on the planet. An interesting note, is that it has three hearts and eight sub-brains,one for each tentacle, and of course, a general brain. It is a shy animal and harmless toward man, its defense mechanism consists in hiding in cracks or changing its tonality,or even producing wrinkles to look like stones, and as we know, in cases of great danger it can expel a dark tint, to escape. However man, is not harmless to the octopus.

I gave some lights with a white pencil, and now I´m doing some shadows,with a darker blue.To help, making it look like it is in the water, let´s draw some little white bubbles. Good! And with this, it will be ready! Congratulate yourself for a job well done.

Painting a Cherry Tree like a Boss

Today, by popular demand, we are going to paint a cherry tree. We begin by preparing our tones. With red, purples, orange and white. Then with the brush, lightly tap on a solid object to splatter paint.First, practice on newspaper or other surfaces that you can waste.Until you feel you got the hang of it and you can control it. In this way create the shape of the foliage of the tree.

Now I´m using a lighter tone to create a light and shadow effect. Don´t try to get a uniform surface, as the flowers usually happen in clusters. Now we use an even lighter pink. Good! This is so fun! If you wish to keep your piece of paper cleaner than what I am doing right now, you may use masks of different sizes and shapes like this one, in this way, you will be able to control where the paint lands. But I recommend that you continue to move the mask, so that you don´t get an unreal line and don´t place the mask on wet paint, wait for it to dry.

I´m using watercolor but you can employ this technique for different types of paints. And make sure to protect your working area against unwanted splashes. The list of materials is in the information below the video. And now, some lighter drops. I love it how you can build the shape, in this way. Good! It is time to paint the trunk. With brown of different tones, we can paint the lower part,as well as a base. And the branches. We do these, specially on the blank spaces, where there are no flowers. In this case we are doing the flowers of a cherry tree, but you may use the same technique for the leaves of another tree.

With a finer brush we do the thin branches toward the ends. And give some shading to the trunk. Good! Now, so that the trunk and the branches look more natural, we do some light drops, on top of them. Like this, not too much.This makes it look more lively and real. Excellent! That’s it. We now have a perfect Cherry tree. You deserve to be applauded for a job well done.