Monday, August 17, 2015

Light of Life: A new skill based action game coming to mobile platforms soon

Light of Life is an upcoming new game by OtterworksGamestudio.

Main story of the game:

The galaxies in the universe are empty and dark. Nobody knows who or what created it. For the life to break through, it needs help. The help of the light. So the shining bearers of life set to a journey, aiming to the planets holding the precious and dormant life trees, to empower them with the light and wake the world alive.

The gameplay:

The players are little dots of life, and their goal is to reach the life trees in the depths of the planet. They will need seed, collectible throughout the descent. With these seeds, they can activate life crystals along the way, to get more seeds, illuminate the path, eliminate anomalies and ultimately wake up the life tree.

They need to be careful, because beyond natural rocks and obstacles, there are malicious anomalies, that are out to get them.

Players can play form first person perspective, as our seed bearing light whizzes to the life tree, and dodges obstacles in a 3 by 3 grid, controlled by simple gestures.
The avatar has five chances to repel the anomalies attacks, but only one collision can snuff them out. Fortunately, there is a chance to slow down time and avoid the catastrophe.

Players get a number of  randomly generated planet in each galaxy. They have to reach a certain goal on a planet to activate the next one, and a the challenges are getting more difficult as the player progresses. The journey between galaxies are tied to another, more difficult task.


The light of life is a skill based action game set in a mystical and spectacular world. It’s aimed to the casual gamers who like a little more challenging gameplay, exciting, surreal visuals, and deeper consideration of the story told solely by the art.

Light of Life is  currently in closed alpha, available in Google Play alpha testing program. Join by sending an e-mail to

The game’s expected to step into beta phase around the last days of August. The target platforms are Android and iOS, but the iOS release may get delayed.

Personally, I'm excited to check this one out!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The cost of higher education

  1. According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2014–2015 school year was $31,231 at private colleges, $9,139 for state residents at public colleges, and $22,958 for out-of-state residents attending public universities. They also estimated that a "moderate" college budget for an in-state public college for the 2014–2015 academic year averaged $23,410. A moderate budget at a private college averaged $46,272. 
  2. Yes, you're reading this right. That means that right now a 4 year college degree at a private institution would set you back a staggering $184,000. Those with Bachelor's degrees can expect to get a starting salary between 33 and 40 thousand dollars a year. At that rate it would take 5 and a half years of repaying 100% of your salary to pay back that piece of paper. Of course, some jobs have hire starting salaries than others but typically so do their degrees: Students in the sciences, engineering, computing, premed programs, and the fine arts often pay more. For example, at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, students enrolled in the science and engineering programs paid $5,004 more in tuition for the 2014–2015 academic year. 
  3. Here's the thing: I'm not saying you should give up on college because of the sticker price. You can save a lot by going to an in-state public school and applying for scholarships or grants. However, what I definitely AM saying is that you need to weigh the cost of a degree with what you'll make once you have it. Here are some questions you should ask yourself:

  • How much can you expect to make in your career field immediately after graduation?
  • 5 years after graduation?
  • How much will you need to take out in student loans? Factor in what your family can contribute, what you can afford, and scholarships you qualify for.
  • After college will you be able to pay back your student loans in a timely manner, while paying rent and utilities in your area? 
  • When, if ever, will you be able to retire based on your payment plan?
  • How passionate are you about the field you want to be in? Will you come home happy at the end of the day?
  • Do you actually need a degree to get into your career field? A lot of fields do NOT require a degree, and offer entry level positions without one. Some of these companies will allow you to climb the corporate ladder without getting a degree and in many cases you can be where you would be (if not higher) with a four degree in the time it would take you to get said degree.
  • Is it at all possible that you could get an entry level position at a company that reimburses for tuition? This is the sweetest deal available. These companies obviously value their employees and will HELP you make more money without putting yourself in massive debt.

In summation: don't go to college just because everyone is telling you you have to. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

What exactly is it that I do?

So I've been getting a lot of questions from people lately asking exactly what it is I do now. I work for a company called Highwinds (that none of my friends have ever heard of) as a Business Development Representative, helping the Sales Team reach possible customers of our CDN (another thing none of my friends have ever heard of).

So what is a CDN?

  1. content delivery network (CDN) is a system of distributed servers (network) that deliver webpages and other Web content to a user based on the geographic locations of the user, the origin of the webpage and a content delivery server.
... and what does that mean?

In lay-mans terms CDN transfers the data hosted at the origin to the eyeballs of its viewers. An origin is anywhere that the data you want your users to see is stored.

So, who needs CDN?

It can be just about anyone who has a website. The more traffic you have, and/or the larger your data and files are the more important it becomes to the functionality of your site. CDN can also be used to deliver other content, like game downloads and software updates more quickly. Most likely if you're downloading something from the internet you're using a CDN (if you aren't waiting 15 minutes for a <1 GB file)

Think of the internet as a spider web of servers (or pops) that are all connected (but not always directly) When you don't have CDN on your side the information can sort of just... bounce around in digi-space trying to get from origin to end-user. With a CDN it takes the most direct route available.

As a Business Development Representative it's my job to connect Businesses to a Content Delivery solution that is going to work for them.

I hope that helps clarify what it is I do behind the screens in my office all day.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Difference Between Bytes and Bits (and why it matters)

Ever sign up for internet that claimed 20 Mb per second, only to find that your files download at 2.5 MB per second? They aren't lying to you. Look closely and you'll see that those two figures use different units: megabits (Mb) and megabytes (MB). Here's what that means:

Usually, we refer to file sizes and file transfer speeds in megabytes or if you're living in the twenty first century gigabytes (even terabytes). Every once in a while—like when you're shopping for internet speeds or testing your speed on'll see it noted in megabits per second instead. One byte is made up of 8 bits, which means that you need to pay really close attention to which unit you're using (which can be confusing, since megabits is abbreviated "Mb" and megabytes is abbreviated "MB"). Note: Yes, Comcast/Brighthouse/Verizon ARE doing this to confuse your grandma, and maybe you.

The guys over at Techquickie have made an awesome video that explains it as quickly (har har) as possible, so watch the above video if you're confused (or send it to your mom who keeps asking you why they aren't getting 20 megabyte per second download speeds). They also say you can divide your megabit figure by 10 to get a very rough (read: innacurate) estimate of the measurement in megabytes, but you could always use that high school education and divide by 8 (though that may require a calculator, or plugging it into Google) if you want to know the exact equivalent. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Mortal Kombat for iOS review

Honestly, this is a near flawless victory for mobile gamers. The gameplay is smooth. The controls are intuitive and the graphics are absolutely amazing. It is raw, intensive, graphic, violent. Absolutely perfect for a multiplayer fighting game on a mobile platform. It has some Role Playing dynamics I wasn't expecting. It's obviously not quite the same as playing on a console. So if you're expecting the same gameplay you will be disappointed. That'd be like expecting Fallout Shelter to be just like Fallout 3. The farming of resources can get a bit tedious but when they give you the game for free, they have to make their money somewhere. So either deal with the farming or pay for koins/souls.

Like Guitar Hero, Pokemon, or Grand Theft Auto, you don’t have to consider yourself a gamer to know about the Mortal Kombat franchise. It’s flowed over into movies, multiple web series, and nearly every anti-video game argument made in the past two decades. Mortal Kombat is a staple of the video game industry, and now, for the first time ever, a new entry in the franchise is debuting on mobile devices before it’s released on consoles.

All of the fighting in the game is done through touchscreen taps and slashes. Tap to punch, spam tap to spam punches, two finger-touch to block, and slash occasionally for a quick-time-event power move.

So with that said, gone are the attack-chain combos that are a hallmark of the franchise, and while fatalities are present in Mortal Kombat X, they are few and far between. In fact they only seem to be present as rewards for fighting the game’s bosses, which are sprinkled in between dozens of other less challenging opponents. Fatalities are simply activated with a gesture rather than a complex combination that requires a bit of memorization, which really eliminates the feeling of mastery that always comes with successfully pulling off a fatality in a typical Mortal Kombat game.

Though the fatalities are much easier to successfully initiate, they are just as gory and gruesome as ever.

The gameplay flows smoothly while the characters are whipping around the screen landing punches, spitting acid, and getting their bodies broken apart. While each fighter handles the same, their unique special abilities and attack movements help to spice things up. It’s also relatively easy to unlock new fighters too. With the currency I was given just for successfully playing the game in its first day, I had enough to purchase a second entire team (which has its own separate cooldowns) with a couple of fighters left over.

Mortal Kombat X is a free-to-play game that utilizes the standard energy system. What is nice about Mortal Kombat X is that if you make two teams of (three) fighters, each full team runs on their own energy. So if you play for awhile with Team 1 and burn through their energy, you can switch over and play with Team 2 for awhile. With that said, you can refuel an entire team’s worth of energy with nine souls (the in-game currency). Unless you spend all of your souls on unlocking a fighter, which I did not, you will have plenty to use to refuel your fighters to keep the gameplay going.


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Why I moved to Florida, and the pitfalls.

A little over a year ago my now husband and I packed up our bags and moved our little family to Central Florida. There were a lot of things that went into our decision to get the heck outta Dodge. Dodge in this case being Cape Cod Massachusetts, but I think I'll save that for another blog post. As some of you may have by now guessed I'm a little bit of a Google guru. So as soon as I got my hubby to say "yes" to Florida I went to work researching. I immediately decided that Seminole county was going to be the place for us. It had the best schools, was close to Orlando (and subsequently universal studios and tons of other fun stuff to do), less than an hour to the nearest ocean beach, had relatively low crime, and had both job openings for me, and colleges for the hubs. In the end we signed a lease on a great apartment in Oviedo, after a long tedious house hunt and time constraints with my job.

So here's the plus side: 
  • The schools ARE great in Oviedo. Carillon, where my oldest son attended is one of the best elementaries in Florida.
  • PUBLIX is by far the most amazing grocery store on the planet. They give my kids samples of food, and make sure my toddler leaves with a balloon. The employees are not only friendly but also helpful.
  • It's warm pretty much year round. I think the lowest it got all winter was 3 days of high 40s/low 50s.
  • I get to go to the theme park and go on roller coasters year round for less than what tourists pay for a few days.
  • The cost of living is relatively low.
  • Despite everything I've heard about the job market not being as good as Massachusetts I have gotten 4 better paying jobs than I ever even had interviews for back in Mass. 
  • Froyo is a thousand times better than ice cream, in my opinion and it's every where down south.
  • There are farmers markets a plenty.
  • There is so much stuff to do for kids I don't even know where to start. Both indoor and outdoor activities are available year round by the hundreds. Plus, lots of it is free.
  • The Mexican food and Spanish cuisine are way better than you will ever find in Massachusetts or any northern state.
  • There is fried chicken everywhere, and it is delicious.
  • The racial difference between "African Americans" and "European Americans" is barely noticeable. You can pretty much only tell we're different because our skin tone is.
  • The real estate market WAS absolutely amazing for buyers when we moved, but costs are rising steadily, as are mortgage rates.
Some pitfalls:
  • While it's been easy for me to find a job in the market here, it is not easy for everyone AND I've jumped around a lot. Working 3 jobs in 1 year.
  • Car Insurance is more expensive here than in MA
  • Your electric bill will probably be crazy because you'll run your AC all the time.
  • Florida makes enrolling your kids in school a nightmare. 
  • It's obviously hard being so far away from family.
  • If you register to vote through the RMV it probably won't go through, and FL requires you be registered as Dem or Rep to vote in primaries.
  • The majority of Florida has awful schools. 
  • When you move away from your friends you'll lose connection and ties will be severed.
  • The pizza, asian cuisine and seafood stink here.
  • There are a lot of cultural difference.