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Developing Psychologically


Movies, and more Movies
Lately I try watching a couple movies a week to help expand my mind into a different level of thinking. I start to see everything in a different light as to why we are put on this earth and why we are living out the lives we so direly long for. Watching a couple movies sounds like fun and games when you think of a movie at its face value. I took a psychology course last month and learned so much more about who I am as an individual. In taking the class, I learned more about how to watch a movie when trying to get a deeper sense of meaning out of my own life. I started off with watching the movie, Crash (2004), then went on to watching a series of movies including: In Time, Drive, Black Swan, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and even Stay. These movies made me think about the world around me and how I truly viewed it. Unfortunately, I started becoming opinionated to everything as well. A step up, definitely! This is a much better way to go about life instead of having people walk all over me because I lack direction and definition to back it up.

Words of Hope
Let me continue with a few words of hope to everyone who reads these random blog posts of mine.

Realize that time is on your side if you so desire. You decide what you want out of each day and live it out. Set goals for the future about where you want to be, but turn that around and live one day at a time knowing that you will reach your goal. We tend to want things to happen right now with how our society works, but if you can be patient and cultivate the days needed to get what you want, you will be much happier.

You must embrace that you are not a child anymore and you have to make adult decisions eventually. Your parents aren’t going to be around forever, and you know what you must do so you can be independent. It’s a rough world out here, and you shouldn’t try living in the past, that is what depresses some people. Don’t live in the future, that is what makes people depressed from hope getting crushed. Instead, live in our ever-evolving future as we take on each day that could be our last. Live today as though you would die without regret. Make a strong impact on those around you so you aren’t alone. You have the choice to be happy with what you have instead of trying to have what you can’t be happy with. – Joshua Long 

No matter what you do or who do it with, your impact on the world comes from how you want the world to remember you as a human. Do not sit in the past and think about what you could have done to change the way life is. Instead, look towards the future and live in the ever-evolving future we call the present.

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Xiiove: What makes it awesome?


Xiiove Design Log: What makes the game awesome?


How does the game differ from other online strategy games?
Xiiove takes place on Earth and in a near future where our human race completely destroyed the Earth by trying to create life. Unfortunately, humans could not create life the correct way. Instead, they created life forms that could only survive in extreme conditions. You may ask how this has anything to do with setting the game apart. The catch is that you play as the life forms created by humans. Although you are not the original life that mutated from the diseased world, you have the chance to master the world of Xiiove around you and use it to your advantage in creating new combinations. The Hive you control is completely yours to manipulate. There are many different strategies you can choose to take depending on the Hive Master you choose to follow.

With complete control over The Hive, you can choose the route of points and glory, war and glory, war, points, or even strength in numbers through teaming up with friends around the world! You choose the style of gameplay, you pick the type of world you start in, and you choose the objectives you want to pursue. Depending on your objective, you will be placed in a similar location of those with the same goals on the map. Each world is divided up by objectives. Let’s say that you win your objective by scoring 100,000 points. Another person in the world is looking to conquer the whole world. You now get a bonus by completing your main objective, yet you stand in the way of the other person trying to take over Xiiove. At this point, you can choose to change your objective and keep your current bonus multipliers, team up with others in the same boat as you, or switch over to another world and take your glories with you!

Not only does the game get attention for updates, you will notice that the longer you play, the more you progress through the story of Xiiove itself. We are implementing an evolving world to work its way around the Earth transforming into Xiiove. By the time you have the last person conquer the whole planet, the Earth will complete the transformation. As the game progresses, and the players who choose to explore get further in the game, you will notice different units and buildings becoming available to you as they search for new technology. In a way, everyone works together to create the world, yet you get the chance to choose where you stand on the planet as each faction does have their problems with each other.

What kind of resource management is in Xiiove?
Xiiove has three main resources that the world itself creates: Larvae, Minerals, Toxins. These three resources are the basic building blocks of Xiiove. Other than the three main resources, you can purchase/find Gems which will help reinforce your buildings and strengthen your armies much more than the normal upgrades. You can obtain Gems by chance through mining. Each resource has its own way of production. Larvae is the only resource that generates on its own as long as you have your Hive up and running. Minerals are gathered by creating a mine and upgrading it. Toxins are something the ground produces, yet it is completely harmful to use without refining. You must build a Graveyard and use a Gravedigger to harvest the Toxins in a usable way. The higher level your Graveyard, and the more Gravediggers you have, the more Toxins you produce at a time.

Who are the Hive Masters, and what do they have to do with me as the player?
Each Hive Master has their own background story which made them who they are now. You get the chance to read more about each Hive Master before you create your Hive, and you can choose who you wish to be your master. As your master, each Hive Master gives you different bonuses such as: faster resource production, faster unit production, or faster travel. These passive bonuses are made to help you depending on what kind of objective you choose to go with.

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Joshua Long: Getting Personal Lately


*This post is part of a recent psychology assignment.

Your Personal Mission and Identity Image
Joshua Long
Personal Mission and Identity Image
My top 5 signature strengths:
  1. Forgiveness and Mercy: You forgive those who have done you wrong. You always give people a second chance. Your guiding principle is mercy and not revenge.
  2. Kindness and Generosity: You are kind and generous to others, and you are never too busy to do a favor. You enjoy doing good deeds for others, even if you do not know them well.
  3. Creativity, Ingenuity, and Originality: Thinking of new ways to do things is a crucial part of who you are. You are never content with doing something the conventional way if a better way is possible.
  4. Gratitude: You are aware of the good things that happen to you, and you never take them for granted. Your friends and family members know that you are a grateful person because you always take the time to express your thanks.
  5. Humor and Playfulness: You like to laugh and tease. Bringing smiles to other people is Important to you. You try to see the light side of all situations.
Past/Future use of Signature Strengths
If this gets a little personal, it’s because I work hard to let you understand the specifics in my life; I am not afraid of who I am.
  1. Strangely enough, I fall victim to this “strength” all the time. Recently, this strength shows itself in the relationships I try to pursue with women. I try time and time again to forgive the girls I date. Each girl I have dated in the past year have all cheated on me, and I forgave them right away, yet only tried to give one of them another chance. When I confront them about cheating on me, I try to find out why they did it so I know what I can do to work on the problem in the future. The one girl ruined the second chance by cheating again. Even though this problem persists, I try to look forward and forgive what has happened.
  2. On this very weekend, my neighbor went to the beach for a small trip to get away with his wife and they asked for me to watch their dog. Without question, I said I would watch their dog for the weekend. They came back and thanked me by asking me what they could do to repay me; I just asked if they had fun and that answer was payment enough. I look for any chance I can get to help others around me. All I ask in return is for the people to know not to take advantage of me.
  3. I constantly come up with creative and original ways to go about doing everyday activities. For instance, I come up with video game ideas on a daily basis. This way of thinking makes me good at coming up with different ways to complete tasks like driving all over the place and even cleaning my apartment. I work hard at trying to find meaning behind what I do and taking it to the next step to where I can accomplish something of importance while doing what I would do normally. People usually come to me when a new idea comes up because I can help with the execution of the idea.
  4. I am aware that have more than what any 18 year old could ask for in this point of their life. I have a salary-paid job, paid time off, an amazing school, and great friends. Every single day, I thank God for what I have and make sure that anything someone does for me does not go unnoticed. I am thankful in every way and appreciate everything anyone does for me. In return, I make sure to give myself up to people who are in need of that pick-me-up each day.
  5. Although I understand not everything is a joke, I see the world as boring and pointless if we take everything too serious. I love to make jokes out of things and make light of bad situations. By taking the bad out of everything and looking towards the good, we can make happiness within ourselves and we make ourselves less bitter. I love laughing and making sure others around me know that life is too short not to laugh.
Personal Mission Statement:
I have two specific missions in life. The first mission I wish to accomplish is to make sure that everything I do in life is for the glory of God and to make sure I stick to his plan by obeying what it is I need to complete before my body dies. I understand this is spiritual and all Christians should do this, but I feel that my main mission in life is to live out the life of God in a way that other people know I am living for Him and that I know I did not do so in vain. My second mission in life is to make sure my entire family lives a comfortable life where money does not dictate what they do in life. Furthermore, I wish that I can provide a life for all of those around me where money is not necessary for them to accomplish what they want to do in life. I feel like the monetary system in our lives corrupts our dreams and limits what we can do as humans in the short life we live. By being extremely forgiving, kind, and appreciative, I will bring happiness to those around me and everyone can do what they feel they are called to do in life.
Identity Image (Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator)
Closing Paragraph:
As a Christian who desires what every other person wants, happiness, I work towards making other people happy with what I can do. My image portrays who I am in every way because I created this character while in the depths of thinking about who I truly am. The orb represents the fiery body glowing within us (our soul). The wings represent the guidance I have when others ask for me to help them out. The design in the back is a representation of my ideas and how everything gets thrown out there as I work on something. Together, this creates the burning passion I have to help others and it uses colors of fire and happiness to depict how I feel about who I am as a human. I love everyone, and I can forgive the next person I meet just as easy as someone I have known for life. Our lives are too short to hold a grudge against someone God put in our life.
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Crash 2004: What we can learn from the movie



Crash 2004: What we can learn from the movie.
WARNING: Tons of spoilers for life and the movie. Younger children should not read.


Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive dissonance runs the lives of many people as we do not want our beliefs to not be true. We run around in circles trying to line up what we believe to what is fact. Most of the time, though, humans try to avoid this internal conflict and keep what they believe as fact even if it is nothing close to the fact (truth). We go through life believing in what our parents tell us to be true. Our parents told us about the Tooth Fairy, Santa, the Easter Bunny, and even monsters to help drive our childhoods. We know now that these things were to help keep our imaginations fresh, make us behave, and to keep us young. In today’s society, we see the age of children cursing and talking about sex drop down to the younger ages. This means that all the fairy tales we were told about go right out the door to our children now days. We have a shift in what we believe, yet we still wish those things were real sometimes to avoid the problem of what the world truly is today.
Carl Jung’s Shadow
Our shadow follows us around in everything we do daily. I am not talking about the shadow the sun creates while we are outside in the scorching heat, no, I am talking about the fear of who we are. Our shadow, as stated by Carl Jung, is everything that is unconscious, repressed, undeveloped, and denied. What a terrifying thought that we don’t really have control in who we meet in our lives and who we attract. It seems that we will always run into having the same type of friends as we grow up; our girlfriend/boyfriend will always be that same type of person; the way we view the world will reflect how we are truly feeling without us knowing. These things are not on accident. I believe the shadow of who we are appears in everything around us. We will attract what we dislike, and we will see in others what we truly don’t like; that, the shadow, is who we are.
Movie: Crash, 2004
In the movie, Crash, the character, Christine Thayer, went through a very dramatic time in her life. The movie started by introducing her as a random person with a random guy driving down the road. She started out happy as can be, and nothing could break her person. Christine and her husband pulled over to the side of the road after a party because the police thought their car was the one stolen that night. When the officers pull the man out of the car, Christine steps out (had a few drinks earlier and does not listen the officers about staying in the car) and continues to demean the officers for pulling them over for no real reason. The officer pats her down as she watches her husband in horror of the officer’s hands all over her.
As you can see, Christine believed that officers were good people until this moment of “abuse” happened to her. She refused to be touched by her husband and dealt with great trauma from the incident thereafter. Later on in the movie, Christine was found in an overturned car that was leaking gasoline with another car caught on fire just down the hill a little ways. The same officer that patted her down ran up to the car as he was the first officer on scene. Once there, she still refused to let him help her and screamed at him when he tried to help. She wanted to believe that he was still a bad person. Her cognitive dissonance of the man stood from the first encounter, even in a life or death situation for her. She asked for anyone but him. As soon as he explained the car was about to catch fire, and he talked through the situation with her, she let him help her. Soon after, she found him to be very helpful and saw him as the savior he is supposed to be. Christine’s dissonance was then reduced after this amazing effort to keep her alive.
The character, Cameron Thayer, in the movie Crash was seen as a random character playing through this movie. You soon find out that he draws in unwanted attention as read from above with the officers starting out by pulling him over and his wife started to hate him. Realization went through Cameron as the movie progressed when he pulled up to park his car, his car almost got taken from him by the two guys who stole the same type of car at the beginning of the movie. He was so upset that when the man pulled a gun on him, he jumped out of the car and started beating him up, not afraid of anything that could happen. Cameron draws this inner trouble from his shadow of not wanting these things to surface. We see him as a successful director, but his life just doesn’t go the way he wants it to. As he drives away and gets cornered by the police, the officer from the beginning is holding him at gunpoint and realizes this is the same guy. Retribution sets in and the officer lets him go, finally breaking the normal series of events for Cameron.

Cheers,
Joshua Long
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Diablo 3: Inspiration in the Fight


Overview of the game

“Diablo III is an action role-playing game that takes place throughout the dark fantasy world of Sanctuary. You play a hero who engages in fast-paced combat that tests your reflexes and rewards tactical decisions. As you slay hordes of monsters and challenging bosses, you grow in experience and ability, learning new skills and acquiring items of incredible power.” ~ Blizzard http://us.battle.net/d3/en/game/guide/get-started/introduction
Playing it Oldschool
This game started out with a place in my heart from a long time ago. I played Diablo 1 and Diablo 2 (more Diablo 2) when they were popular. Six accounts later, I had the accounts maxed with level 99 characters and amazing gear invested through the times of playing. No, I did not achieve this awesome stuff alone, but I sure did enjoy playing alongside the others who helped me through it! When I found out about Diablo 3 coming out (the unofficial release about 100 times), I really wanted to play the game. Years later, the game finally came out and I did not jump right on the release, let alone the beta version. Why? You might ask.
Gaining Interest
Diablo 3 gained all the hype from its popularity, and I lost interest in the game once I started hearing information leaked from other players who experienced the beta. Then, one day I decided to check out some gameplay on youtube.com where people actually enjoyed themselves. I guess I was reading information from bitter people, because these videos sparked a new interest in the game. I went straight from not wanting to play, to playing it inside my head! Unfortunately, I did not have the money or time to invest into the game even if I did buy it.


Rising Water
A month after the game’s release, and the new interest of the game, I went out and bought the game. With the intense, eager-driven guy that I am, I went straight home and installed the game on my newly bought computer. Yes, this was the first thing I put on my new computer. I started the game up…then let it patch…then logged into my account and created a character as fast as I could! My choice of character was extremely based on the fact that I wanted the game to come to me as a challenge. So, I picked the witch doctor like any good game designer would do: http://bit.ly/P2bHRA. I sat down, listened to the story, jumped right into the gameplay, and loved every minute of it.








Spurt, Spurt, Spurt
With my past gaming experiences, I know that I must play a game small gameplay sessions at a time in order to keep the ever-growing interest of a new game. While I am a month and a half into the game, my character is only level 19. I take it nice and slow, and play the game in spurts rather than extended gameplay sessions. You know, I have a life to live as well, but I get enjoyment out of playing small sessions; I apply this to my reading (only read 30 minutes a day for fun) and it keeps the enjoyment level high as well as the amount of time you come back to play/read.






Finally, the inspiration
You are probably wondering what this whole story leads up to, right? Well, let me tell you the inspiration that came from playing this game. While delving into a whole new world created by the minds of other humans, I decided to start working on my very own game. 

Wait, I work on a lot of games that I never finish, what’s so different about this one?

Let me tell you. This game that I have in my mind works from the depths of every game I played lately that makes me think about life: http://bit.ly/MkYAeP. These games made me realize that as an indie developer, I am allowed to voice my feelings and opinions through my work…that is what keeps me from making what I truly want. It is time for me to let things out that I didn’t want to release before. I wanted to let you know that inspiration can come from anything, mine being such a low-rated game by fellow players. I tell those people to shut the **** up and enjoy the games people work so hard on making.

Cheers,

Joshua Long
North Suns Entertainment – President
www.northsunsentertainment.com

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Controller Feel: Advancing Technology


Game controllers, whether it’s touch, motion, or gamepad, they will always exist when we play video games. Video games are not able to control themselves without some sort of input from the player, so game controllers remain an important part of the whole video game culture. If the games did not have controllers, would they not be movies then? We have those who argue the Kinect does not count as a controller, “Controller-free gaming means full body play”(Microsoft, 2010). Taking away the physical controller makes you the controller. The player input into a video game brings the game itself to life. As technology advances, so do our ways of interfacing with media.
A physical game controller utilizes the basic function of eye-hand coordination, which we use in our day-to-day lives (driving, writing, eating). Video games rely on the input from a player when it comes down to it. With the gamepad as our controller for a video game, we tend to move around a lot when the character on-screen makes sudden movements or we are trying to make them run faster. This feeling comes straight from the designer’s intentions of virtual sensation. The games that use motion and touch revolutionized what designers try to do with gamepads, and force the user to get “into the game.”
By using a gamepad, we, as designers, have a much more difficult time capturing player’s movement on how they are reacting during game sessions. With the new motion controllers (yourself), the designer has a little clearer understanding of how the players are going to interact with their toy. With rights to the player’s body and motion to control the game, we can make them experience exactly what their avatar experiences. We now get rid of the physical controller (ones that we hold onto) and move into using our bodies; this does not take away the game controller, it adds a new perspective to the game controller. So, instead of using only our fingers to get our characters to move, we use our arms, fingers, legs, heads, shoulders, knees and toes!… While keeping the same aspects of a gamepad, we move forward with allowing more control over the controls in a game with motion and touch since they are open to many different types of controller mapping.
Our controllers have changed, the controller mapping and virtual sensation we give to the players to experience has not. We get into the nitt-gritty controls by telling the player they can quadruple-touch the screen with four fingers, and they do it. Why would someone even do something that ridiculous? When you are considered the controller, using so many different functions of our body would only seem natural, and they would not question funny controls like that. Adding voice as a control even adds to the entertainment of large groups when they see you talking the screen… maybe yelling at the television will pay off after all these years, now you are conditioned for it.

Microsoft. (2010, November 04). Xbox 360 kinect. Retrieved from http://www.xbox.com/en-US/kinect

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Resume Becoming Obsolete?


My thoughts on this come very tight as I know this is true, yet an unfair display of power. I don’t feel like everyone should be judged by their posts on social media. Yes, I understand that the people who rant on and post a ton of “crap” on Facebook and Twitter are the people who are very opinionated, but sometimes the most of us like to post about random things just to draw in attention and information (or simply to be funny). You don’t have to tell me what your thoughts are, but reading this might be well worth the effort.
Article taken from Full Sail
Resume Architects Angel Tish and Kevin dela Cerna and EBMS Course Director and lawyer Cassi Willard comment on social media’s importance in today’s job market.
What’s more important – your resume or your social media presence?

Some employment pundits and media outlets have been predicting the death of the traditional resume, and some say it’s importance is waning as the most crucial variable in determining whether a prospective employee gets called in for an interview.

For instance, in a recent CNN article, which reported that Facebook is planning to introduce a job service similar to LinkedIn, the headline asked, Are social media making the resume obsolete?

And Sudy Bharadwaj, co-founder and CEO of Jackalope Jobs, recently wrote an article for Mashable called Four Reasons Recruiters Should Stop Accepting Traditional Resumes

To clarify, we asked three in-house employment pros to comment on social media’s importance in today’s job market.

Angel Tish, Resume Architect, reported on two employers’ very different approaches with resumes and social media:

“I don’t believe social media is replacing the resume just yet, but rather being used as a reference tool for employers to learn more about candidates. In fact, I have spoken with employers out in the industry who have expressed very different opinions on the matter.

One employer that I spoke with doesn’t like to check a candidate’s social media before an interview because he feels he may make some preconceived opinions that will slant his judgment when hiring. He checks the social media of that candidate after the interview to learn new/additional information about that person.

Another employer that I spoke with will not consider a candidate if they don’t have social media sites (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter) because they are a high tech company and want to be sure the candidate understands social media.

Both employers do agree that they don’t expect a candidate to not have a social life, but they must be careful what and how they post and they should always consider social hygiene (Google yourself and see what appears) when going out into the job market.”

Cassi Willard, EBMS Course Director and Chair of the Entertainment, Art & Sports Law section of The Florida Bar, focused on how employers are using social media to size up candidates:

“You should never do anything that you would not want as the basis for the lead story in The New York Times or would not want to have read back to you in court. With that being said, employers are keen to our social media usage. Although many users may think that they are digging for photos or stories of misadventures or other unsavory behavior, potential employers are utilizing social media to learn about the job candidates in a number of interesting ways.

It may surprise many job candidates that employers are looking at spelling and grammar in addition to photos and status updates. When seeking the perfect hire, social media allows the employer to see the employee while they are not in interview mode so they have an idea of what the employee is like on a daily basis. Your posts will show your true communication styles and patterns as well as your true hobbies and interests.

Users of social media need to be cautious of relying too heavily on privacy settings. Updates to the website’s software or terms could place content in an unexpectedly public forum. Furthermore, you never know who you might have as a common friend or contact to the employer.”

Kevin dela Cerna, Resume Architect, talked about the merits of both the resume and an active social media presence:

“The traditional resume isn’t obsolete, it’s just recruiters are leveraging social media like LinkedIn. Recruiters who pay for a premium LinkedIn account can find more qualified candidates because they can see active and passive job seekers. However, those passive job seekers still need to bring in a resume for the interview.

It depends on the industry too, for example if you’re applying for a short term freelance position in your industry, an employer is going to want to look at your traditional resume instead of absorbing all of the information you have on a LinkedIn profile.

Some of the benefits of using social media for an employer is that they can get dynamic information about you as a candidate that includes professional organizations, affiliations, groups you’ve joined, how active you are online, versus a static page from your resume.

However, active job seekers definitely need to have a traditional resume because resume scanning systems can’t scan a link to an online profile.”

The verdict? 

“At the end of the day,” added dela Cerna, “if you’re an active job seeker you need to have a traditional resume as well as an online presence, including portfolio websites and profiles on LinkedIn, Dice and other job search engines in your industry.”

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Adventures of Chump: Curve, the new Girl?


We now have this new character, Curve. Who is she? What does she do? Why is she even here? Well, Curve is Chump’s first love. She is the only other girl out in the world who is just like him, and she is the type of girl Chump would give his life for. Curve started out as just an idea in Chump’s head; she never really existed, but Chump died time and time again to have her in his life.

Chump did not realize how much trouble it was to have a girl in his life, so he is stuck protecting her. She can’t attack, she can’t use weapons, nothing. All Curve can use are her charming kisses to help heal Chump, and even that is not that much. She runs around aimlessly, yet very quick. Her health drains fast, yet Chump knows of secret powers to bring her back to life using meditation.


Enjoy your new adventure as you master her abilities and work with friends to stay alive and conquer the wave of enemies!


http://northsunsentertainment.com/wwyd.html

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North Suns Entertainment: A New Beginning



North Suns Entertainment leads a nice little life founded in April of 2012. Joshua Long, owner of Radeth Productions, decided to take lead and change the company over to something more team oriented rather than having “Radeth” in the name (his username/in-game name for the games he plays). While the company is still non-profit, we are working on making some games to pay for the upkeep and focus on our games without the worry of money being our reason to not finish something. Most of the time, we reference ourselves as “North Suns” to keep things short and sweet. Our team started as a team of siblings, and we plan on expanding when the time comes.
Now that the formalities are out of the way, let’s talk about what is going on and why things changed over from Radeth Productions (RDP) to North Suns Entertainment (NSE). With school and work keeping me (Joshua) busy in life, I decided to come up with two different groups within Radeth Productions: Acristic and North Suns. These teams were made up of people online and offline. Things were hectic trying to keep teams in order and make games with a bunch of different people. My ideas never really stayed in one area, and things did not get done. So, I went into shutdown mode and stopped all production on current games.
After my breakdown of the teams, I started forming a plan that could help us make video games much easier. I wanted to take the teams away and keep Radeth Production. Again, having Radeth Productions leads all things being “mine” even if we make it as a team. North Suns Entertainment was a simple name I came up with in my spare time when thinking up team names. “North Suns” was chosen when I realized my brothers helped out the most; we are all from Colorado, and I did not want to choose North Sons because I already had this logo of a sun rising. In the end, it came together perfectly and the logo fit the name, so everything stayed.
Radeth Productions started dying out slowly with me not completing anything, and it was hard to tell people that it was “RAY-DEATH” not “RA-DEATH.” With a more professional, yet fun, look, North Suns Entertainment took over Radeth Productions as we combined the teams and took out the people who did not want to merge. We never made any profit on our games, so it was easier to cut the people who did not want to stay. We had brilliant members from all over the world, and pray that one day we can start making money and come together to a central location for work.
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Working the Gamenics: Xbox 360 Controller


Working the Gamenics: Xbox 360 Controller
By Joshua Long


Overview
We like to think all of the controllers were designed for our hands as a society. Looking back to most of the controllers throughout the history of video games makes me realize how close designers wanted controllers to be perfect for the user. Starting with something as simple as the Atari Controller, designers figured the joystick would be a simple way for users to interface with games; they were right. Most of the controllers following the Atari controller had a joystick in some way or another; which brings me to why the Xbox 360 controller passes all four of the Principles of Gamenics with flying colors.
Intuitive Interface
The Xbox 360 controller feels “right” when you pick it up. When you place a controller in your hands, you want the right feel so you do not have to figure out how it should be held in your hands. When you grasp the controller, you start by forming your hands around the design mold which fits right into your palms, followed by your fingers, perfectly. Your pinky, ring, and middle finger all slide down to hold both sides of the gamepad; your pointer fingers rest perfectly onto the trigger buttons with the inside of your fingers barely brushing the left and right bumper buttons; naturally, your left thumb goes to the left joystick and your right thumb lays over the “A” button and onto the “X” button. With easy access to the right joystick, left directional pad, and the remaining “B” and “Y” buttons, your fingers have plenty of room to rest and use each button as needed. The interface fits to your hands and makes button presses easy.
Operation Without Manual
Now that we have the controller placed in your hands, feel the buttons underneath each of your fingers. We have a strange joystick on the left, and some colored buttons on the right. Would you look at that, the buttons are color-coded! We see that one is red, one is green, one is blue, and one is yellow. We automatically know the joystick is used to navigate because of the first designs (Varias, 2011) and the way it wobbles when you move your thumb around. Green usually means go, so accept, and red usually means stop, so go back. We may not understand what blue and yellow are for right away, but they come in handy when you have information on-screen telling you what the button does for each game. Without even moving from our home row of buttons, we can navigate any menu system the console gives us. The Xbox 360 controller really gives us an intuitive design through the ease-of-use without a manual.
Engagement and Learning Curve
As of right now, we have the controller in our hand and readily moving through game menus. We know the basics of the controller, but we want to learn what everything else does. We still need to learn the following: trigger buttons, bumper buttons, “X,” “Y,” D-Pad, right joystick, start, select, and the middle Xbox logo button. We have plenty of controls to learn, so let’s go ahead and scroll through the Xbox menu as you boot the console up. You are given some button commands along the bottom that tell you how to navigate the console screens. The “X” button now opens and closes the disk tray; learning one button right away is always nice. We also have the “Y” button telling us that we can check out our friends who are online, now we can be social! Without even getting too far into the use of the buttons, we start to learn how easy each button is used. Each menu will use different settings for the buttons, but that adds to the mastery of the interface.
Beyond Gaming
We have the social menu open and need to start figuring out the point of having this controller. It is a good thing I have plenty of friends who play the same game as I do! It looks like we have Antonio Banderas playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfareright now, so I want to join him and play right alongside his team. The menu tells me I can press “X” to join his game; I like how simple that was. Now, we understand that this controller connects us to people in real life and gives us the sense that we are playing alongside people we know. With other add-on features to the controller, we can communicate with friends and other people online as well. These are a few examples of how the interface of the controller connects us to the real world.
Conclusion
While the Xbox 360 controller has many benefits, the three best features are: ease-of-use, simple learning curve, and functionality behind the interface. If you have not been lucky enough to hold the controller and play a few games, then you are really missing out. I grew up using Playstation controllers, but when the Xbox 360 controller came out, I fell in love with how nice it felt in my hands while trying to play games. The usability of a controller is essential when designing for the user, because they are playing the games, not you. Take forth and convert to using this amazing controller!
Works Cited
Varias, L. (2011, February 22). Video game controller evolutionary tree has a missing link to the keyboard.
Retrieved from http://technabob.com/blog/2011/02/22/video-game-controller-evolutionary-tree/
Kaufmann, M. (2008). Game usability. Burlington, MA: Elsevier.

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