Sunday, December 19, 2010

Toddler Birthday Party at the "My Gym"

My Gym

This is a nationwide kids gym franchise aimed at 6 weeks to 13 years of age.

They offer a whole range of activities for kids, from arts and crafts, to sporting activities and general play.

Membership can be a little expensive, so that's up to you, but the party service they offer was superb. We were invited to a friends toddler party, for mostly 2-3 year olds.

The whole party went really smoothly, from story time to running around using various equipment such as a ball filled pit, to jumping around various padded blocks, to swinging around on huge rocket shaped swings. The activities were great fun and even though the whole thing was very laid back, it was nicely structured, to get the kids doing something different very quickly leading up to singing before the cake, which they were great about preparing and serving. A great couple of hours entertainment for a huge number of kids.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sing-a-ma-Jigs The Hot Toy?

The Sing-A-Ma-Jig

It is supposed to be the big hot toy this Christmas. Little furry plushie toys who sing and jibber when you squeeze them.

You will end up killing anyone who gives your kid one. They are insanely annoying and they're shit. You need a whole group of them to make any decent rhythmical tunes but unlike other toys who are meant to interact with each other like the Dino's, these chaps you have to press them each and every time and timing is what counts to make the tune sound anything but a drowning cat.

Not a fan and not sure why so many other parents seem to like them, but there you go.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Boston Unity Group - The Winter Showdown

The Winter Showdown was the third meeting of BUG at the Microsoft NERD Centre, held last night, 30th November.

The presentation was held by, Trevor Stricker, of QuickHit, talking about their NFL licensed game and the combination of using Flash and Unity3D as well as looking a little into their monitisation routes of micro transactions and adware.

Following the presentation, their were a handful of demonstrations by people, many of these were updated demo's that had previously been shown so they were not recorded, but one that was new I will mention as I thought it was brilliant, a cloud based asset server.

But first, here is the presentation, the intro followed by 5 parts, the last two parts were from the Q&A session which was especially interesting and well worth watching.

Intro -

Part 1 -

Part 2 -

Part 3 -

Part 4 -

Part 5 -

The cloud based asset server was created by Defective Studios. The website doesn't contain very much information about the asset server, which is a big shame, but they are offering beta testing for free, email Matt Schoen for details at

What made this really interesting was the simplicity and cost, they were planning on offering a monthly subscription to the service at $10 and the cloud being run from Amazon, but if you wanted to run your own servers they were working on another license fee for that.

This platform is a cheap alternative to the Unity Asset Server, much simplified and something that works very well across platforms via a web interface with no real learning curve. Meshes and textures are uploaded to the cloud and people can sync the whole build or specific items and can get them running in Unity immediately, meshes and textures being very robust with all scaler and modifier information remaining intact.