Collection of Boston Game Loop Writeups!

Information about what the Boston Game Loop is all about, for those who don’t know can be found here.

For those who weren’t able to make the GameLoop, a collection of notes, thoughts and write ups from various people who attended, in various disciplines are listed here that I could find. If there are any others, please let me know.

Darius Kazemi, on his blog, Tiny Subversions, has a indepth write up here.

“Embracing failure in game narratives”

 

Hybrid Mind Games

“Unconference unwriteup from a game undesigner” by Nick Lalone

For a photo look into the conference, Elliott Mitchell, has posted a public album here.

For those interested in the Philly Game Loop, which was a spin off from the Boston event, a good write up of that event can be found here.

 

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Nappy Codes?

Huggies v Pampers

So you’ve been buying nappies and noticing that they have a sticker on the inside with a code you can redeem for prizes, with the flyer being able to win a years supply of nappies and wipes, how awesome!

Well not exactly…but you’ve nothing to lose by trying.

Once you’ve set up a user profile at both sites, you can plug your codes in. Pampers certainly make this a lot easier to do, as you can add more than one code at a time and if you’re anything like me, I just keep them in a draw and do a bunch at a time when bored some evening, and gives you a chance to check out other prizes being offered.

Huggies, you have to enter and submit a code each time and also select a store where you bought them from a drop down menu, which is more hassle.

On the other hand, to enter the year supply of nappy and wipes with Huggies, it only costs you 5 points per draw and you can enter as often as you want. Pampers cost you 20 points to enter their monthly competition.

They both offer many other prizes that you can enter for. Huggies have a instant win thing where the prizes are smaller and use less points, but you find out straight away and they also have small monthly prizes such as a box of nappies that you can enter and wait till they draw a winner. Pampers allow you to spend the points on products, toilet seats, toys, that kind of thing as well.

One nice thing about Pampers, they have a chart showing how many points you’ll likely earn for each product, because different type of nappies, sizes and number count get different points ranging from 10 for wipes or a small packet to 180 for a large box for instance. Huggies doesn’t appear to do this and the points ranged from 4 I’m guessing for the wipes, to 25 for a packet of nappies.

At the end of the day, you’ve got nothing to lose by keeping the codes and doing the programs, but they probably aren’t worth the extra cost over getting a store branded box of nappies, especially if they had a coupon you could use.

 

 

 

Free Discovery Museum Fridays

This is great for anyone living in the burbs or fancying a bit of a change.

The Children’s Discovery Museum in Acton.

Every Friday till the end of August, between 4:30 and 8:30pm both the Children’s Museum and the Science Museum portions at the place are free.

The Children’s portion is fantastic for little kids, ideally from say 2.5 up till around 6 or so as they get to play with a fake train, water tables and a giant human bubble maker as well as a diner, a jungle themed room, a boat themed room, a theatre and a host of other fun little things for kids to play around with and explore.

Then over to the Science portion, aimed at slightly older kids, but 3 year olds will still love this. There are plenty of things for all ages, especially the musical instrument and noise making activities and water based activities.

Spending the evening here is very easy to do and a lot of fun. Not as crazy busy as the time they were doing the Free Friday event for the Highland Street people, so very easy to get in, park and play. The garden area is a great spot to have a picnic if you arrive early, or just play in the huge sandpit outside if the weather is nice.

 

 

 

 

 

Mark Binder – Author and Entertainer

Mark Binder

An author of children’s books. He bills himself more as a story teller though and if you get a chance to catch him doing a book session, you really should!

He has read at a lot of libraries and it was there that I managed to catch a show, which went on for 45 minutes, stories and a little bit of music, just enough to entertain and keep little minds in tune for.

Binder, has a collection of around 6 traditionally printed books, of which “It ate my sister” and “The bedtime story book” are particularly good collection of stories. He also has a collection of audio books and e-books. The audio books would be great to collect as he has such enthusiasm and energy in his story telling. Of which, is’t a strict reading of his books, but a collection of age appropriate stories, some of which are based on the written tales but many being based off of stories you might recognise, that have either been updated or merged with similar stories, all with great amusement and audience participation.

At the end of the reading session, he did have a collection of audio CD’s and books you could buy, offering them for $10 each instead of the regular $15, and if you bought two, you could get a third for free. These were all signed and personalised. He accepted cash, cheque and credit card, so you don’t have to worry about being caught short if you wanted to buy a book after a showing.

For a list of his free readings, of which seem to be mostly in MA and RI can be found here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aqueduck Bathroom Faucet Extender – Review

Aqueduck Bathroom Faucet Extender

This product is made by Peachy LLC

 

For anyone with toddlers who are potty trained or getting that way, this is a really useful product!

You’ve got a toddler up on their stool, trying to wash their hands and they just can’t reach and you don’t want to be lifting them up every time, especially when they’re starting to get a little heavy.

This is a simple, plastic piece that has a rubber attachment on one end which holds this onto the sink faucet and the plastic folds up creating a tube. Easily attaches to a variety of sink faucets.

Simple, easy to use product that’ll help your kids out.

Best place to buy this seems to be on Amazon for $13

 

 

 

 

 

Tanglewood Marionettes – Review

Tanglewood Marionettes

So these guys, based in Ware, MA and do shows all over the state and further a field.

I most recently saw the “The Fairy Circus” performance which was held at the Strawberry Festival in Concord, MA.

I have seen them perform else where, with other shows, but this one in particular I thought was most appropriate for little toddlers and a mix range of kids. It was a lovely performance, with music and very laid back with a nice little bit of audience participation.

The performer really knew how to engage the kids as well as the parents and handled the crowd really nicely, especially when kids where getting a little too close to the stage.

After the show, the children were allowed to get a close up look of the puppets and touch them which was really nice, as they were lovely.

They have a pretty good list of free, public performances listed for the summer on their website, which if you get the chance, you should definitely check out with your family!

Ben Rudnick and Friends – Review

Ben Rudnick and Friends, the group who played at the Strawberry Festival in Concord.

A very fun, family friendly and quirky little band with easy going music, a combination of blue grass and rock in their own original musings.

These guys seem to play all over the state and further out, but pretty much all are free concerts such as town summer green concerts, or fairs etc.

They played 3 sets of around 40 mins a piece with great music that the kids could dance around to, which was a lot of fun to see.

You have the opportunity of getting free music if you sign up to their newsletter, but also check out the samples they have of all their CD’s.

At the end of each set, you could hang around and have a chat with the band and get the chance to buy their wares, which included CD’s, fun tie dye t-shirts and a collection of other small things, but they really didn’t put up a hard sell at all which was rather refreshing.

For a line up of coming soon events, which is listed on their site, include:-

July 11 – West Bridgewater, MA
July 12 – Newton, MA
July 13 – Boarding House Park, Lowell, MA
July 14 – North Kingston, RI
July 15 – Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, Oak Hill, NY
July 19 – Revere, MA
July 20 – Candia, NH
July 21 – Medford, MA
July 22 – Lexington, MA

So for those in Boston, there’s Newton and later in the summer, Natick as well as a host of other venues you could catch these guys. Well worth keeping an eye out for!

Strawberry Fest Review

Strawberry Festival

As mentioned last week, this happened last Saturday.

It’s definitely a great event to be marked into your calendar for next year as it was a lovely, family event.

The strawberries were superb and the pick your own plentiful, as well as being very well priced at $3 a pound.

The farm also had a lovely marketstand type store where you could buy locally grown fruit and veg, which seemed to be very well priced as well. Plenty of lovely looking home made lunches boxes were available as well.

Because of the rain this time around, I don’t think they had the pony rides which was a shame, but they did move the music and puppet shows into the greenhouse and there was plenty of room to enjoy them.

The one main consideration I think would be to arrive early, because even with the heavy morning rain, which had cleared out by the time this started at 11am, the place did get very busy by the time we arrived at lunchtime. There was quite a lot of parking available, but it was still a bit of a struggle to find a spot.

There also might be a bit of a struggle to use a pushchair if you had to as there might not much space to move it around easily when the shows get going and it’s certainly very grassy outside.

The toilets inside were also very nice and clean and they had ample portaloos outside as well.

I’ll get around to writing a review for the music and the puppet shows, which were both fantastic entertainment for everyone.

Slam Bolt Scrappers PSN Post Mortem

The last Boston Post Mortem was presented by, Eitan Glinert of Firehose Games.

The talk was a post mortem into their PSN released game, Slam Bolt Scrappers, which pre-release had received very favourable news from Pax East etc, but since release has not been getting the same kind of reviews. They cover the highs, lows and the bittersweets of the development and cover the lack of online multiplayer which was one of the biggest detractors in the reviews for the game.

This presentation was filmed by Firehose.