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… Aaaand we’re back!

March 11th, 2013 No comments

As you can see, the site’s back online. Changes have been made to its scalability so that hopefully in the future it can deal with more traffic without choking on it.

Meanwhile I’ve worked on the water splash effect which looks nice when seen in motion (still-pictures really don’t do it justice). The cool thing of course is that it can be reused and tweaked for anything that hits the water, thanks to Unity’s prefabs system.

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Categories: "Ghost of a Tale", update Tags:

Flight of stairs

March 2nd, 2013 1 comment

Hi guys. Just a quick update. I am hard at work on the game, as always, and the alpha trailer video is done! :) However I’m still sitting on it while I’m waiting for the last perk for the crowdfunding campaign to arrive (I’ll show you what it is when it’s done, of course). The reason I’m not uploading the video right now is simply because I’d like it to coincide with the Indiegogo campaign launch.

So here’s a little screenshot for now, where you can also see the new logo for the game…

Unity 2013-03-02 14-50-44-95

Categories: "Ghost of a Tale", update Tags:

Exporting tool

February 2nd, 2013 12 comments

I knew it’d be a chore, but it had to be done; I needed to write a tool that allows me to export models and animations from Maya to Unity into several frequently used folders very quickly. Similar to what I did with MayaCE3. So the process goes like this: I select any part of the model, choose a path in the menu and click export. And that’s it. A backup file is also created, in case I discover that my tiny innocuous changes have ruined everything!

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I might make it public at some point if there’s enough of an interest for it. But truth be told I don’t even know if there’s a lot of Unity people coming to this site (after all, it used to be heavily geared at the CryEngine until not too long).

Also, I’ve been working very hard on a video of the beta that shows a little gameplay. I hope I can post it within a couple of weeks. The old video was grossly outdated anyway, since I switched to Unity 4. And I don’t count anymore how many times I’ve been asked to post a new video. So here’s a little screen-grab of the video for you, as a teaser… :)

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Categories: "Ghost of a Tale", Maya, Unity, update Tags:

I lost 35 pounds in 6 months without going on a diet, and it taught me 7 lessons about eating for healthy fat loss

January 17th, 2013 4 comments

Losing weight is, in theory, simple. But that doesn’t make it easy.

The vast majority of people, and women in particular, are always trying, or at the very least wishing, to lose some weight, no matter how much, for health or aesthetic reasons.

If it were as easy as it appears on paper — that is, take in less energy than you’re burning — the multibillion-dollar diet industry wouldn’t exist.

Whether it’s a reality-TV star peddling a bikini blitz workout DVD, an influencer plugging laxative teas, or a tabloid claiming to have come up with a diet plan that will see you losing 10 pounds in a week, supposed quick fixes are everywhere, because we all love the idea of putting in minimal effort and getting results fast.

But the truth is, none of these things work. There is no shortcut, and anything that results in rapid weight loss won’t be healthy or sustainable. You didn’t gain 10 pounds in a week, so how could you possibly lose it that quickly?

before after side rachel hosie
January to June 2019. 

Rachel Hosie

Over the past five months, I’ve lost nearly 35 pounds, or over 15 kilos.

Like many, my weight has fluctuated over my adult life, but at the end of 2018 I was the biggest and heaviest I’d ever been. I felt sluggish, hated shopping, and barely fit into any of my clothes (smocks were life), but I don’t think I realized quite how much weight I’d gained until I had a body scan at the end of November.

I’d put on 11 pounds, or 5 kilos, since I’d last weighed myself the previous July, and seeing the number on the scale was the wake-up call I needed.

Read more: A bad diet could cause more deaths than smoking, according to a major new study

There’s nothing wrong with gaining weight if you’re healthy, but I wasn’t, and my weight gain was a reflection of the fact that I wasn’t looking after myself.

The weight had crept up over the years, as it so often does. I will always love to eat and drink, but as a 20-something living in London, I’d lost all concept of moderation or balance, regularly binge-drinking and overeating.

My diet wasn’t necessarily unhealthy, and I was very active, but I was simply consuming far too much, frequently eating to the point of pain.

Losing weight wasn’t my main incentive, but it was part of the overall lifestyle switch I’ve successfully made. And that’s what’s made this time different to every other time I’ve lost a few pounds.

before after front rachel hosie
January to June 2019: My body shrank while my chest of drawers grew. 

Rachel Hosie

It was time to start putting myself, my health, and my happiness first. No restrictive plans, no strict rules, no thinking of myself as being on a diet, but rather approaching it as a journey toward creating a healthier, happier, sustainable lifestyle.

And it worked.

As a lifestyle journalist with a focus on health, food, wellness, and fitness, I was already well informed about how to live a healthy lifestyle. But there’s still so much I’ve learned this year, from how to train to how to deal with saboteurs (both separate articles entirely). Read more about steel bite pro.

But perhaps the most important changes I’ve made have been regarding my diet. So here are seven lessons I’ve learned about how to eat to lose weight sustainably.

1. Cutting out foods just results in bingeing.

rachel hosie pudding.JPG
Everyone needs a dessert from time to time. 

Rachel Hosie

Cutting bread, sugar, or anything else you enjoy out of your diet is not a good idea as you’ll only end up bingeing on it. Do you want to cut those delicious foods out forever? Didn’t think so.

While you may think you “can’t do” moderation (stopping after a few squares of chocolate and not eating the whole bar), you can if you stop demonizing the food. There’s no such thing as “good” and “bad” foods, although, yes, there are more and less nutrient-dense foods. Find more healthy supplement reviews at https://sparkhealthmd.com/resurge-reviews/943/.

For me, it’s also helped to think of foods in terms of macros — are they a source of protein, carbs, or fats? So a bar of chocolate is a carb, just like a banana or oats, and they can all be part of a healthy diet.

Read more: I tried to eat healthily while ordering all my meals from food-delivery apps for a week

If you love doughnuts, you don’t have to give them up forever to lose weight, and this can make them easier to resist when your colleague brings in a box of Krispy Kremes — you know what they taste like, you’ll eat doughnuts at a later point in your life, you don’t need to eat one just because they’re there. But at the same time, if you really want a doughnut, just eat one and enjoy it!

If you feel like you’re punishing yourself, it’s never going to work.

2. Working out won’t result in fat loss if you don’t also address your diet.

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Exercise is great, but working out alone won’t result in fat loss. 

Rachel Hosie

Before I changed my lifestyle, I already worked out four to five times a week, doing a mixture of weight-lifting, dance classes, and netball. I was also active in my day-to-day life, walking at least 14,000 steps a day. But I was still overweight.

The past six months have shown me how much truth there is in the adage, “You can’t out-train a bad diet.” Or, more specifically, a diet that simply involves consuming too much.

Working out is great for you in so many ways, and it certainly helps the fat-loss process (more on that another time), but if you think exercise alone is going to see your weight dropping off, you may be disappointed.

3. Upping your protein intake will help a lot.

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Erin Brodwin / Business Insider

It’s a complete myth that eating for fitness means plain chicken and broccoli with a protein shake on the side for every meal, but it’s true that keeping your protein intake up is important.

In fact, studies have shown that following a high-protein diet can help maintain muscle and boost metabolism, keep you feeling full when trying to lose weight, and reduce hunger.

“Eating a sufficient amount of protein when you’re losing weight is paramount in order to preserve lean muscle mass,” specialist registered dietitian Nichola Ludlam-Raine told INSIDER.

“Eating around 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight,” she said, “alongside resistance exercise, helps to maintain both muscle strength and metabolic rate” — the rate at which your body burns calories. “The digestion of protein also requires more calories in comparison to carbs and fat, and help to keep you feeling full too.”

Categories: "Ghost of a Tale", Unity, update Tags:

Happy New Year!

January 2nd, 2013 3 comments

Happy new year! And let’s all hope this is the year where everyone (well, at least people who are interested) can get to play “Ghost of a Tale”! 😀

It’s a lot of hard work, but things are really starting to shape up. I’ve recently added some sounds in, and it’s incredible how much they bring to the mood.

Categories: "Ghost of a Tale", Unity, update Tags:

Three against one!

December 12th, 2012 8 comments

Would you look at them, ganging up on a poor little mouse.

Well, I thought it was going to be an almost insurmountable task (based on my experience with err… another fabulous-looking game engine) but it only took me a couple of days to get the skeletal rats AI in.

Actually that includes exporting the models, their animations, their basic behavior, the whole melee attack/dealing damage system and the customizing of each enemy with drag-and-drop simplicity. The more I delve into Unity, the more I have the feeling I’m working with a tool like Maya. Anything can be done; the real challenge is in finding the simplest and therefore the fastest way of achieving it.

You have to realize that using the CryEngine it would have been impossible for me to get all that stuff in with this level of control and customizability. I used to bang into walls of sheer complexity and “catch 22” everywhere I turned. But now I can focus back on how to achieve things, rather than worrying if they can be accomplished at all.

Which is a great feeling… 😀

Categories: "Ghost of a Tale", update Tags:

Update on the transition to Unity

December 7th, 2012 4 comments

In case anyone had any doubts about it, I’ve officially decided to move the pipeline for “Ghost of a Tale” from the CryEngine onto Unity 4, for more mobile game and apps go to this website. It wasn’t a trivial decision by any means (after all I’m one of the most vocal CryEngine evangelists out there). As to the reason why, Unity is simply a fantastic SDK to develop games on, easy to work with and is ideal for me since I don’t have a team of TDs/programers to bail me out when I’m against a C++ wall.

As always in a transition situation like that, a lot of work is required but it’s better to just bite the bullet and get it over with. And in the process, I have actually expanded on what I previously had in the CryEngine. Here’s a WIP screenshot for you, if only to show that Unity can pack some nice visuals (and still at almost 60fps on my non-gaming video card):

 

So in just a few words, I have now:

– A fully functional camera which automatically adjusts its position so that it doesn’t go through walls. It’s also smart enough to allow thin pole-like meshes to get in-between itself and the player, as long as the player is not entirely blocked from view. In fact the camera feels a lot like what’s in the CryEngine SDK (Crytek does nicely responsive FPS cameras), with the added feature that you can adjust its distance to the player with a flick of the mouse-wheel. Which is nice. 2GameAndroid is one of the best sites to get the best mobile games for android.

 

– An overall tighter and much more subtle control scheme for the player character where I control absolutely everything, from transitions to custom animation parameters. And Unity’s Mecanim system is a joy to work with.

 

– A rudimentary foot IK system that adjusts the height of the feet in idle mode, depending on the surface the character stands on. I learned a lot about raycasting on that one.

– A HUD with a functional compass and a stamina-depletion system; the main character is a mouse and can optionally run really fast on all fours, so that was necessary to keep the player from zipping from one end of the level to the other.

– An item label display system that shows a name tag over any item of interest in the world, depending on the distance. That way the player knows he can interact with those. I could have never dreamed of achieving something like that with the CryEngine, since I don’t program in C++.

 

Anyway, I’ll post some more on my progress later. There are still many things I want to implement, but one big milestone will definitely be converting the enemy AI to Unity’s system…

Categories: "Ghost of a Tale", Unity, update Tags: