How To Play Long Video Games When You Have No Time

For a lot of gamers with demanding jobs, marriages and/or families, the excitement of reading good reviews for games like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is tempered by the sinking realization that they’ll never have time to play them. How do you make time for a 60+ hour game when you have a busy life?

I’m lucky that sometimes I get to play games for work, which gifts me a few days to play games I’d never otherwise fit in. But my leisure time is very limited: when I’m not working or standing around in parks with my toddler, time must be split between friends, family, my partner, books, films, TV, games, the gym (lol, who am I kidding?) and anything else I might want to do. You couldn’t pay me enough to go back to being a student, but one of the few saving graces of being a young adult is that you have a lot of time for your hobbies. Why did I spend so much time binge-watching middling Netflix series? Why!?

One solution is to prioritize games that only require five or ten hours of your time, and there are plenty of those around. But if you’re efficient, you don’t have to miss out entirely on the huge games that everyone else seems to be playing. Like many working mothers, I have, by necessity, become frighteningly efficient. Here are some tips from the frontlines. According to Cosmo, there are some things that will happen when someone plays video games. 

Pick one massive game

When I was a teenager, money was my limiting factor. I could afford one game every couple of months, so it had to be a good one. Now, my limiting factor is time, which I must budget just as carefully as I budgeted my money as a kid so that I could afford a Gamecube on the day it came out. That means I can’t be getting on with games that don’t respect my time, such as unnecessarily bloaty open-worlds, excessively slow-paced JRPGs or online games that involve too much grinding. Also, bouncing between a giant Assassin’s Creed game and a live game like Destiny is just going to frustrate you because you feel like you are achieving nothing in either. I recommend making a careful choice and sticking to it.

Take what you can get

One of the biggest mental hurdles for me is accepting that I am never going to have three uninterrupted hours to play a video game. Those Sundays when I could just sit in my pajamas and play XCOM for the entire day are officially gone, if not forever then for the foreseeable future. Now I look at my PS4 controller and think, what’s the point? I’ll only have to turn it off again in an hour.

Take that hour. It’s what you’ve got now. You could finish a 60-hour game in a couple of months if you can find an hour a day, or spend two months hoping that your partner will go on a trip so you can play it for a whole weekend and get nowhere.

Get a Nintendo Switch

This isn’t just Nintendo fangirlism talking: the Switch lets you use time that would otherwise be dead for playing games, whether it’s 20 minutes on the train, a lunch break, an hour while the baby’s napping or half an hour in bed before going to sleep. I played 80 hours of Breath of the Wild on maternity leave, almost exclusively in 30-minute sessions. (It’s the reason I learned to breastfeed lying down.) Even if you hate Nintendo, the Switch is now home to pretty much every significant indie of the past several years. I’ve caught up on so many excellent games in the past year and spent 40 hours playing Hollow Knight, and it hasn’t eaten significantly into time that I could have been spending with my family or at work.

If you have kids or live with a partner, play games with them

There is a golden period when kids are between about 3 and 10 when they may actually want to play games with you, or watch you play. (After that they’ll exclusively want to play with their friends, and any game you might take an interest in is automatically boring.) Keeping to kid-friendly games does rather limit your options, of course, but if you can get them into something you want to play anyway, like Ni no Kuni 2, you’re golden. This can also be an opportunity to reconnect with series like Pokémon that you might have played as a kid but drifted away from as an adult. I know one family with teenagers who all play Destiny together.

If your partner is into games and you can afford it, consider—no matter how sad this might sound—setting up a spare TV and console so you can both play your individual massive games companionably. This is how my partner and I got through all the Dark Souls games.

Bargain with your partner

If there’s a big game that you really want to play coming up, why not valiantly volunteer to stay home once the kids are in bed for a couple of nights that week so your partner can go out with their friends? If you’re extremely organized, take the kids away for a day the month before, then you can reasonably bargain for a day to yourself to play. What never works is rolling along as usual without making any special effort for your partner and then acting baffled when they object to you being essentially absent from their evenings because a new game has come out. If you make an effort in advance, they may be happy to give you some time to play in return.

Let go of guilt

One of the things I realized on maternity leave was that making time to play games was important self-care, not some guilty pleasure. I’d had a baby, not a personality transplant. It can sometimes feel like games aren’t important enough to make time for, like you should always be prioritizing work or parenting or, I dunno, learning Italian. But you need time for yourself. So go home at 5pm, or give yourself permission to spent 35 minutes with a game in the mornings rather than checking work email before you head out.

I encounter so many people who say they used to love video games but just don’t have space in their lives for them anymore, or who’ve given up on finding time to play something like Red Dead Redemption 2. It’s fine if there are other things that give you pleasure that you’ve decided to do instead. But if games are something you really love, don’t feel guilty about making time for them.

Read More

3 Steps to Becoming a Video Game Designer

Game design is a challenging, fast-paced, and competitive career that requires creativity and hard work to succeed. As for how to become a game designer, professionals in the field will tell you this career takes focus and passion, along with precise technical skills and knowledge of the entire game design and development pipeline. If you’re ready to make the commitment to becoming a game designer, here’s how to get going.

1. Earn Your Degree in Game Design The best place to learn how to become a game designer is in a game design program. Game design programs can teach you the principles of gaming and usability and prepare you for creating and developing entire gaming experiences. Such programs explore the planning, scope, problem-solving abilities, and economics of creating a market-ready game. Your courses can build skills in game design, level design, 2D concept art, 3D modeling, texturing, and real-time lighting. Cosmopolitan also featured about a girl who developed a video game.

While earning a game design degree requires putting in a lot of hours, it can allow you to gain valuable knowledge as well as form connections to the industry through faculty and peers. Many game design roles will require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree.

2. Get Involved In the Game Design Community Don’t skip this crucial step for how to become a game designer! Game design is a competitive field, and you’ll want to do everything you can to learn, network, and position yourself for success. Keeping up with a variety of games, industry trends, and technologies will allow you to converse with other industry professionals and inform how you approach your own game design projects. Your game design classes in school should help with these efforts and give you improved tools and vocabulary for analyzing and discussing the best and worst in the game design field.

Many game design schools also have clubs or chapters of professional organizations that are excellent ways to grow your knowledge and connections. As a student, you may be able to attend industry events at discounted rates (perhaps even showcasing your work). And be sure to ask your faculty for additional tips on how to become a game designer and advice on other ways to get involved in the game design community! Even after you graduate, you may discover opportunities through Career Services and by staying in touch with former classmates and instructors.

3. Show Off Your Skills and Experience Potential employers will want to know what experience you have that proves you’re ready for becoming a game designer. Luckily, if you earn a degree focused on game design, you can apply what you learn to create a strong game design portfolio featuring projects from your classes. Pull from assignments that include abilities like designing gameplay and back stories, creating characters and environments, employing 3D modeling and animation software to create game art, and using 2D image software to create backgrounds and 3D textures.

You may even be able to complete an internship or freelance projects while you’re in school to gain additional experience in a professional setting and further boost your portfolio. Your instructors, the Career Services team, and any other professional contacts you make can also help you refine your portfolio so you’re showing employers your very best.

Read More

Charm Bracelets – Best Gifts for Girls

We know that buying a gift for someone is not always easy. In fact, picking out the best one is usually the hardest part. So, to help you out, we have taken a quick look at what others are buying. After all, there might be a reason they are choosing these exact charm bracelets.

 

Doctor Unicorn Rainbow Bracelet

This adorable little bracelet is perfect for girls, teens, toddlers, and small kids. It is the loveliest present that comes with a gift box. So, if you are looking for some excellent gift ideas for kids that love unicorns, look no further. Just remember the time when you were a kid as well. After all, we have all loved our magical horses. And, you know that the kid will run to their friends to show the present off.

Sunflower Jewelry – Adjustable Bangle

This simple, yet lovely bangle carries words of inspiration of your choosing. Namely, you can pick one of the nine motivational and loving messages and have the manufacturer print it out on the plate that serves as the charm for this bangle. Choosing the right message can make it a perfect present for your significant other, best friend, sister, mother, or even yourself.

Hidden Hollow Beads Message Charm

This expandable wire bracelet is so much fun to wear around your wrist. Also, it is a very affordable way to create a fashionable look with so little effort. So, if you are looking for the perfect gift for someone, this silver bangle might be the present you are after.

JMQ Jewelry Letter Beads for Charm Bracelets

Well, naturally, not everyone needs a charm bracelet. The main reason for that is that there are people who already have their own. So, why not just buy a charm for their bracelets? Of course, one of the easiest charms to get right are the letter charms. Beautiful, dazzling, and shiny letters that will let them know the gift is just for them.

DOLON Granddaughter Bracelet

Not all gifts come from your significant other. And, if you are looking for a gift for a grandchild, this rhinestone charm bracelet is a beautiful choice. You can be certain your granddaughter will love this bracelet.

Ac Union Infinity Leather Bracelet

One of the rare companies that not only makes the bracelets by hand but also allows you to order a bracelet and have them customize it. With Ac Union, you can feel free to open your mind and make the gift special. Anything you can think of is probably doable. The particular model that most people love involves three leather bracelets put together with varying charms on them.

Dance Charm Bracelet

Dancing is one of the most popular activities for girls around the world. So, why not celebrate that fact by buying a bracelet with dance-related details. This gorgeous bracelet comes with pink and silver beads and silver-tone charms. It is easily adjustable and fits most wrists with no issues. So, if your little one enjoys dancing, what are you waiting for? Buy one of these right now!

Dolon Wonder Girl Bracelet

Wonder Woman is the single best role model for young girls everywhere. So, why not get her this beautiful bracelet and let your child show off her inner warrior princess?

 

 

 

Read More