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Starting a University Video Game Design Club

Video game design is often one of the most love-to-have careers imaginable for today’s college students. Video game designers get to be involved in the process to make those cool things that often end up taking countless hours of your life. But the job also seems a bit elusive and unattainable. Unless you know someone already in one of the top companies, you’re going to have to work your way into the profession of your dreams.

Having a video game design club at your university could be just the trick. Your resume would look a little more polished and professional if it included an extracurricular directly related to your field, which could be a small push towards getting what you want. Starting an organization at your university probably is not as hard as you’ll think.

First, contact your office of student life or student government. They will usually provide you with the forms you need to create your group. Next, you’ll typically need to gather around 5 to 10 other people to put their names down as the first members: most universities don’t let you have a group just for yourself. You’ll probably also have to create your constitution – find example constitutions or by-laws from other student groups. This constitution just says that you exist, who can join, and how they can vote on, for example, who gets to be in charge.
Turn in all those forms and wait for your application for a new student organization to be approved. Afterwards, you’re ready for the fun – planning your first meeting! Contact either your student union, or your classroom management to reserve space in one of the two places, it should be free at most universities. Next, create fliers however you feel like making them and send them to two places. First to your University business office, or wherever they accept fliers for posting, and second to the residence halls. Make sure to contact each in advance to see if they have special requirements, amounts, or disclaimers you need to include.

Your first game design club meeting is usually the hardest to setup, but can be very rewarding. You’ll want now to come up with a topic for your first presentation. Here’s a hint: contact game design companies and ask for speakers or information, and be sure to tell them you’re from an official student group at your university. It may take several attempts, but in the end they will probably provide you with something useful. Often the first meeting is simply making a list of what people are interested in. They could want to learn about Sun’s Project Darkstar, a game design platform. They could instead want to learn about Microsoft’s XNA. They could instead want you to tell them about the career, or about how creative writers and business people can get involved. This is where contacting companies especially helps – they’re always interested in more talented game designers.
Now your resume is a little polished, you’ve got a fun new activity, and you’ll already be making connections to the companies you might want to work for!

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November 9, 2017
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Where to Choose the Ultimate Tattoo Design: At Home or in the Parlor

Getting a new tattoo is an exciting experience, as long as you don’t get pressured into picking your design. So what are the pros and cons of choosing your next tattoo design at home, or going to the parlor and doing it there? For one, the range. Any tattoo parlor you walk into will greet you with eye-catching, colorful tattoo designs. But keep in mind that the internet will always feature a greater range, and the work of many tattoo artists, so your options are much greater when you are choosing your tattoo at home.

The second con to choosing at your tattoo parlor is time constraints. Even if you walk into your tattoo parlor an hour before your appointment time, you will not necessarily be able to zero in on a tattoo design that is exactly what you want, and you might end up choosing simply because you ran out of time. It can be very difficult to select from the many tattoo designs that your tattoo parlor has, or realize that you cannot find any design that you really love and cancel the appointment.

The third thing to consider is what you already know. Do you know where you would like your tattoo? Do you know if you want a word or a phrase, or an elaborate, colorful design? The more you know up front, the easier it will be when you go to your tattoo parlor.
So how should you choose your next tattoo design? The answer is simple. Leave little to be decided in the parlor. First, pick out the theme of your tattoo. Whether you know you want an eagle or a fairy, this will save you a lot of time looking at designs that are not relevant. Then, print out a couple of designs that you like. Bring them to your tattoo artist. Ask him what he suggests. You can get ideas about color compositions or a simple change to the design that will make it personal. Looking for ideas and inspiration for your next tattoo? Tattooholic’s design gallery offers 1000s of popular and unique designs to choose from.

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November 9, 2017
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Your Next Tattoo Design and the Story Behind It

Whether you already have a tattoo or you are now planning to get your first one, you probably already know that each tattoo has a story. It could be a story of a life changing moment – like your first son being born, or a tragic moment of losing a loved one.
But it doesn’t have to be the story of a life changing moment. It could be a fun reminder of a spontaneous moment in your life. There is also the story of tattoo designs that were done “under the influence”, which some live to regret. Mixing alcohol with your tattoo design is never a good idea, and for many reasons.

It’s obvious then, that choosing a great tattoo design takes time and a little thought.
So, how can you make sure that the story behind your tattoo is a good one? First, the obvious: don’t tattoo names or faces of boyfriends or girlfriends. More often than not, you will want the tattoo gone if the relationship ends, which will just add more pain to an already painful situation. And future spouses probably won’t appreciate it either.
Second, don’t tattoo after you’ve been drinking, even if you have already chosen your design. Not only can it damage the look of your tattoo, but you can never be entirely sure what will end up happening if you are not completely sober and in control.
Aside from that, if you want to have a tattoo that reminds you of a place you went to, an experience you had, a trait of character you want to externalize or a relationship with a loved one (remember the boyfriend/girlfriend rule), then there’s your story.
Then, there is one last question to answer, and that is “how public do you want to make your tattoo story?” If you mind people asking you are is the meaning of your tattoo, and rather not answer everyone’s questions, you can either place the tattoo where not everyone will see, or use foreign languages that people around you cannot read.
Your tattoo story is a big part of your tattoo, so taking time to make it a good one is a really good investment of your time. The best way to come up with your next tattoo project idea, is by looking at other people’s tattoos and tattoo designs. Tattooholic’s design collection provides you with amazing ideas for all tattoo designs. Visit Tattooholic to learn more.

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November 9, 2017
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Easy (and Complete!) Website Design in Photoshop

“If you want something done right, do it yourself” – cliche, maybe, but often very true. It’s only when you can place your own ideas into a complete project, see your vision come to life in front of you, that you’re truly happy with the final effect. No one else has your ideas or thoughts about how something should look.
This totally applies to web design.
More and more people are turning to websites for their business and personal pursuits, whether to sell products and services or to keep in touch with distant loved ones. The cost of hiring someone to design a professional website for you, though, can be frightening. Even more frightening can be the prospect of tackling it on your own.
Using Photoshop, you can create your own website with very little headache. Seriously. I’ve been designing websites professionally for more than 6 years now, and constantly find myself surprised by how much fun it is to do. Taking a simple graphic and transforming it into something people can navigate through is akin to magic.
What will you need? To follow this guide word-for-word, you’ll need Photoshop CS or CS2. Don’t let that stop you if you don’t have these programs, though – any graphic program with tools comparable to Photoshop will let you create the web design. You may have to look around for the right tools, though. Attached to this article are a series of images that illustrate the process more clearly.

Part One: Gather Resources
The website design we’re going to create will be similar to the first illustration attached to this article. To get going, you need only one thing (other than your software) – an image or graphic that you want to feature in the header of your site. I’ll be using an image that I picked up on ClanTemplates.com in their Renders gallery.

Part Two: Block it Out
Before we do anything else, we need to make a “sketch” of where we want to place the parts of our site.
1: Open a new canvas (File, New) sized about 550 x 500 pixels. It should be RGB color with a white background.
2: Set your foreground color to black. Using your rounded rectangle shape tool, create several “blocks” to match the general layout shown in Illustration 2. Make sure that you use the shape tool, not a marquee. When each block is made, right-click the layer and choose “Rasterize Layer”.

Part Three: The Header
We’ve got each of the sections of our website decided and indicated. Now, we need to fill in those spaces and make them look nice. We’re going to start from the top (literally) to make it easy.
1: We’re first going to turn the header block into metal. Set your foreground color to #fdfdfb and your background color to #a2abb2. Then, select your header block layer. Click Layer – Layer Style – Gradient Overlay. Apply the white-to-gray gradient. Within the layer styles dialogue, click “Stroke” and apply a 1-pixel stroke in #a2abb2. Click OK.
2: Right-click your header block layer and choose “Copy Layer Style”. We can now paste that layer style to other shapes – right-click both your middle and bottom layers and choose “Paste Layer Style”. This will put the gradient and stroke on each of your blocks. (See Illustration 03). And yes, I realize this has little to do with the header – but it will save you time later.
3: Now, we’re going to create two metal rivets at each top corner of the header. Use your elliptical (circle) shape tool to draw a small circle in each top corner. Right-click and rasterizing the circles. Then, right-click and paste the layer style to each circle. (See Illustration 04).
4: One more metal-looking accent and we’re ready to add our graphic. Create a new layer (Layer, New, New Layer). Using white, draw a thin line over the lower 1/3 of the header block. Right-click to rasterizing the shape. Then, lower the Fill of this line to 20%.
5: Our last step to the header – add our graphic and text. I’ve spent some extra time with my graphic, adding some background in using a gradient and brushes. This isn’t necessary. To make the graphic match the rounded corners, place it over your header block. Then, select the outside of your header block. With this selection made, click Select, choose Modify, and click Contract. Set the amount to about 15 pixels and click OK. Then, hit the backspace key on your keyboard. Finally, add text. I achieved the text effect by pasting my layer style and changing the color from gray to green. (See Illustration 05).

Part Four: The Navigation
Easy so far? Great – because it’s not going to get harder … it gets easier. Now we get to make our navigation buttons.
1: Use your rectangle marquee tool to create breaks in your navigation block – select an area and hit the backspace key on your keyboard to erase it. Move the marquee over and erase the next space. (See Illustration 06).
2: Now we’re going to carry the idea of metal rivets through our navigation. To do this, select one of your metal rivet layers and right-click. Choose “Duplicate Layer”. Then, move the rivet into the upper left corner of one of your navigation buttons. Repeat this for each button.
3: Use the same font you used in your header for text on the navigation buttons. I chose a dark color to make it stand out. (See Illustration 07).

Part Five: The Body
This is the easiest part of all. To create the body, just use white to draw a rectangle over your bottom block. Right-click and rasterizing the rectangle. Then, add a 1-pixel gray stroke (Layer, Layer Style, Stroke). Done!

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November 9, 2017
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