Another Side Hustle?!

For the past few years I’ve made and refined my own planner design from scratch, but this year I’ve realized I need to go back to the drawing board and design a new system for planning, this time to fit the college demands of friends and I.

The main problems I noticed:

  • Limited space in certain places and excessive or unused space in others.
  • The planner was designed for my high school task flow, not college. In college, my tasks don’t refresh each day or every other day like they did in high school.
  • The planner has half the amount of space designated for each weekend day than is designated for each week day. In high school this was fine, but in college I have a hard time planning what I’ll do each day of the weekend with this amount of space.
my old planner spreads

Pickery’s Potions Logo Design

I thought it would be fun to make the logo have a hand picking the dot of the “i” off the name Pickery or the “i” in potions. The first couple iterations I did were hand drawn in photoshop and had some awkward gaps and spacing. I brought them into illustrator and image traced them to keep their hand drawn feel. I worked on the spacing once I played around in illustrator.

For the sake of putting my side hustle in the show, I put some glitter, water, food coloring, and fake flowers in glass bottles that looked like potion bottles to create props to put around the computer screen. One of the bottles featured the logo cut out in black vinyl.

A selected logo iteration with bad spacing
The final logo

Pickery’s Potions Mockup

This is an update on my side hustle.

I didn’t have enough time to code the final product of the game, so I searched for a software that would help me mock up the game and would allow me to take a video of myself doing a single path of game play. I was going to use the program Sketch but sketch doesn’t seem to have an easily available feature for playing animations, video’s or gifs.

After a bit of searching for alternatives, I found an online program called UXPin. UXPin is very much like sketch in that it’s only a prototyping platform, but the user has the ability to add some variables and do if-then statements which makes the process a little easier and the result look more realistic. I was able to get a free trial of UXPin and was able to complete the game mockup in about a week or so.

Pickery’s Potions Cauldron Animation

This post outlines the process behind a cauldron animation I made, which will be a portion of a full screen scene where the player in my game will test out different ingredient combinations.

I started out with a sketch of the whole screen. I wasn’t sure about the left side (my thinking for that is outlined in my last post) so I focused on just the cauldron. I liked the way that the cauldron floated in a fireplace like thing instead of my other ideas where the cauldron sat on a typical gas stove.

Pickery’s Potions update

This is an update on my side hustle.

The gameplay, as outlined in a past post, involves a scene with a cauldron and the collected ingredients laid on the screen for the user. A challenge I had was coming up with a good way to organize the ingredients and the potions. I juggled deciding between creating a 3-D space and flattening the space so it was more simple for the user.

I still haven’t decided how I will display and organize the ingredients and how this display will be different than finding the ingredients around the house. I want to make things as least frustrating for the user as possible—so no going back and forth between viewing the house and viewing the cauldron.

I’ve played around with a few options:

  • A. a bottom display bar with (ingredients in boxes) that scrolls horizontally.
  • B. a side panel displaying the ingredients overlapping slightly in an environment.
  • C. a side panel displaying the ingredients in boxes.

The benefits for B and C are that you can see all the ingredients that you have collected at one time. The problem with C is that there are many ingredients and fitting them all into individual boxes on a screen would make the ingredients quite small. The problem with B is that is that the display might feel too much like the display when the user finds the ingredients around the house. It may make the process of finding the ingredients feel unnecessary.

A Library Committed to Its Community

 The Utica Public Library isn’t just a home for books. 

by Maddison Manente 

As an avid reader, one of the best things about going to school in Utica is that there is a wonderful library literally right across the street! I’m almost always in the process of reading or finishing a book so the ability to have so many free books, and information for that matter, right at my fingertips is amazing. What’s arguably just as wonderful about the library as its collection of books is its detailed and interesting history. Recently I met with Sarah Schultz, the Outreach and Digital Services Librarian at the Utica Public Library, to get an inside perspective on the library and its involvement within the community, now and in the past. 

I asked Sarah what she loves about the library. “I love that we’ve been a part of the community for so long,” said Sarah. “We’re kind of like a personal directory to the world in different ways.” Sarah thinks that the staff at the library is what makes the library unique.  She told me a story about how the other day a teenage girl came in looking for a CD that she couldn’t find at a library anywhere else.  For some reason the CD was misplaced. 

“I was like ‘I’m so sorry.’ I marked it missing, and my coworker actually found it earlier this week. She came in the next day with her mom.” Sarah approached the girl and her mother and asked them if they were still interested in the song.  “We tend to go the extra mile if we can for our patrons,” said Sarah.  Sarah also thinks it’s always fun to see people’s reactions to the glass floors. “Cause they’re either like ‘oh my gosh there are glass floors­­—that’s awesome!’ or,  ‘I don’t want to walk on this floor anymore.’ It’s been here since 1904, it’s not going anywhere, a lot of people have walked on it, but it’s kind of fun to see their reactions to that.”

Did you know a fountain used to be in the center of the lobby? I didn’t. Sarah kindly gave me a book of history on the library to peruse back at school. I found the depth and detail of the history in the book amazing, and I was surprised to learn how many agreements, compromises, and changes had to be made over time for the library to become what it is now.  In addition to the fountain, something interesting that Sarah pointed out to me during my visit was the fact that the community put on plays in the library lobby over a hundred years ago, and converted a sturdy librarian’s desk into a stage in order to do so. I found a photo of the library after the transformation in the book. Pretty cool!

An image of one of the many performances staged in the library lobby. Date of image is unknown but believed to be 1913.
An image of the library lobby converted into an auditorium. Date of the Image is unknown but believed to be 1913.

The Utica Public Library hosts events throughout the year, making it a wonderful place to start getting involved with the community, in addition to a wonderful resource for education and inspiration. Like Sarah said, “pretty much walk into [the Utica Public Library’s] doors and you’ll find a way to be involved, one way or another!”

Side Hustle Week 7

Details of Game Play

You have a conversation with the witch (predetermined dialogue, no making choices) and she agrees to let you be an apprentice.

She doesn’t keep recipes for potions, only the spells to use them. She tells you that all the ingredients can be found in her shop and tells you what potion you need to make first, and the spell, which has clues as to what needs to go in it somewhat.

You can look around the shop, pick up objects, and click on her if you need a hint. Then you can use the cauldron to put your chosen four ingredients into the pot. She tells you if you’re right or wrong in a fun and detailed way. Sometimes wrong ingredient combinations make weird potions. Part of the fun is finding these weird potion combinations. The game ends when you’ve mastered all the potions.

Potion Lists

I made another map for coming up with ingredients for common wants and needs that a person would want a potion for hypothetically.

I rewrote what I came up with in a notebook.

Example Potion: Potion of True Friendship

  • a smooth rock from the ocean
  • a tooth
  • something broken and mended
  • a tube of superglue