Bits and Bobs and Musings

So I realize that I have not posted in quite some time.  I've had quite a lot going on, plus I've managed to put a few new videos up on my Youtube site.  There is a new set of puzzle boxes in the works - the getting done of which has taken up a great deal of my time.  I did want to video some of this work, which, trust me, does not make the build process go any faster.  However, i feel good when I can give something back, even if I'm not much a pro at video work.

Video is interesting for me.  I like doing it, but I recognize how much of an amateur I am.  Video is truly a learned art and process.  There is so much more than just "point and record".  Good framing is critical (in a few of my videos I get out of frame!) as it's hard to demonstrate something that's off camera.  Having a good speaking cadence helps with clarity.  Also, some practice on what to say and in what order makes the videos go more smoothly.  Lighting - yeah, mine isn't so good, I need to get something better.  Once you done all that, then you get to edit it (I use iMovie on my Mac, cuz, well, it was free).  Then you can upload.  Then (getting the feeling you are never done!) you inform all your social media outlets of the video.  Finally, you can sit back and let the views roll in.

Back in the shop, the new set of puzzle boxes is coming along nicely.  This is a build of 5 boxes (one of which I hope to keep with me).  This is where the spring open drawers, slider lock puzzles and other items are all going.  I've enjoyed this series of boxes.  It pushed me into some new territory, like doing a lot of small parts work.  I've also spent quite a bit of time with pencil and paper working out the puzzles, how they would function, estimating difficulty and the general look.  It's truly been an interesting journey, one that I hope to conclude soon.  I had so many plans I had to start cutting some thing or I'd either never finish the boxes or have to make them ridiculously expensive (as a maker, I've tried to keep things reasonable-ish).

Coming out of this set of boxes I also had the idea for a run of smaller boxes using some of the same concepts.  Since I've built several jigs to construct these boxes, I would hope to move faster on another set.  And, making them a bit smaller and simpler allows me to have a range of prices and features.  Plus, I'm considering building the parts to several projects, but leaving them unfinished so that I can customize the puzzles for customers.

Finally, one of my favorite game series released a new game.  That's Fireproof Games The Room 3  I've been a gamer since the early days of PCs.  Lately, I haven't upgraded my desktop or my console enough to play current games (I have nothing that can run Fallout 4).  But along come The Room series, that runs on my iPad.  If you've never heard of this series of games, it's essentially a giant puzzle box meets escape the room.  The game is exquisitely crafted and uses the touch interface masterfully.  Plus, the sounds are amazing as you interact with the puzzles.  There is a supernatural aspect to the games and a slight horror bent (very slight).  Overall, I've loved the series and it helps me come up with new idea.  Some things only work in the digital world, though!

Now, back to the shop (um, wait, after I mow off the leaves) so I can work on puzzle boxes, listen to podcasts and If I'm lucky and Eagles win today.

Posted on November 15, 2015 .