Monday, February 17, 2014

New tech with a new toy!

Comfort and creativity for me have always gone hand in hand. When I was a kid, I never liked having to sit at a table to work on creative things. I rarely got any good daydreaming done in a wooden chair. There seems to be a correlation between the stiffness of a chair and the lack of creativity I have. I tend to do a lot of daydreaming in my downtime, but I didn't really have a way to easily jot some notes or sketch out the things I wanted to set into motion. I had basic pen and paper, but those things weren't always handy. I began to daydream about an easy way to come home from my normal job, unwind, and have something right at my fingertips to doodle with, write on, and maybe even read on if the mood struck me. A couple days ago I got a shiny new tool to help me do all those things in my downtime.

When I began working on the game, the way I would work on my art was sitting at my computer using my Wacom drawing tablet. That is certainly not the most comfortable of places to draw and foster creativity. A few times I had taken said tablet to the living room, in an attempt to draw with my tablet connected to a laptop on my couch. This was very cumbersome. The laptop would have to be awkwardly balanced somewhere and the tablet would be on my lap, or trying to be held in my left hand while I attempted to draw with my right. All of this was frustrating to say the least. Andrew was able to work on coding and other game related things from the couch, but I wasn't able to. In a way I felt like my work was chained to a computer.
There were definitely options that were a little more old school. I know I could have busted out some pencils and paper, and just sketched things that way. Transferring sketches from paper to the computer seemed like a time consuming pain.  I have limited desk space (mostly because of clutter which I recognize that is my own fault), and propping up a sketchpad against one of my monitors was just not going to cut it. Not having tools to be able to do art and brainstorm when I wanted to became frustrating for me.
Andrew and I began talking about what would make working a little easier. To be honest, I didn't know where to begin. I don't know the parts that make a good computer, or what makes a computer powerful. I didn't even know if I needed a laptop, or if a tablet would suffice. Andrew did just about all the research and had landed on a laptop that was powerful and in our price range. I was hesitant about the laptop because of the lack of comfort I had using the laptop we already had. I told Andrew what I really had in mind, and we decided to look into getting a tablet. We're new to the tablet game,  and I had done a little research on them in the past, but really didn't know a lot about them. We did a little research on tablets, and watched a few review videos.
Finally we decided on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition, which is a mouthful! What sold me on it is what they call the "S Pen". It does a lot of really handy things that a stylus doesn't do. The sketching that can be done with the tablet is a lot of fun. There's a sketching app that comes with the tablet that really does a great job for basic sketches, which is entirely what I wanted. It also has a really great screen resolution too, it's preeeeeeeeeeettttttyyyyy. It does a lot more, and I'm still exploring. It runs on android, so all of my favorite apps are here too.
Since I've had it two whole days, I've only done a couple sketches with it, but I know I'll be sharing a lot of sketches in the future. What's a gadget you really want to get your hands on?