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Too Late, To Love You

Experimenting with more basic photoshop tracing and vectors I whipped this up. Adore KRZ, always been inspiring.

Categories
Games Health

Small Sneak Review

It’s no secret that sugar in the quantities that most regular energy drinks contain is beyond unhealthy and as a result I wanted to make the switch to a sugar free alternative.

Sneak is based in the United Kingdom, It’s nice to see brands based in the UK, having the opportunity to support more local brands is always a plus. As an added benefit my order arrived to my UK address in under 48 hours. I ordered 2 products. This review is NOT sponsored and products were paid for by myself.


‘Tropikilla’ 400g Tub

At the time of my order the only flavour of tub was ‘Tropikilla‘. Very likely due to difficulties with COVID-19. Costing £35 for 400g with a suggested 40 servings of 300-400ml.




5 Sachet Taster Pack

To sample a wider range of flavours and to reach that free shipping mark I also ordered a 5 sachet sample at £10. Allowing you to mix and match up to 5 different flavours in single serving sachets.


So initially the price. Being in the UK the GBP price is slightly above the likes of USD alternatives however for me, tax was included, this essentially makes the price per serving roughly the same as their competitors after shipping and tax. The advertised serving price for their 300/400ml serving suggestion is 88p. This is about on par with other sugar based energy drinks on the market.

Shipping was quick and the product arrived with no issues. Out of the 7 flavours Sneak offer, I was only unable to try their Sour Apple flavour. Personally as someone with a sweet tooth, I enjoyed the Cherry Bomb flavour the most, followed by Strawberry Watermelon. Both of these tasted a little more unique than the rest. Blue Raspberry, Purple Storm and Tropikilla didn’t have as strong of a profile but I wouldn’t be unhappy to have a tub of any of them. I’d suggest these for those who prefer a little less kick in their drinks. Stealth is a unique case, while it doesn’t state online I assume Stealth is supposed to have a very low profile and be close to just water. Again, not unpleasant but not my style.

Quickly after drinking, due to the nature of caffeine, it’s very quickly absorbed into the body and within 10-15 minutes you’ll begin to feel the effects, lasting for me as an infrequent caffeine user, for about 4 hours. Personally I perceived this to have a noticeable effect a little sooner than regular energy drinks, I imagine this is due to the slightly different makeup in the ingredients. I’ve had no perceivable negative effects alongside the positives which is definitely a positive, no headaches etc.

While my performance in game is usually very consistent, I’ve noticed a little less frustration due to a slight reduction in fatigue and caffeine’s affect on shared adenosine and dopamine receptors. In short, essentially enabling the body to absorb a little more dopamine which is a primary reward endorphin in the brain. This makes the wins feel a little better and might have a positive knock on effect on your confidence.


Overall after a couple of weeks, I’m pleased with the product. It hasn’t amazed me in any particular area but given the smaller and newer nature of the market it’s a solid start. I’d like to see the prices reduced a little, potentially in the £30-£32 range for the tubs. The sachets definitely aren’t good value for money but a great way to test the waters at roughly £2 per serving. A couple of extras to sweeten the deal perhaps or dropping the price for free shipping to £42 would also be ideal.

I’d definitely like a wider variety of flavours in the future but this will come with time I’m sure, their current range is diverse enough to suit any palette but variety is always nice. One area I consider almost essential that Sneak currently does not address, is a focus on hydration over caffeine as an option. Their suggestion of a maximum of 2 servings, between 600ml-1l in total is a little less than the amount of water I’d like to consume a day, while I could just drink water, I’d definitely enjoy a formula suited specifically for hydration to consume alongside a single serving of their caffeinated formula throughout the day, packing in a few extra vitamins and minerals as a bonus.

If you’re based in the UK and looking for a way to reduce your sugar intake, stay hydrated and round out your reactions and reflexes in game I’d definitely recommend giving Sneak a try.

Categories
Games

Video Games & Inspiration

I’ve been playing competitive FPS for a good 10 years now. During this time I’ve compiled a few informative videos that demonstrate what I love about games.

ESL Classics: Rapha vs. Cooller

Rapha is without a doubt my esport idol. His decision making and class is unrivaled in my opinion. This is a longer demo review that I found essential for showing how intentional high level play can be.

A game like this wouldn’t be as good as it was if it wasn’t for the opponent that was across from me.  So, these games doesn’t mean anything unless the other opponent is as good as you or better.

Rapha

Launders’ POV: How good was swag’s crosshair placement?

One that most people have seen, Launders does a really good job of breaking down something really simple that 99% of people can improve on.

On your end, a little bit of self-awareness can go a long way.

Launders

Tips & Tricks: Positioning Guidelines (CT)

A lot of people throw shade at steel for the whole match fixing debacle and his often inflammatory communications on stream but he’s demonstrated time and time again that he really knows his stuff. For Josh I’d suggest checking out his channel at large as a lot of the videos are short tips that hammer home some basic but essential concepts.

If you can’t fall back, be in a position where enemies have to push you all the way through.

Steel

Even if you die, it’s important that you take those risks, and get that information.

“WHY DO I CHOOSE THIS FOR A LIVING?” PRETTY GOOD, EPISODE 8.

This is a poker video, it’s literally barely related but it’s a fun video and there’s a lot of concepts of luck, anxiety and perspective involved. Taking a look at some other games can be pretty good. Seeing the impact mentality can have on a game is astounding and with all the toxicity in online games, seems a few people could learn a thing or two.

Because at the table I had nothing but time, to marinate in my own dread. I’m just too dumb and too scared for poker.

Jon Bois

What Qualifying for RLCS Worlds Sounds Like

Rocket League was a fun little distraction on my Switch. I discovered a couple of gems here and there though, this is a nice insight into communication and the mental fatigue that can come into play. 3:40 is a cool timestamp.

I need more energy from everyone.

Virge

True Sight : The International 2018 Finals

This is just straight up documentary but sometimes it’s a good idea to take a look at why we play games. Having a fun time with people we care about, improving and developing ourselves. OG’s journey through Dota2 has been a roller coaster and truly makes me appreciate video games.

Win or lose, I don’t care, we play.

Ceb
Categories
Media

Crystal Covenant

For around 7-8 years now I’ve been running Crystal Covenant with my friend Tim. It’s evolved, restarted and majorly changed a good 3 times. With it’s most recent iteration we’ve shifted the focus even more locally, moving initially from something we planned to be completely open and global, to a more focused and smaller community to finally a completely localized portfolio of our individual skill-sets and personalities.

With my increased usage of WordPress I decided to revamp the website myself, taking some of the load off of Tim who had previously been responsible for the design. Rather than make it from scratch as he’d done before I opted to go with a WordPress theme. Webdesign isn’t my strong suit so I had to compromise complete control and credit a little which I’ve come to understand is undoubtedly essential.

I went with a different design to my other 2 projects and decided to try a ‘Onepage’ style design. Crystal Covenant required something a little more hub-like. Grouping the team and the various platforms into a central place, as a result I wanted to deliver information and links much more simply and this format seemed to do the job quite well. It sacrifices a little categorization and depth in order to make the visuals and information much more streamlined.

Unlike this website and FreshMTG, I expect repeated visits to the Cry Co website will be much less frequent and as such I don’t really feel the need for pages that suit a large amount of long form content, so the need for separate pages resulting in increased clicks wasn’t necessary. Hopefully this will increase the likelihood of the message and general purpose of the site being understood a little more clearly.

Categories
Editing Media

Fresh Branding

With the sudden burst of creativity I decided to try my hand at a little graphic design, I’ll admit, I suck at it. However with a little hunting for inspiration I managed to come out with something I ended up quite liking.

FreshMTG’s new logo.

Using a bit more of a process I broke it down into 2-3 steps. Initially I needed a basic geometric design, I didn’t want to go too clean to preserve the sort of messy grassroots founding of the team.

So I began with an image of a lemon slice, I added a clipping mask for the red and hand cut the inner sections into slightly larger segments to match the theme of the MTG color pie. Each wedge representing a colour, afterwards I added the green seeds to represent the pips.

I went onto colourhunt to find a nice swatch, just going through popular. I wanted a selection of colors that were bright and gave a fresh/citrus feel but also a nice compliment on the smaller elements like the rind and seeds to make it pop a little when displayed in a smaller size or against a bright background.

This was the eventual selection of colors I went with.

After tying it all together with a few minor details etc. I added a little text on there, using the font Wedges which I’d originally bought for my own branding but found it fit the more casual style of the Fresh logo too. After tweaking the orientation of letters and spacing I came out with a pretty satisfying end result.

Categories
Editing Games Media VALORANT

Branding & Content Creation

So recently with the release of VALORANT and the commission of my branding designs my drive to produce a little more content in terms of supporting material and content itself has been reignited.

Motion graphics made for my Twitch stream.

I have a pretty decent understanding of Adobe Suit programs, the weakest element of my knowledge however would be After Effects, without a doubt. I feel the program is pretty essential when it comes to supporting material and bridging the gap between entry level and more professional content. The ability to work seamlessly across Ps, Ae and Pr feels like a pretty essential skill, one I’ve been putting off rounding out for years. However the potential to integrate smaller After Effects projects into my live-stream has made the process a little less intimidating. Not needing larger video files to edit, 5-10 second motion graphics are a lot easier to justify working on, enabling me to learn small segments of Ae and put them into practice.

The most recent project I’ve completed in Premier Pro

I generally struggle to compile longer video projects when it comes to highlight reels etc. My style of editing is quick and cut heavy and as a result it reduces 4-5 minutes of potential footage to a minute or so most of the time. I prefer to work in 2-3 hours bursts so managing my time, footage and editing to create some longer content is something I’d like to work on while maintaining a high standard across the entire project as most of the time I’ll produce a 1-3 minute video and call it quits, struggling to hold my attention. I much prefer to start and finish projects within a day if possible however this makes longer projects impossible.

In summary I’d like to produce some longer form content this year, integrating Ae a lot more into the finished product and editing pipeline.