Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Concept Artist - Xiaodi Jin

Freelance concept art Xiaodi Jin creates impressive fantasy artworks.

The scale of the artworks itself are particularly overwhelming, bringing to life a fantastical world where heroes themselves are overwhelmed at he intimidating, powerful foes they encounter.
His artworks convey the cruelty of the monsters, the helplessness of their victims, with stark mysterious lands and beautiful forests.

The heroes are grim and stoic, the villains stand regal and all powerful. In the artwork can be seen the subtle influence of neo-classical art of greek mythology as well as elements of other art styles.

Monday, 1 June 2015

Xecute and Ludum Dare 32

Twice a year a certain global competition is held: Ludum Dare. The aim: for indie developers to create a game in 48 hours, based upon a theme voted by the community and released on the Ludum Dare site as soon as the countdown begins.

First held in 2002, it been revised and refined over the years, from annual to bi-annual. Over the last few years it has gained increasing popularity, particularly with the participation of Notch (creator of Minecraft). The original 'Ludum Dare 0' had only 18 participants, but the most recent 'Ludum Dare 32' had a total of 2821 participants.

Our game was 298th.
We (Arkelite) decided to compete this year, the theme: An Unconventional Weapon.
Our driving idea was that the player itself is the weapon, and the player affects the environment, while the antagonist is more of the traditional game character.

The mission is simple: stop a duck from reaching the kill-switch which will destroy the machine (you). In order to stop the determined duck you need to use various traps, puzzle solving skills and chaotic robots to win.


Friday, 12 September 2014


Over the past few months I've been working on a game called Merdor. It's a project I started five years ago, back in 2009 when I first started programming. Things have been pretty hectic with Architecture over the last 6 months, and I haven't had much time to work on side projects. So I made time. I have a number of things I'm working on; which I'll reveal later.

Merdor is built in a game engine called Game Maker.
Over the past few months I've rebuilt the game [the previous mechanics were horrible due to a lack of programming knowledge].
Personally of the various game projects I've been working on this has the greatest appeal to me.
As it is currently a playable build, I've decided to release it as an Alpha to see what everyone thinks, and gain some feedback as to what I can prove/what works well. I'll release updates to build on the existing game and add more features/levels.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

7 Useful Add-Ons

There are numerous great Add-ons available, so it's difficult to choose just a few good ones. These ones I've found to be fairly useful, making life a bit easier and increasing productivity.

Fireshot allows you to save screenshots of webpages to your computer. Useful for saving information for offline use.
While on a webpage, by clicking on the Fireshot icon on the top right of your browser, you can crop and edit the screenshot, then save it to your computer. By saving your preferences, you can set it to make the process much quicker, good for gathering information quickly.
It allows you to save the captures as pdfs or images, edit and annotate the images, email them, and upload them to sites such as Twitter, Picassa, Flickr and Image Shack.

Multirow Bookmarks Toolbar Plus
This Add-On allows you to hide your bookmark names by just displaying the icon, and to auto-hide the toolbar. It also for, as the name suggests, multiple rows of bookmarks, good for those who tend to collect a large number of websites.

Stylish allows you to 'restyle the web'; to choose new themes for webpages. It supports a number of major websites, such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Reddit.


Web of Trust helps you to find trustworthy sites by screening website links and checking the safety of websites you might visit by putting a green circle next to the ones that are okay. Good when encountering suspicious, non descript links as well as for shopping and web browsing and greatly reduces the chance of getting viruses and malware on your computer.

Automatic Save Folder
Saves certain files in specific folders. You can set filters, specifying where to save different file types. For example, you could set jpg and png to the pictures folder, pdf and docx to documents, avi and mpg to videos and mp3 and aac to music.  By setting the filters it cuts the time spent saving files to certain folders by doing these automatically.

Custom New Tab
Opens new tabs to a particular website or url. This add-on can be a solution for opening a new tab to the google homepage.


With this Add-On, by right clicking in a login field you can use a free login. Useful for sites you need a quick login to, or sites you may not use as much.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Game Rant

Game Rant offers the latest in upcoming games, consoles and gaming news.
Gaming news, reviews, game trailers, videos, and updates on the latest games from Xbox, Playstation, PC, Wii, DS, Android, and Apple.

"Game Rant was born from the desire to bring the same news, reviews and opinionated editorial to the video game arena that Screen Rant brings to movie and TV news. The goal at Game Rant is to cover video game news, previews and reviews by doing more than rehashing the same info as other publications. We take an editorial approach to all content, adding insight, background and analysis to generate worthwhile and original reading material for gamers to dissect and discuss." - Game Rant

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Learn Anything in 20 Hours

There was a TED talk, by Josh Kaufman "Learn anything in 20 hours". He explains, step by step how it can be achieved.

Essentially, it's the emotional barriers that get us, that stop us from reaching our potential. I find the best method is to try to do something smaller and build on it. Focus on something basic but useful, and go from there. Maybe try an hour or two and see how that goes.

Also, this is related

After Josh learned the ukelele, I decided to learn guitar, properly. I had been playing for a while, but never really got into it, played chords or anything. So I started with the Axis of Awesome, and learned the four chords: G, D, Em, C. Then Am, E, Fmaj and so on. I managed to improve quite a bit from before. That's the thing though, once you give it a bit of effort you get quite a bit better, then it's just refining and improving your skill.
Start out small, and build on it. Sometimes our ability is often not fully realized; once you realize that you can learn nearly anything. It really does begin with a single step.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Moones - Better Energy

British band Moones stranded on an iceberg, with a cat ice fishing for electric eel and marshmellows. And then there's a penguin, who's - nope, I really can't explain it remotely seriously. It simply can't be summarized in a few words.


Nominated for Best Alternative Video and Best Animation In A Video, UK Music Video Awards

Monday, 17 June 2013


I saw this the other day in town, a little surprised memes actually exist outside the internet.
I've set up a board at uni with memes in my work room. So it turns out, searching Architecture memes only ends in despair, sadness and tears. They're not jokes; they're warnings.

I did manage to find a few though. Obscure architecture memes that only a few arch students would actually get. And those that did would only find them slightly amusing.
They were inoffensive so they wouldn't be taken down. After a month or so, someone decided to steal ALL the memes. My response was this.

Seems to have worked.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

So I return...

Arkansang here.

 I tried out Wordpress. While it was a great site I felt Blogspot better suited Link Aurora. So now we're here. There's irony to be felt here somewhere.

Anyway. I will continue to use Aoror as more of a standard blog rather than a site like Link Aurora. So really I'm writing on both now.

If you want to feature a site, project or topic or generally to chat, email me at

Climactically, here is Grieg's 'I Dovregubbens Hall' (In the hall of the Mountain King).
This is the song that you've probably heard but may or not know the name of. Most likely from a movie, as around 72% of movies feature at least part of this song. Okay, that wasn't a real statistic.
Movies/Games/Pop Culture references here.

Monday, 18 February 2013


So the time has come for me to migrate across to WordPress. Link Aurora featured articles, games, sites, both week both popular and lesser known. I will continue posting similar material, and hopefully more interesting topics. While Blogspot was a great platform which I highly recommend, Wordpress will allow me to expand with more posts and greater variety, and will fulfill my life (ok, maybe not that).

For now I intend to keep up Linkaurora as it is (along with the 25 or so posts I have written since August, and continue on with Aoror (which is pretty much the same thing).

Anticlimactically, here is a picture of a cat trying to eat a piano.