New opportunities

3rd July 2015 · by Christer

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During our quiet months, there has been some interesting developments going on here at Snuti. We have been working on our own 3D printed jewellery designs, and so far we have made 2 designs that are quite unique, and quite special for us.

Bird necklaces

After making our first, plastic necklace prints about a year and a half ago (see post: 3D printed necklaces), we have made many iterations on the design in between everything else going on. Just after our engagement, we received the finished sterling silver cast, of the necklaces, at our door (from Shapeways). They looked amazing and perfect for us, but my necklace was a bit too shiny.

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Two weeks ago, we travelled to the UK, and took a trip into Brooklinde Designer Goldsmiths in Cardiff. They were very helpful and professional and showed us how to oxidise silver (which makes it darker). The results looked amazing, and gave the right look for my necklace!

Soon, we will be sharing photos of our Snuti-made wedding rings, and a little insight into our process!


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We’re back and Sommerles 2015 is live!

22nd June 2015 · by Clare

we are back

It’s been a busy last few months full of our our most recent project, Sommerles 2015. It is now in 60 counties in Norway and it’s been exciting to see more children take part in it this year. Yet, we have been absent on social networking and blogging.

So why the silence? We promised before Sommerles that we would post more blog posts and be more social, but that was before we had been overambitious with the project. We decided to revamp the entire website using Facebook’s “Hacklang” instead of PHP and include a book database into the website.

We met our targets and the project is a success but we had to make some sacrifices to do so. That meant a 9-9 work day, with only one break in the middle to eat lunch and take our dogs for a walk. It wasn’t ideal, and it was tiring having to work even on weekends.

Sommerles 2015 was an amazing project and we enjoyed working on it, but where did we go wrong? We took on two large projects, right after another without a good old break. We worked in January on a Medieval application and started on Sommerles in February. We only took a short 2 day cruise, planning the next project. We learnt a lot from these projects and we have to make mistakes, before we can learn from them, right?

We’ve had a break in the UK and are now working on a few smaller projects, including our website and in August will be looking out for more work. So if you need a new website design, a responsive website or even just a custom made 3D printed item, give us an email! :)


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Getting back to blogging

9th March 2015 · by Clare

blogging

I love reading blogs. They are brimming with inspiration, motivation and information that can be useful or enlightening for every day. Last year, we blogged weekly and I felt good getting ideas and information down on paper, or in this case, the net. With so much work going on at the time, I just couldn’t find the time to write on the blog, let alone do some social work. I regretted every minute and itched to get back to it all again, but how do you start when you have been away from it for so long?

The last two weeks, something changed. I wanted to write things down again, I was itching to get back to blogging and what happened? My mind was blank. I couldn’t write a single thing at all, and asking Christer for help produced the same results. Then I found an inspiring blog post written by Lisa of Elembee, about her experience of taking a break from blogging and finding it hard to get back into it. The post rang out to me and I really wanted to break down the wall that blocked me from trying to come up with blog post ideas. So I just started writing about Moritz and our experience. I had never thought that trying to write about the things I love and what is close to me was the way to break free, but it worked.

It’s really true that just by starting something, you can do so much more. I know, personally, that I am not very good at writing but how can I get better when I don’t try? And that applies to so many. We just have to start, get the ball rolling and everything will work out. So why am I writing this post? Maybe it’s more of a pointer to myself, or maybe it’s just a reminder to prevent others getting caught in the web of procrastination?

Now I want to improve, I want to blog more and Christer too. I have no idea where to go next but I will take each step at a time and just write. Maybe one day I will find out just what I enjoy writing about most and what others want to read.

The biggest question is what do you guys want to read about? Game & Web design, development, general life, freelancing? Would love to hear some of your suggestions :)


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Life with Moritz

2nd March 2015 · by Clare

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For many, adopting a dog, or even having a pup is a great time but no-one tells you the challenges that come with it. This is our story about dog adoption and training a dog to no longer fear.

The start

In 2013, we adopted a beautiful, 6 year old Cairn terrier, called Moritz. It was in December, on Christer’s birthday, that we picked Moritz up from Germany. During our stay in Germany, we found out that Moritz had a pretty extreme fear of dogs. Just seeing a dog far away was enough to put him into an aggressive state, where he would bite anywhere close to him, including us. It was at that very point, we decided that we would take on the challenge of training him to no longer fear dogs.

When Moritz came here, he fitted in quite well with Christer’s 12 year old Cairn Terrier, Dani, which he had met many times before. He did not fear her, but they did fight once or twice, mainly related to food. With Dani and Moritz living together, Moritz learnt to be around another dog, learn the rules of the pack, and have a role-model, and thanks to Dani, Moritz no longer feared female dogs.

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Conquering fear

What nobody told us right from the start was how much work it was. For a dog with no issues, it takes time to adjust to them, but Moritz was another dog. We didn’t want Moritz to fear other dogs for the rest of his life, so we tried to meet dogs as often as possible (Mainly walking together with other dogs on leash). With caution, we taught Moritz to calm himself when walking around other dogs and established ourselves as pack leaders. We enforced rules, we played daily to teach him to calm him down before walks and establish our pack status, and we loved him.

We tried various different techniques during the first few months, such as the positive reinforcement and watched Cesar Millan many times, to try to identify the best technique for Moritz. In the end, we found positive reinforcement worked best with motivation talk and a treat. Within 8 months, he had changed a lot. He could finally play with female dogs and walk normally alongside male and female dogs. He still has a long path ahead of him, as he still can’t play with other male dogs, but with each day, he is getting better.

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Exercise, Disciple, Affection!

With a dog, there is constant training. You can’t stop teaching them things and there is always more to learn. How do you train and turn a dog into the one you want? Whether it’s an adopted dog or a pup? With a lot of perseverance, patience, training, and loads and loads of love. As Cesar Millan says: “Exercise, Disciple, and then Affection” (in that order) are the three rules to making a balanced dog and I totally agree!

I love Moritz with all my heart, but in the beginning, it was tough. It was a rollercoster of a year, but to me, it was totally worth it. He’s my little bundle of fur and happiness, and every moment with him is a blessing. Waking up to his energetic smile and playful nature truly makes me smile to this day :D

You have probably all heard enough about Moritz now, but what about you? Do you have an adopted dog, or a pup you raised? It would be so cute to hear about them and yes, we are totally dog lovers here, so cute dog pictures are allowed :D


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Work: Re Medieval Application

13th February 2015 · by Snuti

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These last two months, we’ve been working on a Medieval iPad application for children. Unfortunately it is only available to see and use at Re Bibliotek in Norway, but here are some screenshots of the finished app.

The application is based around a small medieval village, which includes 3 houses: A blacksmith, a house and a viking longhouse. Each of the buildings has 5 items with in depth information about how they were used in the medieval era (and to think they just pulled our your teeth without aesthetic, ouch!!). To make a seamless and fun experience, we integrated quests to encourage children to explore the village in more depth. In the viking longhouse, we made it into a mini-game, where the blacksmith’s sheep has been taken to be eaten by his hungry cousins and it’s up to the player to help free the sheep. The player controls the sheep, and has to jump on the shields held up by the cousins and escape the viking longhouse. Of course, the focus of the application was not the mini game, but the content, so the game was short and made without leaderboards etc, to promote the children to enjoy the game in small quantities and explore the rest of the app.

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It was made solely for two iPads stationed at the library, and we built the app using the Unity game engine. All of the artwork was done using a combination of Paint Tool SAI and photoshop, whilst modelling was doing in Maya LT. Initially, we were going to make the application in 2D, but changed to 3D during the project. Why did we do that? Simply because when putting in the 2D artwork into a semi 3D village, it just didn’t look right! Overall, we were happy we made this choice, as it made the application shine. Of course it took some time to make all the models in Maya LT but it was definitely worth it. We also worked with a character artist to draw the quest givers and it gave the application that little extra. All characters were drawn by Maja Elise Løymen.

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All in all, we loved making the application. It was worth every minute and even though it was challenging trying to complete it in 2 months, it’s was really enjoyable making content for the younger audiences :D


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