Monthly Archives: February 2018

Person holding game console controller

Game Creation: More Than Mere Child’s Play

Person holding game console controllerMaking video games is a lucrative career in countries like Singapore and the U.K. This is not surprising since people all over the world today play video games on different platforms. This includes PC, game consoles, and mobile devices. If you want to join the increasing ranks of game creators, here are some things you need to consider.

Game Design

Game design is a basic course in many art institutes today. There are gaming and design courses in Singapore that are open to all students. Many designers learn the basics of game theory and then continue with a step-by-step approach to designing. Many of these schools use the latest game programs to reproduce realistic renditions of game characters and scenes.

Game Programming

Programmers are the people responsible for bringing the game to life. You can also spend a lot of hours finding ways on how to make a game work. If coding is your interest, this course is for you.

Game Marketing

Creating games is not enough. The gaming market is very competitive, and those in the industry know how important it is to promote a game. As creating and designing one may take years, the approach to its promotion and marketing can be slightly different. You need to pique the interest of gamers for a longer period and maintain their excitement.

Specialised Courses

You can create games for PC, gaming consoles, or mobile devices. Games have different categories depending on interests or platform, but all designers should learn the basics in 3D rendering, character conceptualisation, background art, computer animation, and even motion capturing. All of these are essential in digital game creation.


Certification is essential in the gaming industry. Though talent could take you far, you need the right documentation to prove that you have improved your skills. A certification from an institute that specialises in game design and development would make you one of the eligible candidates for a job in the industry.

The world of gaming is a vast market. To succeed as a game creator, and designer, you need to turn your talent into a skill that could create whole new virtual worlds.

Repair man checking a car

3 Tips on How to Find a Good Car Repair Shop

Repair man checking a carThere are many car repair shops in Alexandria and many offer the same services at the same rates. But it always pays to find the right one that fit your standards, price range, and preferences best. Here are some ways on how to find a good car repair shop that can be your go-to shop for a long time. Keep these tips and tricks in mind when you’re looking for a reliable, fast, and affordable car repair shop in Alexandria, VA:

Check out who services the big businesses.

In your area, check out where the big businesses get their fleets serviced. Chances are they have done their research on the top mechanics in your area. In terms of pricing, car repair shops who have a huge clientele almost always offer more competitive prices compared to those who don’t have such. They also most often have the most experienced mechanics. This way, you get your money’s worth.

Look for repair shops with specializations.

Some people look for car repair shops that specialize in specific types of cars, while some look for those who specialize in some technical detailing. Whichever you choose, it’s always advisable to work with mechanics who not only have the right credentials and tools, but also the experience in the specific type of car you have.

Look for a car repair shop that is near you.

It doesn’t have to be a stone’s throw away from you, but the shop has to be conveniently located in your area so you don’t have to waste too much time and resources just getting your car fixed. Car repairs can be expensive, so it’s best to save where you can.

Not all car repair shops are made equal and you might be surprised that you could be paying more than you should. Keep these tips in mind and look for the right one that fit your budget and your preferences.

Woman counting money

When You Can’t Earn Anymore: Tips on Covering Your Finances

Woman counting moneyAs the story about the ant and the grasshopper has taught you in grade school, working hard while you can is your best answer for the “rainy days.” These can be anything from downsizing, an accident that incapacitates you, or just you reaching the age when you can’t work anymore.

But working hard for the money may still not be enough to secure your future. Financial planning for retirement or for unforeseen circumstances might also be needed. But how do you go about it? Here are a few things you can do while you’re still in your most productive years.

Save for your retirement

One way to achieve financial security in your advanced years is to start preparing for it now, never mind how old you are at present. The easiest and simplest way is just to save a portion of the money you earn on a monthly basis, treating it as one of your regular expenses like utility bills or mortgage payment. This way, you will force yourself to allocate the amount.

Keep your debts under control

Because you really don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, making sure you can pay off debts even when you stop earning on a regular basis should also be a priority. This is especially important when you’re nearing retirement age, as it will be one less thing to worry about and more time and opportunity for you to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Better yet, pay off debts as soon as you can!

Invest, invest, invest

It’s nice to have your cash stashed in some old, tin box under your bed, so they’re always at the ready when needed, but it’s better if you make your money earn for you. That means having a portfolio of different holdings that are conservative and aggressive. The latter will make more money for you while the former is your insurance should a downturn happen, and your aggressive holdings are recovering.

Get some insurance

Depending on what your situation is at the moment, there is an insurance policy that can suit your needs:

  • Payment protection – will cover your debts if you can’t pay them yourself due to illness or downsizing.
  • Short-term income protection – you will receive a monthly sum over a specific timeframe in case you can’t earn money because you got sick or laid off.
  • Life insurance – the most common protection that will financially support your family in case of your untimely demise.
  • Critical illness protection – as the name implies, it helps you financially should you get sick.

Losing the ability to earn money is always a life-changing experience. Making sure that you are covered as you adjust to the new reality should be a priority.

If You Notice These Signs, Your Car Might Be Low on Transmission Fluid

CarThe transmission fluid lubricates the parts of the transmission system so that they stay useful longer. Ideally, the transmission fluid would remain in your car for the whole of its life. If you ever need to change it, your mechanic will advise doing so after 50,000 miles. They might also recommend regular flushes.

However, sometimes the fluid might leak because of a damaged part. Consequently, it will compromise the functionality of your car. It is vital that you check the level of your transmission fluid when you take your car to a professional for a full car service — especially if you notice the signs that indicate low transmission fluid.

Delayed Engagement

If your transmission fluid is low, you could have a delayed response after moving your gear stick to drive or reverse. A decrease in pressure due to the low fluid can cause this. The waiting time is often between two to three seconds.

Gear Shifting Troubles

Whether your car is automatic or manual, it relies on clean and free-flowing transmission fluid. If the fluid is dirty or little, the response will be sluggish. Your gear shifts will then respond either too fast or too slowly. The problem is worse with a manual car.

Overheated Transmission

In a standard functioning vehicle, the transmission fluid cools the system. Without enough fluid, the transmission overheats. You will know that it has overheated if you see smoke, notice burning smells or experiences erratic shifts and gear slippage.

If your car overheats, pull your car to the side of the road and let it cool first. Otherwise, you risk severe internal damage. With the other two symptoms, the most you can do is drive safely and take the issue up with your mechanic.

Ignoring transmission fluid symptoms could have serious repercussions financially. Worse, it could cause an accident.

Do You Have an Extra $1,000 for an Emergency?

Stack of golden coinsYou may be wondering what type of emergency would warrant a $1,000 budget. A recent poll may answer your question.

The Financial Security Index survey showed that most Americans remain unprepared for any sudden expenses in the last 12 months. Only 39%, or more than one-third of households, said that they could cover such emergency spending with their savings account.

Unexpected Expenses

More than one-third of households in the U.S., or 34%, dealt with unexpected expenses in 2017. While this may be a small number, the fact remains that you may need to spend on something that was not part of your budget. This may include home repairs, a medical procedure, or when you lose your job.

Sometimes, even your money in the bank may not be enough to cover these expenses. In this case, there are many financing instruments, such as cash loan services. Taking out a personal loan in Utah or any other state served as an option for Americans, according to the survey.

Funding Options

Aside from personal loans, 19% of respondents use their credit card to cover any emergency expenses. Those who limit their spending on other things comprised 13% of respondents, while 12% said that they borrow from family or friends.

A household’s income also determines their likelihood of choosing to borrow money. Americans who earn below $30,000 per year, who are considered low-income earners, fall under this category. On the contrary, those who earn over $50,000 are more capable of using their own cash to cover emergency expenses.

An emergency savings fund should still be your best solution to unexpected expenses. When the need arises, you will be more inclined to borrow a smaller amount. How do you plan to cover unforeseen expenses?

Why Companies To Study Social Media Trends To Drive Their Business

Online Marketing in the monitorToday, if you want to reach and engage your target audience, it is a must to establish your presence on social media. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and others offer an excellent venue to tell people why your brand can help solve their specific problems.

For small and medium-sized businesses, establishing social media presence may look complicated, and this is where SEO companies like in Ottawa can help. With their expertise on the subject, they can put your brand front and center.

However, you will need to do your part, especially if you are creating a social media marketing plan from scratch. It’s a lot of work, from choosing the social networks you think have the right audience for you, determining what kind s of posts (videos, links, images) you will use most to analyzing and testing to see what works and what doesn’t.

But done right, your digital marketing plan will surely help engage your audience and lead them to favorable action. You can take inspiration from several companies with excellent social media presence who have maintained a great social relationship with their customers. They are already big names in their respective industries, yet they continue to work hard to keep their online presence as interesting to people as much as possible.

How they do, it is an open secret, anchored on marketing campaigns that are truly engaging. They are also well aware of trends that happen online, especially on social media, that they quickly use to their advantage. As someone not as big, you would also do to keep abreast of what’s going on so you can adapt your marketing plans accordingly.

Here are a few trends projected to continue in the years ahead:

A steady shift to video

People more and more are preferring to consume video content instead of reading through text especially on social media platforms. Seeing how a product or service works personalizes the user experience.

Use of influencers with lesser following

The time of big celebrity endorsers is ebbing, as the public finds it easier to relate to someone who is more reachable. Known as micro-influencers, these personalities have a smaller following and are thus seen as still regular people, just like the rest of us.

Social media and email marketing joining forces

Posts on Facebook or Twitter will drive email subscriptions. In turn, emails will bring in more followers to these social media channels.

Experts see these trends to hold true for a longer period, and that they will play a big role in audience engagement. Big, medium and small business should take note.

Types of Email Marketing

Man reading email in laptopAlmost everyone owns an email address. People check their email inboxes more than they do their social media networks. If there’s anything to take away from this, it’s that email can be a great tool to reach a broad audience. That’s exactly what email marketing is. As a business owner, you should consider getting in touch with an email marketing company. They can help you get your followers to interact with your products.

Email marketing offers convenience and gives businesses an enhanced reach. However, not every marketing email will be opened by the target audience. For email marketing to be successful, everything, from the subject line is to the body, must be designed by a professional. Otherwise, it belongs in the spam folder.

Learn more about the various kinds of email marketing.

Newsletter Email

A newsletter informs the customers about what is going on in the business. Sales, promotions and even offerings or new products are announced here. They serve the purpose of engaging the reader long after they first meet your product.

Press release email

More often than not, press releases are more associated with print than with electronic mail. However, they are not just useful in magazines and newspapers. Email press releases communicate to the reader important information about a promotion or a new inventory. However, different from the newsletter, the press release concentrates on only one message.

Survey and invitation email

In an invitation email, the reader will be requested to take a certain action in response to an event or promotion. As a marketing tool, an invitation email can get the reader to a business website. Often, these emails are coupled with a deadline that attaches urgency to them. In a survey email, the invitation is to volunteer particular information for a reward.

Due to the delicate nature of email marketing, it is only wise for businesses to contract a professional. That way, the pro can not only target specific potential clientele, but also know how to reel them in. Otherwise, all your hard work will end up as spam in someone’s email, to be gone in 30 days.