Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Richard Bartle on Brunel

Whilst I was at Brunel I was lucky enough to have our external assessor as Richard Bartle whose blog and writings can be found here.  He writes about having to assess the Masters papers and how he feels about it.  I've taken the liberty of copying the post below but you should read it on his site here.  It's some lovely feedback for both Brunel and the teaching quality there as well as for our work:

This week, I read the dissertations of the students doing the MA in Digital Games at Brunel University. My tenure as external examiner on this degree scheme comes to an end in about three weeks, so I won't be reading them any more.

I don't actually have to read them; I merely have to assess that they have been marked appropriately. However, I do read them because some of them are really good. There are games of professional quality and papers of publishable quality; there's masses of creativity and only the occasional dud (usually someone who failed to submit a dissertation in a previous year who has been allowed a second chance). I've looked forward to reading these dissertations, so will miss the opportunity to do so in future.

Of course, at Essex University we also have postgraduates. Ours are on an MSc rather than an MA, so should have a more technical background. Sadly, this is not always the case. At the moment, this year's students are choosing which projects to take on for their own dissertations. As have all the other academics, I've had to put together a list of six project suggestions for our MSc students to consider. So far, I've had to turn down one because the student had no programming experience and was hoping to write a game that (unsurprisingly) required it; I also had to turn down one that would involve a lot of description of game design rationale because the student's English wasn't up to it (I should mention that almost all our MSc students are from overseas, so we have a marginally higher proportion of people who can't write English expressively than we do at undergraduate level). I do have two potential supervisees, but one of those doesn't have good English either (fortunately for a different project proposal that it might be possible to use pictures in rather than words). The other one has the programming chops but will need to come up with a game design; we'll see if they manage it.

My problem is that there is no games-related MSc at Essex, so I can't offer direct games projects: I have to offer projects that are Computer Science in some way. If no-one picks them up, I still have to supervise someone, but they'd be doing a project proposed by a different lecturer. I could end up with students doing telecommunications or electronics. For this reason, I do actually want people to pick my projects; it's just that there are few students who want to do them, as none of them are games students. Games students would, at the moment, be better going elsewhere.

This is why, whenever any of my third-year students ask me where they should go in the UK to do a games-related Masters, I tell them to go to Brunel rather than stay on at Essex.

Monday, 29 October 2012

What I’m Playing now – October 2012

It’s been a while since I posted anything about what I’m playing, partly because I was in writing dissertation mode, but partly because I was finding some trouble connecting with new games; that has changed and I seem to be all games up with not quite enough time to play everything now!  So without further ado:

I’m spending a lot of time in Guild Wars 2 at present, it is an easy game to play but they've taken a lot of bold decisions.  With a one off payment you can play everything at present and that’s quite a leap of faith.  It will be interesting to see where it goes.  I have coughed out some money for some extra bank space (although tbh you get 25 or so slots and I could have coped without it) and have some gems stored up that I’m waiting to spend.  The game doesn't force micro transactions in your face though and the model means that the designers have taken out a lot of the ‘givens’ in an MMO that they often want you to do to take up your time.  For example I can mail items from anywhere – there’s no mailbox – this means that I don’t spend that time running to the nearest one.  Equally I can deposit crafting materials at any time from anywhere, it’s a very novel change.  The game is also visually very pretty and the level of detail put into many points that very few people will see (the sewers for example) is phenomenal.  If they can sustain it then it might well be a keeper.  I am slightly worried by the whole ‘end game content’ thing issue but, having just hit 80 (the games current level cap) we’ll see how that pans out.  The leveling down system is extremely well managed [you level down to the zone level you are in] and very effective, meaning that I have successfully played in newbie zones with friends and it’s still been just as fun and almost as dangerous for both of us.  The Halloween event has been great and, for a new game it’s remarkably bug-free.  Enjoying it so far!

Next up has to be X Com which is a brilliant game.  Like many people I played some of the original material, although I don’t remember being obsessed with it.  This remake / new version is an exceptional game.  I have enjoyed every single moment playing it.  It’s hard to say more than that really!  I’ll talk in more detail briefly but if you’re in a rush skip ahead, although only after buying the game!  The game takes you into an alien invasion story and is a turn based game where you move your squad around through a series of ‘kill the alien’ variants of mission, which have some procedurally generated maps keeping things ticking over even when it’s a ‘grind’ mission.  On that subject: to build new stuff you have to collect components which sometimes means you head out to a UFO just to salvage it’s parts!  Even these missions are a lot of fun and as I player you get very attached to the personalities of your team (Emma ‘Death Dog’ is my current ‘team leader’). 

The story is nicely done and the variety of builds and load-outs including my ever newly discovered alien technology is welcome.  The cinematic shooting and running is well done giving a movie like quality to the proceedings.  It’s fast paced and keeps you wanting more.  X Com is a great game and I’m enjoying it immensely.  In case it’s not clear I think you should enjoy it too!

Moving mobile bound the first game that needs mention is Tell Tale’s The Walking Dead.  Everyone is saying (pretty much) how much they love this... I’m no exception here.  It’s described as a point and click but to me that puts me in mind of Monkey Island and clicking monkeys and wrenches to open manhole covers (or whatever).  

The Walking Dead is a far cry from this.  I’ve been playing it on the iPhone (it’s also available on the PC and other mediums).  I think it’s more of an interactive story than anything else, but it’s a tremendous example of one.  The choices you make feel like they matter and the story is woven very cleverly around characters who you support and these choices continue on to the following chapters.  I’d *love* to get my hands on the storyboard for this game and I’m playing through it again with different choices, and I still feel like there’s more I’m missing.  The artwork is very reminiscent of both comics and television series and the voice acting is nicely performed.  One of the other things that makes TWD interesting is its episodic format.  There are 5 episodes and they’re being released slowly but surely and at the end of each one there is ‘next time on the walking dead’ – which all serve to make it much more like a tv series.  Whilst I rather like this (it’s something to look forward to) I, like so many, am somewhat fractious about the waiting time.  It’s not that I mind the wait so much as I mind that it comes out on PC ages before the iPhone version, which if nothing else means that I have to rigorously avoid spoilers!  None the less it’s a great piece of work and I’m very much looking forward to episode 4.  I hope there’s a Season 2!

Next comes a guest appearance for Robot Unicorn Attack from Adult Swim and Mediatonic – I know that this is an older game these days but it’s still one I’ve only just picked up and I’m playing it from the android store.  It’s a very fun and horribly addictive side scrolling running game where for no readily apparent reason you play a robot unicorn running along to ‘Always’ by Erasure.  You have to jump gaps and spear star shaped obstacles whilst collecting bonus.  Sometimes you are joined by dolphins.  It’s really worth a look if you haven’t played it already. 

Super Hexagon has had quite a look in as well and it’s something I keep coming back to, it has the same pull factor as Robot Unicorn and is an incredibly frustrating but always keeps you trying game of avoiding shapes that spin toward you with unerring inevitability!  The sound track and voice work add to the game and make it that much more playable.

Finally I come to Buddha Finger from Lady Shotgun and here is another game you must definitely download right now.  Go on. 

 Done it?  Played it?  Good, then you know what I mean.  

For those of you that haven’t (yet) I’ll explain a little more.  Buddha Finger uses the iPhone like it should be used on a touch screen platform.  There’s no unwieldy screen based d-pads and I don’t have to drag the view around in a stilted fashion.  Instead all I have to do is press touch points in an order indicated on the screen (by a number next to the touch points).  You have to do it as quick as you can to beat up your opponent.  As the game continues you are rapidly introduced to different varieties of tapping (such as repeated tapping the same dot before moving onto the next one) – I won’t go into too much detail because I don’t want to spoil it for you, but suffice to say there’s enough variation to keep you interested and amused for some time.  Put this together with a fun tongue in cheek storyline which is a wonderful pastiche of kung fu movies meets gangster vibe, a beautifully fitting score and you have the makings of a classic.  I fear that the game’s innovations will lead to other people trying to copy it but the polish and style this game has will set it above cheap imitations.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Catch 22

There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he were sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to he was sane and had to.  (Catch 22, Joseph Heller)

It’s an age old situation and one that I’ve encountered before.  Actors face the same thing*: to work you have to have an equity card.  To get an equity card you have to be able to demonstrate ‘2 years’ of work.  This sort of conundrum used to lead to actors often having to work in Theatre in Education tours or delivering panto at old people’s homes just so that they could get a job (I should stress that there’s nothing wrong with either of these things, it’s just not necessarily where said actor saw their career!).

So here I am, and I’ve worked damn hard for the last year on an MA, and for the last 8 years as a production manager.  I look at a lot of skill-sets listed for producer jobs and it does rather feel like they could have been written for me.  All bar one crucial line: “Requires minimum 2-years experience working as a producer on a game” (or similar)

The worst thing is I sort of agree!  With game budgets being what they are, often in the many hundreds of thousands of pounds bracket, why would you want to chance someone who hasn’t worked in the industry before.  Why would you want to train someone up to do the job.  That does lead to the question: “Where do you new producers come from?”  and I have been told all sorts of things.  The message I came off the course with was that QA was not the route into games work.  It was an opinion held very strongly by lots of people too – the message went something like this: “What we want in our studios is a really good QA team, so if you work really hard and are really good at QA… I’ll want you to stay in our QA team.”  Again – I really understand this mentality.  I am genuinely not bitter.  In a way it’s making me want it more, and I’m up for the fight, as yet I’m not seeing the end game, but I’m ready to fly some crazy missions!

So there we are: Catch 22, it makes sense, darn it.

*This has changed a lot now, not least because a lot less people are members of a trade union any more.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Education and games.

Justin Parsler (who lectures at Brunel and is a senior designer at Mediatonic) wrote this rather fine article which is in Develop.

Have a read, it rather highlights some of the good things about 'Games Education' and Brunel's courses especially. It can be found here

(Brunel was also featured in Edge just recently here)

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Adventures at Eurogamer

Eurogamer was nice.  Which is to say that I had quite a good time there.  I wasn't blown away by very much but it was certainly worth going.

Notably I tried the new Sim City (Which I think, just to confuse old-timers is called Sim City), it played nicely in the brief go I had at it, and had a similar feel to the old games.  In fact if you imagine Sim City crossed with windows 7 (or the microsoft ribbon perhaps) then you'd be quite accurate.  I thought that it looked a bit more cartoon-y than the most recent Sim City that I have played, a bit more like The Sims.  But again, it played well and I took some glee in building a power station in the middle of their test city and then building houses around it.  I'd love to know what happened!

I tried the new Tomb Raider game, which really lived up to all that I had heard about it.  Now, that left me with mixed feelings.  It played quite well, although as a friend of mine said, it lost some credibility when you couldn't fall off the log in the tutorial!  The graphics were nice, the sound was good and I liked that I was thrown into doing some hunting straight away - it seems like there might be some interesting mechanics there.  What I also felt was that all the things I've heard about it being 'uncomfortable to play' were accurate.  Now let me say that there wasn't the 'threat of sexual violence' which I have heard mentioned from others, but there was a lot of Lara being hurt and in a grim situation.  When she fell she was in pain, when she jumped it felt difficult.  It felt 'trying' and I am not sure in a pleasant way.  The other thing that was noted by people I was there with was that she seemed to be (when on the walkie-talkie) a girl in need of help from men.  Now it was only the beginning and perhaps this was the start of a Lara who learns empowerment from the game, but if not then it will be a slightly depressing trend.  I'm left with mixed feelings on the game truth be told.

I didn't try but saw other people trying the new Assassins Creed.  It looked pretty spectacular.  There was some sneaking around with a mean looking crossbow and some sailing of ships which looked very well done.  I have enjoyed the Assassins Creed games thus far and this looks like a nice new installment.  They had very nice artwork too.

Fable: The Journey was an interesting experience.  I think I'd have had a better time of it if I had used a Kinect more before, as I found the way to throw fireballs accurately quite tricky, but I was quite impressed.  It looked like a pretty game and the experience was interesting.  Would I want to play it for many hours?  It's hard to say, but I can see where the appeal might be.  My problems certainly weren't with the game itself, but with the Kinect (having no buttons is such an issue).  The developer there from Lionhead was lovely though and great to talk to.

Watching Tokyo Jungle was an odd experience - you play an animal on the Tokyo streets which have been taken over by other animals and you need to hunt and stay alive.  So it seems a bit like GTA but with animals Bear in mind however that by the looks of it you get to start as either a Monkjack or a Pomerian.  So it's like GTA but you're playing the postman!  It does look like you get to unlock other things like dinosaurs and the people playing it were clearly having great fun!  I was going to put in my pictures of Tokyo Jungle, but actually the box sums up the game so wonderfully:

Hitman Absolution looked very good and Dishonourerd seemed to be grabbing a lot of interest.  X-com looked like a lot of fun.  Needless to say about a billion people (I have exaggerated for effect) Call of Duty 49 Black Ops 36 (numbers have been changed to protect the innocent) was grabbing a lot of attention too.

I came away having enjoyed the experience but I can't say that I was blown away by very much and I was surprised how similar a lot of the games looked.  There was a lot of FPS games or stealth assassin-y types.

It's worth mentioning that Earls Court, as ever puts on a great event (although the water was expensive!)

I await the next 'new thing' with excitement, but I'm not sure I saw it at Eurogamer.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

The End of the Beginning

Well, that went quickly! About a year ago I was traveling to Brunel University for the first time, ready to start my MA in Digital Games and now all of a sudden it's over. I haven't got the grade yet, that doesn't come until November-ish but my dissertation is in and now... What?

Dissertation Games Design Document

Well, it's time to start job hunting again. It's a daunting prospect. I haven't looked for a job for about 8 years and before that I was lucky enough to cascade from one thing to the next. I've never really used job-sites and this whole linked in malarkey is new to me as well! None the less it's an exciting prospect and was always the aim - that I would do the course and then try to find work... And here I am!


So my LinkedIn profile has been spruced up (I can be found here) and I've updated my cv as well. Knowing where to start is a bit more tricky but I've done some website trawling and I suppose we'll see what happens next...


Tuesday, 21 August 2012

An Awesome Encounter (not mine)

I read this while at my desk this morning and consider it to be awesome! It's from the blog of Joel Runyon which is a blog about various things.  One day he met up with an exciting person while having coffee.  I'll let you read it yourself here but do go and have a read!

Monday, 13 August 2012

Good news for Brunel

Dissertation is moving on a-pace, but in other news I thought I'd share this article about Brunel.  Good going Brunel :)

Monday, 30 July 2012

Summer's almost here

Summer's Here!

Well, sort of.  It's warm, the rain has mostly abated.  Well, apart from when it hasn't and my PC occasionally shuts down coz it gets too hot!  The Steam Summer Sale has happened as well, which means that, once more I  have some games that were on sale that I want to play when there's time.  I still have a few of those from last year but I'm sure this year will be different... right!?

What summer also means is that I'm sat infront of my PC tapping away at my dissertation.  I have to write a Games Design Document and produce a prototype for the piece I am producing and it's due in on the 21st September.  All systems are go.  This weekend has seen the first 'break through' of work - I've been pottering about doing bits on it for ages but quite a lot of it all came together in my first draft and that's good.

One of the things that I've found difficult is getting started on the numbers.  I got a bit obsessed with this until I did quite a lot more reading on 'Game Theory' and balancing and things.  These were all very interesting, and relevant but in the end a lot of them came down to the suggestion that 'it doesn't matter: start and balance correctly, which is what I did and I think it's working so far.  I guess it's rather geeky to admit that I rather enjoyed my weekend which partially involved me tapping numbers into Excel and watching it create graphs for me.  Not to mention the wonders of Visio which enables me to produce effective flow charts of how events link together.

September moves ever closer and the time to look for a job is looking.  It's a daunting prospect, starting something new is both exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time.  Having to convince people that I can do what they want me to is going to be the challenge, but challenges are good things in some ways, and I am determined to push forward with it.  In some ways I look forward to it.

I've been playing quite a bit of The Secret World and I'm enjoying it a great deal.  I'm not quite sure where the game is going as yet, but I'm liking it and it's conspiracy theory plot-lines a great deal.  It's the games first update tomorrow and I look forward to what they bring.  At £11.50 per month it sort of needs to be good.  Not that £11.50 is much, but it's more than a lot of monthly subscriptions and is £138 per year... Sadly what this also means is that Star Wars: The Old Republic has lost my attention.  It just didn't keep up with the excellence that was the levelling up.  I enjoyed that process very much, the story worked, the journey was fun but the destination was very poor.  Maybe it will get better, maybe it will go Free to Play (it's apparently lost 23 percent of users already which is a lot and I know there's been job changes at Bioware.  It's a real shame, because it had so much promise. 

I've also been playing a lot of Civilisation V - I know I'm behind the times a bit with that, but it's a very good game and the recent Gods and Kings expansion was great, but possibly that's because it added religion and I'm a sucker for that, not to mention adding new nations, which just gives a different feel to your games.

The other thing that has really caught me is the iPad version of Magic by Stainless Games which is extremely playable and addictive.  I haven't played much magic for many years (although played a lot of it in the early days).  I am shocked at the power of some of the cards (Primordial Hydra anyone!) but it remains a fun game and this version is a very good one.  Give it a go!  

I am a proud owner of an iPad.  That's an iPad 1.  I have had it since the early days and I love it very much.  Increasingly though it's finding it harder to keep up with recent releases and that makes me a bit sad.  I look forward to being able (to afford) to upgrade to a new generation, but they're still amazing bits of kit.  I feel like I should be on their sales team as I know how many people have bought iPads directly and once removed because of mine.  Although I did fall asleep with it on my face on Saturday night - that's not a good look for anyone!  So, yes, my iPad is a bit of a dinosaur but I still love it.
It is also the season of LARP and I've done a few events so far, but they have been rather rainy it has to be said.  Still good fun though and I look forward to more as the season goes on.  Some where I don't have to scrub everything of mud afterwards would be nice now!  

Oh it's the Olympics too - and finally people are starting to get behind them in a more public fashion, just as it always seemed likely they would.  Yes there are still nay-sayers.  Yes they often have loud voices and are quite vocal, but there seems a good spirit about it and that's a good thing.

Enjoy the summer folks.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Onwards Upwards: Dissertation Time

Well, essays are in, Game Design Projects are done, marks are back and term II is over.  That puts me in a peculiar position now: Dissertation time.

I have until the 21st September to write my Dissertation project.  I have chosen to do the practical route of the dissertation module, which involves me doing a Game Design Document and a prototype of a game.  With what feels like a long time before hand in it can be difficult to self motivate but I am now working on it (having had a long period of procrastination and actual thinking) most days and trying to pummel energy into the work.  I want to create a game that I am proud of and essentially I'd like to have something I can show at interview and the like.

It also means that I am beginning to think solidly about the future.  The course has confirmed that I definately want to work 'in the industry', either as a designer or more possibly as a producer.  All of my experience for a lot of my career has been in production / company management and so with the extra background knowledge the course has given me I hope to be able to transfer my skills to the games sector.  Of course now that means convincing someone that I am capable of doing the job, but that's the next step isn't it!

In terms of applying for jobs I think I want to get my dissertation done and out of the way before committing to jobs, although I am passively looking to see if things come up that are ideal (it would be foolish not to).  In the meantime I am aware that I should probably get my twitter feed running (I am so bad at twittering! - follow me at: @Frailtimes ) and I should probably sort out my Linked In Page, which I have but have never filled in the details of.

Playing Stuff: I have been playing a lot of Star Wars: The Old Republic over the last few months but it's sort of going a bit stale at the moment - people are busy, the content a bit samey now and so it's on a hiatus.  On the other hand I am enjoying playing a lot of Civilisation V (which I missed when it first came out) and playing it multi-player is great fun too - it's quite a relaxed multi-player game which is pleasant.  I had a brief sting on Diablo III but it got old quite quickly.  It's too much of a halfway house for me - not enough variables, not simple enough to be trivial - odd game.  It is very pretty but prettiness just isn't enough for me.
I'm looking forward to The Secret World coming out (next week) as it looks like the sort of game that will peak my interests (the idea of the skill wheel is very appealing).  I haven't played any of the beta weekends - I sort of want to experience it when I can throw myself into it properly, not having to stop when they tell me to!!

So for now back to work...  Hopefully you'll be hearing more of me soon :)

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Questions and Answers

My next essay for my MA is about characters in roleplaying games, be they tabletop, live action or digita.  I am interested in what people look for in their games, how they play them and if they play different sorts of roleplaying games in different styles.

I posted a survey out using Survey Monkey on Tuesday morning (well, just after midnight) and so far as of 18:00 Wednesday I have 337 response, which is absolutely fantastic.

It's getting some really interesting responses and I can't wait to collate them and examine them in more depth.

People like me (I think) like talking about their hobby but I hadn't anticipated so many people would take the time out of their schedule to answer in the comments boxes I included (I deliberately suggested people skip them if they didn't have time and thought that most people would) but there have been a large amount of comments given in all of the questions, which is wonderful and fascinating to see people's responses about something which they clearly feel passionately (as I do) about.

I look forward to sharing some of the results (it's all anonymous and so on) and sharing what people have said. 

Thanks if you've filled out the survey so far and if you haven't... well - I'd love you to.  It can be found here

A special mention goes to Esther MacCallum-Stewart, who lectures at the University of Chichester and writes on all things games, and to Ian Knope at Having a LARP for posting this on for me.  Also of course to anyone who has shared this and that I don't know has passed it on.  Please do, the more responses the merrier!

Friday, 2 March 2012

De De De De De-de-de-dah... boom

March 2nd.  I even missed the pinch pinch first of the month opportunity (that's probably bullying or harrassment though so for the best avoided).

It's pretty amazing to believe that we've finished our design lectures for the year and on;y have a few weeks left of theory classes.  We spend our third term on dissitation / project work so much of my formal teaching is over.  I was last at 'school' quite a few years ago so being back again has been an interesting experience.

My essay for this term is going to be something about building characters / identity / affect or some combination thereof.  I'm still working on the title, but I know that's the thing that is intertesting me on the theory side at the moment.  I'm waiting for Game Feel to arrive, although my mountain of books has enough to keep me going in the meantime! I've been particularly enjoying the First / Second / Third person books (that's a link to one of them, the others are all there too) as they have been addressing some of the practical aspects of what I am focussed on - creating good games.

We had a pitch to 4 industry professionals and three of our lecturers on Wednesday.  This was a nervous week.  Mediatonic, Creative Assembly, Super Massive and a gentleman ex EA and very well connected were all there and they all gave fantastic feedback for us all, it was a great experience and the whole class pulled it out of the bag really, which was great to see.  My personal effort was called "When It Was Over" and I was reasonably pleased with it.  I learnt a lot from the pitch itself and from the process.  The next stage is to finish the deign document for it and make a prototype of some of it in MMF2, so that's going to be coming over the next few weeks.  I made a little trailer / mood board for it, which if you were interested you could watch it below - the intention was to give a feel of an adventure set on an island after the world collapses.  Naturally I don't own the rights to any of it etc etc.

All in all I learnt a lot from the pitch and the project leading up to it, so that was good.

Things happen in ironic ways and this week at my job in my 'other life' (I work as a production manager for a training / theatre company) things have been more hectic than ever.  We get people pull out of work for us at the last minute every so often for auditions or other stuff, but in this last week 3 nights this has happened which leads to late nights working at the office rather than on my MA stuff.  It happens, it's just been particularly unlucky!  It's made it all exciting and a challenge so I am, I have to admit, excited that it's over and looking forward to the weekend now!

In other news I've been working on another project which has started well, and am enjoying it very much.  There we go - that's a little bit of mystery for you!

 And now... back to work.

Monday, 30 January 2012

2012 - and it's almost February!

So here we are in 2012, and it's a new term at Brunel University.  This term sees a slight change of focus for the course.  Last term the game theory was just that, talk about game-theory debates and terminology and things.  It was interesting and useful, but this term is much more my cup of tea as we are doing Socio-cultural studies in games, covering things like militarism, structuralism and gender in games, So far it's been fascinating although I am stuck for what to write on this term, I find it all fascinating, and am having trouble choosing!  I did ok in my theory paper I worked on over Christmas, and learnt a whole load too.

We also have a slightly more practical approach in the design classes, with one MMF (multi-media fusion) project being expected per week, which is quite a buzz.  I enjoy creating games in it and like the challenge and accesibility it provides for people like me who don't 'speak code'.  We have a pitch project deadline fast approaching already and so that's going to consume time once more.  Waiting nervously on work from the design assessment of course.

The pressure is on, rightly so, and trying to balance work (as in my 'real' job) with the course (with my intended future job) with having any sort of life at all is quite hard work, not that I mind, it's the challenge I knew I had set myself from the start.

I am also trying to do as much reading as possible and am enjoying Third Person at the moment.  My preferred reading is the collections of essays that I am engaging with - I think I handle the topics better in shorter bursts (I also don't own a bookmark, and it's easier to find your place in an short essay!) 

It's hard to believe we're already 3 weeks into the term, it really has flown this year.  It's almost February already, almost into actively working on the next bit of work, all too soon it will time to work on the dissertation!  Gosh.

In other news Preto in Putney is an amazing restaurant!

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Dressing Up

I've mentioned before that I think the things that people do related to playing games are fascinating and I think this video (which is on the Kotaku site) is fascinating and really rather impressive, not only is is nicely filmed but it features some stunning costumes alot of which will have been 'home made' - truly hugely impressive.

I'm afraid I can't work out how to embed a Vimeo video into a Google blog without creating a war, so in the meantime you'll just have to go there and watch it!

It's worth it though - go take a look!
What it doesn't feature though is this, which is something to amuse before taking that video!