December Dreadlines…

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After 11 months of saying how busy I am, I finally had a quiet month. That’s because I deliberately turned away a lot of work in December so that I could focus on other stuff and have a jolly old Christmas instead. That meant I had time to catch up with old friends, see my nephew and get some decent walking done on the moors. It turns out that some of my friends had even listed to Unlimited Hyperbole – they described it as ‘about as pretentious as I expected of you‘.

Now the quiet period is over though, I’m back in London and working on stuff full time again – which means it’s time to look back on what I did last month, as well as how 2012 went as a whole.

There’ll be minimal grumpiness, I promise.

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November Necessities…

November, like every other month, was incredibly busy. I’m actually starting to wonder if I’ll ever have any free time – but I usually don’t get very far along that line of thinking because some new project usually pops up.

Speaking of which, I’ve actually got two new game projects on the go at the moment. One of them is a sort of trash-game idea that Craig Lager and I decided to collaborate on after a drunken conversation earlier this year. The other is just sketched out on paper but is an idea I’ve been toying with since January. The first is codenamed Project NSFW, while the latter is codenamed Project Pretentious. I’m good with codenames.

Read on to find out what else I managed to get up to in November and about a new super-elite forum Craig’s launched.

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The Science of Computing…

So, Split Decision: The Nonsense Knowledge Game isn’t the only new project I’ve had on the go this year – I’ve also been collating and editing a book. It’s called The Science of Computing and it’s a collection of some of the best hardcore technology journalism from authors such as Ben Hardwidge, Mike Bedford and Phil Hartup.

You can buy The Science of Computing now on Amazon’s Kindle service for the low, low price of £2.05. You can also check out a free sample and, because it’s on the Kindle platform, you can access it on your phone with the official Kindle app if you don’t have an eReader.

The idea for the book – and others that I hope to create in the future – came from when I first saw Dennis Publishing’s back-issue archive one day. In the labs under Cleveland Street there are cupboards filled to the brim with old copies of Custom PC, Men’s Fitness, Bizarre and all the other magazines. There’s some really good writing in those pages and a lot of it’s still relevant, but most of it goes to waste. There’s a great article on AI development by Ben, for example, that’s not ever been seen outside of the pages of the one issue it was published in years ago.

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Split Decision – A Game Dev Story

Split Decision, a game I’ve been working on since February, was released this week for iOS and Android devices. It’s an official adaptation of the popular Split Decision boardgame made by Mental_Floss Magazine, where players have to categorise weird and funny facts into one of two options as fast as possible.

For Example:
Is Boccob a Deity from Dungeons and Dragons or a Variety of Potato?
Is Flying Fox of the Yard a Children’s Book or a Monty Python Character?
Is Luna Lovegood a Harry Potter Character or an Adult Movie Actress?

The game boasts a variety of singleplayer modes, high scores, achievements, microtransactions for optional question packs and has been released to rave reviews and positive player response. Since I’ve been working on the game for a while and it’s been one of my bigger projects this year, I thought I’d write a bit about my role on the project and what I learned from working on the game.

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July Jobs…

As another month comes to an end, I decide to do my usual thing of recounting what I did in the last 30 days. I do this partly so that you can see all the cool people I write for and partly so that I don’t feel I’m wasting my life just because I spend at least 90 per cent of my time sat in the same chair.

That sounded a lot darker and more self-pitying than I meant it to. Sorry.

So, other than the usual Twitter arguments, what have I done this month? Believe it or not, it’s not all just limited to journalism this time, as one of the games I worked on this year is now inching toward release…

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