Nov 152015
Norwegian with Babbel and Duolingo

I’ve pretty good at quite a lot of things, but I’ve always been a bit embarrassed about not being able to speak a second language. A couple of GCSEs in French and German was as far as I got, and that’s now mostly faded. This famously isn’t rare for English speakers, but after years of concentrating […]

Oct 302015
Galaxy Arena

It’s been a slow year on the blog. This is mainly due to taking up a few new hobbies (learning Norwegian, and getting into astronomy and astrophotography) and preparing for a new child. I may write about some of these in future. But in the meantime I’ve done a little bit of work on my previously-untitled “spaceship game”, and […]

Jan 282015
Kerbal Space Program

Just before Christmas I had a couple of days off work and planned to give Elite a proper play, but then something happened: a friend very kindly bought me a copy of Kerbal Space Program. I knew of the game and I’d always been curious, but I assumed I would quickly get bored of a […]

Sep 042014
The Gamergate/feminism debacle

I’ll try to keep this brief, I don’t normally like to get too serious on here and everything has been said before more eloquently that I could put it. I 100% support Anita Sarkeesian and her work on Feminist Frequency, as well as everyone else who has received abuse as a result of working on […]

Aug 232014
Crowdfunding, X-Rebirth and some music

Today’s post is a rather mixed bag of  vaguely-related topics. Lets kick off (ahem) with Kickstarter… Kickstarter Last weekend I was supposed to be at Alt-Fest, a crowd-funded goth/metal/industrial festival that was shaping up to be awesome. Then three weeks ago it imploded spectacularly – cancellation rumours circulated on Twitter, before finally a statement was released saying […]

Aug 142014
Spaceship building game prototype

It’s become a bit of a tradition now that when I host a LAN I show up with a new game prototype (although as it’s usually six months between them that’s not saying a lot). This time was my first attempt in Unity, and it got its first outing a couple of weeks back. Conveniently […]

Aug 112014
Mirror game prototype

It’s been a while since the last post, mainly because I’ve had two LAN parties in the last two weeks and getting my first Unity game prototype into a playable state has taken priority. But more about that one later. In the meantime, here is a prototype I made at the end of last year (complete with terrible programmer art). […]

Jun 132014
Cheltenham Science Festival 2014

Chestenham Science Festival is quickly becoming a must-attend event in my calendar. This year I went down for the Friday and Saturday with my wife and we attended half a dozen events. From my limited experience I think you could pick any event at random and be almost certain to hear something fascinating. Here are […]

May 302014
Unity networking and first impressions

Everyone I know (for “everyone” = “programmers”, anyway) seems to be trying out Unity and I’d heard much praise about how easy it is for rapid prototyping. Enough to make me take a look. My very first thought, going through one of the tutorials, was “this feels like cheating”. One of the basic tutorials is a vertical scrolling shooter, […]

Apr 012014
Finding the perfect LAN game

Time for an epic game roundup post. LAN parties, for me, and the best way to play games. Getting a load of friends together in the same room for some quality gaming time is great. There is just one recurring problem: finding games that are enjoyable for everyone to play. Ideally we all play the same thing, and the preference […]

Mar 122014
House layout/maze generator

Now that I don’t make games for a living I find that I’m more inclined to do so in my free time. Nothing even approaching a releasable standard, but it keeps me amused, and is an excuse to mess around with network programming. Occasionally I’ll inflict a messy prototype on my friends at a LAN […]

Feb 192014

The last year has seen much discussion about the price of energy. Nuclear plants, wind turbines, fracking, price caps and green subsidies are a staple part of the news and political vocabularies. And as usual with politics, most of the arguments make no sense when you examine the economics. Externalities But before I get into […]

Jan 122014

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have really taken off in the last couple of years. I was aware they existed but it was only a few months ago that I took the plunge and signed up for one. I wasn’t really sure what to expect in terms of course content, time requirements and difficulty, so […]