September, still unemployed but happy update!

Posted by | Posted in Game Development, Life | Posted on 03-09-2012

So it’s been 2 months since I finished my last contract, well, 2 months and 3 days. It’s also now 3 months (+3 days) since I was last paid! Neither of these things is great news but I’m doing surprisingly well right now.

A quick recap just to get my brain in order:

*Sept->Dec (2011)* – Sony London (soho) studio worked on the Harry Potter Book of Spells using their new WonderBook platform, top secret at the time and I can still only mention that I worked on it. That was ok, frustrating at times as they were really hunting around to find the best bits so a lot of stuff fell on the cutting room floor. At the end they offered me another contract on more money beginning when I returned from sailing.

*Dec->Dec (2011)* – Sailed across the Atlantic with my Dad in a slightly broken boat! You can see the photos if you look in my photo archives. Scary, a bit dangerous but not too much – certainly seemed and felt dangerous at the time in places. Good experience, I can’t believe this is already 9 months ago.

*Jan (2012)* – Sony didn’t contact me before/over Xmas – total panic as I needed a job and thought I had everything lined up. Thankfully Rik had been trying to contact me about doing some mobile development for Android & iOS for his new company AppCrowd. This was interesting, I’d be able to work from home a lot and the pay was good enough, nowhere near Sony but not in London and working from home lots meant it was about equal. I took the job with AppCrowd.
Of course Sony contacted me a couple of days later and it was all down to a slight snaffu with HR etc, it’s always HR that screw things up but I’d made my mind up and stuck with the AppCrowd decision.

*Jan->Jun 29th (2012)* – The AppCrowd contract came to an end after a 1 month extension. In some ways I was glad because the publisher we were working for were becoming a real nightmare. It was like they simply had no clue about how to do game development despite being in the business for years before. I think they were just too used to being able to make big changes very easily in the older J2ME games. When the games get bigger and the resources required balloon you need to plan out those changes before work gets done on them or you end up paying multiple times for a single task.

*Jun->now (2012)* – the publisher decided to withhold payment for work done so they could negotiate a better deal, that meant AppCrowd don’t have the money to pay me for the work extra month of work I did in June…

So as you can imagine things are a bit tight money wise right now but they couldn’t be better on other fronts.

Danni is awesome, we went on holiday for a few days and did lots of Shakespeare related stuff (saw a play, visited museums etc), then she was away for 2 weeks travelling around Europe but I got her back this weekend :) she’s gone back to work (teaching) today which is a bit of a bummer as I’d have liked to have her around for a bit longer all to myself!

I have a new niece (see my photos) called “Poppy Isabella Lydiatt” who is, as babies often are, quite adorable. My other niece Amelia Joy is being a good older sister, she especially likes the fact that all of the babies things are pink because this means that she can be the boy and have everything blue… I’m buying her a Transformers toy :)

Also I’m actually getting interested in programming again rather than just doing it because I feel I must to keep my skills in shape, or for programming tests or indeed for work. Mostly this has meant doing things to http://pioneerspacesim.net/¬†which I’ve just been submitting various little patches covering some basic icon scaling and keeping the VC2010 project compiling etc. However I have also been working on the Factions code that I started months ago and it’s coming along nicely now.
In other coding news I have been working on the Syndicate level viewer and adding pathfinding too it and the GWEN UI etc but that’s gone on hold once more :)

…so there, end of braindump!

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