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May 28, 2008
Newsletter

Yesterday was the project presentation for the final unit in my Computer Science degree, and the last bit of actual work. As such, I guess this would be a prudent time to post a bit of a life update.

STUDIES

Well, that appears to be it; my degree is over. Results come back in three weeks or so, but overall I'm pretty happy with how things went during the course of my part time studies. The prospect of having less stress and more time to do more interesting things is very exciting right now.

MARRIAGE

Probably everyone I know will know this by now, but it's worth documenting here anyway. In July during the Freeplay conference in Melbourne, on a bridge across the Yarra, I asked Moose to marry me. To my lucky suprise she said yes! To celebrate we had even more to drink and I somehow chipped a tooth. We had a mostly-family wedding in March and we're both really glad that that ordeal is over! The wedding I mean, not the marriage. It was nice though, and we got lots of sweet photos and caught up with lots of people.

TRAVELS

Later this year we are heading to Europe and the USA to do some campervanning and greyhound/motel hopping respectively. I'm going to play some gigs and stuff and try to drop in on a couple of interesting conferences. Next year our plan is to stop in London to work for a while. Should be fun!

MUSIC

Since Fenris has moved to Melbourne I am now playing solo gigs, except when he's in Perth or I am in Melboure. I've had a few solo gigs now; two at Shape and one at the Velvet Lounge, and they all went off without hitch. At the first Shape one there were people dancing and everything! The music is quite different from what Fenris and I do since I am using all software (Pure Data) and midi controllers whilst chr+fen is mostly about game consoles and delay/distortion pedals. Later in the year when Moose and I travel to Europe and the USA I'm planning on playing some gigs.

WORK

Since the beginning of the year I have been working full time on games technology, which is the fulfilment of a sort of dream of mine.

I am working 3 days per week for Interzone, doing web integration for their MMO. That is nice because it's a regular paycheque, and the work is interesting, and I get to leave it at the office when it's home time. It's kind of strange working in an office again after working for myself from home for so many years, but it hasn't been bad, and the social aspect is even quite nice.

I am working 2 days per week on the ABC/Screenwest/GWE contract with my pal Jessee from Studio Robot. This game is lots of fun to work on and utilises some AJAX technology that I wrote a few years ago. It's basically a Python web server which maintains a game state, and communicates changes in game state to multiple connected web clients - something that's a bit difficult in traditional web servers. It's really nice to work with an artist of Jessee's calibre and it makes the programming bits way more fun when you get to see something cool as the outcome. We just sent them the 4th milestone out of 8, so the project is well on it's way.

Because of the full time work I don't get as much time to work on Pixelbox these days as I'd like to. Though luckily Jacob and Patrick are there to share the small workload. Occasionally, maybe once a quater, I drive out to Wangarra to physically install a new machine or swap a hard drive. I'm due for one of those visits quite soon, actually.

There are a couple of other small bits of client work I am neglecting pretty badly at the moment. Sometimes I manage to squeeze in an hour or two somewhere, but I guess these will ramp up once I get a bit more time. One of these is a quite exciting art project which I'll post about here when it's finished.

GAMES

Since I'm working on games stuff full time I don't get a lot of time to work on my own games these days. I am looking forward to later in the year when I will get to do my own stuff again. I finished a small web based Breakout clone which I called Bricker, but that was mostly just to keep myself thinking about games and web tech. I have two different indie games ideas on the boil at the moment but I won't have time to work on them for at least a month or two. I also need to get UfoLiberation up on the website, either as a free download or put some kind of a payment gateway in place. Though once again, who knows when that will happen! The code is all finished, and Windows binary is even built; I just need to do the last 1% to get it out there.

So for the most part, that's what is going on in my life.

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