POLITICS – “MY VIEWS ARE MY OWN, NOT NECESSARILY RIGHT”

It is no secret that I myself do not follow politics its through a lack of wanting to or the blind sighted view that its unimportant rather personally always had other things to focus on which ironically are put in place by government. Recently the UK voted in the Conservatives again despite early opinion polls pointing towards the likelihood of a coalition it ended up as a conservative majority due to the systems we have in place.

A few years back we did have the chance to vote for a reform on how voting would be calculated and we at that point said ‘no’. Over the past few days we have already begun to protest and moan which I will sit on the fence about cause yes I do not agree with some of the policies being waved around but at the same time cant really complain personally as I did not vote nor have these actions actually been enforced at this point. People have the power to change things however as a whole we are often disorganised and sadly the few often ruin it for the many. As someone who has tasted the bottom line and aware of the problems in the UK at the moment I am jaded but at the same time can not blame government for the way this world has turned. As a society we are often self centred focused on survival and the few willing to help can not realistically help everyone.

Politicians and MPs do not face the situations many of us face us and it would be impossible for them to do so as we are all unique with own problems and troubles and no system will ever by its definition be fair or perfect. IF we could ALL just help each other we would not face the majority of the troubles we face such as poverty, homelessness and discrimination, if we disagree with rising food prices we have to shout as one. If we disagree with the housing problems we have to stand up and help each other be somewhere safe. The conservatives are not evil nor are they a force for good they are like every other party elected officials chosen to ‘try’ and be the voice of the many however will ALWAYS miss out the voices of those in real trouble or the perceived view. As people we are often stubborn, rash and silent not liking to burden others, I should know as I am like this but we HAVE TO WORK together. We can not go out blaming others for our troubles we have to educate them to potential solutions. Like I said earlier I did not vote for one reason I did not necessarily in my heart believe any one party as such I forfeited my opportunity to complain about the result but at the same time as a democracy we have chosen to have elected officials to speak for us and how they do it or why they do it is down to them and our trust we have placed in them and as humans they are always going to be flawed.

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Creative collaboration and the fear of destruction

We are born with creativity running through our veins but how to best utilize this is often up for much debate with some choosing the path of creative destruction, others creative positivity and sadly all too many never really considering their unique talents one worth demonstrating and it is for this very reason I believe positive re-enforcement and exploration are the future to inspiring others to take risks.

I am a firm believer in collaborative creativity as a footstep to the taking of risk and learning of new skills but understand the reservation within all of us to demonstrate our skills for risk of being mocked or judged. It is not the place of others to judge your work but to judge themselves, no one piece or idea is greater than another in the eyes of men (and women) all is wrong as all is right.

Around three or so years ago I helped found a collaborative group focused around the idea of getting talented people together with an interest to begin with in video production using social media and today it is still alive and slowly growing with next to no intervention from myself, then around a year and a half ago I did the same for gaming and managed to get press access. We self impose limitations and fear being different or heaven forbid upsetting someone.

My advice is simple DO WHAT YOU LOVE DOING, Create what you want how and where and just enjoy it.

The other side of University – Marketing VS Education

I would like to start this blog off by saying that I loved my time at university and on a whole; it was a great experience and helped me in ways I could only hope. The purpose of this blog is to highlight some flaws and areas of concern in the educational system I have experienced and provide some tips for new students.

First thing first university is a business, no matter how much they may say they care about their student body or how much time you spend there it is all about money, now this is NOT to say the teachers and lecturers do not care cause they truly do this is more a high up. Universities preferring growth to improvement at a time where many students are struggling to fund themselves and get used to living alone. Now there are often schemes in place to help students but in my experience, many poorly communicated and complaints rarely acted on, an example is the use of social communication and announcements.

The University in question for example has a twitter account for almost EVERY department and every course however expect students to either follow them on twitter or decode the bombard of information to get the information they want. I have heard that emails are a solution again this is false, we are often bombarded with information and it is like filtering the chaff to find something that is relevant to ourselves. Social media is a new tool for many educational institutes and it can often show a business’s inexperience with such means, this brings me onto marketing.

Last year the university in question introduced a swan mascot which at times on twitter promoted drinking events, stupid behaviour and was just a joke taken too far and now I have heard they have acquired another to represent the library in the form of an owl. Must a university degrade itself to be seen as fun and engaging, students are not children and surely it is the universities place to aide development and learning not be ‘cool and hip’. Again, I think the university is an amazing place and do some great things for the local community and its student body however it is these little niggles that make me feel concerned on the future of the place I loved best.

Therefore, here are some proposed solutions / ideas:
• Do not promote drinking, nightclub or promotional events focus on talks and student collaboration
• Do not appeal to students as if they are children i.e. use of sweets, money to get involvement, use of mascots.
• Concise information delivery, take down old posters, mention in lectures, do not rely on twitter or emails maybe add course optional events to student timetables
• Keep the power of the SU limited i.e. University polls ran by uni not handled by SU
• Do not focus on growing or expanding when issues existing issues lie, rapids expansion leads to higher failings and students feeling under appreciated.
• Use technology carefully, get students to make materials like posters, videos – it’s cheaper and makes them feel involved actively
• Keep departments separate and don’t let societies or courses rule others or shape the uni for everyone

So now, some tips for Students:
• If you have any issues go direct to the source, let them know else it can’t be fixed
• Get involved and take part – shape your experiences
• Money does not go as far as you think and there may be times where you struggle to find money for food so work together with others so to keep costs down
• Education is not the only thing you get out of university
• Do not be tricked by offers, freebies or other such tactics – everyone wants your money – EVERYONE

August Update – Uncertainty

I am at the stage of uncertainty with my life, currently on the job market stuck somewhere I don’t wanna be away from the people I want to be with. Eager to prove myself but shot down at every opportunity, just as I get things sorted news flies its way towards me knocking me off-balance and yet here I still remain stood trying to find a direction to take with a clear goal in mind.

We all face struggles and strife and have moments of feeling trapped, this is for me occurring at the moment. I have a business plan and product but no capital to fund it, I have/had a job that is terminating and a bank account that is pretty much empty stuck living in a place I really don’t wanna be away from someone I want to live with and look after. I am constantly applying for jobs and despite being eager to work finding it hard to even obtain minimum wage jobs cause of my ‘soon to be ex-Student’ status, I find it silly when I get turned down for being over qualified IF I applied for the job then I want the job that is the logic of applying. All of this on top of niggles like a dying computer and stressful environment with poor internet are making things increasing difficult. IF one card slots into place they all will which I find most annoying.

I am trying to keep upbeat as  know I am capable and would / proven to be a determined work it’s just a case of whether I struggle to keep going alone or try to battle on with others.

LIfE Companion Application: Alpha Dev build

So for the last day or two been working on the companion application for LIfE whilst awaiting a new computer so can get back to developing main game. The final application will reveal secrets within the game and help you find extra hidden areas and missions otherwise hard to find / access also serve as a virtual guidebook all ran offline once applications been installed.

So far the application is only available in dev status on android i.e. you can run it but need an android phone 4.0+ with Settings > Security > Unknown Sources enabled in order to download and run the 50mbish application it’s very early days and kinks need ironing out but if you wanna give it ago simply follow the link below:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwxMS5LBP0BRNE5TckdhRFVpNDA/

Download .apk onto android device, once installed unity will load then camera activates, point camera at one of below 3 markers first 2 are models first is just an audio and 3d Sphere i.e. first tester.

Harbringer trigger
Stiller trigger

scan ar test 2

 

Example of it in operation:

Android app creation

DISCLAIMER: DOWNLOADING AND INSTALLING THIS .apk IS AT YOUR OWN RISK, WORKED ON MY TWO DEVICES NO PROMISES ON PERFORMANCE OR STABILITY. I ACCEPT NO LIABILITY FOR ANY ISSUES THIS APP MAY CAUSE AND IT IS NOT SUPPORTED IN ITS CURRENT DEV ALPHA STATE. THIS IS A TECH DEMO / TEST AT BEST. 

Games, Creatives and Friends – JUNE update

So my tenancy in Lincoln is coming to an end and my overall life’s challenges are only just set to begin, so far I have got a temporary job at the university testing out there virtual learning environment and picking up odd ends here and there but it’s sadly not enough and this saddens me. Anyway the purpose of the update is to not go on about myself rather post about something’s my friends are doing and to encourage you to check them out and show them some support.

So what are my friends up to?

First up is James Booth and co.’s game development studio Pixel Spill, having lived with this guy for a year his ambitions have always been high and determination greater so I was pleased to hear that he and some of his friends formed a gaming studio down in London called Pixel Spill. There first feature game is set to be KatataK a game made for the YouTube sensation TomSka and already looking sweet as butter. It is essentially a side scrolling shooter with references galore to other TomSka characters and looks set to be available on mobile devices in near future. Its 8/16 bit style looks are amaze so check them out on the twitters:

@PixelSpill

Second up another game, this time a dungeon crawling style game made by Kieran and Sean two fellow gaming students from the university, making use of twitter to allow for dungeon generation and creation. They are currently running a steam green light campaign so why not check out Hashtag Dungeon and see if it is for you.

proxy

Next up in this gaming friend sandwich is Brett Knight a fellow indie developer with some fantastic creative ideas; I have seen a wip of one of his current game projects currently named Spectrum. It looked interesting with a nice set of planned mechanics and gameplay elements, so check out his twitter feed too and see what’s going on in that wondrous mind of his.

@BrettKnights

Now onto some other wonderful people and a more brief update on their recent antics:

Nathan Dean long-time friend, small cool writer has recently been well guess? Writing some rather interesting scripts and this year alongside Sam Clarke wrote a script for a live drama performance, which may I, say was rather good indeed you can check him out on twitter: @NathanTDean

Chris Mudd a drama student friend has recently alongside a wonderful supportive team also put on a drama performance that sadly I could not attend due to other commitments but from the pictures and consistent rehearsals looked lively, interesting and great stage spectacular. You can follow Chris @Sable_Crow

I will update this blog with updates regarding these projects and news of interest, sorry for recent lack of posts and what is likely poor English but the rush to find a longer term job, make games and try to survive are top priority and this next month or so is gonna be a tough one.

Absence apology

Today I have to issue an apology for lack of updates recently to this blog area and the fact the website is far from completed but this has been down to recent developments regarding my pursuit for work. I have been offered a ‘job’ up until the end of August which is taking up ALOT of my time meaning game development, blog posts and such has been lax recently, IF you follow me on Twitter you may be aware and seen the dev grabs.

I am aiming to reveal or show something every Saturday however this week will be very much up in the air, I was meaning to write a Post E3 blog post which will occur next week now and such. Tomorrow is the Lincoln Networking event and I am gonna try and get something to show by tomorrow IF I can however no promises as got work today and need to catch up with peeps after being silent for 2-3 days.

UPDATES WILL RETURN ALONGSIDE NEAR DAILY POSTS ONCE SCHEDULES SORTED 🙂

June: Last month of Student Tenancy

headscuba

So the time has come where it will be my last few weeks living in Lincoln as  a Student and gotta say although I wont be living here for a while I will still be visiting as often as needed living so close to the city the hope to live independently again as soon as possible is at the foremost of my mind. My girlfriend will be going back home for the holidays and come September I will ensure to visit her as much as humanly possible.

The hunt for work is still ongoing whereas my own personal game development side project is moving along fairly nicely, a proper update will appear as soon as possible alongside a proper portfolio area for my work. So back to job hunting I must go…

An evening with Brian Blessed – Mini post

Last night me and my ever madcap girlfriend went to see Brian Blessed at our local old school cinema where we could Q&A and listen to his booming glorious voice. Sitting only metres away from this TV, Theatre and film legend was an interesting experience filled with his stories, mad impressions and determination that age is NOT a barrier was inspirational, the local cinema you could tell were at times trying to rain him in i.e. get him to sit down but his booming personality can not be contained. Until recently completely forget we bought tickets back in January and despite the heat and the smell of damp was a nice night out, sadly couldn’t get many pictures and was not willing to pay the £10 to get a signature mainly due to student low funds and lack of card machine or amenities in the restoration project that is the Ritz cinema.

“A fuzzy picture but got some video :P”

As you may know not that long ago I reached a rather rubbish patch in my life and since then being struggling to pick myself up but people like Brian just go to show age is meaningless unless you have the drive and thanks to those who love me I got through the worst and now just fighting for work.

The state of media and how cheap solutions can improve reach

“Plan ahead avoid mistakes and budget wisely. High costs do not = higher return”

As I grow older the visible divide between old and new media seems to only deepen as more traditional forms of media struggle and fight to adapt incorporating digital media forms in a slap dash manner. Media should be handled like a child reared with an end goal in mind and that is a healthy, happy child that is engaging with others and making friends sadly though poorly constructed environments and the perception that media marketing has to be costly is somewhat tarnishing what could be a beautiful thing.

People have often asked me why didn’t I study media? The reason is as I view it the more you understand something the less willing you are to change and becoming marred in standards can ultimately slow down progress and end in higher chances of failure, cheap solutions are not something to fear. It’s no longer the case where just having a website is sufficient any more and messages much reach past one form to embrace the many.

Daily I walk around Lincoln and ideas swarm into my brain but in all honestly ideas without execution are meaningless and it is this fear that holds too many back, failure does not have to cost, it’s not bad. Fail fast and learn then success will only be the greater.

An example for a simple adoption of technology can be found in posters, although traditionally a 2D paper based medium why can’t they using AR or NFC technology be made to ‘talk’ or ‘interact’ with their audiences. The belief is this is costly to create and this is false, give me £10 and a day and I can make a poster design that people can scan using their phones that plays a video, click able and could increase user engagement by as little as 11% during a campaign, although this seems low every additional second of interest increase chances of success and at the price of a couple of hours work can easily pay off the investment of time without any additional resource costs.