Friday, 11 January 2013

Friday Fun Time Day

Hello Fellow Explorers

We continue our story in a small room in Wales, not too far from the borders of reality and certainly a place that warrants caution. Rules are fragile here, not through any weakness on their part, but the product of continual dismantling and reassembly by a madman with crazy Dr Who hair.

The Proverbial Morning (3PM)

I am writing my blog at the start of my day, just after answering emails, which makes a change from the normal 'end of day dump' (as it where) you are normally subjected to.

I am interjecting to let you know that I have just ordered Fallout 3 and Dead Space 1 & 2 which adds to me collection of great FPS games.  Both recommendations that came in quite recently. The latter suggestion actually came from a video that was emailed to me, and peeked my interest in a subject I have been keeping an eye on for over a decade.  Rather than rant on, I thought it a good idea to insert the video into my blog so you can see for yourself. Now I want to make a massive disclaimer that this will NOT be in the initial version of Reloaded, but I know a certain party (not called Lee) who will remain illusive will want this A LOT when it hits the mass market.

True VR Immersion

That's right folks, those brain buckets at Oculus Rift have figured out through lens technology how to fill those annoying black gaps in your peripheral vision with more pixels. The upshot is that if you put it on your face, you instantly stop seeing the real world and completely drown in another one.

Needless to say, I want one really really badly!  For research purposes you understand.  My prediction is that I will be working on this bit of kit around Christmas 2013 to get a feel for the SDK and then have something for you guys added to Reloaded early 2014 (but don't quote me on that).  The challenge is not to connect it up for stereo 3D rendering (which would take me all of five minutes), but to tweak and adjust the controls, HUD views and game content to produce a great Oculus Rift experience. My understanding is that it augments the players perception within the game world. Watch the video and listen to the bit about how the Doom 3 player is actually only 4 feet tall - something you can't appreciate on a flat monitor.  Fun times ahead!

The Proverbial Afternoon (9:15PM)

I am finding my way around the whole iOS landscape like a pro these days, everything from setting up new company linkages to my developer portal access, certificates, provisions, devices, app IDs, builds, code signing, test flight configuration, the whole nine yards.  This is where I have been spending the latter half of the day so far, with the former part of the afternoon spend bouncing tweaks between my Windows development app and the iPad Mini test device. Amazing how cool it still is to me being able to instantly broadcast to the device to see how everything plays. In a few short hours I have taken it from a rather unresponsive cludgy app into a quick, instant response delight to use. If you are wondering WHAT app is so nice, I can reveal that in about 40 days so bear with me on that one.  I can say it will sell hundreds of thousands of units and well worth my time to get it just right, and will benefit a whole nation!  I will say no more.

Also as I write, my fingers and eyes (and bits of brain) and fussing out a little, due to the fact that apart from two cups of wicked strength non-decaf coffee I have had nothing to eat (stupid I know).  I am now going to find big food from the kitchen, and munch it over an episode of Top Gear.  Once my brain has recovered, I will proceed to a few more house keeping TGC jobs and then onto the fun stuff, another game!  I wonder what I will pick...

The Proverbial Evening (3:05AM)

And here I am at the end of a very long half-day-half-night, but what a time. I spent these solumn hours between keeping the email count to just one (DBP module related), eating food, watching three Top Gears, playing C&C Tiberium Alliance once every two hours (I am using the free to play mode which basically means I can attach other things eight times and then I have to wait two hours before I can do anything else; not sure if they're winning the hearts and minds of freemium players with that one, but I keep coming back so there is method to the madness. If they think I am paying any money though, they have a surprise coming. I may have paid a set amount to be able to attack for as long as I want, but I thing they have set up the whole game so everyone is on one of two playing fields, those that pay and win, and those that play and plod. I am happy to plod).

Anyhoo, between all these things (and of course more testing on the iPhone, iPad 1 and iPad Mini with Test Flight), I seem to have run out of daylight and time to install and play another FPS game. The sensible thing is to go to bed now and rescue some daylight from Saturday, where I can sally forth into the outside world and do something practical like clean a shed or dig a hole.  I decided not to drive to Wigan this weekend, just to give me a jump on next week's work list.

Second Wind Time?

As I am not THAT tired, I think I will make a nice cup of tea, get the new DBP DarkNet module sorted (not ready the email yet so not sure what 'it' is), and then I will have won a small victory in clearing my inbox for Friday.

I can sometimes pull off the trick of not sleeping at all when it gets this late, and just try to make it to the following 6PM (15 hours from now), which will give me all of the owling hours, plus a whole Saturday of daylight for outdoor things.  I have a small boat that has seen as much water as I've seen flying Yeti's largely to the fact that I don't trust the outboard as far as I can throw it, but it would be a good opportunity while the sun shines to give it a fresh tank of petrol and clean it's tubes out.  It really needs the carbs cleaned out, but it's a fiddly job and really needs to be done by a professional.  Still, I can do the other little jobs like making sure the back seats don't fly off at the merest hint at a wave.

I would only contemplate this at weekends as my brain would not function properly if I did this mid-week, but my body clock needs a kick so I think I will try.  Fortunately, I have just the game to keep me awake until 9AM when I can drink lots of coffee and amble about in the garden pretending to be awake and not the least insanely sleepy.

Signing Off

I think that's enough twittering for one day. I will now proceed to put plan 'stay awake regardless' into action and will make another blog in the next two days where I am sure to have lots of new things to talk about.


  1. How many hours of sleep do you average a day, Lee? I know my dad used to stay up for 2 to 3 days at a stretch, coding and whatnot; before he'd crash for a good 10 hours or so. That was back in his younger days though. ;)

  2. I am all over the place :) I usually settle into a pattern of waking in the early afternoon, putting 6 hours in, eat a proper meal and chill, then back on around 9PM and work through to the early hours, rinse and repeat. Even putting 12 hours a day in I can still get away with 9 hours sleep most days :) I only break this if there is a meeting or team call to deal with, then I am your regular 9 to 5 Joe.

  3. I work the 2-10 shift right now; though I've been toying with switching to the 10-6 (AM) shift, for more Family time, etc. Right now, I have more time to work on dev stuff with my current schedule; even on days I work. I'm just struggling to get into a regular sleep schedule and stick with it. Only way I'm going to get out of prison work someday. ;)

    Weekends are still Family Time all day, however. No plans on changing that.

  4. Hi there Lee - I have been monitoring your progress with Reloaded and am really looking to the release. I have been watching your blog to see if you have received your Rift and update on your thoughts. I have received mine now and the HMD is really spectacular! I am hoping that once you have tested yours it will become a top priority on the Reloaded list lol!!! Any chance of adding basic support to the current creator to allow us to create/test until reloaded is released? I will continue to monitor your progression and hope for Rift support!

  5. Alas I am 'all in' on Reloaded ;) I think it's for the best.