As many people have rightly pointed out, I’ve not updated properly in ages. This is mainly due to the fact that I haven’t come up with anything to write about solidly, especially with regards to my new style of writing that I’m starting to adopt. Anyway, I do one day hope to show off my Warhammer 40k models when I have them all properly assembled, but on that front, we’re looking at a few more weeks work. I also have to upload some photos to Flickr relating to when I went to Holland, and also the first lot of pics in the photo competition I failed to enter months ago now, whoops! I have earmarked some other locations in Southeast London to take pictures of as well, but I imagine it’ll be a while before I can actually upload those too! It’s all a case of eventualities really. I also finally got myself a Wii, so eventually, I’ll be playing about with the experiments that Johnny Chung Lee has put up. All the more now that I got myself a second controller, and got myself a Bluetooth “nipple”, which is essentially a really tiny Bluetooth dongle that sticks out just a little, much like a nipple. My laptop has the device installed and set up, so I can eventually play with it. My laptop will more than likely end up being the main platform for using the motion detection as it’s handier to use with. The only issue though is that I need to have Vista drivers.
I’ve also managed to get myself a T-Mobile USB Wireless Share Dock and a pretty nifty USB stick which also accepts a Transflash (Micro SD) Card, which impressed me. Though at the moment, I haven’t tried it out yet properly. However, I am hoping it’ll mean I can start doing more stuff outside as a result, such as live updates but I imagine realistically that’s a while off yet. Anyway, I also have got myself a copy of the new version of Space Hulk. Those of you who both had the money and listened to those at the Games Workshop likely have 2 or 3 of them now; one to play, one to sell on (they could easily increase in value by 3 times in a couple years, meaning their value would be about 180, going by the standard pricing) and one for… erm, I’m not sure actually. Anyway, the reason why they’re so valuable is because of the fact that the current run is the only run, and also it’s been 20 years since the anniversary of the last one. There more than likely won’t be another one for a good 30 years or so now so this one will shoot up in value. Getting 2-3 copies does hurt the wallet a bit though. All the same, it is a worthwhile investment… it does way a bit though, but you do get a lot in it. I’ll post up pics when I’ve finished assembling the figures… keep in minf they won’t be painted just yet though.
Moving into the educational sphere now, and I’ve been looking at returning to education at some point. Despite the fact that there’s the strong chance of fees increasing next year, I sill want to get myself a BSc. Amusingly enough though, I was looking at a games design course somewhat local to me, just outside of London, but unfortunately for me, it doesn’t have anything to do with programming, which was the main area I failed in. Not only that, it’s also a level 3 certification, whereas right now, I’m at level 4, so I’d be declined based upon the fact I know what is being taught… hell, I could most likely teach the students if I were actually able to focus enough! Not to sound too cocky about it, but my design skills are pretty much beyond what my certication (Certificate of Higher Education) is, and my graphics skills are sufficient enough as well, as is my hardware knowledge. My essay-writing skills are alright as well and would pick up when I actually commenced study again. What prevents me from actually being able to use the CertHE to start at the second year of university is the fact my programming skills are teh suck atm, both in Java and Flash. Granted, like the essay writing, I’d pick up a lot if I got a chance to refresh myself, but I’m so out of touch with both, I’d really need to go somewhere that allows me to refresh my Java knowledge, and teach me Flash (I never got a good grounding in it – perhaps one day I’ll tell you why I had such an aversion to it), while at the same time, helping me to progress past my CertHE.
Something tells me though that I may just have to teach myself Flash and Java to CertHE standard, if not beyond, which is by no means a bad thing. It does mean that I’ve got a little extra help to rely on if I’m stuck when getting back into study. And speaking of that, the one that takes my fancy is the one offered by Qantm; their Games Design & Development diploma course, as it enables me to do a diploma in 1 year, as opposed to 2. I could also do a BSc. the year after that meaning I could effectively get my degree in 2 years. Best thing there is that I wouldn’t have wasted so much time trying to get back to my previous level. I was going to start it next year, as I’d need tome to build myself up for full-time. While I’m waiting, I can re-teach myself Java and Flash and anything else I need to do to make sure I’ve got at least my CertHE standard polished up.
Still focusing on games and in particular the industry, I’ve reserved my place for the AdventureX event in London, which looks to be pretty cool, as the main bloke from Revolution Software will be there, along with a few other guests, including the creator of Loom, Brian Moriarty although this depends on the interest in the event. They also plan to show people how to use Adventure Game Studio (AGS), and DOG 3D, which I’ve never heard of. There’s also a buffet there, although it costs extra. The event itself is 20 quid for the 2 days, and honestly, it looks like a worthwhile investment, if even to make some games industry contacts. On that note, I also plan to bring forward an idea I’ve had at the back of my head for a while now, ever since I was at university in East London. In some ways, it’s a continuation of a site I used to own called Emulation Storm, and its (very) distant cousin, Game Phreeks. While GP wasn’t mine, at the time it was owned by a former friend of mine, and ES was essentially the retro version of it. Along with a couple of other sites – one of which still exists with its original name, the other has a slight change of name – formed Storm Netwerks. At the height of Storm Netwerks, we managed to score a lot of press material for use in the site while we were at the Game Stars Live event in 2004, although admittedly, at the time I was more interested in the freebies and booth babes! That event is actually why I’m in London in the first place, but more on that later.
Anyway, things happened, and GP lapsed into obscurity, while I did keep Storm Netwerks and ES running for a bit longer, before I dropped ES entirely and renamed Storm Netwerks to Stormhaven Networks. Yeah, I know… similar names, but it’s different enough to consider it a new start. That said though, there are still references to Storm Netwerks out there, especially as I used it in 2005 or 2006 for an event, so any references you do see to Storm Netwerks are more than likely me. Xeno Storm started out as Storm Rain, before also getting a name change although StormRain Paranormal still used the old name, so I haven’t removed it entirely. I’m very much connected to my past in some ways, to the extent that I’m still trying to gather up all the sites I was ever involved with, which I’ll eventually list on a site somewhere as I’m wanting to look back on how far I’ve come from the early days. Anyway, moving on… Gamed Up, as I called it at UEL was initially started as a project for my Introduction to Graphics course when I was studying my BSc. in Computer Games Design(This is its current name, and pretty much exactly what I studied as well – I do hope that the module I failed has been improved!). It was heavily influenced by vBulletin’s default template design, although instead of becoming a games blog and podcast like I intend it to be now, it was going to be a site aimed at education relatijng to the games industry, including How Tos, hints and tips with programs, interviews with figures in the games industry and a listing of courses, universities and games companies, as well as news relating to careers and education within the games industry. As I put it at the time, Gamed Up was just a play on the term “clued up”, meaning that a person would be clued up relating to the games industry.
I may consider going down that route someday, but for now, I’m going through with the more recent idea I have; seeing as I have a few willing people to help me with it. I’m also merging the forum of my games clan, the XSG into the forums as it makes perfect sense. Seeing as general games were to be talked about on the XSG forums anyway, and Gamed Up is about gaming in all forms, the decision to combine them was done to reduce resources used. I understand that some of my ideas may be a little abstract right now, but this is because I have a tendancy to write off the cuff at times, a practice that I will be cutting down on as part of my improved style. I’m going to be using my academic writing skills to help with more coherance on stuff, and also some research. That’s not to say that I won’t stop writing off the cuff entirely, but I do want to make my factual bits more seriously, so I can be taken a little more seriously when it comes to blogging. Another reason why I’m being deliberately abstract is to protect my ideas in development, as I share specifics with only a handful of people. Of course, that said, I usually have the domains for my ideas registered before alluding to them, so there’s already some protection in place for me!
Another couple of my ideas, which I’ll mention for the above reasons are the Techie Guild, which is a website for discussing current technology… or it could be a social networking site for the technical field, not sure yet! One idea I do want to experiment with (and I am keeping this one secret till it’s up!), is that of a redux of the DiggerCast and although I’ll keep the name, I’m renaming it mainly to the Jammed In Podcast. You’ll eventually find out why I named it that, but for now, everyone is going to be left in the dark, except for the people I want to talk to about it. Lastly, I have an idea which is essentially a spinoff of the Techie Guild and also a development site for the Wii, inspired by what Johnny Lee has accomplished. It would also handle development with the DS and GameCube (they do have a direct connection to the Wii) and also the GameBoy Advance. The spinoff of the Techie Guild site is something called Passed the Present, where future technology will get talked about. Why the odd name? Well, for starters, Past the Present was taken and secondly, the idea still works because in talking about the future of things, we have “passed the present”.
Get it? No? Oh well, I tried.
Anyway, I do have other sites that I need to give attention, so don’t expect the above ideas to come to fruition just yet, especially as I need to reshuffle the existing sites a bit. Such as proceding with the development of the new Therians dot Net site, the redevelopment of Stormhaven Radio’s site and the deployment of my portfolio site. I’m debating deploying my blog site Altered Awareness now, sans sub-domains as it’s an idea that can be readily deployed, save for that issue and really the lack of providing subdomains is the only reason the site hasn’t been put up sooner! I’ll eventually find a way to put in subdomains, but I think it’s just as important to get a userbase for the site up! Perhaps unsurprisingly, Stormhaven Radio, when it comes back up, will be at the centre-side of all the sites that I’m developing, as I’m going to be offering a player for the station with as many sites as I can although that may take a bit for some sites.
Either way, I think for the forseeable future, I’ll be pretty busy with my ideas, although I’ll have the assistance of others too; consolidation of my ideas was also another way to make things simpler. I do have the plan to make a multi-wiki website, but that’s again a while off, although keeping all my wikis in the one place with a single login will bring in many benefits. However, I only have plans to do that with 4 wikis atm, as the other wikis that I’d have planned need either site integration, or do not fit into the theme of the “WikiNet”. I could go on and on about my future plans, but really, I should just do them and then write about them when I have them up, so people can go look. I do plan on making a mini-site for all my projects, or rather pages of all the websites I’ve ever done, provided they’re still online as otherwise I’ll just leave a name up. I also plan on linking together all my image galleries as well. It’s no small task, sure but it’s worth doing, so I don’t have to keep on Googling all my sites!
Anyway, that’s it for now. I’ll be back next month with a thought-provoking entry, albeit with some proper research, as opposed to research as I do it!
Tags: Education, Games Stuff, Uni/College, Website