ClickStart Wikis

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. I’ve been slaving away day and night to try and finish my dissertation prototype for Uni. I’m seriously running out of time now. I also have to do some work for our Wolf project that i’d promised by tomorrow. I’m really feeling burn’t out at the moment, i’ve spent the last hour or so just web-surfing to take my mind off things.

Coursework aside, i’ve been helping out at the Rix Centre, based on my campus. It’s a charity that looks at the use of new media technologies to help people with learning disability. I’ve been working with a group of young people with autism to build simple ‘transition’ websites for people with learning disabilities who are transitioning from school to adult life. These ClickStart ‘Wikis’ provide essential life skills in a clear, bitesized format. It’s been a really fun and rewarding experience and it’s made me consider social care as something I might want to go in to very soon.

Things are also rolling along with the captioning. I had a telephone interview with the ITFC, who do subtitles for tv channels like ITV and Five, as well as digital providers like Virgin Media. I didn’t think it went that well, but they’ve invited me for a face-to-face interview in mid-April so i’ll see how that goes.

Yes, neither career choice is related to the games design degree i’m doing! I’ve said before how burnt out the course has made me feel, and that hasn’t changed. My enthusiasm for games is still there, but these days i’m lucky if I have time to play anything, much less blog about them. I also can’t see myself getting into the industry when I finish Uni in May, or if I even want to. The Indie route is very attractive as a long-term plan really.

Talking of Indie games, i’m eagerly awaiting the release of a few at the moment. Boryokudan Rue is a very nice looking sci-fi adventure game in a film-noir style. I really want to get into adventure games, i’ve developed a keen interest in them since we designed an adventure game for the Nintendo DS in my first year, and i’m still playing my way through Broken Sword and Syberia.

Sleep is Death is another one i’m looking forward to. It’s a two player game where one player plays while the other one creates the game assets on the fly. Between them they evolve the story. It’s like an interactive story telling device. I wasn’t sure the idea would work until I read a play through recently. You can pre-order right now at a discounted $9 for release on April 9th, or wait until April 16th and pay the full price of $14. This will be my early birthday present to myself.

Frozen Synapse is another game i’m watching. It bears more than a passing similarity to the kind of mechanics I described in my pitch for a game for India last month, but whereas that was a realtime 2D shooter, this is much more tactical, riding the currently popular wave of ‘set it up and watch it play out’ style like that found in Steambirds and Flotilla etc.

I’m watching a large handful more but i’ll write more about them when I have more energy. The Indie scene is a really exciting place i’m finding, and i’m discovering new gems every day. I want to make reviewing games a regular thing around here when I finally finish the new site theme, and other sections for my own projects and writings too. It’ll have to wait for now though since i’ve got so much to do.

Hi Ho!

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