Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sometimes I make notes for myself on what to write for then next update for my blog. I haven't done that this time, so I totally forget what has happened.
Obviously it is Christmas at the moment. I decided to finally propose to Louise on Christmas Eve, so it will be non-stop planning for the next 18 months or so.
As for other stuff, I know I have been back to Stockholm to help out at DICE. I know we had our Christmas party, (boring after last year... just a lunch.) I know that EVERYONE loves to play the Wii, so much that even my Dad and Mother-in-law-to-be now have one. I went to see I Am Legend and went away impressed. Chris got us tickets to go and see Jimmy Carr at the Hammersmith Apollo which was pretty good, (I had heard a fair amount of the act but a lot of audience participation made it funnier.) Chris has gone off to Asia for a few months now, but we'll see how long his money lasts :)
After listening to others playing loudly near my desk for three days straight, I tried out Rock Band at work and it is a lot of fun. The drums were tough, but whatever instrument you play you have a great time. Although you are just making crappy clicking noises you are hit with the great sound of the real track so it makes you feel like a bad-ass, really playing.
I can't think of much else, so I'm going to get back to working on one of my projects.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

I've been on a trip back to EA in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago. It was great to catch up with people there and, more importantly, I also found out that I have my first ever credit in a game! Take a look at this image from Medal of Honor: Airborne:

I picked up a copy for the PC, but so far I've pretty much only been to the credits section. I've got too many games to play at the moment and nowhere near enough time. I've been told I'll also have my name in Need for Speed: ProStreet, due this month.
I can't think of much else worth mentioning that has happened in the past few weeks. I did get to go to the England vs Estonia Euro 2008 qualifier at the new Wembley Stadium which was pretty cool. I didn't get to see the plush part of the stadium with the bars and restaurants though so in some ways it was underwhelming. The view when you step out of Wembley Park station is something special though. Luckily we were sitting at the end where all the goals were scored in the first half, though it was probably all for naught since we are unlikely to qualify for the tournament now.
I am supposed to be going back to DICE in a couple of weeks so it looks like I really am going to be doing a fair bit of traveling in this job.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Another long gap, but oh well. Louise and I are now back in the UK and have setup our little house. We've not explored Guildford too much yet since we keep going back and forward to Essex for various reasons.
Work is going ok. It's a little quieter here since most of the action is in the US, so I get to concentrate on what I'm doing a bit more, though new stuff gets dumped on me over night.
I got to go to DICE, who work on the Battlefield franchise, based in Stockholm two weeks ago. That was a pretty cool trip and I got to see the new games coming up and help out, (a little,) in planning them.
Just before I went it was Louise's birthday and I bought us both tickets to We Will Rock You. To be honest, I wasn't very impressed but it was something I wanted to try and can tick off my list.
I was given a copy of Bioshock from Mum which I managed to finish in three sessions. It was that good a game, I only stopped each time because something else came up :) Louise was in Paris visiting DisneyLand, so I made the most of the alone time with the computer. I also caught up with some buddies from Plymouth at a house warming over the weekend too. It was good to see them.
Nothing else jumps to mind, so I'm just going to throw up a few links here:

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Wow, this has been a long gap and much has happened. I'm just going to quickly rattle some of these things off:
It seems like ages ago, but was only about a month since Louise and I went back to England for a weekend. I saw my mates, made a visit to EA UK, (nice office, good meeting,) and went house hunting. We found a place and completed the purchase last week, so now we are Homeowners!
We've had a few other trips too. We went to Sonoma Valley, the wine country a little north of San Francisco. Unbelievably I actually liked some of the wines and I learnt what to look for.
We went to go and see Jersey Boys at the theatre which was surprisingly good. It means that I'm more likely to check out some other shows that I would otherwise skip when we get back.
We were here for July 4th and went to watch the fireworks over the bay by the Golden Gate Bridge.
This past weekend the two of us flew out to Vegas. I spent most of the time with my friends from Full Sail who all converged to meet up for a few days on the beer. While we were there Louise and I took a wander around the Bodies exhibit which was a very strange thing to see, but very interesting too, (FYI: if you go, skip the audio tour; its rubbish.)
We have seen Live Free or Die Hard which was a brilliant action movie, (though way over the top, where the other Die Hards were a bit more believable.) We also got free tickets to an early screening of Harry Potter: OotP since EA makes the game of the movie. It was OK, but was an obvious middling movie since there was no real end... just stuff that happens that leads towards the final movie/book. On Friday we get free tickets to see the Simpsons movie too!
Friday is also my last day in the office here and we head back next week. Wow, that year went fast!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Dad and Chris flew back to England over the weekend after being here for two weeks. The four of us, (including Louise,) went to the Hawaiian island of Oahu for Memorial Day weekend, (Honolulu, Waikiki beach.) It was a fun trip; Chris and I tried surfing, we went snorkeling with sea turtles and took a helicopter flight around the island where we saw the valleys they filmed Lost and Jurassic Park. We also saw Shrek 3, which turned out to not be as funny as previous installments. It needed more Donkey :)
Louise and I have still been playing golf. We have finished our lessons now so we have just been going out on a 9-hole course to practice. Neither of us can drive very far so I've ended up double bogeying on each hole, but thats not a bad target after only a couple of games.
Work is going OK. I went on the trip to Canada and learnt a lot there. I've gone through my first annual review and gotten a nice little raise. Its only two months now before I am back home working out of the UK.
Speaking of which, we are both flying home next weekend, (15th June,) because of an issue with Louise's visa which came up when she came to visit me in Canada. Make sure the red carpet is rolled out. Hopefully it will give us a chance to check out the Guildford area so we know where we will be living once we get back.
Finally, congratulations to Steve who managed to tie with me in the Fantasy Premiership game. It is pretty unbelievable that we got all the way through the season and ended up on the same score.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

I am now officially a Field Engineer which, counter-intuitively, puts me more on the production side of games than the programming. I'll still be coding, but it will be more in the form of samples for our customers to show them how to use our systems or proof-of-concept. I'll also be much more involved in the game design phase for the online features which gets me much more hands on with the game teams. In a couple of weeks I am heading up to EA in Canada to learn about some of the online stuff I haven't had any contact with as yet. I have a lot to get through before heading back to the UK to support all of the European game teams.
I think I may be getting a little fitter. I have been riding my bike to/from work a few times a week and have still been playing basketball. There is only one game left that I can attend this season and we will no doubt get thrashed, but I have scored a 2 and 3 point shot so I must be getting better each game. Louise and I have started our golf lessons too. She did really well during the first one but I was disappointed. Today I was much better and happier about the results. We will probably buy some clubs at some point before coming home. EA are covering the relocation costs, so I might as well stock up on stuff to bring back.
Rachael arrived on her cruise ship and the five of us, (Louise's parents were here visiting,) went over to visit Alcatraz. I remember little bits from when I was younger but I thought it was really interesting.
It has pretty much died a death already but I have put some posts up on a satirical gaming news website The Game Onion that a buddy of mine started. I'm not sure that anyone else would find it funny though.
Command and Conquer 3 was released, but being a GameSpy title my name wasn't in it, just a special thank you to Plasma, which is our team.
Louise and I went to see the TMNT movie. Interesting style, but not that great a film. We've also just bought Super Paper Mario for the Wii which is great. Louise just said she thinks it is "brilliant." She likes the cute graphics and I have to agree.
Congratulations to the mighty Dagenham and Redbridge FC on your promotion to the (Vauxhall? Nationwide?) Conference. Digger Dagger! And also to me for leading the way in the Fantasy Premiership as we run out the last few games.

Friday, March 23, 2007

My brother Chris had his 21st birthday this month so, in something of a tradition, he flew out to Las Vegas for a week. He stopped here in San Francisco with Mum for a couple of days before taking Louise and meeting some of his friends in Vegas. I obviously had to work so I flew out last weekend to catch the tail end of the party.
Chris made an animation a few months ago for a BBC competition and has been selected as a finalist. When they finally get their act together and post them up for a public vote I'll ask you all to hit their site and vote on it.
Louise's parents are coming out next Tuesday so it will be a busy month for visitors. The three of them are heading to Los Angeles for the weekend and her sister Rachael is coming into town on Monday on the cruise ship she works on.
In extremely exciting news I filed taxes! Woo! ...well, its exciting for me since I got a fat rebate to blow on something fun. I'm about to book some golf lessons for April.
Work is going great. I feel like I have been taking more and more on. I'm being taught more and being involved in more game team conversations and meetings now in preparation for my move back to the UK, now that I've decided to take a new job over there late this Summer. I was really torn about whether to stay in the US or not but I hoping this will be a good career move.
Command and Conquer 3 is released next Friday for PC with more platforms and other games all following soon. Hopefully this one will have my name in it.
I've developed a bit of a pot belly so I've signed up for a basketball league at work to get rid of my baby. The problem is I have no idea what I am doing when we play so I am complete rubbish. I'm still shattered and sweating once I'm done from all the running around though which is the main reason I signed up... to get up off my bum and move around a bit.
Oh, and I love Louise.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

It has been almost two months since the last post so I can't really remember everything that has gone on. The main points though: I have been home to the UK for Christmas, come back to San Francisco with Louise to keep my company and been on a couple of weekends away. We've both just gotten back from skiing in Lake Tahoe at Heavenly. It could have used some more snow but it was fun. I have officially retired from snow boarding though and will stick to skis from now on.
Work is going well and I actually got my hands on some real game code to help the team debug a problem. I'm not sure when it or any other game I'm working on is coming out though.
I'll post more as I remember it or more happens.

*Update* Things I had left sitting around in a draft note and forgot to post:
  • I finally fixed my broken site due to an idiot hacker.

  • I got a new PC at work - Dell Precision 690. Awesome and so is playing 2142 on it.

  • We had a small team Christmas party and I was given build-your-own-Pong and Madden '07 for Wii. I re-gifted Pong to my brother, but Madden is pretty good actually.