I've kept my head down over December, so sorry for that! Things are a bit up in the air at the moment, so I have a few updates to report:

New Year, New Job

I've spent just under a year at Nonlinear Dynamics, but in February I'll be moving back to Scott Logic to take up a role that I'm rather excited about. It's going to push me slightly out my comfort zone too. I've spent a few weeks re-acquainting myself with Knockout JS and Angular JS. Your mileage may vary, but I've always found I learn better by building things. My partner has asked me to make her an application for use in her classroom, so I'm writing it in Knockout and then I'll convert it to Angular JS.

Newcastle Skeptics in the Pub

Will and I are aiming to go big with Skeptics this year. We have a goal to drive up average attendance to 50 people, which is a roughly 30% increase on current average. With that in mind, we're in the process of confirming the remaining events of the first half of the year. The latter half of the year is in early planning stages too. So far: later-life health care, how the financial system works, secrets of working in a health food shop, (hopefully) a debate of North-Eastern General Election Candidates and how to speak to the dead!

By-Election Game Development

At the beginning of December, I made a change to By-Election that completely broke the game. Actually, that's an overstatement, it was just a bit unbalanced. But it did make me consider what direction I'd like the game to go in. There are rough ideas in my head for the next version, which hopefully will be prototyped by the time of the next Newcastle Playtest meetup. Right now it's looking like the game will become more focused on the interaction between players. I have no qualms turning it into a "one-shot" RPG if it seems like it's heading that way.


Last September I picked up an injury (plantar fascitis). It's still nagging me but I'm starting to get back into the running saddle. Sadly I'm unable to run very far or very fast. Some of this is psychological, I don't want to re-injure myself by over-doing it. That's what caused this injury in the first place! So I'm sticking to about 2 miles at 9 min/mile pace, then sowly build back up to 5k, then 5 miles. Once I'm there, I'll focus on improving speed. I think this means I'll not be doing the Great North Run this year. It's a shame I can't do three in a row, but the risk of over-training from a sedentary four months to 13 miles at 8 min/mile pace is too great.

This is already to be shaping up to be a busy year!