Morning of the walking dead

Or so it feels – I can barely keep my eyes open. A combination of a very long couple of weeks and a cat who my girlfriend has somehow trained into believing that scratching on our bedroom door from 3:30 am onwards is a good way to get food has left me more than a bit bleary. And today was the day that I was supposed to try out some decaffeinated filter coffee in the machine. Yes, I realise it’s breaking the cardinal rule of programming, but I can’t seem to get the balance right between coffee that’s so strong it makes my teeth jump by mid-afternoon and weak watery rubbish that tastes of nothing. Anyway, I just can’t see that happening, so it’ll be the regular coffee today, at least until I can perk up a bit.

We kick off on the second of our work for hire jobs this morning, so now we are splitting our time between jobs. Not many details to share as yet because I haven’t cleared it with our clients, but I hope to rectify that soon and have something to say here about it. Still not heard back from our licensed developer application yet, but I’m putting that down to applying over the holiday season introducing an extra delay. Admittedly, we’d have little time to do any solid work on it right now, but I’m hoping that things will settle into a more forgiving routine soon.

Interesting piece here with quotes from Jon Hare (ex Sensible Software) that popped up in the Google Alerts for my name (yes I know, how vain is it to be searching for myself, but it throws up the ‘other’ Chris Chapman as well). Two major points I agree with:

1) the quality of programming has dropped with the move to larger teams; I think that is somewhat inevitable though, you just can’t sustain the same team dynamics that you get with less than a dozen team members. Personally I think the approach of scaling up not by having a larger team, but by using multiple small (<12) teams has merit. Of course, the ability to do that hinges on being able to break up the development effort into tangible pieces that can be tackled by the teams.

2) British developers are continually being forced to ‘globalise’ (i.e. Americanise) their products in order to try and maximise sales in the North American market. But to do that, I think we are selling ourselves short – not just in terms of making the most of the British sense of humour, but also the culture we have here. There are a lot of stories to be told, and game ideas which could only come from a British team – but I think they are being passed over because the publishers think that they won’t sell in the broader marketplace. I’m very hopeful that reduced barriers to market from downloadable content will help the balance shift back towards interesting titles (and not just be an excuse for more shovel-ware)

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Last modified: February 06 2020.