So I’m lazing here at the girlfriend’s flat, sitting here quietly listening to her play Quake Live whilst I decide whether I’m going to read a chapter or two of a book or stare blankly at a screen. Maybe neither of those things. I finished watching Postcards from the Future today, a documentary on a Chuck Palahniuk conference, it was quite good. Not enough Palahniuk though. It spent a lot of time with people at the conference being interviewed, and a lot of what they had to say wasn’t very interesting. It could have been cut down quite a lot and maybe some of the deleted content would have been better. There was one interesting person though, someone who sold drugs for a bus ticket and read Fight Club whilst sectioned. It’s a pretty amateur documentary, but it’s nice.
I also recently watched a Harlan Ellison documentary called ‘Dreams With Sharp Teeth’, that was excellent.
We move into our new place tomorrow. I moved all my things here yesterday, it took so long and was very difficult work. Tomorrow I get to start moving things to the new place, thankfully not on such a restricted time frame. I didn’t want to hassle and rely on any family for help, if I can do something myself I will. Although I didn’t do it all on my own, my girlfriend was a huge help and undoubtedly saved me from just giving up and torching the place. When all else fails, set it on fire.
My memory is terrible.
2011 had it’s ups and downs. I met a handful of new people, one of which has become very dear to me, and I’ve forgotten a few others. I’ve had many interesting days and nights with friends and on my own, I met a lot of cats. I moved out of the family home, I’m now living with friends in Leeds, studying at University. I think the continuance of my education was the best decision I could have possibly made, I’m relatively happy.
I’ve learned a little about life, but I have a whole lot more mayhem ahead of me. So it goes, I guess.
We broke up for Christmas break at Leeds Met and I’m travelling back to Cramlington tomorrow. I haven’t slept yet, and I need to do all my Christmas shopping today. Going to head to the book store and just go wild.
As an educational experience University has been quite interesting, Game Design is a really good course so far. I don’t feel particularly challenged by the work, but we can put as much work in as we like, and really individually shape our creations. The challenge is pushing yourself I suppose. We work in the Unity engine, it’s great, so far I’ve made a clone of R-Type and Gauntlet. My Gauntlet clone ended up more of a Danmaku shooter than the R-Type clone, in a rush I went with the ‘difficulty equals substance’ rule and filled a room with enemies all firing at the player. It get’s quite hectic. I started using 3DS Max a lot, having only really used Cinema4D and Blender it was a little while before I got comfortable with it. My current project is a racing game, time trials most likely, I’m hoping to pick up a few marks for the audio/visual side. I’d like to put it in a sort of Tron/Testarossa Autodrive visual style with some cell shading work, so I’ll have to start building my assets in 3DS soon. I may even write some French house loops for it, or stick red lights and inverted crosses everywhere and make a Witch House racing game.
Life at University was essentially the same as life at home the first few months, apart from incompetent letting agencies causing a fuss. I think we have a healthy household. Recently I’ve ended up in a relationship with a really nice girl, despite keeping myself to myself and concentrating on my education and solitude over what I would personally consider unnecessary and uninteresting social aspects. She’s one of the few women studying Game Design, and she’s foreign. She destroys me at Rise of Nations and I’ve also learned to say ‘Good Cat’ and ‘You are a Cat’ in Czech. I have also began cooking a little more, coincidentally we’re both vegetarian which is very handy. Our relationship is interesting and I’m happy with her.
Leeds is a nice place, it has everything I need as a student, which really is just a Morrisons and a campus. I’m enjoying my life here.
It’s been a while.
I recently relocated to Leeds, for University. It was surprisingly painless and everything is fine at the moment, all I really have to do before I start University is present myself and my medical records to a local Doctor to resume my treatment. Leeds is a fairly nice city, although all I’ve really seen of Leeds so far is a selection of bookshops and the Abbey. The Headingley area has an excellent Oxfam run used bookstore just filled with treasures, I’ve already spent a few hours in there and I had a nice little conversation with a member of staff about Dostoevsky. There is also an independent shop just down the road from my house where I picked up a few books by Aldous Huxley, the owner is on holiday presently, but I’d love to spend a few hours in there just browsing. I love old worn books, these books have lived. We also live extremely close to a Morrisons, which does some excellent vegetable spring rolls. I tried eating meat again, but lasted less than a week, vegetarianism has stuck and will probably stay with me for a good number of years.
As is customary when relocating, my housemates and I threw a housewarming party, which went quite well apart from a certain ‘disturbance’. I don’t drink alcohol and usually dislike parties and such, but I’d stocked up on tea and spent most of the night with a handful of people in my own room anyway.
There is a local cat, which we believe lives next door, that breaks into our house to say ‘Hello’ every other day, we called it Yorda, because I’d brought Ico with me and we played through it on the day she started breaking in. She’s quite friendly.
As far as I know I start my course soon, a Bachelors in Game Design, and I believe this whole ‘Freshers’ thing starts on Monday. I have no interest in taking part, but as soon as my Student loan comes through I think I’ll treat myself to a dozen or so new books and maybe a new acoustic guitar, as I despise my current acoustic and can’t wait to set it on fire. Not that I haven’t already bought about a dozen books this week already.
Today started off with reading Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas for an hour or so, then I began working a little more on my personal statement. I’m going to make it as good as I possibly can, I’m making sure I am concise yet informative about my relevant interests and experience, and that I am adequately getting across my passion for learning and suitability to study at degree level.
Of course after about 30 minutes of this I ended up calling it a day as to not over exert myself and I’ve sat playing Darwinia since. IV Software are truly one of the most interesting developers of all time, and the fact the company was originally just a few post graduate students out of University is amazing. If I could work with these guys once I got my degree it would be perfect, Darwinia was awarded for technical excellence, innovation in visual art, the overall grand prize and just lost out to Braid on game design.
This is a poster for Darwinia with a Trainspotting feel. It really did remind me why I love games so much.
I’ve got to write a personal statement, again, although I think I may have overcomplicated the issue last year and I sort of maybe missed out half of the UCAS application to meet the deadline. This time I’m preparing a little in advance and I have until mid January apparently to complete it but I plan on sending it off in the next few weeks.
I’m applying to Leeds Met, Newcastle and maybe Teeside to do a degree in Game Design with a focus on programming, because I cannot see myself happy in any other career except maybe Astronaut, Contract Killer, Director or Writer. A degree is pretty standard if you want to have any hope at working on games, Valve even require a Masters unless they hire you like they did the Narbacular Drop and Tag: Power of Paint teams. Games have always been a passion of mine, I spent a lot of my childhood messing with middleware and creating my own games, before delving a little into programming in the recent years and whilst I hate the majority of mainstream titles these days I fell in love with the indie scene a few years ago largely thanks to Introversion’s Darwinia. Introversion are by far one of the more interesting studios around these days, Subversion looks amazing. Indie games are innovative, interesting and I believe they are the future of gaming. People involved in indie game design are also some of the most creative and friendly people you will ever meet.
If I get into Leeds Met, I’ll be so happy. I’ll be able to relocate, there’s also a small chance at a placement Rockstar or Team 17 if I do well enough which will be a valuable learning experience. Basically the direction of my life depends upon me getting back into education, I need a few years where it is financially viable to learn more and more.
Finally, a short trailer for a documentary on indie games and their creators, it looks very interesting and I hope it gets finished and released. Amon26 reminds me a little of Robert Smith.
It has been a while, life hasn’t really changed, I haven’t really done much.
I did purchase ‘VVVVV’ off Steam, its a brilliant indie game with brilliant graphics and an excellent soundtrack. It is also ridiculously difficult, which was a nice surprise, games these days lack difficulty. It was only £3 too, a bargain, I recommend it. I also completed an indie game called ‘Ben There, Dan That’, which is a point and click adventure in the same vein as Monkey Island and Day of the Tentacle, its got some brilliant British humour in it and it has a really funny story, it’s also free which is never a bad thing.
At some point in the past few days I took an interest in amassing as many candles as I could for my room. I don’t really know why, but I do a lot of things for no logical reason, such as the ridiculous urge to steal knives from restaurants. I’ve got a collection in a box with all the things Doctors will one day present me to get my memory back. Yes I have an anti-amnesia box, I’m prepared.
I ordered this book not long ago, its an art book put together by Devine Lu Linvega featuring an abundance of pictures from artists based around Quebec. I can’t wait for it to arrive. I’d like to visit Canada one day, if they got rid of the deadly spiders I’d consider moving there permanently.
The past few days have been pretty good, there was a party on Saturday which was nice and Sunday consisted of me wandering Cramlington before bumping into a friend. I picked up some weed on the Saturday and rather than drink at the party I just got high instead, which I much prefer, I never feel bad when I’m high but after a night of heavy drinking I can be almost dead the next day. I arrived early and sorted out my stuff. Being a little high at the time I had stocked up on Cranberry juice, which is glorious, completely refreshing. We ended up getting another friend to roll one of the most bad ass joints I’ve ever seen, and we had 5 minutes to smoke it all before the taxi arrived.
Today I returned to my course and sat outside smoking a few joints to lighten the mood a little, ended up in Subway getting a free sub of the day which was really nice. I’m now currently sitting listening to Lilys, a really underrated shoegaze/indie band, while I skin up before bed and try to get some sleep.
Today (Yesterday) was quite good, I was day dreaming whilst walking up to my friends house this morning and came up with quite a good coming of age story, something new and relevant. I haven’t eaten or drank all day so this cup of tea and biscuit before I eventually retire is all the more delicious. I’m feeling more introspective than usual right now, as if I’m struggling to unravel the mystery that is myself. I rarely have any clue what is going on around me, and in the office building that is my consciousness there is constant mayhem. I saw it in a dream once, I was dreaming I delved down into my own mind and it turns out its just a tall office building, with different floors for different memory states and emotions, and at the very top of the building is the product of it all. The zenith of my persona. Maybe one day science will go in there and fix everything.
Just a general life post, a diary of sorts.
So I’m sitting here in a friends front room on my netbook looking at Existential Garfield comics, after spending quite a long time in the garden listening to a little bit of Surfer Blood, The Drums, Mad Capsule Markets, Mars Volta and The Kinison. My friends are playing a variety of games on their computers. They are also casually observing the Spain VS Portugal football match, despite how uneventful it has been. Later on in the evening I plan on ordering some Chinese food, lemon chicken probably, and maybe if I feel like it I’ll have a vodka or two.
It is my week away from the monotonous hell that is my Government designated course, I best enjoy myself.
Life is good.
I wanted my first blog post to be something so profound and amazing I instantly ceased blogging, instead its a short summary of my life at the moment.
Life isn’t terrible.