Phone Box Thursday: More Pixel Fun

Mum and Dad revisited the Port of Tyne phone box this morning! Dad had hoped to take a slightly clearer picture of the box this time round, but it wasn’t to be – so I had a bit of fun with the zoomed-in picture instead. Behold, the 8-bit Port of Tyne phone box! Maybe this will show up in one of my illustrated text adventure games someday.

Red phone box
(Somewhat artistically altered) red phone box, Port of Tyne International Passenger Terminal, North Shields, 29th June 2023.

Phone Box Thursday: Map Procrastination

One of the hobby projects I planned to do after I finished TechUP last year was to create an interactive map of all my phone box finds to share online. I planned to do it last summer, and then things kept getting in the way (mostly game-making). However, I did start learning JavaScript on Codecademy in the hope I’d know enough to make something simple by now… but I don’t yet, unfortunately! JavaScript learning has been steady but slow and I think I need to find some more specific online tutorials if I’m going to have a go at actual personal projects.

I have very nearly collated all the location coordinates for my collection, though – just 25 more to find on Street View. I won’t do revisit posts for those ones as I would quite like to start work on the map if I can find a way to do it. One of the projects for this summer… maybe?

In the meantime, here’s a video I made about my map plans (and phone boxes in general) as part of my TechUP coursework last year. It’s a bit out-of-date as I was fairly over-ambitious (and I keep changing my mind about what I want to do with my TechUP qualification), but I’ll post it here for posterity and hopefully will have some more updates to join it soon!

A belated game-making roundup post

The main reason I haven’t been blogging much this year (other than needing a small but necessary break after I decided to stop posting daily) has been that all my creative energies have been going into my game-making. I’ve had a prolific start to the year and have lots of exciting plans for the rest of 2023 too. However, I’m largely taking a break from it during April, because in both 2021 and 2022 I burnt myself out in the first half of the year and I don’t want that to happen again. I’m proud of what I’ve done so far this year and have been involved in some great jams and comps.

Desert pixels
Evidence Sweet starts her tomb adventure.

The year kicked off with the SeedComp Planting Round, where participants submitted seeds for other people to turn into games in a later round. I submitted the Adventuron demo Frozen Lake, which was later used as one of the seeds in KADW’s Twine game Cozy Simulation 2999. It’s really interesting to see what other people do with your ideas!

Next up was PunyJam #3. I hadn’t made a PunyInform game since PunyJam #2 in November 2021 and was really keen to get back into it! I made Lucid Night for this jam, which was based on a collection of dreamlike ideas I’d had combined with the jam theme of starting the game in an airlock. I’m still very much a beginner with Inform 6, but I really want to keep improving my knowledge of it via PunyInform (and have since made another Puny game – see below!).

A couple of days after the PunyJam deadline was the deadline for the SeedComp Sprouting Round (that was a mad week!). This round was for games made with the seeds from the first round, and I had chosen Rovarsson’s In a Tomb with a Donkey as the basis for my game. I originally planned to change the seed name for the eventual resulting game, but came to fall in love with the original and so In a Tomb with a Donkey it was. This was my first full Adventuron game of the year, but I’m certain it won’t be the last…

Most recently (in the last week) I submitted another PunyInform game, Marie Waits, to Spring Thing. Spring Thing is one of the biggest IF competitions in the calendar and I had been meaning to enter for a few years, but it never quite worked out until now. Marie Waits is a sequence of scenes towards the end of the story started in Pre-Marie, which I submitted to IntroComp 2020. I’ve been working on the main game (Marie) on and off for nearly three years now – I’m really hoping to release it sooner rather than later, though it might not be 2023!

So much more to come this year and so much I’m excited for. I’ll try to be a bit more punctual about posting releases (and possibly even dev musings) on the blog!

Half-asleep Sunday

A great day out yesterday at the TechUP conference – it was really nice to attend an event and meet people in person for the first time. It was a pretty full-on day, and then I did two short treadmill runs late at night (one either side of midnight to keep my streak going), so I’m having a very chilled Sunday today! Gradually catching up with Strictly and various other things from the sofa.

Morning plans gone awry

No parkrun for me this morning 🙁  I was meant to be volunteering at Jesmond Dene but they had to cancel, and I couldn’t run at another parkrun as I had to catch a train late morning – no time to go home and get showered in between.  On top of that we had a power cut, so it was a bit of a mad morning – just not the kind of mad I was expecting! I’ll update about the TechUP reunion event tomorrow – it’s been interesting.

Weekend plans

A relatively quiet day today (I did go to the social run this morning, which was lovely!) before a busy one tomorrow, as I’m volunteering at parkrun then heading to Durham for the TechUP reunion event. It’ll be really nice to meet people in person after doing the course virtually last winter.

I’ll be back home for a late treadmill session tomorrow night and then a very laid-back Sunday!

Happy Hallowe’en!

It’s a quiet one for me today watching dodgy old Universal monster films. I finished my short game yesterday and am planning to spend the week catching up with things I’ve been neglecting.

Just a short run this morning as I fancied an evening in tonight. I run all my short runs at easy/comfortable pace but I do seem to be speeding up a bit at the moment. Hopefully that’s a good sign.

October into November

Just a quick blog today as finishing off my game. It’s a very short one (I ended up entering the make-it-in-four-hours category as I ran out of time to finish my initial project) but it’ll be nice to get something out, especially for Hallowe’en.

A few things to look forward to in the next week. Going back to a Pilates class I’ve not been to since pre-pandemic, and volunteering at a race next Sunday (my first race volunteering! only volunteered at parkrun before).