Eyes on July

Back in Newcastle – again! – after a weekend visiting the in-laws. For the next four days, I will be almost totally focused on finishing my game before the competition deadline on Thursday night. Next weekend will be extremely quiet – it’s been a very busy month and Geth and I will both be glad to collapse on the sofa with videogames, I think!

There’ll be a bit of dashing about in July as well (summer gonna summer) but on the whole it looks like things will be slightly quieter.

Slightly feeling the crunch

I’ve still got quite a bit to do on my game before the deadline next week, but hopefully the transcript-reading will speed up soon. Once you’re a few testers in, they start (mostly) repeating the same already-fixed bugs 🙂

Will try to get out earlier for tomorrow’s run as today’s was a bit hot for me. I like the idea of summer weather but I’m not very well adapted to it!

Plans make everything better

Geth and I have got quite a lot happening over the summer, as I might have mentioned. Summers were always busy in the past but this is something I need to get used to again after a couple of quieter pandemic years. My natural ‘happy place’ is sitting on my sofa at home – going out and doing things is always lovely when I get there, but I find it quite difficult being out of my usual routine.

I do always feel better when things are planned out though. We’re doing a short trip this weekend and Geth has done the itinerary for it today, meaning I’m quite excited for it now (because I can visualise much better what I’ll be doing – and, importantly, where I’m running!).

Summer is here

It crept up on me this year because I’ve been so preoccupied with marathon training and coding stuff since January. But it’s now warm-ish, I’ve not slept well for a few weeks because of the light, the spring marathon is done and I have a packed couple of months of mini-trips lined up. Including going abroad for the first time in four years! It’ll be really strange to be on planes again.

However, for the moment, Geth and I are back home in Newcastle after a nice few days in Edinburgh recovering from the marathon. A quiet-ish weekend beckons if you don’t count the jubilee stuff going on in our street and at parkrun and on the TV!

Summer is in the air

Out and about a bit more than usual for a Sunday today. In addition to my recovery mile, I went out for a nice walk in the sunshine as I needed to drop off some extra water for Geth on his long run. It was warm out and lovely to mooch along in shorts and t-shirt – it feels like summer is beginning.

Looking forward to a nice week ahead.

Summer adventuring

Geth and I are back in Newcastle after a few days in Edinburgh visiting Mum and Dad. It was so good to be able to wander around my home city again! I was still fairly busy with day job work, but I was also able to get some running in, including a long run along the Union Canal accompanied by Dad on the bike. The company and extra water (and choice of out-and-back route) meant that I actually finished my planned distance this week! I will be running along a totally different canal next week, but hopefully it will give me a similar boost.

Other than a bit of parkrun volunteering tomorrow morning, I’m planning a very quiet weekend!

Running along the Union Canal
Some beautiful aqueducts along the Union Canal! Photo (c) John Cooke 2021.

This week’s earworm playlists:

Saturday

Nobuo Uematsu – ‘The Place I’ll Return To Someday’

Sunday

Nobuo Uematsu – ‘Airship Theme’

Monday

Nobuo Uematsu – ‘Shop Theme’
Nobuo Uematsu – ‘Aerith’s Theme’

Tuesday

Nobuo Uematsu – ‘Eyes On Me’
Nobuo Uematsu – ‘Searching For Friends’

Wednesday

John Waite – ‘Missing You’

Thursday

Nobuo Uematsu – ‘Aerith’s Theme’

Friday

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – ‘Locomotion’

(It’s been a bit of a Final Fantasy soundtrack week.)

Trying not to burn out

I didn’t have much of a weekend last week because I was too busy with work, and I’ve been working every evening till late this week as well. As such, I have zero brainspace left and I need some time off. Part of the reason I worked evenings this week was because I wanted today off so that I could have a three-day weekend, as I knew that the first day would just be a ‘staring into space’ recovery day after the last few weeks. I also aimed to do my weekend long run today in order to get it out of the way early. However it’s been really, really hot today – too hot for running comfortably – and I ended up cutting the run short after halfway, as the heat was making it unsafe. Next week I’ll get up really early so I can get out and back in before the heat gets too bad.

I’m really looking forward to the rest of the weekend now. Brain rest will be amazing.

Sofa
Laptop, loungewear, sofa. It’s been that way for weeks, but this weekend it will be that way in a non-work way.

This week’s earworm playlists:

Saturday

Koichi Sugiyama – ‘Dragon Quest Town Theme’
Duran Duran – ‘Invisible’

Sunday

Nobuo Uematsu – ‘Chocobo Jam’
Paula Abdul – ‘Straight Up’

Monday

Nobuo Uematsu – ‘Yuna’s Theme’
Duran Duran – ‘Give It All Up’
Simply Red – ‘Something Got Me Started’

Tuesday

Nobuo Uematsu – ‘To Zanarkand’
Cast of The Sound Of Music – ‘Edelweiss’

Wednesday

Duran Duran – ‘Pressure Off’

Thursday

Robbie Williams – ‘Time For Change’
Duran Duran – ‘Winter Marches On’
Duran Duran – ‘My Antarctica’

Friday

Nobuo Uematsu – ‘Yuna’s Theme’

Muggy days and nights

There’s been a lot of rain this week, but the temperature has not lowered and sleep has been difficult due to the muggy night-time atmosphere. I’ve also had so much day job work I’ve not had time for anything else. I’m obviously thrilled that business has been booming recently, but I’m looking forward to a bit of downtime soon!

Not much else to report this week as a result. Hoping to be able to squeeze in some game creation as well next week.

South Shields
Another nice memory of last weekend’s visit to South Shields. Possibly the only visit I’ll have this year now that they’ve announced we all have to turn around and go back at the halfway point of the GNR!

This week’s earworm playlists:

Saturday

Liam Payne and Quavo – ‘Strip That Down’
Duran Duran – ‘Five Years’
2 Unlimited – ‘Get Ready For This’
Technotronic – ‘Pump Up The Jam’

Sunday

Jason Derulo – ‘Want To Want Me’
The House Of Love – ‘Shine On’

Monday

Arctic Monkeys – ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’
Don Henley – ‘Boys Of Summer’
Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – ‘Locomotion’

Tuesday

Koichi Sugiyama – ‘Dragon Quest Town Theme’
Cast of Peter Pan – ‘A Pirate’s Life (Is a Wonderful Life)’

Wednesday

Koichi Sugiyama – ‘Dragon Quest Town Theme’
Cast of Peter Pan – ‘You Can Fly’

Thursday

Keala Settle – ‘This Is Me’

Friday

Nobuo Uematsu – ‘Let The Battles Begin!’
Alannah Myles – ‘Black Velvet’
Nobuo Uematsu – ‘The Trials’
Tracy Chapman – ‘Fast Car’

Aestivation

(It’s hibernation except in the summer rather than winter, and is how I would quite like to spend my July.)

As mentioned yesterday, I released a new game this week: Waiting for the Day Train, a submission to ParserComp. I’ve got all sorts of feelings about releasing this game. As I’ve discussed over the last few weeks, the plan was to submit my work-in-progress Marie to the competition, but I’ve realised it will need a lot more development (to the tune of the better part of a year), and so Waiting for the Day Train, which I had vaguely conceived in my head while visiting Causey Arch when Mum and Dad were visiting a few weeks ago, became my last-minute replacement for this particular competition. It’s shorter and simpler than a lot of games I’ve made recently, but that meant I was able to have it tested properly and polish it up quite nicely, and I’ve become very attached to it over the last couple of weeks. I’ve also realised the importance of having short, fun game projects on the go as well as big ones. Big games are important to make as I’ve got big stories to tell, but it can be hard to keep the momentum going over the course of a project that takes a couple of years. Short games always feel fresh. I’ve got a lot of them I want to make now.

I’ve also been very busy with day job work over the last few weeks. This is great, as it’s a continuation of business really picking up this year after last year’s pandemic-induced slump, but during busy times it can be a lot of work for one person to do.

I’m still going to be working on the aforementioned short game projects during July, but I’ve done some careful scheduling to make sure that, like day job work, it all gets done during the week. I need to start switching off my brain at weekends again, as I feel like I’m burning out a bit.

Package
Today’s postal arrival. Not books. T-shirts 🙂 A present to myself for releasing another game.

This week’s earworm playlists:

Saturday

Duran Duran – ‘Violence Of Summer (Love’s Taking Over)’
Shaggy and RikRok – ‘It Wasn’t Me’*

Sunday

Dee Cooke – ‘Waiting For The Train’**

Monday

Dee Cooke – ‘Credits’**
Elton John – ‘Crocodile Rock’

Tuesday

Lucy Spraggan – ‘Lighthouse’
Koichi Sugiyama – ‘Dragon Quest Main Theme’
Dee Cooke – ‘Credits’**
Dee Cooke – ‘Waiting For The Train’**

Wednesday

Koichi Sugiyama – ‘Dragon Quest Main Theme’
Arctic Monkeys – ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’
Dee Cooke – ‘Credits’**

Thursday

Koichi Sugiyama – ‘The Observatory’

Friday

David Guetta, Nicki Minaj and Flo Rida – ‘Where Them Girls At’
Queen – ‘Too Much Love Will Kill You’

*A result of this stellar parody in response to the Matt Hancock incident.

**From the soundtrack of my new game, linked above. I’m still learning when it comes to making soundtracks but they certainly get stuck in my head.