• Week 30

    12 May 2013

    Back to Playable City – Muncaster – this week. I spend a few days with Sam at Pan, really honing down the conversation mechanic and making sure the design supports everything we hoped it would. And then, for the second half of that work, focusing on getting a working implementation for playtests next week.

    Conversation-systems – as I have learned many a time, most notably in Havasu – inevitably turn out to be messy tangles of procedural code, so it’s worth working hard to keep the codebase as sane as I can. That tends to involve drawing lots of flowcharts, documenting not only the expected routes through the system, but also the way the software implements those – which for various reasons isn’t always the same. It’s a good, visual way to make sure I don’t get lost in a maze of my own making.

    On Wednesday, I went to Telefonica Digital to give a short talk about data visualisation at an internal hackday. That was a good excuse to do some new thinking, and I’m pleased with the new talk that emerged; some useful ideas to continue to think on, and which will no doubt feed into future talks. Thanks to Paul for the invite.

    I also spent an afternoon working one final feature into Detling that we all agreed needed to be slotted in; it really closes the loop of the alpha, and makes the potential of the product much more obvious. Nice to drop it in at the last minute with relative ease. We’re showing the project to the BBC next week.

    And finally, this week’s freelancer top tip: GOV.UK has ICS files for bank holidays. Thanks to subscribing to that a while back, I remembered to take Monday off. Ice cream and the smell of the sea are a very restorative way to kick the week off.