After many years of wanting and many months of planning, I’ve built the small pottery studio in the garden and the kiln is installed next week!

It will take a while to get up to speed but I’ll slowly add a new section to this website showcasing and making items available to purchase.

I’ll return here again, the pebble-dunes are really fun. This time I remembered a tripod so I could stop my lens down to f/32 and actually get all the layers in focus.

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I took my camera up to Hengistbury Head and around the nature reserve. I met a robin and made a walrus.

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Over our many lockdowns, I’ve been learning C++ and video game development. I’m not sure if I’m creating something enjoyable or even playable but I’m having fun. The bugs I leave in my regular projects usually reveal themselves in logs and error codes. Bugs in a video game result in heads leaving bodies and slowly shuffling offscreen, animals turning inside-out, and (at least in my game) spontaneous frame-rate-tanking orgies. I’m laughing a lot even if no-one ever plays this.

I wrote the first version of the game in Godot. It was spectacularly easy to get started and I soon had completed my first goal of a randomly generated creature:

(I love him and he remains my desktop wallpaper to this day).

It soon became clear that I had set my sights on something horrendously complicated and I was struggling to make that work with Godot. It’s brilliant, do not get me wrong, but it may not be the best option for a code-heavy simulation game. I had also read that it’s a good idea to rewrite a game from scratch once the basics are in place so I decided to do that, just in another language and framework.

As I’m writing this on my lil 12” Macbook but am aware that most folks playing games do so on Windows, I looked for something cross-platform. I settled on C++, the SDL framework, and XCode as my IDE. Lazyfoo.net’s SDL tutorials were rather necessary to get me started.

Over a year I’ve built an engine, named Flower 🌺, that includes a little 2D texture generator, an audio synthesiser, and many features geared towards a pixel-art simulation game. The game itself is now playable and I’m working on refining the basic gameplay before I start adding game-progression and story elements.

There’s two videos on my YouTube channel where I talk about the game at some early stages: Introduction and Second update. I should create another soon!

I have had more blogs than I have had blog posts. The Way Back Machine contains a humiliatingly high number of websites bearing my name that contain a single blog post and some mention of being the latest and greatest blog. The last one (that previously existed on this domain) at least shows some awareness of the problem:

I have a life-long passion for creating blogs and immediately forgetting about them, this is probably the latest.

So this is the latest one of those. Will this be different? Perhaps. I’ve previously been a little too eager to try out the latest static-site generators but soon discover their limitations. I’m also less eager to continue learning how to use the static-site generator when I just want to make a change a year later.

This is just a simple Rails site, which I hope means I can come back to it, at any time, and add entire new features and toys. The design is simple and I’m hoping that I can plop anything below the header and keep it somewhat incorporated with the rest of the site.

I thought it would be fun (and eventually even save me bother) if the menu system on this site could be generated from Rails’ routes.rb config file.

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