What I’m up to: 25th Junefeatured

This is the first time I’ve been out of full time employment in seven years. I meant to relax and do nothing.

It turns out that when you’ve been occasionally starving and always busy for seven years, relaxing and doing nothing is like expecting an earthworm to lie still. I just keep rippling, involuntarily-wise. At some point I’ll calm down and take a week off. In the meantime, here are the elements that have emerged from my internal peristalsis.

  • I wrote a piece for GamesIndustry.biz on things I learnt at Failbetter. I can’t promise that will be the last thing I’ll write on that: I have a lot to get out of my system.
  • I started building a daft incremental Javascript game, Cultist Simulator, as practice, as a doodle, and to try out some of the lore for NOON. You engage in infuriatingly prosaic work, dream of sanity-blasting possibilities, pick up foreboding tomes in bookshops, lecture eager acolytes. I’ll probably put it live in mid-July but it really is a small daft thing.
  • Choice of Games asked if I wanted to do some work with them. CoG and Failbetter are, I suppose, friendly competitors, so this feels a little bit like crossing the aisle, but they’re renownedly nice people to work with, their tech is well-honed and sensible, and it’s similar but different to everything I’ve done., so I was keen! I’m putting together a thing called IRON ROAD, about an assassin-liberator finding their way home across a rusty sentient desert.

I’m off to Vancouver to do a talk for the Pocket Gamer Connects conference. I can’t remember if I’ve actually told them I left Failbetter. Possibly I’ll turn up and start talking and they’ll drag me off stage after the intro slide. I’m looking forward to it: there are good talks, the indie side of mobile games conferences always feels like a fever-dream alternate reality, Vancouver is one of my favourite cities, and I’m meeting some local devs whose work I’ve long admired. (If you’re a local dev and you’re reading this, please get in touch, let’s drink coffee.)

I’m off to make a gin basil smash (handful fresh basil, 60ml gin, 30ml lemon, 20ml simple syrup) with Sipsmiths VJOP. If you have any in the house, I recommend it.

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