Twenty Years of Harry Potter

20 years. Wow. Time has flown. It was 20 years ago that, while driving across to Ireland (via ferry) for a summer holiday (in very un-summery weather), I sat in the back of the car with my younger brother while our mum read aloud a strange new book from the school library about a boy called Harry who discovered he was a wizard. At this point the book was barely known about among my friends and classmates, but I felt like each page brought with it a cauldron full of fascination. I had no idea just how big it was all about to get. In the following years, Harry Potter books would become both my reason for and my first experience of pre-ordering from Amazon, and cause an excitement around waiting for the post to arrive on release day morning similar to that of waiting for Christmas. And the delivery always arrived with a smiling postie, like they knew exactly what...
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Academia: The Board Game

I've just spent the weekend at the Southampton Game Jam - an event where people interested in games come together and... well, make games. While most teams set about making video games, my team decided to go slightly differently and make a board game. Being academics, we saw a great opportunity to combine this year's game jam theme of 'ritual' with our daily lives within a University. The result? Academia: The Board Game! The first play test begins of academia the game. #GGJ16 #SotonGameJam #academia #boardgames pic.twitter.com/7VMIoxRBCz — The Misery Farm (@MiseryFarming) January 30, 2016 We thought through various game mechanics, and set about the design of the game, based around a number of cogs that spin with each game turn and produce resources for each player. Resources are used to complete projects, which get the player victory points. By the end of the Saturday, we had a game produced that we could play test. We found a couple of flaws and had to revise a...
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Southampton Game Jam 2016

At the end of the month, I'll be spending a weekend at a game jam. Creating a game is something I've wanted to do for years now, as I think they're great outlets to tell stories. The Southampton site for the Global Game Jam 2016 offers a chance for me to get involved, and get some experience in the process of designing, developing and (hopefully) deploying a game. I've previously dreamt of becoming a writer for video games. To do so, two things will help, massively. Firstly, having published some creative writing. I hope that this blog serves as evidence to show that I'm serious about working towards this. Completing NaNoWriMo has greatly increased my confidence about achieving it. The second thing is to have experience of the game development process. Attending events such as the Game Jam is the first step for this, comparable to the creation of this website as the first step along the road to thinking of myself as a 'writer'. Hopefully,...
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