January 2008 Archives
About a year ago, I wrote this post stating a few of my opinions about things that happened in 2006 and what I intended to do for 2007. This post is likewise for 2007/08. In last year's post, I resolved not to do any crunch (working silly long hours). In that I've been successful, working less than a handful of isolated late nights and not a single weekend during the entire year. What I hadn't predicted at all is that I'd end up leaving my job and spend nine months driving 23 miles to work every day in awful traffic. Commuting has proven to be the most time wasting and soul destroying thing. I recently went back to working within walking distance of home again. Long may it continue. I also stated I was going to get married, which took place in lovely seaside Exmouth in August. It was one of the best days of my life, indeed our lives. Everything went without a hitch and it seemed to be over all too quickly. A few weeks later I found out I'm going to be a father which is incredibly exciting and scary at the same time. Far from slowing down, the pace of life would appear to be accelerating. Other new skills obtained during the year were wallpapering (though I'm still not great at it), plumbing (which saved us a lot of money) and doing the Times2 crossword. So, without further ado, lets get to the traditional best/worst of lists. Film The film I enjoyed the most on a visceral level was Transformers. It's dumb, but it's a hell of a lot of fun and looks stunning. Another great film for me was Atonement. I went into the cinema (dragged by my wife!) expecting a chick flick costume drama, but was presented with a very intelligent and surprising film. The Golden Compass was a dissapointment. The film tried to cram in as much from the book as possible and in the process lost all the charm, wonder and lovely pacing. Also, bizarrely enough, the whole ending of the book was chopped off (presumably to appear in the next film), leaving the conclusion of The Golden Compass very abrupt. TV Lost continued to grip me during season three. I watched the episodes on DVD over a couple of weeks which seems to be the best way to absorb it without missing anything. Doctor Who again entertained. The episode with the angel statues was a thing of genius and John Simm made a great Master, but overall the series is getting more and more silly, especially the Christmas episode. I may stop watching this year if Catherine Tate proves as irritating as I fear. Books My voracious toilet/pre bedtime reading continued throughout 2007. I really enjoyed Terry Pratchett's Making Money, a direct sequel to Going Postal. Moist von Lipwig continues to be an interesting and fun protagonist. I'm also reading lots of books about pregnancy and bringing up children, on the basis that being a dad will be a skilled job that requires research and hard work to do properly. Games Best game of the year, without a shadow of a doubt, is Portal. Great writing, great gameplay and it's really funny too. I'm currently enjoying Crysis too, though I haven't finished it yet. Another game I didn't finish was Bioshock. It's really pretty, but it just doesn't play brilliantly to me and it feels like it'd take a lot to make me go back and complete it. We've also spent rather a lot of time with More Brain Training on the DS. It has quite a few annoying little problems, but is generally very well put together and varied enough to keep you playing. I'm currently working my way through all the Sudokus on the loo when I'm not reading. ...and 2008? All going well, I'll become a dad this year. Me, a dad before I'm 30. It's mindboggling to think about. Also, three games I've worked on should be shipping (they're like buses in that regard), starting with Burnout Paradise in a few weeks. I doubt I'll be in the credits, despite spending 2006 hard at work on it, but that's just the way things are in the games industry. Anyway, I hope the game is great and sells well - the team are still good friends of mine and they deserve a big success. Other than that? I'll continue travelling to work under my own steam (walking or cycling) and drive as little as possible. I should hopefully lose the weight I put on during the months of driving to work.