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from Chester, Cheshire.

  • Activity

    • It's Definitely Been a While - A Musing on Mental health

      1 year ago


      I've recently made a promise to myself to get back into doing more internet stuff once again. Seems like an odd goal to have but at my peak time internet wise I had a good thing going. Between being active on here and starting regular Youtube uploads as well as being part of Xbox clans and groups I essentially had a second social life, and it was great. I'd just graduated university and I was looking forward, perhaps rather naively, to breaking out into the real world like a young bird takes it's first glorious flight.

      There seems to be a sort of unwritten code in society that means a lot of people skirt around the strange 'early twenties' faze of life, where one feels they should know what they're doing but really feels lost and hopelessly alone. From talking to other people I know this isn't an experience unique to myself by any stretch.

      At the time I was blissfully unaware that a dip in my mental health was imminent and over the next year or two I'd really struggle at times. There were times when I would finish my shift at my full-time job (as a Barman at a well know pub in my nearest city) and I would just drive to the middle of nowhere. There I would fester for what would seem like an eternity but in actual fact was more like half an hour. 

      'What was I doing with my life? Have I made too many wrong decisions? Was there any point in me carrying on obviously making decision after wrong decision?'

      Every day felt like an ongoing struggle between the real me and this imposter, this doubtful second identity that had manifested in my head. This second identity would chirp up constantly about how useless I am and how the friendships and achievements I thought I had were really just superficial, I had no real friends and I had achieved nothing. This was of course absolute tosh, in reality I had just graduated with a good degree and had friends both through work and my studies who had my back if ever I needed. At the worst times my mental health issues convinced me that I was in fact living in this alternate world that this 'second identity' had created, and it sucked.

      Like any mental health struggle there were still good days and good times even though fleeting, the people I worked with were some of the best people I've ever met, people who joined together to make the best of what was all told, a bit of a naff job. I met a girl who I subsequently dated for three months, and while ultimately we decided we were just friends, she has become one of my best friends and someone who helps me cope on those days where I lapse and I'm not the best version of me.

      I'm glad to say that after this two year blip I'm getting back to my best, I've been in my 'new' job for over a year and a half , it's a job that I really enjoy and that challenges me to better myself every week. I have a great group of close friends looking out for me who give me a purpose outside of work and with whom I can adventure in the experience of life. Most importantly I have hope, a light at the end of the tunnel and an understanding of what I have really achieved to get to where I am now. I can look back on my time struggling with mental health and see that I've come out of it a stronger person. Sure there are still days where I feel distant and lost, but I am able to identify this and reach out where appropriate.

      If you've made it this far then well done! Below is a link to my latest and hopefully first Youtube video in a run of regular uploads (once more!). Hope you enjoy and thanks for taking the time to read this likely incoherent post!


    • 3 years ago

    • 2014, a weird old year

      4 years ago


      So that's it, 2014 is done and dusted. On balance I'd say it's been a good year, not perfect mind but then again what is? So what did I want to achieve in 2014 and how did I do, well on balance pretty well.

      I graduated university with a 2:1 in Computer Game Development, definitely the proudest moment of my life so far. To get the recognition for 3 years of hard academic work is fantastic and although the actual graduation ceremony was a dull affair, many bevs were had in celebration!

      I lost a tonne of weight! From being a portly 18 stone at the start of 2014, through a change in diet and exercise I've got down to 15. I feel a lot better both physically and mentally for it and it's done my confidence the world of good. I'm going out more and I feel much more comfortable in social situations.

      I finally have a car! Okay, so I bought it last year but this is the first year where I've had access to my own car. Seems like such a small this but I've loved it, it's only a Hyundai Coupe but it might as well be a Ferrari.

      I have a proper Fender Stratocaster! The guitar of my dreams is finally mine and my guitar playing has improved a lot. I can't put the thing down!

      So for 2015, what's next. Well I want to get a professional job to use the skills I've learned from Uni, lose more weight and tone up to really have the look I've always wanted. But my main goal, if you can call it that, is to get a girlfriend. I'm at a point in my life where at 22, I feel it's something I really need to do and something that will help me grow even more as a person. But what's the point of life if not to share it with someone who you think the world of.

      And on that rather soppy note, happy new year to anyone who end up reading this. Good luck in achieving your goals and don't get to beat up if you don't achieve them!

    • 4 years ago

    • New Chapter of Life

      5 years ago


      So I've finally finished my Computer Game Development degree with a 2:1. I'm chuffed yet disappointed not to achieve a first. Weird place to be, but I'm still proud of what I've achieved. The last 3 years have given me a real insight into how crazy yet addictive the world of game development is and it's only served to re-enforce my desire to be successful in what is an extremely difficult industry to break into.

      I will post some screenshots of our submitted project when I get chance, but I am incredibly proud of what myself and the rest of my team achieved at the end of the course. I believe we had by far the strongest game out of all of those produced and the feedback we got was fantastic.

      All this marks a new chapter in my life, I understand how difficult the transition between education and career can be, but I'm optimistic for what the future holds for me!

    • Global Games Jam 2014

      5 years ago


      Over the weekend I've been taking part in the annual Global Games Jam. What is the Global Games Jam? It's an event that brings together the gaming community in locations all across the world to do one thing, make video games. Based on a different theme every year, participants are given 48 hours to produce a video game that is based on the set theme. I decided to work alone this year, more to test myself than anything else. In hindsight it was a bad idea but as they say, hindsight is a wonderful thing.

      The theme this year was We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are. I must be honest, it completely threw me, but after much deliberation I decided to base my idea on the world of Lucid Dreaming. I felt that the very idea of Lucid dreaming encapsulated the idea of the theme for the Jam. I opted to build a side scrolling Flash based game, where players would face certain perils but be given a number of options to solve them. Depending on what option they chose there would be different paths that would relate to the nature of the option the player had gone for.

      In the end, I think I had a decent idea that was to much for me to chew. Coding really isn't my strong point and it showed. But the experience has taught me a fair few lessons about constructing solo projects and the need to asses ones own abilities and strengths before embarking on such projects.

      Anyway I'll leave it at that for now, I'll probably produce an update journal for my final year project sometime soon.

    • 5 years ago

    • 5 years ago

    • Behind the Scenes of a Final Year Game Project PART 3: Overdue update

      5 years ago


      Thanks for your help!
      I'd like to begin by thanking anyone who helped with the questionnaire thread I set up a while back. It went down really well with our lecturers and is a great start for our individual research hypothesis' we need to create during the project work. Again thanks to anyone who bothers to read these, I imagine some people will find them incredibly boring but even if I entertain one person it's a job well done personally.

      Stakeholder Review
      Our stakeholder review went, in a word, brilliantly. We only slipped up on one aspect of our work organization and really established our intent to create a fantastic quality product that is realistically achievable. We've had some changes to make to the ever annoying SCRUM work but nothing major which is fantastic. The big thing is to back up our talk with a physical product that matches the expectation we have now created. With the review done you'd have though we'd be plowing into production of the game, wrong, as this is University we're still well into other assignments and they're a bugger to say the least. We're basically on tick over until we've cleared the rest of the gubs we need to do fr this semester. The good news is we're almost done and we can really push on with production, we have some bits to get working on straight away, mainly the Flash based mechanics and the basic environment.

      My own Project Input
      I myself am focusing on the Flash based mechanics in terms of design, testing and implementation. I've also got a load of sound work written down roughly on paper that need recording and editing. Add to this the update of documentation and my personal hypothesis work for my further research and I should have plenty to work on. As always it's stressful worrying about whether everything will get done ad whether my personal inputs will be good enough, but I know if we all as a team push on we'll be just fine.

      Until next time...


    • 5 years ago

  • Comments (1)

    • Toptoast FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Keeper of the Breakfast

      4 years ago

      Hey, you're awesome!

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