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London

As many of you know, I'm now working for a company in London.

I'm working at home most of the time, so still based in Oxford. However, I will be coming to London fairly frequently (I'm currently looking at every other Friday).

It would be good to catch up with my London based friends on some Friday evening (for a drink or wandering around a museum; conveniently the British Museum is open late on Fridays).

I know a lot of people are busy this Friday, but drop me a note if you want to meet up at some point.
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BBQ

Anyone interested in a barbecue tomorrow (Sat) late afternoon/evening? It's supposed to be rather warm (TM).
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ConStellation

A couple of weeks ago, I headed to Derbyshire for ConStellation, which was a gaming con / group holiday organised by leathellin. This coincidentally coincided with my 40th Birthday, which was a great excuse for a party.

What I did on my holidaysCollapse )

On the subject of Interesting Times, I'm putting together some thoughts for a not-quite campaign of it. If a one-off game is a film, and a campaign a tv-series, I may be aiming for a mini-series. Thus I may try to schedule some slightly longer than one-off games for the occasional weekend. This won't be imminent though, as I've got lots of other stuff happening at the moment.
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British Museum and Cambridge

Following my previous post, I did indeed make it to the British Museum, which I've not been to in ages. After I had wandered around for quite a while and seeing a tiny fraction of what is on display, leathellin joined me to look around the current Pompeii and Herculaneum exhibition.

Though I'm familiar with the history of Pompeii, I was astonished by how well preserved may of the artefacts were. While I didn't think there was anything particularly inspired about the organisation of the exhibition, it was well put on, and had a fine collection.

This weekend, I've been near Cambridge visiting my Mum, and enjoying the belated sunshine.
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(no subject)

I'll post something about ConStellation (the Peak District Con) soon, but for now:

I'm off to London today, and hope to get to the British Museum Evening opening later. Anyone else around?

In other news I've been summoned for Jury Duty next week which is a pain (mainly in timing) but hopefully will only be a couple of weeks.
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Procrastination

I'm supposed to be writing my game for the upcoming con, but I seem to have been distracted by playing through Bioshock Infinite.

Fortunately, it's not that long, but it is very good. As has been mentioned many times (so isn't much of a spoiler), the ending is indeed rather odd. I rather liked it though.

A quick tip though: as it is quite short, I do recommend starting on Hard difficulty and going slowly (there are a lot of details along the way).
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Interesting design is no substitute for a business model

As I think I've mentioned before, I've played a fair bit of the interesting and wildly-different-to-everything-eelse Flash-based 2d MMO Glitch.

My original reaction to this game was that it was an awesome piece of technology and an interesting piece of game design, but I couldn't see how it was sustainable.

After being notable for one of the only MMOs ever to go back into beta from a launch (though Final Fantasy XIV is sort-of doing that at the moment), Glitch is finally closing.

It did innovate in a lot of areas. It was one of the only MMOs where you can actually drop items, and have some effects on the game world (including building stuff on your home streets). It also had the best crafting interface I've yet seen in an MMO in that if you are trying to make an object, and that object has another craftable object as a requirement, you can make the second object in the same UI and so on.

However, it does show that if a game has too high a running cost, the wrong technology and just not enough players then it's not going to be viable even if it is unique.
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XCOM

Just finished the new XCOM game (PC version), though on the pretty easy "Normal" difficulty only.

I've been really impressed by it. It's a lot shorter than the original, but it's more that it's streamlined rather than dumbed-down. It's still a proper turn-based squad game, and still has most of the tactical complexity of the original, both in the missions and on the map.

It's certainly worth a look for fans of the original, or other gamers looking for something different to the piles of FPS games around at the moment.
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Avengers

Went to see the new Avengers film last weekend. This was better than expected.

The notable thing from my perspective is that it's the closest I've seen in a film to an rpg session. Clearly the heroes are PCs, and the poor GM has to find things for each of them to do in any scene, as the party goes around bickering and causing collateral damage.

EDIT: corrected autocorrected word.
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Museums

Off to wander around some London museums today.

I'll be finishing up at the Natural History Museum for their late night opening of the Animal Inside Out exhibition, hopefully meeting leathellin and possibly others there.