Monday, March 14

An Epic Week

I've spent a whole week in Newcastle! That doesn't sound that impressive, seeing as it's where I live and work, but in the preceding two weeks I spent five and a half days in America and two days in Manchester.

With a whole week of evenings at home I've been amazingly productive, with Dragon Dance, with Zombology and also with my German language Windows Phone app. Broad-based productivity!

Last weekend I picked up my German language app again for the first time in at least eight months. It was the first time I'd written any code in eight months! My new role at work doesn't involve any coding and I'd been so focussed on Zombology (and latterly Dragon Dance) that I'd not done any at home either.

After last weekend's long night of coding on Saturday while The Wife was out, I've been working all week re-structuring the code extensively to make it easier to add extra vocabulary to the app. I want it to do two things which I struggle with in Duolingo (the app I've been using to extend my German skills): limited vocabulary, and a lack of tabulated data. I find it easiest to learn verb conjugations or adjective declensions from a table where I can see at a glance how things are structured, but in Duolingo you come across things fairly haphazardly and never get to see the table (don't get me wrong, I think Duolingo is great - I use it daily for strengthening my German and more recently learning Portuguese ahead of a holiday).

It's coming along nicely, and it feels great to be coding again - it's been a hobby of mine since I was ten and my day job for the vast majority of the last eighteen years.

If that wasn't enough, I also had my first Games Night in three weeks (the aforementioned travel nixing the previous two) which was also epic. There were only three of us, but we managed six games: three of Hive with Mike before Gav arrived (ticking Hive off my not yet played this year list); two of Taluva (christening my new copy, ticking two plays off my not yet played ten times list and Taluva off my not yet played this year list) and then one of Colt Express (christening my new copy and ticking one play off my not yet played ten times list). I'd not played Taluva in about four years, but it was just as awesome as I remember it being, and Mike and Gav seemed to really enjoy it too (we almost played three games back to back).

After Games Night, I printed out a copy of the new version of Dragon Dance I came up with last week and then Gav and I tried it out on Friday lunchtime. Gav seemed to enjoy it and I think it's an improvement on the previous version - I need to run it by Amaury now to see if it addresses his problems with the previous version.

Finally, to round out the week in style, I got the Print on Demand proof of Zombology from Drive Thru Cards and got to proof it on Friday night (I'm a wild man of Rock - that's how we wild men of Rock spend our Friday nights). There was one glaring error (I'd somehow managed to delete one of the card backs) and a couple of minor ones (the front and back cards that are intended to form the equivalent of a box lid and box tray design were facing the wrong way). So I've fixed those and uploaded the corrected art. After talking to Brian I'd already uploaded new art with the 100% Key black replaced with Rich Black, but the proof had been done with 100% Key and it looked fine and there were a couple of registration issues on some cards, which would make rich black look really dodgy, so I unwound that change too.

If only every week was that productive!

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