Summer Update

Ah the summer has continued! I’m around the half way point of my work contract and have been working flat out hence the lack of blog posts for a while. I’m finding it a little hard to find the time to write these posts in between work, airsoft, family events and finally actually playing some games. So to sum up, this is what’s been occurring.

  • First I got my final results from Teesside. Its seems the year of living madly has paid off and I am graduating Teesside University in November with a BSc in Computing with First Class Honours. This is above and beyond what I originally expected and I was a little blown away on results day morning. I know my Mum certainly was
  • This of course means that I am confirmed to be going to Abertay in September for a full year to do a Professional Masters (MProf) in Games Development. As you can tell from all the other posts, I’m really excited about this – its a way of making games, learning about the other disciplines and most importantly, meeting a bunch of motivated people there to make games. My accommodation is booked (a studio flat in Parker Street Halls) just need to finish the paper work
  • At work, its been madness. I’ve been primarily sorting out machines for store upgrades so lots of moving around. This has been slightly compounded by some stupidly warm weather and today downpour that has flooded out a large amount of kit. Working in IT has reminded just how hard work it is – I’ve actually lost some weight thanks to carrying around a silly number of PCs every day.
  • The Steam sales have been and gone and I’ve managed to survive relatively intact, with no major expenditure. Managed to pick up the whole of Max Payne 3 (with which I’ve been having a whale of a time!), the new Tomb Raider (which I’m enjoying but its not the best), and Witcher 2 which I still haven’t managed to get around to thanks to limited time and playing copious amounts of Wargame: AirLand battle and Civilisation 5: Brave New World.
  • I went to go and see Pacific Rim! It was pretty fantastic – well worth going to see at the cinema with a combination of giant stompy robots beating the pulp out of the realistic Kaiju and various actors I know and like (Max Martini, Charlie Hunnan, Burn Gorman and Idris Elba primarily) having great fun playing in this world that Del Toro has created. Mako is probably the best created character (and the actress was perfect for the role) but the world and designs all look like something that makes sense. The “totally not godzilla” Kaiju all look like standard animals (primarily fish and reptiles) but larger and nastier and the Jaegers are my type of mech design – almost human but not quite anime.

    I still can’t work out why the British where a major part of the Pan-Pacific Defence force though…

  • Speaking of Idris Elba, the return of Luther onto BBC1 has been great. Mr Elba plays off Luther as a man struggling under the weight of his various sins well and facing him off against David O’Hara’s slightly suspect IA inspector is a match made in crime writer heaven. I prefer the second  plot line to the first two episodes decidedly creepy one but I’m on the edge of my seat for the final episode tonight.
  • Finally, music. I’m taking full advantage of Spotify to increase the amount of music I’ve been listening to. By paying the £10 per month fee, I’ve managed to load up my tablet with tons of music without having to endlessly sync to it. Really enjoying the latest Passion Pit album.

That’s it for now, more posts when I find the time. Also I’ll put something up about my various youtube videos.

Ryan Davis

If you are used to my usual posts, filled with my life and airsoft, then this one probably doesn’t apply to you. You’ll see the title, think nothing of it and move on to the rest of your day.

For everyone who knows the man mentioned in the title above, you’ll probably know this is a hard thing to write.

Ryan Davis was perhaps one of the greatest games journalists ever in the short history of that profession. Up until his sad passing on the 3rd of July at 34, he was one of the lead minds behind Giant Bomb, one of the most different yet most informative websites on the internet about video games. It was a website that pushed out new and funny content daily and helped to revolutionise coverage of events like E3 with their live podcasts that brought together a true meeting of minds with all sorts of games industry people chatting about everything they could think of. Giant Bomb also led the way with their live shows inviting us to sit down and watch them play their way through some of the newest games once or twice a week. We laughed alongside them at terrible games or terrible play. Although each and every staffer played their part, Ryan was the forefront, the MC of MCs who helped to direct and push on the rest of the staff to make the best video content you can find on the web.

I first encountered Ryan back in the days of Gamespot. Even before his appearances on the Hot Spot podcast where he truly shined, he was a truly talented writer that made even some of the worst games still interesting to read about. He was someone who I looked up to as a style I wanted to be like and although his skills didn’t quite rub off on me, Ryan made games writing interesting and exciting. Alongside his partner in crime Jeff Gerstmann he made all of the various projects  he did within Gamespot, from the podcast and On The Spot to some of the unusual stuff like Time Trotters, superb. When Jeff was sadly let go due to a variety of reasons, I was saddened. But seeing a group of people including Ryan leave alongside him to various other things raised my heart a little bit. Then seeing Jeff and Ryan go off to make Arrow Pointing Down (now a host for some of his many in jokes formed over the course of the many podcasts) raised my heart even more.

(Ryan was always fond of little jokes or funny ideas, commonly just URLs that soon became so much more)

But in 2008 (as I started Sixth Form), they made Giant Bomb alongside some of the other standout people from Gamespot like Brad Shoemaker and Vinny Caravella as well as other great guys like Patrick Klepek, Dave Snider and . Giant Bomb became a rock in the middle of the hard times of Sixth Form. Many a revision session echoed to the sound of their voices every week talking about games and other things (primarily other things) and their video content was second to none. Quick looks became my window into gaming at a time I was having to curb my own to get on with the work.

Giant Bomb is one of the few sites I pay money for each year and this is only because of the talent of everyone involved. And although i have never met any of them face to face, the thousands of hours of video and audio helped to make me feel like I know them even a tiny bit. So hearing one of them die at such a young age and at such a tragic time (only a week after his wedding) feels like a bit of my soul has been torn out. I know if this is how I feel, as someone who only barely knew Ryan, his friends and family must be even more torn up. My thoughts are with them.

I didn’t say much in the car on the way home from work. I just sat and thought back on all the good times we, the gaming community and the world, have had with Ryan over the years. I’m going to miss him on the podcasts, on the live shows even just on twitter or live streaming his journeys into work like he used to do. I hope we can celebrate his life and remember all the things he has given us over the years.

Going to miss you Ryan.