Sunday, 14 September 2014

Dan vs SuperByte 2014

SuperByte returned to Manchester this weekend, and it was an absolute blast!


I'd been kindly invited to do visuals at the pre-party and open mic session at Fab Cafe, and I jumped at the chance to throw down, of course. I ended up doing something like five-ish hours in one long set, which was quite challenging considering this was mostly over short open mic slots - most of my live coding work is fairly long form and experimental, so this was a good chance to mix it up.

What was also neat was that Fab is set up so the projection visuals were also piped out to a ton of video screens all around the venue, which was really nice - I got to properly light the place up. The drawback to this was that the access point to the HDMI splitter and desk was basically inside a cupboard (no, really) so I had to keep coming out and seeing what it all looked like. My HQ for the night looked like this, impressively ghetto:


This arrangement also meant that I couldn't get audio directly from the desk, so I had to use a mic instead. Luckily it just about worked - the audio input wasn't obviously as nice as I'd have liked, but for this kind of music and visualisation it didn't end up mattering too much.

I grabbed some rough images:






I've also uploaded some rough videos too. This one is just a bunch of Vine videos stitched together (the app broke somehow but I managed to pull the videos off my phone):


And another action shot here:


Anyway, it was a ton of fun to do, and I think it went down pretty well. Some of the open mic sessions were absolutely amazing, and it was a really fun challenge to continually and quickly adapt the live coded visuals to match people's vibe a bit. I'm hoping this has put me on the map a little bit now that I've had chance to prove myself - I'd love to do this on a bigger and badder stage next year.

I also went to the full festival on the Saturday, which was an amazingly fun (and fairly messy) night - it fell on my birthday, so I was pretty inebriated for most of it. Really great vibe though, high energy sets from everyone and tons of crowdsurfing. Best birthday ever!

Massive thanks to Ady and the SuperByte crew for putting on such a killer night, and for inviting me to be part of it - it was a ton of fun. ^_^

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Dan vs Reasons To Be Creative 2014

Earlier this week I spent a few days in sunny Brighton, attending and speaking (rapidly) at Reasons To Be Creative 2014. It's been some years since I was last in Brighton for Flash On The Beach, so I jumped at the chance to go and check out what it morphed into. The other big reason for me attending was that I managed to grab a spot on the infamous elevator pitch session... 


Sunday, 20 July 2014

Dan vs the NOISE PARTY

Yesterday I had another chance to go and cause trouble with a laptop and projector - this time for the Manchester Girl Geeks NOISE PARTY (full disclosure: I came up with the name, and the capital letters are totally part of the deal).


Monday, 14 July 2014

Dan vs the Manchester Algorave

So last week I finally got to try out some visual work in a live setting, at the Manchester Algorave. It was easily the oddest thing I've ever done with computers, and has absolutely sealed the deal on me doing more of this kind of work - I got to prove to myself I can throw down in a live setting, it was a great opportunity to find out what works and doesn't work (both in terms of my approach, and the software), and most importantly it was hugely inspiring watching so many killer devs/musicians/creators making so much amazing noise!


Saturday, 5 July 2014

Coding and raving and workshops, oh my!

If you follow me on twitter/facebook/whatever you'll have no doubt seen me excitedly waffling about the livecoding stuff I've been noodling with recently - I thought it might be wiser to put it all in one place and then you guys can have your feeds back.

I've been working with Cyril a lot recently - it's become my go-to weapon of choice for live-coded visuals, and I like it so much I've started breaking it open a bit and added stuff I want in it. I'm certainly neither a C++ guy or an openFrameworks guy, but what better way to learn than by dicking around with something you barely understand, right? Right. Of course, aside from the fact I selfishly wanted a few features adding right this second, it's also a good chance to start unselfishly giving something back to one of the open source projects I love, and Cyril has been a solid place to start.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Gamedev crash-course sessions - done!

Yesterday I finally had chance to road-test some of the beginner's game development content I've been writing, running two back-to-back sessions at Stockport Creative Festival.


Monday, 7 April 2014

Gamedev crash-course for beginners @ Stockport Creative Festival

The next Stockport Creative Festival is happening over the 17th and 18th May, and as part of it I'll be running a couple of games development crash-course sessions for beginners, at the Central Library in Stockport on the Saturday (17th).


Sunday, 26 January 2014

Snow In Tokyo - go!

I promised I'd write more about what I'm up to, so:

At the moment I'm working on a really fun little project for my partner in crime, DEADBEAR (although I assume his mum calls him Nick). He makes lovely bleeps, and I offered to add some visuals to the mix.

It definitely took us a while to really figure out what we wanted to do (as is always the way with self-directed "let's make something cool" vanity projects), and after a mild lull in activity while I finished some other stuff, my brain has fully whirred into action now. My recent interest in live-coding has spilled out into this project, which for me is no bad thing at all - Nick gets a sweet video, and I get to noodle with something that really interests me enormously. I'm also using this to start being more active in open source projects, at the moment I'm using Cyril, a live coding environment built on OpenFrameworks. It's very new and completely open source, so hopefully I can contribute there too.

Monday, 30 December 2013

Obligatory New Year's Post.

Disclaimer: I don't normally do this, and in fact my intention for this blog wasn't for it to be a personal rambling outlet really... but of course things change, and so I'm going to use this space for a little more waffling from time to time. If you came here looking for games, code and geekery then that'll still be present and correct, promise. Even more so if I stick to my resolutions below.

So, it's almost the end of the year, and it's been a crazy one. 2013 was my first full year at the BBC, and was a reasonably big turning point for me - I joined the children's Games Stream, and gained enough XP points to make senior developer. Ding! It's been a fun year, completely insane-o-busy sometimes but I wouldn't have it any other way. Really excited about diving into new things next year at work, definitely, and I feel pretty lucky that I genuinely enjoy my work at the moment.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Disregard rulebook! Make videogames!

Last week I was invited to be a headline speaker at the first meeting of Manchester Tech Nights - I'd initially offered to do a lightning talk and ended up doing a solo headline slot. Argh.