Reviewing the last 12 months

So its been a interesting year, I have achieved a lot, failed on a couple of fronts but overall done quite a few things.   I set myself quite a few new years resolutions and succeeded on most.


  • Read 10 fictional books
    I read 3,  I do want to spend more time reading!
  • Read 2 programming books
    I read 0, however I did do over 30 online courses so I am not fussed I failed this.
  • Create a Large LEGO robot
    I did very little LEGO in 2014, it felt I was more focused on Burf Development, than LEGO.  I hope 2015 will consist of a lot of LEGO.


  • Get back under 80KG
    Passed up until my chest infection / Christmas!
  • Complete 2 fitness challenges
    I did my first half marathon and full marathon run plus Nuts challenge
  • Release a 3D online game
    Not only did I release Hack24 for iOS but I also released a alpha of Virtual Worlds and lots of other apps!
  • Be more involved with the kids
    Passed this on so many levels, looked after them for 6 weeks when my wife had a back op!
  • Be better with money
    Done 🙂

This year has consisted of so much more, I have done a lot of self improving using online courses (over 30 done), I have released 7 iOS apps and 4 Android apps (some very basic but its a start) .  I have been actively keeping this site going, reporting on things I find interesting.

I created a DevCon and GameJam event at Compsoft to help people learn new stuff (ran regularly), people seem to enjoy them, not needed to cancel one yet.


Well 2015 is going to start in a interesting way because I am leaving Compsoft (been there for 13 years!).  I have been offered a awesome job at O2 labs as their iOS expert.  I start in March.  It’s a rather scary move for me because I have been at Compsoft for so long.  However I believe if you don’t mix things up now and again, you won’t ever reach your full potential.  I am super excited about the change but going to miss so many awesome people!

Things I want to do: (random thoughts)

  • Pass my probation at O2!
  • Create a Google Glass app to recognise my friends
  • Create a Pebble app, something funny.  Have you seen the Nicolas Cage game??
  • Create a Windows 8 game and release it!
  • Kickstart with cool robot stuff, reviews etc (I have been sent some cool things)
  • Do at least one large LEGO show with cool stuff
  • Build the LEGO Wheelchair v2!
  • Keep wife and kids happy!
  • Pay some mortgage off!

Wish me luck and Happy New Year!



Whats going on and what have I learned so far?

Good evening all.  Your probably wondering why I have been a little quiet lately, maybe it was the marathon I just did, or maybe it was all the bloody colds I have had.  Could it even be the kids?

Short version

Though all of the above is valid, things are still happening.  I am still chasing my dream of my own Virtual Reality world (in Android), I am learning iOS8/Swift and also READING BOOKS, the ones that contain stories!

I am trying to slightly step back, review what I have learned, and move forward in a more productive focused way.

New stuff will be coming soon.

Long version (sorry)

As a dear friend of mine once said (paraphrasing) , Burf, you like building frameworks but then you loose interest.  Try finishing something.  He was completely right and this helped spawn Burf Development, and the GameJam event I organise at work.

Since I started Burf Development at the start of the year I have released 2 Android games (both part of a game jam so need work), started sharing code on GitHub and released 6 games and 1 app for iOS!  The largest one, being Hack24 which has had quite a few downloads (currently rated 4.5 out of 5).

I learned some obvious lessons with Hack24.

The first one being that I should of only shipped the game out once I was happy with the features.  I should of waited until APN’s where enabled in the game as this is a great way to remind players to come back and inform them that they have been hacked, robbed etc.

It seems that once the initial download rush is over, it is pretty hard to get that boom again.  On the first few days I was receiving 100-200 downloads a day, now its like 40 a week.

I also had some server issues, I guess I could of done more testing however most of this was down to a time validation issue where the clock got out of sync with the client, this caused users not to be able to login 🙁

Waiting 7-9 days for a iOS release is annoying! Especially when you find a bug within minutes after release!  Do more testing, get friends to do it to!  My wife was top bug finder!

Check the support email, oh boy I never actually expected people to contact me, but yes they do!

Work out a road map, or a plan! I am a little stuck on what to do with Hack24 now?  I feel I keep moving on to new stuff!

Whats the plan now?

Well I have a load of idea’s in Trello,  I have a few started projects and lots of new technology to learn.  I have a ton of online course lined up and have started reading books.  Oh and there are the 2 awesome kids I have to, I try to focus my time on them!  Oh did I mention I have a wife and a full time job!

Android and Virtual Reality

Virtual reality has been one of my favourite topics since I saw Lawnmover man.  I have tried to make my own VR world many time since I was about 12!  VR is now starting to take off with Oculus Rift (Facebook), Sony Morpheus, Google Cardboard and Samsung GearVR plus many others!  Apple sadly has nothing in this area, and so I either develop for the desktop or for Android.  As I quite enjoy learning Android, this is a double whammy!  Also, you can generally release anything to the Google Play store (a VR framework would not be allowed).



Learning Swift & iOS8

As a senior iOS developer, I really need to rock at Apples new programming.  I have played with Swift a bit but I really feel its time to freshen up my skills.  There is also a lot of cool stuff with iOS8.  My aim is to build a couple of simple but pretty apps (master that AutoLayout) in Swift.