Building my first PhoneGap game!

So recently I just published my first native mobile game – Space Jelly Jump. It’s been a very exciting, challenging and rewarding experience. I thought I’d share some of the links that really helped me along the way.

1. Kenney’s Assets
Kenny seems like a lovely chap who has made it his mission to design public domain assets for anyone to use within their game/application. He also provides fonts and sounds. The majority of my app comprised of assets from Kenney. Thanks Kenney!

2. Phonegap Build
When I first started out I was building on my local machine to Android and iOS. I found it really messey and the documentation all over the place. When I started using Phonegap build everything seemed so much simpler and easier. All my projects are stored on Github once checked in phonegap build pulls and builds. I can download the packages and put them directly on to devices. It’s great!

3. Myanomo
Myanomo is an online Android simulator. It probably sounds pretty simple but I had so much trouble getting my local one to work and not be really terrible. Myanomo let’s you upload an APK and test online. It’s a lot like browser stack but I don’t think Browse stack let’s you run APKs. Anyhow, it’s on an older Android too so it let me pick up some bugs I couldn’t see on my Nexus.

I’ll probably add some more later but I think that’s a good start. Now to look for the next game idea!



In case I haven’t bragged to you already, check out my new side start-up It’s a mix between surveys and data visualisations with a super minimal UX.

We’re starting to get some really positive feedback and reviews that are nice in a validating kind of way.

If you have the time, checkout and we hope it inspires how your startup shares data, and builds an experience for the simplest task with a unique solution.


Unboxing UX

I work in a job where there are people selling our teams ‘UX’ skills to clients. UX is something new, almost a buzzword that many people don’t really understand. It’s often just thought of the guys who make it pretty at the end. 

Anyone who actually works in UX (and understands UX) will constantly tell you that UX underpins any digital work and is essential to it’s success. Most of the time we have a number of tools used in different ways … but where does it start? Where does it end? What’s involved? What’s the minimum, what’s the maximum?

I found the easiest way to detail and explain this problem was to document the stages of UX and the processes and deliverables involved. This is what I came up with;

[xyz-ihs snippet=”uxlist”]

I guess the main thing to note is that in the design part we venture well outside of what you would typically call UX (html, js etc). This is just the work I actually do and may be different for everyone. I could go on about how I think the best type of UX people are the ones that have a digital background but I’ll save that for another day.

I really hate SharePoint.

I don’t normally say I hate things. But I really hate SharePoint. It’s so frustrating that so many businesses are using this software to essentially run their business. It’s hands down the most complicated mess of a system ever.

I’ve tried to give it the benefit of the doubt. I’ve tried to work with it. I’ve even tried to work ON it. But everytime it fails to do the most basic things. Things like;

  • Search like a modern search should search
  • Be cross browser friendly
  • Not use tables everywhere
  • Compile compliant HTML (too much to ask?)
  • Not give users a confusing mess every two clicks
  • Work on a mobile device

The most annoying thing is that there is so much cheaper, better software out there (Basecamp) that gets overlooked. Gah! I don’t think anyone, anywhere is ever going to disagree on this one. So I might end my bitchy frustrations here.

Workaholics aren’t heroes

I’ve been reading Rework by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson on the train and this one section ‘Workaholics’ really struck a chord with me.

Our culture celebrates the idea of the workaholic. We hear about people burning the midnight oil. They pull all-nighters and sleep at the office. It’s considered a badge of honor to kill yourself over a project. No amount of work is too much work.

Not only is this workaholism unnecessary, it’s stupid. Working more doesn’t mean you care more or get more done. It just means you work more.

Workaholics wind up creating more problems than they solve. First off, working like that just isn’t sustain-able over time. When the burnout crash comes—and it will—it’ll hit that much harder.

Workaholics miss the point, too. They try to fix problems by throwing sheer hours at them. They try to make up for intellectual laziness with brute force. This results in inelegant solutions.

They even create crises. They don’t look for ways to be more efficient because they actually like working overtime. They enjoy feeling like heroes. They create problems (often unwittingly) just so they can get off on working more.

Workaholics make the people who don’t stay late feel inadequate for “merely” working reasonable hours. That leads to guilt and poor morale all around. Plus, it leads to an ass-in-seat mentality—people stay late out of obligation, even if they aren’t really being productive.

If all you do is work, you’re unlikely to have sound judgments. Your values and decision making wind up skewed. You stop being able to decide what’s worth extra effort and what’s not. And you wind up just plain tired. No one makes sharp decisions when tired.

In the end, workaholics don’t actually accomplish more than non workaholics. They may claim to be perfectionists, but that just means they’re wasting time fixating on inconsequential details instead of moving on to the next task. Workaholics aren’t heroes. They don’t save the day, they just use it up. The real hero is already home because he figured out a faster way to get things done.

I too work 8 hours, leave on time and sometimes even watch the clock excited about something I’m doing after work. I’ve been made to feel guilty about this and even feel like I’m less passionate about what I do. It’s great to read something like this and confirm to yourself the things that just seem like common sense.

I love what I do, I’m good at it and its 5pm so I’m off. :)

Have a great weekend.