All posts by Newt

Games Designer, Publisher, Web Developer, Dad.

A New Year Dawns! Jan/Feb 2017

Despite the grand title, truth be told the first two months of this year have quietly whizzed by. Β Saying that I’ve had more fun than I normally do at this time of year, not had any horrendous colds or feel down in the dumps. In fact I’ve been full of beans πŸ™‚

Never mind the Lady in the Lake, here’s the Boy in the Bath!
Toby discovers we have fish….five years after we first get them
Playing at Tandle Hills Park
New family sofa!!!
Henry gets an award for Persistence at his Taekwondo class’ Annual Awards Ceremony
We had a family out to Trafford Centre…and picked up this entertaining game.
Half term day out to Oldham Gallery: The Big Camera
Half term day out to Oldham Gallery:: Hats!
Half term day out to Oldham Gallery: Making Big Cameras
Toby with Rach’s new friend Charlie the Cheetah
D101 Games stockclearance sale, overseen by the Monkey King
Back at Gulliver’s World having fun despite the cold and wet
We stayed over at the Gulliver’s World hotel, the kids got their own bunk beds
My favourite bit, the Lost World
Their favorite bit, the Joker!

December 2016

It seems so long ago, but I had a cracking end of 2016 with the family.

First off was Dragonmeet, a RPG Convention/Trade show/Shopping Day down in London at the beginning of the month πŸ™‚

Me at Dragonmeet 2016 in fighting form
Dragonmeet: Stuck in a lift with my homies Steve and John

I wrote more about Dragonmeet over on my D101 Games Blog.

Then the endless parade of school concerts/nativity plays that dominated weeks 2-3. My favorite was the Christmas Concert held at Oldham Parish Church, which Evie’s school choir was invited to sing at.

Evie at her Christmas Concert at Oldham Parish Church
Splatface comes to the Newport household
Out in Oldham Christmas shopping

Christmas itself was a quiet affair. I got loads of presents (which I still haven’t played with all of them), but me George and Evie did manage to get out on a cold and blustery Boxing Day to do the traditional walk thing πŸ™‚

Boxing Day walk up to the Monument in Tandle Hills Park with Uncle George

Rach and Henry went to Guliver’s World in Warrington with our H’s Beaver group in October, and were keen to go back to this themepark/fairground aimed at 6-preteens. Just before Christmas Rachel noticed that they did a New Year’s celebration, so we signed up and spent from about 4-9 in the park before retiring to a nearby Premier Inn. As well as being fun in itself its the first time I’ve celebrated New Years in the last ten years or so!

New Years Eve at Gulliver’s World: Entering the park at 4pm
New Years Eve at Gulliver’s World : Darkness descends over the little castle
New Years Eve at Gulliver’s World: Farmyard ride, Henry is not impressed
New Years Eve at Gulliver’s World: Whee sliding!

What I did in the Virtual World this Christmas

So I completed Fallout 4 Far Harbour last night. I played it over Christmas and it had been a good 9 months since I played the main game. I got caught up in the main plot and felt the desire to help build/maintain the peace between the island’s factions. Then I remembered that my character had 9 months previously joined the Brotherhood of Steel, killed his son and nuked the Institute and generally ended the game as a fascist in a set of power armour. Things did not go well for the Far Harbour Peace plan immediately after that πŸ™‚

It comes down to this

This year my experiences has led me to believe in no uncertain terms that we are bigger and better than the reality we believe ourselves to be trapped in. It’s like we are constantly looking down at our feet, with an inescapable deep back pain developing from our neck downwards as we break our own backs looking down, while a voice whispers in our ears saying “hey you’ve stepped in shit and everyone can smell it!”. Well not to put it to gently its time to “Free our mind and our ass will follow” and escape this victim-martyr-poor-me mentally.

It costs nothing, and will literally save the world that our thoughts create πŸ™‚

November 2016

November was a quiet month. Work was briefly a bit bonkers. A sink hole opened up down the road. Other than that life just pottered on.

Henry and Evie are at that age that sometimes they don’t get on
Manchester tram
H (front far right) gets his second Taekwondo belt
Rainbow on a surprise snow day
Giant footstep in the road
Nearby Shaw on a clear day
Arggh the Knitting Monster

An Important Service Announcement From Uncle Bob

“Only after weeks had passed did I begin to think that I had, rather absent-mindedly, passed through what mystics call “the dark night of the soul” or “crossing the abyss.”

Whatever one calls it, I reached a depth of despair and deliberately decided to love the world instead of pitying myself; and, afterwards, I was no longer afraid of anything.”

  • Robert Anton Wilson, Cosmic Trigger.

October 2016

October and the weather is beginning to really go down hill, but we still have the odd surprising really sunny day.

Highlights this month:

  • Work sends me on a training course for a content management system we don’t even have access to
  • Crypts and Things finally gets released to the general public yay!
  • Having fun at Furnace 2016 despite the whole con being ill.
  • I start staring 50 in the face (thanks Carl Greatbach for that horrible metaphor that is stuck in my head!) as I hide from the world celebrating my 45 birthday!
  • An efficiently run Halloween πŸ™‚
H and his conkers!
H and his conkers!
Rach is cross at Christmas being in the shops this early!
Rach is cross at Christmas being in the shops this early!
Off to Furnace on the train, something I've not done in about 10 years
Off to Furnace on the train, something I’ve not done in about 10 years
First cuppa of the Con
First cuppa of the Con (oh how old I’m getting, this used to be beer!)
Cueing for games sign up
Cueing for games sign up (me out of shot laughing, because as a GM I don’t have to do this)
The Magic Stall!
The Magic Stall!
MItch my secret Hendos advisor
MItch my secret Hendos advisor
River of Heaven in full flow!
River of Heaven in full flow!
Our pair dressed up for School Book Day
Our pair dressed up for School Book Day
Help I'm in Computer Nerd Central
Help I’m in Computer Nerd Central
Cats in Catnip debauchary shocker
Cats in Catnip debauchery shocker
Monkey!
Monkey!
Best Birthday Present Ever!!  Tony the Tea makin sloth :)
Best Birthday Present Ever!! Tony the Tea makin sloth πŸ™‚
Grrr! I be Capt Breadhook, where be my enemy Peter Flan!
Grrr! I be Capt Breadhook, where be my enemy Peter Flan!
This year's pumpkin effort
This year’s pumpkin effort
Halloween at the Newport's
Halloween at the Newport’s

September 2016

The main thing I remember was me thinking “Dang I was just getting into Summer!” and feeling a succession of jolts as the ambient energy dropped (that’s seasonal downturn to all you people in normalsville).

Life progressed as normal. Kids where settled back in School. Work continued to be vaguely annoying and indecisive, but I kept my cool and played along.

Henry had an ace small boy birthday, full of toys, meals out with family, a party at a local play place, and the realisation is that he’s now beyond his littlely years and growing up fast!

Big personal news for me was that the final proofs of Crypts and Things landed, and I had it my hands after spending a good two years developing it. That was a feeling you can’t beat! πŸ™‚

Cats have the right idea
Cats have the right idea
H with his birthday MInecraft Lego
H with his birthday MInecraft Lego
Its grim op norf
Its grim op norf
I finally have it my hands! (Lunch to provide idea of scale)
I finally have it my hands! (Lunch to provide idea of scale)
The Sun hadn't vanished entirely - still time to be hunted by cats!
The Sun hadn’t vanished entirely – still time to be hunted by cats!
Off to school you pair!
Off to school you pair!
Arrgh! Stalked by Ninja + Vader!
Arrgh! Stalked by Ninja + Vader!

August 2016

Although most of August was dominated by the holiday, the weeks before and after it was fun. I vaguely remember the weather being much better than usual. Although nowhere near the high summer days of my youth, at least it wasn’t grimmly overcast and raining all the time (yes 2011-2013 I’m looking at you).

Henry playing PIrates of the Carribean
Henry playing Pirates of the Caribbean
Crypts & Things progresses in the proofing stage
Crypts & Things progresses in the proofing stage
Ow me eye!
Ow me eye!
Our duo swinging at the park
Our duo swinging at the park, in front of a petrified Alien from the last invasion.
Lego!
Lego!
On your marks! Get set!
On your marks! Get set!
A sunny day at Hollingworth Lake
A sunny day at Hollingworth Lake
Hollingworth Lake: That Green Man gets everywhere!
Hollingworth Lake: That Green Man gets everywhere!
Hollingworth Lake: Of course there was Ice Cream!
Hollingworth Lake: Of course there was Ice Cream!
Back to work, Bowie tells me to behave
Back to work, Bowie tells me to behave
More Manchester Murals
More Manchester Murals

Vikings always make me feel better

I know its all fashionable to get all blue about the state of the world at this time of year and to give into some sort of perma-whinge. Me I just invoke my inner-Viking and think…..

What would a Viking do about about Brexit? Doesn’t care too busy raiding your coast and extorting tribute from your weak government!!!

American Presidential Election? Don’t care colonised America first and the long ships are sailing up the river to burn the Whitehouse down unless you pay us ALL YOUR GOLD! Donald Trump OFF WITH HIS HEAD!!! As for Hillary, we’ve got an axe for her too. We’ll put Burnie Saunders in charge because he’s popular with the peasants….sorry people, and he’s a weak…opps sorry slip of the tongue again ..reasonable ruler WHO WILL OBEDIENTLY BE PAYING THE TRIBUTE WE WILL BE DEMANDING FROM NOW ON!!!

Ask a Viking what he thinks of “Writer’s Imposter Syndrome” and he’ll go “What is this weak writing business where we pass around illuminated manuscripts via the internets. Its for girly monks with their long rubbish sackcloth dresses and hairy shirts stuck in their shitty little cold monestrys. Don’t worry we will be coming soon and raising the temperature with hot fire and illustrating the manuscripts with their blood!”

See Vikings make everything better πŸ™‚

Or else….

Tribute or head bashing in?
Tribute or head bashing in?