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Will Robinson
Works at Mutant Caterpillar Development
Attended Aberystwyth University
Lives in Aberystwyth
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Will Robinson

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From the 7DTD dev blog:

"Speaking of hordes we fixed several bugs and will hotfix them ASAP. One feature we thought sounded cool a while back (hordes not despawning when you ditch them) was locking them down in chunks that were unloaded on the server. This meant we couldn’t spawn any other hordes until these original ones were dealt with. Well so if you were 5 miles from your base and a horde came to see you, well guess what, those guys were locked down until someone revisited them. 

Anyhow they will keep moving around on the server now preventing this problem from happening again."

Any of my other gamedev folks feel a strong pang of sympathy at that? I feel like I've had that kind of bug a thousand times...
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Got this through today. Next step is the Health Board and hopefully on to the chaplaincy team.
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Jürgen Erhard's profile photoIrene Jones's profile photoCerys Robinson's profile photo
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Sorry, +Jürgen Erhard - I have to do what Mummy tells me.
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Haven't posted on the Plus in a while.

It's not that I've abandoned you lot. I've just not been microblogging since New Year as I've focused on recovering from the rather nasty turn my health took around then. I don't count Facebook - that's where I post random rubbish that I don't care about - but I've not had anything to talk about on here.

That's changing, though. Recovery continues apace and I'm beginning to put my plans in motion, at long last. Coming up - thoughts on my experiments in Data Oriented Design, Humanist work, and possibly some forays into the dark and dirty world of online work.

Oh, and probably some game concepts too. Cos my G+ stream would feel bare without them :)
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Mikael Karlsson's profile photoIrene Jones's profile photoClaire Blackshaw's profile photo
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Welcome back 🙌
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New Year Rambling
Things I learned this year:

- Figuring out what's wrong doesn't necessarily enable you to fix it. At least not for things other than code.
- "Useful Idiots" actually exist. In surprisingly large numbers.
- While I really, really want to get better, I discovered that I really, really don't want to have a giant needle stuck into my bone marrow EVEN MORE.
- People change. That part I knew, but I figure I had a romantic ideal that they generally change for the better. Turns out not so much, not all the time.
- It's amazing how much happier I am when I have money, even if it's only a little bit. A tenner that's not already spoken for seems to be a better antidepressant than any amount of SSRIs, at least in the short-term.
- In some ways cults and subcultures are remarkably similar, especially in language terms. My Less Wrong-inspired terminology has managed to make at least one person think I've gotten into some kind of weird religion. (Eliezer's cool and all but he's not the Messiah. I think. I hope.)

But all of that's kind of unimportant, really. It's not been a good year, and it's not been a bad year. But it's been a happy one. My family have been wonderful, Bethie, Cessie and Cat alike. I couldn't ask for a better bunch of people to spend my life with.

Things with Cat have gone so well this year I can barely believe it. We've spent time away together, which is important when you don't live with someone; it's been hard to find time to be together in amongst everything else, especially when we're both ill. Hopefully as I continue recovering that'll get easier. Regardless, she's been amazing, and I love you, +Catherine Shaw . Thanks for a fantastic year.

Bethan's staying up with us on New Year for the first time. She's growing up so damn fast it's like being caught in an expensive whirlwind with a mild Minecraft addiction. She's gotten through her freaking-out-screaming-every-time-she-doesn't-get-her-own-way phase quite soundly and is rapidly turning into a kind of undersized adult. I can't help but look forward to who she's going to be. I suspect she'll be awesome.

Cessie is Cessie. The chemo is proceeding apace and is nearly done, and it seems to be working fingers crossed. She's 100% +Cerys Robinson, ornery and stubborn and bull-headed and kind and brilliant and sexy and occasionally a little cruel. In short, she remains the perfect person to spend the rest of my life with. Think I might do just that.

So here goes with the next year :)
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miri dunn's profile photoJürgen Erhard's profile photo
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On everything else: Happy new year to you and yours.  And may this one be astonishing.   In  a good way, of course.  ;-)
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I'm now reaching the point where new scientific and technological discoveries are beginning to sound like satire. I think this may be a sign I'm getting old.
 
Wow 2014 has been so intense for science 
Scientists at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh have developed a technology that enables them to 3D print embryonic stem cells, potentially eliminating the need for organ donation.
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You say embryonic stem cells, I see Connect4
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Will Robinson

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I am genuinely conflicted about the upcoming UK election.

On the one hand, it is extremely clear to me that barring a couple of specific elements mostly regarding energy, science and the occasional abuse of statistics, the party whose principles most clearly align with my own are the Greens.

On the other hand, this is going to be an agonisingly close election. With the collapse of broad student support for the Lib Dems in such a student-driven constituency, this election is most likely to be a knife-edge fight between Plaid Cymru and the Lib Dems here in Ceredigion . Given that current polling indicates that there is almost certain to be another coalition government of some kind, this puts me in an unusual position: My vote, along with that of others here in Ceredigion, has potentially national consequences.

Voting Green in that context, while appropriate to my principles, is unfortunately going to act mostly to bolster the Green presence for future elections - a worthwhile effort, certainly, but possibly one outweighed by the need to prevent another center-right Con/Lib coalition government.

This is made worse by the remarkable job that Plaid have done in cleaning up their act in recent years. It's no longer the obvious case of "turkeys voting for Christmas" for an Englishman to vote Plaid as it has been. Plaid have managed a reasonably successful transition from a party of the Welsh to a party of Wales, mainly driven by their engagement in the Senedd. I'm naturalised enough to feel comfortable with a party of Wales in a way I never was or would be with the party of the Welsh as was.

Yet I'm still, at heart, suspicious of any nationalist party.

Dammit. Why haven't we built a real Science Party yet?
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Michael Edmond's profile photoWill Robinson's profile photoPatrick Fox (Pádraig Ó Sionnach)'s profile photo
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.....Russell Brand or Bertrand Russell because while they've both written about Syndicalism I'm not sold on there ideas....sure they're good but I prefer Peter Kropotkin's 
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Yay, Lua closures working.

I'm doing some crazy experiments with lua handling of a data registry and it's actually doing what it's supposed to do.

Metatables are weird as all hell, but y'know, it's working. 
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I have a 7 Days To Die dedicated server now. Co-op preferred. Prod me if you want the IP.

(My excuse is that I've never really spent any time with server providers before so I need the experience for work purposes. Honest guv.)
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(Warning: Massively self-indulgent prose dump ahead. First person pronoun used way too much. You have been warned.)

I don't remember when I first encountered Terry Pratchett's work.
In some way it all kind of merges together with my memories of being about 13 or so. 
I've always been into fantasy as long as I can remember, I ran into The Hobbit blissfully early and so I've been devouring other worlds forever. But I remember those books, remember finding them and reading them. I don't remember the Discworld the same way; it didn't seem to enter my brain the same way the other stories did. It wasn't so much that it was a "living world", as so many of the reviews kept insisting. It was more that... it was real.
Not literally real, of course. But Sir Terry was writing about the real world and pasting trolls and dwarfs over the top, he was constructing situations I saw around me every day. And it was so damn comprehensive, too; watching my grandfather fossilize and diminish to nothing even as Granny Weatherwax chose the path her dotage would take; hell, even my public school surroundings were convincingly rendered in the Assassin's Guild segments, in particular from Pyramids. Vimes' later conflicts regarding his elevation and his inner street kid struck an even greater chord with me.

As I grew, I found my favourite stories began to change. The glowing humanism of Feet of Clay was something I'd been waiting to see in the rather sterile artistic world of the late 90s, and probably helped push me down the path I'm on today (and it's not for nothing that Sir Terry was a patron of the BHA). The stories were growing, getting even more complex and more ambitious to boot; there is an intensity to Night Watch that I would rate against any other book written in the same period.

It's only now, looking back, that I realise Pratchett's secret.
He wrote a hell of a lot of books, but unlike most authors with such prolific output, he never really wrote the same story twice. Most authors give their readers what they say they want, which is more of what they got before. They feed the beast. But after that first 7-8, what Discworld fans wanted, and what Sir Terry was seemingly only too happy to give them, was more of their own lives in the books.
Because everyone that loves his work seems to have done the same thing I did. Everyone sees their own lives in the books. There are so very many characters, so many situations played with, and the Discworld formula is so very open that it's hard to imagine anyone reading it and not finding at least one book that resonates with some very fundamental part of the soul.

So I think that's why I don't remember when or how I first encountered Terry Pratchett's work. Because it slid in through my eyes while I was distracted laughing at silly place names and it's been living inside my head ever since. I'm as much a product of his books as I am a reader or fan.

===

I never met Sir Terry. But that's not really important. There must be thousands of others like me, tens of thousands if not more. Let him pass, a quiet and silly old man, and we'll carry him around with us as long as we live, and as long as the stories he wrote still speak to the quiet and silly old man or woman that hides inside us all.

#terrypratchett  
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+100000
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Got the placement, not least due to having a Reverend in my referees list.

Now to begin the process of removing bad language from my public soshul meeja profiles...
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Irene Jones's profile photoDave Pentecost's profile photoWill Robinson's profile photo
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Totally. It's a professionalism thing - I'd do the same thing if I was working directly for the NHS.
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This is something me and +Cerys Robinson have been accidentally creating for a while. I figured I should probably try to collate it in one place.
(With apologies to Blur and George Romero)

Cremation is a preference to the raging hunger that is known as...
(UN-LIFE!)
A shambler horde can be avoided if you take a route straight through what is known as...
(UN-LIFE!)
John's got survivors guilt, he gets intimidated by the scraping fingers at the door - they love a bit of it!
(UN-LIFE!)
Who's that fat git fleeing? You wanna cut down on your porklife, mate, eat some braaaaaainnnnssss!
(UN-LIFE!)

All the zombies
So many zombies
And they all go shuffling round
Shuffling round through their
Un-lives!

Know what I mean?

I don't get up at all, except on some days when I get rudely awakened by a virus
(UN-LIFE!)
I tear my coffin open, eat a couple of brains, then think about forming a horde
(UN-LIFE!)
I eat the cortex, I sometimes eat the brain stem too, it gives me an enormous sense of well-being
(UN-LIFE!)
Then I'm hungry for the rest of the day, frantically searching for another screaming victim
(UN-LIFE!)

All the zombies
So many zombies
And they all go shuffling round
Shuffling round through their
Un-lives!

It's got nothing to do with your baseball bat technique, y'know
And it's not about yer gunners, who shoot rounds and rounds and rounds...

All the zombies
So many zombies
And they all go shuffling round
Shuffling round through their
Un-lives!
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Excellent collation, my love.
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So far #7daystodie  has been the highlight of my Xmas gaming.

I've never encountered a game which so well captures the feel of being in a Romero-esque zombie movie. Don't get me wrong, I love the Resident Evil series and have a huge soft spot for State of Decay, but neither of those games has ever made me quite so terrified for my avatar's life as this one.

It's the intersection of two axes. The first is the same horde and spawn mechanics as SoD, but in a much less cover-rich environment and with WAAAAAAAAY less combat ability. You can't jump in a pickup and mow them down in this one. You're weak, you attack slowly, and the only weapon you can easily produce ammo for shoots one bolt every 4-5 seconds. Even one hit from a zombie can stun you and leave you vulnerable to all the others. Even one hit from a zombie can leave you rapidly bleeding to death unless you have a bandage handy. You can't afford to screw up, not even once.

The second is Minecraft-esque voxel play, which allows the zombies to pursue you even into closed buildings by clawing apart doors, walls and reinforced windows. Combined with the ability of the undead to track you through sound, sight and smell (especially if you're carrying meat) this means that even if you get yourself a nice secure location it can be overwhelmed given enough time and enough zombies.

My most recent playthrough was going incredibly well. Most previous games had seen a death within a single day, but this time I'd managed to find a hotel room on an upper floor that looked promising. I sealed up the windows, replaced the door (I'd had to break in) and filled it with storage cabinets and my respawn point. With a base like this to operate from (and the hotel's fountain near a fireplace, which allowed me to boil cans of water to make them drinkable) I managed to survive for a good 4 days.

Unfortunately, one night I screwed up and stopped hiding while I checked my flat for intruders. Chance had it that there were a half-dozen zombies in the hotel, and they all headed straight for my door. I tried fixing and reinforcing it, to no avail; soon enough they broke in and killed me. I chose to respawn in the outer world and found it oddly lacking in zombies (I later found out the game clears the area around your spawn point for the sake of fairness) and snuck back in, battered and chastened.

So. 4 days. That's my current record. Can I beat it? I dunno, but they're determined to make sure I can't. There are a lot of zombie games these days, but this one has fear, and that's in much shorter supply.
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Work
Occupation
Independent Game Developer
Employment
  • Mutant Caterpillar Development
    Embedded Software Developer, 2012 - present
  • Mutant Caterpillar Games
    Director, 2009 - 2011
  • Broadsword Interactive
    Programmer, 2006 - 2009
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Currently
Aberystwyth
Previously
Birkenhead
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Story
Tagline
Achievement Unlocked: Arse Told From Elbow
Introduction
I'm Will Robinson, embedded software monkey, occasional game developer, devoted father and International Man Of Mystery. I live in a land far, far away... unless you happen to live in Wales, in which case I'm probably next door.
Education
  • Aberystwyth University
    1998 - 2002
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Male