Highlight of the last week was probably the UK Games Expo which I attended with my wife and youngest daughter yesterday. As a first time visit, it was kind of an exploratory expedition with a few lessons learned:
- Give it some more time. It was pretty huge and I really didn’t have anywhere near enough time to properly scrutinise any of the games there. Although, this was partly a function of 2.
- Plan more alone time. While the wife and youngest daughter are happy to show polite interest in the various games and activities, and even participate in some of them, they don’t have the same level of interest or passion for board gaming that I do. So, after a while their enthusiasm waned, and it was time to move on where in my own I would have been more inclined to linger.
- Play games. In addition to the demonstrations and trial games available to play, there were quite a number of tournaments also. At the next event I’d like to play in at least one or two of them, just to round out the experience and sharpen up my board gaming skills.
It was a fantastic event nonetheless and though my visit was short, it was long enough to ensure I’ll be a repeat attendee in the future.
- I bought Rhino Hero Super Battle at the bargain basement price of £15 while I was there. Rhino Hero has been a (young) family favourite for some time, so this more fully featured set will I’m sure prove to be a hit. It also alerted me to the quite substantial variation in prices across the various shops while at the expo.
- Another bargain purchase was Colt Express which I played for the first time yesterday. A lovely game (if a little fiddly to initially construct), with some tactical programming elements in a similar fashion to Robo Rally or Saboteur. Looking forward to playing it with some of the expansions also.
- On the subject of programming, I’ve been spending time with my youngest two daughters helping them learn to program in Swift using the Swift Playgrounds app. We were introduced to it some time ago on a visit to the Apple store for some fixes. It’s an enjoyable and user friendly introduction to basic programming concepts, and hopefully it’ll lead to bigger things in due course. I note that it doesn’t seem to run so well on our older iPads though.
- Staying with the programming and family friendly theme, we recently dusted off our Lego Mindstorms EV3 (I picked mine up cheap – £100 from eBay) set and built some robotics with it. The programming interface is a little more clunky than the Swift Playgrounds variety mentioned above however, so my plans to use it as a learn to program tool stalled a little. At a recent home education event, we were introduced to Lego’s latest programming education tool, Boost, which may be more age appropriate for my 7 and 9 year olds.
- I will likely be needing some freelance/contract tester support in the near future. If you’re reading this and interested and likely to be available soon, please do let me know (below or via the socials) and I’ll arrange some kind of conversation.