Catching Up On What I’ve Missed

One of the best things about returning from holiday is catching up on what everyone has been up to in my absence. No, I’m not talking about Trump (though I’m sure we’ll be getting into him just as soon as the story changes), I’m talking about people with rather a lot more talent.

So, my first stop is listening to the film reviews by Tom Charles (of Sketchy Reviews). Join in by listening below:

After that, it’s a pop over to J M Hooker’s blog to enjoy some of his fine photography and musings on fire hydrants.

Photography by J M Hooker

And finally it is off to check in with the latest creation of Paul Hayes… although that’s a secret still in development. You’ll have to wait for that one.

First Ade then Paul – Podcast News

It’s been slowly boiling away and now the first serving of our new podcast is available. Each week Paul Hayes and myself will bring you gossip and scaremongering from the world of politics and tech.

First Ade then Paul – Satire for Solipsists

Episode #001 Snitch in the Machine: Our daring heroes boldly discuss the Psychoactive Substances Bill & security flaws in the Internet of Things

Dead Of Night

All around me is dark. Somewhere in the distance I can hear the drag of feet, dead legs scuffing the floor. I pump my shotgun and fire off a round, but my aim is off. I listen again, trying to discern the exact location of the undead, when my phone rings. I answer, ready to plead for help, only to hear the screams of the unknown caller. It is too late for them. I hang up.

It is closer now, I can hear its groans, but where? I flip up my mobile phone and put it in night-vision mode and suddenly I can see all around: woods, an abandoned petrol station, my crashed car… and a zombie. It is close, reaching out, so I pull up the shotgun and-

-my girlfriend turns on the living room light, distracting me just as I needed to take the shot. There I am, standing in the middle of my flat, mobile phone in hand and headphones plugged in. I’m not dead, I’ve merely been devoured yet again in the new mobile app game by Paul Hayes, “Dead Of Night”.

Dead of Night is a zombie game like no other. Yes, there are a million zombie mobile games out there, but hear me out. This one is not a shoot em up (even though you do, technically shoot them up) nor is it a cutesy side-scroller. Dead of Night puts you in the action, allowing you to view the world through the night vision on your phone in a full 360 panorama. When a zombie is located, you flip your phone down and it becomes your shotgun, one that needs to be loaded, pumped and fired. It is innovative, exciting, and the future of mobile gaming.

I was approached by creator Paul Hayes to write dialogue for the app back in early development, and even then I could see how immersive the game would be. Dead of Night is not about beating a system, or gaining points, it is about creating an experience that feels real. You play it in the dark, so your mobile phone screen becomes the window through which you can catch quick glimpses of the world around you, but beware, the battery is low and you’ll mostly have to rely upon your hearing to discern where the next attack will come.

The game is available on Android and iPhone, and at the very low price of £1.99 is worth it for the experience alone.

Check out the Dead of Night here

Google Play

Disaster in Dulverton, Part 2

Our small team eyed the manor house suspiciously.

“Where did that come from?” I asked, scratching my head till the scalp bled.

“Eeee I’ve got naa idea guv’nor!” cried Jules in an undecipherable accent.

“We have no choice,” chimed in the soon-to-be-dead Paul. “We’ll have to head into that valley and try to cross the river.”

At the mention of such a horrifying feat, James ran into the nearest wall. Paul grabbed him by the scruff of his neck.

“No time for dashing yourself against the rocks, my dear boy,” he growled. “There’ll be plenty of time for that when we’re neck-deep in rapids.”

“I know, I know,” insisted James. “It’s a compulsion of mine. I’m over it now.”

And so the four of us headed into the forest below, leaving the manor house behind. The going was tough, the flies even more furious at our intrusion than before. They must have sensed our weakness.

Harsh conditions and deady plants awaited our every step

Harsh conditions and deady plants awaited our every step

Finally we could hear the roar of the mighty river. It loomed into view like a piddle from Neptune himself. How on Earth would we cross? After following it for some time, it became clear we would have to wade.

At this point there was a split within the group that none of us would ever recover from: to wear shoes, or to go bare-footed? Paul and I striped off our footwear, whilst the other two chose to dampen their soles. Both pairs eyed the other with suspicion. For the first time in the day there was discord. If the river didn’t kill us, would we kill each other?

The rapids were freezing and teaming with pebbles, but the four adventurers plodded on, determined not to be sucked under and destroyed.

And then suddenly, I tumbled forward. “I’m done for!” I screamed above the din of the rushing waters. But by sheer luck I stuck out a hand and steadied myself. For a moment I was worried about Piranha fish, a fearsome predator found in such rivers as this, except in the Amazon.

After much crying we finally made it to the other side. We had crossed the mighty river and were in familiar territory once more. Just a short two hour trek home through the forest and we’d be home.

Three of the four share a final drink together, each aware of their fate, but too damn brave to mention it.

Three of the four share a final drink together, each aware of their fate, but too damn brave to mention it.

Rain sodden and demoralised we finally stumbled into the cottage that evening. A full seven long hours since we set off. Like all good gents, we settled down to a hearty meal, stiff drink, and a game of battlestar galactica the board game.

The following morning, out of curiosity, we decided to follow the road outside the cottage, to see where it might lead.

A few minutes along we saw it. The manor house! Oh woe! We had wasted several hours and risked life and limb for naught! All four broke down and wept.

“This world is too unjust!” screamed Paul as he placed a whole jacket potato in his mouth and bit down. The following explosion took his head clean off. James, unable to cope with the horror, threw himself against the nearest fence.

It was a dark time.

Later that afternoon we returned home. The journey was uneventful.

Disaster in Dulverton, Part 1

On Friday 13th a crack squad set out from Brighton. The Mission: to spend a weekend break in Exmoor. The team was comprised of the following-

James Hooker – Spy, Photo Journalist, Scout
Jules Ross – Assassin, Care Worker, Thief
Paul Hayes – Sapper, Programmer, Samurai
Ade Grant – Guide, Writer, Priest

The mission almost failed as it began, as James Hooker drove into Paul’s next door neighbour’s house. Quite what possessed the young journalist is unclear, but one thing’s for certain, upon approaching the home of Paul Hayes, terror overcame him and he took a suicidal acceleration in the direction of a brick wall. Fortunately no-one was hurt and James came to his senses soon after. Was this a herald of things to come? Did he sense our impending doom?

Every direction we turned, a barrier stood in our way

Every direction we turned, a barrier stood in our way

The destination of our stay was a small cottage just outside of Dulverton. The journey went well and we deliberately arrived under the cover of darkness. Well aware of a possible ambush, we used the black night and dimmed headlights to sneak in. We were safe. We had arrived.

The following day we decided to embark upon a mighty trek. We followed the river north, with the aim being Tarr Steps and a splendid drink. However the journey would be fraught with danger; a failed crossing of the river almost crippled Jules with a wet foot, clouds of flies tried to blind us, sheep glared, buzzards swooped, overall it was a terrifying experience.

Tarr Steps proved a haven from the storm. But we only had enough time to drink a large bourbon, and then we were back off, into the moors this time.

Ten seconds later, this man was dead

Ten seconds later, this man was dead

The moors proved even harsher. Rain lashed our faces and mud clutched our boots, yet still we pressed on. With every field crossed we were sure we’d see the cottage again, but every time we were proved wrong. Moral dropped. Tensions rose. Would we ever make it back alive?

All was about to fail, until suddenly civilization rose its grubby head. We dashed out, excited to find a road. But wait! No! It was not our cottage at all, it was a large manor house, one we’d never seen before. What now? We were truly lost…

To be continued….