Wonderful night for a walk.

Fun gaming with Minecraft Dungeons

Tonight I bought Minecraft Dungeons. To be honest, it might have been more of a nostalgia hit. Ever since I had my first computer, I’ve always had at least one form of dungeon crawler game installed. I also played a bit of Dungeons & Dragons as well, so the idea of a new dungeon crawler game was always going to appeal to me.

I’ve not really had a chance to delve into the game yet, but the review from The Verge paints a great picture of enjoyable the game will be.

What really makes it work, though, are the Minecraft trappings. Dungeons is a new way to explore an incredibly familiar setting. Yes, the gameplay is vastly different from the original, but there’s something satisfying about charging into a crowd of creepers while swinging a blocky sword and firing magic spells. It helps that the world is lovingly rendered and incredibly charming, from the beautiful landscapes — I especially love the desert areas — to the wonderful soundtrack. Even when you’re surrounded by pools of lava or giant gelatinous cubes, there’s something about the Minecraft aesthetic that makes it all very light and playful. Even the puzzles can be funny, like the dungeon keys that will run away when you’re attacked.

Minecraft Dungeons is a lighter, more family-friendly take on Diablo

Just downloaded iA Writer from the App Store. I forgot how wonderfully simple this editor was. Quite a few new features in here since I last used, but still simple. Love it.

Version 3.00 of my preferred typeface for coding, Iosevka, just dropped.

The over due pull request

I have a pull request that’s been sitting in Github for about two weeks now. It’s for a Rails app and the pull request includes some breaking changes. I’ve done my best to limit these breaking changes but there are some parts of the application that I need to update after the deploy.

I haven’t scheduled this into my day as I know it’s going to take a chunk out of my day so I’ve just let it lie there for the last two weeks.

I can’t put it off any longer. I’ve scheduled it in for this afternoon. I just need to get it done.

Bringing back blogs

I hate to play down the benefits of blogging, but I think the author here has a point. There used to be so many blogging platforms. Google even had a filter on their search engine for blogs. Now though, it feels like there are fewer blogs out there.

But they would be the one thing I’d bring back to the internet if I could bring one thing back. They’re the thing I miss the most and the most often. They were the most valuable thing on here, besides freer availability of news, free although low quality video content on YouTube, and I guess some kinds of social media. But blogs are something you can sit down and read and get really into to the point you forget where you even are, and think about how you want to try those things maybe in your life, or just enjoy their writing, and you can read deeper into them into past blog posts, and tune back in later and see what they’ve posted since the last things you read about them.

If I could bring one thing back to the internet it would be blogs

I think this is a bit ironic me pointing this out. I’ve definitely not been blogging as much as I have in the past. I’ve been struggling with blogging frequently again for the last two years, but the want to publish just isn’t there as much as it has been in the past.

Stay focused with context

Curtis McHale offers some important productivity advice for those working from home which you can use. And yes, that includes those of you with kids at home as well!

So take some time and evaluate the context you have around you. What steps can you take within those limits to reduce your distractions and improve your focus? Make those changes so that you can have the most productive work area that’s possible.

Setting the Context for Productivity by Curtis McHale

Star Wars meets Top Gun? I never thought I would see that happen but it does kind of work.

This demo for the latest Unreal Engine is absolutely astounding. The level of detail, lighting effects and sound add a whole new level of expectation to what the next generation of games will deliver.

After a lapse of reading, I’m back on track and finished Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo tonight. A good story and something a bit different from your usual fantasy books. 📚

The Last of Us Part II is finally getting a release date in June and the new trailer is just adding to the excitement.

Another wonderful evening stroll through the trees with Jennifer and the boys.

What better way to celebrate Star Wars day than a test of patience with a jigsaw.

A bird’s-eye view

I spent the morning finishing off a few components for a theme for my Caddieclix product. This is the fourth theme that I have done for the product. The idea is that organisations can select one of these themes for their websites and it will apply the theme’s look and feel to their own website, much like the way themes do for other content management systems.

This morning I was finishing off the fourth theme, but along the way, I felt that I got my intentions for the third and the fourth theme crossed over. It wasn’t until I took whole page screenshots of each of the themes and looked at them as images sized to my screen when I started to see where I was inconsistent in the layout of some of the themes. I could also see where I had applied the wrong styling for each of the components in the third and fourth themes.

In the last few months, I’ve been working at close range with each of these themes. I’ve been getting each of the components right for each theme and then moved onto the next one. I haven’t really taken a step back and seen if all the parts of each theme work together.

With these screenshots of each theme, though, I can see where I need to make changes to improve each theme and where I haven’t applied each theme’s styling consistently.

In the future, I’ve added a task to my theme review process so that I capture a whole web page screenshot of each theme. I’ll use this screenshot to ensure that each theme is adhering to its own design guidelines.

Tantive IV set complete! Took a wee bit longer than we planned but it’s finally finished. Just need to find a place to put it now.

Care package from mum arrived this afternoon in the form of sticky toffee pudding complete with a jar of toffee sauce. Went down a storm tonight after dinner! Thanks mum!

After some consideration, I’ve decided to kill my Atlassian account. I’m not using any of their products other than Trello. Despite Trello’s benefits though, it can be replaced by a number of tools that I already own.

Goodbye mattisms.dev

After a few weeks of not posting to my dev blog, I’ve decided that over the weekend I will delete this blog.

I don’t see the long term value in having this resource on a seperate domain or in collating the links for this blog. Instead of posting to a blog, I’m going to start collecting web development and Rails guides and resources on a number of pages on my personal website.

Don’t worry folks, I’ll keep posting here and any major changes in this web development content will be shared here as well.

Progress on the Tantive IV build has been good. Almost there!

I’ve been trying to build a series of themes using the Tailwind CSS framework. Creating the different components of each theme is simple to do, but bring these components together has been more challenging. My design eye for these things isn’t great.

Nicholas Bate with some basics for your marketing strategy.

Mobile version of XCode coming to iOS? I hope so.

The benefits of bootstrapping

Today’s blog post from Seth Godin highlights what for me, is the most significant benefits of bootstrapping a product.

You’re not a bootstrapper because you are thinking small. You’re a bootstrapper because it offers a chance to chart your own course and to serve your customers without conflict.

Innovation almost always comes from individuals who see a chance to make things better. Instead of waiting, they go first.

The bootstrapper creates value

I really enjoyed my time freelancing. Working from home, setting my own hours, but most importantly, having more time to do meaningful work and being able to spend more time with family.

I’ve been trying to steer back towards this in the last year, and while I am making progress, I’m still not quite 100% there yet. I’m still in the early days of bootstrapping this product of mine, and I’m only now just starting to onboard the first few customers. Sure I’m spending some time at night and at weekends building this, but I’m in control of how much time I want to spend on it. It’s short-term pain for a long-term gain.

The product itself is hardly a game-changer, in fact, it is really just a content management system geared towards golf organisations. I choose this market after doing some research into current systems for this market and finding that most golf clubs and professionals are making do with poorly implemented websites. Also, some golf clubs are using a handful of third-party solutions to put together a working site. Hardly ideal.

There’s more to this than just delivering a product though. Through my product, I would like to see organisations in the golf industry prosper.

I would like to see more golf clubs attracting and retaining new members. I would like to see more golf unions promoting their junior development squads. I would like to see more local professionals succeeding as the preferred retail outlet for golfers as opposed to online outlets.

I can’t solve every problem for everyone. Still, by putting these organisations first and creating solutions for them, I hope that I can help these organisations succeed. By bootstrapping my own product, I can keep the focus on these organisations.

Bootstrapping my product will take time, energy and money. I hope that in the long term though, I will eventually have a business that will create value for organisations and in turn, allow me to create my own path.

Kurt Harden is supporting local businesses. We all should do this and continue to do so when the pandemic ends.

Having to do the “confirm email address, reset password, login, associate account” dance this morning to get my Atlassian account to replace my Trello account. Not exactly a smooth process, but then these account migrations rarely are.