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Guest blog: Sunday Service

It’s Sunday afternoon, the family is out, which means it can only be time for catching up with all the work you didn’t have time to do during the week because all that work got in the way.

Having managed to stagger back up to Nottingham by midday on Thursday, just in time for a project seminar – after which Geri and I sat down to look at the applications for her maternity cover post. This is rapidly becoming the #1 concern at GCHQ at the moment. Having spent the best part of five years with a trusted colleague doing vast amounts of key work for the project, only some of which I’m aware of, let along filling in the gaps of stuff that I forget – it’s terrifying to think of replacing her.

Looking through the pile of cv’s is reassuring, but still coldly terrifying. On Thursday we’re going to interview some of them, show them round, try and make sure they’re going to be brilliant – and then *hopefully* offer someone the job. Assuming they say yes, our great hope is that they’ll be joining us as soon as possible. Scary.

Brighton was great, the Develop conference is a really nice balance between industry social and *actual* conference. A few excellent festival meetings, but spent most of the day hosting one of the rooms – and as a consequence learnt a tonne of stuff about Singstar that I had no idea about. Sony London don’t get anything like the credit they deserve for making gaming accessible to families long before Wii…
Didn’t manage to actually check into the hotel until 10pm however, just before the party, and was shocked to discover that I’d somehow been put into a suite. This marks the first (and I suspect, last) time I have stayed in a room with an en-suite boardroom. Too tired to really appreciate it, sadly. I did manage to capture a UFO over Brighton though.

Friday was a little easier. A nice research cluster meeting was followed by a production meeting. The festival is starting to motor ahead now, and some of the projects we talked about at the launch last week are starting to transform into concrete plans, purchase orders and new lists of problems to be solved and empty spaces we need to fill with ideas. The festival is emerging into a platform, as discussed infact at mediacampnottingham, and i’m delighted. A lot of next week is going to be concerned with this, I think – we’re needing to make sure we’re 100% sure how we notate this internally before publishing anything out, but the initial response has been great. Finally, we should have a way of helping people use GameCity better – as was always intended.

Oh – something excellent happened just at the end of the day, actually – when we *finally* got confirmation on one of the major event partners for the show this year. Good news, which has the knock-on effect of meaning it now becomes #2 priority… I think this is my favourite part of the whole event right now, about 3 months out, where things suddenly start to accelerate. Everything suddenly becomes an exercise is trying to predict the possible effects of doing everything else, and then how to mitigate against them.


More background about our guest blogger, Iain Simons.

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