Life, Thoughts, Philosophy

London Olympics 2012 – Winning and Losing!

It’s harrowing at times, watching athletes that have not won, talk about the event immediately afterwards in interview. I’ve seen them speechless, monosyllabic, apologising, and just grief struck.

The elation of the winner, we are used to seeing but this we don’t normally see. But the interesting part is not that losing, or missing a medal is distressing the athletes, it’s not that at all.

What really breaks them down, some of them despairing, knowing that the chance will not ever come again. – What really breaks them down, is when they think they didn’t do what they could have done. They didn’t do their best.

We all make mistakes in life. We say or do the wrong thing at the wrong time, but few of us are put in a position where our lives are set, after four years of preparation, by one mistake in a few seconds of an event.

It’s not the mistake, the misjudgement, it’s the timing, when they make it, that breaks their hearts.

Most of us deliver work at some point, and if it’s not quite right on the day, we can fix it. The Olympics athletes rarely get a second chance.

It’s hard on them. I hope their coaches, friends and supporters give them a break afterwards.

Games Design, Life, Thoughts, Philosophy

Seeing too many patterns!

I was working next to the Grand Place in Brussels. Must do some coding IN the Grand Place, it is such a great place. Everytime I enter that square I am stunned by the architecture and the way it all fits together. I was told by a Belgian expert-in-a-bar that the intricate architecture was deliberately put together that way. Hmmm is there an analogy there? Making a game is putting pieces together so that the whole adds up to more than the parts.

I gotta stop seeing analogies everywhere! 🙂


Football Manager, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, Kevin Toms, Life, Thoughts, Philosophy

My iPhone/iPad Football Manager type game 72 – Mine, all mine!

I was reflecting on this as I close in on completion, every line, every piece of code, every design element of this game was created by myself alone. This is like the original Spectrum Football Manager that was so successful for so long. Now, at this stage, there are some things I could call on others for, things that may add some polish or final touches that are better than the things I can do myself. But, I am also thinking that I won’t do that, that I will continue to do it all myself right to release.

This puts me in the position of a singer songwriter who plays all of the instruments on his album. He may not be the best drummer but he plays the drums. There is something good about this and I think it is what I will do. It’s been a lot to create this game, it doesn’t have to be perfect, I just have to be happy myself with what I put out.

Here’s a picture of Spectrum Football Manager. There is something a little strange in the corner there.. (Not me!)

48k! What’s that in the corner? 🙂
Football Manager, Games, Games Design, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, Life, Thoughts, Philosophy, Software Development and Delivery

Pushing for Promotion

Well this is an interesting time. I am closer than ever to finishing a game that has taking me a long, long time to write. In the process I have learned much. Plenty about the iPhone, plenty about what I am trying to achieve, and plenty about how best I write games. It’s been written in many different places and countries, in different environments. In different personal circumstances, and different amounts of pressure, problems, and ease in life.

I have become challenged, stressed, frustrated, philosophical, excited, happy and relaxed. – All along the way of writing this.

I have met, through social media, through this, some great people. And continue to.

Why am I a bit retrospective now? I am just about to take a short break, recharge my batteries, ready for the final run- the final push for promotion!

Life, Thoughts, Philosophy, Money and Business

30 years ago Football Manager – Cash up front!!

I was running the company selling Football Manager, we had a number of companies distributing our product. It was not an easy environment because the whole industry was new, nobody had a track record you could check.

I hired a woman in sales and she found a new distributor for the game. They wanted to order 3,000 units, a nice starter order! But they wanted to be on credit and pay later (typically 60 to 90 days later!). I told my new sales woman that we must get cash up front for the first order as a sign of goodwill and that they are solvent – with no track record for companies because they were new, you could not credit check them.

She went back to the company and came back to me “They won’t do cash up front it’s against their company policy”. I reminded her it only applied to their first order and insisted. The distributor would not budge on this.

My sales woman said to me “I got the sale for 3,000 units and you are blocking it!”. I stuck to my policy. What happened next was interesting. My saleswoman was busy overnight and the next morning as I walked in, 3,000 units were stacked and boxed in reception with the distributors address on it. I didn’t budge and had to step over those boxes every day for 3 weeks.

What happened after 3 weeks? The distributor went into liquidation.

My sales woman never argued with my policies again!! 🙂



Life, Thoughts, Philosophy

Harry Redknapp cleared, so was my friend

So Harry was cleared. I know someone who was pursued by the revenue. Every Christmas eve they sent him a bill for several thousand pounds due for immediate payment, which he would have to wait until the New Year to have annulled. After 7 years and a tribunal he was eventually cleared. But I thought those Christmas bills were just nasty!

Life, Thoughts, Philosophy, Money and Business

SOPA and PIPA are not the way to stop Piracy

I have had my own intellectual property pirated(I have heard all the excuses and justifications). It’s tough to take, but, the solution being put through the US law process at the moment is wrong. It will mess with the Internet and damage freedom of expression. Big, powerful companies will exploit it to bully and get what they want, just as they do now with Patents etc.

Here is a good explanation of why it is bad law

Life, Thoughts, Philosophy, Money and Business

2012 the Year of Positivity

Why should it be? Because we are surrounded right now by doomsayers. The demise of the Euro, global recession, austerity measures, no future for young people, the coming year will be the worst, etc etc.
Let’s make a football analogy. If you send your team out saying they are going to lose and there is no hope, what will happen? They will lose.
But what if you say the other team is vulnerable, that if we raise our game we can beat them. Then you might just win.
The point is, inspirational leadership is needed. And we lack that right now. Leaders yes, no inspirational leaders.
So I think we have to lead ourselves. My resolution for 2012- try and see the positives and ignore the gloom merchants!! Have a great year! 🙂