David is into Research & Development, so there are plenty of things that occupy David’s spare time, have done in the past, or will do in the future. You can learn about them here.
Chocobo Stables Manager
This was the first web-game that I created. At the height of popularity this had about 6,000 registered players, with a fluctuating 300-600 active players per month. Sadly due to work commitments this fell behind in maintenance and died out. The project was an on-line racing and stables management system that was themed on the Chocobo-creatures of the Final Fantasy video game series.
Other prototype web-games
Fantasy Realms, Fantastic Odyssey Online and Wolf Wars were other prototype web-games that were short-lived, but attracted a small amount of reputation. Bringing the total active user base of the web games to around 1,000 active players per month.
Fantasy Realms and Fantastic Odyssey Online were web-based RPG’s which functioned in a similar way to old MUD-style text adventure games, except with a graphical component so you could see what area you were in and the environment around you, and featured turn-based battling akin to the Final Fantasy games series.
Wolf Wars operated as a turn-based procedural generated Risk-like game where you had control of a pack of wolves in a procedurally generated board. Each month players would aim to take over as much of the virtual wilderness as possible to become the dominant player on a leader board system.
There was also a micro-management aspect, where you could order wolves to certain tasks such as hunting for food, defending territory, breeding and nursing the young. If you allowed your pack to starve or lost territory wolves would lose loyalty and could flee.
One of the first projects straight out of University had David working on a Wholsale Telecoms Leasing and Billing system for the then-new WLR platform from British Telecom. It was a challenging project, taking a very rough API document for a vague variant of SOAP/XML (ebXML) and producing a platform capable of communicating customer orders to the BT Backbone.
The biggest challenges on this project came from the poor documentation from BT themselves who claimed to be following the ebXML standard.
After reports from BT that we had been sending junk messages to their test platform, we spent almost two weeks tearing apart our communication layer to understand what was wrong with the messages we were sending. After several late nights, and hours of sitting on phone calls with BT engineers and tracing messages from one side of the communication process to the other, it transpired that our ‘junk’ messages were in fact empty confirmation receipts that were a part of the ebXML standard – a part of the standard that BT had chosen not to implement in their technology, but naturally no documentation made mention of this! BT would not make alterations to their platform to correct this, so I had to re-engineer the communication layer to break the standard and match the communication requirement with the BT platform.
During a period of working for an agency, I created a custom CRM platform for a number of several small companies. The CRM system featured basic client databases, purchase order generation, invoicing and call logging. There was also several client specific bespoke customisations done to create direct interfaces from the custom CRM to the existing client websites and portals.
This was going back several years, before a lot of web-based CRM technologies were available to the small business. Now it would be almost unheard of to write a CRM system from scratch!
This was invaluable experience however, and I have been using the framework from this custom CRM ever since, building upon and improving the designs to power several personal websites along with features on this website.
The CRM – dubbed ‘Lorum’, has been used to power the back ends of commercial appliance websites, web-streaming businesses, charitable causes and energy forecasting websites.
Online Lottery Scratch Cards (circa 2008)
Along with the CRM technology, a short-lived project David was involved with was the creation of a mobile phone lottery scratch card game for charities. The game was built from the ground up around an existing popular charity cellular platform in the UK. The games were simple click-to-reveal prize amounts (where upon matching 3 prize amounts would win), and the games were delivered in both legacy WAP and XHTML formats for older WAP phones and [at the time] fancy new XHTML-capable mobile devices. The games operated for about two years before licencing was not renewed.
As a day job, David is the lead engineer on a data analysis and reporting service operated by a large Financial Trade company. This is an exciting opportunity to develop new and interesting tools to help big businesses understand more about what the Press and general public think about the issues that matter most to business.
The system collects data from data vendors such as Moreover, GNIP/Twitter, BurrellesLuce, NLA/CLA, Precise, PressIndex and others, processes the records for entities and sentiment, and stores the data for use in custom queries, charting and reporting.
Part of the work also trawls through contact information on the content, and conducts data analysis to associate the seperate posts from individuals across multiple sites.
Several pieces of this work have been patented (WO2013169178/A2, US20130297619/A1).