The London Experience

I’ve been living in London for 5 and a half months now, having joined Plumbee at the same time.

It’s been quite a ride so far. I am indeed loving every minute. Of course, I miss my family and I also miss my friends from Portugal, but work and my coworkers, now friends, keep me in high spirits and very motivated.

Contrary to my initial expectations, I am very much enjoying programming in ActionScript. I was used to Objective-C’s verbosity but I find AS3’s slimness quite refreshing. I’ve been learning and relearning a lot of concepts I’ve used in the past for hobby projects and in the little University game development I did (can’t believe I’m using spritesheets for work, I’ve dreamed about it for so long!).
Exploring hardware accelerated frameworks like Starling gives me great hope for what is possible to achieve with an AIR packaged app in an iPhone or iPad. I mean, even Super Hexagon was done with the help of AIR!
It’s not a perfect product and Adobe is annoyingly coy about letting people know that no, Flash isn’t really dead, and if you play a lot of games on your iPhone, pretty sure one of them at least was made using ActionScript and AIR.
I enjoy it so much I started porting my fabled Pocket Bogart project to ActionScript, tying the Starling framework with FeathersUI and Richard Lord’s system-based approach to game development. And I learned about all of these different frameworks from a portuguese friend I met at Plumbee.

It’s funny that there’s already three portuguese guys at Plumbee, as even today I met a portuguese girl at Tesco, even the owner of the hairdresser I go to is portuguese. We’re everywhere!
Portugal’s woes had a big influence in my decision to leave, however I’ve always felt a desire to work abroad, especially because we don’t have a game industry per se, just a couple of game studios that can’t really soak up the quantity of willing developers.

If there’s one downside to living in London is the housing. The closer you want to be to the center, the more expensive and smaller the 4 walled space you’ll get. This is normal, but in London people seem to be willing to live in the most ridiculously small spaces. And you’ll pay premium for a place like that, depending on the location!

London is truly an international city. The british people I’ve met keep telling me London is practically its own country compared with the rest of the UK. It’s a very welcoming city with many boroughs that resemble little towns.

I am having the best of times at Plumbee. Everyone is fantastic, the founders are great, the work & tech are on the bleeding edge and I really feel I make a difference. And we also know how to have fun, as today a POOL TABLE arrived at our shiny new office in Moorgate. We celebrated by playing pool (I’m terrible at it) and belting out Rock Band.