Truth is stranger than fiction

Hello again! Firstly, hope you and your nearest and dearest are all OK and starting to get used to the "new normal". As my children are tiring of me telling them, these are indeed strange times, and we must hope that it isn't too long before some semblance of normality returns, and we can get back to worrying about the issues that bothered us in the world pre-global pandemic.

We are unquestionably entering uncharted territory, and the changes that last week brought were dramatic indeed. Few would have foreseen at the start of the year that with barely three months gone, the UK government would be enforcing the biggest lockdown of society arguably in the country's history, as well as implementing unprecedented measures to support the economy. Only six weeks ago, Rishi Sunak was a minor Treasury minister, almost unknown outside the world of Westminster; now, as Chancellor, he has made such a positive impression, speaking to the nation with such clarity and compassion, that many are looking forward to the day when he becomes PM himself.

I had considered keeping this week's update away from the topic of coronavirus, but the impact it is having on society is so huge that to ignore it feels wrong. Suddenly my big 2020 dream of being a successful published app designer seems like small beans compared to the bigger picture. As a home-based freelancer, I consider myself extremely fortunate to be in the position I am as the virus has hit - the changes I have had to make to my lifestyle have been relatively small compared to most.

As for the app, the world events have put a further slant on Number Ten itself. In the same way that the rise of Donald Trump made Kevin Spacey's Machiavellian President from House of Cards suddenly seem unremarkable, even reassuring, the current world events have made the app's harking back to a time before global crisis seem quaint. If there's a zeitgeist to be caught, I suspect I've missed it, but it was never an attempt to catch a particular moment, and I'm just enjoying finally being able to focus so much time on the project.

Last week saw the production of a full feature list for Release 1, including estimates - and if they're accurate, I have many months of development ahead before the game sees the App Store! On Wednesday I opened up Xcode for the first time since early January, and the app is now back in development. The first four screens are largely complete, a bit of polish is still required but it's great to be able to see build progress after so long. For Release 1 I'm keeping focus on the essential features, so the "Create Avatar" function has been replaced by a simpler "Choose Avatar" screen, bells and whistles can be added later.

"Choose your avatar" screen... the images themselves need an update, but a first use of UICollectionView!

OK, time for me to do a bit of home-schooling! Take care all and stay safe,


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