Doctor Who – Mission To The Unknown

Well this is something. Way back in Doctor Who’s third series there was a story called The Daleks Master Plan. An epically long 12 part story, it even had its own 1 part – Doctor-lite story to introduce it, Mission to the Unknown*.

Pretty much all of the above visual recordings have been lost since then. (The BBC had a policy…)

A group of students from the University of Central Lancashire have set about recreating Mission to the Unknown, and from the looks of the trailer its looking pretty faithful…

Hopefully if well received we might one day see The Daleks Master Plan on screen!

*Yes… I know it also acted as a pilot episode for a Dalek TV series that never actually appeared in the end.

Moving (Web) Home

Have you ever had a thought that you couldn’t get rid of?

A while back, I wondered about this blog, and wondered why it was used to be called “Dads Sofa”. While it made sense at the time, it didn’t seem to make sense now. After all, I seemed to find myself posting more about activities and family like around Devon, rather than posting about stuff on TV.

So I figured I would change it, and move the blog to devondad.co.uk.

And here’s “Devon Dad Adventures”. Same me. Different name.

Computer Games, Loot Boxes, and The Gambling Question.



I’m not sure if it was a tweet I replied to about Loot Boxes, or a previous blog post about computer games, but I recently received an email asking for an opinion on whether In-game spending should be regulated by gambling laws, and so-called loot boxes banned entirely for children.

While I didn’t have the chance to reply in the time frame needed, I also wasn’t sure if I had any thoughts or opinions to share.

So here is my attempt at forming some.

In my defence, most of my gaming experience is around playing Mario, or Sonic The Hedgehog. And for years, the iPhone has been the most up to date gaming hardware I owned, but that in turn gave experience of In App Purchases. In App Purchases (Referred to above as In-game spending), is simply the option of buying extra services within the game or app you’re using.

This I would argue can be a good thing. It can give the user a chance to try out software that would normally cost to try it out, or let them have basic functionality of the app, while keeping the high end stuff for people who are willing to pay for those services.
It can also be a bloody annoying thing, as anyone who plays an EA game on the iphone can testify to. (EG “Do you want to play this game quicker? Pay some money”).
Its that second point which could make in game spending a bad thing…

Adam Alter, in his TED Talk below talks about how media is getting rid of Stopping Cues. A stopping cue is basically a signal that it’s time to move on, to do something new, to do something different. And — think about newspapers; eventually you get to the end, you fold the newspaper away, you put it aside.
Netflix, works by removing the stopping cue that is the end of the episode. (Autoplaying onto the next episode). Netflix binging is officially a thing. We as a human race, are not good at stopping an easy or fun task without being told to stop.
I wonder what happens when people are playing a game, come across a stopping point, but have the ability to go on, even if at a price?

Loot Boxes, from what I can gather, is this, but the next level up…
In video games, a loot box is a consumable virtual item which can be redeemed to receive a randomized selection of further virtual items, or loot, ranging from simple customization options for a player’s avatar or character, to game-changing equipment such as weapons and armor.
The contents of the Loot Box don’t have to be predictable.
It feels we’re now talking about gambling.
But not just gambling.
If you’re playing a game, and given the option of spending money to progress, there has been a lot of thought put in to get you to pay for that progress.

Its your willpower against expert user design.
Good Luck.

Read More on bbc.co.uk.

PC Gamer.

The Guardian.



That Summer Holiday Bucket List

So at the start of the Summer, I put together an incredibly cheesy list of things that I wanted us to do as a family this Summer… It wasn’t very ambitious, but here’s how we got on…

  1. Try one of the Gluten Free Cones at Orange Elephant. DONE. And they are awesome. If you’re Gluten Free, and bored of being surrounded by your icecream cone eating family? Get yourselves here.
  2. Tidy the living room. Yeah. That was dumb.
  3. Pick sunflowers at Darts Farm. DONE. Mental note for next year to go at the start of the season!!
  4. Explore a different beach to normal… – Meh. We live in Devon. There’s always the chance for another beach.
  5. Take a boat ride.DONE. We jumped on the ferry from Topsham to Turf Hotel, which… well is basically found deep in the Exe estuary. If you’ve not been, go there. But remember it is a little like a pilgrimage to get there.
  6. Go fruit picking. DONE. Want to go fruit picking in Devon? Google thornes farm shop. Worth it.
  7. Jump around Dartmoor. DONE. Went exploring. In sandals. Got wet feet.
  8. Get the paddling pool out, spend the rest of the summer trying to fix that part of the lawn. NOPE Didn’t do that since the start of the holidays. I believe the lawn is kinda thankful for that.
  9. Think about looking for the big tent. DONE. And put up. And slept in. And felt tired the next morning.
  10. Drink Cider. By a river. (And repeat). DONE. And it was good. (Thank you Turf for being you.)
  11. Actually finish painting the shed. – Nah… that thing is like the flippin forth bridge….
  12. Remember to defrost burgers before the BBQ is lit. #WIN
  13. Tidy the living room. DONE. HONEST. No, please don’t ask for pictures…
  14. Just move the flipping stuff around the living room, so it appears to be tidy in Instagram photos. TOTALLY DONE

Now… we just need to survive the new term at school…

The Family Has Grown!

Well, after a bit of discussion over how the family should grow… we’ve gone and added some Guinea Pigs to the family!

This one is Lilly, she is the friendly adventurous one of the two. (Thus the reason why I have a photo of one, not the two of them) Poppy appears to the grumpy one staying in the sheltered section for now.

With apologies for the guinea pig related instagram spam from me!

The Summer Holiday Bucket List

The Summer Holidays have now hit the Sofa household. The good news. There are no school runs for the next six weeks. The “interesting news”… what do we do for the next weeks?

Not for any “making precious memories” type reasons, but because its good to know we have something to do.

Here’s what I’ve got so far…

  1. Try one of the Gluten Free Cones at Orange Elephant.
  2. Tidy the living room.
  3. Pick sunflowers at Darts Farm.
  4. Explore a different beach to normal.
  5. Take a boat ride.
  6. Go fruit picking.
  7. Jump around Dartmoor.
  8. Get the paddling pool out, spend the rest of the summer trying to fix that part of the lawn.
  9. Think about looking for the big tent.
  10. Drink Cider. By a river. (And repeat)
  11. Actually finish painting the shed.
  12. Remember to defrost burgers before the BBQ is lit.
  13. Tidy the living room.
  14. Just move the flipping stuff around the living room, so it appears to be tidy in Instagram photos.

What plans have you added? Or are plans for this sort of thing just silly?