My 2022 in video games
My 2022 in video games

2022, the year we had more Prime Ministers than hot dinners, energy firms continued to make record profits as people struggled to afford their heating, and Messi finally got his World Cup. It’s maybe just my imagination but it seemes like a rather weak year in terms of new games, at least on Xbox. In saying that however, Xbox Game Pass continued to be a great investment for an eclectic mix of indie games and all the best Microsoft and EA releases (and the £1 renewal trick still works, so I’m locked in for another 3 years). So what’s been on my Xbox for the past year?

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Redshift connectivity officially announced for Power BI Service
Data & analysis Redshift connectivity officially announced for Power BI Service

Last year, Microsoft added a preview connector enabling Power BI to query Amazon Redshift. This wasn’t publicised as an “official” data source, and took some steps in order to be able to even see the connector in Power BI Desktop. Crucially, you could only use this connector in Power BI Desktop, not when workbooks are deployed to the cloud. Yesterday, Microsoft announced the connector is now available within the Power BI Service, which means that workbooks containing Redshift data connections can now be deployed to the cloud. I’ve been working a lot with Redshift over the past year or so, and Power BI’s still my go-to data-viz solution, so I’m delighted to see the this announcement, as it means that Redshift-based workbooks can now be shared with others via powerbi.com.

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Reboots: heresy or homage?
Gaming Reboots: heresy or homage?

Hollywood is obsessed with reboots. Total Recall, Star Trek, Big Trouble in Little China (I’m gutted about that last one)! It’s wide open for debate as to whether all these reboots are a good thing, or whether people should stick to creating original stories. This practice has bled over to the gaming industry as well in recent years.

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10 Years of Achievements
Gaming 10 Years of Achievements

12th December 2006. The day the world bid farewell to disk drive pioneer Alan Shugart, and grumpy grandad Frank Barone (Everybody Loves Raymond). A Tuesday. Also the day I unlocked my first achievement on my brand new Xbox 360.

A lot can happen in ten years. People can forge a career, a relationship, move house, raise children, or simply end up turning tricks under the bridge due to bad life choices.

In addition to some of the above (I’ll let you figure out which), I’ve somehow managed to rack up 100,000G on Xbox.

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Battlefield 1 Open Beta Review
Gaming Battlefield 1 Open Beta Review

I cower in a crater, left in the middle of the Egyptian desert by some recent artillery barage, and drop a medkit by my feet. Heart pounding, I look left and right to make sure nobody is following me. My vision is blurred, breathing heavy as the medicine starts to take affect. Cautiously I peek my head over the lip of the crater, scanning the distance for some sign of the sniper. I work up just enough courage to sprint to the next crater when out of nowhere, a horse thunders past and it’s sword-wielding rider cuts me down, just as a biplane loops overhead. This is World War One. This, is Battlefield 1.

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7 tips to balancing parenting and gaming
Gaming 7 tips to balancing parenting and gaming

The biggest adjustment with having a kid is just the sheer amount of time they take up. And I don’t mean that in a bad way at all. Especially after they start walking and needing constant supervision. I regularly find myself recalling pre-child times and wondering just what the hell I did with all my time. The following tips are just a few things that I’ve learned throughout the last year and a bit, that are mostly common sense. I thought I’d share them anyway. Some of you may relate, some may find inspiration, some may be able to add more!

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Is less sometimes more?
Gaming Is less sometimes more?

Video games are based on rules. To quote my man Morpheus, “what you must learn is that these rules are no different than the rules of a computer system. Some of them can be bent. Others can be broken.” The more that a game attempts to give you, the more variables are introduced, and the greater the scope for bugs and other general weirdness.

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picnicerror.net is a personal blog where I post various ideas, thoughts and discoveries through both my day to day work in marketing technology and general hobbies and interests.

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