2012: A Matmi Odyssey

2012 is closing in; as Matmi look forward to new and exciting projects for 2013, we’re taking a look at what has made the Matmi story special this year. 

Eating carrot cake with Warwick Davis is up there..then welcoming two new babies to the extended Matmi family (first christmas for Esme and Lily!), and some new faces; we have a new project manager (Ian) a new receptionist and social media assistant (Helen) and new developer (Tom) at matmi towers. There was some pretty crazy jet setting to San Francisco, Slovenia and more, and Jeff and Warwick’s talk at the Develop conference in Brighton was one to remember.. we have been pinball playing, going loopy at Alton Towers, breaking world records in big hairstyles, chanelling Zelda, getting closer to Nivea, turning 40…then there is Rollabear, who’s getting some finishing touches and ready to go live (whoop!)..finally a new website (thanks Rob, James and Nate - the most challenging project of the decade), deadlines and more deadlines, and some secret projects we STILL can’t mention (arrghhh!!) and finally, Jeff’s incredible appointment as a board member for Creative England. !

It’s been fun 2012, but we are all raring to go for 2013 now - with the amazing team of developers and designers we have inhouse who worked their pants off this year, we have high hopes for even bigger, more exciting projects in the new year and can’t wait to get started.

Meanwhile, mince pies, mulled wine, last minute christmas shopping and the big Christmas shindig on Friday night - christmas jumper themed - photos to follow (if they are fit to share)…

..and as a little christmas treat we have made ELF free on the app store  - enjoy !

Merry Christmas to you all and thanks for following - see you in 2013!

PHONE: 01625 560771

EMAIL: info@matmi.com

Web: http://ww.matmi.com 

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Matmi visit Microsoft

There are a number of perks to working at Matmi – and last week Jeff and three of our developers (Rob, Juan and Derek) were lucky enough to be invited to a Developer Day at the Microsoft Offices down in Reading . Our developers were very impressed with Microsoft’s swanky high tech offices featuring glass buildings and lakes with swans! (I’m thinking we should definitely be investing in a lake and swans for the Matmi offices to keep up ;) )The day was based around developing  for  Windows 8 and hopefully the guys picked up a tip or two!

The guys heard a number of interesting talks throughout the day that covered some key issues for developers working with Windows 8.  Some of these included how Unity 3D and Windows 8 share OS  features which are going to be integrated into Windows store apps ( formerly called Metro apps) . This will  mean that programs can register a shared type of data (images, urls, contacts etc) with the operating system. This allows the OS to automatically bring up a list of all the programs available that can make use of that data; allowing the quick and easy transfer of information between applications that have no knowledge of each other.  

 

Derek had a chance to learn about the new Windows 8 touch interface and found it to be far better than Windows 7. He had this to say: “ One of the main improvements is the new windows 8 start menu ( the new start menu takes up a full screen ) which gives users much easier access to programmes/apps than in the typical start menu seen in all other versions of Windows thus making it much better for touch screen users - this isn’t the only reason it is better than Windows 7 but is one of the main ones”.

 

Matmi also had the opportunity to demo one of our future releases to the guys from Microsoft. It’s safe to say it was received very well and we are really excited to be able to announce the project in the very near future!  



To HTML5 or not to HTML5, that is the mobile question

Mark Zuckerberg opened up recently about HTML5 and the difficulties that Facebook has faced in developing mobile apps. In a quote heard round the world, Zuckerberg called HTML5 “one of the biggest strategic mistakes we made.” Those are pretty strong words from the CEO of the most influential company in the mobile market today.

Facebook is experiencing slower performance with HTML5
compared to native apps on mobile devices and the diversity of mobile browsers, which leads to confusion among web hosting developers over which parts of the programming they can use—hence, the appeal of native apps.

A native app doesn’t need an internet connection to run; it’s much faster than loading an HTML5 web app; and, because native apps run directly from the phone, they have easier access to the microphone and camera, making them more capable than HTML5-based web apps.

Before you take Mark Zuckerberg’s HTML5 bashing as evidence that web apps are dead, remember that there are plenty of reasons why developers still like web apps in some circumstances….

See on webdesignerdepot.com

Matmi ►

HTML5 is still a baby, lacking in some core functionality, but I beleive it has a bright future. Native vs. Web app is a debate set to continue for some time. Atleast until HTML5 becomes a more settled, standardised language with improved functions, particularly relating to sound operations.





Life begins at forty!

Last week Matmi founder Jeff turned the big 4-0. Much discussion was had on how Jeff would choose to celebrate this momentous occasion.

Would he do it in a typical mid – life crisis fashion and buy a ridiculously expensive sports car? 

Would he go on a crazy round the world trip? 

None of the above were in fact true.  He had a massive party at the Snowgoose Live in Macclesfield and celebrated in style. Team Matmi were lucky enough to be invited ( Thanks Jeff ;) ) to join him in having a few celebratory beverages, helping ourselves to some hog roast and generally having a good old boogie. We saw some amazing live performances by  The Bleatles, the Virgin Marys and the Hot Bananas . A massive thank you also to the extremely talented DJ’s Jut Cotterill, Black Farr and Reggae Dave who took to the decks during the evening. Rumour has it that Jeff himself also tried his hand at being a DJ under his new alter ego “ Jazzy Jeff” . Everyone had a fabulous time and rolled home slightly worse for wear after one too many free drinks. 

Happy Birthday Jeff – we hope the next 40 years are as good as the first ;)



Monster Pinball has been HD’d and a whole lot more!

The game you know and love (and if you don’t you should) has not only been given new HD graphics redesigned from the ground up… its been given new life with a whole new array of goals and achievements, table lock-in and single table play modes!

We wanted to build upon the original and we spent more than a year doing just that. Our fans loved the original and now MPHD brings it flying back into your hands with great new features and a look and feel that we’re sure will bring a smile to your face.

AND THIS TIME IT’S ON ALL OS DEVICES. Out NOW on iOS (universal app) and Android. Windows mobile coming late 2012.

I’m having a total blast reliving my love for Monster Pinball in a modern package, and just hearing all the zany sound effects and music is taking me back to a time when I poured countless hours into this game. - TouchArcade


Features

  • Stunning HD graphics and animations
  • New Achievements / Over 500 goals
  • Facebook sharing* / Games Center iOS integration
  • Landscape view for iPad and iPad mini
  • 6 fun packed tables with interconnected table layout
  • 60fps giving extra smooth gameplay
  • Realistic Physics engine developed specifically for this game
  • Accelerometer tilt function / Single Table Play mode / Table lockin
  • Hotball feature – Score multiplied points when active
  • Unique sound effects in stereo / Pause, Save and Resume


Meet the latest addition to the Matmi team, Ian Lawrence!

Before we get to meet Ian, I think a special mention is needed for one of our past employees; Mr Tibbs esq… or just James if you prefer. He started at Matmi 8 years ago, working on award winning campaigns such as Gorillaz, Lily Allen, Let It Flow and Optathlon.


He moved from being a simple coding monkey, to lead programmer and finally to project manager. A big thanks to James for all his hard work over the years and we wish him well on his freelance adventures.

But time stands still for no man. Taking over the hot seat of project manager, please welcome Ian. I managed to find 10 minutes to sit down with him (no rest for the newbie) and pester him for some personal information.

What did you do before coming to Matmi?

I was working on a project sponsored by the BBC and Arts Council England called the Space. We were focussed on the Literature & Spoken Word section.

Ref: http://thespace.org/items/s00001nq 

Prior to that I was working with Katapult in Derby as their Digital Project Manager.

 

What has been your impression so far about Matmi [ be nice ;) ]

Everyone has been really welcoming and easy to get on with. I love the enthusiasm and can do attitudes at Matmi and everyone skills are excellent!  [aww, thanks….give it a few weeks]


Do you have any hobbies?

Yup indeed. I love Mountain Biking, Surfing – though it’s been a while, Tai Chi, mediatation (can that be classed as a hobby?), walking and wildlife/conservation.

Oh and a spot of photography when I get the time and have kit.


What’s your favourite thing to do at the weekend?

Mountain Biking or spending time in the countryside somewhere. Also going to twee rural events, festivals etc… and catching up a shed load of sci fi on TV.

 

Tell us one unusual/unique/amusing thing about you?

Hmm that’s a hard one…Well I’m Buddhist does that count as unusual [not necessarily]? I once went on a ghost hunt and was nearly possessed… and I don’t even believe in that stuff!


If there is anything else you would like to add, please do

Only to say I am looking forward to working with the Matmi team very much. 

There you have it, a super quick meet and great with the new Matmian Ian. We hope he enjoys his time with us. 



Matmi join the Creative England Board



For those who have not heard of Creative England:

We are a national agency that invests in and supports ideas, talent and businesses in film, TV, games and digital media. They aim to grow the brightest, the best, and those with the most promise so that individuals and businesses can achieve their full creative and commercial potential. We help identify future opportunities to grow the economy and generate jobs. 

With offices in Salford, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Nottingham and Elstree, we are a national agency with strong local and regional links.

It is a fantastic idea and Jeff (Matmi MD) is lucky enough and honoured to be part of the Creative England board.

Creative England’s Chief Executive, Caroline Norbury, said: “Jeff joins us at a particularly exciting time. The worlds of film, television and digital media are converging at an ever greater pace, opening up hitherto unforeseen opportunities for innovative digital companies to grow. It is fantastic for us to have someone with Jeff’s experience on the board so that we can shape our support to offer these SMEs the help they need to realise their creative ambitions.”

For more information on the team and the type of funding/support on offer, visit the Creative England website and look out for upcoming events.