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the daryljewkes.com homepage

Welcome

About Me

My Projects

Get in Touch

View my GitHub Profile

Welcome to my Homepage

Well if you hadn't noticed already, this page is hosted on GitHub.Pages - so expect a certain level of geekism...

About Me

I have an extensive background in software development, creating content-rich web applications and background services using established technologies and design patterns.

Amazon Alexa development has become an obsession over the last 2 years. My most popular Skill Popcorn Quiz, released in May 2017, stormed into the Top 10 Featured, Recommend, Staff Picks and Most Popular categories on the Amazon homepage and has stayed there for over a year now. With nearly 520,000 games played to date, there is no better way to build new features, improve my UX skills, and manage cloud-based deployments when you have nearly 100,000 world-wide players playing your game 24/7.

Employed as an Innovation Developer working with new and up-and-coming technologies to create innovative concepts and prototypes for future markets and opportunities.

I'm working with Node.JS and MongoDB, this is evident if you take a look at my repos. I'm loving the performance and scalability of the MEAN stack and the friendly, pro-active community support that comes with it - a refreshing change from my days working on .NET solutions.

You can also find me on the education discussion boards at MongoDB, which I'm a heavy contributor to since starting a series of online training certifications.

When not attached to a keyboard, you'll find me on a mountain bike trying to get as muddy as possible on a woodland trail or carving up the white stuff on a snowboard trying not to break myself.

My Projects

A brief overview of some of my projects: -

"Alexa, play Popcorn Quiz"

"Let's do this!"

Popcorn Quiz


Think you know movies? Test your skills against the world!


Alexa will ask five true or false questions from a vast range of movies and actor biographies.

For a given movie, Alexa will quiz you for the year, actors, slogans, directors or characters. For actors, Alexa will quiz you for their birth year or place of birth.

Alexa will keep your score and tell you your world ranking position compared against other Alexa players.

The more games you play and the more questions you answer correctly, the greater chance to increase your world rank. To reward your dedication, every 5th consecutive game will be a double-point round.

Double-point events happen every three days, so every player gets an fair chance to storm the ranks.


Latest Popcorn Quiz News

11 Aug - Bueno! Development has now started on the Mexican version! The Echo is due for release later this year and PQ will be there to welcome our new friends.


2 Aug - Hola / Ciao! Popcorn Quiz welcomes Italian and Spanish players!


29 July - こんにちは (Kon'nichiwa) Development is well under way on the Japanese version.


***Update 8 Aug ***
Added a few tweaks based upon feedback from the Alexa team and resubmitted for certification


9th July - Teasing an upcoming event on Wednesday and added a few more phrases to the game.


2nd July - Hola / Ciao! The Italian and Spanish language options have now been submitted for certification.

** Update 1st Aug -- Amazon have announced a delay in certification. Fingers crossed it's not much longer **


15th June - Bonjour! Popcorn Quiz François is released today!


14th June - NEW GAMEPLAY FEATURE NOW LIVE! Reward your dedication - every 5th consecutive game is a double-point round, every 10th is triple points.


9th June - Website now has example gameplay questions that you can practice on


5th June - Released some minor optimisations and few more phrases to the game.


29th May - The Popcorn Quiz Birthday Event was a great success, treating players to triple point rounds.


19th May - Released some minor optimisations and few more phrases to the game.


2nd May - On May 4th, Popcorn Quiz with be celebrating Star Wars Day by giving you Sci-Fi rounds.


20th Apr - Popcorn Quiz François has been entered for Amazon Certification.

** UPDATE 14th JUNE ** Still awaiting feedback. Was resubmitted to apply a minor change, but Certification times are horrendous at the moment...


8th Apr - Popcorn Quiz François is almost complete and will be entering Amazon Certification this week.


29th Mar - Popcorn Quiz will be getting ready to say Bonjour to our French speaking friends when they come online mid-April


27th Mar - Getting ready for a day of comedy movies on April Fools Day


24th Mar - Improving the card information and optimising the use of the space on Echo Display devices


20th Mar - 250,000 GAMES PLAYED & OVER 65,000 PLAYERS! To celebrate a new movie category has been added - Top Rated Movies!


13th Mar - NEW GAMEPLAY FEATURE NOW LIVE! Reward your dedication with a bonus-point round for every 5th consecutive game you play.


11th Mar - New gameplay feature coming soon - reward your dedication with bonus-point rounds.


4th Mar - Better feedback when asking for your rank. Alexa will now tell you how many postions you've lost in between plays if you've been overtaken.


4th Mar - Better feedback when asking for your rank. Alexa will now tell you how many positions you've lost in between plays if you've been overtaken.


4th Mar - Better feedback when asking for your rank. Alexa will now tell you how many positions you've lost in between plays if you've been overtaken.


27 Feb - As the game grows in popularity, the rank calculation logic has been refactored for faster performance. Those players who are further down the rankings will benefit from the performance gain.


17 Feb - NEW QUESTION TYPE NOW LIVE! Movie slogans are now a question type within the game.


2 Feb - Popcorn Quiz gets featured in the official Amazon Echo email! This introduced nearly 3300 players who played over 6200 games and helped propel PQ to almost 52,000 players and 155,000 games, making this the best day ever for PQ!


20 Jan - Popcorn Quiz will now be hosting many more Double Point Days. Every point earned will be doubled - use this to your advantage and storm your way passed your oppenents :)


14 Jan - Double Point Event Today!!! Sunday is the new Funday. Every point earned will be doubled - use this to your advantage and storm your way passed your oppenents :)


12 Jan - Reddit user alexainteractions has made a video review of Popcorn Quiz! Check it out further down!


3 Jan - Happy New Year! Popcorn Quiz is now LIVE on the Echo Show! Those lucky peeps now get a richer visual experience.


23 Dec - Popcorn Quiz is about to be released on the Echo Show! Those lucky peeps now get a richer visual experience.


17 Dec - Popcorn Quiz is now festive! Alexa will occassionaly give you rounds based on Christmas films.


3 Dec - Alexa will now give you rounds based upon genre. Look out for Action, Comedy, Horror, Romance, Thriller and many more!


30 Nov - Popcorn Quiz is now getting ready to welcome Australia, who'll be joining us in Jan


16 Nov - Popcorn Quiz is now getting ready to welcome Canada coming online in the next few days! :D


12 Nov - Due to the rapidly-growing player count causing some server issues and timeouts over the last few days, I've rebuilt the Popcorn Quiz Skill. So...

NEW VERSION IS NOW LIVE!!

The new version is now faster at generating your questions and is ready to support even more users. It now has access to over 60,000 movies and actors and growing daily.


10 Nov - I'm aware of some performance issues with the skill, I've logged this with both Amazon and through the hosting providers. Sorry if this is affecting you, hopefully it will be resolved soon.


3 Nov - New users now get an easier time. Alexa will ease you into the game by asking you recent movie and actor questions, but not for long - she'll up her game before you know it!


28 Oct - One step closer to a century of movies! 1940's movies are now live for Alexa to use, bringing the total movie count to 50,000 and growing every day.


26 Oct - Added movies from 1950-1955 for a total of 16,000 movies that Alexa can use.


24 Oct - Actor questions now have birth place, birth year and if so, years of actors who have died are now ready for Alexa to use.


22 Oct - Hallowe'en is coming and Alexa is ready! From 6pm each evening in October, Alexa may throw you a round on horror films.


20 Oct - Actor birth places are now ready for Alexa to use.


14 Oct - Namaste! Popcorn Quiz India is ready to go and will be released on the official Alexa release day in all Indian-English territories. Alexa now has access to all our Bollywood movie database for our new friends. Happy playing!


6 Oct - Dot to Dot plays Popcorn Quiz live in a podcast!!! linky here


"Alexa, ask Popcorn Quiz what my rank is"

"Ok! Your rank is..."

Top 10
Global
UK
US
DE
IN
CA
JP
AU
FR
ES
IT
MX
Rank Score Games
Played
Avg. Per
Game
Last Played Joined Locale


Last 10 Games Played
Rank Score Games
Played
Last Game Game Streak Last Played Joined Locale

Total Players:0Daily Avg:0Today:0
           └   New Players:Today:0
Total Games:0Daily Avg:0Today:0
This Skill was launched on 28th May 2017
Popcorn Quiz Statistics

The Skill provides an addictive, engaging and challenging game that keeps you coming back to increase your score.

Based upon previous experiences, I've been building a dynamic personality engine for Alexa that will tease, encourage and taunt your gameplay, so expect her to get more integrated into the Skills I create.


Popcorn Quiz gets a mention...

13 July 2018 - Unlucky for some, but not me! Popcorn Quiz gets featured in the official Amazon Echo email for the second time! This introduced 900 players who played 3,000 games and helped push PQ to 90,000 players and 469,000 games!


2 Feb 2018 - Popcorn Quiz gets featured in the official Amazon Echo email! This introduced nearly 3300 players who played over 6200 games and helped propel PQ to almost 52,000 players and 155,000 games, making this the best day ever for PQ!


12 Jan 2018 - Reddit user alexainteractions has made a video review of Popcorn Quiz! Check it out: -


6 Oct 2017 - Dot to Dot plays Popcorn Quiz live in a podcast!!! linky here



FlappyJS

Jumping on the Flappy Bird bandwagon, a complete browser-based game written in HTML5 and JavaScript. Based upon the classic original and with graphical help from a few versions that exist already.

=== Click to Play Now! ===

More of a playground for learning about the HTML5 canvas object in modern browsers. My focus is understanding features like touch/event-driven behaviour across multiple devices and browsers, and game-specific design patterns for collision detection and sprite animations.

It is great fun to play so I'm updating this game often with new features and fixing any bugs found. The wife is addicted to it and puts in the change requests...

There is a Halloween version available. It activates in October after 6pm. Or by clicking this link...


Formula One Stats

An AngularJS application which focuses on the MVW design pattern to consume a public Formula One REST API.

Using the great UI Router and Bootstrap for fluid, cross-device responsiveness while learning the core features of AngularJS.

I've used some great libraries: Chart.JS and Isotope to help show data in different ways. Where possible all data is cached in a MongoDB instance for the fastest possible retrieval.


Get in Touch

You can get hold of me in a variety of ways, this being the future an' all.

Twitter, LinkedIn or the old, classic way contact.github.io@daryljewkes.com