January 20, 2013 : 5:15 PM

2012 Year in Review

Year in Review: 2012

2012 was a good year for me. I believe I've had a good run as 2010 was amazing, 2011 was pretty special for many reasons and at the risk of sounding like a lame dad, 2012 will be hard to top thanks to the birth of Mojo.

Why are you doing this?
Part of the reason for doing these is for my own memory. I blog infrequently and when you're feeling down you struggle to remember the good things that have happened to you. I also find a lot of the stuff I forgot even happened so this is also theraputic.

Personal

Mojo!

Mojo Ringrose: DOB: 3/8/2012

4.39am on Aug 3, 2012 my little boy Mojo was released from BETA.
Here's my blog post talking about it in more detail. It's been an amazing 5 months since the birth and I have learned a lot about being a dad and a husband. Still working on both.

All Mojo All the TIme

Achievement unlocked: photo with Santa

Mojo Dancing Gif

Regrets?

  • I still havent exported the birth video yet.
  • Ervi has bought a new pram as the one we got is too heavy for the stairs.
  • I'm dissapointed I didnt take a photo of the first black tar poo.
  • Always need to spend more time with the little guy
  • The fact LinkedIn shutdown Mojo's account.

Surprises?

  • Someone asked me "what was the thing that surprised you the most?" and honestly... I thought you fed babies 3 times a day and changed them around the same. I had no idea it was an every 2hrs deal.
  • Mojo also likes the feeling of my beard on his face/lips. So it's bad if I shave which is OK with me.
  • Mojo seems to laugh at anything which I hope is a good sign for things to come.

Upgraded The Kitchen!
As a gift to ourselves (well mainly for Ervi) for having Mojo we upgraded the kitchen. A new dishwasher, oven, stove and rangehood. We splurged and got a Scholtes induction cooktop (or hob as they call them) and self cleaning oven. It was the bottom of their range but still a 6 year warranty can't go wrong.

It did mean getting some new pots and pans but again Ervi had no complaints. It heats so much faster than our old electric cooktop, it's easier to clean and looks awesome.

If you need any more convincing that induction is awesome watch this video of an ice cube glowing red hot thanks to induction.

Visited Belgium
You like da pepper? I GIVE you da pepper

Visiting a new country is always awesome. Going there to present (free flights and accom) is amazing. The downside is I went by myself so the experience wasn't as full.

Hotel Bloom reception
The hotel I stayed at was Hotel Bloom where every room has a different artwork. It wasn't until I left my room did I discover it was glow in the dark!

I made the most of the 4 days though. A day in Brussels, a day in Ghent and Brugge and a long trip to the Tin Tin (Herge) Museum. I recommend anyone who is even the smallest of Tin Tin fans to track this place down. It's a bit of a trek on the train but worth it. Oh and don't buy any souveniers from the store. It was cheaper in the airport! Oh and the museum has a no photo policy which is stupid.

All 267 Tin Tin characters in the one place. Oh and I accidentally focus on the racist character from the Congo :(
I bought so many chocolates/trufffles for Ervi I gave myself a sore arm from carrying them. I ate more fries than I needed to and also visited a few castles like a real tourist.

I regret eating the €1 waffle
Oh and I opted for the 1 euro (rubbery) waffle which was terrible. It was surprisingly hard to find a place that wasnt touristy selling waffles.

Tourist note: tram 3 does not stop anywhere near this mofo and it shuts doors at 5:30. Photo taken 5:35
I did make a 1 hr trip to visit the Atomium ended in fail when I arrived 5 minutes after the doors closed. It does look awesome though. It's Belgium's Eifel tower.

Brugge was nice (I need to watch "In Brugges" again) but Ghent was much more friendly. I'm glad Belgium had other things to offer other than beer. As a non-drinker a lot of the tourist recommendations didn't interest me.

The biggest lesson? Travelling with just an iPhone for your travel photos sucks. So many photo opportunities missed because I opted to save space.

Went to the Most Epic Kids Party

First encounter with an animal 


Tom & Lindsey's little girl Shae had a "Welcome Party" at Tom's parents place. It was off the chain awesome. Pony ride, jumping castle, petting zoo, pinball machines, awesome food, a pool and 4-player Daytona.

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Our Place Flooded

Friday flooded apartment  neighbors!!

Well the neighbours flooded and we got dragged into it. I had to move everything we own from the ground floor up into the 2nd floor. Add to that Mojo and we were living like hoarders for 10 days while stuff dried out.

My carpet :(

The good news is my carpet is now properly cleaned for the first time in 6 years. No wonder the water was so dirty.

Made Some Art



For the Soap Monster Art Show I got my art skills out and created this piece called Skulltastic. It's a carry on from my 100's of Dick and Balls piece from a few years ago.

The TV Show I Was On Aired
Do or Die on ABC2

After filming in Dec 2011 the show aired in Sept 2012. Do or Die. We were episode 3 and one of the more organised and nice companies. If you're in Australia you can probably watch it on iView. I ended up coming across as "the reluctant boss" but that's much better than Episode's 1's Goldfish guys who came across as assholes. The show also helped me appreciate what I have, I can no drink tap water without worry and I realise I need to lead more in my currentl role. Seperating the "boss" from "friend" is hard sometimes.

Travis with the boys from Soap

No autographs please!

Was Interviewed for Good Game

Me inetrviewed for Good game 
Although I dont think it actualled aired. but I did get to see Hex's desk, sit on the RAGE couch and visit the tiny Good Game set.

Me on the RAGE set

Scored 187 in Bowling

Bowling PB!

After talking up my skills for a week before the Bootcamp bowling sessions I was able to back up my skills with an equal PB (I scored 187 late last year in LA so this counts as my Southern hemisphere PB then). It helps to also win with the mind games! It's the only sport I'm better than average at so I had to make it count.

My Two Year Long Junk Mail Experient Ends

I put my no junk mail sticker on the left side of my letterbox. That's how I roll #bodyCorporateRebel
Control year was 2011 with no junk mail sticker and I ended up with 15kgs of junk mail. 2012 had the no junk mail sticker and I got 1kg of junk mail. Clover Moore you need to do something about the junk mail in Sydney.

Bought a Kindle

Broken Kindle by Tomato/Attik 
After losing Brain Rules on the plane I decided to get a Kindle. The cheap $99 version so I could read books and that's it. It has been a fantastic purchase and one I regreat not doing earlier. I've read more books this year (2.5) than in many and bought several more (I bet most Kindle owners are like me buying more than they actually read)

Read in 2012
Superfreakanomics (half so far)
Brain Rules
Baby Brain Rules

On the to read list:
Tales From Development Hell
Trust me, I'm Lying
Fight Club
Yakusa
Mud Sweat and Tears
The Architecture of Happiness
A bunch of Philip K Dick stories

Organised & Hosted a Movie Premiere
And raised $4025 dollars in the process. I reached out to the producers of Indie Game: The Movie and asked why they were not screening in Australia. I then offered to help organise purely out of the fact I wanted to see the film myself. 2 months and 50+ emails later I had a copy in my hands and was set to host the screening. A very helpful contact at Adobe helped me pay for the screening and location fees and the free pizza so all the money raised was able to go to the Variety charity.

Pizza
The first screening sold out in less than 5 hrs. So I put another screening on that was 3 times larger and it was 70% sold in the end. I can't recommend Eventbrite more as it is an amazing service. They even have a mobile app to help you with check-ins and ticket redemption. The event was a lot of work but paid off and the fact the film was amazing made it all the sweeter.

Game Jam 2012


I didn't really participate in Game Jam 2012, I just helped facilitate and I was up on stage at the end aswering questions as part of the judging panel. I did miss out on a Game Jam shirt which was probably the biggest dissapointment (This is due to the fact I also didn't get a lanyard). I met some great people (wil try and hire one or two), the soap teams (all 3 of them) kicked ass as usual and the whole event was 5 times bigger than last year.

I look forward to Game Jam 2013 being closer to home and being part of it again in some capacity.

Let Bannerblog slowly die
A combination of less submissions, time poor and sponsorship ending meant I spent less time updating Bannerblog. All my other editors were even more MIA which meant the site has been in neglect. 2013 will be a year I pull my finger out and give it some love and a new focus.

Visited E3

Well not really :)

Bought a GoPro2


And like everyone with the big GoPro plans haven't done much. I was able to film Mojo's birth with the headmounted camera. I have first person footage of me cutting the umbilical cord!

Bought a new camera: Sony RX-100
I thought I'd be smart and get it in the USA and sent over. Not realising Kogan has it cheaper in AUD?! This was to ensure Ervi and I get good shots of Mojo without the hassle of the larger DSLR. So far it's been a solid point and shoot. The manual control helps a lot too even in video mode. Here's a video of Mojo playing the toy piano.


Got an Iphone 5
After 2 years with the 4 (well 1.5 years thanks to LZ keeping the phone when it was accidently delivered to him by mistake) I was due for an upgrade. It's faster and lighter but was there really that much demand for an extra inch of screen? It' just makes it harder to hold with one hand and cover the screen's realestate with your thumb. I have yet to need or use Siri.

Visited Vivid
Watched Amon Tobin
Saw Shane Smith from Vice talk via skype
Saw the guys from Threadless and We Are Handsome talk
And generally walked around Vivid. For me Vivid has easily become a top 3 event each year for the Sydney scene.

Bought a Lot of Stuff on Kickstarter



14 projects backed and only 2 digital deliveries. I'm expecting all the 2012 orders to come in 2013 very late. I actually refunded out of the LIFX after reading this.

Won a pair of headphones!

They had a flash game to play and I used my flash knowledge to win these set of Urbanears from a Big M promo. I beat the previous 8 year old with the top score by 1!

Games Played



See a full breakdown of my gameplay here on Raptr. But I was able to fit in a lot of gaming this year. Now with Mojo that will be cut down considerably.

Note: I get a LOT of free games through work and paid for about 3 of these games total.

  1. Far Cry 3 (My Game of the Year)
  2. May Payne 3
  3. Spec Ops: The Line
  4. Mark of the Ninja
  5. Deadlight
  6. Trails Evolution
  7. Mass Effect 3
  8. Rayman Origins
  9. Journey (The only time I turned on my PS3)
  10. Shadow of Colossus (OK, the second time)
  11. Halo 4
  12. Tony Hawk Pro Skater HD
  13. Fez
  14. Minecraft
  15. Dark Souls
  16. Skyrim

Watched Some Movies
There needs to be a Raptr for movies!

  • The RAID (My movie of the year)
  • TED
  • 21 Jump St
  • Skyfall
  • Looper

Professional

Spoke in Belgium



I was invited to talk at an advertising event in Belgium, the UBA Trends Day. The theme for the day was Love, Laugh, Live so I themed my talk on play in advertising. The Power Of Play: How advertisers need to remember we were all kids once.

I've only been this nervous before when I spoke in NY but I was one of the last speakers and the crowd was small. This time I was right in the middle and one of only several speakers on the day. It went well although it was hard to compare against a professional speaker like Martin Lindstrom who was the headliner.

I also met Christophe and Benoit from Innate Motion who were quite interesting as both people and the work they do.

A big thanks to Nathalie and the UBA team for inviting me.

Judged Adfest in Thailand
Adfest Jury Photo
Had a great time (as you do in most judging trips) in Pattaya. We went down "Walking Street" with Justin from The Monkeys and Cam from Droga5. I was punched in the nuts from a "dancer" thanks to Cam. I think that joke cost him $30.

Went to SXSW!
I actually have no photos from the trip right now. This makes no sense. SXSW was great although I arrived a day late (United's flight left early and left us stranded) and then had to leave on the last day to make the flight to Adfest.

We won Agency of The Year. Third time in a row
Adnews Agency of the Year
It's hard not to feel special about this one. These awards which encompass the entire agency are special to us.

AdNews Award History lesson from AshIt's actually our 5th year in the finals for Adnews. Proud of that fact too and I feel we're getting better every year.

B&T Runner-Up for the 4th time!
B&T Award History lesson from Ash
Not sure what we did to B&T but hey finalist is still good right?

Thumbzilla on Amazon Store



Did you know there is a specific Android store just for people with Kindles? I didn't until mid last year. When we ported our little test game Thumbzilla over to Android we also decided to spend the extra few hours putting it on the Amazon store. Lucky we did as the game has been in the top 15 in the paid store since Sept 2012. We were "featured" once and it seems to have stuck around.

Then once Xmas hit we've been selling over 1,000 copies a day! It's addictive checking the stats each morning to see how you're going. The lesson here is to leverage every available avenue no matter how small it seems. We've sold 50x more copies on Amazon than on Google Play and 10x the copies on the iOS app store.

I can only imagine how it would have sold if the game was really good.

Diggin' Dogs


Our first AAA mobile game was released Feb 9, 2012. After many months of waiting and many more of development Diggin' Dogs was here. We had big dreams, we set up profit share agreements and got ready to become super stars.

So much so we even made a Diggin' Dogs cake to celebrate the launch!

Diggin' Dogs Cake

But the game didn't take hold. The reviews were good, the ratings high and we were unfairly compared to "Where's My Water" but we didn't mind, it was the #1 app at the time. Yet the sales dropped and it's been trickling in ever since. We still made some money but nothing worse bragging about. I still say "we're one Kim Kardashian tweet away from fame" which is that the game is good, it's just people don't know about it. We're looking to port to Android which may give it a second wind.

The upside is we learned a lot about how to release, craft and polish a mobile game. Chillingo had it's pros and cons but we're wiser now than we were before and have Chillingo to thank for that.

36 Faces of Facebook


I'm quite happy with how this one turned out and the reception. I consider these like "industry jokes" and Slideshare is the open mic. What I liked about this one was JV did the copy and it turned out better than I expected. I don't think people realise the amount of internal reviews we do for something like this or how hard it is to stay focused and actually put one out.

Got a 3d printer


And what did we print? 3d skulls of course. Lot's more experiments to go and linking it up with the Kinect for 3D scanning but the Makerbot was the ultimate boys toy last year.

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Soap's 10th Birthday Party

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On March 21, 2002 we walked in ASIC in the city, waited in line and registered the company. Well actually we didn't fill the form out properly and had to make adjustments at the counter but then after a few tweaks handed the paper over with the $120 and we had a company. 

10 years later, we've evolved and thankfully stronger than ever. 

We celebrated by jet boating around Sydney Harbour and had a private party for Soaperheroes at Deus Ex Cafe with a magician. (Which was much cooler than it sounds)

Soap 10th Birthday

We took all the staff through a very quick "history of Soap" which was more just a collection of funny photos and stories from the previous ten years. From our first client, to the time we got paid in cash from an "escort agency" to do their site.

It was a very personal time for me as I have changed a lot in those 10 years and Soap has pretty much become who I am. I'm not Ashley Ringrose but "Ash from Soap". Which is probably why I take so much of the business personally. Separating myself from the business emotionally for decisions is almost impossible.

Working with 50 people is like having 50 best friends, 50 kids and 50 girlfriends at the same time. I am Bill Paxton in Big Love.

SOYA Awards



We were asked to judge and mentor a section of SOYA for the interactive and gaming section.

Client Wins
ING Direct: Our first proper finance client and a client that has trusted us in so many ways that we're doing all sorts of work for them beyond digital.

2x Major wins in LA: We won two big clients in LA what, due to NDA's, we can't talk about. One of them we were pitching against the big guns and the end result will really boost the LA teams profile.

Lots of Memorable Work



A bumper year for work in terms of scale and consistency across Sydney and LA.We did this without killing the team with crazy hours, we released a lot of self initiated work too and produced everything from small social campaigns to filming a video content series around the world.

LIFE TODO UPDATE
Well only #39 was ticked off this year. Make a baby!
Considering I've had this list for almost 10 years I think it's time to start ticking more off!
I have booked in #15: Do a fun run already so that is going down!
#40: Finish a GTA can be ticked off with GTAV too!

1: Travel to Japan
2: Feature on Boingboing.net
3: Write an article for a magazine
4: Write an article for an online mag (Smashing Mag)
5: Speak at a conference in a foreign country IG Digital Day Sao Paulo
6: Do the Bridge climb
7: Bungee Jump
8: Sky Dive
9: Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef (I snorkelled in Bunaken Indonesia but doesn't count)
10: Shoot a gun
11: Write an article in a newspaper
12: Have a photo of mine published in print (The lady with helmet backwards in Who doesn't count as it was uncredited)
13: Design a CD cover that's sold in stores
14: A credit in a Hollywood film
15: Compete in a fun run
16: Own a house/unit
17: Surf a wave on a surfboard
18: Visit Easter Island
19: Visit Antarctica
20: Go bobsledding in a foreign country (ice)
21: Ski in snow
22: See a sumo match in Japan
23: Become a Muslim (what we do for love hey)
24: Learn Indonesian fluently
25: Be an extra in a film (this would knock off #14 too)
26: Swim with a dolphin
27: Learn to juggle
28: Visit Great Wall of China
29: Visit the Pyramids
30: Do a high dive (10mtrs will do)
31: Attend a Comic Festival in costume
32: Attend a Superbowl
33: Buy something at a big auction. One that requires me to hold one of those big numbers
34: Go white water rafting
35: Have a book published
36: Produce | Write | Create a TV show
37: Go water skiing
38: Ride an elephant (came very close to this one)
39: Make a baby
40: Finish one of the GTA's.
41: See a UFC fight live (sit in crowd)
42: Attend a Wrestling Match live. WWF, WWC any will do
43: Get married. I better add that one in case Ervi is reading :)
44: Visit Chernobyl

Added 2013:
45: Visit Nth Korea before it opens up
46: Visit Cuba before it opens up


47: Create a Top 5 free or paid iOS app/game (USA Store)
48: Have a photo of Mojo become a Meme. (Success kid style)
49: Have a video of Mojo go viral (Charlie bit my finger style)
50: Make a billy cart with Mojo

Posted at January 20, 2013 : 5:15 PM
Archived in: Me