Phil Lowles

3rd Basingtoke Boys' Brigade website

Website created for 3rd Basingstoke Boys' Brigade Company. Features news section on home page generated via RSS integration from news blog content, random placement of right hand interest boxes using PHP switch statements, and embedded Google calendar and map.

3rd Basingstoke Boys' Brigade website

Logo design

The 3rd Basingstoke logo in the middle of the web page header is my design. The word Basingstoke was converted to a path and has a dark grey border with a grain texture effect applied to it. The pale blue shading around it is a glow filter with an alpha setting.

News blog integrated into home page via RSS

As part of this project I set up a separate news blog with access details for all of the Leaders of the 3rd Basingstoke Boys' Brigade company so that anyone can go in and add a news article at any time. New blog articles are automatically added to the home page using an RSS to HTML PHP script.

Random placement of interest boxes using PHP switch statements

PHP switch code snapshot

The home page features four randomly placed interest boxes on the right hand side of the page. The code snapshot shown here details how this works with switch statements for each box.

Embedded Google calendar and map

The how to find us and calendar pages of the website include an embedded Google map and an embedded Google calendar. The calendar page includes links that allow the user to display entries for a specific section of the calendar. So if for example they only want to view entries for the Anchors and Junior sections (ages 5 - 11) then clicking the link will change the entries displayed without reloading the entire page.

Badges and Powerpoint presentation

As part of this project I photographed all of the badges that can be achieved in Boys' Brigade. I then made PNG cut outs of each badge using Fireworks for use on the website and also for the Powerpoint presentation we use at our badge presentations event every year. I have made these badges available on the website as a resource for other Boys' Brigade companies to use (Boys' Brigade badges).

The Powerpoint presentation is also something that may be of interest. It includes information on BB badges and the requirements that need to be met for each award. Each boy has a separate slide which shows their badge armband and uses transitions to add new badges that they have achieved this year. The presentation is available for download from the above link.


X-Phils screenshot

X-Phils is an orienteering adventure in the form of a story, based on the popular TV series The X-Files, written by Phil Lowles - hence the terrible pun! There have been eight X-Phils adventures to date.

The boys take on the role of FBI Agents and at each Checkpoint along the route will find the next part of the story inside an envelope marked with an X. By the end of the investigation they will have to either make a decision about what to do, or try to work out what was happening, or who committed the crime. It is not just an exercise in map reading, it is fun, exciting and always the most popular event of our Summer Programme!

The most technologically challenging X-Phils adventure to produce was X-Phils 6. Set in the woods near Weston Patrick, the story sees our FBI agent trying to track down a military recording of an encounter with a UFO, only when they find the recording they discover an actual recording stored on an MP3 player and the boys will need to listen to this audio clip and also the shocking Epilogue of the adventure where a dark truth is revealed!

The audio recordings for X-Phils 6 were made with the help of some volunteers that I contacted via a web forum that I regularly visit. These volunteers include a New York school teacher, a US Rocket Scientist, a Canadian, an Australian and a professional actress based in California. I even played one of the parts myself, putting on a terrible American accent! Recordings were sent by email from all over the world and I then edited and compiled the recording using Nero Wave Editor. You can listen to the completed recording by clicking the link below. Also provided is the unedited recording before I cleaned it up and shows how much work I put into this project. Warning the unedited recording suffers from variable sound levels.