A number of comments have popped up in various stories this week wondering where the TA Plays videos have been, with a few concerned readers tweeting and IM'ing me as they've noticed my absence on the site lately. Unfortunately, my father, Jeff Hodapp, recently passed away and I've withdrawn a bit from my daily duties at TouchArcade to spend time with my family.
He would've been 61 yesterday, and memorial services are being held tomorrow. My Dad was a hell of a guy, and fought a battle with cancer that spanned over a decade. He never was much for computers or video games, but oddly enough, turned into an avid iOS gamer when I bought my parents their first iPad in early 2011. He was about as casual of a gamer as you could get, dividing his time equally between the Angry Birds series, the various iterations of Temple Run, and anything to do with his favorite hobby, fishing. In fact, he liked Angry Birds enough that Angry Birds swag slowly started to infiltrate his wardrobe, with a green pig beanie replacing his hair as chemotherapy claimed it.
It's not at all hyperbole to say my Dad has been instrumental in me being where I am today in life, taking chances, following dreams, and finally ending up running TouchArcade. Everything I do is influenced by him in some way or another, as my parents provided me one of the most unconventional childhoods imaginable. If you've enjoyed the direction TouchArcade has gone over the years, you've got my Dad to thank for it. He was the one who drilled it in to my head that it's OK to try even the craziest thing, fail, and iterate until you've got something awesome… Regardless of whether or not you even have the slightest clue of what you're doing when you start, which most certainly was the case for me when I got onboard with TouchArcade in early 2009 and when I recently started getting into public speaking at various iOS-relevant conventions.
For the first time in two and a half years we're not releasing a podcast this Friday. We'll be back to our regularly scheduled programming next week, and I promise an extra long episode to make up for this one. Also, remember the iTunes freeze occurs on the 21st, so we'll slowly work through our backlog of TA Plays videos throughout the week where there won't be any new game releases.
Thanks for everything, Dad. I love you.