Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014: A New Beginning...Maybe?

Woo!  A new year!  Time for renewal! Or to completely mess up...

So I've been neglecting this blog since I went to Unite 2013.  I've been really busy with a combination of work and a book I'm writing.  I don't know how much about the book I can say, but it is a technical book and my first attempt at such an endeavor.  So far, it hasn't been easy, a lot more time consuming and boring than I was anticipating.  I'm so close with finishing the rough draft though, about 80% done, that stopping now would be stupid.

Feels a bit like being back in college...
That being said, 2013 is over, and a new year has begun.  I reread my original post about 2013 and decided to see how successful I was with my resolutions.  One was to publish two games.  I wasn't entirely successful.  Though I did release a new version of Battle High 2 on XNA and Desura, which I would like to count as one, I wasn't able to finish another.  I could argue that starting the book is almost like a game though.  If I finish it and something else this year, that'll be like having two games published.  I'd still like to try and release two products in 2014, not necessarily games, and with the book in progress, and a new version of Battle High in the works, this is something I think I can be successful in.
Some work in Unity3D for the new version of Battle High 2!

Another was to improve my fitness habits, which I think I did a TERRIBLE job of last year to be honest.  I think one problem is the desire for instant gratification.  I want to lose weight or look better fast, but I think I'll see more progress if I take it slow.  I don't need to lose 20 pounds in a week; maybe just one pound a week over 20 weeks.  Last year I kept using the excuse of waiting until winter ended to start exercising and eating better, and I would like to avoid that this year but also avoid extreme change and dieting.  It seems silly, but a part of me feels like I can relate this to my career.  There's no real for me to rush and get twenty games done in one year.  Maybe if I take it slow and work on something I really like, I'll see improvement and development I can appreciate.  I can see the risk of going too slow -- new consoles, engines, design theories, etc. -- but rushing just to get something done isn't very helpful either.

What exactly is the rush?
Another was to be more active in communities, which I failed at.  I hate being active in communities, which is a bad attitude to have, but part of the problem is I actually need something to show and discuss.  Keeping up with the basic drama on forums is such a pain.  I think I do a satisfactory amount of networking on Twitter and in person at conventions like GDC.  There is a Battle High FaceBook page which I'd like to be more active on though, and I think that will be part of one of my resolutions this year.

You, you mean I actually have to communicate with people?

There was also one about doing more art.  I always make a little progress in this.  I feel more confident in my modeling skills and rigging.  Just hard to get something done without an actual game idea or something to produce for.  I've never been good at making art for practice or fun if it's not part of something bigger.  I feel like it's just a waste of time because it's not my primary skill set.
UGH!  I'm sick of drawing cylinders!!!  Why can't I just code them?!

There was also a resolution to play more games.  I don't know if I did better on this, but I did player Wario Land:  Shake It! and really enjoyed it.  Seems silly to mention, but it was outside of my fighting game comfort zone for a change.  I was able to analyze it from a design standpoint without ruining the game for myself, and I would like to approach more games in 2014 this way -- still play them to enjoy them but able to understand their design and what makes the games good, enjoyable, or bad.  I have a lot of games on my list.  Right now I'm trying to finish Kirby's Epic Yarn which is okay -- I'll maybe write a more in-depth review later.

Fun game, but a bit irritating to constantly back track to get all the treasures and secret maps

Overall, 2014 should hopefully bring some new, exciting things.  Once the book is done I'll be able to focus more on the new update to Battle High and possible a new game altogether.  Speaking of Battle High 2, I'm trying to port the game to Unity3D in the hopes I can get it to more platforms, especially how the new consoles are trying to be more "indie" friendly, which is a stretch since I'm not even technically a one-man studio -- I'm just one guy.  Anyway, good luck to your and yours in this new, and hopefully productive, year!

Hehehe, I hope no one peed in the pool that is this new year already!

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