What I did last year

Posted on January 4, 2012 | 5 minute read

Last year was awesome. Some highlights included:

  • Finally travelling out of WA for the first time since 2005. First being sent to Melbourne by the Panasonic Insider Crew and then attending EB Expo in Queensland with a media pass from iiNet (and with Jess!)

  • Growing my business and putting a huge amount of focus on work.

  • Work.

  • Did I mention work?

  • Building Adam

  • Work.

Most of the exciting stuff happened in the second half of the year. The first half of the year was a bit of a creative rut. Not in the sense that I stopped having ideas but in the sense that I had zero time and sometimes even zero energy to do anything about them. The second half of the year is when things really kicked off.

A small shift in direction/refocusing

At EB Expo I remembered just how much I love games. Work didn’t allow me much time for playing, but it all clicked in Queensland. I had to make time. Ever since the first day there I’ve been thinking about games on a daily basis - games I’ve played, games I’m playing, games I want to play, games I want to make, games I’ll never make, games other people have made, games that could be made, how to make games, how to play games, how games can be improved, what games are doing right, what games are doing wrong, game AI, game art, game engines, HTML5 games, Ludum Dare games, GGJ games, indie games, what games can teach us, why games matter, gamification, augmented reality in games, how gamers interact, where games are headed…you get the idea.

And it’s not even just games. The software development process in general is so interesting, with so many parts coming together to make this one _thing _that you and/or the entire world can use.

I kind of lost that for a little while after IZ went down, even if never completely, but the second I stepped foot into that exhibition centre in QLD I remembered again.

I’ve also been learning. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to learn so much about so many things in my entire life. Well, that’s not really true. I’ve been learning a lot every year, but 2011 is when I really got excited about learning to make the more complicated things in my head. About halfway through the year I realized that I have so many ideas, but ideas aren’t good enough. I’ve been chewing through ideas for years and tossing them out because I just couldn’t build them. I tried, but kept hitting roadblocks and dead ends and time constraints.

It clicked when I saw one of my ideas in the Android app store. Almost exactly what I had in mind released by someone probably on the other side of the world. That’s when I realized that I can’t just sit on these things. If I don’t make them someone else will eventually.

I’ve also learned to keep quiet about my ideas after one of them came close to being taken by someone who would be able to build it faster than I would. And to keep quiet about particular goals after seeing a TED talk (I’ll find the link tonight and post it here) about how by telling people our goals we are getting a very similar feeling of accomplishment to what we get upon completing something and achieving said goal, therefore often losing motivation as our goals leak out to people around us. I now have two concrete, reachable goals that very few (if any) people know about, and only on a need to know basis.

So that’s what I’ve been doing for the second half of the year in my spare time. The spare time isn’t enough, so I know I need to make more time. Getting there.

A vague to do list

I also started drinking a lot more coffee. Temporary making spare time solution. So notes to self:

  • Make more spare time without inducing sleep deprivation or overdosing on caffeine

  • Play games

  • Learn more about object oriented programming in a practical sense

  • Keep working. It feels amazing to work on things you’re passionate about. And as a contractor/consultant even though I’m in a pretty high risk position I feel like I’m also working with more urgency, focus, and responsibility for my own situation. I have also gotten good at saving because of the risk issue, which I think was a great lesson to learn sooner rather than later.

  • Continue not get a credit card. I know too many people my age and older (and younger!) who are in a load of debt because of them

  • Travel more

  • Build something

Mind you, these aren’t resolutions. There seems to be a jinx with resolutions - you plan to do them so much that you never get around to actually doing them. These are things I started last year and will finish when I finish. The key, I think, is to never lose focus and remain flexible. The world doesn’t seem to take kindly to rigid plans, so flexibility and going with the flow seems like a good way to go. But then I don’t really know. Sometimes it feels like my brain is going too fast and maybe I should slow down. I actually wrote about this before. But forcibly slowing down seems like a huge waste of time, so let’s just see what happens and hope there’s no cliff ahead.




Categories:life
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