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State of my Brain

State of my Brain
Progress on things has been pretty weird lately. I've been all over the place with what I've been working on and how I've been spending my time. I'm struggling to find things to talk about on the ole blog so I figured I'd write up just a bunch of thoughts and feelings that are bouncing around my noggin.

Super Sky Sisters
I've been feeling like this game is "almost done" for the past year. It's always felt that I'm one bullet point away from finishing it, but each bullet point reveals two or three more that I then have to work on. It just doesn't seem like the game has enough stuff for it to be called "finished." That and I'm also struggling with a lot of anxiety about the game.

Honestly what I really want to do is just release it on itch.io and call it a day, but I feel like I'm missing possible opportunities to do way more with it. Steam, Humble, maybe actually trying to get any sort of press for it... but all of these things make me feel incredibly anxious. I would be perfectly happy just quietly releasing it on itch, but am I just screwing myself over by doing that? I mean I do have to make money on my work otherwise it becomes pretty difficult to eat, but right now the thought of putting Sky Sisters in front of a potentially huge audience makes me feel pretty uneasy and I'm not sure exactly why.

These feelings of weird social anxiety that somehow carries over to my work is probably the biggest reason I haven't hurried up and finished it. My anxiety and "introvertedness" just gets stronger and stronger all the time and I'm not sure how to fight it! Whoops this part isn't exactly about Sky Sisters anymore.

Game Developers Conference
Usually by now I have a plan of how I'm getting to GDC, and where I'm staying, and all that stuff. This year is different though. I feel totally disconnected from GDC and any desire to even go. I feel like last year wasn't exactly the greatest. It was still fun, and full of cool people, but I'm trying to think about what I really got out of it.

I went on an Independent Games Summit pass as I usually do, and the talks just didn't really do much for me. Some of the best ones end up on the GDC Vault anyway. It just feels like in general the number of talks that feel relevant to me gets lower every year, and for a conference that costs almost 400 dollars to attend for two days, it's becoming not worth it. At least not until I ship another game and get my funds back into a more comfortable place.

Also the biggest factor for me not going is the area that the conference is in. San Francisco is huge and I'm sure other parts of it are nice, but holy crap the area that GDC is in is becoming worse and worse. I'm not sure if it's just my feelings, or if its objectively less safe, but I have little to no desire to go to the Moscone area.

On top of the area just feeling crappy, it's also still incredibly expensive to stay there for the week. I'm now sitting on the decision of "is it worth spending almost 1300 dollars to go to this conference which I didn't even really like last year?" I could do a lot of other things with that amount of money! I could buy a new video card and a cintiq tablet. I could do a lot of repairs on my car. I could buy a lot of sushi.

I know I am an exception here, but my total cost to attend PAX was a small fraction of what it would cost to go to GDC. Plus when it comes to seeing my good friends that are scattered around the country and world there are now so many more events to go that are way cheaper than GDC, and way cheaper than San Francisco.

So at this point I'd say I'm probably not going to GDC unless something amazing changes it.

Otter FNA
I'm slowly chipping away at a new version of Otter using FNA, and I'm finding it really difficult to muster up the brain power required to punch through some of the core stuff. I'm working through getting rendering up and running while trying to maintain the same API that the current version of Otter has. I think this will be worth it though, and I absolutely need to step away from SFML for my future games. SFML has been great to me, but it's obvious that the C# version is going to be left in the dust, and newer builds of SFML actually break more things for me than they improve.

Dev Streaming
It sort of feels like dev streaming on Twitch has been a mix of energizing and draining. I seem to have this weird rejection of anything that has a strict schedule. I hated school as a kid. I hated doing the same thing every day at the same times every time. I lived for summer break, and my biggest motivation to stay independent is to not have a job with scheduled hours every day. So I try to schedule my stream so I'm on three times a week in the afternoon. For the most part this works out, but I often find myself dreading going live.

Usually after I turn the stream on it feels better, but I also feel pretty restricted in a way. I feel like I can't really dig in and work on difficult tasks because I have an audience. I've worked on a lot of stuff on stream, and I think overall it has been a great help in making sure I'm working on my projects, but I'm wondering if in the future I should continue with it. Will it hinder me more than help me if I'm working on a new project from scratch? If I have to sit down and make a platforming engine will I be able to make any progress on that sort of task on stream? I'm not sure.

I think for the time being I'll keep trying to stream with my weekly schedule, but at some point in December I'll be taking an extended break around Christmas time.

Game Dev
I still love making games above all else even if it's still the most difficult thing I try to do every day. I took a small break to work on a web project and the difference between that and game dev was unreal. I could continuously work on my web dev project without the mental fatigue setting in. When it comes to game dev I just get exhausted way faster. It still feels like I'm in an unending burn out, and I'm not sure if it's just because I'm maybe pushing myself too hard.

I've made my own framework over the past few years and some games with it, and I'm continuing down that path for the foreseeable future. I know that this probably contributes to feeling drained when working on stuff. My other option to go down the road of using game making software or other existing frameworks, but I feel like I would be spending just as much time trying to wrangle those options into doing what I want. Making games always is a series of "pick you poison" scenarios.

Okay that's everything on my mind right now! Well except the election but I'll keep that off of my blog for my own sanity.
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