posts tagged with: thoughts

Break Time

Break Time
Hey anyone still reading this,

Unfortunately I wont be able to keep up with the pace with my blog posts anymore due to various circumstances in my life right now. I'm still doing stuff behind the scenes, but right now there are a lot of other things I need to focus on and my blog sadly has to take a back seat.

I had a really good streak of posts going, but really I didn't imagine that I could keep it up forever.

I'll be back at some point! Thanks for tuning in.

Habit Tracking Tests

Habit Tracking Tests
Routine will always always always be something I consistently struggle with. I'm not really sure how to overcome this since I've been fighting it for pretty much as long as I can remember. Sitting in school everyday felt like torture and when I think back to it I'm not even sure how I made it through it.

It's not a secret that I have a lot of depression and anxiety related brain issues, so trying to fight those constantly is pretty much my every day life. Lately I've been pretty off the wagon when it comes to pretty much everything and I feel like I can't bring myself to do dang near anything. I've been trying to fight that on multiple fronts so here's just an example of one of them:

In the past I've had varying results with habit tracking stuff. I've used a lot of different tips and tricks and websites and applications. Thinking back on it I think the results have been overall pretty good, so I've tried to dive back into it. I grabbed a little app called Loop which is the most effective and most simple habit tracking app I could find. (I tried out a couple and oh boy are some of them terrible.)

Loop is pretty straight forward. All it ends up being is a list of what you want to accomplish every day and some boxes you can change into checkmarks for when you do them. You can set up different habits to be only on certain days, or just leave it on the default of every day. Right now my list is: Rowing 1mi, Rowing 2mi+, Walk 1mi, Draw 1hr, Draw 2hr+, Kpulv Projects 1hr, Kpulv Projects 2hr+, Contract Work 1hr, Contract Work 2hr+. I'm aiming to go for at least 1 hour on a bunch of stuff every day, and I consider the 2hr+ categories to be totally bonus.

For the rowing category that is one of the other fronts I am trying to fight the depression on. I got a relatively cheapo rower for Christmas and I've been pushing myself to row 2 miles a day. I think that's pretty good? But who knows. Maybe other people do like 10 miles a day and I'm super lazy. Walking is also on the list as that has the bonus of getting me out of my apartment. Walking around Denver is always nice, and being able to get my Pokemon GO in for the day as well is even better.

I've often seen articles and research that suggest that humans are creatures of habit. If you do something on repeat long enough it becomes a compulsion, but I'm not sure if I buy that. When a routine forms for me my brain does everything in its power to resist it constantly. As soon as I get into a habit I just want to break it because to my mind it feels so good to do so. I'm not sure if this is something that I'm totally alone in struggling with or what because it seems like everyone's cure for depression and other mental ailments is to just form good habits! Yeah, it's so simple...

This Loop app I think is helping though. It's satisfying to see the checkmarks fall into place, and it also has some neat graphs to show how each habit is progressing overall. My downfall with these types of applications is always the same though. Once I start to slip up the app reminds me how bad I'm doing. The missing checkmarks become a horrible sight and I cant stand to face them and I end up spiraling back down, so it always is a double edged swords with these kinds of things. When people suggest to establish goals for sorting out weird mental stuff I wonder if they consider what happens when someone consistently fails at these goals? It's a pretty bad feeling when you can't even meet your lowest expectations! But maybe people that are shining beacons of happiness never experience this.

Alright this is getting into weird rambly thoughts so that means it's time to wrap it up. So far I'm enjoying this habit tracking stuff but also I'm mostly on top of the stuff that I care about the most right now (mainly the exercise related habits.) We'll see how long I can stay on this wagon.

To GDC or Not to GDC?

To GDC or Not to GDC?
Game Developers Conference is almost in full swing (technically the main part of it starts tomorrow) and it's always mind blowing to me how this event seems to draw out every single game developer on the planet. There are a lot of game developer events through out the year now, but for some reason GDC still is the main one for a lot of people.

I almost wasn't going to attend this GDC, but thanks to a lot of good luck and a lot of help from friends of mine I was able to make it happen in the end. I feel like every year I weigh the good and bad sides of attending GDC which is what ultimately drove me to decide to not attend this one. I'm not sure if the bad was necessarily out weighing the good, but I don't think a conference like GDC or a conference in general is always 100% a good idea to attend.

Let's get the worst things out of the way first:

Choosing a Path

Choosing a Path
Strangely enough my brain is always filled with the background noise of self doubt. Am I working on the right thing? Am I spending my finite time on this earth in the best way I can? Am I enjoying what I'm doing?! My mind is always packed full of questions like this, and most of the time it's directed at game projects, and my framework Otter.

I've decided to pursue making a new version of Otter using FNA and leaving SFML behind. I figure by using FNA I can get a better handle on actually porting my work to platforms other than Windows, and maybe also get some better performance. It comes at a high cost though. Although by this point I'm pretty quick at throwing together a decent framework for making simple games, a lot of the more under the hood stuff still gives me a lot of trouble.

I haven't been working that much on the FNA version yet since I'm still in the middle of a project with the SFML version, but so far progress has been pretty slow. I often ask myself if it's even worth doing. I usually think it is, but then I wonder if I should hop back to something like Game Maker, or if I should give something like Unity another shot.

I think Game Maker is immediately out of the question since I've started using C# to make games. Game Maker was great when I used it, but sometimes it was so painful to be writing scripts in their built in IDE. As the projects I work on grow in scale and complexity Game Maker falls pretty short of how I want to be coding my games.

Unity seems cool but at the same time every developer I know that uses it is in constant struggle against it. The editor tools and overall experience of using Unity seems great, but I just know that I'm going to dislike how it actually operates when it comes to running the game. I feel like if I were to start using Unity my first year of using it would be just trying to shoe horn my own way of thinking into it so I could actually start being productive with it, and if that's the case then why not just continue down the path of Otter?

Unraveling Some Thoughts

Unraveling Some Thoughts
I'm currently in the midst of a bunch of traveling before I eventually find my way to San Francisco next week for the big ole Game Developers Conference. I've had a lot of time to just think about stuff, and while I'm not really programming right now I'm going to try to organize some of my thoughts here.

I've been trying to figure out what exactly happened to me after I shipped Offspring Fling, and was part of the team that shipped Snapshot. During the year after those two titles I ended up putting out a bunch more games that I had basically laying around on my hard drives. Then after that I kinda faded away. I retreated to go work on my own game making framework, Otter, which I used to make a bunch of prototypes and released a few more small game jam sized games. Otter gained a small following and there's a small community of really talented people using it, but I haven't really made any solid efforts toward releasing another game on the same scale of Offspring Fling or Snapshot since.

If you've read my general thoughts posts before (the ones around the start of the year) you probably already know that anxiety is a pretty constant aspect of my existence. Along with that I've struggled with depression since I was really young, so I already have those factors working against me, but how do they actually work into this equation that is my current state of mind?

A Status Update

A Status Update
Wow what a weird couple of weeks it's been. I guess I'm going to do some sort of status update kind of thing here since I haven't really been in the trenches of game development for awhile still. I'm falling behind on my blog goals!

I'm in the beginning phases of working on a secret thing that I unfortunately I can't really talk about or post about. This is a big reason for the radio silence on my blogosphere, but there are other reasons as well. It's a super cool project though and I am pretty dang excited to be working on it.

Unfortunately I'm still feeling pretty depressive lately. Sometimes I need to clarify that this doesn't mean "I am sad." I think pretty much for my entire life I've had struggles with depression and it's just a pure brain chemistry mess for me as far as I can tell. It just feels like I'm "blah" all the time and I don't want to do anything. I've been trying to work on it though. I've got exercise back into my routine in the form of a sweet rower. Right now two miles of rowing a day, and I've worked up to the point where I can do it continuously without stopping. I used to play a lot of Dance Dance Revolution to try to keep my brain in check, but unfortunately I live in an apartment now and I don't want to really stomp around on my downstairs neighbors.

I've been working a little bit on my Pathfinder Character Sheet. Fixing bugs and improving it slightly as my group plays every week. I've been putting a lot of energy into playing Pathfinder too. I really like it and I like my character a lot. I love getting into the role playing part of it and feeling the things that my character feels and having intense dramatic moments (and we have a lot of them at our table.) I'm super happy to have a group of players that really gets into their characters and the game isn't just about hitting things (although hitting things can be fun too.)

Drawing and doodling still occupies a lot of my time these days too. I don't know why but I still don't feel like programming. It feels like an infinitely high wall to climb over right now to get back into it. I know that this is just a trick of my mind though. I just need to dive back into it and I'll figure it out as I go. I just hate the feeling of not knowing what I'm doing, and taking a long break makes it worse, which is why I don't end up taking breaks, which leads to burn out. It's a vicious cycle that I don't know how other people seem to deal with it so easily! Or maybe it's not easy for them at all and they're just way way better at being disciplined than me. Dang it.

I'm doing well though. I am in fact going to Game Developers Conference this year. I wont have a pass, but I'll be in the area for the week and probably hanging out at different events, so if you see me you should totally say something!