For the past few years I've been keeping a tradition of writing a post summarizing my goals for the upcoming year. This could be considered participating in setting "New Year's Resolutions" but I feel that these are often newly created ideas and therefore are much more difficult to stick to. I much prefer the practice of continually reviewing your priorities in life as things happen and instead view this yearly tradition as an opportunity to write down where I currently am. Recording my thoughts gives great insight into previous years; being able to reflect on what I accomplished, what I did not and why.
Creativity & Passion Projects
Anyone who knows me will be aware that I've always got a few projects cooking on the back-burner. Even though I haven't had much success releasing projects, it's fun to tinker and I can't go very long without some form of creative expression. This past year has been filled with many challenges between my career and social life, which unfortunately left me completely burned out and unable to really pursue my passion projects.
That all changed one foggy morning when I opened my inbox to discover that Hextraction was Accepted into Greenlight! This was a project which those of us at ComboMash Entertainment Inc had put our heart & souls into through Kickstarter (one which I quit my job to pursue), but it ended up flopping miserably. We learned a lot from the experience, but the next 7 months were pretty tough for us all and we pretty much abandoned the project. Receiving that email was like finding the golden ticket to the Wonka factory, and immediately gave us the boost we needed to get back into the swing of things. Knowing we'll have access to the most popular online sales portal for PC games when we finish is a pretty big motivation factor, after all!
Riding this wave of motivation & renewed creative energy, I'm going to be focussing my creative efforts for the next year in three areas:
- Hextraction - Working with the ComboMash team to bring new life to our game as we work towards release. We've already got a much more solid & mature concept in place and have begun experimenting with Unreal 4, so I have high hopes we'll have an awesome project given enough time & effort.
- Oculus Rift - Having purchased a DK2 and began experimenting with developing for VR I can safely say this technology is going to explode in the coming years. Not with the big clunky headsets of today, but with the sleek well designed minimal glasses we'll see 5 to 10 years from now. Learning how to create engaging experiences for VR has huge potential so I'll be jamming out some small projects to start experimenting. Might even try to do One Game a Month challenge, focussed exclusively on VR experiences, if time allows.
- IP Development - I've always enjoyed creating unique, off-the-wall, somewhat risqué characters & story-lines. Yeah okay, I'm basically just talking about Pole Force One, a project I've had in my back pocket for years now. What I've learned from it though is that I should focus less on building something for a specific medium (such as a game) and instead get into the habit of creating compelling universes that could be made into animations, games, merchandise, comics, etc...
Exploration, Nature & Freedom
I'm not a city person, can't stand being around concrete and given an ideal world would be out living in a cabin in the woods only emerging to go to work or spend time with friends. Unfortunately that doesn't seem possible here in Vancouver, so instead I'm going to try and focus on finding some compromises that will allow me to get out into nature more often and get that sense of freedom.
- Motorcyle - After chatting with a friend who rides, and looking enviously at the beautiful landscapes she gets to see while out riding, I decided now was the time to get my license and purchase a motorcycle. I've already picked up some protective leather and have booked lessons in February, so I have no doubt that come summer time I'll be out riding deep into the mountains and enjoying the beautiful landscape the west coast has to offer.
- Long Distance Cycling - I suppose I enjoy being on two wheels? I'm going to start building up my stamina, learning to do on the road repairs for my road bike and will be doing a few long distance treks on the bicycle. After doing a 200km charity ride last summer, I've got the itch to strap a tent to my backpack and ride off somewhere far away; just me, my bicycle and whatever I discover along the way.
- Hiking - Okay, so I already do this but I'm hoping that the above two goals will help me do this even more often. Even if it's just cycling up to the Grind every other weekend and demolishing the tourists trying to do it in jeans & flip-flops, I think that would be enough to keep me satisfied for now.
I had a few more items that I wanted to write down about relationships, friends, health & fitness... but I think I'm satisfied with my entry for today. The other areas are just as important but I feel writing about them would be less tangible. They're far more circumstantial and part the continual process of self development that everyone goes through. Happy New Year to anyone who happens to be reading this!