fuzzy notepad

[blog] Eevee gained 2437 experience points

Eevee grew to level 29! Like a week and a half ago.

Wow, what a year.

  • I finally, seriously, started learning to draw. I went from this on Jan 1 to this on Dec 31. A lot of people have told me this is amazing progress, and I believe them, but it’s sure weird to hear. I spent 28 years not thinking I was terribly good at anything artistic, and while I know a lot of amazing artists, pretty much all of them started before high school. Our mythos is full of that kind of thing too — here’s Mozart, isn’t he amazing, he was playing the piano far better than you can ever dream to when he was six years old. There aren’t too many inspiring tales of people who abruptly picked up a new and completely different skill around age 30. Maybe I can be one?

  • I left my job at Yelp seven months ago, intending not to work in the tech industry again. So far, so good! I thought by the end of the year I’d have come up with something I could actually sell, but I haven’t yet. I’m still afloat, though, and meanwhile trying to get a book and/or game actually finished.

  • I paid off our house? That’s pretty cool? Damn?

  • I started a Patreon — at first experimentally, but now as a serious income source. It’s definitely forced me to write a lot more, since, that’s the whole idea. I’ve gone from a mere 6 posts in 2014 to 25 last year, not even counting the dev log. Some of them were even kind of popular! Sometimes not for good reasons.

    I put a good bit of effort into sprucing up this site, too, and it’s gradually turning into an actual little personal site. Two years ago it was just a veekun subdomain and had nothing but a blog. How far we’ve come!

  • I dipped a toe a little more seriously into game development. Only a little. I tried out Godot and had fun making a stub of a tiny platformer. My incredible text adventure, Runed Awakening, has gotten some serious revamping and is coming along steadily. I made a bunch of Mario levels, partly to experiment with design concepts and how to make spaces that feel like something, and partly to actually finish and release some small things. I wrote about design some in the second part of my Doom mapping series. I worked on some Doom mapping of my own, but kept getting distracted by fixing a bunch of SLADE papercuts.

  • I released camel, a better serialization library for Python. I have absolutely no idea how many people are using it. But it doesn’t really matter — the real goal there was just to have something to show for my efforts for once, since I put a disproportionate amount of time into patches and experiments. Still feels good to think about now.

  • Spline has made steady progress; it’s not ready for (other people’s) primetime yet, but it’s getting less hardcoded and more understandable all the time. I don’t have any strong goals for it beyond “do the stuff Mel needs”, but it’s nice to see it drifting in the general direction of becoming a solid project. The Floraverse site is definitely much nicer than it was a year ago, and the visual novel engine it uses was basically written all this past year.

  • I wrote an article for Vox, which was cool, except that without the context it kind of made me sound like a huge asshole, which was less cool.

  • veekun got some attention, but not too much to actually show for it. I’m still tinkering with the next generation of the site from time to time, and I’m moving in the direction of having scripts that parse everything from each game individually into a known canonical format. I wrote most of such a script for OR/AS, and added the resulting data to current veekun, but I never finished the output format bit and it’s languished a bit since then.

Let’s see what I said I wanted to do last year

  • Write more. Success!

  • Do a bit more with this domain. Success! Could probably do more, but hey.

  • Finish a game. Not so much. Half done?

  • Write a book. I started on a couple, but not really anywhere near publishable yet.

  • Make money. Ahem, well. I do have Patreon, but half of it is coming from three very generous individuals. I’m eternally grateful to them, of course, but that’s a lot of reliance on not so many people. Actually finishing either of the two things above will hopefully help.

Well! Those last three are pretty good goals for this year as well. I should be able to actually finish and publish a book and a game within a year, surely. If I get started, like, now.

If you like when I write words, you can fund future wordsmithing (and other endeavors) by throwing a couple bucks at my Patreon!

(illus. by Rumwik)