Watch me ollie!

Monday, December 13, 2004

Stay on target! Stay on target!

Alright. We're almost there. It's the last Monday morning of the working year. Just the next few days to get through, the office Christmas party on Friday, and then I get to enjoy two glorious weeks off. Ahh.

So, what's on the agenda? Well, firstly, I'm having a holiday at home, since the missus works retail, so will have to be within spitting distance of work throughout the festive season this year. That suits me okay (although I'm sure she's not too thrilled about it), since it means that we have a nice excuse not to go traipsing all over the country, spending money and getting stressed out trying to see everyone we ought to for Christmas. Instead, I get to sit at home, get some rest, play some games and generally take it easy and recharge. I've got no complaints on that front.

This time last year, I felt really optimistic. There was a bunch of stuff I wanted to get done in 2004, and I really felt like it was all within my grasp. Here's a quick recap:

1. Well, I got the game I was working on finished, on time. And I think I did as good a job as I could with it. On the whole, it didn't leave too bad a taste in my mouth, and I think its most glaring flaws can be laid firmly at the feet of the publisher and the licence. These are issues I identified in the first day of the project, issues we raised and were not allowed to address or work around, and now that the project's complete, they're the issues that reviews are (quite fairly) picking on. I think, however, that I did a good job on the bits of the project that were actually under my control.

2. I'm still in debt, though not as much as I was. I think I'm actually more or less on track here. I should be out of this by this time next year, with any luck, and it'll be a major milestone for me. I've done alright managing my money this year, even though the missus thinks I'm a pain in the arse about it. Honestly, though, there are few things as important to me than getting out of this cycle that keeps me more or less a slave, and takes away my ability to make choices about where and how I live, and what I do from day to day. The freedom that'll come with being out of debt is like some sort of beautiful dream - one that I'm determined to make a reality of sooner rather than later, even if it means I have to be a pain in the arse all year again.

3. One of the things I was excited about at this time last year was setting up an IGDA chapter here in Melbourne. That's something that took a fair part of the year to get up and running, and suffered a few hiccups along the way, but it did happen, and I think it was a fairly successful beginning. With any luck, we'll be able to really start to see things happen in the new year.

4. I was going to write a children's book this year. This never happened, sadly. Quite a lot of work was done on one, but it was abandoned, as it really didn't hold my interest, or that of the artist I was working with, so we decided to kill it off. I've got another idea for one that I quite like, so I suppose I'd better have another crack at it. Maybe over the holidays.

So, here's where I want to be at this time next year:

1. I want to be out of debt, preferably with a bit of money tucked away as well. This'll be tight, but it should be just about possible, so long as there aren't any unforseen disasters along the way.

2. I want to have written something I'm not ashamed of. That's always on the list. We'll see.

3. I want to be a bit less of a fat bastard. This will involve finding something active to do that isn't very expensive, and isn't a total bore. Suggestions on a postcard, please.

4. I want to be doing a bit better at work. I think I've had a really good year at work, actually. I've improved the way I do things a bit, and I also got a bit of a raise, with the potential for another one this coming year. Can't argue with that, I suppose. Still, I want to keep moving it forward, becoming more of a driving force behind what we do. I particularly want to earn the trust and freedom to work on some more original titles. Fingers crossed, eh?

5. I want to see the IGDA chapter grow and flourish this year. I think this one's entirely within the bounds of possibility, given how much enthusiasm I've seen and heard. I'll just have to be careful how I divide my time up, and I should be able to steer it in the right direction.

That'll do, actually.

The other thing I did this year was give up smoking. Twice, actually, but the first time was foiled by the arrival of the in-laws. This time, however, I'm confident that I'll stick it out.

Excuse the even more self indulgent than usual tone of this post. The end of the year will do that to you. I'll get back to rambling about videogames next time, I promise.


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