2017

2016 was a big year for me personally/professionally.  I left a job that was draining me in February to pursue video game development.  I said at the time if needs be I’ll find some kind of work come January, although in June I got offered some part-time work that was still not in a field that I wanted to be in, but helped keep a roof over my head.  Two steps forward, one sideways.

However, I did release my first game (Robbing HUD) back in August.  Work on it started around May and I decided to try and do a simple self-contained idea to start and finish something.  It was a great feeling to finish that (even if I never got round to the Mac port as I don’t own a Mac) and it taught me a lot about aspects of Unity, but also general project planning.

Since then I’ve begun working on a visual novel with some friends.  Making decent progress with the programming side of things and we’ve pretty much got the story side sorted.  We’re writing it in Ink and I’m trying to build tools to then more easily build interactive fiction stuff in the future.  Had an idea for a small game recently and might try and do that soon.

In 2017 I’m hoping to release the games mentioned above and I also want to do more art.  Spent a lot of the last few years on the programming side of things but I want to try and do more art.  I’m out of practice and I know I’m going to be self-conscious about that, but I need to rip the bandage off.  Similarly, I’d like to do more writing.  Did some for the game mentioned above and felt great to exercise those muscles.

One thing I did achieve in 2016 is to keep this updated somewhat regularly.  No more posting every year saying “I should post more”.

All in all 2016 wasn’t too bad for me personally (let’s ignore what happened in the world), and I hope 2017 will be the year things really take off for me professionally.

Where I’m At

Been a while.  I went on holiday for two weeks and have been fighting a cold for the last week or so.  Been trying to do a few things but I’m exhausted most of the day.  Fun times.

However, trying to figure out where I’m going next.

Working on a project with some others and they’re focusing on the creative side and I’m trying to set up some Unity Editor scripts which is an interesting challenge (read: confusing and not as documented as I’d like) but not getting that creative itch scratched quite as much.

Considering doing a NaNoWriMo maybe using something like Ink.  That might occupy me and maybe I’ll finally finish one.  Who knows.

Also considering doing a series of small self-jams on occasional weekends to work on a side project.  Got an idea for one and just trying to figure out scope and requirements at the moment.  This is where I wished I was working with others in the same room as I have conflicting ideas and I’m trying to work through them so I’ve ended up here, obviously.

I’m Outta Here

So I finally quit work.

I’ve been mulling it over a lot lately.  There was a day (maybe the first day…) at work just after I got back from Greece at the end of last month where people were explaining problems and issues and all I could think was “why should I pretend to give a shit about this”.

So after a lot of thinking and talking to that colleague you speak to about these kind of things (good old work friends) I decided I knew I wanted to leave by the end of May because that’s when things get awful and busy.  I knew at the earliest I wanted to leave at the start of February so my last year of my 20s would be away from that place.  So with my three month notice period I had to hand it in some time between November and February, so I thought I would get to November and just quit when it felt right.  I lasted until mid-October.

I’m going to stay until February 5th (Friday before my birthday) and I’ve given in an excessive notice, but I just wanted to say it and boy did it feel good.

So yeah, I’ll be focusing full time on this game thing.  Let’s see how that goes!

Insecurity

Went to a BAFTA Games event tonight that was good, informative and amusing. And then afterwards I just kind of bailed. I went alone and sometimes that would be fine, but I just wasn’t feeling like awkwardly shoehorning myself into other people’s conversations. Thinking about it on the way back, I feel that part of it might be because I feel insecure about my current professional situation.

I have spent the last few years half-explaining my job (it’s difficult to actually explain it to most people, even people I share an office with) and always describing it as boring, not something I want to do etc. It’s a negative mental state to be in and one I’m going to move away from. Even if I end up not working, it’s going to be better for me (in some regards) than where I am currently. Hopefully it will result in me having more confidence about myself.

Anger leads to prosperity…hopefully

About two weeks ago after a shitty day at work I did what everyone in their 20s does – moaned about it online.

I posted, somewhat flippantly, on Facebook that I was sick of work and asked who wanted to open up a game studio. I’d been working on getting myself to a position whereby I could leave work to make games early-to-mid next year but really I was just ranting.

However, a number of people responded and seemed interested so now I might just do that…

Obviously it’s in the early stages but I’ve asked for people to give me details about what they’re good at, interested in, availability etc and the next step is to start generating ideas. I’ve got ideas of my own of course, but given there’s this greater than anticipated interest I thought it would be good to draw from that and see where we go.

Who knows, it could be the start of something great!

The re-education of Ashley

After a lot of thought and anguish and talking people’s ears off I’m getting closer to making a decision about what I’m doing with my life.I’ve known for some time that I don’t want to be at work (since pretty much the first day) but kind of stuck there because of a need to pay rent and I’m not really sure where I want to go.  I enjoyed my animation course, but soon realised it’s not for me.

For a while I considered doing a MA in Game Design and I still might (going to defer it for now), but I’m leaning towards just trying out a lot of different things at this stage and see where it leads me.  So the areas I’m thinking of are:

  • Web design
  • UX
  • Android app development
  • Game design
  • Illustrator

I’ve started with the web design stuff already (as I had a project that I needed to get to work on already) and again it’s been fun, but I don’t think ultimately its for me.  Hopefully not all the above will end up like that, but we’ll see.

What I’m hoping to do is spend a few months trying out those things and see what fits and then leave work.  There might be a period of unemployment but I think this would be beneficial to then have more dedicated time to work on things.

So yeah.  I have a plan.  A plan to start again.

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