2020 in Retrospective

So, 2020 is just about done, and I suspect a lot of people would agree when I say “good riddance to that”. I will admit, it hasn’t been nearly as bad for me as some people (I live by myself and have no underlying health conditions). With that in mind, here’s my thoughts on what the year has been like for this site. I haven’t really bothered with something like this before, so we’ll see how it goes…

Connacht Disaster Zone

This was definitely the best thing I worked on. At the end of 2019, I had 4 finished stories and several others in various states of completion. Making a New Years Resolution to complete 10 prompted me to start working on it more. Now the series stands at 18 stories and over 10 pieces of artwork, which has to be the first resolution I’ve actually made and completed for a few years.

I’m not too sure where I’ll go next with the series. Playing a lot of Hearts of Iron 4 prompted me to start considering the wider geopolitical landscape of the world I’m creating, which eventually lead into a couple of pieces where the Kingdom of Scandinavia attempts to interfere with the British Empire. However, I think I’d like to add some more stories depicting life inside the disaster zone, or possibly attempt to translate one or two of my existing stories into Irish. Bhuel, tá níos mo ná 250 laethanta caite agam ar Duolingo

Game Development

As with last year, I’ve found it increasingly hard to juggle game development at home and software engineering at work. I did manage to get a halfway decent game together (Fiptubat), but once I got it mechanically complete, I just could not be bothered to work on expanding the levels.

To be honest, I found that I prefer defining the game architecture, implementing the systems and documenting it to creating content. Getting all the models and textures and sounds and lighting just right is about as tedious as frontend web development – something I’ve had to do at work and have come to realise that I just do not enjoy.

That said, I have had other game ideas pop into my head. While working on Fiptubat, I accidentally caused some of the turrets to randomly point away form their target (hint: do not pass a negative value into Unity’s Vector3.RotateTowards method!). I did fix that, but it stuck in my head as a mildly amusing issue. After listening to this a lot at work (and some of that guy’s other music – seriously, check him out!), I thought of a sniper game based entirely around that.

If I do end up working on that, I’ll see if I can avoid being the sole person working on it. That, as much as anything else, is what burns me out.

Other

For obvious reasons, a planned trip to Inishbofin never happened. However, I definitely intend to try that again next year (depending on travel restrictions). Since I created a Flickr account to share some photos with the family, I’ll probably end up uploading them there when I finally do that.

As mentioned up above, I’ve also been practising with Duolingo to bring my Irish back up. I’m very out of practice, but still better than a lot of people in Ireland (and that’s with me living in Italy for half my life!). Maybe for St Patrick’s Day this year, I’ll try translating one of my existing stories to Irish 🙂

Anyway, to anyone who reads this, here’s to a better year!

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