Category: ‘Goals and Resolutions’

Happy New Year! Let’s Talk Goals

January 1, 2022 Posted by zachary

As we close out 2021 and look forward to 2022, I wanted to put some goals for the coming year down. These last few years have been crazy, but there is no reason that we can’t put some control into 2022. I want to put some goals down that will focus on several key aspects of my life: Professional, Personal. and Spiritual.

Professional Goals

For professional goals, I think it is pretty easy. I started up a project to convert the code examples in some programming books I have to HaxeFlixel. The purpose of that is to help me more familiarize myself with the game engine, and to provide some example code that people can use in their own projects. I started off strong and managed to finish 6 chapters before taking a long break. For my first goal, I will finish this project this year. (hopefully it won’t take that long).

My second goal in my professional life is to finish and release a full game this year. As I work on the above goal, I will be making more games that are like toys and less like massive games. I have a tendency to overthink and over plan game projects and get burned out. So instead, I want to create one game that is more about a narrow game loop with a lot of replayability. This doesn’t mean I won’t put time into larger projects, but my main focus will be on completing one fun replayable game.

Personal Goals

For my personal goals, I am focusing on what will improve my self. I am currently overweight by a lot. I get worn out pretty quickly. I am just not too healthy. So my first goal here is to start exercising. I am not planning on joining any gyms or subscribing to any weight loss program. Instead, I just want to take it simple with what I can do at home. I want to take daily walks with my wife. When I have time, I will do some simple exercises using my pull-up bar and some free weights I have. Just enough to get me into a mindset of taking care of myself.

But it isn’t going to be all exercise. I also want to have some fun. I have a number of books I want to read and will be doing that. I also want to play several games from my back catalog that have been staring at me for a while. No pressure here, just pick a book and read it. Pick a game and play it. I am not saying I will read or play X number of things. Just do more of it.

Spiritual Goals

For spiritual goals, this is pretty simple. I will read my scriptures daily and pray daily. I have been lacking in this aspect of my life for a while and need to make it a habit. Even just a little reading or saying some quick prayers will help. So that is what I am focusing on. My wife has bought some study aids that I hope will help and she would be happy to see me use them.

So there you have it. My goals for the coming year. I don’t to pressure myself, so I won’t be making regular evaluations etc. But I might revisit this later and provide an update. The only real updates that will happen regularly will be about the programming projects I work on.

2013 Resolution: Create One Game A Month For Twelve Months

January 2, 2013 Posted by zachary

I don’t know if any of you guys have heard about the latest craze hitting the indie game dev community. It is this idea of creating one game a month for 12 months. That is, by the end of the year, anyone participating should have 12 games done. It all started with a blog post by one Christer Kaitila, aka McFunkypants, in which he described his effort to make one complete game each month in the year 2012. This article sparked a lot of interest from fellow game developers and ended up becoming a thing. It is also a full blown website as well. Complete with a full slate of gamification to help prod developers along.

Needless to say, this has sparked something within me and I am planning to rope my brother into helping me do this. As you know, We are still working on Demon’s Hex. It is not as done as it should be and I feel ashamed. So hopefully, this will help. I am not sure if I can complete it all by the end of January, so I may split my time between it and another game for the first couple of months. It all depends on how far I get in the first couple of weeks. So yes, Demon’s Hex is my first effort, but my be pushed for full completion a little later, while smaller games fulfil my challenges.

The idea of completing 12 full games is kind of daunting. However, the goal is to just get in the habit of taking something from concept to completion quickly and simply. That means no filler, just meat. Take a simple concept and run with it. You will be surprised what can be done. Take a look at some of the current submissions for the project. For example, McFunkypants’ first submission is a clever use of A* pathfinding. Placing barriers in the way of the two AI characters is the primary goal. Simple concept and a number of maps to fill it out. That is all that is required. Can the games be bigger fare? Sure if you have time to work full time. However, for me, it will probably be something smaller. Not like Dragon Punch or Dragon Fire small, but something in between that and Demon’s Hex.

For example, I have had one game idea floating around in my skull for several years. This is a politically themed editorial game all about raising awareness for Oklahoma’s horrid ballot access laws. The object of the game would be to collect  enough signatures to gain recognized political party status in the state. With a new legislative session coming in and signature requirements at a high point following the Presidential Election, now would be a good time to get people aware so that they can pressure the state legislature to pass reform. I would just need to come up with a clever gameplay mechanic to not only demonstrate the trouble new parties face, but also frustrate the player.

Other game ideas are a more fleshed out Dragon Fire that turns it into a full fledge vertical shooter. Or a board game inspired on the Lego Heroica games I got for Christmas. Who knows where the year will take me. Perhaps within all these games we will find our first mega hit that gets us working full time for ourselves.

Regardless of what happens, the primary goal is to build a games portfolio for us to show off as we expand our company and seek funding from outside sources. So cheer us on and follow our progress over at my One Game a Month profile page.

New Year Resolutions

January 1, 2011 Posted by zachary

Last year I didn’t achieve any of my resolutions. I resolved to play more games and to finish my book. Neither happened. I had 19 games on my list and I beat 2 of them. I made no progress on my book.

This year I have made some changes to my goals:

1) I resolve to finish my book’s first draft. Right now it is closer to an outline than anything with meat to it. I want refine the story and solidify the characters. For an additional bonus, I recently read a great article about self publishing through the Kindle. So once my book is done, I will be trying that out.

2) I work with my brother under the studio title Divine Knight Gaming. Together, we are resolving to release two games this year.

3) My wife has us on a new diet. We have been on it for a week and both of us have lost 4 pounds so far. I resolve to stick to this diet for the next 5 weeks. I could lose 20 pounds or more during that time. My weight goal is to get to 165; I am now 205. But I am setting something realistic for the year.

4) I resolve to read more. I haven’t read much during the last year. I think I have read maybe four books. I would like to read at least six books during the coming year.

5) I resolve to game more. I got a new PS3 for Christmas and that has added to my back log of games I need to play. I am not resolving to play all my back log, but I want to play more, so maybe 4 games this year rather than the two I beat last year.

So those are my resolutions for the coming year. the first three are pretty rigid and I plan to get them done. The final two are up in the air depending on my free time. I am not going to sweat it if I don’t make them.