13 January 2016

Here are a few things I want to do in 2016. These are not promises nor are they resolutions. The biggest priority for myself this year is exploring and understanding myself. So if I don't complete something here, it's not a failure, but it will hopefully be something that I can reflect on at the end of the year.

Stream consistently three days per week

This is nothing new from what I've been doing over the past couple months. My streaming schedule takes up about 20 hours per week, with the idea that that is low enough to prevent burnout and to leave enough time in the rest of the week to accomplish everything else I want to do.

Streaming consistently is also an exercise in making sure that my routine stays enjoyable. While right now my stream is focused around Pokemon Red, I don't think that I will be happy continuing that way for an entire year. That means that I'll be trying new games, possibly speedrunning, possibly more casual gaming.

That said, I do plan to keep my stream only to three days per week. From my perspective, it's clear that streaming 6 or 7 days per week leads to a much faster growing viewer-base, and allow me to make some money while streaming. While I'd love to be a Twitch partner, it's much more important to me that I do it sustainably.

Stream Goals/Plans:

  • Improve my Pokemon Red Glitchless PB, and prepare for a potential SGDQ submission.
  • Learn the Pokemon TCG gameboy game and start speedrunning it.
  • Find a way to get Pokemon Blue NSC below 17 minutes (hopefully not just grinding for fewer encounters).
  • Finish playing the Talos Principle. Possibly learn to speedrun it depending on how much I enjoy the rest of it (what I've played so far has been amazing).
  • More FTL. Probably hard mode runs, maybe some speedruns.

Write and publish a blog post per week

This is something that I've wanted to do for a long time now. I often have an experience where I have some thought or insight that I'd love to talk about but don't feel like I have much opportunity to bring it up. There's a bunch of reasons why that might be the case, and publishing blog posts is a great way for me to write down these thoughts so that people who are interested can find them on their own time.

Additionally, I can write for myself. Posts like this are things that I would otherwise be trying to keep in my head all the time. That sort of memory pressure can cause stress. By writing those things down, I can freely forget them while knowing exactly how to get them back when I need to.

My plan for this goal is to do the bulk of my writing on Wednesdays and publish it on the same day. By keeping the day consistent, I can build a routine similar to my streaming routine where I don't feel bad for not writing on any other days. By planning to publish on the same day, I hope to avoid the paralysis caused by wanting a post to be perfect and holding back even when nothing is obviously wrong (at the time of writing this I have multiple posts that I wrote months ago but never published).

Develop a game to at least a playable prototype

Way back when I was first learning how to program a computer, my dream was to become a game designer. In the spirit of the year of exploration, I want to revisit that dream and see if it's still something that I'd want to do.

I know that the indie game market is extremely saturated and it's likely that I'm going to be disappointed at some point or another, but that's also the point. Being able to push past rough patches in order to bring a project to completion has never been one of my strong points, and if I can create something playable and reasonably complete it will mark a sizable improvement on that front.

I currently have a plan for what I want the game to be and have started implementing part of it. I won't go into detail about the plans here (though I've mentioned some of it on my stream), but I'm sure I'll be writing about it in the near future. Will I stream any of my gamedev? I have no idea! I would like to but there are some issues I need to work out, such as having my stream setup and my gamedev setup on different computers (and the setups are extremely different).

Develop some art skills

This one goes hand-in-hand with the above game. From playing several new games over the last year, it's become clear to me that the audio and visual experience of a game are extremely important to making it enjoyable. While I could try commissioning people to take care of these aspects for me, I'm so uncertain about the direction I'm going that it doesn't make sense. So at the very least, I want to be able to do my own art and music that will be sufficient for the development phase.

Generate nonzero income

This goal is in an interesting position. On the one hand, I have enough money saved that I don't think I'll need an income for two years at the least. On the other hand, finding something that I want to spend all my time on is going to be somewhat counterproductive if that activity doesn't earn me any money, because as soon as I run out of money I'll have to take another job and lose time to do what I want to do.

Through what means I'll make this income is unclear. Maybe I'll become a Twitch partner. Maybe I'll start selling a game. Maybe people will enjoy my blog and it will make sense to set up a Patreon for it. Hopefully it will become clear over the course of the year.