Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Reflection on 2013 and Happy New Year

It has been quiet on this blog for awhile but for good reason. I have been crazy busy working on projects and on RaptorGL. This is a quick summary of 2013.

In December of 2012 on twitter Christer aka @MCFunkyPants and I got into talking about how he pulled off making 12 games in 12 months. I told him I am fully committed to make it happen in 2013 and if he would keep me accountable to make sure I do it.... fast-forward and #1GAM happened. I'm very grateful for Christer to spearhead it because I could've never done what he did. It has been the single most influential event in my gamedev endeavor. I am going to continue in 2014 and I highly encourage everyone to do so as well. That's right, I don't want to stop. I've enjoyed writing different yet somewhat similar games with simple game mechanics. One thing I will do differently next year is to challenge my self to do more physics, tilemap and 3D games.

Over the summer I hired RaptorGL first employee :) She worked part time on social media, documentation and helping me stay on track. It was a blast and I was sad to see her go to college in September.  Image on the right is the proof of how hard we worked :)

It was a very productive 3months in the development of this awesome cross platform game library RaptorGL. She took care of the stuff I didn't want to deal with which gave me free time that I could pour more work into actual coding.
One big news is that I have developed an Editor for RaptorGL. This allowed me to fine tune the workflow and I am actually using it to develop RaptorGL it self AND the Editor it self. Which is kind of spooky and cool at the same time.
I believe this will be the killer feature by allowing devs to start making games with one download and build it one a click of the button! No more how to configure my directory, run shell scripts, which editor to choose. It's the 21st century after all, just download the editor and you have everything you need. An other big addition to RaptorGL is 3D with WebGL. It is not fully completed yet but I am very very close.

I have been blessed with awesome and amazing contract work which allowed me to focus not just work but also on family and friends! I am sure many of us can attest that the biggest drawback of working technology is that there is always something new to try, an other project to start. This takes away time from friends and family and time to relax and recharge. So after me and my wife both growing up tent camping we took our boys to the mountains and the lake and went camping. It was the best thing ever!!! There is just nothing more relaxing than spending a day at the beach of this gorgeous lake
then sitting at the campfire at night and staring at the stars. Food at camping is so so good and different. This year there were a ton of bees everywhere I got stung about 5 times over the summer, thank goodness I'm not allergic to bee stings.  Looking at my commit history it is super easy to spot the weekends when we were out. It made me so much more productive and my days were happier in general. I highly recommend all of you to try to get out or get least get away from your computer and social media at least once a month for a couple of days. You won't regret it! We had so much fun and grow so much closer that decided we need to extend the time we can stay outdoors and away from tech.
Since tent camping is limited to about 3months and even then you are at the mercy of a thunderstorm we went with the second best thing.... We bought a tent camper :) Look at how cute and fun it looks! It's off the ground so even if it rains it will be fine and also provides shelter from bugs especially from bees as we are trying to eat. Whats really great about it is how small it collapses and it's also very light so pulling it behind my wife's small suv is a piece of cake. Great purchase and something that we already used a lot even though we bought it close to the end of the season. I can only imagine how much we will use it next year. Now we can go to camping from early spring to late fall thanks to the heater in it.

It has been a very rewarding year for me/us not just professionally but personally. I am not planning on doing anything different next year! My only plan is to stick with what I got going on this year and continue doing in 2014 I even wrote code to accomplish it lol.

Happy New Year! 
Here I am hoping that all your gamedev and personal plans will come true in 2014.