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Back in the Saddle

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Got back from Canada on Sunday. The three weeks off were very nice. The snow was: awesome in Steamboat, decent in Big White (but pretty bad visibility), mostly lousy in Whistler. Thankfully we had a good half-day to finish off in Whistler, so finished on a good note.

The scenery was amazing. I really love mountains, but we don't get anything like these in Australia. That said, I got some new hiking boots and rock-climbing gear from the excellent outdoor-sports stores in Vancouver, so I'll probably be doing some hiking/climbing in Oz soon.

On a side note, I played the demo of Sonic on the 360 in some store. I was quite disappointed and clearly other people were too. The controls were too touchy and the camera made stuff confusing and retracted from the feeling of "freedom to explore" that should come as standard with any 3D platformer (that isn't on rails). I really think sega should have gone with Ristar as their mascot back in the day, but I guess the speed and spectacle of sonic had the "wow" factor that the Genesis needed.

I've been back for half a week now, but I've been too busy with organising "real life" stuff to get back into coding yet. My wife is coming back on Sunday (had an extra week with her sisters), but after that I should be fairly settled.

A Little Reflection


Having had some time off has given me the chance to reflect on what I've been doing in my coding hobby time (and spare time in general). Also, I read the interesting article that HopeDagger posted on his journal. Being honest with myself, unfortunately I would have to put myself in the second category of developer. That is the "Smart but doesn't get stuff done" category. I love experimenting with, or dreaming up wild new gameplay mechanics. Real-Time-Ray-Tracing, deformable 3D environments, alternative lighting methods, new ways of interacting with NPCs in RPGs, etc, etc, etc. In my current project I've spent at least a year experimenting with various types of subdivision surface or tesselation techniques. However, this is not causing me to finish any game projects anytime soon.

I'm not bagging innovation or research, but I've come to the conclusion that I'd really rather make fun games. So (similar to what I posted about my new year's resolution) for now I'd really like to work on moving myself from a category 2 to a category 1. That is: "Smart and GETS STUFF DONE". I may be an optimist, but I do think you can improve/modify your personality like this if you work at it. However, some sentiment that I'm going to do better is not really enough. In the words of Coolio:

"Cuz if you don't have a plan, then
Tell me what you got
The old get rich quick scheme
Or bust her ass Broc"

Actually, I always thought that last line was: "A buster-ass plot", but then, I'm a white guy, what do I know? [headshake]

Anyway, the point is: I need some concrete plan for improving the amount of progress I'm making on this project. There's already some new measures in place. I'm quitting representative volleyball for this year (for other reasons), which will give me more time in my week. More importantly, I need a hard plan (one might even call it a policy) for what I do with my time after work hours. I've created one, but only time will tell how effective it is. The other factor for increasing my productivity towards finishing a game is that I have to moderate my tendency to want to skew off on some amazing new idea. Luckily the last year or two of experience might be able to serve me well here.

Sorry, no new screenies this week as I'm just getting back into things. You'll have to accept my waffle instead.
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Welcome back to the frontlines, Lachlan! I'm glad to hear that you're raring to go once more. Looking forward to seeing -- as usual -- what you have in store for us.

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Dang, we were in Whistler at the same time :) - yeah, lousy snow, a friend of mine managed to break her leg snowboarding... I guess that's the sign the season is over.

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Thanks HD! Yep, nothing like some time off to get you raring!

@alexmoura: Well I guess the season's over for her! But yeah, I would have preferred to come a month earlier, but my wife's work was being really difficult about it. I got one nice powder-afternoon up on the harmony chair before half of Whistler village came to track it up. I guess I shouldn't be complaining, but you do expect to get conditions better than Australia when you're paying $$$ to get there!

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Well, at least you had some fun - Whistler is a bit low and close to the Ocean, which makes March a somewhat random conditions month - sometimes there's good snow and clear skies, sometimes fog and rain. Add to that that it's within 6 hours drive of two 3+million cities and it's never really quiet either. But it is a great mountain(s) neverless. And it still never gets as crowded as the local Washington resorts.

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