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2008 in review

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Trapper Zoid


Time for the last post of 2008 and the yearly wrap up and analysis of the year in game development!

I knew at the start of this year that I'd be spending a lot of time working on completing my studies (that's certainly been the case). I wasn't sure if I'd even set myself any specific objectives for 2008, but digging through the archives showed this wasn't the case. Let's see how well I met my objectives for 2008...

The Original post by Trapper Zoid - 2nd of January, 2008 GameDev.net time
Hi everyone! Hope you've all had a good end of 2007 and are ready for an exciting new year!

Today I'm back from my trip to visit and generally hang out with family in Melbourne, and I'm preparing for 2008. It was a decent time off, although I didn't get nearly as much hobby stuff done as I thought I would. The temperature was pretty hot in Melbourne, and in the heat it was fairly hard to gain the motivation to work on a borrowed laptop. Now I'm back I'm hoping to change things.

The presents I gave were fairly well appreciated (mainly printed copies of webcomics), and all the gifts I got were great (mainly books and DVDs, which are nice). Probably the most relevant new thing for game development I got over the break was a new mobile phone as part of upgrading my plan. It's a Nokia 6300, and while I've only had a brief look at it I'm pretty sure it's Flash Lite compatible. This means I've got a great new platform to aim for once I get my MacBook Pro back; I'd love to see what I can do on a mobile.

This year I've got two main New Year Resolutions; to better manage my time, and to take better care of my health. I don't think I'm doing nearly enough on both these fronts, and if I can management myself better and make myself a bit healthier and fitter then I feel I'd be a lot more productive.

As for game development in 2008, I'm going to be mighty busy between now and April, so I'm not sure how much I can get done. But this year, I'm planning to focusing on higher level languages like Flash and Python. While I like working low level with languages like C or C++, this year I just don't have the time to spend days mucking about with debugging and the guts of things.

Will post more later on. I've just set fire to a saucepan which needs some attention.

Points in review:

  • Time Management: Honestly, I was right to flag this back then and I'm still rubbish at this now. I can't remember how bad I was back then and whether I've improved: I guess not. I never seem to have enough time to get done what I want to do. I need to make this a top priority to master in 2009 - by the end of January, frankly. I've got way too much to get done to avoid getting organised.
  • Looking after my health: Hahaha. I forgot about this one. I'm probably at my least healthy or fit that I've ever been. The last half year has been spent typing and eating sugary foods, ice cream and soft cheeses, and they've taken their toll. For the first time ever I feel fat: I've got a real thesis gut from all this computer work and lack of physical exercise. In the last month I've started to claw some of my health back through exercise, but it's going to take a while. I'll need to put this on my resolution list for 2009 as well.
  • Flash development: A real big fail on this. After January I don't think I've looked into Flash at all, let alone look at mobile phone development. I think part of it was the guilt of working on something so irrelevant to study, which is what I was meant to be doing in 2008.
  • Python development: At least I did something for this one! I managed to work on Python with respect to my work, and it proved a valuable language to learn. I wish I did more though; I don't feel close to Python competency yet.
  • Moving away from lower level languages: That's still true. I'm leaning towards learning some more C, but purely for library work.
  • Not setting fire to things in the kitchen. Fail on this, too. I've still got that burn on my hand.

Overall, 2008 was a bit of a non-event year from the perspective of game development. That was expected, as the top priority was to finish my Ph.D. study. I'll have to give myself an overall fail for the year though, as I never got on top of looking after time management and my own health. As a consequence, things dragged out months later than they should and I'm on the wrong foot at the start of 2009. It also means that a lot of my resolutions for 2009 will sound the same as for 2008.

Still, I'm more confident of success in my goals for 2009. Next post, and first post for 2009: new resolutions and goals for the year. This time I'll make a note to actually check them from time to time so I keep on track [smile].
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