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Stressful year until now...

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Gosh... feels good to finally have some time for myself and to do some stuff I wanted to do since quite some time...

In fact, the last 2 years have been very, very stressful for me. I chained contracts and worked a lot. The cumulation of my day to day work, my house and my personal projects didn't give me much spare time.

Last year, shortly after an old contract faded out, I signed a new one with a customer from Switzerland. This was quite an experience both from the planning and the development side. For the customer this was a first time experience with outsourcing the development of one of their software packages. Unfortunately, this led to some problems mostly related to communications and the fact that the customer didn't have a clear idea of what they wanted and how they wanted it. Although I have very much experience creating requirements documentation, this was especially painful to do. Once I sent them an updated draft, it took up to 3 weeks (and a lot of requests) before I got any feedback. Initially it should have taken 4 weeks to do the specs but finally, after 3 month, the client decided to iteratively develop the software: Write new code and improve old one.

This way we made some good steps forward in the beginning, but got slowed down when the decision takers changed ideas and requirements. New things got added while others were dropped. Decisions which have been taken with chiefs of department have been canceled by the Big Boss. He also was under the impression that he didn't have any clear view of what I was doing (although I send weekly reports containing information about what had been done the previous week, what would be done the upcoming week and what questions I had or what information I needed). The developer I worked with at my customers office showed those reports to the boss who had to admit that he didn't get all those information. They ended up by creating an house-internal reporting system to inform everybody about the current state of development.

Finally, about a month ago, decision has been taken to pull the development into their house because a) an in-house developer costs less (over this time span) and b) they can change their idea whenever they want without doing any specs.

Unfortunately this leaves me without any contract at hand. I've proposed my services to some customers but nothing has been concluded. If someone would like to outsource some work, here's my CV.

Sooo... what about the rest of my stuff...

My tank prototype: The game is in a "single" player playable state. This means that I can actually do almost everything which is scheduled for the game itself. I'm currently working out some networking details which mainly concern transaction security, dedicated servers and use of items bought by micro transactions. Although some of this could be done by me, I clearly need some professional advice from people having expertise in multiplayer dedicated server development.

Insane Robots: This is a 2.5D platformer I've started working on in my spare time 2 months ago using Unity 3. All the game elements but 2 are in a working state and I'm currently working on the ingame editor (Yes, you people will be able to create your own stages). Progress is going on quite well.

My House: In the beginning of this year I bought my second house. Within 2.5 weeks I ripped out the old electrical wiring and replaced it with a new one. We chopped down quite some trees in the summer (approx. 25 trees) leaving another 200 on my estate. At the start of this month I had the roof been replaced, did the installation of a new heating system and last week the roof isolation (using cellulose fiber; basically flocked paper) has been placed. So this week I'll put the ceiling to the rooms upstairs.

Well... that's all for today... I'll try to update my blog once a week from now on :)
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