This was a really good month for getting things done.
A New Productivity Tracking Era
And that’s mainly because I’ve retired my Daily Doings 2023 Google Doc and replaced it with Sprintlog Tasklog 2023.
That’s right, I’m back to doing my doings in the form of sprints, with goals and deadlines and estimated timelines and all that junk that burned me out back in 2021 after doing it for years.
Is that going to happen again? Probably, at some point. But I was already getting burned out on my “Daily Doings” method of self-tracking. Just making a bulleted list of what I did every day, while interesting, wasn’t enough of a system for me. I needed more direction. I needed sprints.
This time around, they’re just 1 week long instead of 2 weeks long. So it’s really just, every Sunday night I make a plan for what I hope to accomplish in the next week. Wowee zowee, I guess that counts as sprints? Anyway, I’ve been doing it for 4 weeks so far, and it’s been keeping me on track.
Game Dev – Shifty Squares
For a little while back in college, I was addicted to a mobile gacha game named Puzzle & Dragons. It’s a match-three game where you can drag your selected tile all around the board, rather than to a single adjacent tile. You can thus string together long chains and combos and cascades and it’s really cool.
I’ve wanted to make a game like that for a long time now. A match-three game where you drag your selected tile around and it alters the entire board. A game where dragging the tile to the right, for example, will drag the entire row it’s in, and then dragging down will drag the entire column that you put it into, and the tiles will wrap around the edges of the board, and you can chain all those moves together to do cool combos.
A game like… this.
Tentatively titled “Shifty Squares” until I come up with an actual game aesthetic other than “colored blocks I made in MS Paint.”
It may be a simple concept for a game, but I don’t care. I’ve been daydreaming about it for years and it’s finally real AND it’s fun to play! And that’s with just a core gameplay mechanic and literally nothing else. So, I’m feeling pretty satisfied for now.
I’m deep in working on Porydex again! After being on and off with it since the summer, it’s now at the top of my priorities list, and it’ll stay there until it’s fully up to date again.
Unfortunately, it’s an even bigger mess now than it was the last time I mentioned it. I’ve realized I need to redo how a lot of its data is stored. In particular, move data and ability/item/move descriptions ought to have been stored by game rather than by generation.
For most of the series, any in-generational differences in that data used to be negligible. For example, who cares if the description of the move Pound changed between Ruby/Sapphire and FireRed/LeafGreen? The move still has all the same effects, PP, type, and so on. In fact, to my knowledge, the only time a move’s true details changed in-generation was Hypnosis getting a mild accuracy change from Diamond/Pearl to Platinum. A good trivia factoid, but not enough of a reason on its own to duplicate (or triplicate) all the move data across every version (or version-group, technically).
But then came Let’s Go. And then came Legends: Arceus. And now, it’s not so unheard of anymore for a move to have different effects from one game to the next in the same generation. So, in the pursuit of perfectly accurate data, the data from the older games needs to be re-imported on the new per-game basis.
Sigh. Normalized databases are a pain sometimes.
Attack on Titan
About a decade ago, this weird anime named “Attack on Titan” came out and took the world by storm and then went on indefinite hiatus to give the manga more time to finish. Okay, I thought at the time, I’ll just wait for the anime to finish and then watch the whole thing at once.
Well, it finally happened. I found out that “Attack on Titan: The Final Season: Part 3: Part 2” came out the day before, and I just kind of instantly dropped everything in my life and did nothing but binge AOT for the entire next week.
It was a good series, for the most part. Season 1 was insane and I could tell exactly why it blew up in super-popularity; it seemed almost tailor made to be a show that blows up in super-popularity. Season 4… was bad. It went in bad directions and did bad things with all the characters. And I had such high hopes after the revelations at the end of season 3…
Currently reading: the Bobiverse series by Dennis E. Taylor
Okay, technically I just finished reading it, but I haven’t started my next book yet, so Bobiverse wins this coveted review placement for now.
These books are an absolute delight from beginning to end. Brief teaser summary: a cryogenically frozen software developer is woken up centuries after his death as an artificial intelligence, to be the brains behind a self-replicating Von Neumann space probe. Chaos ensues.
(Tbh, you can probably summarize just about any book with “[Chapter 1 summary here.] Chaos ensues.”)
But for real though, these books are SO FUN, and the audiobooks especially are just a masterful performance. Read them. Listen to them. And then join me in waiting for book 5, which will hopefully be out in the next few months.