Today’s the last day of the year! For me, at least. Probably not for you, who’s probably reading this on one of the infinite other days that will come after I first post it.
At the end of every year I like taking inventory and seeing what I accomplished, which areas I fell short in, and making vague idealistic plans for the year to come. Not New Year’s Resolutions, though—those never work out and I’ve learned my lesson… after enough times…
So what did I do in 2023? Here’s a very abridged list of some highlights:
- I wrote at least one blog post every month.
- I read at least one book every month.
- I reread Homestuck, and confirmed that my opinions on it haven’t changed. (The first half, through the End of Act 5, is great. The second half, in my opinion, is not.)
- I got caught up in the web serial Katalepsis! Total reading time so far, from Chapter 1.1 to the latest Chapter 23.1: 136.7 hours.
- I played absolutely copious amounts of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. (Didn’t we all?)
- I played Celeste—and beat it!
- I played utterly absurd amounts of New Super Mario Bros. – Mario Vs Luigi. I’m so good at it now that just the other day, someone accused me of being a hacker. Literally one of my proudest moments in gaming history.
- I did absolutely petty and paltry amounts of creative writing this year, but that’s okay—I think I’m going to make 2024 another “writing year.”
- I participated in a group game jam that completely flopped.
- In preparing for that game jam, I learned Unity and regained a strong passion for game development.
- I made a clone of the game Pong (for practice), but with an overly dramatic final boss fight (for fun).
- I started making the casual puzzle game I had wanted to make for the last 13 years.
- I moved! Gosh, that sure was an exhausting process and I’m glad it’s done forever now.
- I cut off all my family and most of my friends.
- I blew up nearly every human connection I have, and am now in a constant state of self-sabotage-induced lonely misery.
- I revived the long dormant Porydex project, and after weeks of working on it non-stop, the finish line is finally within sight.
- I maintained a daily log for the entire year of what projects I worked on each day, and/or any other interesting things I did, or sometimes just plain chore days. (That list was mildly helpful for putting together this post!)
Wow! What a year!
… Or was it? It really doesn’t seem like much when I list it all out like that. But maybe that’s because I’m too results-oriented, so things like the multiple months I spent working on game dev get condensed into the single line “I worked on XYZ game,” without delving at all into any of the nuances of the journey I took to get there. Like attempting to learn the basics of pixel art, and color theory, and the weeks spent on whichever feature of the game-in-progress.
Same for Porydex. For that one at least, I haven’t been afraid to go into more detail in my Monthly Update posts, about whichever gritty subsection of the overall project I’m working on at any point. And believe me, there are many. And they’re all so gritty.
I’m truly, genuinely not upset about my lack of creative writing this year, unlike other years where I felt that I failed to execute on my creative desires. And I owe it 100% to game dev, and another 30% to Porydex. I’m still executing on my creative desires, just in other directions for now.
But I think I’d like to change that in the near future. As much as I love the game dev, and as much as hyperfocusing on it comes naturally to me (versus writing, where I really struggled to get “into” it when I wasn’t already in the mood), I’m really starting to miss the writing, and I’m slow-burn building up the desire to do a big writing project again.
Which is why when I say I think 2024 is going to be another “writing year,” I say that not as a resolution (because I’d be okay if it didn’t happen), but as a feeling. A prediction based on knowing myself and my moods.
Or maybe not! Maybe when the time comes, when I’m faced with that blank page and the immediate challenge of writing the first sentence, I’ll decide “nah, let’s get back to writing code for the new feature in XYZ game.”
Overall, after having looked back on everything noteworthy in the last year (literally—by definition, the only things I could look back on where the things I took notes on), I think I’m satisfied and can say, just like I did at the end of my previous Year in Review post:
This was a good year.