We’re about to wrap up the first third of the year, so I felt like it might be a good time to reflect on what’s happened so far.
At the beginning of the year, a friend and I decided this year was going to be a productive one. We set up goals, we talked about milestones throughout the year, we even set up a channel specifically for this effort in our Discord server!
So how is that going so far?
Well… I’ve barely made anything. Let’s talk about what I have made so far though.
My first project was a small one, something meant to help me keep track of my 2023 project against the progress of the year. I’ve used tcod for some small console-based games before, so I decided to use it and Python to create a display that shows me how far we are through the year (and the day and month because why not).
Where this project was meant to be helpful, it has become more a source of stress. I have it set up to open on my computer during startup and now, when I look at it, I’m just reminded of how far we are into the year and how little I’ve made.
I didn’t actually start my project in the first month, spending most of that time choosing what game to make and then planning it out. Ultimately I decided on “Scrapper”, a game set in the future where you dive into a dangerous junkyard to find parts for your battle bot and fight rogue robots. Then, when you’re done there, you come back to the surface to throw down in syndicated battle circuits.
I wish I had more to show, but this project started and ended in February. To be honest, I let myself get heavily demoralized by the release of another game heavily focused on building robots with all sorts of interchangeable parts. Which shouldn’t bother me! I’m one guy, I’m not going to make some perfect game like full teams can and that’s my reality!
I would like to come back to this project at some point this year, because I still love the idea. Until then, another project has taken me away…
When I’m not making games or playing them, I enjoy writing. Between the mountains of books in my room and the years of improv and crafting for the games of Dungeons and Dragons I run, I like to think I’ve become an experienced storyteller.
I’ve shared my writing here once before, in my post about the Autumn of Creation, but I tend to keep it to myself. Arguably not a great mindset hiding it all away.
After a game of Dungeons and Dragons, I found myself thinking about collaborative storytelling. It’s one of my favorite things, to sit down with my friends and figure out where the story is going next, together.
A couple of years ago, I was sitting around the table with my roommates and some of our friends. We were playing Sleepaway, which is a tabletop RPG with no Game Master and no dice. We each had our own characters, but we all also had equal say in where the story would go. We all took turns taking a card from the center of the table that represented a scene’s focus. That person basically was the voice of the scene and decided its direction. There were ways to affect it, but everyone had a chance to drive.
I wanted to make something that could evoke that same feeling, where everyone is given an opportunity to drive a small part of the larger story. So I started working on ScribeJam. Here’s a quick mock-up of what a story page might look like:
Basically, when someone wants to write on ScribeJam, they have two options: start a new story or continue an existing one. They cannot continue their own story, and they are limited to 1000-word blocks. They can also continue a story from anywhere. Didn’t like the way someone else took the story? Then choose a block earlier in the tale and continue from there.
My hope is that eventually, the authors come to a conclusion they all enjoy because they found it together.
Thankfully April didn’t come with a brand-new project. I’m still working on ScribeJam, though the month has been a bit slow for development compared to the project’s beginning.
However, where the month has been lacking in project development, I’ve made up for it in personal development! This month had two big wins for me: Completing a months-long workout challenge and finally speaking to a therapist.
With the workout challenge, I was very happy to have not missed a single day since January, something I don’t think I can say I’ve accomplished before. I’m still going too! The ball just keeps rolling.
The therapy was a long time coming. I’ve had close friends and exes tell me time and again that I need to see someone, and I’ve been very resistant to the idea. After my recent break-up, I kind of figured it’s time to sort things out. So far, it’s going well! I have another session next week and I’m honestly thrilled to see what it can do for me.
I’m hoping that these wins catapult me into even more through the rest of the year. The last couple of years, in the midst of the pandemic, were real low points for me, so it’s awesome to see things swinging upward by my own hand.
Until Next Time
I’m sure it’s obvious, but I’m not the most frequent poster. I still enjoy it though, so whether I post another next week or in four more months, I hope you have a wonderful day, week, month, and year.