January 2013 in review

Updated: January 31, 2013

January has been an odd month. I’d say it was a month of ups and downs, but it’s actually been fairly consistent. Consistently positive and negative at more or less the same time.

On the positive side of things, my Youtube series “Making Games” is exceeding all my expectations. I’ve had floods of positive feedback and tutorial requests, and hit my personal goal of 1000 subscribers by the end of January. I’m currently averaging 1100 views/day across all of my videos and I’m just about to break the 30,000 mark for views across the past 30 days. The effort is really paying off and I feel like I’m starting to properly establish myself. Most notably I’ve been invited to give a six hour workshop on Game Maker to a bunch of students at Animex 2013.

This is something totally awesome for me. Super intimidating as well but I’m seeing that as a positive. Doing something like this puts me in a discomfort level I could really use. It’s also pretty surreal. Just under two years ago I was a student at Teesside University, attending workshops at Animex. Now I’m teaching one. It’s a really great feeling.

That aside, my Youtube presence is serving it’s ‘Greater Purpose’ much sooner than I’d anticipated. I’ve more than quadrupled my total number of Perspective sales over the course of “Making Games” so far, and I’m even getting feedback on other projects like the Riddle Game that has been lying around this site gathering dust for months. I’m also generating some reasonable ad revenue from the videos and have some interesting offers from certain Youtube networks which could drive that even further.

So that’s going fantastically well, what’s going less well is actual game development. I think my December failure to finish a game in a month left me demotivated. I’ve not been using my free time well at all over this month and have fallen behind on so many projects. On the positive end of that it means I’ve been spending more time with friends, playing games, and enjoying an overall more balanced existence. I think I needed the ‘time off’ that I didn’t give myself over Christmas. I currently find myself longing for the day where making my games and playing games aren’t so mutually exclusive.

That said, I’ve started to get back into gear over the last couple of days. I’m actually getting through my to do lists again, and have actually taken up working on ‘Perspective 2’. I should really, logically, be working on other projects. But I’m of the opinion that if I work on what my sub-concious wants the results will be better than if I force work on projects that aren’t inspiring me. That said, I do have long term faith and confidence in almost everything I’m working on at the moment. In fact Perspective 2 is probably one of the projects with the worst time investment risk/potential reward ratios. But right now it’s fun to work on, and I’m excited about it. So I’m going to let my sub concious drive for a bit and just work on what it wants. As long as it’s working.

So with January out of the way, here are some of my work related goals for February:

I don’t have any new year resolutions. I never like to set definite goals more than a month or two ahead. If I do it’s too easy to lose sight or focus. I have a vision of ‘where I’d like to be’ in the many months and years to come but I intentionally keep that vision cloudy, and focus on the ‘here and nows’ that will get me closer and closer to the long term.