Update: Milestones and Priority Changes

Time for my obligatory biannual update post! I need to do these way more often.

Here are a few awesome milestones:

  • My YouTube channel just passed 10,000 lifetime views! Wow! Thanks to everyone who’s watched.
  • The channel’s also about to hit 100 subscribers – we’ve got 7 to go!
  • Dungeon Mage turned 2 years old! I finished coding it in July 2013, and got it published in August – Where has the time gone?!
  • SpeakEasy, Infinite Parallax, and Easy Mobile Controls are all on the front page of the GameMaker Marketplace!

Other than that, not much has changed, because I have not spent much time programming! (At least not games.) Life has just been way too busy.

I’ve also had some emotional ups and downs along with a few reflective moments that have made me start to reevaluate whether or not game development is a hobby I really want to pursue any more.

I haven’t disclosed this before, but I’m a high school student. I’ll be a senior in the fall. Going into high school, I was pretty crazy about getting an actual game shipped. The closest I got to this was publishing Dungeon Mage, which I coded in about a month and a half during the summer following my freshman year. Most of the major projects, published and unpublished, that I’ve worked on got developed around this time period. My work output peaked during early high school, and since then, as I’ve gotten more and more busy with other things, I’ve worked on and published games less and less. (I have three or four fairly polished prototypes I’ve just been too lazy to put out there.)

In addition to being busier, as a person I’ve started to burn out a bit, and my life priorities have shifted. I’m not yet sure how or even if game development fits into them.

Most recently I’ve been working in web app development using a platform called Meteor; it’s pretty nifty (and also reactive). But even webdev I haven’t touched in over a month, and I’m not sure when I’ll go back to it. I’m kind of taking a break from computers.

I’m currently doing an internship in New York City working with refugees; it’s turning out pretty great, and I’m enjoying spending comparatively less time in front of screens.

What I’ve slowly been coming to realize is that time is a very limited commodity: I don’t have a lot of it, and it’s most important for me to spend the little that I do have on things that really matter to me. And right now, I’m not sure gamedev is one of those things.

I’ve learned a ton from the work I’ve done; I’ve picked up a lot of skills, and I’ve got the beginnings of a resumé. But it’s time to move on. I’ve been doing this since I was eight years old (almost a decade now), and I’m going to try something else. I’ve been screwing around on SoundCloud lately (and when I say screwing around, I mean screwing around – it’s all pretty bad), and I’m thinking about starting a new non-gamedev-related YouTube channel. I might even start regularly writing a blog. (Medium is a pretty cool website for getting written content out.) I’d also like to improve my art skills. One of my biggest priorities is to establish an actual social media presence, because so far I’ve done a terrible job of networking. (As an introvert, I’m kind of terrified of the social Internet. Gonna change that!)

But honestly, I have no real plans for anything specific, or even anything technology-related. I’m just going with the flow. If that flow leads me back to computers, great. If not, great.

Thanks to everyone who’s followed my sporadic progress over all these years. I appreciate you and the support you’ve given me. You guys are great!

I’ll probably come back to gamedev, maybe when I have a little more time on my hands.

But for now, I’m putting the game-development side of ShroomDoom Studios on hiatus.