Procrastination Examples, Excusaes, and how I realized I was a Designer.

As I look at my inbox pile up with a mixture of Junk, and people I should actually reply to I remember my Blog and think: “as soon as I get through my Inbox I should do that”.

Well, that is just not going to happen.

I’ve been meaning to make a new post back in January.

It is now March.

This needs to happen.

THEN I’ll clear my inbox! (which only got so big because I have left it for several days as well…)

So what has been happening that led me to convince myself that this level of procrastination was (and still is) acceptable?

Welllllllll, life has been doing some shifting lately. As life does, nothing remains the same forever. That’s just boring. This is ultimately my excuse for all procrastination:

Life.

My Financial situation has been changing, and my goal of teaching myself new skills is going to have to wait. However, in this time I realized that it’s not necessary for me to acquire new skills at all. I can still get a job in my desired industry at a company I want to work for, in a role I will be happy with, with what skills I have currently.

I’ve been focusing on Art and Programming skill development for the last few years, but the education I have is in Design (Game Design), seems odd that I’ve been avoiding it all this time…

Well for a long time, and this is kind of embarrassing to say, even with my education in it, I was actually confused as to the role of the game designer, and what they actually did (I should know this right?).

Did I just not pay attention for the entirety of my Game Design course?

You see in almost every team I’ve ever been on, everyone played the part of a Game Designer. No one ever really claimed the role of “Game Designer”, we would all just pitch ideas, and debate mechanics until we came to a relative agreement. The problem most of us overlooked with this, is that no one was organizing the ideas,  testing them, and recognizing the problems with them.

Everyone was busy with their own work, no one would notice. No one would care until it was too late.

Until more recently I thought other factors like project management or communication breakdowns within the team might have been the factors to the problems. I don’t think it was any one thing that changed my perception. Just the accumulation of various different speakers I listen to, combined with the final google search for “what do Game Designers do”, that led me to not only recognize the importance of the role but of how much I would actually enjoy it.

To get to the point of how this factors into me procrastinating.

Despite putting on my resume that I have graduated from a Game Design School, that is not nearly enough to get me through the front door of a company.

Most people care about experience, and they want to see some fruit of that experience.

I’m trying to make fruit, okay?

I’m giving my fruit all my love and attention so that everyone will want a taste.

:^)

Things happen, things change; things that were once important today, tomorrow fall to the side.

In conclusion, I’m hoping to have my life back together in about a month.

:^D

Also, I’m going to be making some game dev youtube videos soon, so that’ll be fun.

When I say soon I really mean… at some point… in my future…

8^D

I don’t feel super good about this post since it’s taken me months to write it. I’m hoping to come back with some actual progress real soon, and talk about that… instead of my blundering around…

CHEERS

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Last Year… Review?

I feel like I delayed too long in getting to this post.

December was crazy, or rather, it felt crazy. Some may feel the stress of making sure you have gotten a gift for everyone you think is important (or the people that got you a gift, and to avoid feeling bad you didn’t get them a gift you get them a gift).

So Christmas for me devolves into a murder mystery game where I need to go through my lists of relatives and friends who I think might have gotten me something, and make sure I get them something as well.

Charlie Browns true meaning of Christmas ain’t here no more.

I could go on about the woes of Christmas, and the new year, and me, myself, and I some more, but then I just feel like I’m rambling away the true purpose of this post.

Which I have already forgotten.

I was originally going to do a year in review post, but I have a hard time remembering all the stuff that happened to me this year. Or rather I’m not particularly proud of everything, but maybe I’ll do my best at it anyway.

The year flew by.

At the beginning of the year I think I remember my resolution being something along the lines of getting my dream job, or taking more steps toward my dream job (something along those lines). That desire hasn’t really changed. Except the problem with that is I’m not sure what my dream job is…

I don’t really remember anything eventful happening for the beginning of the year, quite frankly I was in a rut. One I couldn’t get myself out of, though I struggled, and tried.

In April, I ended up getting a job at a fitness studio, as a Sales Associate, for some income, where I stayed for 8 months of this year, ending in November. Hard to believe I really spent that long there.

During my time there I learned some valuable networking skills, and practices, as well as selling techniques (which is useful in my industry as I must learn how to sell myself to employers).

I’m still not a great sales person, and don’t have a desire to be, but I think the knowledge I acquired there was invaluable, and remember wishing I had the knowledge I had at that job 2 weeks in, at my graduation day networking event.

There I could have reached out to Industry Veterans with more confidence, and form some potentially great contacts. But that is in the past, and I’ll always be looking forward to seeing how I can use what I learned elsewhere.

I also got a part time job, while still working there, teaching kids programming through making video games, this is still ongoing, and I love it.

The past 2 months since leaving my fitness job, I’ve invested as much time as I could into myself. spending time on the projects I’ve had kicking around in my head, and learning new things in the process. Even resurrecting old projects to try new things I didn’t know before.

Going forward, I hope I can continue to do this with the discipline I’ve had thus far.

To be honest I am quite scared of the new year. There is lots of unknowns. The biggest one that makes me uneasy is what I am supposed to do.

I’m not going to pretend I’m great at everything. I’m a jack of all trades, I like that.  I like to understand how things work, and having a greater understanding of the various components that make up a game gives me the ability to say: “Here is my idea, and here is how I think it could be implemented”.

It bugs me when I can’t understand the complexity of something, or when I have this idea for how I think something could work and someone tells me its too difficult.

Upon self introspection, I have adapted the ideal that: “if I can do it, anyone can!”.

Which I admit, is probably the worst ideal to hold yourself to if you want to add ‘Value’ to a company.

(Though, at a second glace, it’s a great quality for a teacher, amirite? No?)

So I constantly find myself back at the same crossroads of ‘Specialization, and ‘Literally Everything’. Every time I tell myself to specialize, and every time I start to, then some how diverge, and find myself back in the same place.

So if the saying “If you can’t beat them, join them”, is impossible since you can’t ‘join them’, then “If you can’t join them, _______ them ”

When I figure out what that _______ word is I’ll let you know, but for now I think I’ll try to finish one of these projects and maybe get some revenue off it.

Least so goes fourth the current plan of action.

Hope to see you next time, for more of whatever this is 🙂

Derek

The Beginning or the End

Well, it’s happening again. Lord knows I’ve tried to start a blog, a few times. Always sounds like a good idea at the time. I come at it with the best of intentions.

The Games/Digital Media/Entertainment Industry seems like you need a strong online presence to be seen. Well here I am again… trying to be seen. (I’m tall enough, I should be easily noticeable, c’mon people…)

Let’s talk Present-Future. I’m quitting my current semi full time job. I work as a Sales Associate at a Fitness studio franchise called “OrangeTheory Fitness”. Honestly love the workouts, and will probably pick myself a membership up again shortly after I’m gone (As I leave, so to does the benefits of using the facilities for free, good bye sweet free workouts, you will be missed).

The reason for my future absence is mostly due to lack of motivation. I don’t see myself progressing in the field of sales, and wish to focus my time on the areas of my life that truly matter to me. There are other some other reasons as well, lets not talk about those.

My last day is Nov 30th, and today I said goodbye to sir Steve. A comical coach that I frequently closed the day out with. He as well as everyone else there shall be missed (but on the slim-to-none chance you are reading this Steve, I miss you the most. Tell your ego I said your welcome 😉 ).

I’ll tell myself I’ll visit every now and again, but I’m honestly the worst at keeping in touch. So many people I need to get back in touch with, but I seem to just let them keep drifting further and further away from me, but that is a story for another day… maybe…

Now on to the next big thing.

With my main source of income coming to an end a question comes that is: “What next?”

What next indeed.

Here is what I came up with.

School. Or rather home school.

This next month I am going to be putting my all into furthering my education, and here is how:

  • Pluralsight
  • StackSkills
  • Udemy
  • CubeBrush
  • Pencil Kings

The things just listed are websites I have been chipping away at course work over the past couple years. Most notably Pluralsight, which used to be Digital Tutors to me before they were acquired by Pluralsight.

A mix of Programming and Art skills is what I am after, with the goal of furthering my knowledge and expertise in all things games.

I would really like to be a Technical Artist though I am still not 100% what that job description is since each one is different…

I have always been fascinated with how a computer can interpret code on a screen. Robotics. Computers. Making them bend to my will [insert evil laughing].

I like to think I have a good understanding of the fundamentals. Pluralsight to thank for that. Coupled with my already good understanding of Unity, is probably how I was able to land a part time job as a teacher, teaching kids how to program.

That doesn’t come without it’s shortage of insecurity, and self doubt. Having never had a real programming job, or a formal education in Computer Science has left me feeling inadequate in a lot of areas related to that field of study, and wondering if what I know is enough. Along with the fear of unknowing. “You don’t know what you don’t know until you know it”… Terrifying…

As for Art, I only discovered my art side roughly 4 years ago. I haven’t been doing to most to cultivate it, but I really want to start tapping into that again, as I really enjoyed my time spent, and results received from applying myself into that creative vein in my life.

I have this strange recurring fantasy where I am a concept artist, 3D Character Artist, and all things Animator. Yeah… We’ll see how long that lasts.

On top of my plethora of coding, art, and a little business, courses lined up, I will also try to apply my knowledge over a series of small to large projects, which I am hoping to document here on this blog.

Motivation is one of the biggest risks to my whole self education plan, and this blog is one of my ‘hopeful’ combatants to this. Something to hold me accountable. However, this plan has failed me before, so on top of this I have joined a meetup group to get out and study with others.

The next few weeks/months look bright, as there are at least 3 game jams coming up I will be attending. Love me some game Jams, they push me past the norm, and is a realm where motivation is a non-issue.

Hopefully I will have something better to talk about coming up!

Until then, yours truly.

Derek