Well, it's another year now for me, so I feel that I should write something.
I've removed the snow and stuff so the site's back to how it was before, though you may notice that the stars have been tweaked slightly. I think they still need adjusting, so I might see to that later.
I've also been sort of waiting for this for the last few days, for some odd reason... I want to write some New Year's Resolutions, since it feels like 2009 was a mess and a waste of time for me in several ways (largely because I started so much and finished so little), and psychologically the new year feels like a new slate, of a sort.
So yes. I'm going to write some of those, and I want to make them manageable. I might even keep a list somewhere visible all year so then I can stick to it. I write a LOT of To Do Lists for my games (I've got notepads FULL of them), so this can just be a Big To Do List of sorts, I suppose.
Hmm... So... Here's what I'd like to achieve this year:
1. Finish MARDEK 3!This is, without a doubt, the thing I REALLY need to do most this year. Progress has been going well recently, and there's not much to do, but I still need to be sure to stick with it for a few more weeks (sorry, it'll take a while longer than I thought, but February still is possible)... It's unlikely that I WON'T finish it before the end of the year though.
2. Learn ActionScript 3.Currently I use AS2, and I've been considering learning AS3 for a while now. I wrote about this extensively after returning from my recent trip, but, uh, I intend to start on AS3 after I've released MARDEK 3, and make all my future projects in that, restarting various existing ones.
3. Finish the Figimon!!I want to get it beyond its crude prototype stage, making it into a full, working version thing. I'll do that with AS3, as a first, relatively easy project before I get started on the more complex stuff.
4. Finish Raider 3, 4 and 5?Strange as it may seem, there are surely a handful of clinically insane fans of that game out there, and I want to just FINISH something for once... I'd have to do the remaining episodes in AS2 (it's not worth converting the engine), and might just release them here rather than on portals (so I can avoid the tedious sponsorship process, and so then my reputation doesn't suffer too much).
EDIT: I've been thinking about Raider and playing what there is so far of Episode 3 (I've made most of it, except for the boss and a plot event or two; I could likely finish it in a week or two), and wondering what to do.
I COULD just finish it quickly after MARDEK 3 is out, and probably should... The third Episode, at least. It might also be good to finish the fourth and fifth straight after, but I don't know whether to RELEASE them for sponsorship, or just keep them exclusive to here. I'll ask other Flash developers and see what they say, what they'd do.
Something that seemed to come appealing to mind though was the idea of doing another Raider game using the pixelated graphics, but making it more of an RPG-like *adventure* rather than a precise platformer. I was considering redoing the five-episode story with such changes, but it's likely not worth it. Instead, I could do what I thought of ages ago, and redo Raider Zero's, uh, 'plot' using the pixelated graphics, but with shorter, simpler levels which you'd finish one-by-one rather than keeping the 'interconnected' layout... Unless I, uh, DID keep that? I don't know...
It'd be nice though to have something with accumulative stats and exciting but not off-puttingly dangerous areas...
Anyway, I'll think more about this after MARDEK 3 is out, I suppose.
5. BE-a-St.When learning with AS3, it would not be a good idea to start off with difficult RPG projects because my code would end up sloppy and amateurish, and I'd eventually want to rewrite it. Instead, it's better to make simpler games first.
I went into more detail about this in the other long post from when I got back from that trip, but, uh... BE-a-St SOUNDS like a complex project, and it is. However, I always make the mistake of tackling a complex project by trying to add all the features in a first version, whereas I could easily get away with releasing a really BASIC initial version, and an advanced sequel if it's received well.
So, BE-a-St would be a simple platformer with limited levels where you controlled various different monsters on a level, each with different skills, in order to reach the exit of that level. Simple enough. Probably more fun than Raider, too (I'd make it more about the enjoyment of exploring rather than frustrating precise jumps).
6. A Simple RPG Engine.I want to build up in complexity with my AS3 projects to the point where I can start on the projects you're actually waiting for with actual skills under my belt, learning as I make these less-expected ones.
So, I want to make a simple RPG engine without any fancy features, maybe featuring some brief, shallow plot...
Knowing me, I'll want to make it something like MARDEK, I'll keep wanting to add features, it'll never be released, etc...
But, uh... I've learned in my years of developing how to handle things, I hope, so I'll try to plan it as being POSSIBLE, based on my experiences.
After playing Live A Live recently, AND based on Adventures I made in Spore: Galactic Adventures, I've been inspired to do an RPG in five parts, each of them short and simple rather than long like a Final Fantasy game...
For each of the four chapters, you'd play as a different protagonist (I chose four because I'd want to make one of each temperament, though I COULD - and probably should - reduce the number to two, one melancholic/phlegmatic and one choleric/sanguine), with unrelated stories in unrelated places, but with a common tie between them, and in the final chapter, they find themselves meeting up and all the things are tied up and what-have-you.
It would be... interesting. And releasing it in 'little chunks' would get it out and done faster, surely.
Of course, this was my original plan for MARDEK, sort of - to have 'short chapters' which I could 'easily make' - and look how that ended up!
Still... experience tells me what I should and should not do, maybe. I hope.
7. FHO.I'm perhaps stretching this for intentions for this year alone, but I'd also want to work on FHO and get it to the point where it's working. With the RPG engine mentioned previously, it shouldn't be difficult since I'd either directly use the code from that, or I'd have learned enough by then to do everything really quickly.
I've been meaning to have this done for ages and it'll surely boost the site's popularity (and my earnings) immensely, so I REALLY need to have it done this year. All I've mentioned before it (except MARDEK 3) is merely a buildup to it.
8. Beast Signer?As Much as I'd love to get THIS one up and running too, I don't know if I can do all the other things AND this in a year. I WILL try, and maybe I can work on more than one project at a time, but no promises with this one. I'll consider it a 'bonus intention' rather than something I need to force myself to accomplish. Sorry.
9. 'Just Do It!'I put stuff off and procrastinate. A lot. I need to NOT do this... I need to just DO what I know I need to do rather than INTENDING to do it and then putting it off for days. Since this is a deep-rooted personality trait, based strongly on temperament, it won't be easy, but I need to learn how to, uh, *fake it*, I really do.
10. Make More Money!I am sadly very dependent on my parents at the moment because I have no proper job. Sob!
I've been intending to make enough money from Flash Games for like two years now, and I keep feeling like I'm getting CLOSE but then my procrastination and failure to meet promises bite me in the bum and I never reach my goal.
I felt like 2009 was a time of learning, a build-up to this lofty goal, so I really, REALLY hope I start making decent income by the end of the year OR, if not, I will, uh, consider getting serious with reality and actually looking for a real job... But I really, really dread that due to my unpleasant Anxiety thing, so I really hope it doesn't come to that...
(Yes, I am aware this is very pathetic in many peoples' eyes; loads of you surely think that anyone over the age of, say, 16 who lives with their parents still and has never had a job is a 'loser'. Hmm.)
11. Go out more? Exercise?My anxiety thing, the fact that I work from home on the computer, my introverted nature and loathing of sport-related stuff, my lack of in-person friends since moving back from Australia at an awkward time in my life, and so on all contribute to the fact that I don't go outside very much, at all. It's far from a daily thing for me, and I am aware that this is horrendously unhealthy but I don't have the drive to CHANGE it... but I need to at least go out for walks more.
(I've been saying that to myself for months though, but keep thinking of reasons to put it off... Or I'll maybe go out for one a day for a week, then stop after that... Hmm.)
In case you're imagining some fat, sweaty guy struggling to breathe, uh, that's not me! I'm too SKINNY because I have no muscle OR fat. For some reason I felt the need to make this clear. o_O
12. Get better at, uh... meditation. And something else I won't mention, related to that.I won't mention any detail about this because I don't want people giving me 'advice' or telling me about their experiences about this. Really.
13. Reply to more things!!Many of you may have noticed that you've left comments on my stuff or sent me PMs or emails and wanted a reply that never came. This is because, for various psychological reasons, I'm really bad when it comes to actually replying to stuff. I READ it, yes, but don't reply... It's not a matter of arrogant dismissal or anything (that is, I don't think 'this isn't worth my time' or anything similar), but it's more a matter of 'fear' and my own self-deprecation, pessimism, self-awareness, high standards, etc, etc. I feel I'll just say something stupid or wrong, or maybe I just lack the social skills to know what to say, so I either say nothing at all or just type something and delete it because it's not good enough.
My Messages on this site build up to the hundreds quite quickly, or have been doing recently because I never reply to anything but leave it there intending to reply *later*, so, uh, I'd like to keep my 'n messages' count below 100 at all times... Ideally below about 10 or 20 if possible. I should reply to stuff OR Mark it as Read as soon as I read it, not put it off to reply, rate or remove 'later'...
14. Compose 30 pieces of music, including game music.This is not a large number, and should REALLY be quite easy to do... Whether or not it will be easy is yet to be seen. Hmm.
If I'm making all those different games though, I should be able to do more than 30 REALLY easily.
I'll make a tally list thing.
15. Practice drawing, and finish at least 10 drawing things....which I will upload to the Art section. This is more difficult, since I draw far less than I compose, but I really, REALLY want (and need) to improve, so, uh, I'll try.
I did less than 10 'finished drawings' this year, surely, so it isn't such an easy number to achieve, despite it being so small. Again, I'll make a tally list somewhere.
16. Revive Yalortism!Oh yes! Right! I need to do this, probably! I started a thread about my intentions in detail. Basically, I want to revive the site that came before this one - 'The Catechisms of YALORT' - and make it into a place where people would seriously enjoy coming, hopefully with a somewhat different community to this place (rather than, y'know, the exact same people in both places, which would nullify the point of making the other site at all, I think).
17. Change my sleeping times!11This is more of an immediate concern than a yearly sort of thing, but it's been on my mind strongly recently since I'm currently in a habit I don't want to stay in.
I've been going to bed later and later each night, and waking up later too, to the point now where I'm going to bed at 7am (!) and waking up at about 2pm. It's ridiculous, and I would prefer to wake up at about 9am and sleep at maybe 2am. I want to change to those times, and *keep at it* for the whole year.
I've noticed that my sleeping times are often like what they are now, then I TRY to do the 9am/2pm thing, and stick with it for a while, but I keep staying up later and later each night and slide back into the old routine...
It's because I find going to sleep difficult. It's not insomnia or anything; I don't lack tiredness. It's just that I hate how UNPRODUCTIVE sleeping is! It's a waste of time! I put it off because I'm busy, either with work, entertainment, or just *being conscious*, and sleeping is some chore I have to do where I just end up lying around unconscious for hours when I could better be spending my time DOING things worthwhile. Hmm.
18. Earn at least �10,000.This gives an indication of just how little I earn from what I do. If you're still young and not working, this may seem like a decent figure, but it's not (a fact I only learned recently; it still doesn't look SMALL to me)...
I mean, it's not peanuts, but it's just about what someone on minimum wage in a full time job would earn (I think), and less than half of the national average salary in this country (which is �22,411; about $44,000US).
I don't know how achievable this is for me at all. It's probably not going to happen - I'll be lucky if I make half of that - but I can but hope!
I'd hope firstly that MARDEK 3 would earn about half of it. It might make more, it might make a lot less; I've no way of knowing, because though I've put a load of effort into MARDEK 3 and it will get a lot of fans, it might not draw the CASUAL crowds and would instead get a small crowd of devoted followers rather than a large crowd of easily influenced sheepy-types (which is the ideal crowd for making money, unfortunately).
Then, if I release ALL of the games I've mentioned here (actually that's just BE-a-St and the RPG thing, or multiple chapters of it; maybe also the Raider ones if I get them sponsored), I might meet this goal. Just about...
I'd HOPE to get a lot from adverts, from FHO, but... we'll see.
Hopefully (I keep relying on hope here... If this was television rather than the internet, I'd earn tens of thousands for the same amount of work and stuff, probably), I can get to something like an average wage by the end of NEXT year... It'd be great if I could achieve it THIS year, but I won't be expecting it.
19. Drink more (WATER)?(I'm really determined to reach at least 20...)
How much (NON-ALCOHOLIC LIQUID) do you drink a day? A fully-grown average-type person my age should drink about 8 glasses of (NON-ALCOHOLIC) water a day... but I usually drink two or three, at most. This leaves me almost constantly dehydrated... something I've noticed lately as I tried to change my drinking habits (I AM NOT REFERRING TO ALCOHOL HERE) and drank several more cups a day (OF WATER, NOT BOOZE) than usual, and felt so DIFFERENT because of it. So much HEALTHIER! (NOT DRUNK.)
So yes. I must drink more (NOT GROG), rather than being in this constant state of dehydration! (NOT DRUNK.)
20. Eat more... fruit?Now I'm just getting to generic things because I can't think of anything else.
Uh... I rarely eat fruit and vegetables though. It's not that I NEVER eat them; it's just that I'm a really picky eater and was never RAISED to eat any of them, so they're all still strange to me and off-putting, largely because I don't know what they're like. But they're healthy, so I need to eat more of them, and less chocolate...
21. Survive.I should try not to die this year. This is a big goal for me. It has a special place in my heart. Hopefully that won't stop it beating.
22. Chimaera.I forgot about this one!
But I did intend to work on it, probably as my second AS3 project? It's because it would require less complex stuff like movement, etc; it'd basically just be a series of battles with a status screen between them, and as such would be good practice for an RPG engine thing.
If I worked on it at all, I'd make a simpler version of the original concept - maybe all monstrosities had to look like raptors or wolves or something - and then if it was popular, I'd make an advanced sequel; like what I mentioned with BE-a-St.
I don't know how much motivation I have for it though; not enough to have remembered it before, apparently.
So there. A list about my games and my pathetic personal life (OR LACK THEREOF!!11), and how I want to change and achieve things. I should keep it on hand and make a serious record of how close I am to meeting each goal!
Hopefully I can meet at least, uh, ONE of the things... o_O
Then I'll review it in a year. Yes. I, uh... totally look forward to it.