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Late 2021 Life Update

Updated: Jul 23, 2022

It’s been a while since I posted here, but I’m happy to see you.

Since it’s been a while, I want to give an update about how 2021 has gone for me so far. At the beginning of the year I made some goals, as I do, and the big focus for this year was actually TO FOCUS.

Instead of making a wide range of goals among all my passion projects, I wanted to make a video game this year. That’s the big thing. I set some other goals around health and money, because health and money are always going to be connected to other parts of my life, but as far as projects go, the game is it.

How has it gone?

It has been wonderful. Having a single, primary focus has been strangely freeing. It has cleared up a lot of distractions that I would have had otherwise. This isn't news to me, I wrote last year about the value of focusing on one project, and I wrote again this year on how well it has been working for me.

I started using Notion at the start of this year as a way to keep track of my game tasks and all the documentation for the game. After about a month of planning, brainstorming, and sketching out some concept art, I started to put my plans into Notion (see what I did there?)

I first broke out my game into a bunch of milestones. These are things like the character movement, the user interface, the game board, the creature units. Big chunks.

I made some changes to these throughout the year to make sure everything was organized in a way that made sense, and I may still make more changes, but right now I have 19 total milestones.

Six of these milestones are completely done, six are in progress with varying degrees of doneness, and then the remaining nine have not been started yet.

If you look at the straight numbers here, I am behind schedule. We’re halfway through September, so mathematically I should be closer to having 14 of my milestones done.

Maybe I am behind, but I feel like the pieces that are done are really solid and they’re important, core pieces. Much of the structure of the game is in place, and things are going to go more quickly from this point on. That might be naive, but I am still very optimistic and I’m so proud of what I have so far.

What’s the game like?

At the risk of creating a DevOps nightmare for myself, I decided to make a multiplayer game.

It’s modeled on auto-chess games, like Teamfight Tactics, so the basic gameplay is that the player buys units to place in certain spots in their arena. When the battle starts, player units will battle the enemy units automatically based on their individual skills and priorities (hence the name auto-chess), until a winner is determined. The fun is in coming up with the best strategy, the best team composition, and the best upgrades for your units.

Right now, I have a working game server that runs all the client features that I have implemented so far. Players can connect to the server, join a match, place units on the board, and see the units that other players have placed. When the battle starts, they can also see other player's units during the fight!

I just finished a refactor of the game server, so now I have all multiplayer features working like a dream and the code is pristine.

I’ve also created a flexible system for the players to equip vanity items like hats and cool sunglasses, and pants with glowing runes on them, but this vanity system isn’t really built into the rest of the game yet.

What comes next?

What I’m working on now is buttoning up the combat system, getting that last bit of multiplayer working on the server side, and adding more creatures and behaviors so the battles are complete and interesting. Eventually, I’ll be adding a lot more, but for now I have planned 3 player creatures and 3 enemy creatures, all with unique game behaviors and effects.

I also made a decision recently to start aligning my content more with what I’m doing in my day-to-day life. Specifically, I want to do more on YouTube and Instagram than just bullet journaling content. I still love my bullet journal, but I have so much more going on and I want to start sharing that.

Part of that decision is to start writing more non-fiction about things that I’m interested in. I’ve been publishing articles about things like stoicism, productivity, and organization on Medium and it feels really good to exercise that part of my brain again.

That idea was also what brought me back to this blog. I want to share more of myself, and more of what I love. So, I’m here. This is what I’ve been up to for the past several months, and I’ve got big plans to carry me through the end of the year.

Here we go.


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