As a little kid growing up in the 1970s, 2018 seems like an unimaginable future. Moon bases and rocket ships. It didn't quite turn out the way 8-year-old Ronnie imagined. Some ways better. Some ways worse. I'm not sure my life turned out the way I imagined. Some ways better some. Some ways worse.
2017 was the year Thimbleweed Park came out. It was also the year a dipshit narcissistic asshole became president. I would gladly trade Thimbleweed Park for a mentally stable president. And so should you.
But enough reminiscing and fostering armed rebellion... it's on to 2018.
I've never been the kind of person that does New Year's Resolutions. Like 99% of all people, I just forget about them a month later and have now decided to be honest with myself and stop making them. So let's call these "goals" for 2018. It's also worth noting that these are just my professional and career goals. My personal goals are another whole can of worms that I won't be sharing on the damn internet.
Let's get going...
Play more games
Yeah, I can't say enough about this one. I hardly play any video games. 2016-2017 were busy years for me, but deep down I know that is just an excuse. At the end of the workday, I'm burnt out and I just don't want to play games, they always feel more like work than relaxation. It's also really hard for me to play a game without deconstructing it and that saps a lot of the enjoyment away.
I did play Golf Story for many many hours until rage quitting (more on that in a future post). I quite enjoyed West of Loathing as well (no rage quitting). But besides a few mobile games to waste some time, I didn't really play anything else.
I hear from friends about all the games they played and I wonder "where do you find all the time?" Well, all that is going to change in 2018, and now that my blog is fully operational, I hope to write about what I'm playing. And I promise not to just bitch about them.
Then again... maybe I don't enjoy playing games. That's a terrifying thought.
Do a Twitch steam
I've always wanted to do this. I doubt it will be a gameplay stream, I am way too quiet when playing games. When I watch Streamers, I marvel at how they can talk non-stop while playing. When I play games, I get very quiet and contemplative. I don't tend to "think out loud."
What I'd like to do is a programming Stream. I joked about adding floppy disk sounds to Thimbleweed Park when it's loading data, so my goal is to stream me implementing that. Streaming from a Mac is a little harder, but I'm sure I can figure it out.
Give a talk
I really hate giving talks. It's not stage fright, it's more that I over prepare and end up spending months writing the talk and stressing about it. It's just not a good use of my time, so I tend to avoid it.
Also, when most people ask me to talk, it usually about Monkey Island or some retro topic. I really don't want to only be known as "the guy that created Monkey Island and made point-and-click games" and that's all anyone wants to hear me talk about. It would depress me greatly if that was actually the truth.
So my 2018 goal is to give a talk about a non-monkey-island-point-and-click topic. I have a talk in my head called "10 things I don't know." I think I'll give that one. Or maybe "It's not imposter syndrome, you actually suck at your job." Then there is "Don't get cocky kid, it's mostly luck."
I refuse to give a talk about Thimbleweed Park unless it's "Everything we fucked up in Thimbleweed Park." I'm sick and tired of survivor bias talks. GDC is filled with them.
OK, fine, this is why people only ask me to talk about Monkey Island.
Blog often and stay off Twitter
It's been over a month since I've been on Twitter and it's been great. I highly recommend it. Like shedding any addiction, the first few weeks are hard, then it gets harder, then it gets better. Getting the Grumpy Gamer blog back up and running has been very therapeutic.
Being able to write about something in other than 140 (now 280) character angry shouts has been nice and I plan on doing a lot more long-form writing in 2018. Currently, hardly anyone comes here, so it might take some time to build back an audience and convince the kids that the entire internet isn't just Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Please pass the word and share any good posts. I might end up writing a Twitter bot that just posts links to my blog when it updates (that will reach a hell of a lot more people than RSS).
Start working on a game
To be clear, my goal in 2018 is to start working on a game that will eventually ship. I am working on fun/relaxing prototypes that are helping to solidify various ideas in my head, but I doubt any of them will ever be finished. Thimbleweed Park was a huge grind and it's going to take me a while to come down from that.
This new game doesn't have to be my own game. Finding a small group in Seattle that could use my talents would also be fun. Working with other people in the same physical location would be a gust of fresh air.
I don't know if I'd Kickstart a new game either. Kickstarter was fun, but it's also feeding the hype/narcissism train like nothing I've ever seen. It almost demands it and one could say that it's good for promotion, and that's hard to argue with, but it can make you do crazy/stupid/unproductive things. The Thimbleweed Park Kickstarter turned out well (thank you Fortuna), but I do wonder if all that stress could have been put to better use.
Well, there you have it. My 2018.