I tend to be obsessive about projects I am working, which makes working on something like Loop Dipole and the Chaoties the opposite of what I am good at in a way. Without distractions, I can toss concepts, variables, and whatnot up into the air and juggle them until I collapse from exhaustion . I think that is what all the great scientists of yore would do as well, build picture in their mind and live within it for as long as possible, because once there is a distraction it takes a long time to get back to that productive state of mind. In truth, I know that this is normal for programmers as studies have shown that a 10 second distraction can lead to 15 minutes of time wasted “getting back into the zone”.
Anyhow, I would like this project to remain an ongoing hobby for several years, in part to learn how to pace myself, but also to have something consistent to work at. Thus far I have failed miserably.
Let’s see, what was I doing with my “free time”…
I spent a bit over a month playing Guild Wars 2, giving it its “fair shake”. Great game, I like it a lot, but there’s just something about that fails to hold my interest. I decided to get back into working on stuff for the Tarkin SWGEmu based game server, mostly because I really like the people there and it’s fun to work on collaborative projects; working exclusively on my own game alone is very isolating. And, I spent a lot of time puttering around with my smartphone dilemma, researching and trying new things. Not really a lot of things, but damned if I don’t have the inertia of a neutron star – once I get moving on something, it’s hard to slow me down. Sadly sometimes that something is watching Star Trek The Next Generation on Netflix… Yeah, like that is a good use of my time!
So, I am learning and trying hard to find the right balance when it comes to my “free time” projects. Free time, for the record, does not include the time I spend playing with my kids and lounging with my wife. It’s strictly, “the time in which I CAN do something else”. For the rest of 2015 I am working on:
- Re-envisioning what it means to play on the Tarkin Server. We’ve decided to do something new that better suits our small population and development / customer service resources.
- Creating a video series explaining how to play on the Tarkin server. Star Wars Galaxies did an abysmal job of helping new and old players know what the heck to do in the game and it’s something that dramatically effects player retention in the first hour of play. Lots of people never come back after that first play session, likely because the default controls are clunky and the game does such a poor job of explaining what there is to do (and how to do it).
- Working on Loop Dipole and the Chaoties.
That is more than enough to work on, especially the Tarkin programming stuff, as it really challenges me to study and learn!