once upon a time in the mess

Diatribe of a gamer, would be graphic designer, former theatre techie, radio minion, current senior office minion, and somehow two-time con director. I cannot dance.

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I never just work on one idea. Just as I’m finished my last minute dash into Tropic Kill (which I’m well proud of. The Map is ok, if parts are a little squishy but functional), the better stuff is spoilerific for the 3 people who might actually play my game.

But something my good ladyfriend mentioned to me about it being all “Grrr arrgh Men with Guns!”. True, that’s the intent, but it did get me thinking of trying to writing even further outside of my usual zone. Hence, the mad brainstorming creative burst that is now “VapeurPunque” (Hang your grammer connections, Punque de Vapeur is no good, and French should never settle for ‘Steampunk’ as a word. 

So this is the result of an evening mad creation. Maybe even a game that might see the light of day, some manner of Jeunet’s Metropolis with more squid men. Definitely something featuring a cruel hearted chanteuse, a fiesty and gun toting aventurière, and at least one Robot. Probably some fairies too. 

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I’d like to think that even in my old age I’m not total luddite. However until now I have never tried dictation or any other form and high tech gadgetry just for blogging. But now I am, having dictated this entire post from my tablet.

Continuing on, I’d like to think that even if I am not writing, I am at least still producing some kind of creative output. I don’t write enough. I don’t continue through with enough of my projects. I have ideas come but very few of them see anything more than the yard blog post, tweet or other microblogging.

it’s quite rare that I actually go through with an idea beyond the most primordial of development stages. what is mean is I have a larder of concepts with little or no planning organisation or practical evaluation that might make them into a more viable idea.

Since I feel I need to do more productive work, and that means actually producing more time I need to focus on a few core ideas. I need to evaluate the best ideas, and then look at expanding on the best ideas. I mean not just an idea to the point of a cohesive universe, but also a practical and viable end product. Quite often I create purely for the purpose of developing an idea. It’s quite rare that I would even show these ideas to anyone, so this means that the work is often futile and taking my energy away from more necessary work and skills learning I could be doing.

So, prioritising is 1 of my new key goals. Organisation is another. While it is a good idea to have goals, and creative goals are as valid as any other, I do need to make sure that whatever I’m working on has some manner of end result. No secret projects that cannot be shown the light of day, no drawers full of rough sketches that will never amount to anything other than very dusty and heavy filing cabinet in my office. It’s time to do a clean out, both of physical space and of mental space. If I am to proceed going forward, I need to make shore that’s what is behind me is not embarrassing, wasteful or unnecessary.

Christ, that took a lot longer than I expected. It would’ve been easier if I had just typed this, but I wanted to try this new fangled dictation  thingy. Well, at least I managed to get most of this down without having to go back and edit it. That said, it still took quite a long time. Think if something is sold as smart, it might show a little intelligence.

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So tonight I caught Culture Night for the first time. Either some apathy or snobbery prevented me from doing so before and sadly so. Coming from work a dull mist was enough to make me want to retreat home and to the convenience of take out pizza and Netflix. Thankfully I was dragged …well, offered politely, and by that I actually mean offered politely, no veiled threats, an evening of entertainment in some converted warehouse near Cork’s southern port area. End result, a venue I’d not been before and a strange yearning to do standup comedy in a black suit and El Santo lucha mask.

Creativity inspires creativity, I guess.

Assorted logo and vector work

Various iterations of a custom t-shirt order I promised at the charity auction one year. 

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1. Learn French. Enough to get by for a whole day without using English once.

Attempted. downloaded French vocab app to my tablet, have managed at least a few sessons. 

Fail


2. Write a novel. Not a short story or novella, a  full on novel.

Dug out one of my old ideas. Its more a setting than a plot right now, but I’ve decided to start actually working it into a fixed and structured plot. Again, withe the French problem - focus and time.

FAIL but with some progress. Currently working on developing the structure for my first idea.

3. Learn to play more than one song on guitar. And not awfully like I can do with Like A Rolling Stone.

Hah. No. At least I brought the damn guitar down to my apartment.

FAIL, though I bought my girlfriend a Ukulele.

4. Learn to dance.

Oh so similarly unattempted.

FAIL

5. Take at least one holiday where I risk sunburn

Achieved! Dubrovnik in April-May. Hardly the Sahara, but still summer by Irish standards.

SUCCESS!

6. Learn a completely new skill or talent

Babysteps worth of terminal. Learned how to break a unix machine with one line of code and sufficient time for said code line to self-reproduce into itself endlessly. Unix coding fun.

SEMI-SUCCESS - I learned the useful skill of professional detachment. Sometimes to help people you need to be willing to break bad news to them.

7. Write a movie script.

Eh… kinda. Assisting on one, but not actually writing anything yet.

FAIL.

8. Complete on average 1 t-shirt design a month.

Not one done. So 6 behind schedule. The upside is I have 6 ideas so given time and motivation, I might catch up.

FAIL X 12.

9. Write / design / produce an RPG

Nah… That said, do have a nice new idea for something for Gaelcon, maybe worth spinning out into something more.

FAIL, wrote a few games but decided 2014 is sabbatical year.

10. Record and publish 12 episodes of the Curmudgeon Show

Attempted to record several times. none useable. Maybe its time to think about a better end product. Perhaps the ramblings of 3 incoherent hairballs is not enough to justify a podcast.

FAIL, though mostly due to time. Once I have a saner schedule, maybe a possibility of this or some other podcast.

11. Finish 12 computer games.

Unless Angry Birds and replaying Mass Effect 1,2 and 3 counts, not event started.

FAIL. Wow, 12 games? Not exactly a challange!

12. Brew a beer. Possibly DishonoraBru.

Not even started. Right now, don’t have the space in my apartment. Might hire a friend to make it.

FAIL. No room in the inn to do so.

13. Design stuff for girlfriend

Attempted, and in progress. First logo draft done.

SUCCESS! At least, first draft was good!

So, that’s 2/12. Not great. Moral of the story will be focus on 1-2 things for 2014, and get them done. No distractions!

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So, given I’m done being a Gaming establishment type, bereft of any responsibilities bar turn up and run games, I’ve had a serious rethink of priorities. And I’m doing a list.

This is staying up for a while, and expect it to be updated.

  1. Learn French. Enough to get by for a whole day without using English once.
  2. Write a novel. Not a short story or novella, a  full on novel.
  3. Learn to play more than one song on guitar. And not awfully like I can do with Like A Rolling Stone.
  4. Learn to dance.
  5. Take at least one holiday where I risk sunburn
  6. Learn a completely new skill or talent
  7. Write a movie script.
  8. Complete on average 1 t-shirt design a month.
  9. Write / design / produce an RPG
  10. Record and publish 12 episodes of the Curmudgeon Show
  11. Finish 12 computer games.
  12. Brew a beer. Possibly DishonoraBru.
  13. Design stuff for girlfriend

As these progress, I will add individual posts for each.

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Working on something as we speak. Listening to Nature Boy, Nancy Sinatra and thinking Don Draper Thoughts. That and some I Spy.

Edit: Finally got round to posting the damn thing up. Fliers and a prototype for the con shirt, and the Trinity Gamers card. Must check if they’ve actually used the darn thing…

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Gaelcon ads, 2009 - present.

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