It’s good to look forward to what’s coming next, set goals and get excited for the future. I am not even being sarcastic, despite not being a proponent of actual resolutions. But first, let me take a moment to reflect on the year that has passed. 2022 was the year when the world tried spinning back up in earnest, and in large parts failed to do so. This applies to me personally, as well as in general. As the pandemic lessened its grip, there was a lot of jumping the gun to get “back to normal”.
We are not there. At least, I hope 2022 is not representative of the new normal. It doesn’t feel like it. More transitional, like a rebound year, if you ask me.
I lost 3 old friends over the span of a quarter in 2022. We weren’t all that close anymore, but we used to be, and their passing hit me harder than expected. These guys were all around my own age and died of natural causes. Cherish your friends, even those you don’t see very often. Send them a note.
I changed jobs 3 times in 2022, which is at least twice too many. Even as a longtime contract worker, it’s too much stress to go through. It doesn’t help that I was fooled by a consulting company. Their lure was to build a gaming industry arm of the business, but it was a ploy to get a business plan made. Within a week after I delivered, they decided it was too expensive after all, canceled the project, and let me go.
Those events required a hard rebound, mentally. I am not looking for pity, however. We all have bad situations happen, but how we react to them determine whether they can be turned into a win.
One of the biggest wins of the year for me, was that it only took a week to land a new job after the fiasco with the consulting company. At the time of writing, I’m working as producer on Age of Empires 4, shepherding the Xbox port of the game. It’s a great gig, and an honor to be associated with such a respected franchise. That said, I would really like to make this my last contract gig. Being employed a maximum of 18 months at a time is not ideal.
Another big win was launching Above the Fold out of Early Access on Steam after almost 4 years in development. It happened with less fanfare than planned, in large part due to coinciding with the events previously mentioned, but it felt great to officially finish the game and “set it free”. There is an update in the works, but no launch date on that.
Completing a project always leaves a gap, followed by increasing experimentation and eventually, new projects come out of it. This renewal is well underway already and will continue to set the tone for the first part of the new year. In fact, I’ve already started working out prototypes for a new game.
So, as I look forward to the year ahead, I look for building out fresh ideas and inspiring relationships; a welcome challenge. I want 2023 to be a year of strength and creation.
Want to join me?