Monday, December 4, 2017

Getting Past Obstacles...

My last post was back in August, when I laid out some obstacles I'm facing that were pulling me away from the project. So here's an update on that, and more.

The short of it is that I'm still stuck in a mire of crap that I'd rather not have to be doing. But things are shaping up to resolve themselves by (probably) about February. At which point I should be able to dive back into working on the game.

Here we go... First the obstacles that I previously mentioned in my last post...

1) 8th Edition 40K

For about a month and a half or so, the new edition of 40K seemed to have some legs. But then interest (at least here locally) seems to have fallen off a cliff. The FLGS reports that Flames of War is now selling roughly even with 40K, and it's not because Flames has suddenly seen a huge spike in popularity. Our FLGS is hoping sales pick up once more codices are out, but only time will tell.

On the one hand, I've played enough games in 8th to have an idea what its weaknesses are (it's boring and repetitive). On the other, I'm concerned that the player base for 40K-style wargaming is evaporating away. I don't see them around the shop playing other games. They're just not showing up at all.

Anyone else have a perspective on this?

2) My Flooded Basement

Well, construction on the basement remodeling (and future flood prevention) was SUPPOSED to have started at the beginning of October, but didn't actually start until mid-November because local demand for construction workers is higher than the supply.

Here's what it looked like last week:

So I still have no good studio space to work in. My computers are squashed into the Guest Room, but I don't have a good place at present to assemble models, paint, or take nice photographs. The garage would do for that... If it wasn't full of stuff relocated from the basement.

I'm hoping that I'll be able to move back in before Christmas, but I really have no idea when they'll be done. Mudding, sanding, and painting the drywall is going to take at least 2-3 more weeks.

It'll be pretty sweet when it's all finally done. Soundproofing, 10GB ethernet lines (my house has fiber internet service), plenty of lighting, extra power circuits, etc. But all I can do right now is wait and put up with the construction noises/distractions.

3) Preparing The New Art Portfolio

If you want to see what I've been up to in what free time I've had, you can check out my ArtStation portfolio here.

But due to the... inexperience... of the recruiter I was working with, the job I was chasing got filled by someone whom Company X relocated to Indy from California. Because the recruiter didn't submit my portfolio for over a month after I sent it to them (face-palm). It's SO nice knowing that I skipped two family vacations to bust my ass for nothing. Best I can expect (because they really liked my portfolio once they actually saw it) is to be considered the next time Company X expands its team. But I have no idea when that might be.

On the bright side though, all this did force me to get some Unity/Unreal game engine experience, and I think that Unity is probably my best bet for writing a cross-platform WarStrike army creation and customization app. That's what I'm working on prototyping now (in the little free time that I have).

Also... My wife's anxiety about my needing to find a high-paying job is abating somewhat after her company's most recent re-org finished unwinding. Right now we're planning on my finishing the game, and supplementing whatever it brings in with some part-time freelance gigs. So that I can be home with the kids after school. So pretty much what I was doing before.

Oh... And... My Dad Died Too

Just when I was coming up for air from the whole Company X portfolio debacle, my father's condition worsened. His Parkinson's finally took him on October 9th. I think that if I had the choice between dying of Parkinson's or cancer, I'd take the cancer. At least cancer doesn't trap you helplessly inside your own mind. It was hard watching him deteriorate over the course of 3 years from someone vital to a confused, hallucinating zombie who couldn't even remember to eat.

Cue grieving. Cue funeral arrangements and all of the associated distractions. And now? I'm having to deal with his estate. Just got an email today from one of his life insurance companies that they need proof of my Grandfather's death too. WTF?

So that's my life right now. I'm still committed to finishing this game, and my wife is still supportive, but I need to clear my desk of a hundred other things before I can really get back to it. It's going to take some time.

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