I find that making goals for myself helps me stay focused on what is important. If you don’t have a plan about what you want to accomplish, then you don’t really go anywhere.
One goal I have had for a few years was to publish my first app to the App Store. Every time I think I have some time to work on this goal, life gets in the way. I got an amazing job a few years ago that was stimulating but mentally exhausting, leaving me no mental energy to work on anything else. I took another job that gave me a nervous breakdown. I went through a divorce. I spent a year writing a book.
Each year the amount of complexity and polish required to publish an app increases. I always feel like everything is six months out of reach. By the time I finish an app, it will require another six months of work to be viable. Part of this was because I was a beginner. When everything is new, it takes longer. Once you understand the fundamentals and they become intuitive, then development speed increases dramatically.
While I was finishing up the book, I tried to do some research into game development because I wanted to hit the ground running when it was over. I wanted to get the long hard work of just learning the patterns and frameworks out of the way so that when I did sit down to write a game it would be easier.
I want to publish a game this year. I am tired of putting this goal off indefinitely because I keep getting offers to do other things. I don’t regret doing those other things, but I worry if I don’t make this a priority I will never do it.
Along with my goal to publish a game is to learn both Unity and Unreal. I know that these engines take a while to master, but I have seen many examples of people becoming proficient in them in as little as a month. I would like to have a better understanding of where people who use these engines are coming from. One impediment I had in learning graphics was a lack of familiarity with concepts like texture mapping and object imports. I think that having a better understanding of engines will be quite useful moving forward.
Another goal I have for 2018 is to do more work with graphics. I spent a year working on a graphics book, but I don’t feel I got to delve into it as deeply as I wanted to. Graphics is a complex topic. I feel like I finally established a foundation of my understanding that I can build off of. I worry if I don’t practice my new found knowledge that I will lose and forget it.
I’m very grateful to have a job that affords me enough time to pursue my passion projects while also being able to cover my bills. I am also incredibly grateful for my supportive boyfriend who wants to see me succeed with my special interests. Having been in a relationship with someone who actively discouraged my interests and interfered with my work, I know the value of having a supportive partner in crime. After a few years of instability, I am hoping that 2018 proves to be relatively quiet.