• Andrew Jonhardt

Post-Con Depression and Change

Every time I go to a con, I'm simultaneously exhilarated and devastated. Exhilarated from exposure to so many new and interesting concepts. Devastated because I'm left feeling so very far behind. I listen to developers talk about dedicating huge portions of their lives to a project, seemingly for hours every day of every week, and I feel ashamed.

I don't understand how other developers function. Maybe if I did, if I somehow got more direct exposure, I wouldn't feel like the amount of effort they dedicate on a daily basis is superhuman. Everyone has limits, after all. I just wish I could know how close I am to running into mine.

So, I spent the first few days post-PAX trying to figure out if my current schedule is the best one for me. It's designed around the needs I've discovered within myself and the concerns of my boyfriend, who at one point threatened to leave if I kept working so much. I've decided that, from the data I've collected and further conversations with my boyfriend, I've got room to make a change.

The primary goal for switching my schedule to game design only on the weekends was to exploit the uninterrupted 8 hours I would have on both Saturday and Sunday. To date, I have never once gotten a full 8 hours of game design in on either day. Chores, groceries, exercise, and boredom have all contributed to only ever getting 8 hours on Saturday and Sunday combined.

The biggest determent to the work is the boredom. I'm confident it comes from unfamiliarity, or forcing myself to program and make art when I'm neither a programmer nor an artist. I remember weekends, when I was working on physical board game projects versus digital, where I would get up on Saturday (typically around 7 or 8), work in my office on a design until lunch (12 or 1), then get right back to work for at least another 4 hours. I believe that, if I was more familiar with programming or art, I'd be able to work longer. Unfortunately, I have no data to back this up yet because I'm not often motivated to record my time when working on board games.

With the assumption that I will be able to work longer when I become more familiar with certain tools, and with the data that shows I've never once fully utilized my weekend time since I started recording my time in December of 2018, I've decided to move all of my game design efforts to 2 hours every weekday. This would leave me time to eat, maybe exercise, and maybe do a few chores, after coming home from work, in addition to having the entire weekend as free time.

I'm going to try and track this new schedule for the next few weeks, until I'm ready to draw conclusions. So far, I can say that 2 hours every day may be a perfect amount. I can also say that only programming for 1 hour, as opposed to programming for the full 2 hours, feels alot like failing to climax. Like your partner asking you to slow down when you're close, throwing off your rhythm, or like when you're really close and all of a sudden your partner cums and quits on you. Basically, it's awful, so I'm not planning to try and do art and programming in the same day any time soon.

Speaking of art, I've begun sketching some card imagery. This is important because my digital Psychic Scrap Racers prototype cannot use imagery from the web and be published anywhere. There're simply not enough good public domain car racing images that fit my theme. Also, please be aware that I'm not a very good artist:

For now, I'm hoping to simply convey a feeling. The eventual goal is still to hire a professional artist, I assure you.

Expect an update next week, probably on Saturday/Sunday instead of Tuesday/Thursday.

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