This past October I did something I haven't done in over 6 years – took a vacation with my family.

After I got back I took some time to reorganize some things in my life. Here's a brief summary:

  • I caught up on a year's worth of neglected company paperwork
  • I released a few updates for GameDataCrunch
  • I wrapped up some client work (an upcoming spin-off of GameDataCrunch for Simon Carless' newsletter)
  • Made a little DQ2 progress, and plans for keeping it moving forward

Just to lay out my current work-life balance plans as clearly as possible, I'm doing my best to escape the dreaded indie death spiral of "work on your game a little, chase some client work to pay the bills, work on your game a little, chase some client work..." I've been stuck in for the past few years. The Valve gig gave me a bit of runway to try something new for once. The plan is to build my way out of the spiral by producing a bit of capital for myself for once. Ideally I need a project that:

  1. Is owned by me
  2. Can be deployed quickly
  3. Requires minimal daily effort to keep going
  4. Attracts attention and lucrative short-term contracts (or better yet, direct revenue) to keep DQ2 development going

Hence, GameDataCrunch. Results are promising so far. Now that the heavy lifting of getting the site up and running is done, I've already achieved points 1, 2, and 3. Now I just need to nurse it along slowly in between DQ2 work until I finally achieve 4.

This is already better than the old status quo, which was "go work on somebody else's game every couple of months and have it slowly take over your life and then snap back suddenly to DQ2 six months later".

I made a little DQ2 progress, too, working on the first Black Hat boss battle – previous iterations made it too easy for the Ultimate to carry the entire fight by themselves, and I'd like to make each boss battle more of an explicit "final exam" of all the skills we've been introducing in previous levels. There's not enough to justify a build, but we'll have one next month.

A small and different kind of update to be sure, but I'm committed to keeping everyone informed once a month, and this is where we're at!