Doing Something Every Day of 2019: COMPLETE

2018 was about steady progress, 2019 was about finishing.

This multi-year project began in 2016 as learning something every day for the entire year. In 2017 I started my indie game project From Orbit, in 2018 I continued development, and in 2019 it was finally completed and released.

I also left my job at Klei, sold my apartment, and moved to Japan.

It was a lot, and I’m still tired. But it all went surprisingly well, with a lot of pieces falling into place right on time (or just barely on time) so that everything worked out about as smoothly as I could have possibly hoped.

Except for the typhoon and resulting 10 days without running water… that could have been better.

From Orbit

From Orbit was launched on August 27th on Steam and itch.io.

What started as an idea and game jam in 2015, has finally been realized as a finished project, released into the world.

Check out the From Orbit dev log if you’re interested in more detail.

Doing Things

Finishing things is hard. That is, broadly, what all of this has been about: finishing and how to get there, by doing a lot of little somethings.

A representative month from my 2019 tracking sheet.

By the numbers:

As you can see, a good 13 of the year’s effort on From Orbit was towards non-development tasks related to actually releasing the game into the world.

Once From Orbit was launched, virtually all of my time for the rest of the year was dedicated to selling, packing, moving, buying, apartment hunting, and setting up our new life here in Japan.

Weekly Goals

Continuing from last year, I keep some weekly goals as well.

How’d that go?

Reading

Not a strong showing this year for reading, 4 books and 4 audiobooks, all but one in the first half of the year.

Onward, 2020

Coming off a year of accomplishing so many big and specific goals in my life, I’m feeling a bit adrift going into 2020.

I’m particularly feeling the tension between my desire to dedicate this year to learning and improving my skills, as an artist, as a game developer on the one hand, and the internal and external pressure to Be Productive on the other hand, which to me currently means immediately starting on a project with commercial potential.

I want to say that I’ll fight that pressure and focus on learning and improving, as was my intention. But even writing that makes me anxious, so clearly I haven’t convinced myself yet that it’s the right thing to do.

This year might prove to be harder than last year without those concrete goal posts in sight. Here’s my plan so far, every day…

Bonus