I've been reading other people's year-in-reviews, and I thought maybe I should do one, before it's quite too late for that to make sense as a thing to do. Here's the things that made up my 2015:
I started dating Sheila. We've been seeing each other for coming up to a year now, and it's really lovely.
Fabulous Beasts turned from a vague idea, to a team, to a prototype, to a prototype people cooed over, to an opportunity, to a company, to a much better (but reasonably different) game, to a draft Kickstarter page and source of nervous tension. It's been a wild ride. Onwards!
I released Cheap Bots, Done Quick!, a website that hosts Twitter bots for people. It did better than I dared hope - we're at over 400 bots made by this point. And (okay okay, I did it in 2016) I just added hashtag support and the ability to generate images via generating SVG files. Mainly I feel happy to have joined the friendly and welcoming #botALLY community, and to have enabled others to do stuff that seems very fulfilling for them.
Panoramical came out! It feels weird, because I did most of the work on my scene so long ago, and it's only now that people are playing it. But I've had some lovely feedback, and I feel really proud of what me and Jukio did there. (And it's a privilege to be part of Panoramical itself, which since I started writing this post got 3 IGF nominations).
I put together a totally credible bid for The Space to make a Tamagotchi-like game-toy thing. We were shortlisted, and waited, and waited... and then didn't get it. Ah well. It's good knowing that putting a application like that together is something I'm capable of. Thanks to Mink (who I applied with), and everyone else who helped.
Mutazione won some money from the EU Narrative Games fund... and I had to drop out of the project, due to Fabulous Beasts taking off. Still sorry about how this worked out, and I wish them all the best with finishing that game, and making it everything I hope it can be.
I Digitally Curated, and also generally helped on the first ever Now Play This, a weekend of games and play at Somerset House. I feel very proud of what we accomplished - it was a great selection of interesting (and varied!) things, presented beautifully. And much love to everyone I worked with on this - Holly, Jo, Sophie and Louie especially.
I've started doing visuals for live music! I did visuals at Screenshake (with Fernando <3), at our Wild Rumpus party (apologies Alice), and for the Hyperwave chiptune night (cheers Mikey!).
And as a kind of spin off from that and kind of as a continuation of the work that led to my Panoramical scene, I've been messing around with some convolution noise generators. Fun little toys, which I'm still tinkering with.
I made a game for the Wellcome Late - Shadow Photocopier. A fun little experiment, in the classic Sandpit style.
With Hannah Nicklin, won a bid to make an interesting narrative thing about the Sweets Way community. In progress!
I went to Zoo Machines, and helped make a game about feeding a monster in an extra-dimensional portal. Hard to document, as the experience hinged on making your hand feel strange and alien with time delay on the visual feedback you get. Shoutout to my team there, and for Zoo Machines for inviting me over.
Did a bit of electronics for the Oubliette Escape Rooms and Adventure Shop. Though I mainly mention this here to encourage you to go visit them. They're open! It's a great experience.
Embed With came out, and I saw lovely words about me in a published book. Still feel very lucky to have been included in this project.
Hannah Nicklin did a talk about me in her wonderful Psychogeography of Games series. I feel that a number of my strands of thought were tied together much more convincingly than I would have been able to do on my own.
I gave talks at:
- Bees In A Tin
- Amaze (for 45 seconds - thanks to Lorenzo and the Klondike crew for letting me crash their microtalk)
- Videobrains (twice)
- Zoo Machines
Whoo! That's a lot of stuff. I didn't realize how productive a year it had been until compiling this list.
So, what's my aim for next year? That's traditional in this kind of format thing, right?
- Get Fabulous Beasts out (and make it great) (and hopefully also make it sell)
- Keep on doing curation (in a more low-key, advisory way)
- Keep making small projects (I think I'm getting good at doing them in a way that feels like fun, not obligation)
- Maybe get better at writing
- Maybe get a bit fitter?
- Be less stressed and have more time for people.
13 January 2016