I decided to take a small break last weekend from working on my game. Usually my week mostly consists of sitting in front of my computer working (including weekends). I try to be social at least once a week and stay active (I run when the weather and motivation permits). I also have other hobbies aside from video games, I’m an avid reader and owner of a kindle (I’m reading The Witcher books at the moment) and I enjoy noodling around on the piano.
While working on my first game is exciting and interesting, I try and mix it up when I decide to take small breaks during the day. Sometimes it’s not enough and I had a strong desire to shake up my routine. So I went skiing. It was fun.
Over a period of 3 days I didn’t obsess over my game. Before I went on the trip it would always occupy a constant part of my mind, when I was doing chores around the house, showering, running or even trying to sleep. It has it’s upsides, sometimes a new idea or solution comes to me and I cement it in my mind before jotting it down in my notebook. But as you can understand it can be draining, so a short trip over the weekend with friends was just what I need to recharge. I think the only time when I thought about my game was when someone asked what I had been up to.
We drove (a four hour trip each way) in two cars as a group of six to Mount Hotham and stayed two nights. It was my second time, so the experience is still novel and even for the experienced in our group it was an exciting and good time.
I stuck mostly to the beginner courses but I did dip my toes in an intermediate course a few times as my technique slowly improved. I found that as you get more confident and build more skills you can enjoy skiing a lot more. Anyone interested and uninitiated in skiing should limit their first time to a day or two with a more experienced friend or family member. Going as a group has it’s advantages, the more the merrier and it can keep costs reasonable. Discounts on lift tickets and on gear hire are usually available so it pays to do your research in advance.
For anyone working on a game, my advice is look after yourself both physically and mentally. Game development takes time and effort but it shouldn’t impact too negatively on your life. Take regular breaks, hang out with friends and consider taking a break where you can really forgot about your work.
After the trip my sleep schedule normalised. No longer am I staying up past 3 AM or waking up after midday. I feel less anxious, more motivated and hopeful about my game. For the longest time I had struggled to find a name for my game. I have decided to call it “Readapt”, a fitting, if rather straightforward name. On reflection it describes not only what players have to do constantly in-game but what I’ve done to get to where I am now. I think that’s a topic for another blog post though.
Recently I have been working on a main menu screen (among other things) and making it functional and scale to different resolutions, below is what it looks like now.
It’s pretty basic and needs some work, but it’ll do for now. Oh and I’ll keep to a weekly blogging schedule, I find it helps me process (and hopefully it’s not dead boring to read). So stay tuned and more importantly, be well.