2011: A Year in Review

Wow, I can’t believe it is already 2012. I also can’t believe I haven’t updated this site in so long. I have a good reason for that which I will explain in a bit, but I hope to be much more prolific this year. I’m going to start by looking back on the three major events of my life in the year that was 2011.

The Artery

2011 started off pretty slow. The Artery, a weekly gathering of artists I hosted / website, had been a major passion of mine for the previous 5 years. I spent a lot of time meeting new people, exchanging ideas, and generally helping the local community become a better place. However, I am also involved with Vancouver ACM SIGGRAPH and FullIndie and I found myself spread too thin. Therefore, I made the hard choice of putting it on hiatus with plans to revive it. Unfortunately, I never regained the motivation to do so. I know many of the people who participated were saddened to see it disappear, but we can all say it was a good run!

Flipnaut

Around February, I had started meeting up with my friend Brandon McGuigan (@bmcgames) to look into making some Flash games. Both of us were interested in exploring the indie space and we seem to have great synergy working together. We decided to keep the pressure low and set a goal to have a game released by the end of the year. While we several interesting ideas, we ended up focusing on something very small in scope, yet very addictive. This game became Flipnaut and was finally released in December. I learned a lot on this project, especially on where my own skill gaps are. It was my first time really working with a sound guy, Brian Werst, where I had to communicate my own vision of what I wanted for music. Luckily, Brian was able to interpret what I was trying to achieve and nailed it!

Another thing I learned on that project is how hard it can be to get it out the door. The requests from the sponsor were quite simple, but the way we had constructed our game caused so many conflicts. Most of this was due to us just having never implemented someone else’s content and the fact that we were using FlashDevelop while the supplied content was in the Flash IDE. Small differences can make for big challenges apparently.

Pixel Bee

Finally, the biggest thing that happened to me this year and the main reason for not updating was the birth of my daughter, Pixel Bee Elliott. I am really excited to be a dad and it has so far been one of the best experiences in my life. I was glad to be able to take three months of parental leave, though most of my time was spent changing diapers. What am I saying? I loved every moment of it, even when I was hit by the baby bum cannon!

The whole pregnancy thing required plenty of changes, even though my lovely wife Su let me escape quite often. It has made me focus a lot more on what my priorities should be and is slowly making me more disciplined. It has also made me a bit brain dead as I can’t seem to keep more than one thing in my head at a time.  Now that I am back to work, hopefully the routine will help fix that.

Conclusion

In many ways I wanted 2011 to be a much better year than it was, but for all the bad that happened, it was more than equalled out with the good. For 2012 I have set some very ambitious goals and I have already hit the ground running. Expect big things!

Happy New Year!!

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