2015

Hello, I realize that this post may be a bit late, but I was so busy with exams and making of my game that I didn’t have enough time to write this post sooner. But now I’m finally free!
This post will about my life in 2015: the stuff I did, learned and experienced.

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Playing some SNES games in Console Museum

This year wasn’t as life-changing as the previous one. It’s hard to surpass getting the best girlfriend ever and making an awesome game out of small prototype. But still, this year was a perfect continuation of the previous one. All the things in my life just got better.

This year was very good. I’ve learned lots of stuff, found lots of awesome games/music/books, became a better person and made new awesome friends! So much good stuff happened that I don’t even remember bad things about this year. Maybe that’s because I’m such an optimist.

(I won’t spend time talking about Re:creation, because I’ve already written a big post about it, so let’s move that aside.)

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At Igromir with my awesome GF.

I think I became a much disciplined person. Of course, there’s a lot of room for improvement, but the difference between this and previous years is pretty neat. Here are things that helped me:

  1. Just doing it. I realize that this is pretty hard to do, but it’s a funny and easy way to think about the problems. Not solving them will do nothing. Doing at least something will help to get them solved.
  2. Trying to not waste my time on reddit, twitter, etc.. This was the biggest waste of time for me for lots of years and I’ve decided that I must put an end to it the hard way! I’ve installed StayFocusd which helped me a lot. It’s a browser extension which lets you set a limit for time you can spend on “bad” sites. The good thing about it is not the “block” itself. It’s a countdown timer which lets you know how much time you’ve just spent on the site and I tend to divide it in small chunks because I don’t want to waste all of my allowed time. :D
  3. Having a proper rest. For a long time I was “resting” by spending time on reddit or twitter but this is such a bad rest! It’s better to spend time reading some light stuff and/or listening to nice music while laying on the bed. :)
  4. Schedule. I don’t have a strict schedule but going to sleep / waking up and eating at approximately the same time helps.
  5. Planning stuff before doing. Having TODO list is a good thing which helped me a lot this year because I started to write it more often. Putting a tick on each completed thing is a very rewarding feeling.

I’ve also started to learn drawing seriously. Previously I drew as best as I could but now I’ve decided that serious study will improve my drawing skills a lot.
But “natural” skill growth is still a thing, so check out how much my art improved during 2015! :D

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I also studied C++ a lot this year when I was developing my game and managed to learn a lot about it! Modern C++ is quite amazing, powerful and beautiful which made me very passionate about it and made learning and doing stuff quite very awesome! :D

I’ll probably write an article or two about modern C++ stuff that I like.

Books

I have read quite a lot this year. Here’s a list of what I managed to read.
Here are some books that I liked the most and can recommend.

“Outliers: The Story of Success” by Malcolm Gladwell

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Fantastic book about what makes successful people successful. And while you may think that this book is about stuff like “he worked hard + got lucky!” that’s not it! The author wants you to think about much more when you think about success. After all the success is still related to the amount of work you put but there are some things that get forgotten very often.
This book is full of amazing and interesting stories which may change the way you look at some stuff.

“The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons: The History of the Human Brain as Revealed by True Stories of Trauma, Madness, and Recovery” by Sam Kean

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This book is about human brain: all the things it does and how it all works together. We still have quite a lot to learn but what we now know is mostly a result of research on people who suffered one or another type of brain damage. The author tells you a lot of interesting stories about people and manages to explain all the details in quite an interesting way which makes this book a very good read no matter how much you’ve known about the brain structure before.

Foundation trilogy by Isaac Asimov

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The best sci-fi series I’ve read in my life. Lots of twists, mind games and awesome things happening on galactic scale. Can’t explain how awesome it is. Just give it a try, give yourself a pleasure. :D

“Fermat’s Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World’s Greatest Mathematical Problem” by Simon Singh

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A fantastic book for people interested in math. I imagined that this will be a light popular science book but is turned out to be quite in-depth which was very cool. The Last Fermat’s Theorem is quite more challenging and interesting that you may expect…

Games

I didn’t play a lot of games this year and can highlight only two: Earthbound and Undertale.

Earthbound (Mother 2), SNES

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I started to play it in 2013 and just this year I returned to it to finish it. It starts off very slowly and requires you to grind for a bit. But after that things start to happen, grinding is not required a lot! This game has fantastic everything: story, music, gameplay, atmosphere, dialogue, weirdness. If you ever wondered why this game is so praised and has such a huge following: play it for yourself and you’ll understand. And maybe you’ll become a huge fan yourself who recommends this game to everyone. Just like me. :)

Undertale, PC

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Okay, I’m pretty sure there’s no need for another review of this game because lots of different things have already been said. I liked it a lot and I think it’s somewhere between 8 and 9 out of 10. This game is not perfect, but it has taught me some things as a game developer.

  1. If you make a great game, people will notice and play it.
  2. You don’t have to be loud to be heard.
  3. It’s your game, you can do whatever you want with it. There’s no need to stay in boundaries of the genre. Just do what you really want to do. It will be much more interesting than another generic game that tries to copy that one popular game.
  4. People love games with “heart and soul” which is a great thing to know.
  5. People are okay with short games.

So, this game motivated me a lot and was quite a good experience even without all that stuff. So, I recommend you to check it out if you haven’t already. Ignore the fanbase. Go in expecting a good game and there’s a high probability that you’ll be quite satisfied with the game. (It starts slowly, it gets a lot better.)

Music

The reviews will be quite short there, because there’s a lot of stuff I’ve found and I’m not good at reviewing music.
Mostly I like to listen to game OSTs because they motivate me a lot and are awesome for work. There were quite a few OSTs I’ve found pretty awesome which made my year better. Here they are:

Dustforce OST by Lifeformed

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One of the best albums to work with and to chill with. I listen to it almost daily! :D

Undertale OST by Toby Fox

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Full of awesome tunes and things that will make your determined as you listen to it.

Indie Game: The Movie OST by Jim Guthrie

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Fantastic album which is great for the times when you have to be focused. Also brings some awesome memories about the film which helped me return to game dev when I first saw it.

Bastion OST by Darren Korb

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Darker than the stuff I’ve mentioned before, but very awesome and good for work.

As for non OST music, here’s some!

The Who – Sell Out

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I didn’t like their other albums, but this one became one of my most favourite albums of all time! Every song is a masterpiece. Pretty easy to get into, so give it a try.

Shugo Tokumaru – all his albums

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Fantastic music with lots of depth in it. Lots of fun and relaxing tunes! The music is complex and reminds me of Sufjan Stevens from time to time which is great.

Animals as Leaders – The Joy of Motion

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The best math metal/djent album I’ve ever heard. Lots of jazz, funk and other influences which makes this album even greater! Just check out songs like Another Year or Physical Education! :D

Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell

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Finally! An album from 2015. I love Sufjan Stevens. This album is just so beautiful and powerful.

Okay, and that’s it! Thanks for reading. Feel free to ask any questions if you want to learn more about this year or get more recommendations. See ya! :D

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