2013 Year in Review

December 29, 2013

A great deal happened in 2013 for me and my family. Sadly, though, I missed the mark on all six of my goals for the year. Despite that, I think 2013 can be counted a success in general.

My Goals for 2013

My first goal for 2013 was to release a computer game. For a variety of reasons, this never came close to completion. I overestimated my free time and, to be honest, my motivation. I ended up spending far more time developing tabletop games. I’ll get into that in a second. My second goal was to join a local developer group. Technically, I succeeded at this, since I started going to MNPHP meetups for awhile. However, because I didn’t sustain my attendance, I’m counting this one failed. There is promise here, though. My third goal was ambitious - take a vacation to Hawaii. Saving up the money to do so, especially amidst changing jobs, proved too difficult for me. My fourth goal, lead a yoga class, failed for more than just inability to do so. Most yoga schools these days seem to focus solely on the physical side of yoga, with no thought for the spiritual side. I had a moment of clarity when I realized that I couldn’t get to the level of proficiency in just a year to be qualified to teach both the physical and spiritual sides. I may revisit this goal some year in the future, but not in the near tense. My fifth goal was well on its way to success when I sabotaged it by re-incorporating Dicejockey into my main site. Though I wanted to reach 1,000 visitors per month for at least one month in 2013, my desire to pull in everything to one destination representing me was greater than my desire to continue a blog dedicated solely to MMORPGs and tabletop RPGs. My sixth and final goal for 2013, to collaborate on a project with my sister Tasha, went fairly well for the first half of the year. Unfortunately, I think I was too ambitious in the project we chose to work on, because my contribution would have been a large number of artworks that my skill level and free time did not allow for. Still, this goal was inspiring, and I’ll do something along these lines in 2014.

Major Happenings of 2013

I changed jobs twice this past year. The first time, I left Group 3 Marketing because I felt I was stagnating as a developer. I joined a startup called Sportsdigita and worked heavily on Symfony2 projects. While I certainly grew as a developer at Sportsdigita, the culture was damaging everything else about my life. In August, then, I left that company to work for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the largest newspaper in Minnesota (and, possibly, the Midwest). The Star Tribune has proved to be a wonderful balance between interesting projects and good culture, and it doesn’t hurt that it pays well, too. My contributions to Silver Gryphon Games grew this year. My efforts on the web side increased, and my interest in this side of the business is definitely heating up. I released the first web tool for Ingenium, and it’s proved very useful - internally, anyway. I did more writing this year in previous years, releasing no less than three adventures for Ingenium. Two of those I did all the writing for, and the third I contributed a third of the final word count to. This also marked the first year where I managed a convention on my own, using the newly-minted “Booth 2.” All in all, 2013 was a successful year for me. I got back into tabletop gaming in a big way this year. I started what has become my longest-running D&D campaign ever. I started playing Warhammer 40k and Warmachine on a weekly basis with some good friends. I did a lot of miniature painting, and produced some works that I’m actually proud of, which hasn’t happened before. I also began writing the rules for my own war game, and that could bode well for Silver Gryphon Games, based on early playtest feedback. I met several new friends and strengthened relationships with others. I’ve been more social-minded this year than the past couple years. I’ve definitely gone to more conventions this year than in past years, also.

Closing Thoughts

Many positive things happened this year, but I’m disappointed that I wasn’t able to follow through with a single one of my goals. I grew as a developer, a gamer, and a person in general in 2013. Overall, despite the lack of goal completion, I think 2013 was a win for me. Here’s to an even better 2014!