|This is my brain on defrag.
||[Oct. 8th, 2012|01:43 pm]
Being overly responsible and overly ambitious is a real pain in the butt.
•Starting my local conglomerate, and the foundational starting point, ProLab Gaming.
•Pursuing my numerous software development projects.
•Kicking my personal income to $1200-1500/mo, getting out of that "just over broke" area.
•Knocking some of my embarassingly long backlog of games to "Let's Play."
•Keeping enough genuine and positive contact with family, but not getting dragged all in.
•Following up on some friendly get-togethers I've been meaning to do.
•And then there's, you know... the DATING THING... *dum DUM dum*
Down to business!!
Just for kicks, I'll outline the companies that I'm considering eventually cooking up in my conglomerate, as they appear both a needed workplace and popular services to promote around here:
•ProLab Gaming - an internet cafe/gaming lounge and snack bar. Basically, a sports bar for nerdy homebodies.
•Golden Road Accounting - an accounting/bookkeeping firm to centralize operations from.
•Golden Road Property - aimed at the crowd of older investors, the plan here is to suppliment rental property with reverse mortgages to keep rents low and affordable, keep the property in the green, and provide a passive cashflow option for retirement to those who need it.
•BaconGames Software - a computer-focused media/game/website creation studio to help local creative-types produce and publish a variety of works.
•(Unnamed so far) Animal Hospital - there is a HUGE pets and pet-lovers community here, and I know of a decent number of people educating themselves in veterinary medicine. Personally, I'm a proud pet non-owner, but I know the demand for this kind of market and the abundance of kind-hearted talent and skill here that can fit that need, it just needs a place for the two to converge.
•FreakiTiki - a currently-on-the-scraps edgy Nightclub concept that seems to be actualized by another place here called Heresy. So this is pretty much done already, whew.
•The BUG - a local community news site/forum that stretches beyond political correctness and isolated incidents, and branches more into the various events, cultures, and lifestyles of the REAL Central Valley.
•Read Or Alive - a nifty alternative, visual-spacial bookstore that's like the missing departments from Borders and the disappearing departments from Barnes & Noble, with a high focus on art/lifestyle books, comics/manga, philosophy, technology, and humor. But no doubt it'll need a "trashy romance" section considering the consumption rate of that.
•The TUG - a similar thing to The BUG focused more on Taft. Because if there's anywhere that's more dreary and in need of hope than this place, it's THERE. I don't see how they do it. >.<
Software development projects!
Here's some that come to mind:
My big, eventually-gonna-get-there one is a dynamic "game about gaming." Imagine if Need For Speed or GTA played out so that instead of different types of races or missions, each location had you play out a different genre/concept of gaming. It's very focused on character development and customization, and allowing for the player at hand to play whatever kind of playstyle they prefer to sink into.
This comes with a tremendous number of challenges, however. First off, I have to understand not only the design behind all of these different game types and playstyles, but also how to implement and balance them, and then decide if any affects of one should carry over and influence another. Then there's scale - I'm nowhere near being a fully staffed AAA studio. I'm just ONE GUY. And I work best in 2D. So some things are gonna have to get produced on a reasonably smaller scale than the grand vision I'd be going for. There's also the matter of cramming this variety of gameplay concepts into a simple, flexible framework that can be used to pull them all off.
Some other projects that I'm designing in the meantime include:
•Dynamic Music Generator - a GH/RB-style song generator founded in genuine, basic music theory, utilizing a variety of styles, beats, and influences. And then there's the SOLOS... On a tangent, I also want this to produce sensical DDR stepcharts and playable notecharts for musical gaming purposes as well. Designwise, it's pretty close to "all there."
•Rock'N Guy - Imagine if you will, a hybrid of MegaMan gameplay and Sonic the Hedgehog physics and level design. Possibly without loop-de-loops.
•RockMan Supreme - Speaking of MegaMan, this is just a MM fangame that plays through the assorted levels of MM's history (or variants thereof) ala Endless Attack Mode, with a customizable selection of weapons from throughout the series and a decent grip of the bosses; likely based on the NGPC sprites of The Power Battle/Fighters.
•Giga Impact - A fighting game like Marvel Super Heroes, filled with extreme hit reactions and comboability, a decent focus on grapple attacks, and focused defensive/reactive counterattack measures.
•Qonflict - A sidescroller-perspective versus-style Galaga game where two players use waves and formations of forces and weapons to wipe the other player out.
•??? - A puzzle combat game where each character plays a different puzzle game in an attempt to knock out the other player. (Mr. Driller vs. Bejeweled, for instance.) CLEARLY will require some major balancing.
•??? - A classic Zeldalike adventure game that features Dark Souls-inspired combat and Terraria-style equipment crafting.
•Let's Play A Game!! - Some oddball hybrid between You Don't Know Jack, The Price Is Right, and Let's Make A Deal. Trick here, is what to substitute for pricing in the pricing games, without being a dead giveaway to anybody with a calculator (like math), or just a dumb luck guessing game (which, let's be fair - it could very well be).
If you think those concepts tied together would be that "game about gaming," then you're at least halfway there. Maybe a little variation in details (like a Ninja Gaiden/Castlevania-style approach to the platformer as well, and a fighter that isn't extreme'd out). I'm also into combining chunked-up genuine level design with procedural generation too, but we'll see if and how that plays into the formula.
Ohhh boy, is this a doozy.
My education so far consists of Computer Science/Network Engineering, Animation, Realty/Investing, and Managerial-level Accounting/Finance. My work experience so far is mostly grocery, retail, temp service stuff, and shipping/receiving. This combines to create a huge, seemingly unbridgable disconnect between what I specialize in doing and what I'm ACTUALLY doing, and there doesn't seem to be a correct way of bridging that gap besides establishing that stuff myself.
In the meantime, I'm still at about $1k/mo cost of living to produce and support myself with, and that's no spouse, no kids, no smoking/drinking/drugs/prescriptions. Eventually my car is gonna need a minor overhaul (new catalytic converter and an A/C fixup), and I have some dental work I need done sometime too. Out of my dozen-or-so employers, only one has had a dental plan and offered enough for me to participate in it, and they never gave me the time off I needed to get there.
And of course, you have that delightful irony where the entire reason I'm enterprising, myself; is to create workplaces that ARE different from that, and offer genuine living potential.
Friends, Family, Dating, and being overly responsible.
I have this terrible habit. I love most people. I hate how much I love most people, and I REALLY hate "drowning" in other people. When you're a local nerdy nexus with 300 semiregular, real-life contacts - and counting - and STILL dating - that tends to be a factor that creeps up sometimes. Especially when some of them get into a pinch - which is at least 3x a week here - and you find yourself often the only one capable of doing something about it.
In the long run - or even the short run for that matter - "damage control" is just not enough to make life work out. Keeping bad things from escalating is something totally different than making positive things happen, which is where I would like to be focusing more of my time and attention. Sometimes the damage control is necessary - and when it's not necessary to be helping others with that, it often becomes necessary to do with my own life too. But it all ultimately feels like a big circle-jerk to nowhere.
After awhile though... it gets really taxing, and kinda makes me want to go all antisocial again. Life was kind of simple there... but also really kind of hollow. It helps a bit to remember that. Usually I'll just fold a couple days - maybe a week tops - rest, recover, wash and repeat. It's one of those great things about being single and on my own that really... I don't know if it would be possible while coupled up.
I can't spend my whole life like that though, or I get nowhere. These ambitions just sorta pile up on me in the meantime, to the point where they kinda look insurmountable, even though it's really all just a whole lot of small, simple things. A whole. Freaking. Metric asston. Of them. But they're mostly little, and totally doable, and I have to remember that.