April 24, 2008

No Involvement with the Olympic Torch Relay

The Olympic torch is passing through Canberra at the moment (it’s probably finished its public tour by now). I’m not entirely sure why, given it’s a bit of a detour from the path between Greece and Beijing. I suppose it’s to help build support for the Olympics, but it’s not as if you need much hype for such a major sporting event in sport-mad Australia. Especially since it’s being held in roughly the same time zone as us.

I didn’t bother going to see the torch, as it’s not exactly super important to me. Given this is Canberra, it’d be attended by a mix of Chinese nationals and supporters (we’ve got a big multicultural mix here), combined with the protest groups for Tibet or Falun Gong that seem to have permanently camped outside the Chinese embassy. I doubt there’ll be any violence, but the whole show just doesn’t seem like my kind of thing.

Apart from not doing anything regarding the Olympic torch, which unsurprisingly has not taken a lot of effort, I’ve been spending a bit of time thinking ahead for what I’m going to do with the website after I complete my studies in a couple of months time. I’m most likely to be wrapping up my Ph.D. thesis write-up in June, but I have not yet got anything definite planned for after that.

I’ve still got dreams of starting my own on-line game business; selling indie games over the ‘net to make a living. I’ve got plans for how I could get that up and running, but it’s not without a whole truck load of risk. I’d probably be burning through my savings pretty quickly for the first year at least. So the question I’m debating is whether I go for broke by running with the online business idea full time, head into a more traditional career path, or (my current favoured option) a blend of some type of possibly part-time employment that also allows me to run the online business on the side.

This isn’t something I’m going to decide upon very soon. I’ve still got a couple of months left before I’m done here, and it wouldn’t be amiss taking a couple of months holiday afterwards. I’m moderately astute at saving money up for a rainy day, so it’s not as if I’m going to be begging for scraps this year, at least. But it is something that now the end of my formal education is nigh I’ve got to keep bubbling around in my mind so I make a decently informed decision.

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5 Comments on No Involvement with the Olympic Torch Relay

April 25, 2008

David McGraw @ 5:18 am:

How was the torch visit? Were there any protest issues? It sure was a mess over in the U.S. ;\

Why don’t you go into teaching? You can keep up-to on one of your skill bases and spend your off time working on a business venture. Getting some sort of income will help.

Then again, you only live once. If you’ve got a entrepreneur idea, and the passion to push 110% energy into it, go for it.

I didn’t hear of anything serious happening with the torch visit. A few peaceful protesters outnumbered by Chinese flags. A couple of people tried to run in front of the relay and managed to get instantly arrested.

I’m considering university level teaching as a prime option. I love teaching introduction to programming or early computer science classes. An alternative is high school teaching, but it’s really energy draining keeping a high school class under control.

Of course, that all depends on if I can find a university that’s hiring. I’m starting to keep my ears open and talking to a few people in order to see what’s out there.

But I’m still keen on pushing ahead with the entrepreneur idea come what may. I feel I’d always regret not giving it a shot.

April 28, 2008

Chris Scott @ 8:41 am:

I’ve given the game dev business thing a go, and failed. Now, armed with additional xp from my last failure, I’m gearing up to give things another go.

I would recommend that you do it as cheaply as possible to start with. Find some spare time, and get a game togeather to try out as a pilot, see where you get and then move on to the next.

Imho, trying to start a business (especially one as risky as games) is one of those ‘if you fail, try, try again’ type things.

David "Trapper Zoid" @ 10:09 am:

Thanks for the reply, Chris! I hadn’t put your blog on my RSS feed yet, so that’s been remedied. I always like to keep tabs on what other game developers are up to!

I’m still tentatively planning my first strike at this, but I’m assuredly doing this on the cheap. I’ve already got all the equipment and software I need for the sorts of games I want to make, so it’s just a matter of thinking of a good idea and going with it. I’ve also got a fair idea of what the rates of success are; I’m not going to be too upset if the first few games I make don’t sell that well, as long as each subsequent one does better.

I should start writing a few more journal posts on these, since I’m becoming convinced I really should give this a go in the near future.

May 18, 2008

Dan @ 7:25 am:

I also want to travel the indie route but I decided to go into the industry (where I am now) and pick up some tips and tricks while developing in my spare time. The drawbacks to this are - spare time is limited, after programming all day the desire to program more at night and at the weekend seems far less appealing.

That said I am working on a game and I think it has the most commercial potential and likelihood of getting finished of all the games I’ve started :D

The third route that I’ve seen done is working in some unrelated industry saving some money and then supporting yourself with that + perhaps a part time job. And pretty much going full throttle on your game ideas. Terry from distractionware (http://www.distractionware.com/) is currently following this path.

I wish you good luck!

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