July 25, 2008

The calendar is ticking…

…probably because the travel clock is next to it. But I am also nearing the end of my PhD. I’ve set myself the deadline of eight weeks from today to get everything done, signified by a hard deadline of when I move out of my the postgrad college I’m living at. That gives me 56 days to finish up my PhD write up, as shown by the countdown calendar I’m using to constantly remind me what time I’ve got left. I’ve still got a lot to do, but I figure it’s enough time to get everything done. Now I’ve got a fixed deadline I’ll feel better about cutting things to get it finished.

Once my time is up I’ll be heading back to Melbourne to the family house to crash for a month or two while I figure out what to do next. I’ll probably spend a lot of the first month alternating between holiday and catching up with stuff I’ve let slide for the last year or two, such as watching any film released in the last couple of years, ditto for computer games and checking what’s changed in Melbourne since I left it. Then I can start the next chapter of my life. I’m planning on factoring in some game development and webcomics in there somewhere, but we’ll see.

Thus I’m hoping to get this journal back up into to speed some time in late September, but I’ll probably get things really going in late October once I’ve had time to settle down. I’m looking forward to that, but until then though I’ve got a dissertation to finish. Expect my sanity to be increasingly strained in the next couple of months.

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July 16, 2008

It’s July and I’m still alive

I’m still alive, I’ve just been busy with mundane PhD writeup things too boring to blog about. Although I’ve been called out for posting back on my GameDev journal rather than here. I could rightly claim the stuff I posted over there wasn’t particularly relevant to this website, but it’s mainly that I felt blogging over there wasn’t so much a form of procrastination as posting here. In retrospect, that’s totally illogical, but thinking straight is a scarce commodity for me at the moment.

Relevant to this journal: according to my web host’s automatic billing scheme it’s the one year anniversary of the site. I’ve paid to keep this site running for another year, so I’ll be continuing to share my scattered thoughts with the rest of the world for a little while longer. But there are changes in the pipeline! Once I’ve finished my PhD studies, which I’m hoping will be the end of August, I’ll be putting some new projects into action.

First off and most importantly, I’m putting the first steps into an indie game business into action. I’ve already started with jotting down the beginnings of a business plan as a distraction break from PhD write-up. Up till now I’ve not thought myself ready and I’m still not fully certain, but I doubt I’ll ever be more ready unless I take the plunge. The exact form and function of the business is still very much up in the air, and I won’t be doing anything too rash until I’ve got a plan that passes a basic sanity test, but I feel it’s now or never and the lessons I learn even from a failed first business will be invaluable in the future.

Secondly, I still haven’t forgotten my pledge to start a webcomic this year. I’ve let my drawing lessons lapse a bit over the last few weeks due to PhD work and my tendency to injure my drawing hand (why do minor burns take so long to heal?), but I’m going to get back into this big time once I’m free of study obligations. The exact nature of the webcomic is also up in the air and the amount of time I can invest in it will have to be heavily tempered by my indie business plans, but I’ll start something up before the end of 2008 guaranteed. Expect the first notice of its existence to be posted here sometime in November or December.

Thirdly, I’ll be revamping this site. It’s been pretty stagnant in form for the last few months. I need to devote a weekend to working on improvements, but that’s something I’ve been putting off until after my PhD’s completion which keeps dragging on much longer than I expected. I also need to put thought into which direction to take the journal in terms of content. Most weblogs out there are focused on a particulr subject, but I’ve been rambling on about everything that interests me, which is nearly everything. I dabble in game development, programming, drawing, vector art, small business fundamentals, composing music and who knows what else. Consequently I’m not particularly good at any one of them, so I’m not sure if my postings here have value over a specialist experts blog on a particular subject.

I’m thinking it might be a good idea to convert the focus of this journal into more into a series of articles about my journey into areas I’m unfamiliar with, such as starting my own small business or creating a webcomic. I’m not sure whether this may be instructive as I’m fully expecting to unwittingly be making a ton of mistakes along the way, but it should be enlightening, informative, or at least better than an empty weblog.

All of this will need to wait until September though, as I’ve got a dissertation to finish.

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