Taking a Break

Sunset with hammock at Rum Point
When I first started this blog, I committed to a weekly update schedule. Since my last post I’ve started to drift from that schedule. That last post was on burnout no less, not entirely a coincidence.

Lately, my plate (from both a professional and a personal perspective) has been particularly full and I’ve been finding it hard to muster the energy necessary to research and write my weekly post. While time is a factor, I think this is more about having sufficient emotional energy left over after everything else going on in my life. Therefore, I’ve decided to take a break from my regularly scheduled blog posts while I sort things out.

I don’t think I’ll stop posting on Game Dev Without a Cause entirely. I will probably still post occasionally just not at the original once-a-week schedule. I hope I’ll get back to regularly writing blog posts soon. And I hope you’ll be here to read what I have to say. Most of all, I hope that you’ll forgive the cliche of using a hammock in the sunset as the cover picture for this post.

See you soon,
Rob

Burnout, Not Paradise

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So, yeah.
The last few months have been pretty darn busy. Hobby-life, work-life, personal-life, everything seemed to peak right about the end of February. I’ll be honest. I’m feeling pretty tired. I may even be feeling, dare I say it: burned-out.

Well, not full-on “burned-out” I don’t think. That’s actually a pretty major state of affairs. Still, I’m starting to notice some warning signs and I’ve had trouble bringing 100% of my power to bear on any task lately, be it was work or at home.

Now, the advice I’m about to give is not based on any particular professional expertise. Indeed, I’m about as layman as they come. But, I am someone who has worked himself to the point where I had to take a stress-induced leave from work so I thought I’d share some of the signs I watch for with regards to my emotional health.

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#OneGameAMonth Update: Itano Alpha Flight

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Okay, okay. I’m about two weeks late but I finally finished up my February #OneGameAMonth entry. In my defense, I did have a confluence of life and work events knock into my schedule. But, that’s neither here nor there. I said One Game a Month.

As I mentioned previously, my goal for February’s game was to capture some of that Itano Circus feel. With that in mind, I even went so far as to name the game “Itano Alpha Flight”. And now the game is available for you to play.
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Game Design Keywords: Escalation

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Prank wars have an ugly habit of spinning out of control. One person pranks another, then the victim gets back at the prankster with a prank of their own. The original prankster raises the stakes with another prank and so on and so forth.

While this sort of escalation is the kind of situation you want to avoid in real life, it is a powerful tool in game design. As a matter of fact, you can find some element of escalation in almost any game worth playing. Continue reading