To Start a New and Overwhelming Project

© Comfreak/Pixabay

One of the most important things that we can learn and develop through an event like a global pandemic, especially in the midst of the technological revolution and globalization is the ability to adapt to radically changing life circumstances. Career transition, philosophical upheaval, and the desire to become more directly involved in social and political spheres are common symptoms of the 2020 phenomenon. As for me, I’ve always kept a loose grip on anything I held as necessity.

My formal education has all been primarily in the sciences and psychology with spatterings of business and economics throughout my twenties. I worked in labs as a technician, manager, writer and consultant, and I’ve been involved in a handful of academic research projects. I’ve also played with music and creative writing all my life and started programming and building computers before middle school in the early 90s. So now, in early 2021, I find myself a month and a half into my tenth (or so) major project in software development, and I’m being aided solely by one other person, a talented sketch artist whose works will be showcased in the digital world I am creating. Almost two months in, it has become clear that strict expectations must be conceded to adaptability.

That is not to say we won’t produce what I initially hoped for. However, we have both realized the tendency to raise our expectations for every aspect of the project as we have progressed. I’d like to be able to do everything. What started as a simple table top style role playing game (with all calculations being determined by simulated 6 and 4 sided dice) became something we both expected to crush our initial goals. Keeping things simple and sticking to the plan has become difficult for two like minded perfectionists. The art is good (hand drawn and digitally painted), the interface is friendly and intuitive, but the world, music and overall scope have shifted. Technical limitations are trying to cut everything back down. I’m developing for PC, but recently ran tests on a couple different android devices. Complexity, high quality representations of the artwork, and a dynamic and active coding system are going to limit accessibility if I continue to push the boundaries, meaning less people will get a chance to enjoy the artwork and charm.

This one needs to go back in the oven…

The original idea was to pay homage to my favorite classics simultaneously while introducing the artist as well as my own original core gameplay mechanic. You could theoretically play the game with two dice, a pen and paper without so many confusing statistics that are commonly found in other games. It is meant to be accessible while still holding up mathematically as a satisfying “game” experience. This is where I feel overwhelmed. I started coding as a 4 or 5 year old with my dad, and I quickly learned BASIC, pascal, and C++. There were things I wanted to do as a kid that I couldn’t due to hardware limitations, and while the same is true now, the box is open much wider than it was then. I can do those things in 2021, but I want to release the game on mobile devices and I want the artwork to be appreciated, and really, I want the experience to feel satisfying to fans of classics, and approachable to a casual audience. So I limit myself, and I force myself to remember that sometimes less is more and elegance in simplicity is often more beautiful. In fact, I believe wholeheartedly that limitations are what force us to produce and evolve overall beauty. Omnipotence eventually breeds absolute perfection, and past that there is no future. I feel the pull to do everything all at once, but I believe pure creativity loves boundaries.

To summarize, I started a project that I gave myself about 6 months to finish, and now I see everything I could do with it as well as all the technical and personal barriers to my own success, and I don’t like how impatient I am with myself… and I write this while I laugh at me. Adapting is about remembering where you came from, knowing what you want to accomplish, and knowing that the path of least resistance is not always the one you planned on.

She and I are hard at work today, bringing our characters and world to life. To date, we have completed almost two dozen portraits and paintings including sketches, watercolors and digital drawings. We’ve also completed town and world design, created dozens of equipment items, spells and abilities, and are excited for people to play with it all.

More (and less reflective) updates on the game to come. 🙂

Beautiful

© darksouls1/pixabay

If only they could see

The thing I wish that you could know

It’s what always speaks to me

When your soul decides to show

You wear it far too well

The word was torn from heaven’s bells

Only exists for you

And there is nothing else to think

I am not able

Don’t see the need

The word still echoes in the space

Space between my ears

The space where both of us can meet

You were always there

To fill the voided meaning

Of beauty and where it springs

The beautiful is you

The word must be as you are seen

There may always be others

Who almost take the prize

Yet none of them are ever what I want before my eyes

Merry Christmas!

©Larisa-K/Pixabay

Tonight for many people is just like any other night, but regardless of your belief system or holiday traditions, there is a peaceful air cutting the edge that we’ve been feeling all year. Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and hope to all who are reading. When times are difficult, humanity shows its true colors. The year has tried us all, some more than others, but persistence and hope still overwhelm everything negative that could be dragging us down. To my readers, have a good night and a beautiful day. If you have time, stop to reflect on the importance of connection. We would be nothing alone.

You are all amazing, strong, and beautiful.

My favorite Christmas song

Something fun to listen to

US Stimulus… Thoughts

©erik_stein/pixabay

Look up the definitions for sarcasm and satire, or skip to the end of the article. A lot of Americans are complaining about a $600 economic stimulus check (click here if you aren’t in the loop), and I suppose I understand why. Unemployment is up, opportunities have been lost along with small (and not so small) businesses, and salaries have been cut. But really, what is the stimulus package going to do? What is it supposed to do? If it is raised to $2000 dollars, will it help much more? Of course, but not for the long term. Really, the package is meant to fuel the domestic (and to a lesser extent, global) economy, meaning they kind of expect everyone to blow the $600 (or $2000) on food, toys, tech, etc. It will help very few people out of a crisis, but it will help some.

I can see the $2000 check allowing a few very low income individuals make ends meet until they secure additional employment. But there are already systems in place to make that possible, such as unemployment benefits. If only a third of Americans get a $600 check, you’re talking about something on the order of $100 billion dollars in cash out of Uncle Sam’s pocket. In truth, a stimulus package is not for the individual, it’s for the health of the entire system. It is meant to bolster overall cash flow. The potential problems with this come from the fact that Uncle Sam took out a fourth mortgage on the nation to give you the check.

If you want to heal the global economy, go progressive. The paper economy is a system with a clear endpoint. With inflation, debt, and lack of proper backing (though it is largely backed by oil, indirectly), it just can not be sustained forever. But then again, there are finite and inflation proof (as well as being non consumable) resources out there. For anyone confused, I’m saying any economy where you can create more currency without a limit to the amount will always inflate and eventually become unusable. Minimum wage goes up, but employers can’t pay it, quality goes down and prices go up. Inflation is a symptom of death. It’s like aging. It is very literally the economy spiraling out of control while the government attempts to follow it.

There has never been a global economy before (as there is now), and no one knows how to handle it. Almost no one. When the dollar was backed by gold, things were a little better. There is not an infinite amount of gold, and we use it up. Eventually, the dwindling resource becomes a limit to how we can trade. But then, for any economy to work, the currency needs to have value to the individual, and it holds value because not everyone can have as much as they want. In our current economy, products drive commerce. We want things people make because they’re cool to have, and not everyone can have everything. For this reason, we don’t need to base trade on a natural resource like gold. We use gold in jewelry and technology production. It’s a resource that should be protected.

So what now? If inflation continues, debts are not payed, and Sammy prints dollars that didn’t exist, the system will eventually cave. Fights are almost always about money and resources (including land). In couples, families, and between nations. The answer is to use the finite, non consumable resources we have to manage trade and commerce. Digital currency does this, and because it already has value in dollars, it has already won. The transition just hasn’t completed itself. Digital currency is already integrated into the economy, and because it is a unique resource that has never existed before, it will eventually have a unique impact. The thing that I would personally prefer to avoid is a giant economic crash (or war) over paper currencies that really no longer hold any real value (except that everyone still holds differing amounts). I would advise the government to get the proportions going now. Start paying people in ether, bitcoin, or whatever. They’re all linked together as well, and while you can create new coins, you can’t create value. No one will take most of the coins, and the small ones will lose their value…….

Nevermind. I just talked myself out of this being a good idea. Unless everyone holds a little bitcoin, and the other digital currencies hold no value, you face the same problem as with paper money. Let’s just spiral out of control forever and hold it together with empty promises and lies. Give us $2000, please.

***Don’t read this part: What I’m saying is the system is what it seems like. A bunch of random people hold more of an unnecessary and invalid (but globally used and in many cases inherited) currency than everyone else, and they decide how to give it to you, and how much you’re allowed to have. This becomes incredibly clear in stock market operations. No, we’re not all valued fairly (not even close). Yes, it’s absurd that people are going hungry. Yes, there is enough to feed everyone. Yes, people turn to careers in crime because they don’t have their needs met, or know they’re undervalued and lack respect. Some people just don’t have anything else going for them. Yes, other people just make bad decisions, even and especially when they have everything or more than they need. In general, cleaning up depressed urban or suburban regions would decrease crime, especially if the residents were given jobs in the community. Losers exist because of winners, and they will always turn to drugs to get the illusion of accomplishment and satisfaction that the winners who beat them get naturally by winning. The top will always control the bottom unless the muscle turns and forces the top to share. Communism, no. That’s another philosophical topic, especially considering the potential end to the energy crisis. How do you manage the people when you have enough energy to do things like create gold from dust? 3D print food? Not everyone can handle life when everything is handed to them. Plenty of rich celebrities go down in flames when they have everything. The same would be true for many in a post capitalist world. When do they stop asking for more? Right now, there are things to clean up and people who are undervalued. Work hard and do what you can for yourself and the people around you.***

In case you missed it, give us $2000, please.

Meanwhile

© GooKingSword/Pixabay

I believe in a world where magic leads

And I live in a world of legends believed

Where the family gathers around the tree

Or some other abstract simile

The events that passed under holy stars

Or stories told to keep the children straight

Of bearded benevolence

They’re forever ours

Peace that they create

And emotion holding sacred fate

The believers realign and change the state

Of all of their collective minds

Stories told can all be lies

But magic loving sacred peace

The magic here shapes time’s release

And I wonder while I wander

If none of us had ever died

Would the first or any have ever lied?

More Quarantine

Sometimes nothing we wanted seems to be finding us. Other times we have more of what we wanted than we know what to do with. And when that happens, there is a tendency to mishandle it all. Then, after you’ve gotten everything you thought you wanted, lost it all and had nothing, you get a chance to do something with everything you’ve learned.

Do You See What I See?

Do you know what I see deep in your eyes?

A soul looking back at me, awaiting its prize

It’s here if you want it, just take it and rise

Rise with me always, through endless skies

Our love has a deeper meaning and end

An older discussion of what we have been

To know that we always fail to begin

But love, we can finish… and throw ourselves in

The first time I saw you, beyond all surprise

You shattered and stole my heart’s broken cries

And then when we kissed, it broke the disguise

Of the magic we share between our eyes

Pouring out, love into…

Love into… All of you

Snowfield

© fietzfotos/Pixabay

I cross it just to see my footprints well behind

But when I turn the blizzard always threatens me to blind

My eyes from where I’ve been

And though I know I need to keep

My focus on where I’m going

I can’t help looking back

To see where my feet pressed down so deep

When I reach the other side

The view expands around

And includes where I would bound

That is where we meet

And no, not a thing that I had been

Will I ever get to hide

Or will ever catch us when we ride

Before and there and other side

For some are all the same and each one knows her name

They watch and wait their eyes too wide

EvolovE

Evil live above the sky

To catch the deceived and sleepy eye

And then once seen no looking back

Destroy subjective mind

Where nothing ever fades to black

So beautiful forever shout

And nothing dies and no way out

Satisfaction pined

One is always and it stays while ever jaded lives will pay

Forever in the heat

Or maybe just the warmth

Where satisfaction kills and lack of it hurts more

The Love lives to Evolve

If lives let Love Evolve

Fall

© Valiphotos/Pixabay

We pass through gates with colors high

The red and orange and yellow

Fast paced green and everything behind

With death ahead, behold

Just another creaking door

We take no time to close

But run right through with careless minds

Grip on us never shows

Beneath the arcs of change

The wonder will surprise

Between two things there will always be

A gift to us from time

Woven from savage vines

Take too long to pass

We fall in love with what our hands won´t hold

It turns to dust and runs from us

Then falls with love divine

While death breathes down its cold

We turn around and spill our words

Of memory

Less of what we see

But grace and mercy give us back

Another chance to fly

Through things we only dream we´d done

Another chance to shine