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

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

Book Review – Bullets and Bones by R.S. Penney

Full Book Found on Amazon

Book 2 of Desa Kinaid’s adventures set in the mystical alternate to the American Wild West is filled with unique lore, adventure, intrigue, action, and rich character development. Much of the lore may seem confusing, giving the reader reason to check out the first book in the series as well, but the text is clear and accessible to almost any reader. Penney works wonders with words as he has painted vivid, beautiful scenes of the world he created in Bullets and Bones. The characters are complex and believable, and the overall story-telling is superb.

It is clear that the author was inspired by fantasy classics such as “Lord of the Rings”, and while his books include a fair amount of original mysticism and maintain a surreal approach, there is an edge to the writing that grounds the reader and makes the overall experience a little more believable. Fans of fantasy, sci-fi, and even historic fiction will all greatly enjoy this series, and any avid reader will find this book to be a pleasure.

Synopsis: “Desa Kincaid set out to save her world from the machinations of a madman. She failed. Now, she finds herself a prisoner in her own city, navigating a web of political intrigue. Hope beckons in the form of the mysterious Spear of Vengeance, a weapon forged by the gods. To recover it, Desa will take a journey into the very heart of the ancient world and confront an enemy more powerful than any she has faced so far: her own guilt.”

Full Book Found on Amazon