Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Adventopolis #0 - Tales of Procrastination

This is a little procrastiproject, where I make something like an advent calendar but not exactly. Simply, every day I will be forced to make an entry here and write something about the projects that I am currently working and how bad it went. It can be humorous or lazy or whatever happens or serious attempt to get back on track (I have not worked much on code since the last update).

It's an ongoing process trying to fight the procrastination even though I believe it's a natural condition. The unnatural will be to work on vanity creative projects in the evening after work, tired and not motivated enough, not having the reason to do so rather than just relax for the night. Yet again, I realize again that there are some small and larger things I want to do, new frontiers in coding, older and newer ideas never resolved, sitting there and begging me, what could be done, what are the possibilities. When you have the skills but your are not conscientious.

So, just a test, what if I first posted every day till 22th of December (I will be on holidays later on), would that force me to work a little bit more so that every day will not be "I binge watched or done nothing" in excess? Most probably not. When you try to push it, it come back badly. It feels even more dreadful. But just a test..

..or maybe I just want to write something, to feel fulfilled even if I didn't worked on my projects.

So what's going on today? I binged badly on youtube and specifically Dark5. Maybe I'll spend 15 minutes on reviewing some code.

What do I want to work on? I stopped working on the CPC wolfenstein for a long yet I'll plan to come back at some point. As a change, I was working on a new framework for testing effects and doing software rendering stuff, but mostly it's the same boilerplate SDL code but in a way where one can hook his own class with equivalent for other libs, TinyPTC, DirectX or whatever. I just wanted to design something new in a way that the core for a lot of things, from screen buffer to input, is abstract, not having any dependencies upon libraries, but having hooks for someone wanting to connect specifically a lib to it. It's a small thing I want to grow, I am just overthinking it right now, reviewing code I wrote hastely few days ago to see if it's how I like it. I was between the "write some code fast without overthinking it to motivate yourself" to "maybe spend more time to carefully design this and don't bother if you don't finish it soon" (which I will do today, review what I wrote with more pace and make some notes of what I want to change, what I like and whatnot).

But I may change from that soon. I want to work on some parts on the CPC Wolfenstein (since this is already rolling and it's more motivating to add stuff). And then few more stuff I want to at least start with before the end of the year. One is Sam Coupe. I wished to have release something by this year, so maybe I'll roll a 256b-512b intro with some code I have, no big demo yet. Then there was for more than a year my big dream to start something on youtube. One of the ideas were videos explaining demoscene or retro stuff in some detail with good visual animations and not superficially like some gaming channels that I see try to explain graphics. And specialized subjects you don't see, like some crazy trick on CPC or insane optimization ideas used in the demoscene. Another thing I would dream was some videos more on the gaming side, but discussing for example non-linearity in oldschool FPS or other similar subjects in good depth. I am thinking of videos aiding with visual animations, in the way I am understanding algorithms as a visual mathematician.

I might start giving it a try with some code or video production and voicing with some of these (and maybe I am thinking to try something with the oldschool FPS map, trying to compile Zdoom code so that I code it to aid me in a specific visualization on the map, outputting frames and maybe then connecting them in a video). So, maybe I will make my first attempts on this during this advent calendar. But no complete video will be produced, just a test of how this could work.

But my youtube ideas is something that needs tremendous amount of focus and I realized that by the way my current habits are on procrastination (which is not with the negative aspect of it, but the realism that it's quite normal to come back from work and not want to work furiously on these, but only dream of the posibilities if it was possible for me to be a cold robot) there is no way such big project as that to ever take form, even started. Code of small stuff or even slightly bigger is different because you can code a small fraction and keep it in storage for a year, but youtube needs frequently updates (and I plan if I ever start to be less than a video per month but good quality and researched).

So, I'll try to make a small Sam Coupe release at some point, work even 5% of my youtube ideas (start preparing the tools, test the way of production and voicing, make a 10 second snipset and see how it looks and sounds), work some of the days on the CPC Wolfenstein (I have lists of things to do next, so it's easier to not get stuck on thinking what to do and act fast) and maybe review my agnostic software render framework and see if I will work with that too. Also, in two weekends is a new Ludum Dare and I might think of taking or no taking part for the full three days, just to flex my motivational muscles.

You will know how it goes and what moves or not, worst case scenario I procrastinate to even update this advent thing, I sense it's so bad that it feels not worth to continue. Or at least I can finish every day till before my holidays and it reads back like a big joke of procrastination tales.

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