Five days after my last post I became a dad, so things have changed quite a bit for me recently. I’ve most certainly kissed the days of 9-hours of sleep goodbye. It seems these days I’m lucky to score four hours of solid sleep but I’m told it gets better…but even then, it’s all worth it. If you’re connected with me on Facebook then you can see some photos of our new girl, Penny. If you’re not, then I probably don’t want you seeing pictures of her anyway. Foo on you.
A baby is a convenient excuse for not having time to write but the fact is I am making time to write, just not here. As you may know, I’ve been writing over at TMA Toys sharing stories of video games, toys and movies for a little more than a year now, week after week. Well some things changed there as well, as I am now the editor for the site. The previous editor, the person that recruited me, stepped down to pursue some new ventures and the site owners asked me to take up the helm. I was honored and happily accepted (not to mention it was a boost in pay). I talked about the conflict of my blog here at Morning Toast and that of the TMA Toys web site…what used to be fair game for Toast is now being applied to TMA, leaving this site more of a dumping ground of random thoughts.
I worked (kinda) hard for years to write about games and entertainment here at Morning Toast, trying to make a little name for myself in that area. Those efforts haven’t gone entirely unrewarded but now that I’m editor of a site that covers the same topics (and I’m getting paid), I feel I need to direct all the topics that would otherwise be here over to the other site. This includes thoughts on games, movies, toys and everything else that I dig.
Some features will remain here at Morning Toast because they pre-date my involvement with TMA, like the Counselor’s Corner interviews but given everything that’s happened recently (and is happening currently), I predict Morning Toast will really become everything that a blog was meant to be – personal. I don’t know if that means it becomes a “geek dad” blog or if I end up writing more about the web stuff I study and deal with everyday. Or maybe I’ll write about pro wrestling and soda, or it might end up being neglected entirely…it’s hard to say. To be honest, I’m not really going to worry about it (even though this post might suggest otherwise).
Priorities have shifted in all sorts of ways and some things have to be sacrificed. My obligations lie (rightfully so) first to my family and friends, then to anyone that’s paying me to do something, and lastly to myself and my personal projects. I’ve willingly given up the tons of “me” time I had prior to having a kid so I have to be very selective in what I do with that time. I’m still pushing my Redline Derby Racing web site and it’s growing wonderfully, so that’s the one project I’ve promised myself that won’t get neglected. Other things may come and go but that site, community and game will live on as long as I can muster. The personal brand I’ve built up around Morning Toast might suffer but if I’m honest with myself, it’s far less important than I believe it to be, plus all other things I’ve been doing lately have a much larger impact on myself and other people.
Even though this blog might end up with less and less posts about video games, movies and toys, I hope you follow me over at TMA Toys where you’ll get the same type of articles you’d get here, just with a different color scheme. And if you’re interested in supporting a true passion of mine, stop by Redline Derby Racing and see what we’re doing there. It’s more than just a message board for Hot Wheels collecting nerds, it’s the game that I never expected to make but one people actually love to play.
Other than all that, I’ll be taking my time and enjoying the next big thing…
I never had a diary as a kid. I was a boy and boys don’t have diaries, right? When I started blogging (before it was called “blogging”, I might add), I wrote for the explicit purpose of entertaining others. I knew that what I was writing would be read by others, so I crafted my entries that way…but that is not a diary. You could use a blog as a diary but just the fact that a blog is public changes the entire relationship between you and your prose. But what happens when you start a diary as a private thing but then make it public after the fact?
One of my co-workers threw me a link to a developer’s diary of an iPhone game, The Last Rocket. My friend knows that I’m a gamer and made a few games here and there, so I’m sure that’s why he shared it, but the concept of publishing a developer diary made more of an impact on me than the game or story itself.
I have notebooks upon notebooks lying around the house that are filled with sketches, page designs, logos, database tables, level designs, web problems…the list goes on and on, but I never really annotate them in any sort of detail. In one way they are just visual brain dumps that I sometimes will go back to but not often (and certainly not as often as I should). I keep all the “thinking” in my head and after reading through Lift Off, I’m beginning to realize that’s a bad idea…and not just because you can sell it for $10 online (which is way overpriced).
Lift Off is not a story, nor does it have any guides or helpful information on how to make your own game. It is literally a diary that follows the author, Shaun Inman, on a 140-day journey to create an iPhone. He jots down what he did for each day along with questions he has of himself and often a few tweets. A lot of the notes are about the specific language he was using to program the game and otherwise aren’t very interesting, but what was most appealing to me was just following his moods while he designed and programmed.
In what is a really quick and easy read, he manages to hit every moment that any developer/designer comes across during a project. Excitement, fatigue, frustration, giving up, second guessing, quitting, procrastinating…they’re all there and it’s not only fun to see how he tries to handle each of them, but that here is someone that has the same problems I do! I’ve read many books about game design and web design but none of them get you inside the head of someone building a game. Sure, they’re great for info on theory and concepts but seem to deal within ideals…and few people get that opportunity.
Never too late to try an idea
I give up or cancel most of the projects I start. A lot of them don’t even get a release. Only a few have seen completion and even fewer of those have survived more than a month or so after launch, but all of them had a notebook full of ideas attached to them. And despite many of the projects being dead and long out of my head, the notebooks remain, scattered around my house in every nook and cranny possible. I’m now thinking about taking some of my very old notebooks and putting photos up and annotating them long AFTER their life cycle. Like I said, most of my notebooks are doodles, not words, so I think it could be fun to revisit them and see I can even figure out what I was thinking…of course, this is then another project that sounds good at the moment but may never come to pass (unless I make a notebook for my notebook).
However, one thing I hope I can start is a dev diary of my own, particularly as I continue working on my Redline Derby project. Redline Derby is something that I don’t see going away (ever) but something I will continue to support and improve, so while I may not have any early thoughts on record, I can start now and see what happens. What is likely to happen is I do it once and stop, which is fine because this diary will NOT be a blog. It will be a diary.
What you see here now is only temporary. Early this week it was discovered that my server had been infiltrated by some sort of hack that injected nasty code into almost every home page that existed on my server, and mind you I host several sites on this server. It sucked…still sucks…and this is the first step in recovery. Continue reading
I decided to try and sell some of my handmade goods recently and rather than go with eBay I tried Etsy, which specializes in homemade items but I had some doubts about the reach of Etsy. However, those doubts were quickly squashed. Continue reading
Things have slowed here at Morning Toast since the summer. Since I started writing for TMA Toys & Games, most of the video game and toy topics I would talk about here have gone there, but I need to stop being so lazy and find other things to talk about. Pretty soon that shouldn’t be a problem. Continue reading
So Jen decided it was time to start doing the radio show again…and that means your Wednesday nights will never be the same. This is easily the fourth or fifth time we’ve “returned” to the show and it will happen again, but while we’re back this time, won’t you join us? Continue reading
My desktop PC failed on me this weekend, bad. I figured I could just do the work I was planning on my laptop but I quickly realized I need a desktop for certain tasks. Continue reading
Turning web development into a career from a hobby has been a blessing and a curse. One on hand, doing it all day at work makes it the last thing I want to do when I get home. But on the other hand, everything I learn and see at work I can take home with me. Continue reading
How do you search new for music? Probably by genre, or maybe by artist. But have you ever thought about discovering music based on what type of job you have? I didn’t but it turns out that’s a great way to find and enjoy new music. Continue reading
To help myself get into the swing of things with this new design and approach, next week I’ll be testing myself with a post-a-day challenge. At least one post every day. Continue reading
Yes, it’s that time again…time for a new coat of paint here at Morning Toast. Enough has changed in my blogging world that I think this was necessary to keep me interested. And I see you rolling your eyes…yes, this is a blog post about blogging. Continue reading