Ben's Journal

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It's 2024! It's still January!

Wednesday, January 24th, 2024

Ladybirds hibernating on a wooden fence

Happy New Year to everyone who reads this journal! I wanted to write a January post about… something, but it’s been a tricky one to think about.

Generally it feels like one would start the new year with some kind of New Years Resolutions post and talk about ‘stuff I’m gonna do this year’ but honestly I'm just not feeling it this year. I don’t really have any goals, other than the generic one of ‘survive the year’ which sounds pretty morbid (don’t worry, I’m fine and speaking hyperbolically). There’s a few things I’d like to do this year: exercise a bit more, release some games, make some time for hobbies… but none of these feel much like resolutions. Just keep on keeping on. I guess? That being said, I've been looking around for work again, making a new twin-stick shooter game to test out the game framework/engine thingy I've been working on, playing a few games on my Steam Deck... So we'll see!

Anyone who follows the general 'game industry news,' which is probably most people reading this journal tbh, will be aware that the games industry is in a real bad way right now, the tech industry too. There are so many layoffs, so much is getting cancelled, it's a really hard space to be in. I might write something longer about this later on, but it's been getting to me a bit - when you're in a space that feels like it's so weighed against anyone outside the 'status quo' it's hard to not become jaded. One of my hopes is that if I can find some work and keep on working on some of my games on the side then I might be able to release something I'm proud of without the stress that would entail in the current market. But it will be a much longer road to release probably, and I want to do other things that aren't 'sitting on my computer.' But I think the first step is just to figure out what makes sense, whilst still working on things I want to make.

One concrete thing I have done for the new year though is to move most of my source control and bug tracking off 'free' services like GitHub and onto my VPS. I think we're at the point where paying a little each month is worth a lot more to me than GitHub and the like scraping my work to generate their own profit. It's a little thing, but being able to step back from thinking about what is happening in the current 'AI Boom' or whatever has been helpful. I will probably scrub my GitHub account soon and link to the gitweb repository I am using instead. I also think I will try and refresh my websites a bit this year - I've already done a little work on the software that powers this journal to make it a little more user friendly, and that's been nice.

I hope you, the person reading this, is having a good start to 2024. My hope is that the year will get better for us all.