I Don’t Need To “Get Organized”, I Need to Get Rid Of Stuff…

Stuff is cluttering on my desktop.

I’m now a parent, and having a baby to take care has made me think much more carefully how I use my time.

I have been doing many things, testing many things, and gathering all sort of new things in the past year (and well, years). Some of the stuff is good and help reach where I want to go. Some of it is bad. Just a distraction, disguised as something useful.

I’ve started to take more drastic action. First of all, I’m getting rid all sorts of “maybe later”, “might be useful”, “material for later use”. I don’t need to delete stuff if I want, but I can simply throw them in archives. They are there if I ever need them ever again. (Which, most likely, won’t happen).

For example, I once had some sort of “books to read” list. (Or couple of them). Sometimes they were up-to-date, many times not. Now I’m throwing them in the trashcan (or “archives”).

I also have had way too many domain names hanging there. I just let them expire. I don’t need those.

I have many newsletters and just “stuff” coming to my inbox. I’m unsubscribing from those and marking junk/blocked the emails that give me hard time unsubscribing.

I shall also clearly define what it is that I really want to aim to. I shall compare my projects to that goal, and it will help me prioritize. (By projects I mean not only game projects, but like even small few day projects – like for example “getting table to my office room”).

I’m reading quite a bit about GTD (and asking some help from guy who has been using it). My needs are somewhat simpler than the GTD and I have my own some sort of “lite” version in place. Perhaps one key item is – mentioned already – that I won’t be using “maybe/someday”. My “maybe” folder is the trashcan (or “archive”) at best.

Sure… I might “miss opportunities” or “lose something important”, but with this approach I *get* more focus on what is important to me. And if something trashed was really that important, I’m quite certain it will present itself some day.

Of course I’m just starting this thing up… and my aims is to reduce the amount of stuff I have dramatically. This doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t draw a pixel dwarf or two sometimes (that’s fun!), or that I wouldn’t do some random irrational things (heh) – I shall, but the point is that I dramatically decrease the stuff I’m doing.

One thing that I notice is that earlier, I’ve had several different domains for different games. I even setup blogs/forums for different games. I’m now leaning into thinking that this approach somewhat scatters things (it has benefits in terms of advertising value though), so I’m thinking of bringing things together. For example, I think that keeping The Infected blog updates nor the twitter account is somewhat difficult, maybe bringing that stuff more closely under this blog would be sensible thing to do. I have mixed feelings about combining blogs and things together, but maybe I find a way.

One thing I also shall – most likely – get is some sort of smartphone (thinking iPhone 4) and try and see if this can help me with certain stuff. For example, I could keep my PC more as “working station” and then do twittering and brief emailing/organizing using it (things that I feel are somewhat important in staying connected. Not sure if any gadget will help with anything, but at least that’s one way I think of reducing stuff that I’m facing when sitting on computer.

Same goes to game development. I will look closely on what I plan to do and what I won’t do. What I think will help me reach my goals? What is hindering them?

Some of this stuff might sound really simple: “aren’t you already doing that?” And… yes, I’ve been thinking/doing things I say here. I have kept some things more organized, some things less organized.

Now it’s my intention to greatly reduce doing things. (I was even considering if I could stop using email, heh).

Instead, I eliminate, eliminate, eliminate stuff. Gotta get rid of stuff. And then organize what’s left. And if I could benefit from smartphone or something, then I get one.

Earlier my approach was “I don’t risk the chance of eliminating something important.” Now trying approach “I don’t wanna risk the chance of having some junk hanging around.” (This isn’t part of GTD as is, this is my approach on GTD)

Now back to reading GTD.

GTD, Anyone?

I had my own mailing system for things to handle… and I’ve somewhat interested about the way GTD organizes stuff, but I might want to rework my whole “do stuff” possibly the GTD (“Getting Things Done”) way. I’ve read one GTD book – but for some reason never really got into it.

Couple of points:

How do you sort your email?

Do you use GTD or similar approach? If yes, any tips/hints examples for starting points?

Indies Inc – The Biggest Gaming Company In The World

People might look at individual indies and say that there’s some individuals here and there. That one is making game and selling some. Over there is somebody who had more success. They continue saying that “these one man studios…”

And they are so bloody wrong.

Indies form a huge “company”. Huge million-workers-inside-the-factory-working-whenever-the-heck-we-want company. It’s not a traditional company. Indies Inc doesn’t pay anything for stock owners. Nobody and everybody owns it.

When Gran Turismo 6 releases, there’s only one company and a huge marketing budget spreading the word. When NHL ’12 gets released, there’s only one company with a huge budget spreading the word about it.

But when some indies put together a promotion, then thousands of other (mainlyindies) tweet about it. @GreyAlien is tweeting about it. @rinkuhero, @pathogenstudios, @GBGames, @black_golem, @notch to name a few indies more.

All these guys have their own companies. In traditional sense – in pretty much every other industry – all would be “competitors”.

I mean, you don’t see rival supermarkets promoting “hey, our competitor is having a sale – go buy their stuff”.

But indies to that.

That’s why we have Indies Inc.

And so much fun.

Thinking AI

What would happen if AI developers could focus on creating AI that aims to provide fun for the player? The AI perhaps even tries to *learn* what was fun and what player did not like, instead of so that “easy AI” provides little challenge, and “difficult AI” tries to win in every possible way.

Winning or losing are just one part of the fun, sometimes even meaningless in terms of “what is fun”.

Make It, And Some Idiot Will Buy It

I saw an astrology channel today. I recommended it to my brother too and watched the channel for 5 minutes or so. I must say that it was one of the most interesting experiences I had during this year.

There was some caller (old woman), and the astrology-woman explained how that old lady’s future looks like. I wasn’t exactly sure what they did… but apparently it looked like that the scam artist, I mean the astrologist looked some space map and explained how Jupiter’s transition suggested that there will be changes coming next year. According to Uranus and some moons, the lady’s career will bring something new (to which the lady said that she is retired).

It cost like 1,95 euros per minute, and in the very end of the call, the lady asked if they could also tell the future of her grandchildren. To this, the astrology woman pointed out that “they cannot predict the future of other people, only the people who call them”. That’s quite interesting statement, after taking into account that they just predicted to future career changes of this old retired lady… from positions and transitions of planets.

I don’t think this is the approach to take in game development. Especially indie game development where you have the chance to actually care about your customers.

But maybe this will make somebody to think a bit.

(At least you now have a backup plan: if your game isn’t selling, try astrology instead)

P.S. I’m not suggesting that adorable old lady would be an idiot. She sounded like a nice lady. Nothing against her. This blog post was made in more general sense.

Walking In Somebody’s Shoes

Little did I know what it takes to get baby to sleep full nights.

We have night #4 going on (in trying to get lil one to sleep in her own baby bed). Few nights back I got to bed at 02:15 (and slept well to around 8 – which felt awesome). Today it’s already better (I hope).

I have a faint idea about what “parenting” takes… after seeing this phenomenon from a very close angle.