Going into 2018, I would have said this would be the year I finally get over the financial hump – I came into it in a relatively good position. The contract gig I was doing was going strong, though it was supposed to be coming to an end – the budget for it ran out, but the project wasn’t complete. That’s a bit of a problem, but how much longer would the project last? I’ve got a few possibles to chase down after I get it done.
That project lasted me for all of 2018. Now, probably never mentioned it, but in 2017 I set out to repair my credit, and bring in enough lines of credit to carry my ass through hard times – I was so damned tired of times when it all went to hell, and I had no fallback.
There are three months in 2018 where I made less than $200. In fact, in 2018, I’ve made a little more than $2k LESS than I did in 2017.
If you asked me how the year was going mid-year, I would have said it sucked pretty bad. Ask the same question this month, and my answer would be a little different – I thought 2018 was going to get me set right, and while it was hard as hell, it actually did set me up for 2019. And, most importantly, I survived 2018.
There were a lot of changes along the way – for instance, I’m very thankfully out of apartment living, and instead living in a reasonable (for me) 2 bedroom house with my girlfriend. We brought two cats with us, and now have adopted a 3rd, a little black kitty named Brigit Samedi (Gigi, for short.) While the house isn’t perfect, it’s a shitload better than the apartments were, and combining those two households into one house ends up saving a little cash, and helps make more effective use of space (on paper, this place is 4 times the size of one of the apartments, but since there’s only one kitchen and one bathroom, there’s an extra bit of space savings that happens.) And, we’ve got a yard for a garden next year!
I got on the workout wagon and fell off of it a couple of times. I strategized what it was going to take to make it happen in a consistent fashion (there’s actually other things I have to be consistent with, too – one antihistamine in the morning for sun allergy, one acid reducer, and 52 OZ. of coffee to slow my brain down) – I started a scoreboard for myself on my phone. It’s just a simple thing, but having to account for myself helps. I’m now ready to kick some ass and lose some fat around the mid-section.
And, well… without getting into a lot of stuff, I’m also in an even better place mentally than I was at the end of 2017.
Towards the end of 2018, I also realized something: next year, my company turns 20. I wrote a fairly long piece about the history of the company, but it got me to thinking about what I wanted to do next. It started as a game development company, but could never survive as that for a variety of reasons. I really want to take it back there, and the things that happened in 2018 may help that considerably. I broke ground on something I’ll reveal later, but it’s gonna be a hell of a thing when it’s done.
I thought 2017 was the end of the rebuilding years. Looks like I was wrong – 2018 helped me rebuild even more, providing what may be lasting solid ground about mid 2019.
One thing there was less of in 2018 than 2017: less trips. We just couldn’t pull off as many trips to places as we wanted to. I’m really hoping to rectify that in 2019.
Looking Forward at 2019
As I mentioned, the company turns 20 years old, so there’s some “little things” going on with that – some brand updating (that incorporates something along the lines of “20 Years of Awesome”), and some plans that revolve around having survived this long. And, somewhere towards the end of 2019, I want to do something I’ve never done: throw a reception / party for the company. I don’t know what that looks like yet, and I’m still wrapping my brain around the goal for it (beyond hey, I’m “Still Alive” despite everything that’s gone wrong in two decades!)
Right now, I’m in the process of figuring out how to pull off our first trip of 2019 – as usual, there’s not actually enough money to do it how I’d like, so we’ll have to improvise considerably. But, we’re headed for Colorado to relax and retreat from the world a bit. Still don’t know where we’re staying, or what we’re doing, but we’ll get there – we always do.
And I could definitely use a little time off after the non-stop pace of most of 2018.
Two projects I’ve been working on throughout 2018 will ship in 2019. In fact, the first NDA’d project I’ve alluded to in other posts goes beta in the first week of January. Once it comes out of beta, holy shit I’m going to love talking about every fucking facet of this project. It was amazing.
The other project, which has been going on for way too long now, also breaks some new ground in AR. Technically, there’s no NDA on it, but because we’re doing cool new stuff, I’m not ready to reveal much about it. But, it breaks a little bit of new ground here and there, also, so I’m looking forward to the day when I can tell the world about it, too!
Having both of those projects off my plate will make an enormous difference. Well, sort of – the NDA’d one will never really end. Once it’s released, we’ll be doing updates, and there’s already one planned major feature beyond the release. How that gets financed, I don’t know – it may be something I just do, since I get residuals from the project, or something they pay for.
Those residuals won’t be much at first. But, see, it doesn’t take too many small income streams to build into something solid. Sales of Jumpman Forever, while slow, basically pay my Netflix and Microsoft Office bills. That’s without any updates since it’s release, and no further marketing. Imagine what happens when I release, say, Jumpman Forever 2.0? And maybe the list of other games I mentioned in the 20 Years post.
With the house, we’ve made some changes in 2018 – we’ll continue to improve the place in 2019, and already have a small list of small (non-permanent) things we’d like to do. I’ve got a workshop space, and tools, so all that’s needed is time and money.
I’m pretty optimistic about 2019. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of things that will go wrong – but there’s also plenty of room for things to go right.
And, heck, by the end of 2019 I should even have enough hair grown to say I have “long hair” again. (Though, I’ll still be mostly bald on top. Can’t have it all, ya’ know.)
Cover Image by Dimitri B. on Flickr