Sunday, January 27, 2008

Random blah

7 days left. To finish with the army I mean. This is good news!

There are no bad news. Just a little frustration. One part of myself wants to be active in the scene but another side of me understands it's a little vain especially if I take it too seriously. Well, even if I didn't try to bother much I was disappointed by my unability to finish a twister 256b effect for the CPC (In fact it's an easy effect, but the noise in the netcafe, the long time since I last coded assembly for Z80 and some other psychological aftereffects forced me to quit).

Actually what I am afraid when I start to code something, expecting the usual negative outcome, is that I may loose several hours on a vain democoding project with no end result, also becoming frustrated for the rest of the day while I could also use these hours for relaxing, playing some game, writting this blog or anything. But here is the other side too: Being afraid of a failed productivity I prefer to abandon democoding and instead play some game or surf in the net. For the latter I am sure I will enjoy it more than a failed coding trial for the day, though if the coding suceeds then it's more deserving as a final product of creativity than computer entertainment. I think here is the sharp edge of the story, the two sides of a coin, should I relax and do something else that is less important that creating something, or should I try creating something which although if it doesn't succeed then it would be better I wouldn't have started it at first. But I can't just take either because I want to feel creative but I don't want to be frustrated and loose the rest of the day in something that doesn't sees the light at the end.

Of course if I was coding something else then I would have unreleased code that would be reused. But here, a tiny code intro is code I have to throw away. Maybe the experience of it is what remains. And the experience of thinking about productivity again, these thoughts.

Another bad thing is that each time I am frustrated for yet another time, I start to be afraid ever more of setting a new demoscene project. I mean,. it's like I get more allergic to the appeal of demo competitions, deadlines and the scene or even computers in general. And lately I had many frustrations at least in the 8bit side like for example the Primary Star 2007 invitation I last coded for the C64 but after making bigger plans it ended into something very simple and lame and I didn't spent like 3 days for it but maybe a month (which translates into something like 25 days of lameness and dissatisfaction and only the last days coding something in a haste. Hell, I was also planning a special twister for that one :P). I really plan to code a decent C64 demo with newschool effects but I know it won't be easy anymore. So, I may drive away from the thought of making something on the C64 for a period.

Of course, being in the army does mean that I couldn't get hold of a computer near me to code something. Though, it's not an excuse because there were smaller or bigger periods when I was not inside the army camp but at home (even a 6 months period) though I couldn't kick my ass to be productive (nor do the jokes and challenges sets by others I guess :P) and got even more frustrated. However, this does not happen when I code C projects on the PC or the Gamepark, maybe because it's much easier to code in a compiler than assembler and you can even throw good random stuff on the screen even when I am lazy or unable to concentrate. Today I would gladly praise higher level languages and modern compilers when in the past I was an assembler fan :)

In the army, I also produced 3 hours demo (This one in 3 hours on a PC inside the army camp! Almost half the time spent to not finish a single CPC twister :P) and later during my free 6 months period the Re-re-recycle GP2X demo (even though this one was ugly but fun to make without much frustrations), also Flowz (Vain 1kb code). The C projects were much more fun to code even if still vain (Why release a mediocre demo done in a hurry? Heh,. why release a demo at all??? I think I am loosing it..)

And so, this concludes that I think I am loosing it but maybe I do and maybe I don't :P

I still have plans for 2008, though another plan is that I change the priorities between my demoscene hobby and other activities in my life, so that I don't get sucked(focused) by something that dissatisfy my at the end as usual while forgetting the rest. Just a change of focus. It's not easy but if I see that democoding sucks my life without making me happy, I will change side. This will be hard because one part of myself will still dream of creating something good in the demoscene, I will dwelve further into the new plan though.

It was supposed to be fun. What have I done?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Happy birthday to me :P

I am so off from real life that I almost forgot that today is my birthday. Yesterday I was in the army camp when a friend called me and reminded me about this fact. Fortunatelly I am lucky enough to be outside the army camp this particular day even though it really doesn't matter me so much. It's just like any other day.

What I like is that my birthday is very close to the beginning of the new year. I like making resolutions about the year that past and plans about the future. Funny enough, I've just searched on my past posts on this blog and discovered that I have posted a single post every 12th of January, talking about new year resolutions and similar matters.

Hmm, as I see from the posts it's in my 26th birthday that I also opened this blog after having some beers with friends (I have just remembered the occasion and the people who came to celebrate with me at the local bar :). I see now that at 2007 I won the lucky piece from the new year cake which is funny because it has happened again at 2008 (This time though I was inside the army camp for new year's and my brother told me in the phone that I won the coin again :).

I already know what I was wishing for the year that past without reading the whole post. I was planning to finish with the army and work for the job at Dot Red Games in Edinbourgh from September but it totally didn't ended like this. I am not dissatisfied by that since it was my choice to take a 6 months break from the army, also we had some delays in finding funds or a publisher (which are not fully resolved yet) so it wasn't sure if I could start working full time at Edinbourgh soon.

Fortunatelly in maybe 2 weeks or more I am almost finished with the army. I think that in the beginning of February I will be totally free and the plans are a bit different now. Maybe I won't make it to Edinbourgh but living in another place in Greece alone (not entirely independent but who cares :P). But I am sure that I will have a happier life in 2008 in many aspects. More about this later..

2008 and Demoscene? Doing something useless inside 2008 is a must for me, especially preparing the ground for my world domination (which is just a silly joke of doing a spectacularly good demo that will rock the scene, will this ever happen from my side? :P). However, I decided (and this time for real) that I'll try to avoid being sucked by the demoscene this year, which only means to take the scene too seriously and be 100% dedicated to it. In fact, if I could organize my time this way so that I only code for the scene when I feel, I think I would have the same (if not more) productivity as sitting in front of my computer for 10 hours, during the 8 whinning about the scene at Pouet and the rest playing games because I can't be motivated to code. I have understood that 1) I can't take it anymore trying to be productive without my will, 2) Bearing false motives on demomaking, 3) Only being productive once a week while ranting every day about demos, 4) And at the end loosing all that time under frustration while I could use the time well to do other things,. or just relax!

This surely doesn't mean that 1) the scene is evil, computers are evil, I should get a life. It doesn't mean that shit, no I am not converted and never will:). It also doesn't mean that 2) you won't see much scene releases from me. In fact, what it does mean is that I plan to organize my time better and when I see that it can't go further trying to push myself coding, I will cut the crap and just do something else. Or even forget about the scene for a while. The most true fact is that from the huge amount of time you will find me in front of my computer, only less than 5% was used productively to produce the demos I have made so far. Several of the rest are used to actually try to push myself to code and in my frustration to log in the net or play games. Of course I could play games/login the net just for fun, but here it does happen because I am frustrated by not being able to code and as a reaction from myself against opressive work. So, if I can handle this appropriately I can increase the percentage of productivity versus scene laziness, also leaving me time for doing other things. And it might be better for my psychology thus producing more and better demos but I shouldn't concentrate on the sole idea or else it will have the negative effect, frustration for not producing, etc. So I should expect that producing demos this year is not my priority but "wasting time" on doing something creative in my computer is ok without a resolution or plan..

I only promise nothing to myself to not be frustrated. I'll have a go in other sides of my life in the case I am not productive in the scene. Some say that 2008 will be the year that Optimus will find a girlfriend :)
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