2021: what a mess of a year

Hello, this time it’s really been a while. This place lies in ruins ever since the last years recap. And it just goes to show, how busy and unpredictable this year has been for me. So let’s take a step back for once from all of this mess, and try and look at it from a distance.

Projects and jobs

This year I’ve not completed any personal projects. And there are four main reasons for that: lack of time, lack of motivation, health issues and jobs. Right at the start of the year, I ended up on my first real job, but it quickly turned out that I’ve actually gotten two jobs going at the same time. One was all about developing a mobile app in Unity, full of minigames. I ended up doing mostly CI/CD work for the team, since they had no such system in place. Ended up wrapping my bash scripts into a nice frontend using build bot. At the same time I was redeveloping an app for text-to-speech synth for the second time, first iteration was written by me in March of 2020, later on I rewrote it in C++ due to limitations of C# version, but we quickly realized that moving on C++ is a really tough language to develop an app that does the amount of web requests as our did, so I rewrote it once again, this time as a server+client application in node.js. This version is in use by this day.

But as you can imagine, working in two places at the same time quickly grew tiring and in the Spring I’ve left the team developing the mobile app. All this time I was kept extremely busy and my mental health started drifting apart due to this and a few other very important for me personal factors, but I haven’t noticed that until much later on in the year.

I’ve kept on developing the voice synth app, until the Autumn came and I got a really slick sounding offer in a big mobile game development company here, in Russia. All my jobs before this were considered freelance jobs, but this one offered real employment with all the benefits and stuff. Of course I couldn’t resist the offer. Aaaaand then I dropped out of life for a month.

I went to a hospital for a month all because of the mentioned mental health issues. It was a real challenge and a really bad time, probably one of the worst in my life, but now it’s over and I’m ready to never ever think of it again. (man, I forgot how time consuming these posts are, ahahahah)

The crisis helped me avoid getting drafted, tho, so it’s not all on one side of the coin. Anyway, I came back, and was pleasantly surprised to find out, that my job offer hasn’t expired, so I took the chance and my first real job has begun. It was a really interesting experience working in a big company. My team (called dev4dev) was very tiny, just 6 people, but that is still 5 more people that I’ve ever worked with seriously before, so all the scrum stuff and story points and all the meetings were so new for me. But I didn’t last long. Having gotten used to a free floating time schedule, I couldn’t get myself to agree to spend 8 hours a day at a specific time in a specific spot, it grew really tiresome really fast. First month was okay-ish, but then my mental health started drifting apart with the speed of sound, so I took action (perhaps a bit too late) and left the place. It was a scary decision, but now when it’s all over I’m so glad I’ve taken it.

I just wanted to quickly mention, that I find it really funny how I started the year with working on CI/CD for Unity, just in the same way I’ve finished the year working on CI/CD for Unity (this time on a much bigger scale, 10 agents instead of 1, TeamCity instead of buildbot, hundreds of builds per day compared to one a week).

OH and I even forgot to mention another freelance job that is still going on in the background, I’m developing a mobile app using react-native and a node.js+express server for the past few months, so there is also that.

The progress

So year, all of that has kept me busy, and I’m kind of bummed about the lack of any visible progress in terms of project releases. But you know, looking back I’ve still learned a lot this year. That includes:

  • Node.js express stack I knew some of it before, but I feel like this year I’ve really mastered it
  • React
  • React Native
  • Working in a team That includes using tools like YouTrack
  • Unity Worked very little with it in the past, had to work a lot with it this year, I’m still sticking to my bad opinion of it

It’s not much, but I’m still glad there is some progress going on in the background.

Yearly Themes

Last year I took The year of new as my yearly theme, and you know what, I’m not going to change it for now. I don’t feel like my discovery of new things is ready to come to a close yet, so why end it?

In 2022 I want to focus on my mental health, get it all back together, and honestly I don’t have any other goals in mind just yet. I guess, we will just see what the year brings, and until then, take care!

2020: the year of discovery

Okay. Let’s put everything that happened IRL this year aside, I’m feeling so tired of everyone saying the same thing over and over again, and I do not feel like I need to mention it all. But with that said, let’s look back at it a tiny bit.

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No spoilers

So many games these days advertise they playtime as one of the main features. “Buy this game and you will not need any other games for 2000 hours!” And while this might be true, a lot of these games are based on repeating the stuff you did at the beginning of the game over and over again, maybe with a slight twist. And there is nothing wrong with that, it’s a valid game design choice, but I wish more games would bring the sense of being desperately lost in an unknown world, constantly finding stuff you did not even imagine could ever exist in a game. The games that do that, are one of my favorites: Minecraft, Terraria, Breath of the Wild, Hollow Knight. But sadly, after playing through those games once, I was never able to bring that feeling of discovery back…

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Word Garden – Ludum Dare 47 post mortem

Ludum Dare 37 was the first jam I’ve ever attended, and it was one of the major factors that helped me to finish my projects and move from making simple clones of other games to create my own ones. I really enjoy participating in it, and this time wasn’t an exception. But I have to admit, it came by when I was least expecting it. One day I’ve logged onto the Ludum dare website and saw the timer saying "3 days left". It was really bad timing for me. You see, for over 2 years I’ve been dreaming of going into Ludum Dare with my engine and language, and this time around I was almost done with it, but not completely. A few annoying segfaults still plagued both the engine and the language, and when the theme announcement woke me up, I sat in my dark room without an engine and any inspiration.

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Why I use markdown for my todo lists

In the world of productivity, one of the most important tools each person should have is a task manager. It’s a stretchable definition, you can track every single task in your life or just have a general idea of what projects you are working on, but no matter how you organize your tasks, you should have one. And here are a few reasons why:

  • It makes sure you won’t forget the task. Our brains have limited RAM available and by writing the task into long-term storage, we can free our precious RAM yet make sure, that we won’t forget to send the invoice.

  • It helps you to see everything you have to do from a bird-eye view and decide what is the most important stuff to do right now, and what you can get rid of.

  • I also find it very calming to write down all my tasks for the day, if I feel overwhelmed. Seeing it on paper makes it look like much less work, that my brain makes me believe it is.

And I’ve gone through so many task tracking tools! Everyone’s brain works a tiny bit different from the rest of us, and that means everyone has their very own preferred way of storing tasks. But I’ve stuck with two: trello & markdown files.

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How compilers and interpreters work & what’s the difference?

Whatever language you use these days, be it JavaScript or C, C# or Lua, all of your source files have eventually to go through a compiler. Some of the languages require you to compile the code just once to be run how many times you want, and some require you to ship your source code in order to compile and execute it at the client-side. It feels like, there could not be a more clear difference between the two, but where do you draw the line between interpreters and compilers?

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Burning Knight is out!

It has been a while, huh?

Umm, did I say something about writing more in the new year resolution? Wel… I think we both see how this turned out, oops. But yes, I’ve been extremely busy with Burning Knight, my indie game (that is out now, please buy a copy!)

So, I usually don’t go into many details on the development on social media, especially recently, but this is what this blog is for, even if no one is reading, this is like a time capsule to my future self. But if you are reading this, well, I’m glad I’m not shouting into the void.

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2019: the year of C#

Oh wow, it’s 31st already? Maaan, time flies by like crazy. So I guess, I don’t really have any more time to procrastinate this article, huh?

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Showcasing Burning Knight for the first time

Hi, Egor here.

So a few months ago, I got invited to a game conference in Moscow, called White Nights. I’ve never been to a gamecon before, so I got really excited and started preparing my game, Burning Knight, for the showcase section. At first, 1.5 months looked like a huge time frame to get the game ready, but it flew by so fast…

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Steam killed my traffic

Rip my traffic

Hi. I’m a fellow indie developer, who tries to put a word about his game out into the world. And before this September, Steam was by far the most influential platform for me. It allowed me to show my game to thousands of players…

But now it’s over. Steam killed my traffic.

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