As the year draws to a close, I thought I’d take a look back at what I’ve been up to this year. Since this blog is still new and I’ve not completely decided on what type of content to post here, it took me a while to figure out what this "year in review" should contain. But I finally decided to focus on my creative projects, hobbies and the like.

So let’s have a look - what have I created this year?

Back to Hack

At the start of the year I spent quite a bit of time developing a rogue-like game in JavaScript. Unless you were a computer geek way back before this millennium you’ve probably never heard of "rogue-like" games, but I spent a lot of hours as a kid playing a game called NetHack where the interface is built up by ascii characters and the protagonist is represented by an @ symbol.

After I finished building the main parts of the game engine, I had really gotten out of the project all I wanted to. It was more of a fun exercise and a let’s-see-if-I-can-do-this, more than an attempt to build a complete game. It was also a learning experience - I feel I got a lot better at JavaScript when building this game, and better at game development in general as a lot of components are similar in many different types of games.

Playing the game now though, I wish I’d worked on it a bit more to create a complete game that had some sort of ending. As it is now, all you can really do is walk around in a randomly generated map, open doors, kill a monster, find an amulet, and receive little random text notifications to move the story forwards. Maybe I’ll finish the game at some point in the future and post it here on the site.

Say cheese!

At the end of last year I got myself a new camera: The Sony a6000. I went mirror-less! I sold my trusty Canon 60D, and have used my Sony all year long, although I’ve not photographed as much this year as last year. My list of photo gear has increased a bit this year again, as it has a tendency to do. I added three new lenses this year: Carl Zeiss 135mm f3.5 M42 (which I’ve still barely used at all), Helios 44-2 58mm f2.0 M42 (I actually already had this lens before, but this was a different version from a different year), and a Sony 50mm f1.8 - the first Sony lens I’ve bought not counting the kit lens that came with the camera.

Let’s take a quick look at some of my photos from the year that’s passed:

Sony a6000 + Helios 44m 58mm f2.8. I like the sort of hazy bokeh I get with the Helios lens.

Sony a6000 + Sony 16-50mm. I like the kit lens because it’s so light, compact, has a really nice range, and actually takes pretty good pictures. I usually take this lens with me if I’m traveling somewhere.

Sony a6000 + Sony 50mm. The 50mm is really more of a portrait lens when used on my a6000, since the 50mm effectively becomes a 75mm due to the 1.5 crop factor. But I look at it more as an all round lens. But then of course, I prefer fixed lenses over zoom lenses.

Is it written in the wind?

Writing wise it’s been an okay year for me. My mini story "Rubble and stones" got picked by at least one of the judges in a short story competition as the favorite, and I received a really nice review. This felt extra special as english is not my first language.

In the summer I was featured in a small newspaper article due to my poems about OpenART in Örebro. My poems were also on display in the city library windows. I’ve also taken part in a number of short story competitions (although not as many as I would have liked to). I plan on working more with my writing next year, and to produce texts in a more frequent and scheduled manner.

Pixelmania

My second game project of the year goes under the working title "Flee". Flee is an adventure game of sorts, with pixel art style graphics. It will be a pretty short game, and currently there’s a lot left to decide, design, plan and write.

As I recall, I actually started working on some of the graphics on it last year, but this year I really got into building the game engine. I put quite a lot of hours into the game engine so many of the main parts are up and running really well. The next part in the development will be creating a bunch of graphics, or at least dummy graphics so that I can keep developing the game engine.

Thanks!

That about sums up my creative year. Things have moved forward and I’ve learned a bunch. The things that have gone really well however have been things that did not take me very much time and effort (short poems, mini story competitions). Next year I hope to get somewhere with slightly bigger projects.

Thanks, 2015. You’ve been great!

Happy new year, everyone!

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