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January 1, 2018

Happy New Years 2018! – To new beginnings…

HappyNewyear2018

Say goodbye to 2017, a very odd year to be sure.

Another year, another chance to begin again right? 2017 for us was a year of transition, loss, and some regained stability to a certain extent, beginning with the passing of my father. He had been staying with us for a couple years and helped us weather the brunt of the storm from my layoff from SOE in early 2015. Him staying with us did come with a lot of family chaos, and in the end he was admitted to a hospital literally on Jan. 1st after a drunken episode, which culminated in his stay with Grossmont Hospital, some surgeries he wanted which unfortunately caused his passing on Feb 6th. To be honest I’m still not sure what exactly went on there, or how things could have played out differently, I just know I miss him a lot, and think about him all the time. Love ya Dad.

From Feb, my job at Intrepid Studios was gearing up for it’s first major deliverable, the Ashes of Creation Kickstarter campaign that broke records for its pledges making AoC the biggest KS campaign for an MMO project beating out even Star Citizen. This quickly escalated in our first playable presentation at PAX West in Seattle, and finally Alpha Zero launch in mid Dec.

This fall, Korben started Kindergarten which he had a rocky start getting focused and bullying problems from some of his classmates. I think we finally have a handle on some of it now, and I am hopeful that Korben will have a better start come next week when he gets back from Christmas vacation.

I finished my work on Alpha Zero and started a new off-the-books dungeon a week and a half before I took a break this last week.

It’s currently base normal and block out shader materials, but it’s already looking pretty cool. Not sure what place it will have in AoC, but It was fun putting it together. I’m not sure if I will be finishing the base materials when I get back on Tuesday, or if I will be on to something else. I know we are moving on to full game production now that Alpha Zero is out of the way, but not entirely sure what we will be doing first. I know we have some tradeshows coming up, and they’ll want to get into the different races and city assets.

Over the break I was doing some work with Unreal 4 Blueprint coding. I’ve been having a lot of fun working with the system, and coded some player abilities and UI functions. I rendered out a video for the Atomic Marshmallow project just for fun. I plan on getting back to that project soon.

The year in general helped us get back on our feet, but kind of bittersweet. We usually throw parties for the holidays, and do a lot more fun things in the past. I think Shannie and I are still getting our footing back from the previous couple years. I think we’re turning that page, and feeling a little more optimistic, but its been a slow turn for us. I’m hoping 2018 will be more of a return to form.

So what’s up for 2018?

Well my health has been on the decline in the last year. Been having some upper back issues, some respiratory stuff, and been sick back to back with 3 different viruses in the last 3 months. Bronchitis, and other things. Been feeling pretty weak and tired all the time, so my primary goal is to fix all that this year. Back to my workout routine, and getting healthy. I feel like I’m at a real crossroads in my life, and I need to be on the healthy side of that equation…for me, my wife and especially for the kids. Diet and exercise are on the agenda.

As for my work, I’m hoping to make some major strides at Intrepid this year, and further Ashes of Creation along. We should be moving into the new building this month if its on schedule, so things should be changing pretty quickly there. The chemistry of personnel has already changed the place a lot which was inevitable when bringing on the new additions. That will continue to change with us ramping up into full production and with the new location. Hoping it will be a positive change.

My goals for my own work has changed a little. I decided I’m going to take a step back and fully immerse myself in Unreal 4 Blueprint and C++ for at least the first half of this year. I’m not going to try to apply it to any specific project, just get my self familiar enough with it that I’m able to design and program my own games. Over this break, I’m already getting quite familiar with the Blueprint system, and I’m looking forward to being able to flesh out my own projects from start to completion. Sometime in May or so, Ill start getting back to a particular game project and heading down the road of releasing it but for now, the focus is on learning.

I work with others just fine, but there is something really liberating about being able to fully create something on your own. I want to continue creating on this technical level and see where it goes.

I wish you all a great new year! MB

 

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