The Problem is the Focus

Or more specific, the problem is in the habit of having focus, since the habit hasn’t been developed well at all. Even if all the plans in the world are in front of you, not taking action or really, not following the guideline of focus itself, will failure set in.

Though we fail to do what we need to do, it is not the end of the world. Rather, we should learn from our mistakes and rise up again and move on, still do the thing you want to do. Because that hasn’t disappeared; rather, the hunger has strengthened by carelessly not feeding it consistently enough.

So with the remaining time, I have decided to focus on…focus.

Activities will be limited to Blender and Zbrush. want to make it consistent but for now try to find the flow. As for learning, prepare for Java certification for now, then review other programming requirements as we go along.

These are the 3 that are most important to focus up to next year, and admittedly might still be slightly more. But I want to focus my learning for these 3. Probably via rotation and scheduling and the most important: doing.

It’s now almost half of the year, and I need a reset (basically part 2 of refocus)

I just had a realization that at the current rate, I still have too much to do and not much time to do anything. I have been trying to include gamedev in my routine, only to somehow get bored at learning it. At least in my mind, it helped me create ideas and imaginations that I thought can be brought into a game, to combine my skills of 3d and programming, but these ideas are more for a story than for a game.

My interest in art is somewhat still there, but I am thinking that if I am learning pixel art for a game, when I already know some 3d, why would I burden myself with something to add to learn when I have actually less time to do them (or rather, none of the discipline yet to manage my time properly). I figured that it is probably for by best interest to reduce further what I plan to learn.

To reiterate again, these are, hopefully, my final todo list:

  1. Learn blender and 3d, and drawing. Focus on the art, not on gamedev. For example, continue on Udemy the lessons regarding the blender character and low poly 3d game in Unity. But unless the fun returns, limit it to learn 3d and animation, not for a game. You can continue learning on the 2d art not related to drawing with a pencil but anything regarding pixel art can be stopped for a while.
  2. Learn programming as a hobby also instead, this can be combined with work topics. Try to make it interesting and short snippets, or create a project. Should be for skill improvement instead of gamedev.
  3. Forget game dev thoughts for a while; focus on story elements and writing instead.

UPDATE 1: After some analysis paralysis again and some reading (Derek Siver’s Don’t be a Donkey), I realized that I don’t really function well in multitasking, even for hobbies. So for now I’ll take advice and focus on doing something for 2 weeks, then check if I can focus on only that in 1 month then 3 months. So, I am writing a revised plan from above below:

  1. Focus on drawing and 2d tools like Krita and GIMP, probably complement with 2d pixel art. I feel that I can focus more on this since this will only strengthen my 3d skills in blender also. Where does this leave blender now? well I have purchased on Udemy something that I found was lead by a good instructor, and he is currently updating his Blender tutorials to 2.8 (which unfortunately didn’t see before I purchased). Since this might take some time, I will wait for the lessons to be updated to 2.8 and probably after 2.8 is non-beta before I go back and refresh some skills in blender.
  2. Which takes me back to this instructor’s Krita Udemy lessons, which so far are very good. So I’ll continue on this and then probably focus on creating pixel art assets on them.
  3. Gamedev? lingering thoughts always take me back to this especially seeing a demo of the Radio the Universe game in Youtube (damn you! hahaha) so I am thinking of going back to LibGDX since that I started it already before. Also will complement my programming lessons on Java, not thinking about the certification for now. So programming as a hobby via gamedev or work is still feasible.
  4. The surprising thing in this plan? everything complements for now than if I focus on blender and 3d first, since LibGDX is generally better on 2d assets. I feel that going back to 2d for now, even if it would take me a long time, will be better in the future and can be applied in 3d. 3d has a technical aspect in it (pressing buttons, etc.) that I feel I can shortly refresh in a short time, but 2d traditional art skills are more valuable and is not limited to 3d or gamedev for that matter in the long run

It’s already May…and I realized I have to refocus

UPDATE 2: A topic about focus sure is not being focused enough…maybe the point is that it is a struggle of mine :-0 due to some “bought” tutorials on Udemy, they focus on using blender and unity together. And this is because Unity so far is still something of a easy to use engine for 3d. Learning blender ticks this focus list, however doing 2d games is still on my plate, or rather, 3d game assets converted to 2d sprite aesthetic, so I can still combine 2d and 3d at the same time.

UPDATE 1: Decided to include gamedev with programming, maybe alternating both when bored. In case, gamedev is strictly 2d for now, since to create assets, will learn drawing skills and some 2d game assets. Also for 3d, decided to focus on Blender to maximize learning and add from previous learning experiences. Zbrush may be good, but my art skills are not good enough to maximize such software. Need to be back to basics first.

3 months after I had said that I will be better at focusing on activities and then not much has happened. Given that there had been activities here and there that were finished, but instead of being motivated to do more, it actually gave me insight on what I really want to do with my life and time.

Coupled with bouts of sickness, boredom, laziness, confusion, and stress at some day to day activities and basically, I became somewhat lost. I was thinking of having a reset and refocus on this year, but I haven’t done much yet, but I will from this time maybe along the month of May.

First of all, I have suddenly realized having a lower interest in creating a game. A story is fine, which I was thinking I was creating it into a game, but then I find it hard to really have an idea of how to make it into one. Game mechanics, etc. are not of much interest for me to figure out right now; if given a choice, I would just take an existing genre and create from there. Also my decision to make a game was more related to complement my career in Software development, and making games as a learning tool for programming adds an additional layer of difficulty compared to the many todo apps that are basis of most programming tutorials.

Funny that I was interested in programming due to want to make a game, and when I was a game developer at work, I found it boring and uninteresting. Which gave me an existential crisis back then (maybe up to this day haha). Will I make a game in the future? probably, a desire is still there, but not that strong. Also, it adds confusion to me in the sense that I have to learn programming skills but instead having analysis paralysis on what game engine or framework to use, which is a waste of time.

Now, there is a hobby that I have done, but suddenly became bored, maybe because of the high learning curve: blender and 3d. On and off I have learned blender but my reason is again I was finding a reason to change careers after my existential crisis for gamedev, and ironically I found it in creating art assets….for gamedev. Or so I thought. Though I am also wanted to learn animation, but more as compliment to my story, which I thought was the best thing since anime (haha)… let’s just say my inspiration was if you think you can do better, then make your own…and then it was VERY HARD. So hard that I am eating my words. If I had kept into it I might have been good, but no, I didn’t because again of over-analyzing, so my skills are not that good enough.

So what will I do now? I don’t really know much yet, but for a start, I’ll change direction slightly:

  1. Focus on gamedev with Unity alternating with programming skills by not limiting it to work but also as a hobby. My interest in programming languages is still present; in fact I think I am not practicing enough. Hopefully by being better at it I can enhance my love for gamedev. Will give chance to it at least this year. If nothing happens then it probably is not meant to be. Will do this by doing what is most interesting at the moment, if I get bored with gamedev for example, then I shift to programming skills related to current work.
  2. Continue with blender 2.8 and wait for an upcoming tutorial for 2.8. Basically a CGBoost tutorial, but may cost money, so it still depends. I’ll retackle sculpting with Blender while I improve my skills in art, and complement it with…
  3. Drawing, restart by looking into the 30 days of drawing. Generally, I was not that good, but when I was learning to draw back then I felt a sense of peace. Also it prevented me to be too addicted to internet browsing, so I find that I need to do that to be away from a PC from time to time. And also, I stopped because I felt I was not “improving” fast enough. I should just focus on the peace and enjoyment.
  4. Writing, this one I am evaluating, but I have a certain story in my mind right now and somehow I can’t let it go, so I’ll be trying this.

There. Hopefully something sticks this time, since I am again almost at the half of the year. And also I am going 37 now, should stop feeling sorry for my self and be a true adult for once, pick up myself and not be ashamed to ask for advice and help from others.

It’s already February…and still adjusting focus

Well, time flies fast for some reason, however I need to keep track of everything I am somewhat behind in…mostly work related.

I had prepared the plans to focus on some things this year, but it’s mostly for hobby projects. And I can see I’m neglecting my work responsibilities a bit.

Combined with sickness days (more for something within 2 months already) and I feel I need to be on track and probably focus more on work most of the time to make up. Though if I might be questioned I would like to really focus on skills on art (even if I never was an artist) 🙂

Times like this makes me question myself if the choices I made in life are valid or correct, since one of my biggest fears unfortunately is severe failure…failure in the sense that when I do something and then I fail in it (for example, being fired at work, with no backup plans) will give in me a severe panic that I tend to do nothing, or more move fearfully on the next steps. When the best course of action is to move on.

So in addition to focus, I should probably invest in making this year a year of moving on, and taking action. Will probably add to that on the next post.

2019 – The Year of Focus

2018 was better that what I expected in 2017, but there is still a lot of work to be done.

Or rather, work that should be doing…Most of the not-so-good things that happened in 2018 were due to me not focusing on my goals and always changing my plans or not sticking to them after writing them down.

So for this year, I declare it to be the year of focus…focus on small, doable and realistic goals, focus on the goals as much as possible instead of changing from moment to moment.

Re-learning Blender

I am currently learning Blender after using it on and off for about 8 years now. This time I am taking it as a hobby, and hopefully I can improve my 3d skills further than before.

I was planning to learn it with the initial goal of maybe using it for some future game development or animation project, but lately I am not so sure yet. Doing those things are not as simple as I thought they would be given my opinion of my skills right now. I would need to know more about animations, color, texturing, drawing and painting, etc. and they cannot be skipped in the fastest time possible.

So I am taking a step back and just enjoying the experience and tutorials for now from Youtube, from a guy named Grant Abbitt (https://www.youtube.com/user/mediagabbitt). The thing that I liked about his tutorials was they were small and short, maybe not enough for some beginners to learn but good for me who is coming back to learning it and having a refresher course on using blender.

I also want to learn Zbrush (I have Zbrush Core but I feel it might be limited, and has almost same features with the current Blender sculpting tools) but I have no money to currently buy the full version (since I also assembled a new PC). Well, I can still stick to Core in case or make do with blender sculpting.

A low poly set piece I made from following the tutorials of Grant Abbitt

 

Analysis Paralysis and Time

I have a big problem…

I tend to procrastinate because I want to do a lot of things given the time constraint.

When I think what I want to do, even if I have a plan, I tend to question it the next time, leading to me not doing anything at all.

Probably I am thinking ahead too much and forget to stick to my decisions instead of JUST DOING IT.

Reading the book The War of Art has given me ideas and inspiration on what is holding me back, and so far (though I don’t know if it is the main topic or not yet) there is something called Resistance.

And to do art (game, programming, whatever), you need to beat the hell out of the Resistance.

SO, I should probably be aware of this resistance when it occurs, and if need be, need to just do what is needed and stick to the plan.

Low Poly Race Car

As you can see, I have my banner a low poly race car, that I did using Blender 2.79.

I am currently following some tutorials on blender focused on low poly. This is to do them as fast as possible, and getting the needed skills in a short time.

Moving to intermediate or advanced lessons may take time, but need to be consistent first with practice.

Also, the goal is to practice skill and lessen tutorial dependencies. So following a certain level of skill, I might create an original piece later.

This isn’t even my Final Form (yet)

Hahahaha….

I had pruned my supposed schedule but made some changes…

For one thing, I’ll be focusing on my fundamental programming and art skills.

For now, I’ll be focusing on game fundamentals in HTML and learn Java standalone (due to work study on certification might be delayed to end September).

I’ve tried to not focus on fundamentals and notably, 2d game dev since even though I could miss some needed initial tricks I could probably learn them as I go, since I don’t want to waste my time stopping momentum on learning Blender.

But I figured, this was also limiting me in a psychological way, that because of that “requirement”, I was unconsciously getting myself in procrastinating things that I really want to do.

So, I’ll focus on Blender, I’ll retain my lessons there, but only on the low poly side. Any gamedev plans might be moved to next year, but the intended “game” concept is like dead cells (3d workflow in 2d) or like Strider 2.

To summarize what are the new plans, I have listed them below:

  1. Remove Zbrush and Unity / UE4 lessons (for now)
  2. Focus on Blender, basic first / low poly, then gradually increase to advanced lessons when inspired (more on game dev or animation workflow)
  3. HTML5 fundamentals then probably LibGDX then Unity3d, but defer further gamedev to next year for now (only fundamentals)
  4. Learn drawing using DrawABox methods / practices
  5. Java lessons on its own

This plan will be evaluated up to the end of the year, but overall will stick to this up to creating a small, polished game in Unity. Then reevaluate the next plan from that. The trick to the plan is even if it seems long, I’ll be hitting a lot of skills learned at the same time. Also by focusing on small skills at a time I could make use of no more zero days strategy.

*Note: article has been edited due to a sudden change of plan.