Saturday, February 8, 2014


Before the holidays, I was really focusing on OttoJotts by trying to finish up what were a dozen or so tasks that needed to be finished before I could release the game. I had determined, based on the lack of response I was getting from my artist on a separate project, that I should focus on something that I had a lot of control over and had made some good progress on completing. After I broke everything down that remained to be done, I found that I had a month or so of work left on OttoJotts to finish it off. I blazed through several different tasks, had to create some new ones, but overall was making some good progress on it. Then the holidays happened.
Catniss in Nutcracker
The Thanksgiving to Christmas period at my house is one of lightly ordered chaos. Catniss has several performances of The Nutcracker with the Colorado Ballet during that time and the spousal unit sings professionally as a caroler for different functions. Toss in a couple of illnesses and the whole time is just ridiculous. I was certain I wasn't going to get much done over the break so I didn't really even bother. And then for Christmas I received Call of Duty: Ghosts, so I had at least a campaign to complete before I could get back to anything. Then it was January and I joined a CoD clan and then we had a clan war and then... Long story short - nothing really happened on OttoJotts from November through January.
When I tried to get back into it, though, I found it more and more difficult to get back into the groove. I found plenty of opportunities to procrastinate and not work on OttoJotts at all - including finding some data from about iOS 7 adoption (you need to check out that site). Given that adoption rates are around 82% for iOS 7 and I've been having trouble getting OttoJotts to draw properly in iOS 7 (something changed in the basic UIView stack I still don't understand), it put even more of a downer on wanting to work on it. Plus, I had something else potentially brewing at the 9-5, so my motivation was a little more depleted than I thought it could be (without being completely disinterested).
BUT (and it's a big but), that's when things started heading south. The "something else" dried up and I started feeling like the 9-5 isn't going to be terribly viable for much longer (which suxors hardcore). Suddenly, without really feeling like I was up to it, I decided that I need to get back to doing what I should be doing, even if I didn't feel like it. I started checking out what needed to happen with OttoJotts and just couldn't, for the life of me, actually open up the project. I'm just a little burned out on it. It was supposed to be a pretty quick little app that would go into the App Store and then maybe make a buck or two. Instead, it's turned into months and months of continuing development that don't quite seem to be going as well as I'd hoped. All of the backend work is challenging for me (I'm a front-end - but not UI - guy). While there are still only about 80-100 hours of work left on it, I think I'm going to put it on back burner while I reinvigorate with something else for a while.
I thought I had been recharging a bit by playing some other games and taking some time off, but I think it's had the opposite effect. It's put new and interesting distractions in my path to getting anything done for real. Unlike some acquaintances, I haven't hit it big on the App Store and can't just semi-retire at the moment. Until then, it's nose to the grindstone no matter how distracted I want to be.
It's not that I don't love doing this - I do - but it's that I just find myself in the same position over and over again: unable to complete some portion of the game because I lack some skill. I need to either acquire said skill or find someone who is willing to help - and unfortunately I haven't found people who are likeminded about doing this. Or I do and they totally flake. *sigh* As a result, I have a hard time being motivated to work on things.
My favorite captain
All of this said, I have about 4 games that are in various stages of completion. If I can just get ONE of them done and out, I think I can make enough to either hire the people to finish the others or perhaps attract enough interest to get people engaged. And then I'd have a small group of games earning a little money in the store for me and that might be enough to get the ball rolling. Which would be totally cool.
So, I am once again ditching my current project (OttoJotts) for something else - for now. Hence the facepalm (to left). It's been a rough few months and I am not at all motivated to do this, but I am motivated to not be dependent upon a salary. I'm not thinking of quitting any time soon, but going to work when you don't have to makes the trip a whole lot easier and more pleasant. And THAT'S the goal - to have the flexibility to do what I want to do when I want to do it. Don't we all?