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Weeknotes 4/18: A Brief Recap of what I've been doing since I blew up my life

In: CodingGameDevWeeknotes

It’s been a really long time since I blogged and as I’ve said before, I really think it’s a valuable outlet and method of reflection. So, in an effort to begin again: here’s what I’m working on right now.

The Job Front

As many of you may know, I resigned from my job in February.


And went full freelance. It was a terrifying leap, but I’ve been talking about it for a really long time and it seemed like as good a time as any to just try it and see what happens. So far, I’ve had a lot of work, thanks to a great network, but I’ve found myself working 24/7 (which is pretty typical). One lesson I’m still learning is how to be more choosy about the work I want to do in the world. On the one hand, of course, I’m grateful for every opportunity to have work, but on the other hand, it’s become quite a lot and I’m having to skip on really, really cool opportunities because I’m trying to get work done. And that stinks.

Game Development

Work, as I’ve said, has been really kicking my butt, so I haven’t had a ton of time to continue my game development learning (meanwhile, my list of things to learn is growing longer). But, I’ve had a game that I’ve had on whole for a least a month or so and, this weekend, I decided to buckle down and make time to get it into a finished state. It’s not perfect, but I’m proud of it!

game screenshot
Play the game!

I’m also working on an iteration 1.0 of an xAPI-enabled game with Craig Wiggins for the current xAPI cohort. The game has definitely come a long way, but I’m still worried that it’s not a very good game. Still, it’s been really interesting thinking through data collection and game design with co-designer!

game screenshot for twine game
Playtesters needed!


My general JavaScript learning has also been put on hold for a bit. I haven’t been doing much with Oppia lately, at least as far as actually creating things. And I haven’t been digging into the coding projects on my list, though I have gotten in a bit of coding with my Campaign game and the City Budget game (the two games mentioned above). I’m hoping to change all that this summer. One exciting (and maddening) opportunity I currently have is to help build a web app for one of my clients. So far it’s been a lot of UI/UX work for which I feel woefully under-qualified and now we’re trying to prototype and iterate in the browser. The snag is that we’re using Django, which is Python (not something I’ve studied) as well as a whole host of other tech that I have no experience with, such as Docker (I have no idea what I’m doing). So there’s a ton to learn and it’s been really frustrating, especially because I’m juggling so many other things. I expect things will get easier, but right now, I’m decidedly in the stinking really bad at something stage. I’ve also been doing some Canvas development which has included using JavaScript (and a lot of CSS) to make Canvas pages responsive and generally more contemporary-looking.


I finally finished Thinking Fast and Slow on a long trip. That is a huge book but it’s really really good and I expect that I’ll continue to return to it’s concepts. I also completed Rework really quickly on the drive back (not as good, in my opinion, but much, much shorter) I was trying to start SuperBetter and Algorithms to Live By, but I’m finding myself really not into either one right now and everything I’m reading on how to read more suggests being willing to give up on books you aren’t into. So, for now at least, I’m moving on to Weapons of Math Destruction.

Moving Forward

There’s more work in my immediate future, but I’m serious about trying to slow down this summer and refocus on my game dev and coding learning.