While transitioning our blog away from Wordpress, I actually did take some time to read the posts I was migrating. In truth, I was both astonished and a little embarrassed by some of them. Astonished because we were really productive with publishing software and books for quite a few years in a row. Embarrassed because we lapsed into silence and our only real blog activity was announcing our participation in sales.
If you don't count the occasional "life update" post, the last time I wrote a monthly company update was in July 2013. My intention with this post is to be more visible. Way too much of my work is held back far longer than it should be. I know I should be more direct in sharing what I create. I decided that I could not let July go by with only a sale announcement.
A huge part of the problem is inside my head: I have too many interests, and too many projects. Rather than post yet another 4,000 word blog entry, I'm just going to summarize the top things that I have been working on and give a preview of what's next:
I already announced the complete rewrite of the World of Palamar website.
Behind the scenes, I have been updating software on my server and slowly migrating all of our internal tools to run in Docker containers. Basically I've been building my own personal cloud platform so that I can revamp all of our websites and web-based applications to use more modern (thus faster and easier to maintain) approaches. This makes it easier to spin up a tool or deploy a new website, without having to worry so much about conflicts with existing sites.
Speaking of too many interests and too many projects... I reported in an earlier post that my TODO list had grown to 783 tasks. Well it somehow managed to shoot up over 1,000 tasks (and well over 3,000 subtasks) after I left my day job. Yes, instead of finishing things, I found more TODO items. Turns out they were hidden all over the place, mostly in hand-written lists.
My primary focus for the past two weeks (and probably at least the next 4-6 weeks) is reducing that. So far I've managed to complete or delete more than 120 items from my list. I'm hoping this will help my ability to focus.
So what's next for Lost Luggage Studios? For years we have tailored all of our products around three central pillars:
The last time we released an original game was in 2009. Paul and I both hack together mods for games we enjoy playing. We plan to release more of those mods since there's got to be people who would enjoy these changes as much as we do.
Earlier this year, I played around with the Godot game engine and rather liked it. I hope to focus on building a prototype of our next original game at some point later this year. We do plan to rewrite/update Catalyst Deluxe and Anirah (since they are both based on 10+ year old tech at this point, which may or may not run well on recent machines), but first we want to get at least one new, original game out there.
A few months ago we quietly released a beta version 1.2 of PICK. It's been so long that we've released a desktop tool that I honestly forgot how. And to be blunt, people generally don't download and install much software these days. Not directly at least. Our intention is to focus on revamping our websites, and then building web apps you can access from any device. Any tools that make sense on the desktop will be updated and we'll look at getting them into app stores.
Paul and I have both been trying to focus on writing. I'll let him tell you what he's been doing when he's ready. I've been focused on getting more Fireteam Zulu stories done. I had to take a break for a while there to build up some required background story so I can finish writing these two novels. Now that that is done, I'm back to work on Fireteam Zulu 2.
Paul and I both have several other unfinished books to work on after that. At one point we were publishing three to five titles a year. We'd love to return to a similar cadence.
Okay, But When?
I certainly can't commit to any time table on these things. Since leaving my day job in March, I've had tons of "free" time to work on these things. I find that I still spend way too much time planning and designing, and not enough time actual doing (and more importantly, releasing) what I create. Part of this process is retraining myself to take an approach that has served me well in my software engineering career: "Ready! Fire! Aim!"
In short, I'll share more details when I get closer to done. If you don't want to miss those announcements, click the big Subscribe button on the bottom right of this page. It's super easy. You don't even have to create yet another password (it sends you a link via email for logging in).