The 100 Day Challenge
This blog post was originally written for the 100 Day's Blog. You can find the original article here: 100 Days Blog - Size Matters.
Plans. They're easy to make and even easier to break.
Not too long ago, Alex contacted me and asked whether I would like to join in on a challenge. The challenge was to work on something in my spare time for a minimum duration of thirty minutes, every day; for a hundred days. I have followed his previous gauntlet closely. He spent a lot of time working on improving his skills in various areas while also trying to wrap up actual game projects of his. It was fun and easy to follow because he frequently uploaded videos in which he covered his progress.
I personally have had various projects that are in different stages of "production". Some of them were just unrealised ideas and concepts while others qualify as actual playable prototypes in some shape or form. It would be a shame to let that work go to waste.
I accepted the challenge. I'm carefully optimistic and hope to keep myself on course while me and a few others join in on the fun. My name's Christiaan and I am a programmer and technical artist. I've worked on various games and mods over the past few years. To list a couple, I've worked on Estranged: Act I, Insurgency and Day of Infamy. I'm currently working on Insurgency: Sandstorm.
Plans. I spent this last month trying to come up with a good plan. However, most of them grew back into that big optimistic ball of ambition. If it weren't for that month of preparation then you would be reading a completely different blog right now. Instead of pursuing an old dream of mine to revive my 3D platformer project, I decided I would instead continue work on my small-scale engine framework. Now this doesn't sound less ambitious, in fact it sounds like it would be even more work!
If I were to just spend my time tinkering away at this engine then I would end up getting bored pretty quick. What is an engine without its games? A lifeless husk of technology, that's what it is. That's why the plan isn't to aimlessly work on yet another game engine but instead to work on small mini-games that use the engine. While I haven't figured out exactly what kind of games I hope to work on I do know that I want them to be tied to small features I add to the engine. The games should be reasonably easy to produce and as a rule I can't keep holding on to them for a very long time. At least not until after these next hundred days.
My goal is to release a new mini-game every two weeks or so. Sporting new features under the hood of the engine while also providing myself and people out there with something tangible as a showcase of the progress I've been making.
There are always risks though. I don't have a lot of spare time and I am prone to going on long YouTube binges but I should be able to get those thirty minutes in. That's mostly down to willpower. I will likely be attending the UnrealFest conference in Berlin in a few weeks as well which will eat up a good chunk of time but considering the scope of this challenge, I wouldn't really call it an unproductive chunk of time.
We'll see how it goes. Some of us may end up logging time like crazy while others end up jumping off the bandwagon but that shouldn't be viewed as something negative. You move along at your own speed and match it to those that motivate you whenever you feel like it.
This is a good exercise for writing blog posts as well. My own website has been going through a blogging drought for several years now. See you soon.