Insulation Over

The first three days of my temp work have been a somewhat humanizing experience, assuring a great deal of face-to-face customer interaction.  Considering my naturally introverted nature, this kind of interpersonal gauntlet is probably the best possible practice I can get.

I wanted something to break down those insulation layers I built up between me and reality from several years of school and, along those lines at least, things are looking up.  Still, whether looking up or down, there’s a certain question of “what now” that needs resolving.

And now for something somewhat redundant…

Today, I went ahead and canceled my City of Heroes account.  I simply played it out, every single power in the game (or a similar power) has become a horse beaten dead, I’ve seen level 50 as both a Hero and a Villain, and I just can’t think of a reason why I should bother staying subscribed.

It’s redundant because this is exactly how I felt the last time I canceled my subscription back in Summer 08′.  This was not the only reason I’ve ever quit the game, either.

The game is still a fun diversion — there’s just not enough new to keep me anymore.  I put on my exit feedback that I’d probably give the game another spin if I could roll up a hero-side Mastermind, and I meant it, but there’s simply not enough new in the game right now.

A pity, I was hoping it’d at least last me until Champions Online was released (or a beta invitation showed up).

Investment

Besides, I can’t help but think I should be investing my free time better than playing City of Heroes (especially since, for the time being, I’ve significantly less of it ).  I’ve a few major expenses on my mind right now, and I think I should be planning for the future.

I’m thinking I should perhaps get back into the habit of mucking around with BYOND.  The short-term profitability from that is low: there was, in the past, a way that players could pay the developers for their efforts but that was unfortunately exploited and removed.  The long-term possibilities are immeasurable: BYOND is quite possibly the best online game-production practice a fledgling developer can get.

Another bit of a powerful development I could get into – and one that’s significantly less proprietary – is Java application development.  Java has great advantages over Adobe Flash, and that is that a Java SDK can be got for free, and it a very powerful and flexible language.  However, there’s a reason why Flash games are much more common: they’re significantly easier to make.  Some people are actually afraid of running Java on their computers (though I hear it’s native to Mac OS X).

Whatever I do, it seems clearer to me than ever right now that my skill set is not quite where I want it to be.  While I appreciate the opportunity to greet customers and be paid for it, and that is proving valuable experience in itself, it’s not quite what I was hoping to do in life.

When I look at the reason why things have turned this way, the clear answer is that I didn’t spend enough time mucking around with development during my free time.  Unique skills like the ones I want are acquired not so much from schooling as they are by experience in doing.  Even one week of failing to produce a game in BYOND puts me significantly closer to being a game designer than I started, just as 3 days of face-to-face interaction with customers put me significantly closer to being comfortable doing so.

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