These are the characters that created this blog.
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These symbols hit me like a thunderbolt. In that split second, several years worth of blog post came to mind. Three minutes later I had started setting up my WordPress blog.
It’s an old game called Nethack, which is a dungeons and dragons style of game written before graphical user interfaces became popular. After I installed it and started it, I had my epiphany at about the 10 second point. I then instantly uninstalled it. So Nethack was installed on my laptop for about 120 seconds. I deliberately vanquished Nethack from my laptop, as I did not want any of the game’s details in my head. When I saw it, I had a single thought- it’s 2014. Surely we can do a better graphical interface than that? So I have no idea how to play Nethack, do not have it installed, and read nothing about it – so I have only the vaguest idea on what those characters represent. So here I was with a clean slate and a clean conscience.
I had been toying with the idea of starting a blog for a couple of years, but kept putting things off as I faced the classic dilemma for all sensible proto-bloggers – how could I sustain create good content for years? Anyone can think of stuff for the first few weeks, but after that? I knew that I could not blog about my cat, what I had for breakfast, or my favourite barista – that was not me.
After my lightning bolt, I realized how slow I was. I could have started blogging in 1995. I just did not realize that most of my leisure time was spent doing blog worthy stuff – building things both physical and electronic, reading widely about technologies, trends and thinking about how to design better games. You get the drift – enough for several blogs. I felt like such an idiot. So now that my light bulb went off about ten years after everyone else ,what to do?
I knew now. Start about a blog about graphics, gaming and document my journey to an online RPG game for kids, teens and me. This project would encompass a lot of my technology related interests – graphic design, artificial intelligence, machine learning and game design. The amount of stuff to talk about was vast – and all of it aimed at different kinds of people – not just guys like me. And I had backup stuff to talk about – electric guitars, amplifiers, effect pedals and so on. All set.
So far it’s going to plan, as I have a several blogging “pipelines” going on in my head, so that if one pipeline gets a bit stale (e.g. graphic animation), I switch to another one (like game mechanics or monster AI). It is early days, but I am confident. As a test, I wrote down all the major topics (think lots of researched posts) I wanted to cover – I came up with more than twenty in a few minutes.
The Thought Burp
The one unexpected blog category that I managed to burp out late one night was…poetry. Now that was unexpected. I wrote a limerick about a desktop technology (the Java Swing Framework for my fellow propeller-heads). It formed in my head as was trying unsuccessfully to get to sleep, so I rushed downstairs and typed it up, so as not to forget. Regardless of any real or imagined literary talent, I could not help myself – I needed to post it. I felt slightly foolish afterwards, in my first attack of Blogger’s remorse. I did not delete it, though.
The burp did not end there. The next day, I wrote a haiku. My first in over twenty years, and it was never serious the first time around – the teachers made me do it in English class. I posted that as well. People seemed to like it.
So the start of the journey has already revealed surprising detours.
“This suspense is terrible! I hope it’ll last.” Gene Wilder in Willy Wonka