What I did in 2019 #

It's time for my annual self review. You can see previous ones from 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. I didn't have a lot of goals for this year:

  1. Write to my blog instead of only to Twitter or other closed platforms.
  2. Improve my explanations and write new ones.

The first I can measure by looking at whether I blogged about my projects. I did: 24 blog posts this year. I'm pretty happy with that. The second is harder to evaluate, but I would say I didn't spend nearly as much time on explanations as I had hoped to. I wrote these new explanations, but they were small:

And I worked on these two, but didn't get them to a point I was happy with:

I spent some time improving existing explanations:

Instead of explanations, this year I was more inspired to work on art, learning, and other fun projects:

I also have 15 other projects that weren't for the general public (for clients, or responses to emails, etc.). I generated new logos for my social media presence using a new logo generator I wrote. And I updated my home page with links to lots of projects I hadn't previously linked. I track these projects on Trello.

What else? I'm hanging out on AIMA chat (students who want to contribute to the AIMA textbook open source project), Roguelike Discord, ProcJam Discord, a few Slacks, Twitter, and a few subreddits. I decided to go to non-GDC conferences this year, and went to BangBangCon, FDG, and Roguelike Celebration. I'm pretty happy with how all of this went this year.

For several years I've hoped that the coordinate systems page would become the next big successful project after the Hexagon page and the A* page. I've attempted to write it several times but just haven't been happy with it. I'm now starting to think that maybe it's not going to be the next big success for me. I've also been trying to come up with a good explanation of differential heuristics but can't seem to make much progress. Maybe I won't have any more big successes with tutorials, and should stop looking for that.

What are my goals for 2020? Unfortunately, I don't have any strong goals. After working on big projects in 2018, I ended up working on small projects in 2019. I would like to work on something bigger, but I think my focus will be on learning new things rather than explaining things I already know. I'd like to work on projects that last a month or two rather than a week or two, to really dig into them and learn a topic deeper than I can do in a week. Other than that, I feel kind of aimless right now. I'm ok with that. I'm in a wander-and-explore phase of my life.

Experimenting with outlines #

I posted recently about how I often do one-week projects to learn and experiment. I don't have a strict one-week time limit. Sometimes I'll extend a project or come back to it after I've learned something new.

Ten weeks ago I had a one-week project in which I wanted to draw outlines on an isometric view of a dungeon game. I didn't want to outline each block, which could be implemented easily by editing the sprites. Instead, I wanted to outline the larger units. Here's a comparison:

Outlines around every sprite vs around walls

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Fun art projects #

I've not been in the mood to write articles lately, so instead I've been working on some fun projects instead. Watabou posted about Dyson Hatching, which got me thinking it might be interesting to constrain the hatch lines to Voronoi cells. I implemented that and then got carried away with colors, line spacing, line width, and other fun things. The demo is here. You can drag an image onto the diagram to use the colors from your image.

Hatch lines applied to an image