Looking Back on 2023

Posted on December 31, 2023

While 2023 was an odd one for me, one thing's for sure: I completely neglected my blog. Or notebook. A journal, perhaps? Hm.

Animation

This year started with me kicking down the doors with the Post Game Chat short, depicting a very heated discussion after a multiplayer match. It featured a whole heap of extremely cool voice actors, and it was also the very first one that was followed by a blooper reel. I do want to make a sequel someday, but we'll see how things will be.

On April 1st I dropped a little bit of clickbait on my viewers. And it's actually doing rounds across various Discord servers apparently.

What followed was a short about the most relatable villain (to me) who wants to completely wipe out the planet due to reasons I absolutely resonate with.

And then, over the course of just 10 days, I produced The Least Valuable Players, a skit depicting a complete opposite to the MVP screen seen in multiplayer shooters these days. This bombshell actually brought me a ton of followers on Twitter, and is still "doing numbers".

I wish I could've done a lot more animated shorts and skits, but I'm happy with whatever I managed to do.

Music

This year I was approached by Arvydas Brazdeikis, a very talented graphic and motion designer, who asked me if I could score a little project of his. And so, I was lucky enough to compose a soundtrack to Splintered Off, an opening title sequence to a hypothetical new Splinter Cell game.

I also started Underscore Vol. 1, an ongoing album of tiny little bits and pieces of music I compose for my skits and shorts. When will it end and when I'll start Vol. 2 is a complete mystery to me.

Technology

By the end of the year, due to personal reasons, I found myself experimenting with game development again. However this time, to my own surprise, it was directly related to my Source Filmmaker shenanigans.

I decided to play around with the idea of using SFM to render out sprites that could be used in a game with retro aesthetics, be it a first person shooter, or even a point-and-click adventure. And so I locked myself up in my laboratory, experimenting with renders, scripts, and seeking various old school engines.

Adventure Game Studio

First, I stumbled upon Adventure Game Studio, an engine built for making point-and-click adventure games. It's an excellent piece of software, and even I, a programming potato, was able to quickly build a very basic scene powered entirely by renders produced with Source Filmmaker (Source 2, HLA).

I'd love to someday build a proper game out of this tiny little prototype, but, as usual, no promises.

GZDoom

A couple of weeks later, my brother-from-another-mother Nik reminded me of GZDoom, a Doom engine source port capable of not only running OG id Tech games, but also standalone projects too. And so, after a couple of coffee-fueled days of research, I set out on remaking this tiny little game I developed for a game jam back in 2021 called Operation Lockdown.

It's still a silly prototype at the moment, but I plan on developing it even further and eventually release it as "Operation Lockdown: Reloaded". If all goes well, I might as well start a proper commercial project after that, but that's purely wishful thinking at this point.

Mental State Evaluation

An ever-growing sense of impending doom.

Hope's fading, but still pulsating.

Zenosyne fluctuating.

2024

It's a little hard for me to plan things out these days, but nonetheless, I want to finally get out of my skits and sketches phase, and focus on much more interesting projects. Followers yearn for more things like the Death Train short of mine, and I would love to do more of that, too. But these things require proper planning and execution. And, most importantly, resources. I simply don't want to plop a slop and call it a day.

In my "Looking Back on 2022" note I mentioned this mysterious knowledge base that I'm working on. Well, as you can see it's still nowhere to be found due to various reasons such as plain fucking procrastination. But I hope that I'll be able to launch it in 2024. Since you got so far into this note, have a sneak peek.

I'm currently involved in a bunch of cool projects that I really hope I'll be able to not only tell you about, but also show in 2024.

I really hope that after the mid that was 2023, 2024 will be a proper banger.