2014 Year in Review

Since whittling down my goals to 8, I feel like 2014 has become one of my best years ever. I mean, sure, it had snags (megalomaniac ex-lessor included), but the rewards tripled after that experience.

I’ve decided to make my 8 goals permanent every year. They’re flexible enough to keep me motivated in reaching them on or before the end of the year. So these are the status of my 2014 goals:

8. Travel at least twice a year. 
Preferably 1 local and 1 international destination.

One of my teams (Project K) and I went to Sagada to do some research for one of our educational projects. It was my first time to go to Sagada and it was loads of fun! Baguio was awesome, too, since we were able to visit Bencab Museum. More of that story here.

For the second out-of-town trip, boyfie and I attended a wedding in Sta. Rosa. Sure it’s not really much of a trip distance-wise (since my parents live in Tagaytay), but it’s the first time I actually spent a lot of time in Sta. Rosa. The reception of Sajean and Jov were held at the Chateaux de Paris Grand Clubhouse.

7. Participate in a nation-wide competition.

Aaaand my thesis advisees (3 different teams) won in 5 categories at the Philippine Game Festival 2014 Game On competition: Best Gameplay (Limbones), Best Edutainment (Mathoria), Best Narrative, Best Art, and Game of the Year (Anemone, to be published by Senshi.Labs soon).

My studio also has an entry for the 2015 competition so I am looking forward to this, even if we don’t win.

6. Maintain a healthy lifestyle.

OMG, I slipped. Haha! I gained 6 pounds since January but not a pound more despite the Christmas parties. I am proud to say I did not binge.

My healthiest is at 112 pounds, though, so I should at least strive to maintain that.

5. Finish AT LEAST 2 major projects.
Options: conference paper, journal paper, art exhibit, game, book.
Note: Choosing conference paper, game or book will help fulfill the 8th goal.

Status: I founded and managed Senshi.Labs, an edutainment studio that was registered in May 2014. We released Prologue in June 2014, and then the free educational math RPG Mathoria in December 2014.

I was not able to finish the conference paper, but I forgave myself because I never realized how demanding setting up an indie studio can get. I also realized that I couldn’t be writing my second book in 2014. There was just too much going on in the industry.

One important thing I realized in 2014: indie game development is truly my calling.

4. More pro-active social life. 
Go out with friends at least once a month.

This was really hard to accomplish especially when I financially struggled during the second half of the year. A house robbery and a megalomaniac ex-lessor did a two-hit combo on us and I had to concentrate all my efforts into piecing my life — as well as the studio (which nearly died) — back together.

Despite all that, I was glad to have celebrated my dear friend Elvert’s birthday with Kurt, Jag and Imee. I also managed to be there for all the times my family celebrated special occasions, like birthdays and my parents’ anniversary. Managed to attend regular meet-ups with my Anino colleagues, and met the boyfie’s friends.

I’m actually quite thankful that my Anino colleagues would set meet-ups a month in advance. Otherwise, I would not have a social life at all. -_-;;;

Oh oh, and I attended my 20th high school reunion! #Manresa94! I thought my classmates would look very different but it seems like they only aged a little.

3. Wrap up remaining legal stuff. 
NSO and passport.

NSO fixed itself without me having to do anything. My passport, however, expired last October. LOL. Now, I have to make sure my license does not expire this year.

2. Help make my field visible.

I am not really sure if I contributed to making my field visible but my non-gamer uncle (Doc John) started playing Mathoria. That’s a good sign, right?

My mom also stopped calling my game developer job as “hanap patay” (so little pay for too much work). Since 2004, my mom absolutely detested the idea that I was in the game publishing/development industry. Now she thinks it’s a good thing.

1. Plan finances for the next two years.

I finally was able to fix two of my insurance/investment policies. I haven’t completely recovered financially, especially with the business sucking up most of my money, but I think I’m headed towards the right direction. My 2014 has been credit card debt free and that’s a good thing!

I think I’ll just keep the same goals for 2015 since these seem to keep me on my toes and help me maintain a semi-balanced life. I have to admit that my work-life balance still leave a lot to be desired (I tend to be workaholic) but, as with all goals: baby steps.

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