I just cleaned off my desk, as a simultaneously symbolic and practical expression of my desire to get back to work. On a day-to-day level, my work is not affected by the seasons. On a macro level, it is. Every autumn brings a certain coolness and breeziness that makes me both slightly melancholy and more productive. Every new year makes me want to start new projects and wrap up old ones.
Some of the things that interest me in …the new year are game development contests and game development jams (where you spend a brief and intense period making games in the presence of peers). But this too I have mixed feelings about.
While I’m all for reaching out to young developers (I am teaching in 3 weeks), many of these contests are geared for beginners and hobbyists; I count myself as neither. Still, collaboration and consultation are usually good; I’m always getting ideas for things as a result of rubbing shoulders with other developers (Notacon’s demo coders pushed me to learn HLSL).
http://experimental-gameplay.org/ is one of the biggest such "contests". It’s first deadline is Feb. 15.
The Global Game Jam ( http://www.globalgamejam.com/Home.html ) starts Jan. 30, and goes for the weekend.
The Toronto Game Jam ( http://www.tojam.ca/home/default.asp ) happens in the summer. I just missed going last year.
Plus, I could probably get something together for Notacon, in April. ( http://www.notacon.org/ )
I actually began a project for the 2008 Retro Remakes indie game competition ( http://www.retroremakes.com/forum/index.php ), but didn’t get enough work done with all that happened, so I wound up not entering after all.