An Update - Where in the hoof have you been and what have you been doing?!

Published by Tyro D. Fox in the blog The Leather Bound Book. Views: 146

The very short answer is University.

For anyone interested, malicious or otherwise I suppose, I'm studying at De Montfort University in Leicester, a good 3-4 hours away from where I normally live on the South East Coast of England. Y'see, I think I'm very good at coding computers to do things. Specifically, I think I have a knack for things revolving around Computer Games as it's been something of a passion for me ever since I were a wee cub getting to play Time Crisis on the Playstation all those years ago. From then on, I've been an obsessive, eccentric and proud dork that's pursued becoming a Game Maker-Type-Person as a thing I get paid to do like.

The issue with such a career choice is, and any programmer can attest to this, is a matter of my friend calls 'bandwidth'. Ever heard of something called 'Decision Fatigue'? As I understand it, it's that thing where you come home and just can't be arsed to do anything. You sit down, stick on some crap YouTube and then gorge on that till you have to go to bed or the inevitable heat death of the Universe, whichever is soonest. You could watch that movie or read that book but your brain can't be arsed after a long day doing things and being busy at work/school/factory where they make nodding dogs and waffle irons. It also messes with your decision making process.

For example, I'm writing this at 2 in the mor-actually no. I write everything at 2 in the morning. It would be more unusual to be up past 8am of my own volition but I'm getting off topic. It's also that thing that can ruin diets or trying 'to be good'. I can't be arsed to do willpower right now, I want a curry.

Programmers appear to suffer from this quite badly, especially Game ones. They sit in front of a computer screen for hours and hours and hours making the worlds most sophisticated moron, the computer, perform operations that are so bullet-proof and straight-forward that even a computer could do them. That is really, really hard. Especially when it's not obvious what the issue is because the errors being suggested by the computer are unhelpful, or worse, there are no errors because the program is running fine, it just doesn't do what you expect. That means that your logic is all wrong which means you have to rethink everything.

For me at this present time, it's been that for about 6-8 hours (with breaks for the loo or to stuff overpriced Uni sandwiches in my face) for over a month so I can remake Galaga for Android. And it's still not even finished. While I do think I'm good at programming computers, and other people agree with me on this (like the Uni itself who keep pestering me about things put on to promote the University. But they keep paying me to do it or put on a buffet so I don't mind.) it's still sitting around for around the same time people are in a real job for trying to make Space Bugs fly around a screen WHEN I TELL THEM TO YOU UPPITY SODS!

This leads to a lack of 'Bandwidth'. Most programmers in other areas that concern themselves with different computer type things I've talked to tend to attest to this mental exhaustion that comes with the profession. We like it: we're using a computer to solve puzzles. It's like being a superhero only the only bit of it you have is the Batcomputer. Anyway, when I come back, I can't be arsed to do anything but sit down and play Splatoon 2 or Super Hot. The reasoning should be obvious by now and I'm not talking about how Super Hot is the most innovative shooter in years.

If you get that, you are one of us...

So, guess what? I haven't been arsed to write anything here or for the Community Post. My mind has been preoccupied with coursework, making sure I do things to blow off steam away from coursework and food. That's not to say I have no ideas left; they're either just slow to form or too long to be bothered with.

So, why am I writing this? Well, partly because I didn't feel like sleeping right now. Probably a bad idea but whatever. Secondly, that Android Galaga/Galaxian clone I gone dun did is nearly complete so it's opened up a little breathing room because I went and did it early. It's called 'Galagalaxian' because I'm clever and it's a funny name. I just have to make an OpenGL diorama of an Airport, a Physics-Based Puzzle Game and program the AI for a tank in a truly limited and dreadful update of Combat for the 2600 in about a month and a half. Not out of the woods but certainly a little better.

And also, I just felt like I was at bursting point. A neat time to do a blog: when you want to. Otherwise, I just don't have the write headspace or 'mental bandwidth' to handle that and studenting and being social and not going completely crazy from overwork. I want to do well here so I'm trying to be careful not to burn out. It's why I want other people to take up the mantle of Community Post writing so much: I think it's an important thing for this site, especially when we post it up on Reddit or Facebook and people come and read that then know we exist. I got a request to do that new Ducktails which is tricky as I've not really seen much of the original show to give the best opinion, though I guess as a newcomer, it would be interesting to see if it holds up without the Nostalgia.

I mean, it's better than thinking about how I'm quite scared by the world and the UK right now. The media want to make sure everything is uber terrifying, the Prime Minister appears to be getting shirty with Russia over this whole nerve agent thing which seems uncomfortable. Brexit keeps popping up and no one's doing anything one way or the other so they appear to be half-arsing it, making an idea that already seems needlessly disruptive worse by trying to make deals that are kind of like being in the EU but aren't but sort of are. The Conservatives appear to have gutted Student Finance and University funding before I signed up again so I'm enjoying any financial stability at all only thanks to a Christmas Present from my Granddad. Everytime I look at the world around me, it makes me more and more miserable with the world I'm going to have to try to make a living in once University spits me out, unless I can drum up an idea for a Masters or PHD or something if I desperately want to. People in power right now seem stupid, arrogant or short-sighted. No one seems to be doing anything right, at all ever and it's getting distressing. I have had frank conversations of how I'd migrate out to somewhere else and where's the best place. Genuinely because nothing seems to be going right.

But, I'm not there yet and I have friends, family and this place to my name, or the fake one I put on so that people don't immediately know who I am. It doesn't make all of the above go away, but it is something. And that's something.

So, there. I'm going to go and ramble about a game on the Nintendo Switch that I rather like. I'll link it here when I'm done. Maybe a little while after, I'll write this Community Post idea.
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