TLQ: Time in Another Realm

Here I am!  Don’t despair!  I’ve been absent, I know.  This post is long looooong overdue.  But since my trip to Melbourne, I’ve been working hard, almost to the point of obsession (maybe it is already one), on my game.  And I mean actually working on it – creating graphics for interfaces, to-and-fro with my character artist about drawings, searching for feedback and attending talks.

But I digress!  This post is about my time in Melbourne, Australia.

I was there for a month house-sitting for my aunt who was overseas.  Well, house-sitting and looking after a grey-and-white cat called Smooch who just adores company.  I took my desktop with me, planning oh-so-grand things (Udemy courses, game development, the whole shebang).  It was a nerve-wracking experience, I tell you, seeing my precious Ezekiel onto the plane.  It made the trip and back in one piece, thankfully.

The first night I was down there, no more than two hours after I had landed, I attended a panel about game culture.  My first hurdle was actually finding the place.  I know the CBD of Melbourne pretty well but this was not on my knowledge map.  I walked between the same two streets three times before I found it!  But the panel made that hiking all worthwhile.  Unbeknownst to me, there was a game festival on the first week I was down there, and this was one of the many talks happening.  Here’s the video if you’re curious:

Anyway, after that, there was a meetup for one of the Facebook groups I’m in.  The nerves I had going into it.  My social anxiety went crazy.  But luckily I attached myself (almost like an Alien facehugger) to some ladies that were going to it too.  I had overheard them outside the room the panel was in and had enough courage to ask them if they were going.  Met some awesome people there, though I probably should have gone around to the others and talked more.  I’m not very good at the thing they call networking and my anxiety 99% of the time gets me so petrified of talking to other living, breathing human beings standing in front of me that I dare not force myself to go and say hello to other people.

Great start right?  It went quite downhill from there.  I was supposed to go to some other workshops but I didn’t go – first time, I got myself lost and couldn’t find where I needed to go that it was half-over by the time I gave up.  Second time my depression got the better of me.  I did, however, manage to drag myself to an all-day Agile workshop, and I’m glad I did (even though I was late, again, from being lost, and trust me, it’s very unusual for me to get geographically displaced).

I learned Agile in university but it was a version tailored to our specific course, and the first time they had offered it as a lifecycle (we were undoubtedly guinea pigs).  There are many forms of Agile but I wasn’t sure if what we learned was applicable to the workplace.  I attended specifically to determine this difference.  In the end, it was a great day – learned lots, did fun group things with an improvised team and a pretend weekly sprint that spanned a chaotic 15 minutes.  What I did find out, and was extremely pleased about, is what I had learned was still relevant and that Agile can be fantastically tactile.  The pictures of the speaker’s office space was covered in cards and post-it notes about user stories, acceptance criteria and all the other little bits and bobs that were in the project.  It felt old-school.  And it fitted nicely into the ways I already worked.

The second week was taken up by my partner visiting me.  The third week I was lonely and depressed after seeing him go home.  By the fourth and last week, I had picked myself up and started working again on my game.  If you have read my other posts, I kept telling myself I needed to do documentation about the project to get set up.  Well, using my new knowledge acquired from the agile workshop, I began!  But not in the way I previously expected.

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