It's been quite some time since I've posted here. It certainly isn't for a lack of things to talk about or of desire to do so. In fact I have several posts I've been meaning to put up. However, life has kept me busy on most days and exhausted on others. It's left me in a state where I've been so preoccupied with clearing up the various items on my to-do list that sitting down to focus on a single item seems inefficient. But, for the most part that's been addressed, so I'll gradually start bringing myself back into a state of normalcy, at which point I'll eventually get around to writing out more of my thoughts in a formalised manner. For now, this will be a brief summary of how things have been going since my post in November.
The primary reason my backlog became so full had to do with the fact that I spent the bulk of December out of town. For most of that, I was in Florida visiting my parents (who now habitually spend winter there). I have to admit that while it was very jarring to be so warm at that time of the year, it was even stranger when I went back to Montreal to find that there still wasn't any snow. As for my actual time spent there, a lot of it was trying to mitigate the aforementioned backlog with my mom's laptop, but I was also working on several projects for this very site, which I'll get to later in this post.
I had all of one evening at home before heading off to Ottawa for New Years. It's become tradition that I spend that evening at my grandmothers. This however was the first year she was not there to spend it with us. However, I also found myself in a bit of a dilemma, since I was invited to meet up with some of my old high school friends for a New Years party. I ended up making a compromise and calling in to my aunt and uncle at midnight. The party itself was fairly fun, though admittedly most of us were far too inebriated to have any business going out into town as we did. Without getting too detailed, I spent the last half hour of 2015 cleaning up a friend's rather unfortunate mess. Still a fun night though.
Sadly, I've yet to snag a job. It certainly isn't for lack of trying, but some of the conversations I had at and following MIGS made it pretty clear that I had my work cut out for me. One factor I had considered but largely ignored was that apparently there's a preference towards hiring from the local schools. It's understandable and very logical: there's a certain familiarity that breeds trust in reliable candidates. It also means that they're already somewhat attuned to the culture.
Let me be clear I'm not stating in an accusatory manner, nor am I blaming hiring bias for my lack of employment. Primarily I believe the main factor against me right now is the fact that my portfolio is for the most part mediocre. I know I could do better than a lot of what my projects show. But I cannot expect others to assume my competence. I directly plan on addressing that with some of my plans for the site (I'll get to that), but there is one other venue I am attempting.
While in Florida, I made the unfortunate discovery that Ubisoft's Graduate program, which I was hoping might serve as a good chance to get into the company, would not work. It didn't include design positions, and the domains it required education for were not those that I had studied in. But the mention of master's degrees made me think about additional studies.
I'll readily admit that I am not a fan of school. It lacks the consistent directed structure and "real life impact" factors that I really enjoy when doing work. However, I can't deny that it's a great venue through which to practice your skills and make connections. I had looked for game design post-grad studies in the past and found none, but this time I did find a single one at the University of Montréal. The single year duration was icing on the cake. I've sent in the application in the hopes that this might be the foot in the door I so clearly need, but it will be some time before I know what is to become of that.
There is one last thing to mention on the subject of employment. Though I'm still looking for a job to at the very least sustain me for the summer, in the meantime I've joined into a crowdtesting service. I've done plenty of testing in the past, and unlike some people I don't mind the challenge and monotony it involves. I'm hoping it will give me a chance to keep my skills in that domain sharp and provide at least some income while I continue my job hunt.
One thing that I have been engaged in since last year is tabletop gaming. Specifically Pathfinder. However, as of late it's taken up much more of my time. A big reason for this is that I took the leap and actually started running a game myself. I'll be reserving most of my thoughts on the subject in another post, but the short of it is that I've come to greatly appreciate the value that running a tabletop RPG has to a game designer.
So after all that, what about this website? The truth is, while there are several things I would like to put on the site, I feel as though I have to clean them up further before I can justify doing so. However, I am also self conscious enough to realise that if I submit to my perfectionist tendencies then I'll never put up anything and as a result none of that content will ever be seen. So, I'm going to steadily resume working on some new content I have in mind for the site.
The biggest additions I have planned are documentation and more blog posts. I have a lot of documentation templates I've created over the years that I think show my skills at organising as well as my initiative when it comes to doing so. The blog posts (though I know they are likely not going to be read for the most part), I hope to use as a way of further communicating myself as an individual. They serve as a record in the event that I am scrutinised, and also give me a way to flesh out the thoughts in my head. Who knows, someday maybe one of them will actually be useful to someone.
Aside from these, I do have some more minor things I might add, such as some photography and other projects I do for recreational purposes. They likely won't show off my professional skills much (I'm not a bad photographer, but most of the shots I take are spur of the moment shots with no consideration for composition or quality; rather, just the subject).
As soon as I post this, I'll be starting on my post about tabletop, after which I'll be looking over a draft I had done for a post about my French heritage. There should be several additions to the site in the next little while.