Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for 2017!
From those of us at SophSoft and Digital Gamecraft.
From those of us at SophSoft and Digital Gamecraft.
The purpose of Curmudgeon Day is to avoid all of the insanity associated with the commercialism attached (incorrectly) to the day after Thanksgiving in the US. Some may call it the unofficial start of the Christmas shopping season, but the idea that it is the most profitable day of the year is a myth.
The practice on Curmudgeon Day is to stay home and do whatever you want to do, but most importantly, do not go shopping. Granted, it can take some planning, especially if you are not in the practice of keeping your pantry full and cooking for yourself, but it is much safer not to join the frenzy, as well as better for your mental health.
Since the first blog post here in 2004 (which was already many years after Curmudgeon Day started), the crowds have gotten bigger, the number of deaths have increased (from none), and the abuse has spilled into Thanksgiving, our family’s most sacred holiday. The only way to stop this idiocy is to refuse to play that “doorbuster” game.
Instead, stay home and actually play games with your family, or work on your hobby, or read that book you have been meaning to find time for, or, if you must, just watch the disturbing images of shoppers acting like stampeding cattle on television and learn the names of all the people killed underfoot this year.
I urge you, most seriously, to make a stand. Celebrate Curmudgeon Day!
Many years ago lived an adventurous little halfling. (Don’t call him a hobbit, as some folks are offended if you use the term; only they can use it.) After years of toil for nothing but scraps of copper, he decided that he was not happy and moved to rectify the situation. He left the city and returned to a small town on the edge of nature and sought his fortune panning for gold. Initial successes suggested that this could prove lucrative and, in any event, he was pleased to pursue his real adventure, instead of the pale imitation that had been sold to him previously.
However, as the years progressed, there were lean times. Some years the stream dried up completely, and even when there were enough gold nuggets to indicate that fortune was imminent, it never came to pass. As the successful years became fewer and the struggles more regular, he became less happy, though he still pursued his dreams.
Then one day the stream suddenly stopped flowing entirely. After an initial panic, our hero made due for a while with the few grains of gold he could find in the quickly drying mud, hoping that the water would return. Alas, upon further investigation, he discovered that the mountain people had dammed the stream in an attempt to keep every last scrap for themselves. With the coffers empty and the cupboard almost bare, he relented.
So, the halfling and his warrior princess, who somehow continued to believe in him, left their rustic comfort and moved to a bustling metropolis. He accepted a position mining for gold, and he decided to imitate his friends, the dwarves, by putting on a smile and singing a happy song. “Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it’s off to work we go!” To his astonishment, it worked. Though the mine was much twistier and confusing than he was led to believe, he found a place of comfort and a way to enjoy himself.
Besides, minted gold coins beat the hell out of irregular nuggets of gold among the rocks.
As a player, I was able to complete the first level, in which the halfling travels faraway to the big city and has to find suitable accommodation once there. This was actually harder than it sounds, involving not only normal adventuring and RPG aspects, but also elements of time and resource management games.
In the second level, the halfling has to deal with remote threats from an evil villain and a crazy witch, all while facing the prospect that the gold mine may not stable. I was able to play to the end of this level by concentrating on the most imminent issue, and properly equipping the warrior princess to dispatch the witch, we she did, albeit not without first having to bait her with some of her personal treasure. I just finished that level.
For the next level, as far as I can tell, the goal is for the halfling to seek out the evil villain, who survived the previous level, and destroy him. Armed with a war chest from vanquishing the crazy witch, along with significant information about the villain’s strategic weaknesses, it looks like our hero will be able to both defend his “castle” and take down the malefactor without too much trouble, though the villain is too dimwitted to realize this.
Outside of the game, this year I am thankful for all of my friends, both old and new, who provided support during the challenges and continue to keep me connected. I am thankful that my family has managed a significant level of upheaval in the last year with grace and fortitude, especially my wife, who sacrificed a great deal to move to Los Angeles with me.
I am especially thankful that my choices this year, though not free of ramifications, have worked out essentially as planned, that I have been able to greatly expand my opportunities, and that I have found comfort within a brand new adventure.
Oh, yeah… I am thankful that tomorrow is Curmudgeon Day!
It has been quite a while since I posted a Gamecraft update. The last six months have been filled with “opportunity”, and the upshot of it is that I have relocated to Los Angeles, California.
Structurally, SophSoft, Incorporated and Digital Gamecraft still continue to operate from our Michigan office, and nothing substantial has changed in terms of client services or product development. Practically, of course, having the company principal living a couple thousand miles away from the home office presents interesting challenges (some of which are still being resolved). I am definitely in a period of adjustment, both personally and professionally.
I am out here to pursue a great opportunity in the burgeoning field of augmented reality, bringing my years of experience in game development, coupled with my abilities in quality assurance and robust programming, to bear on a young industry that is just beginning to show its enormous potential. That, however, is a topic (well, several) for another post.
For the moment, though, I am still transitioning from living in the Midwest to residing in the second largest city in the United States, and now that my West Coast office is up and (mostly) functioning, we are looking to resolve the remaining logistical and technical challenges inherent in running a business with offices in two different states.