Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Home is where the book is

I love to travel, that I do. One might not believe it, for after a few hours of anything with less personal space than a train-car, I tend to get an urgent need to rise up with my cracking joints, but I do love it all the same. Especially on the summer, for what would be better way to spend summer than to take an overnight-train to the ass-end of north and spend a day/weekend up there being creative? Well, travelling the 6km it takes to get to Tässi's place near the Siikajärvi lake and being creative there, of course.

I am fascinated by new places, which I think is one of the reasons I love reading and writing fiction so much. I am disgusted by the everyday life so badly I'm practically a living cliché. I loathe the repetitiveness of waking up at 6am and spending a few hours commuting for five days a week. Once summer is gone, which also requires its own sulking, I loathe waking up to the sound of the alarm (although I don't complain of the more humane time it's usually set in the winter, 8am UTC+2, instead of 6am UTC+3 it is currently set) , pedalling through the hail, sleet, tears and blood to the school, wasting a day there and pedalling back to the empty fridge and full project-directory.

So, I like escaping the (not horrible but) dull everyday life to the worlds of Roland & Rajol. And what would be better environment to practice this art of escapism than aeroplane/train-car/the front seat of a car? I have found none. Unfortunately however one has to eat, and no one will pay that one dude to travel writing and reading fiction. Not unless you've built yourself an image of being the next Stephen King, but at least I wouldn't want such. I wish to develop my own style, albeit it tends to look like whatever I'm currently reading.

However, if everyday life is dull and escapism doesn't pay, what is a man to do?

I've spoken of setting up a one-to-three man shop (for various definitions of manhood), developing a story-based game and trying to earn some money of it, but since the only one I have yet achieved to have any interest in the story is the Tässi, and neither of us has any idea of how to monetize things, it has become a sort of eternity-project. Another way of achieving undullness in life I've thought of is commuting with bus for this summer carrying the mac of mine with me, writing 100 to 1000 words of prose a day, and self-publishing the story after a few editing iterations in the leanpub.com. Is anyone of my finnish readers (all one of you :P) up for proof-reading a story derived from Assassin's Creed? And this question is directed at everyone but Tässi and my godmother, for you two will receive a copy wanted you or not :)

Retreating back to the problem of dullness, can I find a solution to it by thinking of the reasons I find the everyday life such?

Well, I obviously don't like being woken up nor having to go to sleep once the creative juices are flowing. I dislike the finnish weather, unless it's as it was in the summer of '13. I dislike cities, and I'd dislike having a 1,5h commute (of which barely 45 min is suitable for writing with the laptop) were I not an obsessive fiction writer capable of taking advantage of these day's most productive minutes. I dislike using software that tries to be smarter than me (in other words, most of the .net devtools, windows in general and all the wysiwyg office BS) and usually fails. I dislike people, who introduce themselves as experts in areas I'm interested in and immediately proceed to invalidating their claim of experthood.

A year ago I held a hope of moving to Kotka would solve the problem of ever-increasing feeling of boredom inside me. No such luck. After spending the then-previous year getting kicked by the Winforms designer to different parts of my body, the very last thing I'll need is a professor telling me how the Visual Studio's forms designer is the best thing since the sliced bread, and I should "learn to program object-orientedly". A common disagreement among the younger of us wannabe-FPeers, I guess. After that I found a few more profs I had disagreements with, and my attitude problems reached their local peak in the spring, when I began asking myself: "what else could I do if not programming?".

That was bad; so bad I had to wonder in the meta-level how things could've gone so bad. In this digital world of ours programming is one of the best professions to be in, for instead of being sent to unemployment, programmers are usually the ones sending people there. When you are programming, you don't have to deal with people 8am-4pm, but instead get to play with... well, calling them toys would undermine my point, because you usually don't do serious work with toys, but then doing serious work with Clojure is so painless it's almost as if playing mere games. And you get to play this game whenever you feel like doing it: in an ideal environment you could run you REPL wherever you want and conncet to it from another side of the globe.

I guess I didn't get in to the Aalto university I applied to in the peak of this all, and I dare not open the results website (for the results will arrive in post in a few weeks) and check them, so I am quite sure I'm returning to the beautiful city of Kotka this fall. I guess this is for the best, because going to Aalto would have meant moving nearer to Helsinki, which would surely have driven me insane. I'll keep going to the school, because the society doesn't view dropouts without 8am-4pm job in a good light (and the engineer's degree isn't bad at all to have), and try to finish the prose of mine and actually learn to program the unity engine. I might need to make real acquaintances in the Kouvola to get real graphics to this story-driven-über-RPG of mine, but the static models made by myself would be enough when presenting the prototype to the potential designers.

Oh yes, haven't I mention? Currently I'm planning on utilizing the MERPG-manuscript in a 3-dimensional unity-project. Scripting it will probably be an experiment in pain, but at one could try to write its scripts on JS. And aside the foolish script-environments and complex (although probably necessarily such) GUI, that engine isn't actually so bad ("seriously? :O")

The 2D-Clojure-engine hasn't seen the light of the day since the christmas, and likely won't at least until the next. I've thought about it at lot, and will return to it at some moment, because the lispy core makes its development, to quote myself, as if playing mere games. That core will also make the engine/game a lot more flexible and longer-living, assuming I'll actually finish with it anytime soon, than most of the 2D-games done with unity.

To summarize: the future holds prose, interesting game projects, a lot of mental effort to keep the school from killing this interest, and lot of wondering and wandering for me. Anyone interested of tagging along? Everything (maybe excluding the writing-process of the prose, as the writing is THE loneliest profession) I enumerated would be more pleasent had I not to face them alone </lolangst>. I will probably push the unity-thingy to the github once I've began developing it, and I am ready to distribute the manuscript quite freely (and probably am currently distributing at http://merpg.webs.com, I can't be arsed to open it in the safari and check).