2 years after the birth of CSR-Studios: Then VS Now.

Cake seems appropriate.

I thought now would be a good time to look back at the past 2 years ago and how things have changed.

CSR-Studios

Two years ago CSR-Studios was a trading name for my self rather than a company.  As a one man team it seemed the way to go at the time.  This meant it took a long time to sort things out with the IRS as I’m in the UK>

Now CSR-Studios Limited is a limited company, but it’s still just me.  I needed to form a limited company for various reasons, and while I’m still learning, it suits the business better.  Also setting things up with the IRS was super easy!

Dead Pixels

Dead pixels has gone through a bunch of changes over the past 2 years.  There has been a lot of little updates, but the big changes are:

  1. First there was the two extra modes added to the game at the beginning of 2012
  2. Then there was the PC port  int may of 2012 that added custom controls and support for different resolution.
  3. And finally there was the Steam version in December of 2012 that added online leaderboards and achievements.

 

Development environment

Old setup (Dead Pixels launch party)

2011-09-15 23.25.26

Current desk

DSC_0386

My new PC was pretty much my only big treat to my self over the past 2 years.  I’m loving three monitors and the portrait one has become my main coding monitor.  I still have my old computer as it has files on it I need occasionally.

I still have the same desk, keyboard and graphics tablet. some things never change.

Worklife

Two years ago I would work on Dead Pixels when ever I had the time to.  I would often tell friends I was busy if they wanted to do things when I was near a milestone.  I dont remember taking days off, and I would find it hard to find the time to play games.

Now I try to work through the day and give myself weekends, and nights off.  If friends want to do something that conflicts with my work scheduled I’ll shift things around so I can be more social.  I occasionally do crunch work and may work 14 hours a day, 7 days a week, but if I do, I’ll follow it up with a week off. I probably find it harder to play games now, but if there is something I really want to play not much will stop me.

Me

The indie beard!So about 2 years ago I had long hair, a big beard that had grown through Dead Pixels last couple months (My indie beard!) and I was questioning what I wanted to do with my life. Money was usually an issue and I would go out of my way to save a few pounds.

Me of today has short hair and a much smaller, better kept indie beard. I feel like I know what I want to do with my life (or at least for the next few years).  Financially I’m much better off, but I will still try to save money on little things (I still cut my own hair).

I’m currently preparing to move to a nearby city.  It absolutely terrifies me, but I feel it will improve my life being in a less remote part of the country.

 Mental health

This probably, maybe comes under me, but I think it should have it’s own section.  I dont think people realise how stressful making games and working from home can be.  You dont get to go home at the end of the day and forget about work.

The last two years have had many ups and downs for me.  At it’s worst I’ve been so stressed that I was having sleepless nights, and working round the clock.  The past two Christmas Eves for me I’ve been working to the early morning.   I’ve realised over time that I need to take breaks, even if my gut reaction to pour all my time into work it can.  I’d love to say that Everything is great now, but even after 2 years I still sometimes struggle to keep everything balanced.  I can quite easily burn myself out if I start to obsess over something, and this can cause a loop of overworking, and not getting anywhere so I feel the need to work more.  It’s a vicious cycle.

I feel that I enjoyed making Dead Pixels 1 a lot more because only maybe a 100 people knew about it.  I was pretty much in my own little bubble, and only let people in when I wanted. I feel like I can no longer just shut myself away from people the same way.

I think when Dead Pixels 2 is released I may have to hire someone to keep me sane during the launch month.

 

The next post will be the one people have been waiting for.  I’m going to pull together everything I’m willing to say/show of Dead Pixels II and put it in a blog post.