Let's Catch Up

It has been a long time since there has been any activity on this site, or on my YouTube.  You guys deserve to know what has been going on, so that's what this post is all about.

A while back I mentioned that my family and I were moving to North Carolina.  That move did occur, but not without some considerable losses.  The day of the move, our family van was broken while we were eating lunch with my old teammates.  The thief got away with a laptop bag containing a good portion of the families portable electronics.  Included among the stolen items was my laptop, which I used for all my YouTube recordings, as well as all my game development.  Considering that I don't currently own a desktop, that kind of left me without a computer for quite a while. 

Thankfully, we had renters insurance on the home we were moving out of, so over time, we have been able to replace the missing equipment.  While we could replace the equipment, we can not replace the lost photographs, source code, and video editing files.

Before this occurred, I hadn't recorded or uploaded any videos to YouTube for a few months, and I want to explain that.  First, the recordings stopped due to health issues.  There were several weeks where I was really sick and unable to record.  After I got better, it really just became an issue of desire and motivation.  I just didn't really desire to record, nor did I have any motivation to do so.

To put it bluntly, there was a lot of work involved in producing my shows, and there wasn't very much in terms of returns.  I'm not talking about money here.  I think I've made it quite clear that money was not the driving force behind me producing shows.  I'm talking about viewer feedback.

There were certain viewers who were constantly providing feedback, and I appreciate those viewers greatly.  The problem is, after a while of only hearing feedback from a handful of people, you start to wonder how much of the feedback is real, and what everyone else is thinking.

Then there's the viewership drop off.  I suppose I should have expected this, which I kind of did, but I didn't really expect it to be as bad, or as fast as it was.  In retrospect, I can now look back during that time and realize that I wasn't the only YouTuber experiencing this.  It was an industry-wide phenomenon where Minecraft videos were concerned.  Unfortunately, though, it affected small channels like mine a lot more than the larger channels like Paul Soares.

So, where does all that leave us today?  That is a question that I have been pondering for quite some time.  I really did enjoy doing YouTube, but I don't think I'll be going back to it again.  If I do decide to do something like that again, I will probably be with another service, like Twitch.  

But, let's say that I do start a Twitch channel, I don't think that I'll go back to doing Minecraft videos.  Minecraft is kinda dying out.  While its still kinda popular, I don't really see it becoming the shining beacon of popularity that it once was.  With Minecraft ruled out, what will I do?  I honestly don't know right now.  I might consider doing a newer game for a while.  I've also considered doing some programming tutorial videos.  I just haven't decided that much yet.

Now that we've spent all this time talking about YouTube, let's change gears and talk about game development, as I've been rather quiet on that front for a while.

First, let me just say that game development is still occurring.  Sure, the loss of my laptop was a major hit in this department, but now that I have a new laptop, things can return to normal.  While there was some source code lost in the theft, the code for all published games resides within an online repository, so that's all safe.  In short, this means I do not have any of the code that I was experimenting with, but I can still update and maintain all my published programs.

I am still working on game dev project, but I will not be discussing them publicly anymore.  I've implemented a policy that no work in progress or future features can be discussed with the public.  This policy is intended to protect both me and you.  It protects me from being criticised if I am unable to deliver on a game or feature that I am working on, and it protects you from getting excited about a game or feature, only to find out that it was abandoned.

That being said, once any game is to the point that it could be released as a demo, then I will start communicating about the game.  Even then, I will only discuss features that are actually in the game.