Hedgefield Quarterly Review 2021.3

Hey there! In the Hedgefield Quarterly Review I look back at the work I did in the past three months, both as a diary for myself and a way to consistently update you on what I’m up to. I talk project details, achievements, and the highs and lows of self-employment. Come follow along!

You can find older entries here.

It has been three months since I quit my day job. That feels weird to say. It both feels like such a short time ago but also like it’s been ages already.

I’m not gonna lie, it feels pretty good to be totally in control of my own time again. I spent a week or two catching up on games, podcasts, movies and life stuff, and then started structuring my week around my new set of projects. It’s an on-going process, as it’s tempting to start any day working on the project I feel most inspired for at that moment, but then before I know it it’ll be friday and I’m left wondering where the time went.

Mondays I now spend at the Immer office in Utrecht so I don’t completely alienate from society in my home office. The crew there is growing already, which is fun to be a part of. We even did a photoshoot!

And it’s weird to say, but I realize now I missed the bustle of the big city. As much as I value quietness and nature, I do love the feeling of being surrounded by people with ambitions and things going on around you in every direction – something that is definitely lacking in the suburb I live in. But after each monday I am also thankful to be back home with my dogs and get to work there too. I think it’s a good balance so far.

Meanwhile I started work on the prototype for my game pitch. Whereas I’d previously been focusing on mechanics prototyping and level design, I now also had to think about backstory, scope, budget, contractors, timeline and all that. It was quite a dizzying time to be honest, there’s a lot that goes into the development of a game!

I got the chance to consult with Dan and Ben of Size Five Games (Lair Of The Clockworld God, The Swindle, etc), which I’ve been in the vicinity of since my early early gamedev days on the Adventure Game Studio forums. It was great brainstorming ideas with them, and it gave me a nice starting point for the plot and characters. And I spoke with other devs who had gone through similar things, and learned so much. Still, it dawned on me just what a boatload of work is still ahead of me to get to a good pitch package!

One line of code at a time I guess…

I did a quick sketch for the potential key art of the game, and next quarter I definitely want to start doing more concept art and graphics work. That is the biggest unknown at this point I’d say. I have faith that the idea and the mechanics and the AI and the level design will get there, 3D art is the next frontier.

On other fronts the work is keeping up as well. My reliable connection in Amsterdam is supplying me with a drip-feed of small illustration assignments, I’m helping an old client with the branding graphics on their website, and I have a few more things lined up for the coming quarter. Altogether I’m pleasantly surprised by how well the transition is going, and that I get to make a good living working on these interesting projects. I hope this can be my life for a good while now.

Hedgefield Quarterly Review 2021.2

Hedgefield quarterly review

Hey there! In the Hedgefield Quarterly Review I look back at the work I did in the past three months, both as a diary for myself and a way to consistently update you on what I’m up to. I talk project details, achievements, and the highs and lows of self-employment. Come follow along!

You can find older entries here.

At the start of the month I wrapped up work on the second book from The Recharge Company. They’ve been a longtime client, and this time they bundled all their wisdom to help you get the most out of life. I drew a series of more abstract illustrations and mental models to make the book more visually pleasing to read through.

https://worksmartplaysmart.nl

I was also asked to make another animation for Contronics Dry Misting, which you may remember I created an elaborate animation for last year. This year was their 40th anniversary, and this time they commissioned a motion-graphics-esque video to celebrate their accomplishments.

It wasn’t a style I had worked a lot in before, and the deadline was tight, so I was a little worried, but in the end I managed to bang this thing out in about three or four days, surprising even myself. Pretty pleased with the result!

And for the final project in the work-for-hire category, a local marketing agency asked me to create some comic pages to promote a shoe brand. The scripts were prepared for me, so I could do what I do best and create some cool page layouts and linework. At least, I thought so, turns out the client was too smitten with the tight vector style of the concept mockup made by the agency, and that’s not a style that suits me particularly well. So unfortunately after trying a bunch of designs I had to pass on that one, but hey, that also happens sometimes. I knew drawing honest-to-god comic pages for an ad agency was too good to be true 😉

And of course work for app startup Immer continued as well. We shipped an update that adds reminders, and next quarter there will be a long-awaited update that adds discovery and search, along with a bunch more books, something I’m personally very excited about.

So I think it’s safe to say business is good. And while all of that is fantastic, it was also eating time away from the further development of my game idea that I mentioned last time. And from what time I could put in, I started to get the idea that this was going to be a big undertaking. Like applying-for-funding-and-assembling-a-team big. And then there’s my part-time day job too! So I had to make a decision that I’ve been considering, pondering, and putting off for quite some time now.

I quit my job.

I’ve spent more than five great years doing UX design and branding for Yoast, and it’s been a wonderful safe haven, but faced with all the possibilities in front of me currently, I had to admit that SEO just isn’t where my passion lies. I enjoyed solving the design puzzles it threw at me, and it taught me a ton, but I have no ambition to dive further into that world and master that product or domain. So it was time to move on.

That was a scary decision! And I’m going to miss having my co-designers to bounce around ideas with, but getting to spend more time with the projects I love is already giving me much renewed energy. I look forward to the months to come, getting settled into this crazy new routine, and I’ll take you along for the ride!

Hedgefield Quarterly Review 2021.1

Hedgefield quarterly review

Hey there! In the Hedgefield Quarterly Review I look back at the work I did in the past three months, both as a diary for myself and a way to consistently update you on what I’m up to. I talk project details, achievements, and the highs and lows of self-employment. Come follow along!

You can find older entries here.

The first quarter of 2021 sure was a wild one! I started off by releasing a small game called WanderWoods….

Continue reading “Hedgefield Quarterly Review 2021.1”

Hedgefield Quarterly Review 2020.the-rest-of-it

Hedgefield quarterly review

Hello there, nice to see you again. I was going to write one of these each quarter, wasn’t I? Well, it’s been a weird year. I hope you’re all doing okay out there.

It’s been 9 months since I started working exclusively from home. In the beginning I loved it, then I hated it for a bit, now I generally enjoy it. I built a really nice home office, but, I don’t think it’s been my most productive period. Not because of working from home, but mostly I’m missing people. People to bounce ideas off of, laugh with, motivate me, and experience new things with. I’m super thankful I have a great wife here with me or I’d probably go a bit mental, but I definitely don’t feel as inspired as I normally would. I didn’t expect that to be such a thing, but here we are.

Still, I did things:

Continue reading “Hedgefield Quarterly Review 2020.the-rest-of-it”

Hedgefield Quarterly Review 2020.1

Hedgefield quarterly review

Hello and welcome, to the first Hedgefield Quarterly Review.

As the name implies, this will be a place for me to take stock of what I’ve accomplished in the past three months, and share it with you. It’s a nice middle road between a handful of tweets, and a yearly review, which I tried to do last year but resulted in an OVERWHELMING Google Doc that I haven’t dared look at since. The plan is to write these as a bookend to the close of each financial quarter, a good a time as any to look back and see whether I made any duckets (or not).

Continue reading “Hedgefield Quarterly Review 2020.1”