Random Ramblings

George, what happened to your daily posts? You were supposed to blog 5 times a week! You’re slipping man! That’s what I tell myself. I’m pretty sure nobody noticed that I only posted 4 times last week (so this week I gotta do 6). Anyway, what can I say? Work is picking up so I’ve been spending a lot more time doing that instead of writing random blog posts for myself to read. I recently discovered that I don’t have to work at the office if I feel like working elsewhere, so I’ve been making use of that privilege.

I tried working at a co-working space the other day. It seemed more like a regular cafe than anything, so it didn’t really make a difference (I was expecting some sort of increase in concentration and efficiency). There were a lot of kids just hanging out there to study or watch videos on their laptops/tablets so it didn’t really have a working vibe to it. To be fair, it was probably the cheapest co-working space I checked out so it probably wasn’t a good judge of what it should be like. I’ll be exploring other places in the future.

Thinking of ideas for the next big IP is a daunting task. It’s already hard enough to create interesting stories and characters, but when you throw in conditions like marketability, target audiences and commercial value, it gets even harder. You want to serve an audience something they want. But it has to be something new. But if you think about it – almost everything good that can be done has already been done. So you try to create something that doesn’t already exist and has potential. Then you think – is there a reason why nobody has been doing it in the first place? Maybe it has been tested internally and doesn’t work. So you’re left scratching your head wondering if you should continue down that path. Is it better to be derivative or original? If you do something that’s so far out left field, would people get it?

These are questions I ask myself while I try to work out what I want to make. It has to be something I believe in. Because I know that I won’t be able to give my all working for something I don’t believe in. Which is probably why I’d be a terrible salesman for most products and services.

I’ve been watching a lot of Pewdiepie on YouTube. He’s probably one of the most entertaining YouTubers out there right now. I guess there’s a reason why he remains as the most subbed channel on the platform, with nobody coming close. I used to think, why the hell would anybody watch reaction videos? Then I got sucked into the world of H3H3 and YouTube drama and found it all very interesting. Sure, they have no educational value and are really a big waste of time, but sometimes all you wanna do is tune out before you go to bed and these videos are a great way to do so. Also it doesn’t hurt that I find them extremely funny and entertaining.

Sometimes I feel like I’m burnt out from blogging too often. But then on the other hand, I think it’s just an excuse and I’m just not being disciplined enough to keep writing. Writing is good for me. It’s typing (which is fun), therapeutic, and a great way to practice putting words down.

My projects for this year:
– develop my first game
– record a new EP
– edit Animal Bus and turn it into a comic

It’s almost May and I’m not even close to finishing any of those things. Damn, time flies.

Good Deeds

What is karma? Is it real? Does everyone believe in karma? Why do people do good things? Do they expect others to do the same to them?
I get that doing good deeds is what makes you a normal human being, and that you shouldn’t expect anything out of it. But if you’re going out of your way to accomplish something – are you still entitled to a perk in the future?
I mean, think about it, there’s a reason why people believe in karma. Right? Or there’s a reason why religion tells us to be good people. There’s no reason to be a dick. Unless you’re purposely upset about somebody and want to ruin their day.
I don’t know. Didn’t really have any cohesive thoughts, but I was just thinking about it to myself.
Over the weekend, I did a couple of ‘good deeds’. I left a note on somebody’s car, telling him that his rear wheel had a flat tire. And I informed a cashier that a whole section of goods they were selling had gone past their expiry date. I don’t expect anything good to happen to me because of those things. Aren’t they just things that people should normally do?
However, whenever someone does something good, you usually hear about it (here I am blogging about it LOL). People think it’s something extraordinary. Like it’s something special to not be an asshole. Isn’t that kind of weird? I don’t know.
Where am I going with this? Nowhere.

I just think that it’s weird that people think being nice is a special thing to do, when in fact – being nice is probably the foundation of being a decent human being. People shouldn’t expect anything when they’re being nice. There’s no reason to.

Sure, it’s better than being an ass to someone else, but the better alternative is to just be nice, or ignorant. Move on with your life. Don’t contribute negatively.

But then again, if everybody just ignored everybody, I guess this world would fall apart as well. Hmm.

Dear Doctor

Spending time in a hospital sucks. Unless you’re there for the birth of a child (assuming it isn’t the spawn of Satan), it’s never pleasant. You sit on a chair or stand against a wall, staring wordlessly at the patient you’re visiting, hoping that somehow, some way, a miracle happens, getting rid of all the ailments he/she is suffering from. That’s never the case.

It’s a lot of waiting. Waiting to check in. Waiting for their condition to stabilize. Waiting for results of a test. Waiting for doctors to arrive. Waiting for their verdict. Waiting to see if the medication works. Waiting to find out if the patient is ready to go home. The worst part about it? There’s nothing you can do about it. Everything is out of your hands.

It’s like playing the lottery. You just pay money and hope for the best. That’s the thing about humans. No human is alike. Not everybody works according to the text-book. There’s no manual for each person. Some people respond differently. Some people show different symptoms. There’s a million different variables determining what the issue and solution is.

We’re not computers. Two beeps during POST – RAM error. Try reseating it or replacing the RAM sticks. Mouse not working? Try plugging it in again, or changing the battery. There are limited outcomes when it comes to machines, which makes troubleshooting easy.

I’d like to believe that doctors are always trying their best to solve the situation. That everything they do is beneficial to their patients, and that they’d like to get them discharged as soon as possible. And that it’s not some scheme to make money for the hospital by keeping them in their bed for as long as they can.

Dear doctor, I know you won’t be reading this post, but I trust you and your abilities to do what’s best for her. Because, let’s face it – I know shit about what’s going on, only that it hurts and it’s life-threatening. Despite the nagging I get from time to time, I’d rather have her home than wasting away in a hospital bed. She’s the strongest woman I know and wouldn’t be there if she had a choice, but this time, things are out of her hands.

I don’t think I’m ready to lose her yet. I doubt I’ll ever be ready.

I hope I’ll be able to bring her home soon.

Limited Connectivity

One of the interesting things I experienced growing up is the state of our connectivity. I grew up in an age where internet access was non-existent, available and slow, fast, and now prevalent. These days, if we didn’t have internet access on our phones, we’d feel extremely lost and disconnected. It never used to be the case. Internet connectivity used to be a privilege, a bonus and now it’s a requirement. No, this isn’t going to be a post about how kids these days are constantly glued to their screens at dinner (I’m guilty of such behavior; damn you Six Match, why are you so addictive?) – it’s just something that I thought of while trying to connect to a public wifi hotspot today.

There’s nothing wrong with using an internet-less computer. In fact, it helps with productivity. I can imagine if I was online now, I’d be watching Liquid vs OG at DAC instead of writing this blog post. So it’s alright to have no connectivity every now and then. I’ll just catch the NoobfromUA highlights tonight. It’s times like these I’m glad to have my music collection stored locally. Although I’ve used Spotify in the past, it hasn’t replaced my need to have music on my hard disk. Just knowing for sure that I can play any song I like without having to worry about my internet connection or if Spotify’s servers are working is a good feeling. Sure, it’s a hassle to collect discographies of obscure artists, and my music collection takes up a lot of disk space – but it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.

Over lunch, there was a short conversation about tour guides and how it’s not something a lot of people enjoy these days. I hypothesized it was due to the availability of information on the internet. If you were to visit a brand new country in the coming week, I’m sure you could do a quick search to find out places you should visit, things you should avoid and so on. Then, from the comfort of your own home you could plan your whole trip without having to rely on a tour guide. Benefits of your own trip? Not having to do things you don’t want to do and being able to set your own schedule (nobody wants to wake up at seven, especially when you’re on holiday).

The internet is wonderful, and I would dread going back to a life without it. It can help you with your work, yet it can hamper your progress as well. It’s all about self-control and moderation. Don’t let it turn into a vice – it should be a tool.

Ramblings of an Old Man

What makes something niche? The fact that there aren’t many people who know about it, or the fact that people don’t know about it yet? Over the past few weeks, I’ve been doing a lot of surveying and research for work, and one thing I realized is that something that seems niche to me might actually be mainstream to other communities. So for example, let’s take this game: Mobile Legends. None of my friends play it. I’ve heard a decent amount about it, mostly through ads on YouTube and people discussing it on Reddit but I had no idea how huge it was until recently.

During some focus group testing we did with local kids, it turns out that a lot of them played the game. Some of them were as young as 6 years old! At an age 9-12 focus group we had today, all of them played the game – girls and guys. Later in the day, I found out that Tony Fernandez just signed an esports team. I initially thought it was a Dota 2 team until I looked it up – it was a Mobile Legends team. Turns out the game is pretty damn big. But because I didn’t know people who played it, the thought never crossed my mind.

The other day, at the smoking area, I heard some random people discussing Fortnite. I only know a handful of people who play it. Turns out, it’s one of the most popular games right now. The other day, I discovered that a friend didn’t know who Jimmy Eat World was and to me, they’re like one of the biggest bands in the scene. How can you not know Jimmy Eat World? It was mostly due to a difference in age. The same friend listed a bunch of bands I had no idea existed either, so I guess it goes two ways.

So now, I’m sitting here thinking – is something niche to me only because I don’t know about it? Or am I just not doing my due diligence to keep up with the times? What defines a niche though? Does it require to be a percentage of a population and if it surpasses that it becomes mainstream? Is everything I like that is unpopular at the moment an example of a niche? Why am I even contemplating the meaning of the word? Google defines it very clearly:

a shallow recess, especially one in a wall to display a statue or other ornament.
“each niche holding a shepherdess in Dresden china”

recess, alcove, nook, cranny, slot, slit, hollow, bay, cavity, cubbyhole, pigeonhole, opening, aperture;
“in a niche in the wall is a statue of St John”

a comfortable or suitable position in life or employment.
“he is now head chef at a leading law firm and feels he has found his niche”

ideal position, calling, vocation, métier, place, function, job, slot, opportunity
“he feels he has found his niche in life”

denoting or relating to products, services, or interests that appeal to a small, specialized section of the population.
“other companies in this space had to adapt to being niche players”
place (something) in a niche.
“these elements were niched within the shadowy reaches”

Why am I even thinking about this? Maybe it’s time to update my music playlist and install Mobile Legends and Fortnite. On a side note, Aliexpress is having a big sale now and I ordered a bunch of things last night. Should be fun getting gifts in the mail over the next few months. Woot.