Matthew Gatland


May 31, 2013

I haven’t done much game development lately, but I have been keeping very busy. Here are some of the ways I occupy my time now that I don’t have a day job.

Today I had lunch with Joshua Smyth, another self-employed game developer. We talked about our projects and plans, and he gave me some great ideas for the game I’m working on.

Yesterday I went to a cardboard synthesizer workshop, run by Niklas Roy & Kati Hyyppä.

We soldered electrical components together, then built cardboard interfaces to control them.

The variety in projects was amazing. There were shoes that played tones when tapped together, a box that sounded when it was shook, and a cardboard bird that made sound when its wings were moved.

The people there also had diverse backgrounds – an event organiser, a film maker, a choreographer, and more. I enjoyed being part of a group of creative people with creative backgrounds.

The university project I was involved in is wrapping up now. I went to the students’ final presentations on Tuesday – they got a lot done in their last iteration.

I’m very interested in software education. I’ve just volunteered to help out at a programming workshop at a high school.

I went to San Francisco! Caught up with old friends and met interesting people.

One highlight was playing a game by the OuterBody Experience Labs.

In this game, we walked around a maze. The twist is that we wore headsets, which showed us the view from a fixed camera that pointed at the maze. So we saw ourselves from outside our bodies.

I like how OuterBody made an interesting game on the physical side, while keeping the software simple – the headsets simply display a live video feed; the maze itself is non-digital; the game is timed on a stopwatch by a human.

I also like that they charge money and seem to have a working business model. We played at a market on Treasure Island. Could I run similar games at markets in Auckland?

My biggest commitment is being the head tenant at my 8-bedroom flat. I’m responsible for filling bedrooms when people move out, and covering the costs of the empty room until I do.

I showed 5 potential flatmates around this week.

I enjoy parts of this job, but it doesn’t fit in nicely with my life plan. It feels off-topic, in this journal post and in my real life.

Should I quit, and spend my attention on something more in line with my goals? Or is it OK to be a complicated person who isn’t 100% focussed on one purpose?