It seems to be a tradition, or rather a cliché, that at the end of a year people sit down for a few minutes, add up the past twelve months and look at the end results. Based on those results, resolutions are made for the new year. But twelve months won't do it in my case. Certain events around June 2007 have changed the course of my life quite a bit, and thus now I have to look back at the past five years, with 2007 being the end of an era.
2003 marked the beginning of something new. Two projects based on Halfquake Amen have started shortly after its release in September 2002: Personal Halfquake and the Halfquake Amen Comic. Initially I was filled with euphoria. However, I didn't know back then that I should've created those projects with an end in mind, as both projects were to consume a lot of my spare time for the next five years. While working on PHQ and HQA Comic updates, flash games and applications arose, sometimes out of desperation to refresh my mind a bit. Despite a lot of pressure there were even several attempts at the creation of a third installment of Halfquake, including some work on a few songs meant to be part of the HQS soundtrack - those turned out to be rather personal and later got released as a compilation called "Remains". All in all, for five years I've been constantly restless and living in the dark abyss I had created myself.
During 2003 and 2004 multiple updates for PHQ were wanted and needed, and I tried hard to continue the HQA Comic. Until I realized that I didn't throw out those updates for myself anymore, but for others. I had stopped listening to myself and just went through the motions - thinking up yet another PHQ feature and yet another HQA Comic.
In 2005 I started Antaran's Journal. I remember the moment very well. There was a blank screen in front of me, an open editor with a blinking text cursor, impatiently waiting for my fingers to work with it. In my head there was darkness, pollution, a large swamp drowning my mind, which was stretching out a hand covered in mud, trying to find something to help it climb out again. I knew that I just had to start something new. Something. Anything. I wrote three dots and the first few words.
I told myself to keep a regular update schedule of one entry per day, but I couldn't. One exception lead to the other. PHQ, the HQA Comic and the pressure of HQS were still around as well. Even though my mind had taken a deep breath, the swamp's level rose and rose.
2006 arrived quickly and showed me a different facet of life. For something I initially didn't want to do, I'm very glad now that I was forced to go through it. The same year saw the release of the game Turnament and the album Remains, both of which represented a much needed vent.
The development of PHQ ended in early 2007, the final entry of Antaran's Journal was written in April, and the HQA Comic was put to rest in July. Slowly the sky began to clear, the air was refreshed, my mind stabilized. And most importantly, I began to listen to myself once again.
In the past five years I have gained new experiences, acquired new skills, new instruments and material to work with. I have met a lot of people and made a bunch of new friends. I feel a lot more confident and motivated. I know who I am, what I need to do, what I want. I've made my plans for 2008. If all goes well, there should be three finished projects by the end of the year ahead.
Finishing three projects isn't the actual New Year's resolution though.
Keeping myself awake is.
2008, here I come.