2016 In Retrospect; Plans For 2017

2016 has been, in a word, interesting.

I won’t go into all the crazy political stuff that has happened this year, as many of you who follow my Twitter know my ideas and stances on that. Instead I am going to talk about my experiences and thoughts on what I have done this year, mainly around this “blog” (I will never stop hating that word), and my projects. Then I will lay out some of my plans for 2017, my new years resolutions, only these are ones I will be actively trying to keep. So without further ado, let me get started.

This year, I started this blog as sort of an art gallery for my work, as well as a platform to get out the swirling madness that are my thoughts and projects that have been inside my head for quite some time. If you follow this wordpress, seeing as you are reading this, I am assuming that you do, you will know my two biggest projects, Kokoro No Kinu, and Magicka Mechanica (most likely in that order). These two vastly different concepts, one an original yuri manga, and the other a steampunk rpg, are the two biggest projects that have been inside my head that I felt I needed to share with the world. They have taken up the most of my brainspace for a number of years (I started both concepts around the same time, about 2 to 3 years ago) and my progress on them, personally, have been lackluster to say the least.

Kokoro No Kinu, while I got the two chapters I have completed out to the public, had some technical setbacks (just look at the unedited chapter 1) and quite frankly, I am not happy with my art. There is something with it that just doesn’t feel like a manga. What I mean is when I look at my art, and then other manga, something seems missing. I designed everything about it (from the black and white, to the layouts to even the SFX) to emulate an authentic manga, but something always seems… off. Maybe it is the fact that I’m using digital screentones and cleaning up that makes it feel different, maybe it’s just something that I am not grasping that is setting it apart. I’ve seen other manga with worse art than mine (which isn’t saying much in my opinion), but they just felt authentic. This is why Chapter 3 has taken so long for me to get started on, every time I try, I lose heart and go sulk and play some games or read, telling myself that I will get back to it in an hour or two (and never doing it, of course).

Magicka Mechanica, my other large project, is an easier one to explain my lackluster progress on. I simply don’t have the technological knowhow to get started. I know the basics in just about every field it takes to get started but I’ve always gotten hung up on just where to start, and how to start. Do I work on the player based variables first? The health, skill, and combat mechanics? The animations and models (which I KNOW I am too much of a newbie to even attempt before anything else)? Also, which engine should I use? I know I cannot build one from scratch, so that leaves picking from any of the amazing ones to start. Would it be better in Unity, or Unreal, or should I go completely out of the box and do it in something like Blender? I wish I had the technical knowledge to get this off the ground. It has been my most imagined project, but is also my most challenging.

Do not let these morose thoughts fool you. Despite the political tension, this year has been a blast for me. I started college, which took up way more of my time than anticipated, but it has been something I have been wanting for a long time now. I actually put out my personal work for people to see, and so far the comments and criticisms have been encouraging and helpful. I met many new cool people this year too through this wordpress, like O.G. Man, over at Yuri Nation, my one stop shop for what anime I am going to be watching each season, really encouraging person, I was following his site long before making this myself, and it was great to actually get to know him. So many people on the twitter scene who are really cool, way too many to name (just look at the people I’m following over at twitter, those are the cool people).

This year has really inspired me to work harder on projects that, before starting this,  I wasn’t sure anyone but me would ever know about. 2016 was a roller coaster of a year. We lost so many great people in film, music and everywhere else, the internet was torn asunder by the election, and memes were king. Despite all this, I know, without a doubt, 2017 will be a better year. In my part, it will be double that of this previous year (and not just because I started this wordpress in the middle of the year). My plans are only going to go forward with more momentum, I hope to get the first “volume” of Kokoro No Kinu finished (the first, I want to say 9 chapters), and I will put out even more information and plans on Magicka Mechanica, and maybe even actually get started on the core of the game, on one engine or another (you can check out the Magicka Mechanica tab for the ideas I have for the game, some more technical than others). I will work harder this upcoming year than I have ever done before, and strive to be better and better in 2017, and many more years to come.

And of course, a post would never be complete without my obligatory social media paragraph…

Somethings never change.

You can follow me on Twitter @umedyn, subscribe and check out my Youtube channel, and if you are feeling particularly generous, you can support my work (and my manga) on my Patreon page, check out my tumblr, which is mainly another sounding board for this blog. As an added bonus, I am now on Ask.fm, a site where you can ask me any question you want to ask, and no matter what, I’ll probably answer, I’m a glutton for punishment…

And now you can follow me on Facebook via the Umedyn page!

A Happy New Year to all, and a toast to a better tomorrow!

-Umedyn

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