Red alert. The following post oozes nostalgia. Please proceed with caution.
Let me tell you a little secret: a part of my died when I came to the United States. I had to close my web projects (except my blog) to comply with student visa regulations. It was worth it of course, but as time went on, the consequences of my decision became more and more obvious.
To explain why, let me share some of my computer programming journeys.
Templo de Zelda and Ciberolimpiadas
You see, I made my first website when I was 14 years old (as of today, I’m 30). It was a Zelda fansite called “Templo de Zelda.”
I started with just a basic understanding of how to use a computer. By the end of the project, I had a strong set of web development skills. I worked on Templo de Zelda almost every single day for three years.
Templo De Zelda is, to this day, one of the things I’m proudest of. Some other day I’ll share detailed stories about my time with Templo de Zelda. It will be cathartic.
Let’s move on. When I was in high-school, I participated in a national web development contest in my home country with my best friend at the time. We won second place with a website about human anatomy.
I canceled Templo De Zelda on my last high-school year to focus on my university plans (that was almost definitely a mistake now that I think about it). After a short while, I realized I didn’t like the fact that I had no projects to work on. I ended up creating a flash game portal called Juegos.com.sv with my best friend at the time (same friend as the web development contest).
Save a Mole and More
For my development on 2011 and 2012, I’ll have to summarize or this post will go on forever.
- I launched a version of this blog that continued for until 2015
- Problems with my best friend ended Juegos.com.sv, and I launched Doki Games shortly afterward.
- I developed and launched my first game ever. Save a mole. This took almost 4 months of hard work.
- I started development on my second game and had completed most of the main mechanics.
- I completed several iterations of an RPG system prototype using C++.
I was on a roll! until…
My Student Visa and my Projects
The main problem after canceling all my web projects (except my blog) was the mindset I had: “since I can’t make any money with my projects, I’ll focus on building a full-fledged RPG creation system.” This was my demise.
For years I worked on prototype after prototype, every one of them too big for me to handle on my own (I didn’t see that fact back then of course. After all…I had time). I finished a grand total of zero projects during 2013 – 2016.
The End Result
It was difficult to realize, and a little bit harder to accept, but after ten years of virtually continuous projects, the line between myself and my projects became a little bit fuzzy. To a degree, my self-worth became intertwined with my projects. –> This was hard to write
Canceling everything but a blog – which is the least important of my projects – and spending five years spinning my wheels was…not good. There might have been some better alternatives for me to take at the, but what’s done is done.