A couple years ago at PAX East 2011, I met some really great Chicago game industry folks and the topic of the Chicago games community came up. We got to talking about how everything seemed to be so disconnected in Chicago. At the time, we didn’t know about some of the other really great industry events happening in the city, of course, but even still something seemed missing.
Almost immediately when I got home I started looking around for local industry groups that I could get involved in, and that’s when I found the IGDA and Neal Sales-Griffin, eventually re-formed the defunct organization, and the rest is history.
I’ve since moved on from the IGDA, but haven’t given up that dream to help bring the Chicago game developer community together. The only change is that my scope has expanded. Something really special and creative is happening with the games industry in Chicago.
You can’t throw a stone without hitting an indie developer with another kick-ass game being released. The big studios in the city have started to get behind this as well, and we see awesome games like Divekick hitting their stride because of the collaborations that pop up.
Chicago used to be the epicenter of game development, and then we got hit hard. Layoffs and studio closings were a common thing up until even just a few years ago.
But just as this city is resilient, so is our games industry. It’s time for the rest of the world to join us.
Begin cheesy workout tape video music.
Exercise is a really important part of staying focused and productive when you’re working on your own. I’m not the most in shape person (I like eating good things and drinking tasty drinks), but I’m pretty okay. Here’s my routine, for those wondering. I keep it simple, and most importantly, it’s something that I can do anywhere; whether on vacation, or wherever else.
3-4 times a week: build a run, from 3 miles (with sprints in short bursts of 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off), to longer 6-8 mile runs where a moderate pace is kept. Each week starts off with the sprints, and ends with the longer (but easier) runs/jogs.
3-5 times a week: card exercise. Spades are military push-ups, Clubs regular push-ups, Hearts are crunches, Diamonds are sit-ups. Do this in 4-card increments, with the reps being the value of the card (face cards are 11,12,13,14 respectively).
This all lends itself to portability. Note that sometimes you’ll be running and doing cards on the same day, but I try to keep it at 1-2 times a week max.
Reward self with beer. Repeat.