Since lots of people are currently stuck at home because of the corona virus, and I really wanted to contribute to notGDC this year, I’ve decided to write about something that I wanted to share for a while now: tools to prevent yourself from getting distracted while using a computer.
When using any internet-connected device, the line between exertion and relaxation can blur very quickly—and I can relate. In my case, one time during an internship , I got side tracked and started watching… a Tetris competition. Of course I got caught: that was the moment where it dawned on me that the freedom to get distracted was too much responsibility for me. So I decided to take away some of that freedom, and opted to add measures on my computer to achieve that. I’ve used a lot of productivity tools over the years, so I’d like to share with you what I’ve learned and what worked for me.
Some context, though. I’m 22 years old, lived in a student house for around the past four years, and for the last months I’ve lived in an apartment by myself, working remotely. Most of the recommendations here will be Windows applications or browser extensions. I also have as few apps on my phone as possible to minimize distraction there (a “dumbphone” of sorts).
Some of the methods I’m using might be a little extreme, because I need it to stay sharp and motivated. So you might not be able to use very single tip here, but I still hope these pieces of software and other tips will suit your use cases!
That’s a wrap on 2019, the year where I barely played Steam games in favor of itch, the year that Switch eShop discounts started getting amazing, and also a year where I graduated and moved away from my student house. Oh, and I also made a bunch of smaller games, while wrapping up Fake Illusions. Whew!
Here are some games I liked. Like last year, I just played these games this year, since I don’t really care about their original release date. The order of games is also pretty much “in the order I can think of them”, so take it with a grain of salt. Maybe two.
I wanted to participate in js13k for a while now, so I finally took the dive, similarly to 7drl this year. The resulting game is called BackFlipped, and you can play it on either the competition site or itch! Also, you can check out the source code on Github.
I had some goals:
Here’s a lengthy postmortem detailing my design decisions so I can refer to them later, but also so other people can learn! I might make a separate post about all the optimization tricks I used, but for now the js13k resources are very useful, and I tried most of the tricks listed there.
So I made a roguelike! I have a problem with roguelikes: the games are incredibly punishing, and usually I can’t bring up the patience to continue playing after five permadeaths or so. Also, these games can be complicated, with very little explanation—something I think is amazing in most games, but can be very frustrating in a roguelike where you’re thrown to the wolves almost instantly.
However, I have been fascinated by the genre, regardless of my inability to actually play the games. So when I saw 7drl was happening this year, I wanted to make a minimalist roguelike, also known as a roguelite. Here’s an overview of the gameplay of the game and how it was put together this way.
More years, more games! Looking back, I can only say one thing: Geez, I played a lot of games this year!
Like last years’ lists, this just list games I played this year, not necessarily games that released this year, in no particular order. Also, only itch embeds this year because I’ve played a lot more games on itch, but also because all Steam embeds from last year’s list broke and I’m too lazy to add links/embeds for everything this time around.